Dear Moderator Reyes-Chow:
I’m writing to you to thank you for encouraging the church to break its silence on an important issue facing our gay brothers and sisters and to ask you to encourage the church to do the same on another. Speaking before the Human Rights Campaign’s Clergy Call for Justice and Equality on May 24, 2011, in Washington, D. C., you addressed the issue of gay students being bullied in our public schools. You pointed out that you felt the church had been very silent on this issue to the detriment of gay students and that it was time for the church to speak out about it. You said, “Make no mistake, the deafening silence that screams from our church communities gives tacit approval to the obvious violence that is inflicted upon [gay] young people in our schools.” Most of us are aware of the harm bullying can do to someone and as Christians we certainly should be speaking up against the bullying of gays or anyone else for that matter. Thank you for your willingness to call the church to responsible action on this issue.
In your remarks, you also made the following statement. “People of faith, let us no longer be silent about the struggles facing [gay] people. Let us no longer be silent, the time to speak is now.” I’d like to point out that there is another “deafening silence that screams from our church communities” today that is also causing harm to our gay brothers and sisters on a daily basis. Keeping quiet about this issue also gives, in your words, “tacit approval” to things which cause serious harm to the gay community both in and outside the church.
The issue I’m speaking about is the fact that for years now, detailed scientific research along with numerous scholastic articles, books and study papers have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that (even if HIV/AIDS didn’t exist) normal homosexual sexual behavior is inherently dangerous. I use the word “inherent” because according to Merriam-Webster, “inherent” means “involved in the constitution or essential character of something.” Synonyms for “inherent” would be “built-in” or “intrinsic.” That is exactly what these dangers are. They are intrinsic to and a direct result of normal homosexual sexual relationships, including relationships that are committed and monogamous. Moreover, these dangers do not exist in normal heterosexual sexual relationships.
The secular gay community is fully aware of these dangers and openly speaks about them all the time. In fact they consider it their responsibility to inform members of the gay community about these dangers. They educate people about them on websites, in articles and in books. Stephen Goldstone, a highly respected Manhattan surgeon and himself an openly gay man, felt so strongly about people having accurate facts about gay sex that he wrote an entire book about it. It’s called “The Ins and Outs of Gay Sex” and in it he describes various dangers that are unique to and inherent in gay sex. Stephen Goldstone is a fellow of the AmericanCollege of Surgeons and on the faculty of Mt.Sinai in New York City.
On the other hand even though these dangers threaten our gay brothers and sisters every day, the church is virtually silent about them. The facts are that even many of our gay brothers and sisters have been unaware of these dangers until it’s too late and the harm is done. If the secular gay community recognizes and speaks about these dangers all the time, why is the church so silent? I’ve made a diligent search of the PC(USA) website and can find nothing at all that speaks to these dangers.
In the sermons I’ve heard and the numerous letters, articles and study papers I’ve read in support of gay ordination and same-sex relationships, I’ve never once heard these dangers addressed even in a general way. It’s as if they don’t even exist. Why is that? All one would have to do is say or write something like the following. “Let me also just say that for those who do engage in a normal homosexual sexual relations, you and your partner should be educated in and aware of the numerous unique health dangers which come with those relations.”
I voted against Amendment 10-A and did so for probably many of the same reasons others did. Yet I also voted against it because the fact that normal heterosexual sexual behavior is not dangerous and normal homosexual behavior is inherently dangerous, indicates to me that they are not equally designed blessings from God. To me, the fact that normal homosexual sex is inherently dangerous is ample evidence that God was not the designer of it therefore warns us against it.
I do however realize that many people would disagree with me on that conclusion. Yet, even though you may disagree with what the dangers indicate and no matter how you voted on Amendment 10-A, the dangers are still there. It seems logical therefore, that if you are in church leadership and you advocate for gay ordination and same-sex relationships, it would be your responsibility to be educated in and willing to lovingly speak about the dangers involved in such relationships. It seems the church should be about the work of lovingly educating people with regard to these dangers, instead of acting as if they don’t exist and thereby giving “tacit approval” to the harm these dangers inflict.
In fact, many Christians who advocate for gay ordination and same-sex relationships are themselves, for various reasons, unaware of the inherent dangers of normal homosexual sex. As a result, they can come to a place where they sincerely make the case that normal homosexual sex is in fact as safe as normal heterosexual sex when it’s not. That kind of misinformation can seriously mislead people and do them serious harm.
As I said before, I’m not for gay ordination or same-sex relationships, but I’m also not for our gay brothers and sisters having to face serious dangers as a result of the church remaining silent and uneducated regarding these dangers.
Mr. Moderator, I don’t know where you are in all of this. Perhaps you are totally educated regarding these dangers and have even written or spoken out about them. On the other hand perhaps you are someone who is basically unaware of them. If you are unaware of them would you please study up on the facts and then address them? Would you please encourage the leadership in Louisville to provide resources for pastors and elders that teach them to lovingly and accurately warn our gay brothers and sisters about these dangers just as the secular gay community is doing? Would you please call for an end in the church to the “deafening silence” with regard to the inherent dangers of normal homosexual sex? This is a struggle facing our gay brothers and sisters every day that we can and should do something about.
I thank you for your attention to this matter and look forward to your response.
Yours in Christ,
John McWilliams served as pastor of two different PC(USA) churches for 21 years. Since 1998 he has served in a validated ministry with a main focus of training indigenous pastors and Christian leaders in Russia and Latin America.