Last night, Washington Post published an article on celibate gay Christians that includes the two of us. As a result, we’ve seen a number of new readers coming our way. Welcome! If you’re just getting started with our blog, you might want to check out the following posts first:
- Why Celibacy?
- Defining Celibacy
- Defining Celibacy, Revisited
- Musings on the Meaning of Celibacy
- 10 Misconceptions about Celibate Partnerships
We would also like to clarify that in the article itself, there is an unfortunate typo in Sarah’s quote. We felt the need to address this because a number of comments on the article, on Facebook, and in other places have misinterpreted the comment due to the typo. Sarah’s correct quote is as follows (emphasis ours):
“It’s not that we don’t have moral convictions of our own, but we are tired of that conversation. We really wish people could look past the black and white thinking,” Sarah said. “But since same-sex relationships are being talked about more openly, there’s more space to talk about celibacy — this is the ideal time to be having this conversation.”
Because the original article uses the word “thing” where “thinking” should be, we’ve seen it suggested that 1) we are an interracial couple, or 2) Sarah was being dismissive of the existence of racial discrimination in the United States and the Michael Brown and Eric Garner protests, or 3) that our “true agenda” is to convince churches that issues of sexual morality should be approached with a whatever-floats-your-boat attitude.
To address each of these individually:
1) We are not an interracial couple. Both of us are white.
2) Both of us recognize the importance of the peaceful protest movements that have resulted from recent high profile cases of police killing unarmed black people. We support these movements vocally and would be participating in them more actively if Sarah’s health was not in such an unpredictable state. We’ve been using our Twitter account to raise awareness of these issues.
3) The black and white thinking Sarah was referring to has nothing to do with churches changing their teachings. To put things into a bit more context, our experience shows that every time gay celibacy is discussed, people are more interested in discussing the yes or no question, “Is gay sex a sin?” That question doesn’t interest us. Celibacy as a vocation cannot be reduced to avoidance of sex, and it’s incorrect to suggest that choosing celibacy is necessarily a repression of sexual desire. That’s the black and white thinking Sarah was referencing.
These things clarified, the article is great. Check it out by clicking the link in the first sentence of this post.
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