A Game of Peek-a-Boo with Linda Harvey

Everyone has played the delightfully amusing game of peek-a-boo with a small child.  When their eyes are covered, it does not matter if the child’s heads, shoulders, knees and toes are showing; they are no longer visible to you, and you are no longer visible to them. This is how young children, about two years old, understand visibility.  “Seeing” means “mutually engaged” to a child. However, adults know, or should know, that covering their eyes does not mean the other person does not exist.

Not unlike a two-year old, Linda Harvey is covering her eyes and gay people have gone away in her world.  Harvey, founder of Mission:America based in Columbus, Ohio, is a Christian talk show host and author of a weekly newsletter tracking cultural issues with a particularly keen focus on the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.  She has recently said some really awkward things:

“They (the gays) all hate Jesus Christ and his followers.”

“There’s one big fact that’s not backed up.  There is no proof that there’s ever anything like a gay, lesbian or bisexual or transgendered child, or teen or human.”

Linda Harvey, talk show host, author & founder of Mission:America

I thought I would offer to be an on air guest on her daily talk show.  It seemed reasonable: two Christian women with gentle, moderate tones talking about a cultural issue.  But, Linda really has covered her eyes. She does not see gay people; they do not exist. She responded to my offer over a series of exchanges:

“Kathy:

I do appreciate your writing me. After reading your blog, I have to tell you, we are not going to agree, mainly because your writings reveal you have adopted essentially the world’s view on this and not what is expressed in Scripture as God’s.

There are not “gay” people; there are people involved in homosexuality, but they are not a biologically different human type than Joe hetero on the street. So please stop using that inaccurate term, one that also belies your lack of faith in what God has told us.”

Interesting.  There are not gay people; only heterosexual people involved in homosexuality.  And, as a heterosexual person that loves and advocates for the equality of gay people, my faith in God is questionable too.  At a later point in the letter, Linda points out that since celibacy is a choice, then being gay is also a choice.  Linda says:

“There are some ex-homosexuals who have this (being celibate and no longer homosexual) testimony.”

So, there are ex-homosexuals, but not homosexuals?  It is a logic nightmare.

Ignoring an entire class of people does not mean that they do not exist; that is childish thinking.  The Bible says “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.  When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me,” (I Cor. 13:11).

Linda, the game of peek-a-boo is over.  You are a grown Christian woman now.  Not only is this the attitude of a two-year old, it is wholly non-Christian to ignore and discount others.  What would Jesus do if He encountered His gay neighbor?  Would He cover His eyes or stick His fingers in His ears like a child practicing avoidance?

I do think Linda Harvey is in a minority group of Christians, but she is one of the ones making the noise and the news.  She informs the uninformed and they join her in a game of peek-a-boo.

Uncover your eyes.  Do you see your gay neighbor?  Do your Jesus-eyes see the injustices they suffer?  Then speak up.  Linda Harvey does not speak for me and I hope she does not speak for you.

If you want her to know she does not speak for you or, if you are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender and do indeed exist, here is her e-mail address that is public information: lpharvey@missionamerica.com

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Following is the exchange. I first checked with “legal” to ensure I was not stepping on legal rights by posting this exchange. These  sentiments are all her public, much repeated views in writing and on air. There is no new information or disclosures here. I do not cross those “private lines”. But I do have a LONG series of exchanges with Scott Lively that are tucked away in a file. Now, that, is interesting stuff!

Dear Linda Harvey,
I would love to talk to you on air as a guest.Here is my latest blog post  http://canyonwalkerconnections.com/2011/09/13/ten-things-i-wish-i-knew-ten-years-ago-about-gay-people/
let me know. Mom to mom, Christian to Christian. Let’s talk.  Kathy  Baldock

She declined in the first of a few fruitless exchanges:

Kathy:

I do appreciate your writing me. After reading your blog, I have to tell you, we are not going to agree, mainly because your writings reveal you have adopted essentially the world’s view on this and not what is expressed in Scripture as God’s.

There are not “gay” people; there are people involved in homosexuality , but they are not a biologically different human type than Joe hetero on the street. So please stop using that inaccurate term, one that also belies your lack of faith in what God has told us.

The Bible’s directives contradict your viewpoint. You also seem to see this as “no big deal.” It’s a very big deal! Why else would God call this an “abomination”? It kind of reminds me of our culture’s casual acceptance of fornication, when we should be very, deeply troubled.

In writing this, I am assuming you respect and follow Scripture. If not, we have no place to go in this conversation.

Yes, I hear from people constantly that they truly believed they were born that way.But Kathy, that’s not what God’s word tells us. It’s a sin, and people can walk away. I think you are confused between the fact that these attractions often “seem” unchosen, and whether we are getting a really truthful picture from people involved this sin. They are often quite blinded and quite persuasive, if that’s our only benchmark. And the fact is, people rationalize. It’s human nature.

I never buy this identity plea. People know this is wrong, and a person can choose to dwell on fantasies, to pursue relationships, and to go down this road in their minds until these feelings are embedded. Also, people can choose to remain celibate. So choice is definitely involved. It’s not to discount the difficult struggle many have in overcoming this, but it is more doable than people often let on.

But some see it and change immediately, if they give their whole hearts to the Lord.  There are some ex-homosexuals who have this testimony.

It’s largely a “gender identity” issue, rather than one of just sexual attraction.It’s all about the person themselves and their often lack of good role-modeling from anyone of the same sex, and total confusion.

I replied:

Thank you for the long and complete note–still, I am asking. Let’s talk on air; you can probably tell my demeanor is quite polite, which is how I “see” you as well. I draw people as do you. Let’s chat on air.

Consider it again please. I KNOW we do not agree but we are both civil women and educated. It would be interesting. We can speak on the phone first and see if we can be genial; it could be a good witness to others as to how to have this conversation.

Let’s try, Linda. K

Linda replied:

Why talk on air, until you address some of the points I’ve brought up?

So, I answered many questions  and then got the kiss-off:

Kathy:

Sorry–I encountered such obfuscation in seminary. It’s all baloney, frankly,all meant to prop up sin. If I believed this,I’d discard God’s truth and go back to being a rationalizing liberal.

Not everything can be “talked” out.

Hope God opens your eyes.

Linda

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Peter Hargmier says:

Unfortunately Kathy, I think that even if you were able to reason with Ms Harvey, and she did on some hidden level realise that she was wrong, she would NEVER admit it, not even to herself, as she has spent the vast majority of her life on this ‘moral’ crusade, and to abandon it now would be to admit she had wasted her life.

Her situation reminds me of a quote from one of my favourite plays:

“I am in blood / Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more, / Returning were as tedious as go o’er”
(Macbeth, Act 3, Scene 4.)

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ophu says:

“In genesis, there’s a sentence,” God made them male and female.” ”

You know, that can be interpreted in more than one way, thanks to the word “AND”.

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Alex says:

Ms harvey, I see that you have made a point, that there’s no such thing as gay,lesbian, bisexual, transgendered people.

However, I would like to point out that you are wrong.

In genesis, there’s a sentence,” God made them male and female.”

However, in modern times, there are people born with both male and female sexual organs. If God allowed it to happen, why won’t there be gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people in the world now?

Perhaps you need time to rethink your stance on this.

I don’t think that you have a relationship with any gay,lesbian,bisexual or transgendered people,based on what you have said.

However, you may already have,just that they are not out.

I would like to add that, whatever help you may have received from people, they may have been from the LGBT community. Gay, Lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons do exist, and they are around us.

Wake up. Smell the different unique scents of the different flowers in the garden.

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Diana A. says:

One of the myths of the Bible is that it is so simple that a child can understand it. It doesn’t require seeing the writings in the context in which they were written, or anything else. Thus, when faced with anything that challenges that viewpoint, the biblical literalist sticks his/her fingers in ears and goes “la, la, la.”

“Sorry–I encountered such obfuscation in seminary. It’s all baloney, frankly,all meant to prop up sin. If I believed this,I’d discard God’s truth and go back to being a rationalizing liberal.”

Yup. Fingers in ears, saying “la, la, la.”

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Regan DuCasse says:

If Linda Harvey was THAT invested in living by the Scriptures, she wouldn’t even HAVE a job outside of the home, nor would she have any say or power within whatever church had the same principles.
Essentially, she’s expecting GAY PEOPLE to be punished according to the Scriptures so she can enjoy a 21st century life where women are no longer subject to being property and without any political clout at all. She’s protected, and has no objections to being protected by the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
She’s claimed that Christians have no voice, or are persecuted for having one, all the while having print AND broadcast media at her beck and call without restriction on what she wants to say.

She’s not only closed her eyes, but she’s in denial of just how much freedom she’s had, because of the sacrifice of others, and she expects the sacrifice of others to continue with no sense of irony.
She wouldn’t have even been able to adopt her child were she really adhering to Scripture.
At least the way she wants GAY adoptive parents to be held in accordance to it.

There is no reason to believe or respect hypocrites. Women have a particular reason to empathize with gays and lesbians because this IS a strictly gender based issue. And the gender held in the most abject position of inferiority, should be the last people calling for another human being to be held as inferior to them.
God didn’t make any human inferior to the other. Never did.
But I really can’t stand the Scriptures being used as if that were so or any other kind of abuse.
Rationalizing why that abuse should continue is exactly why such a book cannot and should not be used as a matter of abuse of civil and public policy.
Inevitably it will be hypocritical policy.

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Sarah W. says:

Hmmm… I’m wondering how Linda would react if she was forced to have a full on relationship with a woman because “God said so!” I’m sure it would be agony and as if she had to suck on cow dung the entire time. Honestly, I am not choosing this! Why in the world would I choose to have people like Linda call me an abomination every day of the week and 10 times on Sundays? Just doesn’t make sense to me. If we all had a choice, then we’d just all choose to be straight and give up the fight. There would be no reason to. Plus, the world would only be bi-sexual and there would be no such thing as heterosexual or homosexual. We can just choose whichever we want.
If this so called “behavior” is just a simple choice, then why all the suicides? Why would a simple “choice” be life threatening?
Sorry lady! Not that simple! Sit down for a minute and try to imagine yourself (forcing yourself) to be in a relationship with something that feels unnatural to you. And you HAVE to do it because you are being told by the majority you are condemned to hell if you don’t.
I feel people (like yourself and I won’t use the word Christian because not all of us have these views) who claim to bring a message from Jesus are NOT doing that at all. You are actually spiritually raping innocent victims who you feel you can bully in His name.
We DO exist and we are EVERYWHERE.
Believe it or not! That worship song you play on your radio station might actually be written by someone from the GLBT community. You CAN’T get away from us. We are HERE! We are spreading the love of Jesus so get used to it!! :)

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Mykelb says:

Dear Ms. Harvey,

I don’t believe there are any Christians, just people who follow a cult of mythology and mysticism. You are invisible to the majority of people on this planet who do not blindly follow a set of dusty old books written for desert dwelling Jews over 3000 years ago. Your Leviticus is a bunch of garbage that only applied to Jewish people who were going into the “holy of holies”. Your Romans was written by a man who hated marriage and women. There are 6 admonishments to STRAIGHT PEOPLE about having gay sex, and over 630 to straight people on other sins, however, there are no admonishments to gay, bisexual, or transgender people because that POS buybull was written long before science figured out what sexual orientation is. Your crap buybull that has the word “homosexual” in it is a lie. That word was not invented until 1863 in Germany. The original buybull wouldn’t have had that word in it. GET A REAL LIFE YOU LYING TWUNT.

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Lee Walker says:

Kathy,

I would also imagine that for many Christian “leaders” it is very difficult to even consider changing their minds or positions. Very rarely, especially on such “nuclear” hot topics, (and only after long periods of private agonizing) does someone “cross the line” to dare and question the traditional party line…and of course they always pay for it (Chad Holtz, Jon Smid, Jay Bakker, Carlton Pearson, etc). But for most, I would bet that even if they dare to honestly look at the issue as you have over the years, they discover that as a public figure they’ve painted themselves into a corner. They now risk losing their audience, CD and/or book sales, etc. So it comes down to not just a question of theology but ‘reputation’, pride, “follow-ship”… and money. It holds true in politics and the entertainment industry as well. Being in the public eye adds a whole new layer of complication and resistance. This is why it’s often so hard for glbt people (who DO exist… OY!), who also find themselves in the public eye, to come out. It may not be so bad if I only have to come out to my small circle of friends and family… but to the “world”??? Scary! So I’m not surprised that straight people such as this woman and other Christian “spokespeople” who put themselves in the spotlight as some kind of public authority would never even consider taking a step toward “coming out” or considering another viewpoint than the party line. In their minds there’s way too much at stake. Yes, they often earnestly believe what they believe, I’m not saying they’re hypocrites about what they believe, but I’m trying to analyze the motivations behind why they would be so fearful of even CONSIDERING another viewpoint.

Which is of course, why you are so threatening to them… you were them 10 years ago. And just look at you now! :-)

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Lee Walker says:

Just proves your point #1 in previous post… it all comes down to which paradigm you believe at your core– it’s either a choice or not.

It doesn’t work with many who are so entrenched (as she is), but one of the quickest ways to get a str8 person to “get it” is to ask them directly, “Tell me about the time you chose to be heterosexual.” I’ve seen them stop mid-word in sudden realization and have to backtrack… If they can grasp that concept then it’s a step toward understanding. Those who will not think or listen honestly, however, won’t ever “get it”.

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You know what I find funny? Almost 100% of Biblical scholars, those who have actually analyzed the Bible in a historical, geographical, studied the language closely, will say that Homosexuality is not considered a sin. That the verses have been mistranslated and misinterpreted.

However, the Christians who have never really fully studied the Bible, at least not in a scholarly way, are always the ones who say it is a sin and that any other interpretation of the verse is apostasy and heretical.

What gives them the right to decide this and deny the hard work and analysis of Biblical scholars, most of who are Christian, it just makes no sense.

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