Featured, Theory & Essay

On Praying Away The Gay

If you haven’t yet seen the video of a “formerly” gay man renouncing homosexuality and declaring that he likes wimenwimenwimenwimen during a church service, take a moment after you’re done reading this to thank me for introducing this to your life. It is, without a doubt, the most ridiculous thing I’ve seen this year.

Part of the clip’s ridiculousness is due to the star of the clip. The way he’s dressed and the way he speaks and acts makes it seem like someone created a fourth wall wormhole and transported a character from a Key & Peele sketch into a real Black church. At one point, he literally starts growling. But, it’s also ridiculous because of what this man claims happened to him. Give or take a percentage point or two, exactly 00.00% of the people watching this believe he has effectively prayed away the gay. One, because…come on, man. Just stop it. And also because no one — well, no one reading this (including the person writing this) — seems to believe its possible for anyone. Even if that guy wasn’t as bizarre and effeminate as he was, there still would have been a tremendous amount of skepticism about his claim. My reaction would be the same, regardless of who it was: “I don’t believe you. You need more people.”

But — and this is largely addressed to the Christians out there — why wouldn’t it be possible? If we believe that prayer helped an aunt battle cancer or helped our family grow closer or helped us get a new job or provided any other spiritual assist in our physical world, why wouldn’t prayer be able to change someone’s sexual orientation? If God can do everything else, why wouldn’t He do that? Especially if this man was obviously tormented enough by being gay that he wished to pray it away.

I understand why those who consider themselves to be Christian and progressive — basically, the type of Christian who reads VSB — would be loath to entertain this possibility. Implicit in the idea of “praying away the gay” is that gayness is an affliction that needs to be remedied. In this sense, being gay is no different than having cancer or being a Black republican. Obviously, this is a dangerously wrong implication; one no progressive person believes and no intelligent person would bother defending. Homosexuality isn’t a bad thing or a good thing. It’s just a thing — another one of the hundreds of characteristics a person can be born with. This is an inarguable fact not even worth debating.

That said, if you claim to be Christian, you should be aware of how crucial prayer is to Christianity. Basically, if you do not pray and do not believe in the power of prayer (and that you’re praying to an omnipotent God), you’re not really a true Christian. If this is true, why is it so difficult to believe that what he said happened to him is within the realm of possibility?

I’m addressing you all today with this topic, but this isn’t just another thought exercise with no investment in the subject. In the last 15 months I’ve been baptized, joined a church, watched my mother die from cancer, and got married. Each act has brought forth a new series of questions and feelings about God, the Church, and prayer. I wouldn’t call this spiritual journey an evolution (yet) as much as an experience. While I won’t even attempt to understand why God does the things He does, I remain curious about the constraints within Christianity and prayer we build and put on ourselves.

The belief that some things are “acceptable” and “practical” prayer subjects while others are not is one of them.

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • Neptunes presents The Clones

    Religion got more complicated as i grew up. I have seen people next to me die.i have seen people get killed in the name of religion. I have asked myself why is there so much suffering in the world if God can stop it all in the blink of an eye.Like 50 said every night i talk to God but he says nothing back. But i still pray because it remains the last bastion in my mind to turn to i suppose.

    • Jay

      i talk to God but he says nothing back. But i still pray because it remains the last bastion in my mind to turn to i suppose.

      THIS

      I remember getting to that point and realizing that I partly prayed because I REALLY REALLY wanted to believe that something or someone was there and with me all of the time… even though ALL signs pointed to the fact there was not. This was a milestone on my road to becoming an athiest/agnostic.

    • I am no theologian and I have many questions myself but, if there was no
      suffering in the world, why would we need God or any other deity?

  • Meridian

    *logs out of twitter* Oh, you wanna have a SERIOUS conversation about this.

  • *stands in the back of the lecture hall and waits for the comments to come in*

  • Still gathering my thoughts about that video and Champ’s query but why did he equate homosexuality with carrying a purse and wearing make up? Is this staged?

    #looksupatSway

  • Christians obsession with homosexuality will never not confuse me. Imagine if they were as obsessed about poverty or inequality.

    • Jay

      There’s nothing confusing about it at all. Being Christian and progressive on homosexuality is the height of hypocrisy. The Bible CLEARLY states that God hates… HATES homosexuality and it comes complete with stories that illustrate it.

      Edit: Just to be clear I am not a Christian. I don’t believe that homosexuality is an abomination but I’m saying that if you’re a Christian and you take that book at face value then you either feel the same way about homosexuality or you’re picking and choosing which parts of the Bible you want to believe.

      Also, inequality, poverty, and slavery are addressed in the Bible but ironically neither God nor Jesus takes much exception to them. Hmmm… convenient.

      • the bible clearly states a lot of things but Christians aren’t nearly as pressed to rebuke it as homosexuality….i’m far from an expert, but what about wearing jewelry and having tattoos and masturbating and working on the Sabbath and not gossiping and not eating animals that dont have both fins and scales and committing adultery and punishing atheists by death?

        I will never understand that of alllllll the things that the bible states as being wrong (and goodness, a lot of it is either archaic or absurd–marry your rapist?) Christians have hopped on homosexuality as the ONE that just cannot be tolerated….VERY confusing indeed.

        • Wild Cougar

          You have it backwards. Christians actually have not hopped on homosexuality as the one thing that cannot be tolerated, our progressive society has suddenly hopped on Christianity and their beliefs about homosexuality as the one thing that cannot be tolerated.

          • whenever Ive been approached about the “wrongness” of homosexuality, it has been by a devout christian. When I read about rights not being equal, protests being held, its usually by–you guess it, the christian church. They might not be the only ones against it, but damb if they arent the ringleaders at the moment.

            • Wild Cougar

              It sounds like you’re saying because the thing you’re focused on is considered a sin by Christians, that’s the only thing THEY are focused on. Regarding the protests, the only ones I have ever seen have been by this weirdo cult that calls itself Christian. People seem to get stuck on this one church’s actions and want to generalize it to the entire religion and everyone in it. I don’t get that.

        • Epsilonicus

          For me the issue is that the Bible can never be wrong. About anything. At all. And that makes me concerned.

          My issue is not only with Christianity but other forms of religious fundamentalism is the idea it is either their way or no way. There cannot be debate about theology. It must be lockstep follow or nothing at all. When in reality, there is a lot to debate about dogma.

          • Rachmo

            sooooooooooooo manyyyyyyyyyyy upvooooooooootes

          • Wild Cougar

            So you have a problem with the concept of an absolute truth.

            • No, I have a problem with someone ELSE’S religion/belief/faith having anything to do with MY decisions in life.

              • Wild Cougar

                It doesn’t have anything to do with your decisions, tho. You’re living your life how you want, right?

                • No ma’am. I am not. The Christian extremists/Religious Right/Whatever name they’re being called this wk have invested a fuckton of money and resources in ensuring that marriage equality doesnt happen. I dont agree with people criticizing Christians or Conservatives just as much as I dont agree with people criticizing consenting homosexual adults. But to live in a society where someone ELSE’S Christian/Conservative views can directly impact my ability to marry etc….yeah, I have a huge problem with that. Believe what you want to believe in and let me do the same.

                  I’ve said it a million times already, it hurts no one and is no one’s business. Being bent outta shape about my homosexuality because it is against YOUR beliefs is like being mad at me for eating a donut because YOURE on a diet. Live and let live.

                  • Epsilonicus

                    *shakes tambourine*

                  • Well, marriage equality is also a belief too. A radical one at that.

                    The fact is despite the presence of Christianity or any of the Abrahamic religions for most of human history, marriage has been defined as between a man and a woman in differing cultures. Redefining it so that homosexual adults can get married, or for the sake of progress, is something that people have a right to challenge, especially since it challenges their core beliefs as well.

                    When the battleground is beliefs, and not fact and reason, the result is always going to be coercion to some degree; whether it comes from the law or of a physical, more violent nature, is a matter of cooler heads prevailing.

                    • “The fact is despite the presence of Christianity or any of the Abrahamic religions for most of human history, marriage has been defined as between a man and a woman in differing cultures. ”

                      Fact? Nope. Evidence exists that same-sex marriages were tolerated in parts of Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt. None of the recorded laws of Mesopotamia, including the Code of Hammurabi, contain restrictions against same-sex unions. Artifacts from Egypt, for example, show that same-sex relationships not only existed, but the discovery of a pharaonic tomb for such a couple shows their union was recognized by the kingdom. Plato’s Symposium, describes instances of homosexual attraction and same-sex relationships in ancient Greece without condemnation. Some point to examples of same-sex interaction in Greek artwork as further evidence of its equal status within the society. Roman social customs are relatively well known, and same-sex unions existed as high in society as among Roman emperors. Roman statesman Cicero also documented legal rights of an individual within a same-sex marriage.

                      Negative attitude toward same-sex unions and non-procreative sexuality increased with the rise of—you guessed it, Christianity. Ultimately, the influence of a Christian focus on procreation as central to marriage became the platform for condemning homosexuality.

                    • cancel

                    • You’re conflating two arguments. One is about relationships and attitudes, the other is about marriage. It is true that there have been homo$exual relationships in many of the major civilizations, there’s never been a period in time where there weren’t gay people, or homo$exuality did not take place. But never in history were the unions of same $ex couples equal to that of married couples. There’s no tribe, no society, no religion that has ever advocated such unions as equal to that between people of the differing $ex, for obvious reasons having to do with survival and short lifespans to say the least.

                      That being said, I agree with you that Christianity does have a negative view of homo$exuality: the stories of Sodom and Gomorrah, as well as many of the works of Paul are very clear in labeling acts of hom$exuality as an abomination, and in many parts of the world it is religion that has been the driving force behind a lot of hatred that homo$exuals have received over the last couple of decades; however, it still doesn’t make up for the fact that considering the context, redefining marriage is still a very radical idea, and is going to require an exercise of power either through the law or physical force to come into existence.

                  • Epsilonicus

                    Donuts are yummy though

                  • Wild Cougar

                    But marriage equality is happening aint it? There seems to be a fuckton of money and resources in ensuring that it does.

          • Jay

            But that argument is just like the homsexuality argument. The Bible avers that it is THE word of God and that he, through his omnipotence, has protected and guarded it throughout the years. If you believe in the Bible then you must believe this.

            • Epsilonicus

              The issue is that the description of the Bible you present is not accurate. The Bible is a collect of books from TONS of sources. It has 2 creation stories in Genesis alone. the first 5 books come from 3 different sources. The Council of Nicaea decided the New Testament for political reasons. The trinity doctrine was originally a minority belief but adding it fit the church political situation at the time bc the Trinity believers were willing to be more violent and virulent than the Arianists.

              Also, there should be heterodoxy within religion. There actually was a lot of it in early Christianity and yet that changed.

              • Jay

                Exactly my point. It’s not my description of the Bible, the description of the Bible that I posited is the idea that most surface level Christians have of the Bible.

                You just explained, in part, how the Bible was manipulated for political purposes… How could God allow this to happen?? The Bible says that he protects his word.

                • Wild Cougar

                  How you know that wasn’t His plan?

                • pls

                  Cuz God didn’t have anything to do with the bible. Who are the real authors of the bible? It for sure isn’t Matthew, Mark, John, or Paul!

              • GemmieBoo

                lets also not forget that many (most?) of the stories in the Old Testament are not “original” but based on much much much older stories – stories about the gods of the people who enslaved the Hebrews.

                its quite fascinating really. i loved studying the history of the Old Testament and how its construction reflected the needs of the people at that time.

              • That’s kind of irrelevant to the point though.

                The bible is based off a belief that it is the word of God, keyword is “belief”, there’s no need for evidence, outside of the person’s own experience.

                As for the Council of Nicaea, one of the reasons why it came about was the theological issue of defining God: is God a spirit, an immortal man, or a god. The lesson that Christianity had taught the Roman Empire was that monotheism bonded more people together, gave them more strength, and was more equipped in bonding the people under an empire than paganism ever could be. This why even today Catholics fight heavily for and still honor Orthodoxy.

                That same lesson is implicit in tribalism, nationalism, racism etc. The thing is when people abandon logic and evidence based off what can be sensed in reality, the rules of logic apply even in beliefs; people have to know there are limitations or taboos to what exists, what can exist as well as what is acceptable, lest they fall into the initial mayhem that was the protestant reformation.

                • Epsilonicus

                  That is a fundamentalist belief. Not every mainline Protestant denomination believes that.

                  • Yes, but they didn’t start off this way. What we have as mainline protestantism today is due largely to a decline in faith and belief as the governing factor in how we choose to run our societies, due to the centuries of war that developed at the onset of the Protestant Reformation. You go back and read the history of the Lutherans, Baptists, Calvinists, Anabaptists (Episcopalians/ Anglicans), and man did they start off being hardcore.

            • The issue at hand is both sides are trying to use the government as a way of establishing a belief on everyone else, which is obviously going to lead to a battleground being created. It’s one thing if the fight was just civil-unions having the “privileges” that married couples have, which to me is a separate issue all together.

              Hatred isn’t a problem, until it’s mixed with coercion and then justified by the government. If we’re a country that allows people to be religious, that means we have to allow them to subscribe to whatever beliefs they want, even if it advocates the hatred of other people; however, there’s no reason to protect hatred under the law, there never has been and there never will.

          • Agreed. Im not interested in debating someone’s beliefs, but I do think I am allowed to question my own and the intentions of someone using THEIR faith against me

        • LMNOP

          Also, one of the anti-gay people stories you hear a lot about is Sodom and Gomorrah. In that story, two people come to an inn and say “let us have one of the men staying here to have our way with” and Lot, the innkeeper says “no, that would be wrong” which fair enough, rape is wrong regardless of the genders involved, but then this mother fucker (who is the “hero” of this story) says “take my young virgin daughter instead.”

          How do you read a story like that and come to any kind of conclusion that is not “wow, good thing we don’t live in biblical times any more.”

          • Ma’am this is largely the reason I stopped reading the bible. I just couldnt reconcile feeling deeply about some things and being completely repulsed by others. Its not for me and thats ok.

            • LMNOP

              It is so useful in conversations like this though.

          • GemmieBoo

            yeah, this story is beyond disturbing. but most stories in the old testament are.

            and the general moral of the story: homosexuality = bad. rape of women = completely acceptable, especially if it prevents homosexual acts. smh

          • pls

            i wrote upthread about an alternate interpretation of that story.

        • h.h.h.

          i’m far from an expert, but what about wearing jewelry and having tattoos and masturbating and working on the Sabbath and not gossiping and not eating animals that dont have both fins and scales and committing adultery and punishing atheists by death?

          i know you’re probably done with the topic, but i always thought these was moreso the laws that the Jewish people were to follow…i could be wrong on this tho

          • LMNOP

            So is a lot of the homophobic stuff.

          • This is what I have encountered from the bible, so if we’re discussing the book and how it CLEARLY says homosexuality is wrong, my point is yeah, it says a lot is wrong so why harp on this?

            • LMNOP

              One of my favorites is the Bible’s solution to mildew. It involves burning most of your worldly possessions if you become contaminated by it. Nowadays we have bleach, so that’s kind of overkill.

        • pls

          you know what?

          Christians have become the scapegoat for the ignorance behind intolerance of homosexuality. Considering that this agenda is pushed by mainly older conservative white men, I suspect those that push it the hardest are in fact homo themselves. Kind of how j. edgar hoover was obsessed with blacks and gays because he was in fact closeted and part black himself.

          I don’t consider myself Christian anymore but even still, they get a bad rap when plenty of other people hhhhhate the gays and in way more violent ways.

          but i will always side eye christians for supporting donnie mcclurkin’s “used-to-be-gay” self. what would the music be like at church without the gays?!

      • No shots but I don’t believe anyone can be progressive and an ardent supporter of the Bible. It is the furthest thing from any sort of present day progressivedefinition.

        • Jay

          Exactly what I mean by “the height of hypocrisy”

        • LMNOP

          There is a lot of backwards stuff in the Bible to be sure, but Jesus’ main message (which makes up a pretty short, but important, part of the Bible) is to be kind, loving, generous and treat all people with respect and dignity. If he came around 21st century America talking like that, progressive is the nicest thing he’d be called.

          • Jesus is cool but most Christians don’t read Jesus as that and the Bible encompasses far more than Jesus which is why I said supporters of the Bible versus accept Jesus as their lord and savior.

          • Not true.

            As a follower of the Almighty, I know that people want more than to be treated with respect and dignity.

            The Devil himself has told people to DEMAND acceptance for all manner of depravity and degenerate acts.

          • HR Paperstacks

            If Jesus came along in the 21st century he’d be labeled a domestic terrorist and hunted.

        • GemmieBoo

          i find this an interesting statement. mainly because i consider myself both progressive thinking and a Christian (and a scientist). but thankfully who i am and what i believe doesnt hinge on other people’s presumptions of me.

          in fact, ppl who assume things about me and my faith tends to make me feel even stronger in my beliefs.

          • Neptunes presents The Clones

            SCIENCE IS NOT REAL. it’s witchcraft lmao

            • GemmieBoo

              lmbo!

      • GemmieBoo

        ” if you’re a Christian and you take that book at face value then you either feel the same way about homosexuality or you’re picking and choosing which parts of the Bible you want to believe”

        its impossible NOT to pick and choose what parts of the bible to follow/practice. its literally impossible – as many things contradict themselves.

        as with all things in life, most of us pick and choose what rules we play by and what we believe. and those beliefs often evolve as we live longer and experience different things. thats just how life works.

        • The evolution aspect of beliefs are key.

          • Epsilonicus

            Its why I like the Dalai Lama. He said simply if that science proved something wrong in his faith, the belief should change. He doesn’t see logic et al destroying faith and believes that beliefs should evolve as we learn more about the world around us.

        • Jay

          It’s not impossible. First of all there is old covenant and new covenant, that makes sense. The old covenant was replaced with the new covenant with the death and resurrection of Christ so many of the Old Testament regulations no longer apply. This is not what I’m referring to.

          • Epsilonicus

            Which is interesting because the Jews/Christians of early time believed something very different than that interpretation.

            • Jay

              Back when I was a Christian I remember coming to a realization about this very thing… If you’re a Christian and you believe that God and his word is real then you can’t put everyday life and circumstances before what he has required of you. If you must compromise and a supreme beings directives must be compromised then you’re doing something wrong… Maybe you’re supposed to be a Mormon or any other group that follows and believes in the Bible literally word for word. Maybe modernization in itself is a sin.

              • Epsilonicus

                The funny thing is that even the fundamentalist don’t follow it word for word. They just make everyone else believe they do.

                • Meridian

                  Word. I think they just want the absolute standard upheld even though they themselves don’t live according to it.

            • They were also reading a radically different Bible.

              • Epsilonicus

                Oh I know. I definitely know.

                Which throws bunk on the whole “unchanging” aspect of the Bible.

          • GemmieBoo

            also not what im referring to.

      • NomadaNare

        Where does it say that? I’m no Christian nor am I trying to get you with a “gotcha”, but whenever I hear references to homosexuality being a sin, it’s always in Leviticus which I always took as more historical record of how the ancient Hebrews lived in and around Israel after deliverance from all the BS with the desert and Egypt. That being said, God clearly gets pissed with these people on multiple occasions and if we are to take the bible as truth sends his son to get killed on the cross in making everyone his chosen people. So, why do the laws written by the ancient Hebrews in Leviticus given any weight with respect to this argument, especially given that there are many other things Leviticus says is punishable by death and/or makes ones unclean?

        • h.h.h.

          it’s mainly mentioned as one of the 300?600? Jewish codes that Moses gave to the Isrealites. homochexuality is mentioned by Paul in a few letters in the NT, but Jesus himself never stated anything on the subject (there are 4 different accounts of what he says, and if it was important, one of the Gospels would have mentioned it) and secondly, considering that Paul wasn’t married (well, not sure if he was) he saw all relationships as taking away the focus from preaching/spreading the Gospel.

          that being said, i see it no different from chexing outside of marriage. but considering i have sinned as well, i don’t have the time or the moral authority to ‘judge’ another for their sin.

          • Epsilonicus

            Paul wasn’t married.

          • NomadaNare

            “it’s mainly mentioned as one of the 300?600? Jewish codes that Moses gave to the Isrealites.”

            This happened in Leviticus, right?

          • Epsilonicus

            613 rules of Leviticus

        • Jay

          It’s described as an abomination in Leviticus. Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed personally by God because of homosexuality. I’m no Christian either and I have no problem with homosexuality but the two don’t go together.

          • Epsilonicus

            Sodom & Gomorrah were destroyed bc of their desire to rape their guests. That interpretation is a bit inaccurate. Just an FYI

            • Jay

              Tell me more. There are few instances in the Bible where such a big deal is made out of rape. And it was also men attempting to rape male angels no?

              • Epsilonicus

                The story was about hospitality. That cultured held the treatment of visitors to be paramount. To attempt to rape visitors was such a terrible offence. throw in that they were already considered grave sinners, trying to rape visitors was the last straw.

                The interpretation of the Hebrew phrase for “to know” was the wrong one. People think it means rape but it means interrogate.

                • LEE007

                  ” to know” used in the scripture is always a euphemism for intercourse.

                  • Epsilonicus

                    Not accurate. Sometimes it was used to insinuate building relationship, meaning platonic. There are several Hebrew words/phrases that can translate.

                    Our confusion comes bc the King James version oftetimes translated them all as “to know” instead of their more context specific definition”

                    • LEE007

                      Give evidence of your argument with some scripture please.

              • Epsilonicus

                Think about how the folks in GoT reacted when the Red Wedding happened. That is comparable to how Biblical cultures viewed hospitality

                • NomadaNare

                  Not just biblical cultures. If I flew to Iran right now, I would spend six hours speaking with any business person over a sumptuous meal they provided before we talked one minute of business. Even today, hospitality is of utmost importance in those regions.

          • NomadaNare

            Forgot about Sodom and Gomorrah however, I thought Sodom and Gomorrah was a story about hospitality, because the entire town acted like azzes to a couple of Angels. I mean at the end of the day Abraham tries to throw out his unwed daughters who are unmarried virgins.

            • Jay

              He offered his daugters because the men thought that the angels were beautiful and wanted to rape them.

            • LMNOP

              Offering his virgin daughters to be raped seems pretty awful to me too.

            • PunchDrunkLove

              God won’t send down fire and brimstone cause a town isn’t hospitable. God sent fire and brimstone cause he’d had enough. It said their sins reached Heaven. Didn’t you read where Abraham was pleading to save them if there were but five righteous to be found? God couldn’t find even five.

              • Ms. Bridget

                Check out Ezekiel 16:49-50…

                • PunchDrunkLove

                  I said for being inhospitable. I was helping a blogger understand when God brings it there’s a just cause

        • LEE007

          Read Romans 1 in the bible it speaks on homosexuality. Christ came to give mercy so that things that are punishable by death we can be saved from. Law was given not only to help but to identify what sin is/was. In the end everyone will meet his maker and give an account for all the things you have done in your life.

      • Chris Dorner

        Amen

      • pls

        but actually……

        i saw a special about soddom and gomorrah (sp?) where they questioned whether or not the bible was even referring to sodomy as the sin that was looked down upon. basically, the interpretation these bible experts gave was that the people were not hospitable and thus the cities were destroyed. part of their inhospitable actions was them demanding to see the men to rape them.

    • Wild Cougar

      I think what’s confusing is people who don’t go to church thinking that the church is only obsessed with homosexuality and that they don’t address other sins. If the Black Christian church is obsessed with anything it’s heterosexual relations outside marriage. This idea that they are obsessed with homosexuality sounds to me like a lot of projection.

      • LEE007

        You are correct in your observation. I don’t think the black church is predisposed to dealing with homosexuality as much as the mainstream media is.

  • miss t-lee

    I saw this yesterday. That bowtie? Have mercy.
    I’m not at all familiar with the COGIC church, having grown up and still a practicing Methodist I was confused by the whole spectacle. I say spectacle because I felt like all of this was done for show, and I don’t agree with that at all.
    I was concerned more about that young man when everything was over and done. I have gay friends and family members (including my sister), so I’m always concerned for their well being when folks are forever trying to condemn them for being as they are. Especially when they are also believers.This puts me in the liberal Christian category I guess, because I just don’t agree with how things go in the church sometimes, and I’m not afraid to voice it.

    • Wild Cougar

      You don’t agree with how a church holds it’s convention? I’m not sure that’s a sort of thing that’s up for opinions from outsiders.

      • miss t-lee

        I’m sure it’s not, but making a video for everyone to see means I can comment on that.
        Hey…Folks might not like how my church does things..everyone is entitled to their opinion.

      • Everything is up for opinions for others. People can think whatever the hell they want to think about every single thing that exists. Our purpose on earth is, largely, to think. We’d be in a better place if we did more of it (critically).

    • Meridian

      The clip of this was one of thee funniest things I’ve seen but the full video is hard to watch. It seemed so callous to me and I was low key worried about how ridiculed that could make someone feel. His church was happy he “wasn’t gay anymore”. Um. So they didn’t accept him before that? Were they angry with him before that? Praying the gay away isn’t possible but social disapproval can make a person lock it away. It makes me uneasy. My mom used to do outreach with gay men (outside of church) and she gave them spiritual guidance more than anything. I think that’s the best way to handle it but only that man can really say. I don’t imagine he wanted his church to celebrate a change he didn’t really experience as if he in and of himself was wrong.

      • Wild Cougar

        I think they probably accepted him and loved him before he was delivered or they wouldn’t have put him on the stage.

        • Meridian

          I don’t think I’ve seen an openly gay person in church when I think back. I know members who you’d be around and think they were, but they lived like straight men. People treated them okay I guess but you could kind of feel the digs. I think people would probably treat an openly gay man with disdain in the church but would still be relatively cordial with him.

          • Wild Cougar

            I agree on that. You also don’t have openly promiscuous people in church. They kinda hide it and if people know, they treat them kinda the same way they would treat someone they kinda sorta know is gay.

            • Meridian

              Church folks are human. They are inherently judgmental as h*ll and using the Bible as a means to do so. That’s not really how it works. Being Christian means you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior and then you try to live within his mold as closely as you can. It’s not a Christian’s place to oversee someone’s journey in that. You’re supposed to give spiritual support, not dictate lifestyle or someone’s journey.

              • LMNOP

                Someone recently said to me “how can you stand going to church with all those judgmental people that are there?” And I was just thinking, not only are overly judgmental people an unavoidable part of life, but also I think they need Jesus the most, so maybe church is a good place for them.

                • Meridian

                  Which is both poignant and sad. They aren’t supposed to be in the church like that. They’re supposed to be out spreading the message of Christ and doing good works in God’s name.

              • Wild Cougar

                Church folks are human and judgmental. Indeed

    • Epsilonicus

      “I’m not at all familiar with the COGIC church, having grown up and still a practicing Methodist I was confused by the whole spectacle. I say spectacle because I felt like all of this was done for show, and I don’t agree with that at all.”

      I am a Quaker and feel the exact same way.

    • It looked mad showy. Never been to a COGIC church but I’ve seen similar actions in front of churches dealing with everything from money to unwed mothers. As an outsider to that environment that didn’t look sincere but again that’s not my scene.

      • Epsilonicus

        It creates a sense of social peer pressure to act and behave a certain way.

      • miss t-lee

        Yeah.
        Last church I went to that did something along these lines I got up and walked right out.
        Nope.

    • Charlisia Nwachukwu

      Since he is’t gay anymore… she should give me that bowtie! Its fierce and i think its the one worn by working girls in the 60’s …

      • miss t-lee

        Oh my…

  • Donovan X. Ramsey

    I don’t think God cures people of homosexulaity for the same reason I don’t believe he’s blessed ‘Merica above all other nations or that he’s responsible for your favorite Trap rapper winning that BET Hip Hop Award. It just doesn’t square with what I know of God — not what I’ve read but how I’ve seen God move. I’m reminded of two scriptures:

    “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” ~ 1 John 4:1

    “Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.” ~ Hebrews 5

  • TheOtherJerome

    Not a Christian. But you’d have just as much luck praying to be…. shorter for example…. as you would praying to not be gay. I know someone who had been embarrassed by their height. When they were younger they sent a prayer begging for a way to change it. When they got a bit older though, their prayer changed to accepting the things they cannot change. That prayer was answered. They received what they really wanted, social success and acceptance.

    Given that we were made in his image, praying to change something about that image likely won’t yield results. Praying that you learn to accept yourself and that you’ll be surrounded by people who accept and appreciate you however, often gets a response.

    Praying away the gay? It’s not that god can’t change it. It’s that a very common lesson we have here is learning to love and accept ourselves. God’s not going to spare you from one of the lessons he put you here to learn.

  • Brooklyn_Bruin

    *waits for comments about the White Man’s Religion*
    *followed by Jesus was Afrikan – emphasis on the K*

    • Hey…leave the Hoteps alone!

    • Jay

      I mean since you brought it up… why IS Jesus white?? Here come the arguments that it doesn’t matter what color he is or he is above race, but if it doesn’t matter then again I ask WHY. IS. HE. WHITE???

      I’ve been in a lot of churches and the depictions I’ve seen of Jesus aren’t too varied. Most of us have a similar image of Jesus when we think of him and it’s a white man, whether we’d like to admit it or not.

      • Neptunes presents The Clones

        Goes back to the people who deciphered the Bible. The debate about if africans should follow Islam or Christianity is a tortured one.

      • LMNOP

        Because we live in a racist society that touches pretty much all social institutions, including churches.

        The actual historical person of Jesus was, obviously and undeniably of Middle Eastern descent. The chances of him having blue eyes? Especially 2,000 years ago before people got around much…

        • Jay

          I wasn’t expecting an answer because it’s a rhetorical question… We all know the answer. But what does that tell us about Christianity and religion?? That it can be used for the purposes of those in power and yes, even the Bible, which is supposed to be protected by God can be tweaked and manipulated to serve the purposes of those in power… and it has. Yet we’re supposed to have “blind faith” in it… Not I sir, not I.

          • LMNOP

            Lol, right.
            I spend a lot of time around kids and have explained this whole “white jesus” thing quite a few times.

          • Meridian

            lol. Sir, we aren’t supposed to have blind faith in people or their interpretations. We’re supposed to accept Christ and have faith in God.

            • Neptunes presents The Clones

              Yeah,the middle eastern religions are big on blind faith

            • Jay

              Who said that we were to have blind faith in people or their interpretations??

              Anyway, if your knowledge of God/Christ comes from a book that has been interpreted, once again by people, fallible human beings, then your idea of God/Christ is an interpretation in itself. Unfortunately most people don’t think that far into it though.

              • LEE007

                There are always going to be a 1001 reasons not to follow Christ man. That is why he gave the parable of the sower in Matthew 13. There are people who saw Christ miracles and still did not believe so faith is not easy for many.

                • Jay

                  I hate the idea, at least when it pertains to me, that people look for a reason to reject Christ. I grew up deep deep in faith and in the church. I understand the comfort that it provides. Coming to the personal conclusion that everything that you believed is false is horrifying and extremely tough and I tried and hoped and prayed for years that I was wrong. The feeling of community and shared belief in something can be so warm and comforting that I can’t think of words to describe it. Not to mention the “knowledge” that there is an all loving all powerful being who is always on your side. It was tough to give that up but… I couldn’t pretend anymore.

                  • Meridian

                    *gives you a big bear hug*

                    • Jay

                      **hugs back** Very Christ-like of you ma’am.

                    • Meridian

                      I didn’t know what else to do lol. I can imagine how frustrating that would’ve been as a youth and how hard it’d be as an adult. Warmth is always there.

                  • LEE007

                    I hear you Jay and I hope that in time you can see things through a different lens. We all have our personal issues and fights and it can be tough bro. I am still learning and trying to accept God on all levels but the thing that consistently helps me is to know that he is real and also right even when I can’t see it right then and there.

                    • Jay

                      That’s cool. Thing with me is I’m not trying to see things through the lens that we’ve been told is the correct one. I hope that we all can know the one absolute truth one day no matter what it is. That is really all I want.

              • Meridian

                You said this:

                “That it can be used for the purposes of those in power and yes, even the Bible, which is supposed to be protected by God can be tweaked and manipulated to serve the purposes of those in power… and it has. Yet we’re supposed to have “blind faith” in it…”

                It needed to be clarified that the interpretations aren’t what we’re supposed to have faith in. That way, once you have that clarity you can move away from trying to disprove the existence of God or get caught up in your confusion because you’re thinking too hard about things resulting from human error, fallacy, or manipulated text. That’s what stagnates faith a lot of times.

                • Jay

                  But it’s not me thinking too hard about them. They are the source of belief. Without the word there is no knowledge of the God that we believe in, therefore it stands to reason that if the source has been manipulated then maybe… just maybe there’s something rotten in Denmark.

                  And I was a Christian for most of my life… in high school I was the Lebron James of Bible quiz competitions in my state. I have read and studied and sought. The thing about me is that I REFUSE to let things that don’t make sense to me go. I sought answers, and sought, and sought, and sought. When it started to become clear to me that the most logical conclusion was the thing that I wanted to believe least, I rejected that thought. I rejected it for years and stuck to my faith. But logic trumped any emotion that I was supposed feel that would tell me that God was real, so I had a choice: either pretend to believe in God or follow my logic like I do with every other decision in my life that requires discernment.

                  • Meridian

                    There was a post on here a while back reviewing this Lauryn Hill concert. The author described his experience of it, people who were also there chimed in, and people who have been to other concerts weighed in. No one bothered to fact their experiences because it was irrelevant. You read their experiences and reached the conclusion that there was in fact a concert and that it was a pretty good concert.
                    Christianity is the same thing. At least, it’s supposed to be. You don’t weigh yourself down trying to make sense of the mistakes and inconsistencies that are there because of human error. You take all the stories and experiences and choose if you have faith or not.

                    Edit: Also, out of curiosity, what were the things you had questions about or had trouble with?

                    • Jay

                      See that’s the thing. I’m not just being obtuse but there is a HUGE difference between someone saying that they’d been to a concert yesterday and Christians professing to know precisely what happened in the Middle East 2000 years ago from first hand accounts that don’t even always match up in and of themselves. Not to mention those accounts being interpreted and translated and some sections of those accounts being removed.

                      “No one bothered to fact check their experiences because it was irrelevant.”

                      It was irrelevant because it was an effing Lauryn Hill concert… even if the author of the post was lying, which they could have been, who cares, it has no bearing on any of our lives. But when we talk about a belief system that we base our whole entire lives on… oh yeah, you better believe that there will be extensive fact checking. If you’re talking about Christianity which at least in part was useful in persecuting my ancestors then you better believe that I will be extremely careful before I spoon feed these so called facts to my son the same way that they were spoon fed to me.

                    • Meridian

                      Yeah, I kind of agree. I’ve always wanted to read the dead sea scrolls or any pure and original artifact. Even then though, you’d still have the ancient history to look back into. I think that’s important for historical reasons but I don’t attach that to faith. A children’s Bible was one of the first things I ever read. I believed in Jesus because I thought the love of it all was nice and because I thought the stories were so profoundly awesome. Innocence gave me my faith and innocence is what preserves it. I don’t mind. I do have a natural curiosity of the origins though.

                      “It was irrelevant because it was an effing Lauryn Hill concert…”

                      LOL. Real. I don’t know what it’s like to come to God as an intellectual person making decisions. That isn’t how it happened for me but I can empathize on it being a life altering choice. I’m growing out of it myself a little because I realize how my life is affected by such archaic principles. I believe in God, I’ll always speak honestly on my experiences with Christ and faith, but I consider myself Agnostic. I won’t raise my children religiously but I will share my own journey and allow them to reach their own conclusions.

                    • Jay

                      My childhood was similar. A children’s Bible was also one of the first things that I had ever read and I loved the stories as a kid. Like you, I started in faith and innocence but reached the point when as “an intellectual person making decisions” the decision was not to continue.

                  • Wild Cougar

                    It doesn’t bother you the circularity of your blind faith in your logic? Logic is just a system of rules, like a matrix. There is space between the lines whether you reject it or not.

                    • Jay

                      I agree with everything you just said. The difference is thist that I don’t pretend to know what that space consists of nor will I take someone else’s word for it… but I’ll let yall cook though.

                      Throughout history and as time progresses things that we thought of as mystical or divine have been and will continue to be explained by rational processes. Never ever ever ever have we had a rational process that we thought we understood be disproven and explained by a mystical, divine, or supernatural one.

                    • Wild Cougar

                      apples and oranges. Lets not fight. The back of your head is too pretty for me to be mad at you.

                    • Jay

                      I’ll never understand your obsession with the back of me head but come here…

                      http://www.sharegif.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/17-2-The-Perks-of-Being-a-Wallflower-quotes.gif

                    • Wild Cougar

                      :)

          • Wild Cougar

            Um. The bible doesn’t say he’s white.

            • Jay

              This, I know. Never said that it did.

          • IcePrincess

            Rite. Organized religion is propaganda to control the masses, period. Fall in line, do this, don’t do that, be this, don’t be that, or burn in heII. Yea, right. I’m not finna believe what another human being got to say about God anyway. How do you kno? You down here on earth just like me. So I cut out the middle man & go straight to the source. My relationship with God is a private, personal one. Him & I talk multiple times a day, every day. And that’s all I’ll ever need in this life.

          • IcePrincess

            Rite. Organized religion is propaganda to control the masses, period. Fall in line, do this, not that, be this, not that, or Else. Yea, right. I’m not finna go by what another human being has to say about the path to a God anyway. How do you kno? You’re down here on earth just like me, buddy. So I cut out the middle man & go straight to the source. My relationship with God is a personal one. Him & I talk multiple times a day, everyday. And that’s all I’ll ever need in this life.

        • Epsilonicus

          The most segregated place in America is the church

      • LEE007

        Jesus was a man of color and so were the Israelites. They may have had negro features like us or not. If someone believes in the biblical narrative of life and some basic science you would ask how the hell could blacks come out of white people? The thing is whites surely can come out of people of color as we have seen instances just over the last few years.

      • Meridian

        Because an accurate Jesus would would look like the people who were powerless or enslaved and that would give them too much power. Also, it would mean that men who thought highly of themselves would be aspiring to be like those who they thought very little of. White Jesus was a way to save face.

  • He already told y’all he hasn’t COMPLETELY “prayed away the gay” … peep that his initial request was “to get delivered MORE.” God ain’t through with him yet. And he is obviously aware of this. Lmao.

    • Neptunes presents The Clones

      Kinky thot ????

      • Ms. Bridget

        *crying* Why?!?!

      • thought. but sometimes thotful.

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