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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Sticky Situation: Church vs. Sexuality

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Author Topic: Sticky Situation: Church vs. Sexuality
Only In Dreams
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I'd really appreciate the slightest feedback on this topic.

There's a boy in my choir program (who I'll call Bob) who goes to a strict, and in my opinion, rather bizarre church. I think they're Christian, but I'm not sure what branch. Bob told me today that the preacher announced to the congregation about how a young man that attended the church had had premarital sex and convinced them to contact him and write him letters to "save" him.

Now, Bob is going through a period of time right now where he's a closet gay/bisexual. And another guy, who I'l call Joe, goes to his same church has told him that it's wrong, and he's going to hell for it. Today, Joe gave Bob a few days to repent or he's going to tell the preacher and have him tell the congregation. Bob's parents are very strict and religious and would most likely take him out of our school and punish him severely. A lot of people I know are furious and refusing to talk to Joe anymore. Joe has basically blackmailed Bob into being "saved" by fear of humiliation. I told Bob I'd talk to Joe, but he also says that if Bob gets mad at him or gets other people to, he'll be more likely to tell.

I want to know what you think of this. I feel this is a serious invasion of privacy and while I don't know if this is illegal, Bob had considered suing. I'm trying to give him advice on this, but I don't really know what to do. Any information or opinions would be appreciated. Thanks.

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"When you hate your job, you don't strike! You just go in every day and do it really half-assed. That's the American way!"

Bunch of savages in this town.


Posts: 268 | From: Somewhere | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
angelicmadrigal
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Well I think all would agree "Joe" has absolutely no right to say anything to anyone if "Bob" hasn't given him permition. In this case it sounds like "Bob" would be completely humiliated if his "secret" got out, because unfortunately not everyone is equally understanding about other people's sexual preferences.
I won't use this forum to get into any sort of theological discussions about hell and sexuality,but I personally really doubt your freind relaly believes he's going to hell. I think he's more worried about public humiliation, bt I can't say for sure.
I'm not a lawyer, but I think IF "Joe" does tell, "Bob" really ought to look into a "defemation of character" suit pr at least consult a lawer.

YOu should encourage "Bob" to seek professional consol on this, and just write "Joe" off as a manipulative bigot.


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Grizabella
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Unfortunately, I don't think the "Defamation of character" thing is going to work here, since Bob actually IS gay. I'm pretty sure that Defamation is only valid if the information that is spread is false. I might be wrong. I know that the singer Liberace successfully sued a tabloid for reporting that he was gay, and he WAS, but I don't know all of the facts in that case. He may have been claiming that he was not gay, and that the tabloid was lying.

BUT, it sounds like Bob has grounds for a harassment suit. What Joe is doing sounds like harassment, and it's the illegal type of harassment because it's based on sexual orientation. If Bob is a minor, though, I don't know if he can sue. He might have to wait until he's an adult. It sure doesn't sound like his parents are going to do anything to help him.


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morganlh85
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I think Bob should just tell this kid that he repented, and he's not a "terrible" homosexual anymore, and put an end to things. As long as he seems sincere, he should be fine. This is the type of situation where Bob definitely shouldn't come out while he's living at home...he should wait until he's off to college or moved away.

[This message has been edited by morganlh85 (edited 07-02-2002).]


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angelicmadrigal
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quote:
Originally posted by morganlh85:
I think Bob should just tell this kid that he repented, and he's not a "terrible" homosexual anymore, and put an end to things.
[This message has been edited by morganlh85 (edited 07-02-2002).]

Why are you encouraging this kid to lie? That's not a good way to deal with this at all, at least in my opinion. Besides, the possible pyschological ramification of having to hide his homosexuality could give him more trouble later.

Besides, he's finally come to terms with the conflict between his religion and his sexualit. Why should he HAVE to lie (which by the way is a sin, and isn't likely to make him feel very good about himself).

And yes, if this other guy "outs" him it will be humiliating, but it will pass. Everyone will find out eventually anyway, so I think it's better not to lie about it.


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-Jill
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angelicmadrigal-

While ST advocates honesty as the best policy in most cases, there are some occasions where telling the truth may put someone in danger. This seems to be one of them.

I known I've found it necessary to lie or mislead people about my orientation more than once simply to protect myself. Did it make me feel good? No, of course not. However, being homeless would have made me feel worse and definitely would not have been safe.

I have to say that while lying is never a good solution it is better than putting yourself in a harmful situation.


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angelicmadrigal
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quote:
Originally posted by ookuotoe:

While ST advocates honesty as the best policy in most cases, there are some occasions where telling the truth may put someone in danger. This seems to be one of them.

I didn't personally feel like this guy is in any real danger, at least not physically anyway. Sometimes people over react about how other people are going to handle their sexual orientation. take a good freind of mine named Chase. He was bi and didn't tell his parents for a while because he was afraid they'd "kick him out", but when he eventually did tell them, they were realy supportive about it. Sometimes people are more understanding then others think. It's not always the case, but everyone needs to take some risks in life.


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logic_grrl
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quote:
everyone needs to take some risks in life.

There's a big difference between someone choosing to take a risk and the case of this guy potentially being forced against his will into a situation where his privacy is invaded and he's likely to be severely punished by his parents, shunned by his church and removed from school.

quote:
He was bi and didn't tell his parents for a while because he was afraid they'd "kick him out", but when he eventually did tell them, they were realy supportive about it.

On the other hand, so many GLBT teens do get thrown out by their parents that in the UK there's an entire charity devoted to trying to provide housing for them.

The point is that it's up to each individual to assess the risks for them in being "out" in any given situation. Nobody should be forced to put themselves at risk.


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CupcakePrincess
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i think. He Should Beat joe to it and come out to His church On his Own.

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When You think your life Is Horrible, ask Me about Mine... It will change your Mind.

~*~*Jen*~*~


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Unnamed
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I don't think it's possible for Bob to come out (or be outed) and eventually have everything be all right. If the preacher at this church is making people write letters to save someone who had heterosexual premartial sex, they probably don't understand homosexuality.

BUT, it's difficult for Joe to prove that Bob is gay. Bob could deny everything, which is what I would probably do in this situation.

If Bob comes out to his parents or his church, they will probably punish him, shun him, or force him to join an ex-gay program. Any of these is worse than lying about his sexual orientation, as long as he doesn't lie about it to himself.


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morganlh85
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quote:
Originally posted by angelicmadrigal:
Why are you encouraging this kid to lie? That's not a good way to deal with this at all, at least in my opinion. Besides, the possible pyschological ramification of having to hide his homosexuality could give him more trouble later.

Besides, he's finally come to terms with the conflict between his religion and his sexualit. Why should he HAVE to lie (which by the way is a sin, and isn't likely to make him feel very good about himself).

And yes, if this other guy "outs" him it will be humiliating, but it will pass. Everyone will find out eventually anyway, so I think it's better not to lie about it.


I wasn't saying to hide his gayness. I'm saying just to tell that particular person that he isn't gay anymore to avoid the ramifications of all this blackmail.


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