I lived in a very diverse neighborhood. Armed with the spirit of Paul’s words, and free from the burden of labeling others, I became family with my neighbors. Now I could extend Paul’s list to encompass my own neighborhood family. It would probably read like this: “There is neither Latino nor Anglo, gay nor straight, Catholic nor Baptist, rich nor poor, smart nor ignorant, old nor young, married nor single: for we are all one in Christ Jesus”!
Have people stopped labeling me? No. Have they stopped trying to change me? No. But I don’t feel helpless about these labels anymore. I feel accepted and loved by God for who I am. You can, too.:)
From the January 1, 1999 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel
Understanding leads to acceptance and only with acceptance can there be recovery.
by Rob Scott
August 2, 2016
I asked my conversation class to talk about something that they are passionate about or an adversity they had to over come.
One person shared how he overcame alcoholism. I asked how he was able to do it? He shared that he asked God and his mom for help. As a result, he was able to stop and it has been 15 years since he had a drink of alcohol because of both of these support systems he had in place to lean on.
Now he has two kids and is a fitness instructor with an established practice. I told him how moved I was to hear that because if he were still drinking perhaps none of what he valued most would have existed. He is a well loved man and drove three hours to get to my class.
Perhaps he would not have taken my class if he had been drunk in some dark bar wasting away the years. He responded that he knew on the first day of my class that “something good is going to come from this class. I just know it.” Why else would he drive three hours to get to class and another three hours to get home.
His story reminded me of my own struggle with alcohol some of which I shared with the class. But not everyone who drinks is an alcoholic. I just could not stop.
I was first able to stop drinking alcohol on my own after a visit to The Mother Church when I was introduced to somebody high up and well respected in the CS movement. She was pure love and I had prayerful support from my own CS practitioner during that visit.
This person I met was at the Sunday CS evening service and she knew I was gay from our conversation. But I watched her body language as I was trained in reading it from my previous employer. She didn’t judge or shrink back as some of the other CS lecturers or even CSBs had when I engaged in a private conversation with them.
And as a a result of this visit to TMC, the desire to drink vanished. We never spoke about the alcohol and perhaps this CSB never knew I was even struggling with it. We talked about our love for CS and the positive influence from our CS grandmothers. There was no judgement just love. I could FEEL it.
Regretfully, I returned to drinking nine months later after receiving some heart breaking news from an event that occurred before getting sober. Perhaps that is something to be shared later.
Before I took that drink again the still small voice roared that I didn’t need it. I should have listened as it took me a year and a half to stop again. Christmas Day, 2016, will be exactly three years since I gave up alcohol.
What helped me give up the alcohol this time? I am writing this now because I have shared this with my class and with a recent visitor where I am living who wrote down what I said.
The healing message came after a tumultuous storm of self-condemnation and feeling that I had to be healed not only of alcohol but even deeper that I had to be healed of being gay. I have spoken with others who have felt the same way. This thought can be a major cause of suicide.
The personal opinions expressed in some of those anti-gay, CS periodicals and the pressure on me at the time contributed to addiction and self-harm behavior which only poured gasoline on the fire. Thus those articles are harmful to those struggling with their sexuality.
Perhaps somebody will write a new article and submit it to the CSPS to keep the periodicals abreast of the times on marriage equality. Perhaps it could promote equality and unconditional love. Perhaps marriage equality could serve as a protection against vice and be a union of hearts. Perhaps it would prevent those from leaving CS over this issue and promote healing if it is done right.
Perhaps some LGBT members of the community may realize there are other options than the false landmarks, suicide or leaving Christian Science that can be so healing to every heart. I didn’t need an intervention to understand the video posted above about suicide and addiction. Both of which are the result of family and religious rejection and the prejudice, bigotry and discrimination that follows. Sometimes the bully can be the parent or even the teacher.
But Back to the healing of alcohol.
So here is the key learning. I was asked: “What would you want God to be? I strongly stated “unconditional Love.” The person I shared that with responded with this statement: “How could God not be that?” The minute I got that thought I stopped drinking. It was over. I didn’t care about the alcohol anymore.
The sin was the alcohol not being gay as stated in those antigay articles on JSH-Online by the personal opinions of the authors. Some of whom went on to regret writing them and found out later that they were “disproved”. Some of the authors felt pressured by the Church at the time to write them.
The discoverer and founder of Christian Science stated: “We take the inspired word of the Bible.”
I can’t stress enough in what I learned from Saturdays message regarding Lady Astor by Tony Lobl, CS/COP as it is very healing and is the key to what can save our youth who lost their faith and family for simply being gay. Perhaps they can find their way back as they were never really lost in the first place because of spirituality.
Perhaps some within the movement could learn a lesson which can heal and save our youth rather than condemn. I suspect some of you were loving but approached LGBT youth in a way that made them feel broken or in need of being fixed. This is reparative therapy and it almost destroyed me as it did others. Perhaps the video above could be a metaphor the for negative impact of those antigay articles and reparative therapy. They both lead to self-harm behavior.
…the prejudices associated with Lady Astor go against the grain of Christian Science, the faith she leaned on. If it were otherwise, I’d never have embraced Mary Baker Eddy’s writings.
I took to Eddy’s ideas precisely because they teach of God’s love for all and challenge the deep-rooted resistance we might feel to expressing such universal and impartial love. I badly needed that help as a Jew facing anti-Semitism in 1970s London, because my fear had turned to hatred.
Since God is ALL and God is Love then divine Love is ALL. This should feed the famished affections.
To all of you speaking in Mrs. Eddy’s name against marriage equality perhaps she would say to all of you – Not in my name!
Truth, Wisdom, Love and Sincerity, to ALL Mankind.