Saturday Symposium: Supporting Celibate LGBT People, Take 2

Happy Saturday to all of our readers. We hope everyone has had a joyous and stress-free week, at least as much as possible in this fast-paced world of ours.

This week, we have an important announcement: we discovered yesterday that our Contact Us and Ask Us! forms had some technical issues. The problem has been fixed now and the forms have been tested and re-tested multiple times, so everything should be fine if you want to reach us. But if you’ve tried to contact us within the past few weeks and haven’t received a response, it’s likely that we never got your email. We’re now caught up on all email, and we would like to apologize to any readers who have been affected by this issue. If your message to us got lost in cyberspace, feel free to send it along again and we will do our best to offer a timely response.

This week, we are not posting a new “Saturday Symposium” question. Instead, we are going to ask our question from last week once again. We’re hoping to write on that topic this coming week, and since we’ve had technical difficulties we would like to give another opportunity for more readers to respond to the question.

How this works: It’s very simple. We ask a multi-part question related to a topic we’ve blogged about during the past week or are considering blogging about in the near future, and you, our readers, share your responses in the comments section. Feel free to be open, reflective, and vulnerable…and to challenge us. But as always, be mindful of the comment policy that ends each of our posts. Usually, we respond fairly quickly to each comment, but in order to give you time to think, come back, add more later if you want, and discuss with other readers, we will wait until after Monday to respond to comments on Saturday Symposium questions.

This week’s Saturday Symposium question: This week, we are doing some research for two topics we would like to write about within the next couple of weeks. Readers, you come to us from a wide range of life experiences and Christian traditions. We’re interested in knowing your thoughts on: 1) How can people holding a traditional sexual ethic be more supportive of celibate LGBT Christians? 2) How can people holding a modern, liberal sexual ethic be more supportive of celibate LGBT Christians?

We look forward to reading your responses. If you’re concerned about having your comment publicly associated with your name, please consider using the Contact Us page to submit your comment. We can post it under a pseudonym (i.e. John says, “your comment”) or summarize your comment in our own words (i.e. One person observed…). Participating in this kind of public dialogue can be risky, and we want to do what we can to protect you even if that means we preserve your anonymity. Have a wonderful weekend!


Sarah and Lindsey

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2 thoughts on “Saturday Symposium: Supporting Celibate LGBT People, Take 2

  1. I guess for me the answers to both 1) and 2) boil down to both “ask (and listen) rather than assume” and “engage rather than remain silent.”

    I want to know that I am respected and seen as an individual. I want to know that whomever I am interacting with, whether they hold a traditional or liberal sexual ethic, respects my authority in naming and understanding my own experiences, and tries to see me as me, rather than as a symbol or symptom of “culture wars” or ideologies. Ideally, I want to know that even if aspects of my life or my being or my self-identification make someone uncomfortable, they are willing to experience that discomfort rather than blindly try to eliminate it by pushing me away or telling me who or how I should be.

    Practically, I think this means letting go of our idolatry of marriage – instead, recognizing and celebrating that some people are not called to marriage, but may be called to celibate vocations, both formal and ‘informal.’ On the other side, this also means letting go of our idolatry of the modern idea that healthy and whole = (safely) sexually active. The assumption that the freedom to express one’s sexuality only means freedom to engage in sexual activity is incorrect. As you write about here week after week, human sexuality is far more than sexual activity. We have the responsibility to choose to express our sexuality in ways that are congruent with our beliefs; celibacy may be one of these ways.

    • Thanks for this thoughtful comment, Suzanne. Sorry we didn’t respond to this earlier. We tried to incorporate some of this into our posts from last week and are very grateful that you stopped by to comment.

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