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Re: speaking with a voice of authority
Thank you for passing along the article. Brain research is an academic
area in which I have no competence, but I will ask a couple of scholars
who do have expertise in that area to consider evaluating the material as
it pertains to our discussion.
I have no doubt that Dr. Vonholdt can refer to scholarship by experts that
would seem to support her practices. Everyone can. My main question
remains, given what is at stake and given the resources of the Anglican
Communion, why on earth did not the bishops at Lambeth bring the experts
themselves? Surely they need to hear the most established experts on all
sides of these issues.
Admittedly, even crackpot theories can attract those who persuade some of
their expertise. Psychologists who were my colleagues at the University
of Alabama in the mid-1960s were much enamored of the reparative schemes
of disciples of behaviorist B. F. Skinner. When I told two psychologists
who were friends that I was gay, they tried to persuade me to take their
cure. "Your life will be much easier if you become straight. You won't
have to face the ostracism and the persecution," they stressed.
I'm old-fashioned enough to contend that no-one in her right mind would
"choose" to be gay if sexual orientation really were a simple matter of
stylistic choice. I'm no fool. If I could change only one of several major
categories of jeopardy people today face, I would come back a black
lesbian millionaire--not because millionaires are better than anyone else,
but because they have it easier.
Fantasy aside, I was curious about how the good doctors' scheme would
"We will attach your genitals to electrodes," they said with obvious
enthusiasm. "We will the show you erotic pictures and monitor your
tumescence. If you respond erotically to pictures of nude males, we will
administer shock, and if you respond erotically to picutres of nude
females, we will give you rewards. It's quite simple and has a high
I have no doubt whatsoever that such "therapy" would rapidly deter
tumescence in response to same-sex erotic objects, but I did not stick
around even to ask whether the banana pellets with which they might reward
me would be covered in Godiva chocolate. Their intentions were as clear to
me as Potiphar's wife's to Joseph, and I responded exactly as he did,
though with my clothes never off.
I did not take the promises of change lightly, however. For 28 years I
prayed fervently that God would change me and remake me into a
heterosexual. Several times in my teens I came close to suicide when
those prayers were clearly not working. Yet to my surprise, in time God
did answer those prayers, and answered them in a way I had never expected:
God changed me in the same way that God changed Peter while he napped on
the rooftop. "Call no one whom I have made unclean!"
That was a redeeming and transforming experience that changed forever my
relationship to God, my economic priorities, my social priorities, my
academic priorities....everything about me really.
Although I have little choice about my arousal patterns, they do not
define who I am. I am a Child of God. God did not make junk. God loves
me and all those plumbed as I am plumbed. And while we who are plumbed
straight and we who are plumbed lesbigay don't choose the plumbing, we do
have a much more important choice, namely the choice to be the best
straight persons or the best lesbigay persons that we can possibly be.
Pray that I may be faithful to that high calling in Christ my savior.
Love, faithfully, Lutibelle/Louie
Louie Crew, English Dept., Rutgers, Newark, NJ 07102 973-485-4503
Chair, Rutgers University Senate. Board of Governors.
Homosexuality is not a decision; heterosexism is.