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How I Told My Wife

Posted on January 7, 2016 at 4:05 PM

How I Told My Fiancée about my SSA

Written by Michael

(Posted October 2014)

I just had the most amazing experience of my life. It was worth telling my fiancée about my SSA just for the experience itself.

The girl who I am dating (her name is xxxx) is a truly amazing woman! I took her to Central Park and we went to the Lobe Boathouse. We went rafting for an hour and it was so beautiful. Great place for a date. (highly recommended). Then I took out the towels and kosher food I brought with us. I made a beautiful picnic and we ate lunch there. Then, I went for the "dive."

I started by telling her how beautiful I thought she was and about all the amazing things I have seen in her since I met her. I told her that I trust her completely and that I am only sharing this information because I love her so much. I felt it important and wanted her to see the *REAL* me, and thus understand the true source for my growth.

I started by telling her a summary of all that I had shared with her already. Then I went on to tell her about the sexual abuse that I went through at ages 7-10. As I was explaining this, she started to tear, and I asked her what the tears were about. She responded "that must have been so hard for you". We spoke about the abuse for 20 minutes and I reassured her that I am no longer bothered by it because I have done my work around that. She responded with awe.

Finally, I told her what all my issues resulted in. I said that I had developed attraction to other males and that at one point I was totally lost in how to deal with these feelings. I went to my rabbi, and he referred me to a JONAH referral therapist. I have been working on my "issues" for the past 2 and half years. I told her about all my struggles and she listened intently. After I had finished, she responded with the following " it must have been so hard for you to tell me that. Thank you so much for being honest and opening up to me. The fact the you are being so open with me and trusting me with your struggles makes me more attracted to you than I have ever been before. I am so impressed that you can be so emotionally open with me". She then went on to ask me questions about my therapy. She asked me to repeat the main core issues underlying SSA and to explain how it applied to my life. She had already met my family twice and gotten to know their personalities a bit. After I had told her everything, she told me "now it all makes sense".

She totally "got me" guys. I was totally amazed at her sincerity and understanding. She kept emphasizing how happy she was that I was honest with her, and that it would have been a big slap in her face if she found out after marriage some other way. She now knows my struggles and is willing to stand by my side.

I also spoke to her about my social work degree and the field of interest I am planning on working in (SSA and Sexual abuse). She responded "of course! this is something you went through, and it would be a shame if you didn't utilize your unique gifts, understanding, and knowledge to help those who are struggling". My fiancée and I have a meeting with Enrique, my therapist from JONAH next week. she is excited to meet the man who i have learned so much from about myself for the past year. (And of course to meet my mentor Arthur at the same time).

Basically, to follow up,I told her to take her time on things, And I encouraged her to meet my Rabbi as well. She told me that she has no concerns and because she trusts me fully, she does not need to speak with anyone else. She told me that her trust in me before I told her was 100%,but now it's 150%. She saw my "GOLD" guys! Its amazing what authenticity feels like!

I can finally be *ME.* I don't have to live with a double-bind. I feel alive. I am only 24 years old; yet, I feel like I have come to place of well being such as a healthy 80 year old man feels. Thank you to all of you who took the time to pray for me. I'm sure everyone created a stir up in Heaven for me. You guys rock!

Postscript: Before their marriage, Michael and his bride to be went to Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky for a blessing where they fully disclosed the issues with which he was dealing. Rabbi Kamenetsky was delighted to provide such a blessing for a happy and healthy marriage.

This email was written to others in JONAH during 2011. The writer is now happily married, has a healthy child, and is helping others heal as a licensed mental health professional.

Parents of a Homosexual Child

Posted on January 6, 2016 at 1:10 PM

Why Is This Child Different From Most Other Children?

Ten Questions & Answers For a Parent of a Homosexual Child

 

(*NOTE: Deep appreciation to Rabbi Samuel Rosenberg,L.C.S.W., Clinical Director of JONAH, and to my Co-Director, Arthur A. Goldberg, for their help with this article. JONAH, Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality, can be reached by telephone at 201-433-3444 and on the Internet at www.Jonahweb.org.)

 

“Gender, that deep sense or essence within us that reflects our

biological sex, is absolutely fundamental to our humanity.”

- Janelle Hallman

 

OK. You may have always suspected something, but now you know. Your child is self-identified as “gay.” You try to bargain with God, you cry, you rage, you deny – but you can’t run away from the pain that has gripped you ever since your child told you the news.

 

Why did this happen to your child? In today’s politically correct culture, the “experts” tell us that he/she was born that way, but in your heart and soul you know that isn’t true and that something went wrong in your family. Is it your fault? Is it your child’s fault? Is it anyone’s fault? Bottom line, what can and should you do about the situation?

 

Every day, anguished Jewish parents (as well as parents in every other societal group) around the globe ask themselves these questions as they go through the torment of learning about their child’s involvement with homosexuality. One of the worst aspects of this family problem is the common advice that parents must accept their child “for who they are” and there is nothing they can do. Even worse is the mistaken notion that reparative/change/reorientation therapy can actually harm their child. Nothing is further from the truth.

 

Politically astute gay activists have changed the way society views homosexuality in less than four decades. To their credit, gay activists have brought the issues surrounding homosexuality out of the closet. While this is good, the callous myths that homosexuality is inborn, benign, and unchangeable are absolutely false. Homosexual attractions are the result of childhood wounds which arrested a child’s psycho-sexual development. JONAH’s multi-faceted program (outlined below) offers great hope that your child can grow out of homosexuality and into the God-given heterosexuality which was his/her birthright. Please go to the Library Section of JONAH’s web site, Jonahweb.org, for a more complete discussion of this Model:

 

JONAH’S PSYCHO-EDUCATIONAL MODEL FOR HEALING HOMOSEXUALITY involves:

 

Bibliotherapy

Healing of the Family System

Jewish Spiritual Development

Masculinity Development & Empowerment

Networking, Support Groups, Daily Internet E-mail Listserve

Overcoming Shame & Narcissism

Receiving Healthy Touch & Affection

Experiential Healing Weekends

Individual Psychotherapy

Mentoring

 

JONAH is frequently asked these ten common questions. The answers below can help start a parent on the long, difficult, but ultimately rewarding quest of learning why their child feels same-sex attractions and what can be done about changing this painful truth.

 

 

QUESTION ONE: WHY DID THIS HAPPEN TO MY CHILD?

 

ANSWER: The good news is that your child was born, like all children, to develop into a heterosexual; the bad news is that your child suffered emotional wounds in his/her childhood that blocked his/her innate capacity to grow into heterosexuality. The specific issues for each individual will depend on the totality of his/her environment

 

As Richard Cohen tells us in his book, Coming Out Straight, same-sex attractions (SSA) are symptoms of underlying wounds. They represent an inappropriate response to conflicts in the present, a way to medicate pain and discomfort, unresolved childhood trauma, archaic emotions, frozen feelings, wounds that never healed. They also represent a reparative drive to fulfill unmet homo-emotional love needs of the past – an unconscious drive for greater bonding with the same-sex parent.

 

Very briefly, homosexuality is not about sex, but is rather an emotionally-based condition consisting of the following three subconscious drives:

 

Need for greater attachment to the same-sex parent and less attachment to the

opposite sex parent

Need for stronger gender identification

Fear of sexual or emotional intimacy with the opposite sex.

 

 

QUESTION TWO: DO LESBIANS AND GAY MEN DEAL WITH THE SAME

UNDERLYING ISSUES?

 

ANSWER: Some of the issues underlying male and female homosexuality are the same, but others are different. Here is an outline of the key elements underlying male and female same-sex attraction (SSA). For lesbianism, I will quote Janelle Hallman, a therapist noted for specializing in lesbian issues:

 

The Most Frequently Reported Elements of the Lesbian Struggle:

 

A strained, detached or missing bond and/or attachment with mother WITHOUT an available mother substitute, resulting in a fear of abandonment and need for secure attachment;

The presence of disrespect or abuse at the hands of a male, resulting in a fear or hatred of men;

Few if any girlhood/adolescent same-sex friendships, resulting in a need for acceptance,

belonging and fun;

A sense of emptiness or identity confusion in lieu of a full and rich identity, resulting in a need for self and gender identity.

 

Common Root Problems of the Male Homosexual Struggle:

( A complete discussion of these issues can be found on the web site: peoplecanchange.com.)

 

- Feelings of masculine deficiency;

Idealization of other males and maleness; same-sex peer wounds;

Fear of men, estrangement from men, disassociation from maleness;

Overidentification with the feminine;

Over-sensitivity; body image wounds

Father hunger; mother enmeshment;

Shame, secrecy, self-loathing, isolation, loneliness;

Touch deprivation;

Spiritual emptiness.

 

 

QUESTION THREE: WHAT ARE THE FIRST STEPS I SHOULD TAKE TO HELP

MY FAMILY COPE WITH THIS PROBLEM?

 

ANSWER: Homosexuality is a systemic problem involving family, extended family, school environment, peers, etc. You should never ostracize your child nor should you blame your child. Each member of the family needs to do his/her part in healing the family system.

Family therapy and/or spiritual counseling will help to educate the members of the family in how to set up new and better relationships. Whether your child chooses to leave homosexuality or not, strengthening the family is a worthwhile goal. The lines of communication between parent and child should always be open. Many families find an improvement in their relationship with their child as a result of this “big secret” finally being out in the open. Parents don’t have to accept homosexual behavior, but they do need to always love and accept their child.

 

Bibliotherapy is JONAH’s term for educating yourself about the issues underlying SSA and we believe this is a critical first step. Homosexuality is complex, caused by a variety of factors and often misunderstood by most therapists, doctors, teachers, and the general community. Therefore, parents need to read extensively until they understand the common causes of homosexual attractions and which of these apply to their son or daughter. For those who don’t enjoy reading, there are cassette tapes and videos available. The following web sites display extensive information about SSA and recommend the books, cassettes, and videos that will give you the education you need in order to help your child:

 

Jonahweb.org (Jewish)

NARTH.com (Scientific and Educational)

Peoplecanchange.com (Non-Denominational)

Gaytostraight.org. (Non-Denominational).

 

 

QUESTION FOUR: WHAT ARE THE LONG TERM GOALS OF A HEALING PROGRAM?

 

ANSWER: Remember that your child has probably been feeling tremendous conflict and anxiety for years before you found out about his/her SSA. We have found there is a process involved in coming to terms with this issue. The following suggestions have worked for other parents who have faced this problem:

 

Educate yourself about the causes of homosexuality and the strategies used to grow out of same-sex attraction.

The same-sex parent should become more involved with the child feeling SSA while the opposite-sex parent should step back and encourage the growth of the same-sex parent’s relationship with the child.

Seek counseling for you and your family with a gender-affirming therapist.

Understand that you probably will go through a process of grieving, followed by healing, and finally acceptance and understanding.

Tell a few close relatives or friends about the problem so you can confide in someone about the pain and confusion you feel. Choose your confidants carefully so you do not choose someone who has accepted the gay activist’s mythology.

Seek out group support and networking with others who have faced your problem. JONAH can help with referrals to appropriate resources.

Speak with a Rabbi or spiritual advisor to help you come to terms with your relationship to God and the anguish you feel.

Understand that whether your child chooses to grow out of homosexuality or not, you can keep your family together and have more trusting and vital relationships.

Expect your family’s healing process to take time – there are no “quick fixes.”

 

 

QUESTION FIVE: WHAT SHOULD I NOT DO?

 

ANSWER: There are a number of caveats that are supported by most individuals and organizations that work in this field. Some are common sense and some have been gleaned by long years of experience:

 

Never ostracize your child. He/she did not choose to have SSA.

Don’t try to convince your child that he/she must change – it doesn’t work because a person needs internal motivation to undertake this difficult journey.

Don’t focus on this issue when you are with your child because he/she is much more than a person with homosexual issues.

Don’t try to make your child feel guilty; don’t take a burden of guilt on yourself either.

SSA resulted from the combination of his/her individual temperament, the relationships within the family, and the totality of his/her environment. Everyone in the family (including siblings) needs to assume some responsibility for repairing the broken relationships and forging healthier family dynamics.

 

 

QUESTION SIX: WHAT DOES “CHANGE” MEAN IN RELATION TO GROWING

OUT OF HOMOSEXUALITY?

 

ANSWER: Growing out of homosexuality rarely means that the person will never again experience a homosexual thought or attraction. We must learn to stop treating those who feel SSA as “different kinds of persons.” We understand that recovery from alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling, obesity, heterosexual promiscuity, etc., doesn’t mean the person will never be tempted again. So, too, many recovered homosexuals feel overwhelmed at times of stress and desire a “quick fix” to solve their problems. However, if they understand their “trigger points” and disengage them, they generally can resist such impulses.

 

Fantasizing or acting on homosexual impulses has been the way these individuals handled stress and feelings of inadequacy in the past, so at times they may briefly fall back to old habits of thinking and feeling. The difference will be that now they understand their homosexual feelings are symptoms of underlying emotional issues they need to address. Fantasizing or acting on those homosexual impulses will not solve their problems – in fact, acting out usually makes things worse because acting out covers up the real issues affecting their lives. Growth out of homosexuality or “change” will be different for each man or woman who makes the journey. Some will never have a homosexual feeling again; some will frequently struggle to overcome their attractions and/or compulsions; most will fall in between these two extremes.

 

 

QUESTION SEVEN: WHY DO NUMEROUS THERAPISTS, DOCTORS, RABBIS, TEACHERS, AND MEMBERS OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY EMBRACE THE THEORY THAT HOMOSEXUALITY IS INBORN AND UNCHANGEABLE?

 

ANSWER: Gay activism has done an excellent job of convincing the public. Not only do they confuse political and personal goals, but most distressingly they wrongly label those who have a principled disagreement with them as homophobic. Many professionals in the therapeutic field are skeptical about gay activist claims, but are afraid of being called intolerant, non-inclusive or homophobic if they speak up or protest.

 

In the personal sphere, each man or woman who feels SSA should be treated with the same dignity and compassion we feel for anyone with an emotional problem – which includes everyone of us at some point in our lives. However, to say that a problem like SSA is normal and merely an alternative lifestyle is the equivalent of saying that obesity or alcoholism is normal.

 

In the political sphere the gay activists have also gone too far and have almost succeeded in deconstructing the male/female design of God, nature, and evolution. We Jews were the first to proclaim that the nuclear family should be the basic building block of society. Numerous groups seek to overturn the Torah prohibition against the practice of homosexuality and accept such behavior as normal and unchangeable.

 

As parents who admit that we inadvertently played a role in our children feeling same-sex attraction, we must stand together and educate the Jewish community and the larger community about the prevention, intervention, and treatment of homosexuality. Our children, and all children, deserve to know the truth about this important issue.

 

 

QUESTION EIGHT: WHAT DOES JUDAISM SAY ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY AND

IS IT STILL RELEVENT IN THE MODERN WORLD?

(For a fuller discussion of this question, please see the Rabbinical Commentary Section of Jonahweb.org.)

 

ANSWER: JONAH’s philosophy is consistent with the Torah’s approach to homosexuality. There is no word in the Torah for a homosexual, although there are words for homosexual behavior, which leads us to believe that the Torah sets forth an understanding that homosexuality is neither inborn nor an identity. The Jewish literature is replete with examples of accepting and loving the person who feels same-sex attractions while not accepting the undesirable behavior.

 

Accepting a person’s same-sex attractions as inborn and unchangeable does great harm to the individual, the family, and the community. There is absolutely no reliable proof that homosexuality is inborn so to tell young people who feel same-sex attractions they were born that way and have no choice to grow out of homosexuality is simply cruel and untrue. Same-sex attractions are just one of the many life-damaging conditions we all must learn to overcome.

 

In Judaism, teshuvah (repentance and return) is available to all of us. We must reach out to those feeling SSA, welcome them into the Jewish community, and educate them about their ability to grow out of homosexuality.

 

 

QUESTION NINE: WHAT PROFESSIONAL RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE?

 

ANSWER: JONAH is constantly expanding its world-wide list of referrals and resources. Please call our Message Line at 201-433-3444 for recommendations in the following categories:

 

Individual and/or family therapy with those committed to gender affirmative psychotherapy.

Support groups

Experiential Healing Week-ends for individuals, couples, and families

Teleconferencing classes for individuals, parents, therapists, and couples

Educational books, articles, and tapes

Seminars and conferences helpful to parents dealing with homosexuality.

 

 

QUESTION TEN: IT SEEMS SO DIFFICULT TO GROW OUT OF HOMOSEXUALITY, IS IT WORTH THE STRUGGLE?

 

ANSWER: While we cannot answer that question for any particular individual, we can tell the truth about homosexuality so that the individual is enabled to choose his/her own path based on facts, not myths. Some will choose not to start the journey, some will only be able to journey part of the way, some will be able to complete the journey. Many who complete the journey will reach back to help others. As one inspiring response to this question, here are the words of Jeffrey Burke Satinover, M.D., who is a member of JONAH’s Advisory Board:

 

“I have been extraordinarily fortunate to have met many people who have emerged from the gay life. When I see the personal difficulties they have squarely faced, the sheer courage they have displayed not only in facing these difficulties but also in confronting a culture that uses every possible means to deny the validity of their values, goals, and experiences, I truly stand back in wonder. Certainly they have forced me by the simple testimony of their lives to return again and again to my own self-examination. It is these people – former homosexuals and those still struggling, all across America and abroad – who stand for me as a model of everything good and possible in a world that takes the human heart, and the God of that heart, seriously. In my various explorations within the worlds of psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, and psychiatry, I have simply never before seen such profound healing.

 

Because it is not really a battle over mere sexuality, but rather over which spirit shall claim our allegiance, the cultural and political battle over homosexuality has become in many respects the defining moment for our society. It has implications that go far beyond the surface matter of “gay rights.” And so the more important dimension of this battle is not the political one, it is the one for the individual human soul. It would be easy in this modern era, when our vision for things invisible is so easily blinded by the dazzling allure of our material accomplishment, to not even take the soul – and her loving, watchful, worried shepherd – seriously. But the soul that emerges in the lives of those who have successfully struggled with homosexuality, and the soul that is in the process of emerging in those who struggle still, is so beautiful that at one stroke her emergence into sight, even dimly, simply shatters the false dazzle of modernity.

 

And so, as dangerous a moment as this one may be, when so much of our inheritance stands in the balance, there is great hope as well. Slowly but surely, the great truths that have embodied themselves in the lives of these men and women – after terrible struggle – will be made widely known. More and more people will themselves gain the courage to return home from their long and fruitless wanderings in the wasteland of modern sophistication, however painful that return may be. It is our joyful duty to stand waiting, with open arms, remembering that we too are journeying home.” (Dr. Jeffrey Satinover: Postscript: Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth)

Letter to Mom and Dad

Posted on January 6, 2016 at 7:40 AM

A Letter to Mom and Dad Concerning Childhood Wounds

 

Author: Stephen

 

(Posted March 2011)

 

[Introduction by JONAH's Co-Director, Elaine Silodor Berk: This powerful and heartfelt letter was read by Stephen to his parents with great trepidation. In preparing to confront his parents about his childhood pain and subsequent same-sex attraction (SSA), Stephen experienced some physical and emotional difficulties. Nevertheless, his strength and courage enabled him to face his fears and explain to his parents where he was at and what he wanted. In that process, he was comforted and encouraged by JONAH's co-director, Arthur Goldberg. When he gave JONAH permission to print his letter, Stephen thanked Arthur for the help and encouragement Arthur had given him on his journey out of unwanted SSA and especially for Arthur's mentoring on how to approach his parents. He also commented that putting together the letter set forth below was "probably the hardest thing I'll ever do in my life."

 

Stephen's Dad was very stoic as the letter was read to him. But by the next morning, Dad had begun to internalize and recognize the importance of Stephen's efforts to tear down the walls of detachment that separated father and son. Stephen reported that Dad called him to express his deep sorrow about the past, indicating that Dad had truly heard what Stephen was expressing in his letter, and then - for the first time in Stephen's life - expressed an authentic emotion to Stephen. While asking Stephen for forgiveness, Dad's sadness became evident. He cried as he said, "I'm so sorry I treated you this way, and I'll spend the rest of my life trying to make it up to you."

 

Thankfully, the vow of Stephen's Dad to forge a better relationship with his son in whatever form it needs to take, has, to date, been most encouraging and father and son are intensely working together to overcome their mutual past detachment from each other.]

 

March 10, 2010

 

Dear Mom and Dad,

 

I have written a letter that I need to read to you as it is important for me to tell you about my struggles in life. I believe you may be unaware of some of them. I needed to write this out so I can present it to you in a somewhat organized way.

 

Please know that I anticipate this being the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, and very well may be the hardest thing you’ve ever had to hear and deal with. I fully expect that you will experience a range of emotions as I read this; you may be sad, angry, or fearful about hearing what I have to say. While I welcome any emotions you need to express, I need to make it clear that I want you both to listen to this entire letter before you actually say anything or attempt to respond. Do I have your word that you will remain quiet and listen until I have finished reading everything I have written?

 

Dad: this letter is primarily written to you. I know that I have recently expressed to you the deep depression I experienced as a young child and as a teenager; I understand that you have apologized for not recognizing these experiences. However, I believe that you don’t fully understand all that I felt and the depth of my pain. To put it simply and bluntly, starting at age 7, I spent just about every day of my life feeling a depth of sadness that I can only compare to what a person feels when they attend a funeral of someone they loved very much. I was desperate to be understood, specifically from the person who was supposed to be my male role model. I needed to know that you were there for me emotionally, something I regrettably never felt.

 

While I don’t remember exactly how much I cried growing up, I do remember fighting back tears just about every moment of my young life. Whenever those tears flowed, it was simply because I could not bottle them up any longer. My sadness needed to be released.

 

There is an instance that you may not even remember, but it was a very significant moment in my life. It was a turning point, a moment in which I completely stopped trusting you to be there for me in my emotional anguish. You were driving, your mother was sitting next to you, I was in the back seat sitting behind you and Graham was to my right. We were on our way to one of his baseball games, and it was a particularly hard day for me. I simply could not hold my tears back and they were slowly rolling down my face. I remember you looking at me in the rear-view mirror and very coldly and flatly saying “quit crying you little pussy.” You might as well have taken a knife and stabbed me in the gut, because at that very moment a huge part of me died inside. I felt totally emasculated and worthless. I now realize that as a defensive action to avoid such pain in the future, I built up a protective wall around my soul, vowing to never let you hurt me like that again with your words.

 

Sadly, by numbing myself to your words, every nice thing you have ever said to me since that day has had no effect on me. Over time, my lack of trust for you and my own emotional numbness prevented me from going to you with things I should’ve been able to come to you about: being taunted by the other guys at school, having them spit on me in class, becoming the laughingstock of gym class, and being called pussy, queer, and fag on a pretty much daily basis. Further, it was really infuriating to me that you didn’t seem to even notice that something was drastically wrong with me and my life. As an example, you got two calls from school about my threat to commit suicide. Yet we never talked about it. Other examples: I slept every moment I possibly could, often 12+ hours per day, and I ballooned to 225 pounds using food to try to escape from my pathetic existence. Why didn’t you notice these cries for help? Or, if you did indeed notice them, why didn’t you communicate your concern to me? To be fair, you were always there for me by providing for my physical needs without any reservation whatsoever. However, you were completely unavailable emotionally! I needed that kind of support the most, and I found its absence to be exceedingly painful.

 

Ever since my teenage years I have hoped and prayed that I could carry these hurts to my grave and would not have to discuss them with you. However, I now realize I must tell you and at the same time forgive you for your shortcomings. By informing and forgiving you, it will free me to complete my own healing journey. I know that if I hold onto these hurts, the negativity inherent in harboring such resentments will continue to weigh me down and prevent me from moving on with a normal life.

 

Because I wasn’t able to connect with you or with male peers at school, it was much easier for me to connect with mom and with girls. When puberty hit, this desperate unmet need to connect with males led to an envy of other males. And, in turn, this envy became sexualized. The result of these unmet needs were set against my moral compass and in turn led to an internal conflict. I have been fighting a war within me to overcome homosexual feelings since adolescence.

 

I carried this burden all alone until just four months ago, when I found the courage to tell my therapist in Chicago what I was dealing with. He was not helpful as he encouraged me to come out as “gay” and to fully embrace homosexual fantasies and ultimately homosexual activity. To him, this is who I was. This advice was completely contrary to my values and everything I want out of life. Many teenagers and young adults with same-sex attractions similar to mine attempt to overcome their isolation and shame by connecting sexually with others of their own gender. I’m proud to say that, to the contrary, I have successfully resisted strong urges to have any kind of sexual relationship with other men. I’m still totally pure sexually, never so much as kissing another person as long as I’ve lived. Even though I know this news is shocking and disappointing, I hope you are proud of my resolve to maintain my purity.

 

The thing that I really resent, and need to forgive, is that you were the one person that could have prevented these problems from the get-go. If you helped me learn how to trust men rather than envy them, and if you were there for me emotionally, I believe I would not now be struggling with unwanted same-sex attractions. It was your job to recognize what was going on within me as your little seven year old boy, your duty to find out what was wrong with me, and to take steps to make it better. It was your job to build up my masculinity, to enable me to trust rather than distrust men and to find things we could do together that would affirm me in my manhood and bring us closer together. Without these efforts, the net effect was my envy of other men and my sexualizing of that envy. Your apparent delegation of hard stuff to Mom --such as telling me about sex, taking me to the doctor when I needed help to get me through mental illness, and moving me into my college dorm -- also contributed to my reduced sense of masculinity and lack of closeness to you.

 

Most of all and what was most distressing, however, was the environment you created --- an environment where it became absolutely impossible for me to seek your help to overcome my homosexual feelings. I’d like to remind you of some of the things you have said over the years:

 

1. As a young boy, I remember sitting in a restaurant with you and Graham. Mom was out of town on a business trip. You said to both of us, “if I ever find out either one of you is homosexual, I will put you out of the house.”

 

2. While watching male figure skaters on TV, you were laughing and mocking them, saying “I bet their dads are really proud to have them as sons.”

 

3. You expressed a personal conviction that frightened me: “Having a queer son would be more than I can bear.”

 

4. While helping you clean out filthy trash containers, you colorfully explained that you believe “the only things that are worse than maggots are faggots.”

 

Actually, I don’t remember once since adolescence being in the same room with you for more than an hour when you didn’t have a demeaning joke or say something nasty about homosexuals. Naturally, I took all of these things personally. In fact, every time you have ever said “I love you” or “I’m proud of you” I would add the phrase within my own mind, “Not if you knew about my problem.”

 

I know I am far from perfect, Dad, and that I have a lot of work to do. But I can proudly say that I have done the very best that I could with the life and circumstances the Lord gave me. I have worked hard, done well in school, earned a great job, and am self-sufficient financially. I’ve maintained my sexual purity throughout the darkest times of my life, even when it would have been so easy to give in—as our culture constantly preaches. I’m active in my church and doing the best I can to build authentic and healthy relationships with men—relationships I needed all along. I am breaking down the barrier of distrust toward other men, a distrust that began in early childhood when you flatly stated that I was a pussy for crying out of my intense pain and telling me that I should stop it.

 

One thing I must insist upon. I will no longer tolerate the innumerable demeaning and incessant jokes about homosexuals. These are men and women who are in pain, just like I am. The difference is that I have the courage to do the necessary work to overcome this emotional adaptation. However, making such comments hurts me as well. This “request” is simply non-negotiable. If you do not stop, we will be unable to have any sort of relationship. For me to continue my progress at overcoming these unwanted attractions while hearing cutting remarks from you about the condition I wish to change makes me feel like my hard work is being completely undermined. I cannot tolerate that.

 

I do want to say that despite your shortcomings, there are some things that you did exceptionally well, especially given your own upbringing and family circumstances. You were a great provider for my physical needs and I never went without in that sense. I am very grateful for that. However, the level of emotional abandonment I perceived while growing up, especially given my intense and prolonged ordeal with mental illness, has created a nightmare I have struggled for years to overcome. Thankfully, I have now found supportive people that have also sought out and achieved change of sexual orientation and have stabilized their own emotions in a healthy way. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

 

I’d like to think that we can mend our relationship and that you could be a help to me in my journey toward becoming a new man. However, this choice is totally up to you and I am prepared to move on with my life in the direction of healing regardless of your decision.

Mom: I do not want to complete this letter without addressing you. First and foremost, I want to thank you for your sincerity and kindness in being there and trying to bridge the gaps that Dad did not fill. You did the best you could, but the fact is you were not and cannot be a substitute for the male guidance and support I needed and will continue to need as an adult. We are too enmeshed. What I need from you now is a clear separation and recognition that I am no longer a little boy. You can no longer protect me and fight my battles for me. I need these boundaries in our relationship so that I am able to grow into the fullness of my masculinity. I am a grown man now and am fully capable of taking care of myself with the help of God and other men in my community. While my love for you remains undiminished, we must create new boundaries, new ways of dealing with each other. This may look like, for example, long stretches of time when we will not talk. I need you to know that “no news is good news.” Please understand that I don’t love you any less than I ever have. My love for you is deep. However, I need some space to be a man to my full potential.

 

 

I hope I have been clear in expressing myself. I thank both of you for not speaking while I read this letter and I am now ready to discuss any of these issues with you.

 

With all my love,

 

Your son,

 

Stephen

I THINK I AM GAY

Posted on January 6, 2016 at 7:00 AM

 

I THINK I AM GAY: A Parent's Response

Written By: Tim Geiger

(Posted Nov. 2012)

[This essay was written by Tim Geiger, a person formerly experiencing same-sex attraction (SSA), who serves as Director of the Harvest USA office in Pittsburgh. Tim's thoughtful article provides guidance to a parent about how to respond with grace and love to someone who declares, "I believe I am a homosexual." This essay initially appeared in the OnebyOne Newsletter in May, 2012; their Chairman, Rev. Jeff Winter, graciously gave JONAH permission to adapt it.]

I think I'm gay." Abraham's and Sarah's hearts stopped for an instant and everything around them seemed to stand still. It was like the shock of hearing that someone close to you has suddenly died. Now, as they hear these unexpected words from their oldest son, Mark, 20-years-old and home from college on spring break, Abe and Sarah wonder if this is also a death of another kind -death of their hopes and dreams for Mark and the death of their own desires for a "normal" life of family and grandchildren.

After the initial shock, all sorts of questions flooded their minds. Was this something they were responsible for? What will this mean for their two younger children? Will they be gay, too? Will Mark ever change? How will they deal with Mark's "friend" (though there was no "friend" at this point) if he wanted to spend the holidays with them? What would the other members of their congregation say? Worse yet - what would they think - about Mark and about them, as parents? They wanted to ask their son questions. They wanted to tell him they loved him. Yet all they felt they could do was try to process the information they already had, "I think I'm gay."

So what do you do when you hear those words...or find gay pornography on your child's computer or phone? How would you respond if you were the parents? How would you help a friend or someone in your congregation or community respond if they were in this situation? There are no easy answers, but there are a few strategies to keep in mind that may help you, your child, or the friends you are trying to help, through the difficult initial days or weeks of hearing this news and trying to understand it.

You don't need to know all the answers.

Don't feel as though you need to have all the answers, or even know all the questions to ask, right at the beginning. It's okay to tell your child after his or her initial disclosure, "This is a lot to think about and take in. I need some time to think over what you've said. I'd like to sit down with you to talk about this in more depth later - after I've had some time to calm down and reflect." Your child was in charge of the initial disclosure, and he has probably been thinking about what he would say on this day for many weeks, months or even years. So, you don't have to quickly respond. Don't be rushed. Go at your own speed.

Affirm your love for your child.

No matter what ultimately happens, no matter what you son or daughter says, feels or does, he or she is still your child. Express your love for her. Promise her that there's nothing that would ever cause you to withhold that love. This may be difficult to do, but the most important way that parents can help their child who has adopted a gay identity is to keep the lines of relationship open. Your child's behavior is not rebellion against you, although, if there is anger in her declaration, you will most likely be the prime recipient of that anger. Maintaining love and contact with your child is the best way to be faithful to God's commandments and to remain a presence in your child's life.

Ask your child what does he mean by saying he is gay.

Don't take for granted that your child's understanding of the terms he uses to describe himself is the same as yours. Ask your child how he came to this conclusion, how long he has been thinking about it, and how certain he feels it is true. Is he dealing solely with feelings or is he also dealing with behavior and/or identity issues?

You may find that your child isn't so much making a statement about his identity as it is his assessment of a situation in which he perceives himself as helpless. "I've been struggling with these feelings for years-and the only reasonable conclusion I can draw is that I must be gay." Saying you're gay and saying you've been wrestling with feelings you don't understand and don't want are two completely different things. This is an important point to clarify with him.

You don't need to know details about your child's sexual activity.

If your son or daughter is over 18, this information is often not helpful for a parent to know, and may serve only to separate parent (who may experience additional shock) from child (who may experience guilt and shame over revealing such personal details to her parent[s]). It is okay to ask general questions, "Are you in a relationship? With whom? Who else knows?"

If your child is under 18, then it is important to ascertain some level of detail about his or her behavior. "Is what you feel limited to fantasy and masturbation? Is pornography involved? Have you had sexual contact with anyone?" Keep in mind that asking these kinds of questions can be difficult for you, as a parent, to ask, and for your child to hear. Here it may be wise to enlist the services of a good counselor, one who can help you learn how to talk to your child on these sensitive matters, and who might better relate to your child. There are many counselors who are not only professionally trained in gender affirming processes but have had the added benefit of overcoming his/her own SSA issues. Don't be afraid to check around to find the right kind of counselor, one whose values and beliefs are consistent with yours as too many counselors have bought into the unfounded notion that homosexuality is innate and unchangeable.

Also in the case of a minor, it is important to assess the situation and determine if laws have been broken, and if your child is at risk from a predator, either in person or online. It is also essential to determine if sexual abuse has occurred and if so, to report this to law enforcement as quickly as possible. Talk to a counselor or rabbi or member of the clergy who is familiar with your state's laws about child sexual abuse to determine how to proceed.

Ask your child if he is content to be gay, or if he wants to change.

Some children will quickly state they're happy--and if your child does, you likely won't be able to convince him otherwise. Others, though, may report years of angst, guilt and shame over their feelings and behavior and will express either some desire to change or wonder if that is even possible. If so, enter into that struggle by sensitively talking to him, Again, it may be helpful to have your child talk with a qualified counselor who both affirms what the Bible says about holiness and sexuality and has the ability to relate well to youth.

You can't change your child.

You are not the one who is going to change your child. No matter how badly you might want to see change in your son's or daughter's life, no matter how much you pray, no matter how convincing your argument, you won't be able to convince your child to change if he or she is convinced this is "who they are."

Only through a transformation of his/her feelings, behavior, and identity will the change that is needed actually occur. God wants to do business with your child's heart - he/she has adopted or is struggling with a gay identity because, at some level, he/she has believed lies about God, self, and others. His/her perceptions have been colored---often by deep emotional wounds from childhood. He/she has come to believe what the world currently believes about life, sexuality, purpose, God, etc., instead of viewing life authentically through the lens of the Bible and commentaries.

On the other hand, what you can be is an agent of change in your child's life. Such change is likely to come about within the context of community - through your relationship with your son or daughter, or through his or her relationship with another mature, compassionate human being. Often, God can change your son's or daughter's heart but a human agent is likely necessary to give him/her the tools required to complete the change.

Your child doesn't need to become straight

What your child needs is what God calls everyone to, and that is a life of faith and repentance (teshuvah). Having heterosexual sex will not solve your child's problem. There is more to this issue than sexuality. The ethical opposite of homosexuality is not being straight - it is living by God's commandments in a lifestyle of faith and repentance. Godly sexuality is about holiness (Lev. 19:1); it is about living life according to God's design.

 

You can't do anything to control your child's struggle or repentance.You may have influence but no longer have "control." You can, however, respond to what the Lord is calling you to do in terms of your own faith, obedience and repentance in life as you struggle with these issues in your own family.

Bring others in.

No matter how strong your faith, you can't deal with this on your own. Isolation is a death-knell. Seek out trusted and spiritually mature friends, family members, congregation members and clergy to help you both interpret the events in your family from a biblical perspective and to help you respond in a holy and God-glorifying way in response to your child's decisions. God often ministers to His people through the context of community. Don't let your fears get in the way of faith. Consider helping others who are suffering or are in pain over sexuality issues within their family.

What about setting boundaries in my relationship with my child?

It may be appropriate to set some boundaries in your relationship with your child if she persists in her behaviors. Those boundaries will be unique for each family and will often change as needs and circumstances dictate. A ground rule for boundaries, however, is that they should exist to protect your family and to protect your child. Boundaries should never be punitive or manipulative.

How can I help my child?

Pray. Pray for wisdom, pray for faith, pray for strength to reflect the love of God to your child. Keep the lines of communication open with your child. Make sure your child knows that he can always come to you. At the same time, give him space to make his own decisions. Respect those decisions, but don't necessarily agree with or condone them. Let your child realize the natural consequences of his behavior. If your child makes decisions to pursue self-destructive or otherwise sinful behavior, communicate the sinfulness of that decision and your disappointment - but never withhold your love.

Finding yourself in a situation where your son or daughter is struggling with unbelief and sin in particularly hurtful ways is truly difficult. Rest assured that God is there to comfort you and to provide you with the "chisuk" (strength) necessary to get you through this difficult time. He is at work in all things---especially the hard ones---for the good of those who live according to His purpose. He hasn't forgotten you. To the contrary, He is the only One capable of helping you to grow in faith and hope in the midst of a dark and difficult time. Believe that He can! He is there for you.

Bischofskonferenz und ZdK auf Abwegen?

Posted on May 11, 2015 at 2:50 PM

Die Katholische Kirche in Deutschland ist wieder einmal in den Schlagzeilen.

 

Die Bischöfe beschlossen gerade eine Neuordnung des kirchlichen Arbeitsrechtes.

 

Dort heisst es:

 

„Die erneute standesamtliche Heirat nach einer zivilen Scheidung ist zukünftig grundsätzlich dann als schwerwiegender Loyalitätsverstoß zu werten, wenn dieses Verhalten nach den konkreten Umständen objektiv geeignet ist, ein erhebliches Ärgernis in der Dienstgemeinschaft oder im beruflichen Wirkungskreis zu erregen und die Glaubwürdigkeit der Kirche zu beeinträchtigen. Dasselbe gilt für das Eingehen einer eingetragenen Lebenspartnerschaft.

 

Diese Handlungen besitzen damit bei Vorliegen besonderer Umstände und damit nur in Ausnahmefällen Kündigungsrelevanz. Das ist z. B. der Fall, wenn objektive Gründe befürchten lassen, dass eine erneute standesamtliche Ehe oder eine eingetragene Lebenspartnerschaft sich störend auf die Zusammenarbeit in der Dienstgemeinschaft auswirkt. Bei einer Wiederverheiratung können sich solche Umstände zum Beispiel ergeben aus der beruflichen Stellung des Mitarbeiters, aus der Art und Weise, wie der geschieden wiederverheiratete Partner mit dem Scheitern der Ehe bzw. Wiederheirat in der Öffentlichkeit umgeht oder wie er seine gesetzlichen Verpflichtungen aus seiner ersten Ehe erfüllt. Notwendig ist eine Gesamtbeurteilung.“

 

Eine erneute Heirat nach zivilrechtlicher Scheidung oder eine „homosexuelle Lebenspartnerschaft“ ist also nur dann schlimm, wenn sie Ärger verursacht oder die Glaubwürdigkeit der Kirche beeinträchtigt.

 

Wer um Himmels willen hat denn dieses Papier entworfen? Das ist sowohl theologisch als auch rational betrachtet blanker – und höchst gefährlicher! - Unsinn!

 

Es grenzt an Scheinheiligkeit, wenn ein Verhalten, das dem katholischen Glauben widerspricht, nur dann sanktioniert werden soll, wenn es Ärger verursacht. Die Glaubwürdigkeit im Übrigen wird nicht nur durch eben dieses Verhalten beeinträchtigt, sondern in viel größerem Maße durch eine Anordnung, die Abfall von der kirchlichen Lehre nur unter bestimmten Voraussetzungen als Loyalitätsverstoß ansieht und nicht durch die Handlungen an sich.

 

Eine Kirche, deren Mitarbeiter und Mitglieder durch ihr eigenes Lebenszeugnis nicht mehr das widerspiegeln, wofür diese Kirche eigentlich steht, verdient ihren Namen nicht und wird bald in der Bedeutungslosigkeit verschwinden. Wenn die Kirche wie die Welt wird, gibt es keinen Grund mehr für ihre Existenz.

 

Vorrangige Aufgabe der Bischöfe ist es, Hirten zu sein und ihre Schafe auf dem rechten Weg zu führen. Eine Theologie, die besagt, man könne durchaus von diesem Weg abweichen, solange es nicht an der „Glaubwürdigkeit“ (welche Glaubwürdigkeit ist denn da noch übrig?) rüttelt oder Ärger verursacht, ist hierfür nicht geeignet – noch verdienen die Bischöfe, die dies zu verantworten haben, den Namen „Hirten“.

 

Nur zur Information: Ich schreibe dies als jemand, der viele Jahre lang ein schwules Leben geführt hat und vor elf Jahren Freiheit durch die internationale christliche Organisation „Homosexuals Anonymous“ (www.homosexuals-anonymous.com) erfahren durfte. So etwas hilft den Menschen, die vom Weg abgekommen sind, wirklich – und wird bis heute von der offiziellen Kirche ignoriert. Im Gegensatz dazu werden immer wieder Meldungen an uns herangetragen, die auf eine große Anzahl gleichgeschlechtlich empfindender – und teils auch handelnder – Priester und Ordensangehöriger schließen lassen. Jedes Hilfsangebot unsererseits an die Kirche wurde jedoch

bisher ignoriert.

 

Was mir hier sehr sauer aufstößt, ist der Wink mit dem Zaunpfahl, der hier durch den Hinweis auf die Art und Weise gegeben wird, mit dem mit der Wiederverheiratung (oder der „eingetragenen Lebenspartnerschaft“) in der Öffentlichkeit umgegangen wird. Dies bestätigt eine unselige und lang bekannte Praxis der Katholischen Kirche: Solange es niemand „da draußen“ erfährt, wird es toleriert.

 

Ich schreibe diese Zeilen aus Liebe zur Katholischen Kirche, denn auch ich bin Katholik (www.katholisch-leben.org). Es macht mich sehr traurig und gleichzeitig auch wütend, zu sehen, wie hier der Kirche Schaden zugeführt und den Gläubigen vorhandene Hilfe verweigert wird.

 

Nun zum „Zentralkomitee der deutschen Katholiken“, das eine Erklärung mit dem Titel „Zwischen Lehre und Lebenswelt Brücken bauen – Familie und Kirche in der Welt von heute“ veröffentlicht hat.

 

Zunächst einmal möchte ich ausdrücklich darauf hinweisen, dass das ZdK keineswegs alle deutschen Katholiken vertritt, wie es der Name vermuten lässt. Hierfür fehlt die demokratische Legitimation.

 

Sehen wir uns aber diese Erklärung einmal näher an.

 

Zunächst einmal ist hier von der Stärkung der Familie die Rede – was im Kontext des nun Folgenden wie blanker Hohn erscheint.

 

Mit Hinsicht auf die Art des Zusammenlebens, die es neben der traditionellen christlichen Ehe gibt, heißt es dort:

 

„Zugleich achten wir die Lebensgemeinschaften, in denen für uns wichtige Werte verwirklicht werden: verlässliche Verantwortung füreinander, Treue in der Beziehung, Weggemeinschaft in Verbindlichkeit.“

 

Eine Lebensgemeinschaft ist also demnach zu achten, wenn abstrakte Werte wie „Treue“ oder „Verantwortung“ verwirklicht werden. Wenn diese Werte jedoch abstrakt, also getrennt von einem zugrunde liegenden Glaubensverständnis, gesehen werden, stellt sich die Frage, auf Basis von was genau denn diese Werte anerkannt und für gut geheißen werden. „Treue“ als respektablen Wert – auch außerhalb der christlichen Ehe – zu sehen, würde zu absurden Ergebnissen führen. Man stelle sich nur einmal vor, wer oder was alles „treu“ - und damit „respektabel“ - zusammenleben könnten nach dieser Logik!

 

Weiter im Text:

 

„Unter Familie verstehen wir auch nichteheliche Formen von verbindlich gelebter Partnerschaft und von Generationenverantwortung, die einen großen Beitrag für den gesellschaftlichen Zusammenhalt leisten und gerecht zu behandeln sind.“

 

„Nichteheliche Formen verbindlich gelebter Partnerschaft“ - würde das auch Polygamie, Pädophilie oder was weiß ich sonst noch einschließen? Wenn nicht, auf Basis welcher Argumentation?

 

Wer so etwas veröffentlicht, hat in meinen Augen nicht die leiseste Ahnung davon, was Ehe und Familie aus christlicher Sicht bedeuten und warum derartige Statements alleine deshalb nicht nur unsinnig, sondern höchst gefährlich sind. In anderen Worten: Sie widersprechen der katholischen Lehre und sind deshalb als häretisch einzustufen.

 

Es wird noch besser:

 

„Die kirchliche Lehre muss im Dialog mit den Gläubigen unter Einbeziehung ihrer jeweiligen Lebenswelt weiterentwickelt werden. Als den Menschen, ihren Sorgen und Hoffnungen zugewandte Kirche sind wir beauftragt, uns mit Zuversicht auf die Gegenwartsgesellschaft mit vielfältigen sozial anerkannten Lebensformen einzulassen und selbst zu Brückenbauerinnen und Brückenbauern zwischen Praxis und Lehre zu werden.“

 

Die kirchliche Lehre muss nur insofern weiterentwickelt werden, als sie den Menschen in ihrem jeweiligen kulturellen, persönlichen und historischen Kontext verständlich vermittelt werden muss. Sie darf jedoch keineswegs von Grundwerten abweichen, die in verschiedensten biblischen Büchern und damit unterschiedlichsten Kulturen im Laufe von tausenden von Jahren – und letztendlich von Jesus selbst bekräftigt wurden – wie etwa die lebenslange monogame Ehe zwischen Mann und Frau, bei der der Mann sich in lebensspendender Weise der Frau hingibt wie Jesus sich Seiner Braut der Kirche hingegeben hat. Mann und Frau werden ein Fleisch – so sehr eins, dass man diesem Einem neun Monate später einen Namen geben muss – ein Spiegelbild der Dreifaltigkeit selbst.

Nichts anderes als die christliche Ehe entspricht diesem Grundsatz. Sie ist die beste Form des Zusammenlebens für alle Beteiligten.

 

Wir dürfen uns keineswegs auf „sozial anerkannte Lebensweisen“ (ein fast peinlicher Ausdruck!) einlassen, wenn diese im Widerspruch zur Lehre der Kirche stehen. Dies zu fordern zeugt von Verantwortungslosigkeit den Gläubigen gegenüber.

 

Schließlich heißt es noch:

 

„In unserer Kirche unterstützen wir eine hohe pastorale Aufmerksamkeit für Ehe und Familie, die auch in veränderten Seelsorgestrukturen ein überzeugendes personales Angebot vor Ort erfordert.“

 

Wenn mit diesen „veränderten Seelsorgestrukturen“ gemeint ist, eine Seelsorge zu betreiben, die mehr eine Art „Wellness-Programm mit christlichem Touch“ ist und Menschen, die vom rechten Weg abgekommen sind, dazu verhelfen soll, sich wenigstens gut dabei zu fühlen, lehne ich dies aus tiefsten Herzen ab. Wahre Liebe muss stark genug sein, dem vom Weg Abgekommenen die Wahrheit zu sagen – aber auch eine helfende Hand hin zur Freiheit zu bieten. Wir würden gerne mit dazu beitragen, eine helfende Hand zu sein!

 

Unter anderem wird dann auch noch eine „Neubewertung der Methoden der künstlichen Empfängnisregelung“ gefordert. Dies ist umso interessanter, als konservative Katholiken immer wieder auf den Zusammenhang etwa von gleichgeschlechtlichem Verhalten und künstlicher Empfängnisregelung hingewiesen haben. Beides scheint einem verdrehten – oder gar nicht vorhandenen -Verständnis kirchlicher Lehre zum Thema Ehe, Familie und Sexualität zu entspringen.

 

Ebenso wird immer wieder darauf verwiesen, in der Seelsorge weg vom „defizitorientierten“ hin zum „ressourcenorientierten“ Handeln zu kommen. Hört sich gut an – ist aber insofern Unsinn, als beides nicht zu trennen ist. Genau hier setzen Organisationen wie die Ex-Gay Einrichtung Jason (http://jason-online.webs.com) an.

 

Nun aber kommt der Gipfel.

Folgendes wird gefordert:

 

„eine Weiterentwicklung von liturgischen Formen, insbesondere Segnungen gleichgeschlechtlicher Partnerschaften, neuer Partnerschaften Geschiedener und für wichtige Weichenstellungen im Familienleben“

 

Dies zeugt in meinen Augen bestenfalls von kompletter Unkenntnis des katholischen Glaubens. Im schlimmsten Fall wird dies bewusst, also in Kenntnis der kirchlichen Lehre, gefordert und ist damit verantwortungslos, da es Menschen verwirren und vom rechten – kirchlichen – Weg abbringen kann.

 

Liebes ZdK, ihr helft Sündern nicht, indem ihr es ihnen leichter macht zu sündigen. Das ist billige Theologie und billige Seelsorge und entspricht nicht dem kirchlichen Auftrag.

 

Wenn ihr dann noch fordert, alle Gläubigen sollen in der Kirche eine Heimat finden, so frage ich mich, was denn dann noch von „Gläubigen“ übrig bleibt, wenn sie nicht mehr an das glauben, was die Kirche lehrt – oder was von der Kirche übrig bleibt, wenn sie zulässt und möglicherweise gar fördert, dass sich Sünde in ihren Reihen wie Krebs verbreitet.

 

Wenn es dann noch im Gutmenschen-Stil heißt „Es geht darum, Menschen mit Wertschätzung zu begegnen, sie in ihrer Beziehungskompetenz zu stärken und ihnen gezielt Unterstützung anbieten zu können.“, kommen mir fast Tränen der Wut und Trauer. „Wertschätzung“, bedeutet, Menschen so zu sehen, wie Gott sie sieht – nicht, wie sie selbst gerne sein möchten. Eine „Beziehungskompetenz“ jenseits der christlichen Ehe gibt es schlichtweg nicht.

 

Manch einer mag sich durch meine Worte angegriffen fühlen. Das müsst ihr euch aber schon gefallen lassen. Auch ich habe eine Meinung zum Thema Ehe, Familie und Sexualität aus katholischer Sicht.

 

Andere mögen mich in eine radikale, fundamentalistische Ecke drängen wollen. Diese Art von Propaganda war ja schon immer dann angezeigt, wenn man sich selbst nicht mit rationalen Argumenten auseinandersetzen wollte.

 

Ich bleibe bei dem, was ich glaube: Dem katholischen Glauben, wie er seit 2.000 Jahren gelehrt und im Katechismus der Katholischen Kirche sowie in der Bibel niedergeschrieben ist und wie er Gott sei Dank noch von vielen Katholikinnen und Katholiken gelebt wird.

 

München, 11.05.2015

 

Robert Gollwitzer

www.the-jason-foundation.org

Offener Brief an Caritas-Präsident Neher

Posted on May 4, 2015 at 5:45 AM

Lieber Caritas-Präsident Peter Neher ,

laut kna vom 26. April 2015 sehen Sie im kirchlichen Arbeitsrecht einen „Spielraum für Reformen“ und fordern „ eine Balance zwischen der nicht verhandelbaren Wertschätzung der katholischen Kirche für das Sakrament der Ehe und der Lebenswirklichkeit der Menschen, in der Ehen scheitern könnten“. Die Weiterentwicklung des kirchlichen Arbeitsrechts solle den „individuellen Lebensverläufen der Mitarbeiter“ gerecht werden. So könne die Kirche „glaubwürdig bleiben“. Weiter heiß es „Das kirchliche Profil einer Einrichtung zeige sich allerdings nicht nur in der Zugehörigkeit der Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter zur Kirche und an deren persönlicher Lebensführung. „Es zeigt sich in der Zuwendung zu den Menschen.“

 

Nun, das macht sie bestenfalls zu „guten Menschen“ (wobei die Frage ist, wer und auf Basis von was dann definiert wird, was „gut“ ist). Das macht sie aber nicht unbedingt zu Christen.

 

Werter Herr Neher, auch ich bin Caritas-Mitarbeiter – aus Überzeugung und mit vollem Herzen – und das schon über 22 Jahre lang (zuvor zwei weitere Jahre im kirchlichen Dienst). Auch ich bin Katholik. Ihren Ausführungen kann ich aber nicht zustimmen.

 

Ja, es gibt Dinge, bei denen die Kirche „mit der Zeit gehen“ muss (Stichwort: form follows function – die Form folgt der Funktion, etwa in der Liturgie). Dies darf aber niemals für wesentliche Grundwerte des christlichen Glaubens gelten, die über Jahrtausende in verschiedensten biblischen Büchern und letztlich von Jesus selbst als Standard bekräftigt worden sind etwa die lebenslange monogame Ehe zwischen Mann und Frau. Wenn die Kirche und ihre Organisationen wie die Caritas hier den „individuellen Lebensläufen“ mancher Mitarbeiter gerecht werden will und diese Standards über den Haufen wirft, indem sie sie verwässert, verliert sie nicht nur ihre Qualität, Licht und Salz der Welt zu sein, sie verstößt auch gegen ihre Lehr- und Hirtenpflicht und wird bald in der Bedeutungslosigkeit versinken. Wenn die Kirche wie die Welt wird, gibt es keinen Grund mehr für ihre Existenz.

 

Anstatt es Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeitern im kirchlichen Dienst leichter zu machen, in ihren persönlichen Lebenszeugnissen kein Beispiel mehr für Christi Liebe und Wahrheit zu sein, sollte die Kirche und kirchliche Dienstgeber eher die Liebe zum Glauben in all seinen Formen fördern – etwa durch Förderung von Wohn- und Lebensgemeinschaften kirchlicher Mitarbeiter, regelmäßigen Bibelkreisen und gemeinsamen Gottesdiensten, einer betrieblichen Seelsorge, die sich nicht nur auf „christliche Wellness“ reduziert, eine Zusammenarbeit mit Evangelikalen und anderen „Freikirchen“, Unterstützung (aber auch Ermahnung!) bei Problemen im privaten Bereich usw. Die Welt da draußen sollte allein durch unser Lebenszeugnis sehen, was die Kirche ausmacht und wofür wir stehen. Jesus Christus sollte durch unser Lebenszeugnis gegenwärtig und lebendig werden.

 

Ich schreibe Ihnen dies als jemand, der selbst jahrzehntelang in der schwulen Szene verbracht hat und vor elf Jahren Freiheit durch die christliche Organisation „Homosexuals Anonymous“ gefunden hat und seitdem getreu den Lehren der Kirche lebt – voller Freude und mit ungebrochener Begeisterung. Es gibt einen anderen und besseren Weg, als es den Menschen leichter zu machen, in ihrer Verirrung zu leben – nämlich, alles zu tun, um die verlorenen Schafe zurück zu holen.

 

München, den 04.05.2015

 

Robert Gollwitzer

www.the-jason-foundation.org