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Queer Eye for the Lectionary
377 S. Harrison Street, 12D
East Orange, NJ 07018
Phone: 973-395-1068 h
Married February 2, 1974
Louie Crew's Natter [BLOG]
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[DeputyOnlineForum] B033: "whose manner of life"
I confess to wonderment that my sex life threatens to split the Anglican Communion. Lawsy mercy, who would have thunk it? Sex is integral to my marriage, but hardly definitive, and certainly not worth the front burner of the Anglican Communion given the huge competition of needs in the world and the scarcity of Christians to address those needs. Conservative journalist David Virtue for years dubbed me as "The Chief Sodomite of the Anglican Communion." Over coffee once I told him that I hoped I would not offend him by saying so, but I get something of a rush from that appellation, a rush cheaper than Viagra. In his next reference to me, he shifted: I became the "Sodomite emeritus of the Anglican Communion" and he talked of homosexuals who grow old and have hair in the ears. Apparently he delights many who are angry at The Episcopal Church. Assumptions to the contrary notwithstanding, as a Christian I am indeed concerned about my manner of life, and I am troubled by how insidiously sin can work its way into my behavior in my marriage. My most besetting sin is not sex. In fact, I cannot think of a single instance that sex has caused one of us to be unkind or controlling or manipulative or abusive or knowingly and willfully disobedient to the Creator. One of my major besetting sins is selfishness, and I am so successful at that sin that I have hundreds of ways to mask even from myself how I am getting my own way, or trying to. Fortunately my husband is as wise as he is kind. After the honeymoon was over, I remember saying to him, "I want to be do my share of the unpleasant chores of the marriage, but I can easily deceive myself. Will you please tell me when you think I am not doing my fair share?" He said he would not. A healthy relationship, he explained, is one where each takes responsibility for his own behavior. "I love you, but please don't assign me the role of being your policeman. I won't ask you to be mine. If you must compete, let's compete in terms of who can do 51 percent of the unpleasant chores. But why compete? I am not going to love you less if you do less than 50 percent." Twenty years into our 35-year marriage, Ernest developed a great delight for Japanese food, especially several little trays of raw fish. While I could enjoy tempura, a Japanese restaurant was not my idea of where to go when we decided to treat ourselves. I did not complain, but sulked alone in my selfishness. "When it's his turn to choose, why doesn't he choose a cuisine that we both like?" I thought to myself. During this time someone asked Ernest and me who Kim Byham is, and I explained, "Kim Byham is my best friend." Later when we were alone, Ernest said, "I know you are close to Kim and I rejoice in that. But I am surprised that I have never heard you name me as your best friend. You are my best friend." There was no meanness, no 'gotcha' in his countenance, just gentle, loving vulnerability. I could say nothing for a long time, and when I did, I acknowledged that I have never thought of him as my best friend, that it was not just a mistake in my choice of words. Over the next few months I concluded that I was valuing marriage too much if I let being a husband so absorb me that I never even recognized Ernest as my best friend. I noted that he had indeed always treated me as his best friend without stopping for a moment in being my husband. I'm still working on the challenge, and have been much blessed by it. One minor example. For more than 10 years now, it actually been a great pleasure to me to be the one to choose a fine Japanese restaurant when it is my turn to choose where we will eat out. Just last night, I again with joy watched him attack trays of raw fish with a twinkle in his eyes, especially the double portion of eels, his favorite. And he beamed when I insisted that he eat a huge chunk of my crab cake. I rarely order tempura anymore, because I have actually grown to like some sushi. Most important, I have the great joy of taking my best friend to a place that he will enjoy the most. What do sharing the unpleasant chores and choosing Japanese fare have to do with B033? Far more than you might think: I commend heterosexuals who want to look at lgbt relationships and determine whether God would bless them or have the church bless them, yet few heterosexuals will understand these relationships if they imagine what it would be like for themselves to have gay or lesbian sex. When a heterosexual imagines homosexual intercourse, the outcome is often predictable: heterosexuals won't like it. Perhaps they even SHOULD consider homosexual sex sinful for themselves if it is something they would do only unwillingly, something that counter states everything their bodies have told them for a lifetime. Just so, many lesbians and gays feel it would be unfair to a heterosexual partner to go through the motions of a heterosexual marriage if those motions counter state everything that their bodies have told them for a lifetime. Early in puberty, we boys at the Baptist Church learned a way to enjoy a long and boring sermon: we would scan the index of the hymnal adding to each title the phrase "between the sheets." For example, Love divine, all love excelling, between the sheets. Joyful, joyful, we adore thee between the sheets I come to the garden alone between the sheets Having grown up, we can smile at our big innocence ('ignorance') during that phase of our lives. Heterosexual Christians need a mature way to assess God's likely response to the manner of life of lgbt Christian Christians in committed relationships. I hope my anecdotes help. Keep in mind the Lord's Prayer in the Quean Lutibelle rendition: "God, use the same standard in judging me that I use in judging others." Louie, L1 Newark Louie Crew, 377 S. Harrison St., 12D, East Orange, NJ 07018 973-395-1068 http://queereye4lectionary.blogspot.com/ Queer Eye for the Lectionary
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