Yesterday, Tom Daley, the Olympic medalist in diving from England, came out in a short five-minute video on YouTube.
You’ll note I said, “came out,” which in current parlance can mean several things, but is most commonly taken to mean publicly identifying as gay. Indeed as this article in the Guardian points out, many major media outlets took it this way, describing Daley as having come out as gay. However, if you watch the video, Daley never claims a particular sexual identity (gay, bisexual, or otherwise), but simply says that he is in a relationship with another guy. Indeed, he adds that he still fancies girls and that his relationship with this guy seemingly took him by surprise. What do we make of a statement like this? And is it even our job to make something of it?
And one more video.
While I was out in California to talk at Biola, I also spoke with Father Josiah Trenham, the pastor of St. Andrew Orthodox Church in Riverside. Here’s the interview (with a rather intense-looking freeze frame to start, unfortunately!):
I spoke in a chapel service at Biola University last month on the themes of gay experience, Christian faith, and spiritual friendship. Here is the video:
I gave a very similar talk at Calvin College the week before, and I’m still working on trying to refine this and figure out exactly how I want to talk about these things. If you have any feedback for me, I’m all ears!
Pepperdine University is a Christian school affiliated with the Churches of Christ. Like other Church of Christ schools, Pepperdine embraces the traditional view that sexual intimacy is only appropriate within marriage between a man and a woman.
The following chapel talk invites students to talk about gay issues with honesty and integrity:
One of the most helpful books for coming to grips with classic Christian theologies of marriage is Christopher Roberts’ Creation and Covenant: The Significance of Sexual Difference in the Moral Theology of Marriage. Prior to writing this book, Roberts was a research assistant to Bill Moyers and worked as a reporter for PBS’ show Religion and Ethics Newsweekly. More recently, he has taught ethics at Villanova University.
Roberts’ book is a survey of some of the primary things the Christian tradition has said about the significance of our creation as male and female for the theology of marriage. Beginning with early theologians like Gregory of Nyssa and continuing on to look at Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Karl Barth, Pope John Paul II, and others, Roberts concludes the book with a charitable discussion of some of the “revisionist” arguments for an explicitly Christian theology of gay marriage. Along the way, and particularly at the end, he offers sensitive pastoral reflections on both marriage and celibacy.
In this video, Roberts summarizes the book’s main argument and fields some questions from the audience (1 hr 15 mins).