1. London
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    09 Oct '05 15:091 edit
    The following is an abbreviated form of an article that appeared in a Catholic paper some time back:

    My brother


    The August sun was shining through the apartment windows and my brother was lying face down on the floor. The arpeggios of Beethoven filled the bright room, but all I could think of was the strange mundanity of seeing Tom's battered sandals and grey jogging bottoms. Never mind the beauty of the day, it was the vulnerable ordinariness that finally made a Christian big sister cry.

    It's now approaching 10 years since Tom told our parents he had found the man he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. I often half-forget the abnormality of it; Tom is simply a homosexual, in the same way as other people's brothers are heterosexuals.

    It wasn't always so easy. When Tom first began going out with other men, I felt bafflement, frustration and even anger. Our mum has been a practising Catholic since I was at primary school, and our Protestant dad converted several years ago.

    It was only when Tom, then 16, started coming in late on Saturday nights that our parents, expecting experimentation with drugs or girls and prepared to handle either in a loving, Christ-like fashion, gently asked where he had been. The revelation that he had been going to a gay bar threw them.

    I dealt with it as a typically bolshy older sister, challenging Tom to justify himself. I didn't understand it, didn't want to, and felt it was all, well, incredibly disloyal. We had grown up pretty close, but Tom's choice sat stubbornly between us for several years. For mum and dad their only son's experimentation with sexuality was, I think, much harder. Tom moved out and found his way around a number of relationships. In the end, in 1998, aged 25, while living in London and teaching history at a secondary school, he rang home to tell our parents he had made up his mind to settle down with his partner.

    Although they had been half expecting the news, it still shocked them. Mum was upset - she now feels embarrassed that she thought of the grandchildren Tom might have had. Dad was bewildered, coping by writing down all he could. They asked, gently as ever, for reasons, and Tom wrote long letters home that set out his reasons.

    Mum and dad wept, talked, accepted what they couldn't at that time understand and in the end blessed him with furniture for his apartment. I, meanwhile, left rejected and unwilling to hear his explanations, all but cut him off.

    What has helped us come to terms with Tom's decision has been the simple passing of time.

    In the end, siblings choose a lifestyle, and Tom's is just odder than most. I don't exactly understand it, but I respect it.

    EDIT: What do you think of the experience of this sister and her parents? Any other comments on their thinking and the article?
  2. Standard memberHalitose
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    09 Oct '05 20:07
    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    The following is an abbreviated form of an article that appeared in a Catholic paper some time back:

    My brother


    The August sun was shining through the apartment windows and my brother was lying face down on the floor. The arpeggios of Beethoven filled the bright room, but all I could think of was the strange mundanity of seeing Tom's battered ...[text shortened]... experience of this sister and her parents? Any other comments on their thinking and the article?
    Excellent post. From a Christian perspective, I think it must be a darn tough sitution to cope with.

    While I can't talk from personal experience (a homosexual sibling), I think rejection would be the worst thing you can do.

    Suggestions: Love and prayer.
  3. Felicific Forest
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    09 Oct '05 23:47
    Being homosexual can also be a big problem in secular families ....
  4. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    09 Oct '05 23:522 edits
    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    Any other comments on their thinking and the article?
    Is the article suggesting that it is proper to respect a sinful lifestyle?

    "In the end, siblings choose a lifestyle, and Tom's is just odder than most. I don't exactly understand it, but I respect it."

    Does respect mean anything if one respects sinful and Godly lifestyles equally?

    What other sinful lifestyles should this respect extend to?
  5. Standard memberHalitose
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    10 Oct '05 00:13
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    Is the article suggesting that it is proper to respect a sinful lifestyle?

    "In the end, siblings choose a [b]lifestyle
    , and Tom's is just odder than most. I don't exactly understand it, but I respect it."

    Does respect mean anything if one respects sinful and Godly lifestyles equally?

    What other sinful lifestyles should this respect extend to?[/b]
    While I wouldn't respect the lifestyle, I wouldn't reject the person.
  6. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    10 Oct '05 00:212 edits
    Originally posted by Halitose
    While I wouldn't [b]respect the lifestyle, I wouldn't reject the person.[/b]
    Are the Catholics wrong if they claim that the protagonist's decision to respect the antagonist's lifestyle is in accord with Christianity?
  7. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    10 Oct '05 00:27
    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    What do you think of the experience of this sister and her parents?
    I have to wonder, if Tom's parents had explained to him that homosexual acts were intrinsically disordered, would the story have had a more happy ending?
  8. Standard memberHalitose
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    10 Oct '05 00:35
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    Are the Catholics wrong if they claim that the protagonist's decision to respect the antagonist's lifestyle is in accord with Christianity?
    You really are the "Controversialist", Dr. 🙄

    Okay. Down to semantics. It depends whether "respect" entails "supporting" the antagonist's decision, or merely tolerating it. If its the case of grudging acceptance rather than condoning, I can't find anything wrong with it.

    1Co 13:7 (Love) ...Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
  9. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    10 Oct '05 00:462 edits
    Originally posted by Halitose

    Okay. Down to semantics. It depends whether "respect" entails "supporting" the antagonist's decision, or merely tolerating it. If its the case of grudging acceptance rather than condoning, I can't find anything wrong with it.
    The protagonist isn't portrayed as the sharpest knife in the drawer, so I'm not sure she would be able to tell you what she means by respect, or be able to distinguish it from support or tolerance. I think she just used the term because it is fashionable, politically correct, and in the end, meaningless - there's not enough substance to it to merit any flak from the Catholics or the homosexuals. The author probably chose it for the same reason.
  10. Standard memberHalitose
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    10 Oct '05 00:54
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    The protagonist isn't portrayed as the sharpest knife in the drawer, so I'm not sure she would be able to tell you what she means by respect, or be able to distinguish it from support or tolerance. I think she just used the term because it is fashionable, politically correct, and in the end, meaningless - there's not enough substance to it to mer ...[text shortened]... y flak from the Catholics or the homosexuals. The author probably chose it for the same reason.
    You have a nice soft-spot for the Catholics, no?
  11. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    10 Oct '05 00:56
    Originally posted by Halitose
    You have a nice soft-spot for the Catholics, no?
    I have no soft spots.
  12. Hamelin: RAT-free
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    10 Oct '05 01:001 edit
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    I have no soft spots.
    Hard as nails after the priest slipped up with the circumcision? Full sympathies. We understand...
  13. Standard memberHalitose
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    10 Oct '05 01:10
    Originally posted by RatX
    Not after the priest slipped up with the circumcision? Full sympathies. We understand...
    Where is the wolfpack when you need it?
  14. London
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    10 Oct '05 06:251 edit
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    Is the article suggesting that it is proper to respect a sinful lifestyle?

    "In the end, siblings choose a [b]lifestyle
    , and Tom's is just odder than most. I don't exactly understand it, but I respect it."

    Does respect mean anything if one respects sinful and Godly lifestyles equally?

    What other sinful lifestyles should this respect extend to?[/b]
    Do you think the sister is talking about respect for her brother's lifestyle or respecting his [autonomy in] decision?

    How far do you think the sister has understood her brother's experience and decision?
  15. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    10 Oct '05 08:42
    Originally posted by Halitose
    While I wouldn't [b]respect the lifestyle, I wouldn't reject the person.[/b]
    Would their lifestyle have no effect on how you dealt with them? Would you, for example, counsel them to change their ways.
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