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Friend Asking For Help


Citsonga
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A friend has asked for suggestions regarding resources to help deal with his 12-year-old daughter. She has received some religious indoctrination from her grandmother, so she has been told that gays will go to hell. She is starting to think that she is bisexual, so she is traumatized with the fear of God sending her to hell. To complicate matters, she has been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, as well as having had her mother (my friend's ex-wife) not treat her well.

 

Anyway, regarding religion and anti-gay bigotry, he was asking if there was anything I could recommend (book, movie, etc.) that would be helpful. He doesn't want to try to make her reject religion (he wants her to be able to come to her own conclusions), but of course he doesn't want her to torture herself over this issue. Is there anything that you think would be a good resource to help a 12-year-old with this? Do you think that a world religions book demonstrating many of the different worldviews would be the way to help her see that religions are not authoritative? Is there something that that you know of which deals more specifically with the issue at hand?

 

Any advice that I can pass on would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Don't know any resources offhand but I might throw it out there that the actual references to homosexuality in the KJV are sparse and have plenty of alternative explanations people use to say it doesn't condemn homosexuality at all. Someone just tweeted this link today, for example:

http://t.co/pv1jQylG

 

And of course there's some stuff out there that says Paul was referring to temple prostitutes.

 

I don't really stand anywhere on the issue myself but if disabusing her faith entirely isn't an option your friend might as well try to balm it by encouraging her to consider something more benign.

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Direct her to the "It get's better project". I subscribe to them on facebook. Very encouraging. I am sure are some books about biology and what is natural.

Some gentle examples of other things the bible got wrong in a non confrontational way might help her see that it is ok to disagree.

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There is a documentary called For the Bible Tells Me So that talks about homosexuality and the church. It is actually from a christian/religious point of view, but is pro homosexuality. Im not sure if it is appropriate for her age, but I would say its definitely worth a shot, because it shows that even some christians do not condemn homosexuality, and hopefully she will realize that she can study and learn from all perspectives to decide what she believes on her own. The documentary itself is very well done, and even brought me to tears at some points.

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I thought this might be helpful:

 

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/for-the-bible-tells-me-so/

 

I haven't actually watched it myself, I have been meaning to, just haven't got around to it, so you might want to check it out yourself first.

 

There is an Australian called Anthony Venn-Brown, a gay christian. His book, A Life Of Unlearning, is excellent, though I wouldn't recommend reading it to a 12 year old- I'd be inclined to think some of the concepts in it as a bit too complex for a 12 year old, but then, it's not my daughter we're talking about here. You can google him- he's a major ambassador for the LGBT christian community over here :)

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Thanks for the replies and suggestions.

 

My friend did indicate this morning that he doesn't want to approach the issue from a sexual orientation standpoint, but rather from a religion standpoint. In other words, instead of singling out her apparent bisexual leanings, he wants to deal more with undermining the fear of hell and religious authority by showing that there are multiple views. I'll pass along the suggestions here (as well as suggestions I've received elsewhere).

 

I will say, though, that I would have reservations about the "For The Bible Tells Me So" video. I haven't watched it, but I've seen the claims of liberal Christians that the Bible doesn't really condemn homosexuality. While I appreciate their acceptance of gays, the fact is that they are simply manipulating the Bible to try to get it to say what they want it to say. The Bible absolutely does condemn homosexuality. As someone else on this board once said, no matter how much you try to shine a turd, it's still a turd. I'll still mention the video to him, since it shows that some Christians are accepting of gays, but I suspect that since he doesn't want to focus on the gay issue specifically, he may not want to go that route.

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Thanks for the replies and suggestions.

 

My friend did indicate this morning that he doesn't want to approach the issue from a sexual orientation standpoint, but rather from a religion standpoint. In other words, instead of singling out her apparent bisexual leanings, he wants to deal more with undermining the fear of hell and religious authority by showing that there are multiple views. I'll pass along the suggestions here (as well as suggestions I've received elsewhere).

 

I will say, though, that I would have reservations about the "For The Bible Tells Me So" video. I haven't watched it, but I've seen the claims of liberal Christians that the Bible doesn't really condemn homosexuality. While I appreciate their acceptance of gays, the fact is that they are simply manipulating the Bible to try to get it to say what they want it to say. The Bible absolutely does condemn homosexuality. As someone else on this board once said, no matter how much you try to shine a turd, it's still a turd. I'll still mention the video to him, since it shows that some Christians are accepting of gays, but I suspect that since he doesn't want to focus on the gay issue specifically, he may not want to go that route.

 

This is understandable (re: the video). However, it may be valuable to help her understand that not everyone, even in Christianity, agrees that homosexuality is a sin, and therefore, that one person's word cannot be used as gospel. I just thought it might help her see that, while everyone is entitled to an opinion, everyone's opinion on the matter will be different, and that's okay :)

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While I appreciate their acceptance of gays, the fact is that they are simply manipulating the Bible to try to get it to say what they want it to say. The Bible absolutely does condemn homosexuality.

As a gay person who went through this same thing myself as a teenager, I also thought that those Christians who didn't see homosexuality as wrong were kidding themselves. God himself says homosexuals are an abomination, and he commands us to violently murder gay people wherever we find them (see Leviticus). How much clearer does it need to be?

 

In addition to murdering gays, "God" also commands us to put to death those we hear curse, disobedient children, adulterers, blasphemers, idolators and those who work on the Sabbath. In fact, probably half of the US population would need to be put to death at any given time if you obeyed the god of the Bible and all his commandments.

 

Oh but wait...... God also commands us: "Thou shalt not kill"!

 

So which is it - do we kill, or do we not kill!??WendyDoh.gif

 

My point is that rather than try to "interpret" the Bible into something it doesn't say, just read it for what it does say in black and white.

 

Then ask yourself - is this really what a "god" would say? Really? Wendyshrug.gif

 

I think not.

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I totally understand your concerns. I think they are valid.

I do still think its a good documentary though, even if it is liberal Christians trying to make the Bible out into saying something it doesnt. And I mean... what version of Christianity isnt confused? :/ I think its just good to know that there are other perspectives and opinions, even in Christianity. Also, the documentary is an extremely personal one that I think can speak to a lot of people, opening their eyes to how terrible, unkind, unloving, and wrong discriminating against homosexuals is. I would recommend it to anyone, really. It was a good watch for me, while I was transitioning from being a Christian. I still had this idea in the back of my head that homosexuality was wrong, because it was ingrained in me for so long. After I watched it I thought "How could anyone do that to another human being? Especially in the name of God?" It really moved me.

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I totally understand your concerns. I think they are valid.

I do still think its a good documentary though, even if it is liberal Christians trying to make the Bible out into saying something it doesnt. And I mean... what version of Christianity isnt confused? :/ I think its just good to know that there are other perspectives and opinions, even in Christianity. Also, the documentary is an extremely personal one that I think can speak to a lot of people, opening their eyes to how terrible, unkind, unloving, and wrong discriminating against homosexuals is. I would recommend it to anyone, really. It was a good watch for me, while I was transitioning from being a Christian. I still had this idea in the back of my head that homosexuality was wrong, because it was ingrained in me for so long. After I watched it I thought "How could anyone do that to another human being? Especially in the name of God?" It really moved me.

 

I didn't realise we were talking about the same doco, because at the time I couldn't remember the name of it, and found the link to it from memory of it's description on the site, and the category it was in. I'm glad you have seen it- it's still on my to-do list lol

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I think the best inoculation against the Christianity virus is exposure to it and other religions as well. Maybe it's time to bring your friend's daughter on a few field trips. The issue is bigger than homosexuality--the whole underpinning premise needs critical examination.

 

Keep us posted!

 

Peace.

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I will say, though, that I would have reservations about the "For The Bible Tells Me So" video. I haven't watched it, but I've seen the claims of liberal Christians that the Bible doesn't really condemn homosexuality. While I appreciate their acceptance of gays, the fact is that they are simply manipulating the Bible to try to get it to say what they want it to say. The Bible absolutely does condemn homosexuality. As someone else on this board once said, no matter how much you try to shine a turd, it's still a turd. I'll still mention the video to him, since it shows that some Christians are accepting of gays, but I suspect that since he doesn't want to focus on the gay issue specifically, he may not want to go that route.

 

This is understandable (re: the video). However, it may be valuable to help her understand that not everyone, even in Christianity, agrees that homosexuality is a sin, and therefore, that one person's word cannot be used as gospel. I just thought it might help her see that, while everyone is entitled to an opinion, everyone's opinion on the matter will be different, and that's okay smile.png

 

I agree, which is why I said I'd still mention it to him. I'd seriously doubt that Biblical hermeneutics means anything to her, so simply seeing that there are Christians who accept gays could be a good thing. Since her father doesn't want to focus on the gay issue specifically, but rather religion in general, he may not want to use this. Of course, if he watches it on his own, he may change his mind and show it to her. I don't know, but I'll definitely mention it.

 

As a gay person who went through this same thing myself as a teenager, I also thought that those Christians who didn't see homosexuality as wrong were kidding themselves. God himself says homosexuals are an abomination, and he commands us to violently murder gay people wherever we find them (see Leviticus). How much clearer does it need to be?

 

In addition to murdering gays, "God" also commands us to put to death those we hear curse, disobedient children, adulterers, blasphemers, idolators and those who work on the Sabbath. In fact, probably half of the US population would need to be put to death at any given time if you obeyed the god of the Bible and all his commandments.

 

Oh but wait...... God also commands us: "Thou shalt not kill"!

 

So which is it - do we kill, or do we not kill!??WendyDoh.gif

 

Personally, I think that "Thou shalt not kill" was intended to prohibit Hebrews from murdering other Hebrews, since it was a Hebrew law. I don't think it was meant to prohibit murdering non-Hebrews, nor was it meant to prohibit capital punishment of Hebrews.

 

You're right, though. If the capital punishments in the Old Testament were activated today, very few of us would be left alive.

 

I think the best inoculation against the Christianity virus is exposure to it and other religions as well. Maybe it's time to bring your friend's daughter on a few field trips. The issue is bigger than homosexuality--the whole underpinning premise needs critical examination.

 

I agree, and I think that is precisely why he indicated that he wants to focus on the religion aspect instead of singling out the gay issue. Of course, it may also be easier for them to deal with that, since she's young and the topic of sexuality may be a little uncomfortable for her to discuss.

 

Anyway, thanks for everyone's input. In a little while I plan to compile some suggestions from here and from some email replies I've gotten and email them to him. I also hope to get to talk to him some later today.

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