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“I Am Bisexual”: A Gutenberg College Alumni Perspective

Another member of the Gutenberg alumni community has been speaking up about Jack Crabtree’s recent and ongoing “Ethics of Sex in the Bible” series. I want to highlight this alumni voice and share excerpts from four recent posts. These posts are from The Girl Who Was Thursday’s blog, House of Water:

Confession and Prelude- Sex in the Bible:

I am bisexual.  I have both emotionally fallen for and felt physical attraction for boys and emotionally fallen for and felt physical attraction for girls.  I was raised in a very Christian home where my parents referred to our one lesbian relative as Aunt Sewer.  If I go on pretending to be straight I can probably continue peaceable interactions with my family.  If I break all ties and declare myself Bi I could get- I don’t know- a merit badge from the anti-Christ? A romantic partner? Peace of mind?

…There was a period of my life where the phenomena of bisexuality occurred in my life and I didn’t know what it meant.  I didn’t have words for it.  It was like Columbus’ ships sailing up to my island, to put it into a metaphor familiar to Gutenbergers.  I can testify that I did, in fact, see the ships.  I just didn’t know how to talk about them.  Or that there was anything to talk about.

Part of this phase was spent at Gutenberg. I can name the girls and the boys I had crushes on at Gutenberg.

You do WHAT in your Bible? How viscerally repulsive!:

I do view what [Jack Crabtree] refers to as Biblical Sexual Ethics (I am far from convinced the Bible presents an account as coherent as he makes it out to) as repressive.

But not of people’s sexuality.

It represses their actual identities in favor of artificially constructed personas. It forces them to pretend to be things that they aren’t- to try and make themselves into things that they never will be- in order to fit in with whatever interpretation of the Bible happens to be in vogue at the time.

To cast their own souls out into the wilderness as scapegoats or else sacrifice themselves on the Altar of What We Think God wants.

Perhaps there are people to whom the sexuality Mr. Crabtree approves is normal and natural. The full expression of their identity would reflect this. An it harm none, I applaud them and wish them well.

However, my sexuality is not what is described here. Those whose sexuality is more ‘biblical’ than mine would feel incredibly persecuted if they had to spend their lives pretending to be what I am- faking their way through social situations- policing themselves to prevent any little slip up that would give the game away-

standing next to a person they were suddenly and irrationally convinced was the most wonderful amazing person in the world and possibly the reason for the existence of the universe-

And not say anything, or meet their eyes too long.

They would not like pretending to be me. So why, if we are doing unto others as we would have them do unto us, do they insist that I pretend to be them?

You do WHAT in your Bible? How viscerally repulsive! Part II:

Curiously enough, Mr. Crabtree wasn’t really being honest with us about the whole ‘Bible is highest authority’ thing.

In the list of subjects for which the Bible is the primary source of instruction, do you see what’s missing?

The STEM sciences. And Psychology.

For authority on those subjects, one must look elsewhere. Interestingly enough, these disciplines demand their hypotheses have testable feature that allow their veracity to be determined.  Psychology must produce accurate enough results that people will purchase therapy, and that the police agencies investing in Criminal Psychology Training  will have improved results and want more.

The disciplines of which the Bible is an authority?

No verification is required.

He doesn’t tell us why he’s let the STEMs and Pych off the hook. Perhaps that’s all we need to know.

Frequently Asked Questions concerning Sex in the Bible:

I hardly expected my teacher to call me animalistic, morally disgusting, viscerally repulsive, an abomination, and to create special category of sinner for me along with pedophiles, sadists, and sociopaths (Section IV E)-

Publically, for all the world to see.

My family agrees with him, you know.

I do not believe I have earned this from him.

I recommend clicking the links above and reading each post in its entirety. Be sure to follow the House of Water blog as well to receive notifications about future posts from this alumni.

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2 thoughts on ““I Am Bisexual”: A Gutenberg College Alumni Perspective”

  1. This article brings up some points that I think are really worth talking about. First, The Girl Who Was Thursday says that biblical sexuality as Jack understands it is repressive of peoples’ identities. As she describes it:

    [quote]
    Those whose sexuality is more ‘biblical’ than mine would feel incredibly persecuted if they had to spend their lives pretending to be what I am- faking their way through social situations- policing themselves to prevent any little slip up that would give the game away-

    standing next to a person they were suddenly and irrationally convinced was the most wonderful amazing person in the world and possibly the reason for the existence of the universe-

    And not say anything, or meet their eyes too long
    [/quote]

    I think it is crucial to point out that, historically, the vast majority of human societies have imposed these kinds of rigors on their members. From what I’ve gathered, the idea that the most legitimate marriages are ones founded on mutual attraction/love is relatively new – think back to Europe about 250 years ago – and very, very American. Some modern cultures – I’m thinking India – still engage in arranged marriages, and see a “love marriage” as a sort of novelty (yes, they have a term for it). People in these kinds of societies would have married/do marry for more “practical” reasons like protection, strengthening family ties, survival, etc… and either make that work by staying loyal to the other person, or jeopardize the health of the marriage by engaging in any number of extra-marital affairs (with their opposite- or same-sex lovers).

    This of course is not to say that marriage shouldn’t be about love, and that all these societies have it more right than ours. That would merit investigation. But I find it interesting that our experience of finding romance, finding someone who feel strong attraction to and [i]want[/i] to spend the rest of our lives with – this is a modern, largely American situation. It does not represent the experiences of the vast slice of humankind.

    The vast majority of men and women have had to police themselves, regardless of their attractions, in order to maintain the integrity of their marriage. I think this is the context the Bible has in mind when it says not to commit adultery. It doesn’t matter how much you do/don’t want to be with your spouse (and I am assuming this is referring to wanting “out” because you just like someone better, not because your spouse is treating you immorally), it doesn’t matter how much attraction you feel toward your spouse versus how much attraction you feel toward someone else – [i]anyone else[/i] – marriage is a special relationship, and it is a real breach of God’s purposes to treat your marriage as anything but sacred to you and your spouse. My guess is that Jewish people with same-sex attractions who took the law seriously likely would have married and fulfilled the commandment to have children, regardless of their attractions.

    Now, I’m making a lot of assumptions here, and I may be wrong about all of them. But I do find it important to think about how different our experience of marriage/love is from most people who have lived. And I think the Bible likely assumes that marriage/sex is not something people will do/continue doing because of attraction. What we think about that is another issue, and one that I am very interested in exploring more.

    My second comment is related. In Pt. II of The Girl Who Was Thursday’s post she (I think?) argues that the Bible cannot be the greatest authority because it doesn’t offer verification of its claims. The STEM sciences and Psychology are therefore greater authorities because they do offer verification of their claims. (I’m really sorry if I got this argument wrong! I’d love some clarity if I did.) First, I think it’s something we need to explore: is the Bible offering verification of its claims? I think it does, otherwise it would be completely irrational – and I just can’t accept that Moses, the prophets and Jesus, among others, were completely irrational – but that is another, lengthier conversation. But second, I think we need to take the verification of science with a grain of salt. Have you guys heard of WEIRD societies? Look it up, and look up the guy who won some award in his psych. work for talking about them. It’s fascinating. Basically, he discovered/realized that the slice of humanity on which psychology and other sciences are basing their studies is in fact a very small and rather odd slice of humankind. Specifically, it is Western, Educated, Industrial, Rich and Democratic societies which are represented about 96% more than any others. The guy that discovered all this discovered that being WEIRD carries some pretty significant cognitive and perceptual “baggage” with it, and concluded that scientists need to vastly broaden the pool of people whom they study before they can feel confident that their findings reflect the objective state of human experience.

    So, I don’t know, take that for whatever it’s worth. All I’m trying to say is that I think it is hasty to reject the Bible’s claims out of hand for what our culture and our science propose. We need to investigate more thoroughly.

  2. “standing next to a person they were suddenly and irrationally convinced was the most wonderful amazing person in the world and possibly the reason for the existence of the universe-”

    This is the foundation for a love that can be sustained over many years. It’s why I support same sex marriage. Marriage unites two souls, connected by a very deep and intimate love. I believe in the concept of a soul-mate.

    I must disagree with Carina. The Bible was written over hundreds of years, and within ancient cultures. That the (supposed) majority of non-Western marriages are arranged changes nothing. In the West, we value the innate dignity and worth of the individual over the culture & practices of the surrounding society. We recognize that our rights, (received from our Creator) to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are absolute. Healthy, loving marriages are the bedrock of any society. It matters not that other societies practice marriage in a different way. Here in America, the core principle of individual freedom is how our nation was built, and why it has succeeded.

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