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Monday, September 24, 2012

Support and Nurture

I received a generic offer via email the other day to attend "Safe Zone Training", a class and workshop offered to help lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, and "questioning" (LGBTQ) folk feel safer, welcome, included. You take the training and become a source of support and nurturance for LGBTQ folk of all walks. You say, "I am available to talk about your concerns." And, you know, I thought about it. In fact, if it had been practical, I might even have pursued it. (The training was 3 hours away ... one way ... for a 5-hour course. Not practical.)

Of course, whether you agree with my views on the subject or not, I think you can see pretty quickly that, well, it just wouldn't work. I mean, they don't actually want someone to help that believes that such activities are a violation of God's moral code. The fact that I do care is irrelevant. The fact that I would be willing to talk to people about their concerns would be beside the point. What they ("they" being the people that are putting on the training, likely, as well as people with concerns who want someone to talk to) want is not someone who will tell them that God disapproves, but someone who approves. You can't be helpful, supportive, nurturing, or caring by calling a particular behavior "sin", now, can you? So there is, I think, a form of "religiophobia" or something like it going on there, a frank and open dislike (or worse) of those who would have a negative opinion of the morality of their behavior.

It made me wonder, though. Let's do a little hypothetical examination. What if it was actually true that God disapproved of homosexual behavior. Assume, just for a moment, that it really is something that God finds abhorrent. Now we have a group of people engaging in activities that God considers loathsome. So what does a caring person do? What kind of support should be offered? What sort of nurturing ought to be given? How would a trained, caring, concerned person counsel such a person? Indeed, if the response was "That's okay. Let's see if we can't make you feel better about continuing in your activities", wouldn't that be detrimental to their well-being rather than supportive?

Unfortunately, no one is asking "What is true?" The primary question is "What do I want to do?" followed by "How do I get the support of others to help me do it?" without ever considering the possibility that it will harm you.


Marshall Art said...

Indeed. It is a constant annoyance that our concern is only seen in a negative light, and for all the reasons you suggest. It is as if a warning against playing with fire is theft of liberty.

Stan said...

And we're told (because I have been told), "But ... we're not playing with fire" as if that solves the problem.