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Craig Perry

February 2001

Hi to all out there. This is my first time writing for a long time, for reasons I will explain shortly. My name is Craig and I'm 19 and I'm a 2nd year student at the University of British Columbia here in beautiful Vancouver, Canada.

Anyway, the reason I haven't written in a long time is that I got sort of scared. If you must, you can check back and see what I wrote before (June and July 1999). I can't say that I regret writing what I wrote because it does acurately show the way I thought at that time. Thank God time does not stand still. Anyway, I am sorry if any of you read that before and were offended. I no longer accept what I wrote as my opinion towards gay people. I am gay. And it disgusts me to look back and see how narrow minded I was. For a brief summary if you don't know what I'm talking about, I believed that being gay was strongly against the beliefs of my religion (being of mainstream protestant Christian beliefs) and that God considers a homosexual lifestyle to be sinful and therefore wrong. I am still a Christian, however, I no longer would make such a harsh statement towards my fellow homosexual brothers and sisters. Again, I am sorry for this.

My purpose in writing now is not only to appologise for my rash decision to write what I did. It is to continue to approach the concept of religion in an tolerant and objective fashion. Religion is an issue that many homosexuals face. Whether it be that they were brought up with a certain religious belief and they are questioning its validity. Or if they do have their own religious belief and are seeking to integrate it into being a homosexual as well. There are of course an infinite number of other viewpoints than these. I don't intend to put any number of people into a stereotype or generalization.

I of course have been faced with both of the above issues. Questioning the beliefs after growing up with them, and after accepting them for myself, seeking how to live by them and deal with the fact that I am gay as well. Homosexuality has traditionally not been accepted by the Christian religion. It continues to be unaccepted by most Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox believers. (All of these primary divisions of Christianity are Christian. Many people I have talked to think that only one is Christian and the other being refered to as "Catholic" or something like that. Anyone who believes that the person of Jesus of Nazareth was in fact the "Son of God" and died for the salvation of mankind is a Christian.) The primary issue for Christians is several passages in both the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) and the New Testament that speak out against homosexual relationships. I don't know how familar any of you are with these passages. If you are interested, e-mail me and I can go through them and show you exactly what they say. For the purpose of this column I will not do that here.

The issue with Christianity is of course not simply the texts, but a long history of prejudice or even hatred towards people who are homosexual. In recent years, of course, some of the walls are starting to come down, and certain denominations and sects of Christianity have accepted homosexuality as a valid lifestyle that does not interfere with upholding "Christian" beliefs. The most prominant of these is the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches. (www.ufmcc.com) However, many more denominations have outreaches and churches that are friendly towards homosexuals. The opposite belief could be considered that of the Exodus organizations, of whom believe that salvation from sins includes homosexuality and that God can provide deliverance from homosexuality through the efforts of Exodus organizations and God's supernatural powers. I do not wish to ally with either of these sides. I simply wished to explain them for any of you who are interested.

I would like to take up some of these issues in the coming months, however I would first like to know which issues regarding religion matter to you, the readers. No sense in me writing about topics which you do not consider valid to discuss. So please give me feedback as to what matters to you the most about this issue of Christianity, or religion in general, and homosexuality. I will gladly answer any questions you have and give my views on any topic. However, I accept that my views are not the absolute truth. I also challenge anyone out there seeking after God or spirituality to do so with an objective, yet open, mind.

"Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks revieves, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." -Jesus

Craig Perry
cslp@hotmail.com
ICQ: 5796974


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