Monday, June 29, 2009
It was the absolute most fun I’ve ever had on an interview!
DJ and Aaron (the hosts) kept it fun, laughable and serious all at the same time. It was a blast. I know you all with enjoy this … ESPECIALLY the last 17 minutes, which include 10 off the wall questions they asked me totally unrelated to homosexuality as well as the outtakes from the interview!
Listen to it here.
And while you’re on their site, take a listen to Professor Soong-Chan Rah talking about the white captivity of the Western church—it’s fascinating and controversial!
Hope you enjoy the fun!!!
Friday, June 26, 2009
Here is Part 2 of my interview with Spencer Burke and theooze.tv. Instead of commenting here, go to this link and rate the interview and join in on the conversation - there are some polarizing views already posted. Let's show some folks what peaceful and productive bridge building conversations look like.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
June 25: Gay Pride Parade: Original Intent and Current Purpose
July 22: I Do Exist—Ex Gay Viewing and Discussion
Aug 11: Discussion with a Gay Secular Person
Aug 27: Discussion with an Ex-Gay Person
Sep 17: Discussion with a Gay Christian
Oct 8: Secret Confessions (Oct 11th National Coming Out Day)
Nov 5: Gay Marriage
Nov 17: Discussion with a Straight Conservative Christian
Dec 3: Discussion with a Celibate Person
Dec 14: The Actual Argument
Here is a reminder of why The Marin Foundation hosts these discussions:
Purpose for Living in the Tension Community Gathering:
Christians need to start willfully planting themselves in the middle of some very uncomfortable places—making a conscious commitment to stay in that place with the GLBT community. In 1963 Martin Luther King Jr. was locked up in a jail in Birmingham, Alabama. In a letter to confront his fellow white clergymen, MLK reflected on his life’s work to that point and said: “I must confess that I am not afraid of the world tension. I have earnestly opposed violent tension my whole life, but there is a type of constructive, non-violent tension which is necessary for growth.”
I’m going to be real right now—the Christian community has been running from that constructive, non-violent tension for too long when it comes to gays and lesbians. The productive growth that MLK was talking about only comes retrospectively, after much time has been spent immersed in tension filled areas with what we are most uneasy about. Those tension-filled areas are dirty, uncomfortable, confusing, overbearing and uneasy. And they’re worth every minute for the kingdom we so boldly claim ourselves to be a part of.
For gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, ex-gay, celibate and straight (progressive and conservative) people to all willfully enter into a place of constructive tension, intentionally forming a community that peacefully and productively takes on the most divisive topics within the culture war that is faith and sexuality.
Culture wants to resolve conflict—we want to use our different communities’ filtration systems to elevate the conversation through the tension. Get past the stereotypes. Learn and practice what it means to live in unanswerable questions. Shift the paradigm away from a ‘fix it’ culture to one that turns hearts onto Christ amongst the most uncomfortable places.
Stay. Commit. Reconcile. Grow.
He was a Jewish carpenter and therefore I build bridges ©
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Here is my contribution:
Question: I was recently asked by a large Christian magazine what if every Christian and every church bought into what I was saying—what will happen down the road; and what is the end goal to building a bridge?
Here’s the exciting and scary part: I don’t know what it will look like because it’s never been done before, but what I do know, is that the Lord is showing us how to start this movement, and then sustain it for the long haul. Churches and Christians have been so concerned and paralyzed with the X, Y and Z; that they have never done A, B and C in the right way—the exact mission the Lord has placed on my heart through The Marin Foundation and my book Love is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community.
Let this story sink in:
A young and successful Christian businessman I know has the all the money he needs and all the looks to back up his skyrocketing career. He has a girlfriend whom he’s attracted to but sexually chaste with. However, he has one small secret that he has been keeping from everyone: the anonymous sex with other males behind his girlfriend’s back.
Over the past year he has gone to the altar at his church on three separate occasions during the service to ask his pastor for help. Each time the pastor promised to follow up with him and never did, leaving him more depressed as he continued to sink further and further away. It took a lot of guts for him to turn to The Marin Foundation and tell me his story after how he had been forgotten. When I told him that I wasn’t going to leave, that I would follow through and that I would help him however he needs to be helped, tears started to fill his eyes and he smiled.
I thought he was happy because he finally found someone he could trust. Boy was I wrong. He looked at me and said, “Do you know how many times I’ve heard that before? I’m only telling you all of this so my conscious is clear. God knows how many of his people have given up, or not tried at all.” With that he paid for his meal, got up, thanked me for my time and promptly left.
What just happened? I had never had anything like that happen to me before, and I was really mad. Who was that guy to think I was like all the others? He just used me as a means to feel better, like I was some type of confessional he needed to justify what he was doing emotionally and physically to himself and his girlfriend. I just wasted an hour of my time. I got up and headed out.
No more than two steps out of the door I realized something myself: Who was I to think that he would believe me when I said those things? That exact situation has happened to him three other times that I know of, by a person who he trusted for help. He didn’t want words, he didn’t want a feeling; he wanted me to follow through.
And so that is what I did. As soon as I got back to my desk I emailed and called him to let him know I meant what I said. It’s been almost a year since that first encounter and he’s on a tough journey right now. But it’s sure a lot easier when you know someone isn’t going to give up on you.
When it comes to same-sex sexual attractions and behaviors, Christians just give up too easy. Therefore above anything else when it comes to the GLBT community, the most important thing Christians can do is make a commitment for the long haul. Without a genuine commitment on the Christian’s part there can be, and will be nothing other then meaningless talk and niceties. I hear the same thing again and again from GLBT youth and adults: “I would have rather had Christians never enter my life than to continue entering in and then leaving. It does more harm than good.”
Just read that statement again. Only through a real commitment without knowing what’s going to happen, can believers take the first step to restoring a bridge with the GLBT community.
When I first immersed myself in the GLBT community I had no idea what I was doing or what good could ever come out of my decision. The only thing I did know was that I was in it for the long haul because in my mind, there was no turning back. God will always be faithful to our commitments if we can only be faithful to our own.
I know that committing to something that most of us know nothing about is not easy. When we are walking into an unknown we need assurance that there is hope to one day pull us through the times that we know will come, the times we know we can’t handle. God will fill in those gaps if only we solidify in ourselves the commitment to stay. Remember that God gives the growth, Jesus causes us to stand and it is our job to obey—because God doesn’t only work when we know what the outcome is going to be!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Enjoy this interview (Part 1) with author and creator of The Ooze and theooze.tv, Spencer Burke. Watching it back I forgot I got a little excited at the end. And if you know me, you know what I mean by excited!
Do you agree or disagree with anything I said?
Monday, June 22, 2009
Here is Part 2 of my interview with Chris Heuertz, author and International Director of Word Made Flesh. In this segment I ask Chris two questions:
What would you tell the Church about building bridges with the gay and lesbian community
What would you tell the gay and lesbian community about the Church
His answers are moving.
While I was in Omaha, NE last week I had the opportunity to hang out with a man that I respect with all of my heart and soul, Chris Heuertz, the International Director of Word Made Flesh - a non profit organization that incarnationally serves the poorest of the poor all over the world. Chris is the most humble man I know, and he is one of those people in this lifetime that you just feel privileged to sit at his feet and learn from his amazing life and experiences.
This first part of the interview I talk to Chris about Word Made Flesh, which you can link to here. I also talk to Chris about his book, Simple Spirituality, which you can buy here or here. And you can check out some other talks by Chris here.
PS - as I watched it back I realized I talked waaaay too much. I'm learning how to get used to being the interviewer instead of the interviewee. Sorry about that. :)
But seriously, I truly do love Chris and the Word Made Flesh team:
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
I just found out yesterday that Love is an Orientation is going into its second printing after only a month and a half! That's really quick ...
Let's keep this movement's momentum accelerating forward so much so that neither community would be able to ignore our new paradigms of what it means to peacefully and productively build bridges with each other in order to end the culture war and still do significant things for the Kingdom!
Here are some links to send to people, or have them stop in their local Barnes & Noble or Borders:
Barnes & Noble ($12 or $10.80 if member): http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Love-Is-an-Orientation/Andrew-Marin/e/9780830836260/?itm=1
Borders ($15): http://www.borders.com/online/store/TitleDetail?type=1&catalogId=10001&simple=1&defaultSearchView=List&keyword=love+is+an+orientation&LogData=%5Bsearch%3A+30%2Cparse%3A+44%5D&searchData=%7BproductId%3Anull%2Csku%3Anull%2Ctype%3A1%2Csort%3Anull%2CcurrPage%3A1%2CresultsPerPage%3A25%2CsimpleSearch%3Atrue%2Cnavigation%3A5185%2CmoreValue%3Anull%2CcoverView%3Afalse%2Curl%3Arpp%3D25%26view%3D2%26type%3D1%26nav%3D5185%26simple%3Dtrue%26book_search%3Dlove%2Bis%2Ban%2Borientation%2Cterms%3A%7Bbook_search%3Dlove+is+an+orientation%7D%7D&storeId=13551&sku=0830836268&ddkey=http:SearchResults
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
“Andrew, if you keep hitting your head against a brick wall, one day the wall will break!”
So hit away I will…
There were two public reviews I have recently seen that really caught my attention because one is from a Muslim and the other is from a gay Anabaptist.
Here is the review of my book from a Muslim, Afdhere Jama, who is the author of the book Illegal Citizens: Queer Lives in the Muslim World. He also edits Huriyah, a bilingual (arabic in paper, english online) GLBT Muslim magazine.
Wow. Humbled. Overwhelmed. That's all I can say about that.
And this link is from the Young Anabaptist Radicals blog (I made a comment on this post). Again, I am in total amazement how the Lord is using the book to cross cultural and religious boundaries!
If you’ve seen any cool reviews, hit me up because I’d love to read them as well.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
[Addendum on June 16, 2009: Do you ever find yourself being labled into a socially constructed group because someone on the outside doesn't understand you? I tackle this question in my own life after the last two conservative evangelical radio interviews have called me Emergent for no other reason than I live within, and loves me some GLBT folks.]
Am I Emergent? I tackle this question in 4 minutes and 33 seconds after I have been called Emergent by two of the last three conservative evangelical radio hosts I have been on with. This clip is not me speaking against Emergent, but rather about the indictment of evangelicalism surrounding homosexuality and the life I live.
What are your thoughts on Emergent? Conservativism? None of the above? Love to hear you thoughts on this whole thing.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Saturday, June 6, 2009
The answers to those questions are yes, yes, and yes again. And a few very influential gay organizations are wearing thin on Obama’s stale (would they even go so far as to say “Republican”?!?!?) rhetoric around GLBT issues. As a friend of mine who works for a well known gay political organization told me:
“Obama, you can talk all you want about “declaring June our month” and how much respect you have for us, but your talk is what got you elected. It’s time to show you’re different than everyone who came before you because your talk isn’t getting you anywhere anymore.”
Such the tangled (and bandwagon hopping on and off) web we continually weave…
Interesting article from Politico that I saw highlighted on CNN.
What are your thoughts about the gay community turning on Obama?
Friday, June 5, 2009
This video was taken minutes ago in the green room of Harvest TV's studios after taping 2 segments for their program. The host I am talking to is Kelly Morgan - I love her to death. She gets it, asked wonderful questions during the interviews and her family lives in the tension everyday as her two kids (one in majoring in it in college and one younger in middle school) are both involved in theater and production. Her heart was honest and I really appriciated her stepping out to have me on their program.
And PS - is there anything that motivates weight loss more than looking at how many chins you have?! Wow.
Seriously though, tell me what you want to see and hear through these videos so I can keep it fresh and relevant!
Thursday, June 4, 2009
As you can see by my 'mug' looking at you in this video, I just bought a Flip Camera to start recording short bites of my life within this unique bridge building experience that the Lord has laid before us. I hope you enjoy this new way of interacting along side my written posts as well!
Tell me, what types of things would you all love to see through these videos as I move forward in this fun experiment?
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Why am I me and given the inherent right that comes with being a straight, white male; opposed to all others in socially constructed minority groups by race, sex, disability or health?
And some of those prayers which are more earthly:
That my book will sell 500,000 copies because the Lord’s bridge building work within the GLBT community would be out there so much that no one could ignore it anymore,
Lord, you have trusted me in running The Marin Foundation with very few financial resources for so long, in all of which that I feel I have been a great steward of those sparse finances, that it is totally ok to start trusting me with more!
And when it comes to sexuality and same-sex attractions, why does God answer some people’s prayers and not others? I have met very few people who, when first realizing their same-sex attraction, did not pray to God to take those attractions away so as to have an easier life in a way that aligns with a traditional interpretation of Scripture. Because let’s be honest, who would choose a same-sex attraction and the potential life (celibacy or being ‘out’) that comes with it? If you think about it, when someone has a same-sex attraction, whether they act on it or not, are automatically cast as deviant to mainline Christianity. What a heavy responsibility to steward. What haunts me though is how I can just be me, do nothing to counteract my God-given characteristics and get married, have a family, and without a second thought be looked at within mainstream as acceptable before God in my inherent qualities that I did nothing to attain? It’s a question that pains me because I’ll never know the answer.
In going a step further; why does God answer some people’s prayers who seek to “overcome” their same-sex attraction and not others?
In my book I detail a story of a friend of mine who was student body president of a major evangelical university who hid his same-sex attractions for 17 years as he prayed and worked everyday for God to take those attractions away. Yet why does God answer other’s prayers for the same thing but not his, causing him to believe one of two things must be true:
1. Either there is no God because He won’t answer the one prayer he prays
2. There is a God and he’s just condemned to hell anyway because of the attractions he knows not where they came from
The problem is that evangelicals find it easy to come up with excusal answers:
“Because he didn’t pray enough…”
“Because he doesn’t have enough faith…” (this one was actually told to me by a radio host on air last week)
“Because he’s not really Christian and not praying to the God of transformation…”
You name it: I, and they, have heard it.
But I just don’t believe in those faultily constructed “releasing-of-responsibility-blood-off-my-head” excuses that do nothing other than put an even wider unemotional arm’s length gap between our conservative believe system and the gay community. Uttering and crying out to the name of El Shaddai, the Almighty and Yeshua are the same for everyone—God hears them all, all the time.
The most over utilized Christian-eze response is to the bigger question is:
“You can’t see it now but God will somehow use this unanswered prayer for good.”
Theologically correct, yes. But that doesn’t bring help or comfort one ounce when someone is in the midst of whatever they’re going through, feeling like their cries for help just slowly drift off into eternal space. In 2006 when I was receiving death threats in the mail after being attacked and lied about in the national media, my brothers and sisters in the faith kept repeating that phrase to me, almost as if it was told to me enough I’d just start to believe it despite my negatively encompassing situation; pleading with God why He would allow this to happen. There is a difference between reason and application. Just because something is rationally correct doesn’t mean its application can be implemented, easy or not, no matter how “right” it might be. Just the same, straight Christians rattle off that common phrase to GLBT folks. There is nothing worse then when your most earnest prayer is not answered, especially when it comes to life experiences that can’t ever be taken back. So how are we supposed to handle these difficult prayers that go unanswered?
I was reading Christian Theology by Millard Erickson and I came across this great explanation on p. 301-302:
“God’s transcendence over time has been likened to a person who sits on a steeple while he watches a parade. He sees all parts of the parade at the different points on the route rather than only what is going past him at the moment. He is aware of what is passing each point of the route. So God also is aware of what is happening, has happened, and will happen at each point in time, yet at any given point within time he is also conscious of the distinction between what is now occurring, what has been, and what will be…God has access to all information. So his judgments are made wisely. He sees all things in their proper perspective; thus he does not give anything a higher or lower value than it out to have. One can therefore pray confidently, knowing that God will not grant something that is not good. Even though we are not wise enough to see all of the facts, or the results to which our ideas or planned actions may lead, we can trust God to know what is best.”
Here is the Andrew Marin synthesis to that paragraph:
God is inherently good because He is a supreme being that knows all and is in all. So our unanswered prayers are not due to a lack of faith.
Not due to a wrongly formatted prayer.
Not due to God not hearing our deepest cries.
They are because God is a good steward of our faith and life as a whole, such that unanswered prayers are not a negative, but rather an opportunity to experientially continue to live out an active faith amidst and through the missing answers because God’s love for us is always best—and the best in most cases goes unanswered in the areas that we long for answers the most! Why? Because what we long for the most is usually the one thing that has taken over priority in our lives and become our identity.
This realization is what an honest, non-Western-non-consumer-non-seeker-friendly faith is all about. God never promised to answer our prayers, He promised to wholistically always give us what is best for the faith journey of our existence from day one to death bed according to what He sees best. And it brings me peace to cognitively realize that unanswered prayers cannot just be succinctly put into pop-cultured theology, but they are actually as great as those prayers that are answered because God’s best is an opportunity to live out His eternal answer in real time—in either an answered or unanswered fashion.