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On faith.

Thank you for your increased coverage of positive stories on spirituality in the lives of lesbian, gay, trans, bi, and queer people. Your recent article "Keeping the Faith" [July 20] shows that individuals from many faith traditions are committed to fostering healing, social change, and personal and spiritual growth. This and the positive, human side of marriage in our community are bringing a new type of activism--activism based in love and a deep sense of truly valuing ourselves.

I encourage you to pay more attention to queer women and men who are seeking to live deep, meaningful, sacred, and communally connected lives. Not all of us are religious; some of us call ourselves "spiritual but not religious." It's not enough to simply cover religious issues and think you're really speaking to your readers. You need to tell the whole story: Queers are discovering and exploring and rejoicing in their own spiritualities.

Patrick McNamara, Fredonia, N. Y.

As a gay man in his seventh decade, I have struggled most of my life to align my queer being with my spiritual being. It is only in recent years that my eyes were open to the realization that my God cleated me as a total package and being gay was a true spiritual gift. Bruce Simpson's interview with Jason and deMarco in your July 20 issue ["Singing for God and Gays"] made my heart leap for joy. It is so fabulous that these young men have their eyes wide open to their gift of self, the beauty of their relationship, and their quest to spread the love that their God intends for all.

Richard J. Nicholas, Boston, Mass.

Thank you for addressing being gay and Christian simultaneously in the July 20 issue. It is refreshing to see two men who have faith and are OK with being gay. As a gay Christian I find myself at odds with both gays and Christians. I think the important thing to realize is that it is not God that hates but the fallen man that condemns. God understands us more than any person, for he is the one that created us and he loves us and expects us to thrive in our own individuality.

Nathan Aslinger, Schaumburg, Ill.

Reading Jason's story was like reading the story of my life. I too was in a contemporary Christian touring group. The difference was, I kept my mouth shut; he came out.

Looking back at my Christian upbringing, attending a private Southern Baptist university, and then touring around the country with this group, I remember the constant lies. There was a never-ending feeling of shame. The idea that I might no longer be recognized as a Christian because of my sexual orientation was the most destructive feeling, and a feeling I still fight today.

I applaud Jason and deMarco for having the courage to sing the music that I know firsthand fuels their heart and soul, as it does mine. I long for the day when gay youths can openly love and worship God without having to lie about who they are.

Archie Messersmith, New York, N.Y.

I applaud your cover story "Keeping the Faith." It's nice to see that The Advocate can still provide insightful stories about our community that are not about circuit parties, crystal meth, and the importance of a hot swimsuit. It also provides the mainstream public an opportunity to see that we are capable of so much more than all that.

Rick Snyder, Davie, Fla.

I look at gay Christians with the same amazement and dread as I do Log Cabin Republicans. Both are trying so hard to be accepted into a group where the majority of the members are actively working against them.

I was raised a Southern Baptist, drenched in the self-hatred that religion projected onto me and into the world. It took a college education and a bout of severe depression for me to realize that a book of superstitious fairy tales and myths held no power over me. I am now a happy humanist, or "gaytheist." I don't need the dream or delusion that I am so important that my soul will continue to go on forever. I am merely an organic creature with the ability to reason and love and should treat my fellow man with the dignity with which I wish to be treated.

Jimmy McPeters, Dacula, Ga.
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Title Annotation:reader forum
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Aug 31, 2004
Previous Article:Travelscopes.
Next Article:Open and affirming.

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