Sunday, June 17, 2007

An Evangelical I'd like to have tea with

I stumbled upon a post at Andrew's place, which contained a snippet from another post titled “Ratcheting up the stakes” over on Musings on Christianity, Homosexuality, & The Bible. But first the snippet on Andrew’s site which first caught my attention:

It is rare to find an author who is willing to be so plainly truthful about the danger of hope. That once you begin to believe in your own dignity and worth, that you deserve to be loved and valued and cared for like anyone else, this ratchets up the stakes to the point where you can no longer accept anything less, and there is no turning back. Maybe that's why people are inclined to take the easier, safer route of learning contentment in a kind of moderate degradation, where the risks are fewer and the disappointments less devastating.

What some people call "the homosexual agenda" I see as a daring movement to ratchet up the stakes to where there is no turning back. And the gay marriage movement is about as high as you can take it.

It got me. So off I went on my own little linky adventure, which culminated in my reading the full piece from which the above snippet was snipped and then on to find out more about the author, Misty Irons, who describes herself this way:

Straight, married with three kids, homeschooling, evangelical Christian of the Reformed variety. Okay, now that the scary part is out of the way, go to for more about me.

Which only made me more curious about this person. So in my search for more info on this Misty person I stumbled upon this:

I Did Not Choose To Be This Way

My first heterosexual feelings dawned on me when I was ten years old. I had a crush on literally the boy next door. His name was Chris, and he was in the same grade as me. My older brother was friends with him, and when he would go over to Chris's house to shoot hoops with him in the driveway, sometimes I would come by just to "bug" them. We also carpooled with him along with a number of other neighborhood kids, and Chris would make it a point loudly to call me "worm" and "slime ball" as he sat in the back seat with my brother and laughed. I guess he must have liked me too.

The following year in my junior high school yearbook, he wrote,

Its been a bummer having you arround. Sometimes when the fog rolls in I get the smell that your arround.

A pretty typical romance between two ten year-olds, I suppose. Looking back, what stands out most in my memory of those days was the effort I had put into hiding my feelings for him, trying to disguise them from others and even refusing to admit them to myself for a long time.

There was really nothing to be ashamed of. I was a girl who liked a boy, and he seemed to like me back. What's more, I knew that all the other girls thought he was cute, so there was nothing wrong with my choice. What troubled me, I think, was the way these feelings had taken me by surprise. They sort of crept up on me when I wasn't looking, and by the time they became so full-blown that Chris and I were hurling abuse at each other on a regular basis, it was too late to do anything about it.

In other words, the feelings seemed completely out of my control. For a person like myself who dislikes being out of control, it was bewildering and downright scary how they just invited themselves into my heart without my permission, and then refused to go away.

I have read many stories that sound just like mine, about a person's first crush in elementary school and the dawning of the strange feelings that come with it, except the stories I have read were about the dawning of homosexual feelings, the moment when a person first felt attracted to someone else of the same gender. This made me wonder, what makes the difference between the heterosexual and the homosexual experience at this period of a person's life? Why is one person's feelings directed toward someone of the opposite sex and another person's feelings toward someone of the same sex?

Frankly, I haven't the slightest idea. I don't embrace the theory that people are simply born one way or the other, but I don't believe homosexuality is a matter of mere choice either. This is partly because I know I didn't choose to be the way I am. I don't view my heterosexuality as some grand moral achievement. At the age of ten, I never contemplated my physical make-up in light of its procreative end, so as to strive to fulfill my God-ordained destiny. In fact, I had very little notion of God back then, since I did not grow up in the church. My heterosexuality is something I can honestly take no credit for, because as far as I am concerned, it just happened to me.

Lesson for me: Evangelical does not automatically mean hate-filled homophobic religious fanatic posing as a Christian.



Kris said...

I just stumbled across your blog, and I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are an amazing person and give all of us who have yet to come out to our parents hope that they will be as loving and accepting as you. Thank you.

Seething Mom said...

No, I am not amazing, I am just a mom who loves her son with all her heart. Who he loves does not affect my love for him.

But please remember Kris that my son did not come out and tell his father and me, we found out by accident. Even he was afraid we would not love him if we knew he was gay.

I guess the point I am trying to make is that hopefully you are underestimating your own parents and how they will react --- just as he had.

I hope and pray you are pleasantly surprised when you do eventually tell your parents. But no matter what, you deserve to live your life as you are, and not as others want you to be.

Jarred said...

Did you read the story about Gregg and Joel? It's truly touching on so many levels.

And in regards to your previous comment, I must disagree with you for once. You truly are amazing. That's because of who you are. When you say you're "just a mom who loves her son with all her heart," you downplay just how amazing such a mother is. Just ask your son. I'm sure he'd agree with me. ;)

Seething Mom said...

Oh Jarred, you are so right. The story of Gregg and Joel is indeed a very touching story. I have not been able to stop thinking about it. Thanks for calling my attention to it.

I think I may have to put something on the main page about it. It really is a story that should get more attention.

tina said...

It seemed to me that Gregg and Joel's life story could very well be researched more and published in a book.