The ideal format for the “Untangling the Mess” presentation is a five hour block of time with lunch (preferably onsite) in the middle. I spend the first three hours laying a firm foundation on which to lay the Bible verses associated with same-sex behavior. It may seem a long process, but it goes fast and is essential to seeing the verses in context.
As I teach, I create a timeline to give the participants the feeling of discovering information along with me as we progress through time together. I begin with the understanding of human sexuality and the social/sexual structures between men and women in ancient cultures and progress to modern day. Along the way, I present the influences on our understanding same-sex behavior from several points of view: science, governmental and legal impacts, cultural changes, psychoanalysis, and the merger of politics and religion.
The teaching is never boring and I use humor frequently. I enjoy teaching — it is quite obvious to those listening.
If the time allotment is more constrained, I can do a 90-minute version, 2 hour, 3 hour, or 4 hour version.
1st Segment: Same-sex behavior and homosexuality in history and in the culture
- Early understanding of same-sex behavior
- The “discovery” of heterosexuality and homosexuality
- How did heterosexuality become the “good” sex?
- Historical terms about same-sex attracted people and the link to views on women
- How did homosexuality come to be understood as a mental illness?
- The beginnings of reparative, or change therapy
- Gays in the American culture from the 1940s to the 1960s
2nd Segment: Religion and Politics
- The roots of Fundamentalism
- The need to galvanize unregistered blocs of Fundamentalists in the mid-1970s
- Conservative voters and gay activists rise in response to actions by Anita Bryant
- The AIDS crisis in the 1980s and the response of the American public and Christian church
3rd Segment: Science
- What is sex?
- What is intersex?
- Understanding gender
- Understanding transgender
- The science of sexual orientation
- Dogma, doctrine, opinions, and hermeneutics
- Leviticus 18 and 20
- Romans 1
- 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy
- Deuteronomy 22:5
- Looking at the verses in 1611, 1946, 1971, and 1996
- Same “tactics” in substantiating slavery, domination of women, and mistreatment of LGBT people
5th Segment: Civil and Christian marriage, impact of misapplied Scripture, the history of LGBT Christian movement, public policy on LGBT issues, and creating safe place in church
- Shifting definition of marriage
- History of civil marriage
- Marriage as a civil right
- What is Christian marriage?
- Does Christian marriage require complementarity and/or procreation?
- The road to marriage equality
- Trying to “fix” gay Christians and the rise of the Exodus-type ministries
- Mixed orientation marriage where one spouse is straight and one is gay
- The beginnings of the gay Christian movement
- Public policy on transgender issues
- Creating safe places in church
Contact Kathy at Kathy@canyonwalkerconnections.com to discuss details of having me come to your event, church, or venue.