Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Q & A with Oprah Winfrey

Q. "So what exactly did you mean by that ["being gay is a gift from God"] comment?


And a bulk of my day today will be spent answering mails in response ... including this one:

I wanted to take the time to share with you my great appreciation for the words you expressed on The Oprah Winfrey Show both last Thursday and this past Monday. “Being Gay is a Gift from God”, I cannot even type it without blurring my eyes from an unknown well of emotion and satisfaction. It is interesting and very surprising to me that I could live my life today (for the last 40 years) and for the last 17 years (being out) never crossing the threshold you pulled me through last Thursday. If you asked me last Thursday I would have said that I was a happy, confident, contributing member of society. A man blessed with so much love.
I have to tell you, no one has ever spoken so directly to the part of me that needed to hear those words of love, acceptance and inclusion. I didn’t even know I needed to hear them until you said them. It is an odd experience to find myself sympathizing with a guest on the show and in the course of one sentence being transported to another level of enlightenment. It was tangible. In that instant I felt the change manifest within me. I was different. I was unlimited potential. The weight of a new responsibility to myself and the world was now present, welcomed, and totally within my power to command.
I held my breath on Monday in fear for what I thought would be the inevitable step back; a softer version, an apology of some sort for loving with an intensity not yet recognizable by others. What came was the assertion that there was no misunderstanding, that the words are simple truth, and there will be no apology. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

I'm trying to imagine what it must be like to "hold your breath" for fear that someone "take back" the message that you are unconditionally loved by God.

Wow. We CAN make a difference by getting our voices out there and THANKS BE TO GOD that Orprah Winfrey offered this national platform for the Good News of a God who loves absolutely everybody to get out there!

Take a minute to thank her ... click here to send a message through her website ... because you KNOW she's getting emails from "the other side." Let's make sure she hears from us as well!

And now, back to answering emails!

"Dear Oprah Watcher, Thanks so much for taking time to write ..."


David |Dah • veed| said...

Did Ed have to fly to Seattle to make this broadcast?!? Why not just fly to Chicago? Or is that just a photo background?

Way to go Father Ed!


He just happened to be in Seattle for meetings this week and the Oprah producers arranged to tape him in a studio there.

Suzer said...

What a wonderful explanation Rev. Bacon gave! I haven't had a moment to look at this until now.

It's difficult, though, even for me -- a lesbian -- to see my orientation as a gift from God. So often, it feels more like a cross to bear, especially when one can't escape the constant media, religious, and societal messages of condemnation. To have to be constantly aware of my actions with my partner -- where is it o.k. to hold hands publicly (almost nowhere, where we live), to give an affectionate hug or peck on the lips -- something hetero couples don't have to think about for a split second.

I don't know if I can view it as a gift, even though I know most certainly I was created with a particular orientation. I've known it from a very young age, and attempts to deny it left me depressed and suicidal. A gift? I just don't know about that. Sometimes I see it as a hardship, and have asked God why He would do such a thing. I have no answers, but perhaps if I can wrap my brain around this "gift" idea I can find some solace.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

A Gift, definitely a Gift.

God's Gift in Creation - and his Creation is Good.

Erika Baker said...

Next to my children, it's the greatest gift of my life. How else would I have go together with the wonderful woman I share my life with? Without her, life is just about unimaginable.

Muthah+ said...

May I recommend "Gifted with Otherness" by M.R. Ridley and Bill Countryman. It was the first time I understood that my gayness was gift.

I caught the little soundbite from Ed and watched Oprah. I think am going to try to catch the online thing tonight.

The comment moderation word is
'uphorat' Funny.

IT said...

Well, Suzer, isn't it like Elizabeth Kaeton said in her recent post, the point is that it's all in the angle. Why should you being you be a cross for YOU? Because other people made it so. IF they would just look at it differently...

Rev. Kaeton writes, But, I think we've been asking all the wrong questions and trying to "fix" the problem without first taking the time to make an accurate assessment and diagnosis.

For example, instead of asking, "How can we ordain LGBT people or bless their relationships?" why not ask, "What might God be doing, at this time and place in our history, in bringing so many LGBT people to the church? What can they teach us about what we might have taken for granted about human sexuality, covenanted relationships, commitment and service?"

If we started with those questions, we might end up in an entirely different place.

If there were a God, really He would be rather cross (no pun intended) at how judgementally people view the endless variety of humanity: gay, straight, right or left handed, redhead or not, BUddhist or Christian.... it's a paradox, that Christianity states that every sparrow is precious, while so many Christians reject other people.

And so it is wonderful that Rev. Bacon and others are practicing Radical Welcome rather than Rejection.

Susan's post made my BP cry.

David and John said...

I urge everyone to take a moment to write in and let Oprah know how much we appreciate her giving her viewers an example of what true Christianity is all about!

John I. said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you ... Fr. Ed and Mtr. Susan for speaking out for our families and our children. I pray there will be a better tomorrow for our children and grandchildren because of this message. God have mercy on those who have helped send our children to early graves because of their hated - & someday help me forgive them. John

Barb said...

As a straight woman, I totally agree with the Rev. Ed Bacon. Nowhere in MY Bible does it say we are all created in the image of God "except". There are NO exceptions! Homosexuality is not a choice any more than having brown eyes instead of blue eyes is. It is time for ALL of us "good Christians" to stand by the children of God as we were told and count everyone as our brothers and sisters!

Abby said...

My only wish is that Rev. Bacon had included transgender people in his statement about being a gift from God. Trans women and men may or may not be lesbian or gay, but we are used as the scapegoat by many conservative Christians to vilify not only trans people, but gays and lesbians as well. We are also the most marginalized segment of the LGBT community. Multiple trans women, especially women of color, are killed every month in this country just for being who they are. Last month, Jennifer Gale, a trans woman in Austin, died sleeping on the streets because the women's shelters there would not admit her, and the men's shelters demanded that she used her former male name, long since legally changed, and present as male in the shelter. Understandably, this denial of the core of her identity was too much for her to bear, so she chose to sleep on the streets. Ironically, she died sleeping on a park bench outside a church. (You can read more about Jennifer Gale and her tragic death here:

Barb said...

Abby is right but we must be thankful for each step toward acceptance for who we are. Not all of us have the same issues but I know for sure we ALL have issues.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

I second that.