Your guest Mr. Mouw posed a question asking (of gay rights activists)"what about me (us) scares you?" and asking for time with these activists to voice his (and his faith's) fears about the anxieties gay/lesbian presence and the full legal participation in socio-political agency by gays and lesbians represent. While I found Mr. Mouw's openness to dialogue and "reverence" with the sexual/religious/political other to be philosophically promising, I find it hard to really accept the sincerity of this question for several reasons.Young men and women, adolescent girls and boys, who are members of dominant religious structures (Christianity in all of its many manifestations) are not at the same kind of risk for self-harm or harm from others based solely on that expression of and adherence to their faith. Indeed, in most cases, that faith participates in a dominant culture support system that safeguards against precisely the kind of violence that many young self-identified or culturally construed homosexuals face far too often. If Mr. Mouw's concern is about the spiritual safety of young people, raised to believe in and adhere to a certain expression of Christianity, I would suggest that it is the specific faith's responsibility to offer guidance and (ironically) have faith that their teachings are sufficient to guide adolescents and young adults to an adult expression and support of that faith. Further, one of the most endemic and lethal threats to Christianity (or any faith or expression of spirituality) is not any particular expression of love and relationality, but the acceptance of dominant culture ideology (Capitalism, consumerism, xenophobia and the pursuit of univocal expressions of belief systems). At the risk of sounding polemical, it is not homosexuality that threatens the children of the religious, but rather the other way around.To cast gays and lesbians as specific, universal and representative positions of that which threatens or causes fear among followers of religious tenants is to (at best) displace the anxieties of the "faithful" onto those who often suffer at the hands of the faithful and at worst to sediment, excuse and veil fatal antagonisms that are produced and supported by religions.If there is to be a real exchange and a real reckoning of how cultural/religious/political potentialities can best produce sincere, affirming and civil futures, the religious systems that indite and condemn (out of fear and unexamined traditionalism) those who do not share their faith or the particular manifestation of that faith, must take responsibility for their dogmatic and exclusionary practices and conceptions of life, spirituality and faith.
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