Kyle Walker's letter:
The military has realized the value of soldiers who fight for us with integrity yet happen to be gay. Churches are beginning to recognize the same thing. This last week, my denomination, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), took a bold and important step by removing a blanket policy that previously prevented gay people in public, committed relationships from being ordained in the denomination.Fr. David's letter:
This week in basketball, we find Phoenix Suns executive Rick Welts and Charles Barkley making the case that athletes who are gay somehow manage to win games and do their jobs.
It seems the idea of discounting a person's competence or worth simply for aspects of his or her genetics has taken several recent hits in our society -- and rightly so.
Aggieland is not immune to the effects of bigotry against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons. Each year I stumble upon at least one Aggie who has been taught to hate himself or herself for being gay so much so that they wish to commit suicide. The work involved in helping them understand that they are not defective can be lifelong.
With all the competent pastors, psychologists and professors in our community, there is simply no excuse for Bryan-College Station and Texas A&M University not to be on the side of what is good, right and just regarding GLBT people. Yet, recent events on campus suggest we have a way to go.
Next week, I will travel with other clergy from our community to an event sponsored by the Human Right Campaign in Washington, D.C., and meet with those of various traditions who are willing to speak to this reality and encourage our leaders to do the same. This event, Clergy Call, represents a growing number of religious leaders locally and nationally who are committed to valuing all God's children.
Rev. KYLE M. WALKER
Like the Rev. Kyle Walker (Eagle, May 20), whom I know and respect, I also work with a number of people each year who experience same-sex attractions.For more on the Courage apostolate, visit their website.
I represent Courage, a national ministry of the Catholic church that reaches out to these men and women. So I want to point out that the claim that same-sex attraction is a genetic condition is not entirely true. To date, no scientific study has proven that same-sex attraction is simply genetic, though in many instances biological conditions may play a role in its development.
To follow the latest research into the cause and treatment of same-sex attraction, one may consult the website of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality.
The people I work with also often feel ashamed and trapped by the message that the only choice they have is to identify themselves as being "gay" and begin to live out that lifestyle.
Consequently, they are greatly relieved to discover they are not "gay" and do not have to accept that label and that they can lead a happy, healthy, integrated life of chaste friendships and relationships and if they so choose, can even seek out therapeutic means to deal with their unwanted same-sex attraction.
Rev. DAVID KONDERLA