Sunday, January 15, 2006

Feedback from a Troubled Young Man

We've received a response from the gay analyst we quoted recently, who tried to answer our question, "Where is the statute legalizing homosexual 'marriage'?" (See "Level of Discourse, Part V"). Besides childish name calling, all he could come up with was "judicial review."

Now this same fellow challenges us to "open our hearts," and is certain we'd never publish his follow-up letter (which we do below). What we'd like him to know is that we are aware of, and concerned for, the pain he felt as a child and his continuing distress. But we also believe that he's being drawn into a world which will only lead him deeper into sadness, loneliness, and health problems (both mental and physical). We wish him the best, and hope he might contact a group such as Exodus International or Stephen Bennett Ministries -- people who've been there, done that, and know how to help.

Before his letter, we think it would be enlightening to share this bit about Mike Haley, ex-gay speaker and one of the leaders of Focus on the Family's "Love Won Out" ministry. He was explaining to a reporter from the Harvard Independent what the "Love Won Out" conference (in Boston last October) hoped to convey. [Reported by Jon Liu:]

... I'm ferried to a tiny library towards the back of the church. I'm here to speak to Mike Haley, the director of gender issues for Focus on the Family's Public Policy division.... "Our goal with this conference," Haley tells me, "is to teach the Christian community to balance truth and love when responding to the issue of homosexuality. Oftentimes the church has not done a good job understanding the issue... We find either one of two extremes. One extreme completely condones homosexuality; [the other] takes God's word and thwarts it to the other extreme which says, 'God hates fags....' We're helping [people with a gay loved one] to understand how they can uphold a standard and a belief without doing so in a hateful manner."

Whether the protestors outside like it or not, of course, Haley's sentiments roughly represent those of mainstream America.... "You're gonna have to start dealing with the fact that your child may never walk away from homosexuality," he says. "You have to stop beating them over the head with the Bible. You have to stop treating them like they have no place in your life. You need to continue to love your child and be open to whatever conversation that needs to be had."

I ask Haley how he responds to the critics who argue that treating homosexuality as curable puts young people at risk for depression, self-hatred, and suicide. He turns inward. "All I can say is I look at the situation when I was a sixteen-, fifteen-, fourteen-year-old boy dealing with same-sex attractions, and I was told that I was born gay. Let me tell you the depression and the suicidal feelings that that brought in my life. So what we're promoting today is that we tell truth to students.... There is no study that proves that homosexuality is genetic, but yet we see that over and over..."

Haley gives a list of mistruths he says are spread by schools and the mainstream media about sexual orientation. He wants public school students to have the "accurate information" - namely that homosexuality is a condition, not an essence. "If they decide that homosexuality is for them, then they have a right in America to embrace that. But I also want a right as a person who doesn't want homosexuality in my walk away from homosexuality."

It's a conciliatory stance, and a telling one. The frame becomes that of self-determination - the idea that one can simply "walk away" - and it echoes quite noticeably the position held by the leftists at the war protest: We must break through the mental constraints, to transcend what we are told and make an approach towards truth. Haley, who lived for fifteen years as a gay man and still attends pro-gay conferences, tells me, "I wish the gay activists that are outside would come in and listen to what we're saying." But would he let them in now, off the street and unregistered? "Absolutely not. Because they're not willing to dialogue. What are they afraid of?" [emphasis added]

With Haley's comments in mind, read the comments from the young "gay" man:

I am very pleased to see my words on the blog! The [sic] thing is pretty funny, as I did not know you were looking for perfect english in email comments! HAHA! This is how I really feel, as do many gay people. Maybe it would give your readers some insight into our minds.....

I am 24 years old. I came out when I was 14. I told my parents, family, friend, and school that I am gay 10 years ago. I remember realizing I am gay when I was about 12. For two years I prayed to god to change me. To make me "normal". I, like many many other young gay teens, tried to take my own life rather than admit my sexuality. Fortunately my attempt was not successful.

In time I realized that I was born gay, all homosexuals are. I am gay the same was that Martin Luther King is black. We cannot change who we are. God made me gay because he loves me and he wants me to be gay. That is OK, it is not a bad thing. Homosexuality is natural and normal. Science is proving that more and more everyday. You and your friends are living in the dark ages. Just as people used to attack black people, you know attack me and other gays and lesbians.

I told you of my attempted suicide. Why did I attempt? I did that because when I was 13 I thought that it would be better to be dead than gay. Why did I feel that way? I tried to kill myself because of people like you. People like you that spread the lies of homophobia. Many children commit suicide because of your actions.

I pray for you to stop harming children that are growing up in this homophobic society. Real people of god would do everything they could to stop this epidemic. And lucky there are many many people who are fighting the terrible problem of homophobia. Unfortunately you are on the wrong side.

Your actions are dangerous. Your actions are harming the lives of many families and many many young people.

I will fight you and your colleagues everyday in every way to protect the lives of young people realizing they were born gay. I will fight you everyday in my efforts to tell the truth about homosexuality. And because God is on the side of Love, I know I will win. Every minority gets their civil rights eventually. Just look at the last 40 years. Gays have made HUGE strides in gaining their civil rights. We are well on our way. Maybe it is time for you to stop fighting to take away a minority's civil rights.

I pray for you and your colleagues to see the light. It is possible if you open you eyes, open your ears, but most importantly open your heart. I will be surpised if you post this. I imagine that you would only post things I write that you can use in some way.
[emphasis added]