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John Shore Gets It

Timothy Kincaid

April 15th, 2008

johnshore.jpgIn a posting on his blog on CrossWalk, John Shore did not speak out for inclusive theology. But he did something that I think is often missing from the Christian debate about homosexuality; he acknowledged that the conservative viewpoint demands far more of gay Christians than most heterosexuals would ever be willing to give.

I’m not saying that it’s manifestly absurd and even cruel to suggest that everyone within a broad swath of our population spend their lives in emotional and physical isolation. I believe in the tenets of Christianity as ferociously as any Christian in the world. All I’m saying is that, as far as I can tell, we Christians (insofar as we ever speak with one voice) are saying that it is morally incumbent upon homosexuals to spend their lives in emotional and physical isolation. I hear a lot of Christians asserting that gays and lesbians should stop acting like gays and lesbians. But I never hear anyone saying the unavoidable follow-up to that — saying what that really means – which is that gay and lesbian men and women should spend their lives never experiencing what people most commonly mean when they use the word “love.”

Thank you, Mr. Shore.

Wherever one finds oneself on the theological spectrum, it is important that one recognizes and acknowledges exactly what they are demanding of others. This is a conversation in which it is well worth engaging.

Comments

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John Shore
April 15th, 2008 | LINK

Thanks, Timothy, for your thoughtful and careful read of my piece. I very much appreciate it.

cowboy
April 16th, 2008 | LINK

I can’t imagine how some people could be so cruel to suggest I could love a woman as much as I loved my first love. Plus, how can a group or a government tell me whom I should love? I just don’t work that way. Love is not malleable.

Buffy
April 16th, 2008 | LINK

Amazing and definitely noteworty. It shows that there’s possibility of some real dialog.

cowboy
April 16th, 2008 | LINK

John Shore:
“…never experiencing what people most commonly mean when they use the word “love.”

Since it is in the news lately, lets use the polygamists as an example. Do you honestly think all those women honestly, “love” the man they were prescribed to couple with? This type of love (if you want to call it that) is manufactured because some people think you can learn to love someone. I have a hard time in coming up with a term for malleable love but it’s not true love. In spite of all the polygamist women who claim their love for their husband is true and genuine…I doubt they know what true love is.

I don’t buy it and I don’t buy that some ex-gays “love” their wives. Sure, they “love” but they don’t adore their wife with a passion that a true heterosexual would dictate. They don’t have those deep feelings they should have for their partner in life…it is more a contrived allegiance via peer pressure as the motivation.

What love is: It is what you write sonnets about. It is when you drop-to-your-knees-in-anguish when you break up with someone. It is the type of love when you finally comprehend the lyrics to Country/Western songs after you experience true love.

Why do some religious people think love can be manufactured or malleable? I get so fed up with co-workers who think I just haven’t met the right girl yet or that I can adjust my attraction on a whim.

lurker
April 16th, 2008 | LINK

thank you John Shore, for putting into elequent words something I’ve wondered about for a long time. So if some people think that (for my own “good”) I should reject any form of romantic love . . . should I just live alone, eat alone, sleep alone? Why should I do this (for my own “good”) based on someone else’s say-so, when my own experience tells me that life is SO much better shared with someone I love?

And I’ve often wondered why heterosexual religious conservatives don’t have the same expectations of divorced people? The new testiment says so much about divorce . . . after all, why can’t divorced people just learn to fall in love with their ex-spouses (the way that gay folks are ‘sposed to fall in love with the right type of person) or live alone the rest of their lives?

Joel
April 16th, 2008 | LINK

“I get so fed up with co-workers who think I just haven’t met the right girl yet or that I can adjust my attraction on a whim.”

To that I would answer…’REALLY? SO YOU CAN BE GAY OR STRAIGHT WHENEVER YOU WISH?’ For christians i would answer the same or what i would answer to an ex-gay(if im tired), ‘SO WHATS WRONG WITH BEING GAY IF I DONT BELIEVE IN ZEUS, errr… GOD?’.

Jason D
April 17th, 2008 | LINK

cowboy said: “I don’t buy it and I don’t buy that some ex-gays “love” their wives. Sure, they “love” but they don’t adore their wife with a passion that a true heterosexual would dictate. They don’t have those deep feelings they should have for their partner in life…”

two things
(a) They feel the same way about us. They look at us, even the ones who kinda get it, they look at us and go “that can’t possibly be true” –because they can’t see themselves doing it, so they can’t see anyone else doing it, either.

(b) I do agree with you though, I feel sorry for those women. There was a point where I had met the most awesome girl in my life. Someone I could actually date, possibly love. But that nagging thought of “no” kept popping up. There was nothing with which I could hide behind. She was perfect, had she been a man I would’ve proposed on the spot. And that’s just it, I knew, knew, deep in my gut that answering her question “are you attracted to me?” with anything else but “no” would be a lie. That I would be robbing her of a *real* husband, that she deserved to have a man burn for her, and that is why she is my friend, and that is why I was so glad she found such a wonderful husband a few years later :)

cowboy
April 18th, 2008 | LINK

I’m going to type something here that I hope my parents will never read: I don’t think they had a marriage based on “love”. Or, at least, at what I understand what true love is all about.

Generally speaking, I think it is rare to find couples who are with their best suited partner (hetero or homo). I can tell by certain nuances…I won’t go into detail here. But, I don’t think many people ever experience that deep abiding “love”. I know I might sound a bit condescending when I say I think I have once experienced what true love is all about.

But…eh…what do I know? Perhaps I’m being naïve.

However, I had a rather normal dating life in school. I look back now and see where I was in denial. I never got to third base with a woman…even with all the opportunities on beer-can flats and with watching submarine races. The epiphany about the real me only came with my first over-night stay at a man’s house when I was an adult and those exploratory/experimenting adolescent days were long gone.

Like Jason D says, I reserve a special place in my heart for some women I know but they’re happier now without me.

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