I'm really interested in GT's take on this piece on NPR about a pastor who acknowledges his sexual attraction to other men but has chosen a heterosexual marriage because he believes it is more in line with his fundamentalist faith.
On the one hand, my immediate thought was that this isn't a sustainable relationship, because repressing yourself for the sake of social and/or religious convention never works well for anyone. He says some really contradictory things, about loving a God who accepts him "right where I am" yet trying to repress something apparently fundamental about himself because of "God's will." And that just seems sad to me - to be beholden to a belief system that forces you to deny yourself and erase your own desires because they are arbitrarily deemed morally wrong. But then he goes and says some seemingly self-aware things, about how many people make choices about controlling our desires in order to live certain kinds of lives and how the intimacy he experiences with his wife is based on a shared set of values and beliefs. It is, after all, his choice to pursue a heterosexual partnership and it seems to be one he has made in full cognizance of what that entails.
I'm legitimately torn here. He doesn't seem tormented by this choice, but then again, he might be putting forth a brave face for the sake of his public image. Who knows the extent of his own internal struggle? Mostly, I'm concerned that, as a pastor and a community leader, he's teaching problematic things about human sexuality to younger members of his church. What Edwards is doing in "controlling" his sexual desires is categorically NOT the same as, for instance, self-proclaimed pedophiles who acknowledge the wrongness of their desires and consciously repress them in order to do no harm. Same-sex attraction is not "sinful" and no one is harmed by it. That's where I cannot get on board with his perspective. Many Presbyterian churches recognize same-sex unions and allow homosexual pastors, so Edwards doesn't even necessarily have to deny his desires in order to have a family and be recognized by his faith community.
On the other, other hand, maybe buddy is just bisexual.
What do you guys think?