Maddow vs. Cohen

09 Dec

Here is a video of an interview Rachel Maddow did with Richard Cohen, author of “Coming Out Straight”. You can draw your own conclusions as to what you think (and you can see mine below after the video).

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My thoughts?


  • If you want to see a much better discussion of the issues, watch this video from John Burke and Gateway Church or this movie trailer here about gay Christian teens.
  • As I have written here, I am not someone who thinks all “X Gay” advocates/ministries/therapy are evil.  In fact, I consider a couple of therapists who practice reparative therapy friends and I deeply respect them.  I also have a deep respect for people who choose the X-Side (as I do for those who choose Side A or Side B).  And I have personally worked with reparative therapists and in my case, they never pushed an agenda, were fully licenses and certified, and are legitimate counselors.  I think the issue is complicated, that sexuality is a continuum, and where you fall on that continuum influences a lot whether you are able to “change”.
  • That said, Richard Cohen (IMHO) is a quack. He mis-represents his credentials and agenda.  Printing inflammatory and made-up statistics in your book is no small matter — especially when those get picked up and quoted by others again and again.
  • I am no big Rachel Maddow fan, but I thought she did a pretty good job on this one.
  • The crazy and inflammatory talk from right-winged crazies about “the homosexual lifestyle” being a threat to our children, “gay marriage” destroying he fabric of American culture, etc etc, is also insane.  Reasonable people can disagree theologically and ethically about what being gay means within Christianity (or any religious system).  And that is a valid discussion I am happy to partake in.  But the ad hominem, fear-mongering, pretty-much-made-up BS from the conservative right about this issue crosses the line and is clearly homophobic and is used to justify hate speech, hate action, and discrimination.  People — especially Christians — need to be much more careful about their rhetoric and need to understand the consequences of it.  (And yes, I have strong feelings on this one.)
  • I just want to take the opportunity to say thanks to those of you who are part of the conversation here.  The conversation has always been civil and respectful and has avoided a lot of the nastiness that you see everywhere else.  The same, for the most part, as been true in the church I left.  That is a good thing and a credit to the character of those involved.  Hopefully this can be a model for good dialog moving forward.
  • Some will point out that the bullet point above (about crazy talk) violates the civility standard.  I have a big tent approach to life and faith… I have good friends who reside in the A, B & X camps… I have no problem learning from and fellowshipping with those I disagree with… I welcome divergent views and believe they need to be shown respect.  BUT, many have crossed the line into hate-mongering (or at least fear-mongering) and are inflicting serious damage on people.  For better or for worse, that is where I draw the line. (And for the record, I don’t think anyone on this blog — nor anyone in the church I left — fit this bill… this is about activists out there who draw lots of press attention, etc.
  • Let me add a flip-side note… just because someone has religious objections to homosexuality or opposes gay marriage, etc — it does not make them an evil homophobe or make them hateful people.  Again, I hope we can all acknowledge, especially within a Christian context, that these are complicated issues without easy answers and that faithful people will disagree with each other… and that is OK.


Those are my thoughts… what are yours?

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Posted by on December 9, 2009 in Uncategorized


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