Journey, Interrupted Q and A

A few disclaimers.

With live Q and A I feel like it’s harder to get a concise response to a question, because the participants are put on the spot. If you don’t know the questions ahead of time, it can be hard not to ramble.  So I kind of don’t blame them for taking like, 4 paragraphs to explain something that could have taken them 4 words. However, I might have chosen to edit what they said in a way that it doesn’t take 4 paragraphs to say what could be said in 4 words.

Also, keep in mind that the written word and the spoken word are totally different things. The way people speak is often not something that would make sense if I were to copy it down word for word. Unless otherwise noted, answers are edited, and summarized. This is done to make things more understandable to the reader and to keep things on topic. I do not intend to deceive. If someone feels I’ve accidentally misled, send me a recording you took of the conversation in question and I’ll look into it. (I know you all were recording this shit because I saw you pull out your cell phones and take video.)

All the people from the movie were here except Anna. I don’t know why, and didn’t feel it was necessary to find out. I don’t feel like it’s necessary to speculate, so let’s move on. The Anna I refer to in the this post is NOT the Anna who appeared in the movie, but one of the producers.

As the end credits played, my first thought was this music sounds like Melissa Otto. The lights came on, the music turned off. The pastor got up to speak:

Pastor: wasn’t that a well done film?

Congregation: Amen!

I try to keep my facial expression neutral.

Wasn’t that a Christ centered message?

Congregation: Amen!

Well, at least we can all agree on something.

Pastor: We approach the subject of homosexuality knowing that it’s not the easiest subject to have conversations about. I’m thankful that we have a team that’s traveling around the world to have this conversation. I want to support them however I can. How many of us can commit to pray for this ministry?

Hands go up around the church.

The pastor prays, then passes around the offering plate. I cringe inside, knowing that the money is for Coming Out Ministries. So many people wish to support this nonsense.

Questions were asked anonymously, written on cards which were then handed in to the producers, who are here tonight.

I have prosopognosia, but I think I recognize Navyshirt and Baldy. Of course I recognize Danielle, because she is the only woman on the panel.

Brian: Thanks for being here this evening. This is a very important message. We hope this short film allows some discussion to start happening.

Oh yes. You will start discussions, alright.

Live Question: Will this movie hit theaters. This is really really–

 

Brian: Yes we do have plans. We got it down to 60 minutes so we could get it on 3ABN and other networks… I don’t know about theatres, but we are working with a marketing group on a hard release. Our Plan is to go around doing viewings… in 3 or 4 months you’ll start to see this online and on DVD. We don’t wanna not get this out there.

So, the short answer would be no.

Adventists are isolated, but they’re not that isolated. An Adventist would know that the court of public opinion has already voted. The supreme court has already voted. Any movie theater that chose to play this movie would, rightfully, get absolutely slammed by the public. The theater’s name would be dragged into the papers and get all kinds of negative press. Nobody wants that, and so no mainstream movie theater would touch this movie.

I learned later from C that what the producer meant when he said he cut this down to 60 minutes is that this movie was originally 2 hours. No, I will not be reviewing that version.

Now, for the anonymous card questions.

Question 1:

Is it possible to reach a friend who is not a Christian and who seems to love his lifestyle and is my dear friend? I’m Praying for him, though I don’t know what to pray for. I try to lure him with potluck.

This question was repeated, so the wording is quoted directly.

First off, if you are trying to lure him with potluck, you are probably doing it wrong. I like Adventist food. However, If this friend has not been raised Adventist, then I’m sorry, but potluck food isn’t going to appeal to them. You see, people who haven’t grown up with Adventist food think it’s weird. Special K loaf? What’s that? And what is that glop over there that I think just moved?  What do you mean the hotdogs aren’t real, why is there no coffee, and why does that thing that looks and smells like a chocolate brownie definitely not a chocolate brownie?

Really, you shouldn’t wonder why your methods aren’t working.

In case you were wondering, this will not be addressed, and I didn’t bother bringing it up.

Man: We don’t need to approach a friend about their open sin. We need to approach our friends about Jesus Christ. Open sin may be far down the list of things needing to be addressed. Jesus is the only one who can save us. If [Jesus] is the way, then he needs to be introduced. So maintain that friendship, be a loving and lovable Christian. Help that friend of yours see in you something they don’t have that they’d like to have.

Basically, keep being this person’s friend while trying to badger them for Jesus.

Danielle: I’d encourage you by saying…. it’s good you’re praying for them. By doing that you’re right on track. Sometimes….. We tend to use prayer as a last resort instead of our first offense. ……[When trying to reach a gay friend] usually the last thing you want to do when you want to teach them  about Jesus is to point them to bible verses that talk about homosexuality.

She doesn’t say why this was so, but does tell us that there was one exception to this rule that she knows of. Sometimes God tells you to tell your friends about the anti-homosexuality parts of the Bible.

I don’t have in my notes the reason she said you usually shouldn’t tell people about these verses. I don’t remember if she said it and I didn’t write it down, or if she didn’t explain. So moving on.

If they don’t know you love them and have their best interest in mind, they’re not going to be too interested in anything you have to say. People need to know they can trust you before they’re going to listen to you about God.

Slowly gain their trust. Then spring your wacky beliefs on them.

Question 2: For youth ministries where kids go on camp outs with their parents, would you recommend the kids stay by themselves in tents in small groups, or that there be an adult in the tent with them, so that the kids will not be introduced to inappropriate things.

I personally would say yes… but there must be a complete and thorough background check on said adult. And you should probably have more than one adult to a tent, in case adult #1 is the one who would be introducing the inappropriate things.

Man: Yes. I was a willing victim when I was in pathfinders. It was from a couple of classmates in Pathfinders with me, and on a camp out we went into the exploration of sex together.

I have zero idea what this means; he didn’t elucidate.

This exploration should not take place. Parents should have conversations about sex with their children as they’re growing up. Society today is taking that out of Christian parents’ hands. Pathfinders is not a good place to be throwing kids….

I’m not sure what followed that statement and I’d really like to know.

 Things are changing today right on time with what the enemy proposes,

How do you know? Do you have a copy of Satan’s agenda? Perhaps he is seriously behind schedule.

and it’s very important for families to be completely Christ centered. Advice given from Ellen white is that we shouldn’t be having kids involved in sleepovers….

Ah yes I remember reading that. I can’t remember the reference atm, but she does talk about how children shouldn’t be allowed to sleep in the same bed together or have sleepovers because they might teach each other how to masturbate.

While I do agree that it would be inappropriate of someone to masturbate while sleeping in the same bed with someone else, I think that you could, you know, talk to your child about how that sort of thing is private and that there are boundaries.

Kids do what comes natural according to feelings, and if not supervised you can have abuse taking place….abuse doesn’t just happen from someone older than you.

I do agree with that. Children can abuse other children, so I would agree with having adult supervision, with the caveat that sometimes the adults in the situation sometimes can be the one doing the abusing.

Question 3: How do you forgive yourself or others for sexual experimentation as a child with same sex, if you’re trying to live a heterosexual life. Does that experience make you gay?

All 4 of them look at each other.

Badly: no pressure

Everyone laughs.

Baldy: it’s not that we don’t want to answer, we’re not resistant…we’re trying to be polite and let each other answer.

Sure. Whatever.

Baldy: One homosexual event doesn’t make you homosexual.

Yes. Thank you. This is the only 100% true statement that has been made all night.

Baldy: Sexuality in the teens is very fluid. Sometimes it flip flops around between heterosexuality and homosexuality. One homosexual experience at age 4 doesn’t mean you’re gay, and by the time you reach adulthood you’re heterosexual. The world is clamering to tell you is that that is what happens and that you were born that way.

No. No no no no no no that is not what the world is clamering to tell you. Gah.

One homosexual experience does not make you gay. Two homosexual experiences do not make you gay. 500 homosexual experiences do not make you gay. What makes you gay is the attraction you experience. A gay person can have sex a woman 500 times and enjoy it, but he still will not be attracted to a woman. It is the orientation that the world correctly tells you you can’t change, not your actions.

Teens are known for experimenting, it’s true. Their actions can flip flop between same sex and opposite sex. They may indeed realize they are one or the other by the time they hit adulthood.

If the teen is truly bisexual, then that’s not flip-flopping from heterosexuality to homosexuality. It’s the actions that flip flop, not the orientation.

Baldy goes on for a while about forgiveness of sin. It’s nothing we haven’t heard before, we’re skipping it.

Other man: our role isn’t to forgive ourselves. Our role is to confess and have Jesus forgive our sins. To be contrite to have remorse and trust that we are forgiven.

Yes…. and no. Even after confessing things to Jesus, people will still beat themselves (and each other) up for shit. There is a very legitimate need to learn to forgive yourself, as well as letting Jesus forgive you.

Question 4: My sister is a lesbian. I know her lifestyle is wrong, and it did put a tension in our relationship when I’d talk about her lifestyle being wrong. How do I start helping her? Our relationship is better, but I want to be able to help her.

Help her do what, exactly? Be straight? I mean, it sounds like your sister is just fine and doesn’t need your help?

I mean, ahem. You can pray for her.

Old man: It’s important to be patient towards your sister. Sometimes we may hold up homosexuality like it is the worst of sins, but all sin is repulsive to Christ. Lift your sister up in prayer, and look for opportunities led by the Holy Spirit.

Let your sister ask the questions.

But until your sister opens up the door, don’t get the baseball bat out and try to clobber the truth into her. Most people know the truth, even if they don’t have practical Christianity. When you develop love for Jesus, your drawn to him and want to do his will instead of your own will.

Draw her to Christ, then he will make her see the error of her ways.

I… ok whatever.  Moving on.

Danielle: My mom didn’t pray for my stability and peace. She prayed God would interrupt me and help me see that what I was doing was wrong. While we’re praying those kinds of prayers, we develop a relationship where we can come to someone and say, “I’m struggling with X, can you pray for me?” since you’re open with them, they will feel they can be open with you.

Gosh, what a slick manipulation tactic. Open up to them in the hopes that they will then feel like they could (or even should) open up to you. It’s a great way to get information out of a person, if you’re careful to do it properly.

I don’t think Danielle realizes that’s what she’s doing. I’m sure she doesn’t consciously sit down and and think, “how am I going to manipulate this person into being open with me?”

And yet, that is exactly what she’s doing.

Question 5:

2 part question:

a) how big of a role did masturbation and porn play in your experience?

b) if we’re addicted to these things how can we overcome?

Oh fuck are you fucking kidding me?

Baldy: I think it’s powerful. Every time you indulge in masturbation or porn, it’s just an automatic assumption that that’s an inclusive part of it.

I think he meant, here, to say that masturbation is automatically assumed to be an essential part of porn watching. Yes, it is possible to not be aware of this fact, ask me how I know.

There’s some research done that breaks it down… every time you indulge in masturbation and pornography it breaks down the brain.

What studies? In what peer reviewed scientific journal were these studies published? Who did these studies? How were they conducted?

I’m serious, I want to go look this up. Do not point me to a website, because you know you can always believe everything you read on the internet. The only source I will look at is a peer reviewed scientific journal that doesn’t have a reputation for publishing kooky pseudoscientific bullshit.

One of the things they’ve shown is that a brain is fully developed by age  28. If your first exposure to porn occurs after about that age, you tend to find it repulsive. But in someone younger, what happens is it creates this drive, this hook. Like seeing an accident that you can’t take your eyes off of.

You can’t look away from a train wreck. This is why I am here, in a church, listening and typing out your bullshit.

I think I do recall reading in my psychology textbook that the brain is fully developed by age 25, give or take. That much, unless I’m recalling incorrectly, is true. I wonder how much the rest of it is. I wonder how much is correlation vs causation. These people do know they’re not the same thing, right?

Hope you weren’t curious, because we don’t get to know.

My notes may or may not contain the word “fuck” at this point.

Danielle reminds him of the second part of the question. How can one overcome an addiction (it is always an addiction, don’t be silly) to porn and masturbation?

Badly: key bible texts really helped me. One day, stepping into the shower, someone took Phil 2: 5 and really broke it down for me and as I was standing in the shower….hang on,what?

This is a really good example of why writing things down as they are spoken is a terrible idea. The live audience understood that, obviously, no one gave him a bible study in the shower. Clearly, someone earlier had broken this verse down for him, and now he’s going to tell a story about stepping into the shower. This is the type of stuff I mean when I say I edit these. I do not intend to make you look stupid.

The rest of this is as directly quoted as possible.

I was struggling with my sin, as I was standing there in the shower. I wondered why this thought was coming through my head. Jesus was saying “Mike surrender yourself to me.” As I was standing there in the shower, I was very frustrated. “Ok lord I give you permission to take these thoughts, because if you don’t I’m going to indulge in it right now.”

In case you were wondering, “it” is masturbation. I think…

I didn’t have time to step out of the shower and do a 2 hour bible study, I needed help right away. I claimed that promise and my next conscious thought was about baseball. I hate baseball (everyone in church starts laughing) and that was really powerful for me.

He quotes

Philippians 2:5

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

 

Another 2 part question:

a) what are your views on homosexuals adopting children?

b) Will the children choose the gay lifestyle?

Look Adventists. Even if you disagree with a homosexual couple being ideal to adopt, sometimes in this life we can’t get ideal. If the choice is between allowing children to languish in an orphanage receiving no love and a barely basic standard of care, how can you not think they’d be better off with loving people to take care of them? (I  personally think Seventh Day Adventists are not ideal candidates for parents, and yet I’d rather a child be placed with you than remain in one of those orphanages. That’s saying a lot.)

The panel does not agree with me.

Old Man: studies are coming out that are amazing.

What studies? In which scientific reputable peer reviewed journal will I find them?

[Studies about] Grown children of homosexual parents. It’s really something… I remember a lady…..openly talking about how she grew up loving both of her mothers, but there was a void because her friends had a father and she didn’t. She had this haunting thought: why did my father never want to know me? And even though she had very loving parentage with 2 mothers, that was never resolved for her and more and more grown children of gay families are expressing this very thing.

So, I believe I’ve actually read the article this guy is talking about. Unfortunately, I can’t find it. Because of this I won’t say as much about it as I’d like, but I will say this.

It is only natural for this woman to wonder why her father wouldn’t want to know her. But you know what, many adoptive children probably wonder that at some point. If this girl had been raised by heterosexual parents, she probably still would have wondered why her father didn’t want to get to know her, and she would have wondered that about her birth mother as well.

The same man is still speaking: 2 men cannot take the place of a mother, and 2 mothers cannot replace a father. Though they want children and love kids and do the best that they can, it just goes back to God’s plan: Father knows best. He created marriage between man and a woman and the plan was that children should have a mother and father… it’s not the best plan for children.

Remember how I said the best wasn’t always what you can get in life, so you have to choose the lesser of two evils? They have an answer for that, too.

Whitehair: I think it’s important to keep the focus on God’s ideal. We try to justify these things by saying, “it’s better for them to be raised by gay people than being in an orphanage.” but it’s still not God’s ideal, so its important that we look at God’s ideal. Let’s aim towards God’s plan. Because the enemy is just trying to sell you a counterfeit. We need to redirect our minds to what Jesus desires, and that’s what we should strive for.

Straight from the horses mouth, folks. These people would rather have children languishing in orphanages than have them be adopted by loving gay parents.

Because I know I have at least one SDA reading this I am trying to keep it relatively civil…. (my regular readers will note that I haven’t dropped as many F bombs as usual) but C, I’m sorry, these people are fucking monsters.

Question 7: why do they label us homophobic?

Because you are?

We’re not afraid of them, we just disagree with what we consider a sinful choice they have made.

In the technical sense of the word, this question isn’t wrong. The word “homophobic” literally means “fear of homosexuals.” In our day and age, and in our country, most (not all) people are truly not homophobic. They’re not afraid of homosexuals. That doesn’t mean they like homosexuals, mind you, but the attitude has shifted from one of fear to one of hate.

The panel pounces upon this fact.

Man: No one on this platform is homophobic. Homophobic means “fearful.”

If you’re using the word “homophobic” to mean “someone who hates gay people,” then we are still not homophobic. If we’re homophobic meaning we hate, we wouldn’t be here. If we were homophobic, would we even care what happens to gay people?

But you are here because you hate gay people. You think gay people shouldn’t exist, you think it’s an abomination, and you want to make sure everyone else knows it. You may not have what you recognize as hatred, you may not think you have any malicious intent, and yet the above things I’ve written are kind of the definition of “hate.”

Let’s face it, you guys are here because you hate yourselves. 

“But Mr. Abominable Snowwoman, we don’t want gay people to not exist, we just want them to exist without their gayness.”

If I wasn’t asexual, I wouldn’t be the same person I am today. By saying you want me to exist, but with a different sexuality, you are saying you don’t want me to exist.

Man: I’ve been accused of being homophobic. I’m not homophobic, I’m “homoagapic.” We have gay friends, we have gay family, we love them, that’s why we’re doing this. We want them to find what we have found in Jesus Christ. God’s way is the better way

We love our gay friends so much, we’re going to tell them they shouldn’t exist, that they are an abomination, and that if they turn their lives over to God, he still won’t make them straight.

So moving on. Because I’m just…done.

Question: I have an 8 year old grandchild asking questions about what he observes in regard to alternative sexual issues and relationships. How do you advise a young developing and perceptive child?

You could, I dunno, talk to your damn child? It’s called “being a parent?”

Knock me over with a feather, the panel actually agrees with me. One of the men says,

If they’re old enough to ask the question they’re old enough to get a godly answer.

Fair enough, though I would replace “godly” with “age appropriate.”

Another man: We live in an age now where they [academy kids] ask broader questions than adults. They’re getting this sort of an education at a much earlier age [than we did]. Even though you try to protect their innocence, they [the government, I think.] are pushing an agenda as early as daycare. My client has a daycare and she was told she could get government funding if she let the boys and girls cross dress and put up posters on the wall showing gay parents, and this was 10 years ago. The younger we can tell people the truth and act like we’re not afraid of what is going on, we can help our young people understand compassionately this issue that is being promoted.

A day care was told to be more accepting of homosexuality for government funding… in 2006? I don’t want to say I don’t believe this, but with the way the government is right now, I kind of am taking this story with a grain of salt.

I want to believe this story is true, though. It kinda gives me hope for humanity.

Wayne then tells us that if we educate our children and teach them to love homosexual people but realize that they are not living according to God’s plan, our children will be fine.

Question: What are the various factors that led you to choose that lifestyle?

Seriously? Did you not watch the same movie that I did? I’ll give them a pass and decide this question was submitted before the movie was played.

Oldman: we probably could all say several…..Some people, if they don’t have loving fathers, they’re sponges for male affirmation, male acceptance, male affection. They’re very vulnerable to the wrong kind [of male attention]. So we need, as fathers and parents, to have plenty of healthy wholesome love. Even physical love like hugs. Boys crave physical affection from their fathers even though a lot of men think they’re too macho for that. There’s no real cut and dried answer. Sin is a mystery, but those are some factors.

I didn’t leave anything important out. He rambled quite a bit before coming up with exactly one factor.

Danielle: a lot of people struggling with same sex attraction have experienced some kind of sexual abuse. I wasn’t molested, it was consensual, but it was like a second hand kind of abuse. …. It’s not a natural thing for our mind to become sexual when we’re that young, and when sex is introduced prematurely it allows confusion to come in and grow in the mind of a child. Some people say they were never sexually abused. Satan plants his lies anyway he can. For a lot of people it’s through some kind of abuse, and for some it’s just suggestive thoughts from the enemy. He gets in which ever way he can that will be effectual.

I think that’s a good stopping point for now. This post is getting really lengthy, and I have stuff to do. We’ll answer the last few questions in the next installment.

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