Churches and HIV Victim Support in the 1990s

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 23, 2015 12:06 PM GMT
    I am HIV negative but have HIV positive friends, including someone who died of pneumonia back when I was in college.

    I remember when I was a teenager back in 1990s and HIV/Aids were so new.

    The Methodist, Lutheran, and Episcopal churches did a lot to help and protect early Aids/HIV victims when few others would.

    Am I the only one left who remembers this?

    Why are so many Gay men now proud to say how much they hate Christians?

    It seems really ungrateful and not exactly tollerant.

    Just my two cents,
    FloridaRugbyBear


  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 23, 2015 2:49 PM GMT
    pellaz saidReligion is a part of the human experience. There definitely would be less if there was not a choice. There are accepting churches; in Denver there is dignitydenver.org It is a gift to be gay so dont give it away till you dont have anything left, hate. Choose accepting social situations and experience less frustrations.

    i am not a religious man so really; hate is too strong a word. How about just agree to disagree and just treat the next citizen an incremental bit kinder?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 23, 2015 3:06 PM GMT
    pellaz saidReligion is a part of the human experience. There definitely would be less if there was not a choice. There are accepting churches; in Denver there is dignitydenver.org

    i am not a religious man so really; hate is too strong a word. How about just agree to disagree and just treat the next citizen an incremental bit kinder?



    Pellaz Ireally don't remember you personally saying anything unkind.

    There are some guys on here who have said things like "anyone but a Christian" in the "who are you looking for" area of their profile. If you substituted another religion or ethnic group in there it would be considered really gauche or inappropriate.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 23, 2015 3:30 PM GMT
    there are more choices than you think. Why be frustrated and hate.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 23, 2015 4:03 PM GMT
    pellaz saidthere are more choices than you think. Why be frustrated and hate.


    I don't understand this statement. I hope you are not talking about me.

    I was raised in and go to a Gay friendly church where the minister would be happy to marry me, if I found someone I wanted to marry. This church did a lot for AIDs awareness and prevention, and helped a lot of terminal patients in Chicago in the 1990s. I don't see how that's hateful?

    I know the Westborough Baptist Church exists and a few other fringe groups, but to be honest I have never personally met a group of vitriolic, hateful Church folk ranting about Gay people, as depicted in some TV shows.

    Since Gay marriage is now upheld at the federal level, and 70% of the citizens self identity as Christians, I have difficultly beleiving that Christians are all out to get us.

    I think some folks are not using current data.

    I am frustrated that people think it's ok to discriminate against Christians, Jews, Muslims, or any other religious group. This is particularly ironic coming from people who claim to be progressive or tollerant.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Dec 23, 2015 4:44 PM GMT
    I don't hate Christians. But I do remember the period of the AIDS scare in the US, and how a lot of gay people committed suicide because Christians demonized/isolated/ostracized them. I get frustrated by Christians who like to rewrite history as though they were the good guys/victims. Your post is like someone peeling off old scabs just to make them bleed again.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 23, 2015 5:22 PM GMT
    theantijock%20engage%20stalker%20reducti

    http://outhistory.org/

    (no contents topic on Methodists found for timelines, however...)

    http://outhistory.org/exhibits/show/religion_homosex/lutheran

    (no mention of HIV/AIDS)

    1964 July At its convention, the Lutheran Church in America (LCA) releases the statement “Marriage and Family,” its first on the subject, which contains no mention of homosexuality.

    1970 June-July At the convention, the LCA produces a statement on “Sex, Marriage, and Family” is released that supersedes the previous statement on these subjects. This statement contains the Church’s first mention of homosexuality, which is referred to as a sin, but also claims that homosexuals are “often the special and undeserving victims of prejudice and discrimination in law, law enforcement, cultural mores, and congregational life.”

    1971 March An article in the New York Times claims that the LCA is one of only two “national church denominations” that have released a statement in support of “homosexual rights” The other denomination is the Unitarian Universalist Association.

    1990 January Two San Francisco churches proceed with their ordination of gay and lesbian pastors, making them the first openly homosexual individuals to be ordained in the Lutheran church.

    1998 A gay Lutheran pastor in Iowa is brought to a church trial for being homosexual and ultimately has his ordination revoked. [New York Times 02/01/1998] 1999 August The Churchwide Assembly of the ELCA, the major legislative body, officially votes for the first time on the issue of gay clergy. In a vote of 820 to 159, “sexually-active” gays and lesbians are prohibited from ordination.


    http://outhistory.org/exhibits/show/religion_homosex/episcopal
    1985 September Bishop William E. Swing, the Episcopal Bishop of California, issues a pastoral letter concerning the fears of parishioners in the San Francisco area regarding the communal cup of wine and the transmission of AIDS. Bishop Swing calls for “pastoral understanding of the ‘cautious person,’” but also states that he “believe[s] in a common meal and everyone coming to the table.” He claims that he wrote the letter because he did not want people in the church to “treat people with AIDS as lepers.”

    1988: The resolution also calls upon Bishops to “repudiate the misconception that the Church encourages such violence and to counter the public declarations of those who claim that AIDS is the punishment of God upon homosexual persons.”

    1992 December The Rev. J. Robert Williams, the controversial first director of New Jersey’s Oasis Ministry, dies of an AIDS-related pulmonary infection.

    1995 February The Episcopal diocese of Washington D.C., following a statement drafted by Newark Bishop Spong, declares that gays and lesbians who live together in monogamous relationships should be “honored.” [43]

    June Rev. John K. Mount, a gay, 85 year old priest in Maryland who has been ordained since 1935, loses his “priestly powers” on Maryland’s Eastern Shore after he blessed two HIV-positive gay men in a “marriage-style ceremony.” Mount dies in July 1996



  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 23, 2015 5:23 PM GMT
    http://outhistory.org/exhibits/show/religion_homosex/catholic
    1985 February Representatives from the Catholic church join with Protestant and Jewish leaders for an “interfaith forum on religion and AIDS.” A joint statement is released calling on religious individuals to treat those with AIDS with compassion, not judgment. [30]

    July The District of Columbia Court of Appeals rules that Georgetown University, which has Roman Catholic affiliations, cannot refuse recognition of a homosexual student group. The university had argued that requiring it to recognize the group would be “an unconstitutional infringement of its Roman Catholic beliefs.” [31]

    August The Archdiocese of New York announces that it is preparing a “‘comprehensive plan for the study and care of AIDS patients’” and that it will open a shelter for patients in a vacant convent.

    1986 October Chicago Archbishop Joseph Cardinal Bernardin releases a statement that mandates “pastoral initiatives” in response to the AIDS crisis, which include the establishment of an office on “pastoral care” for AIDS and the compiling of “accurate information.” The statement also states that it is “unfortunate” that many gays and lesbians have heard within the church’s “efforts to teach the wrongness of homosexual acts…the sound of condemnation and rejection.” Bernardin also rejects the claims by other religious figures who claim that AIDS is a form of divine retribution, stating instead that “AIDS is a ‘human disease.’”

    December The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles refuses to allow an AIDS education group to host seminars in its churches because the group “condone[s] the use of condoms,” which the Archbishop claims “implies either heterosexual promiscuity or homosexual activity,” neither of which the Church “condones.”

    1987 July Over 300 people protest at St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City over President Regan’s appointing Archbishop O’Connor to serve on a national AIDS commission. O’Connor subsequently releases a statement defending his position and affirming “the sacredness” of each individual, even if one’s sexual orientation differs from Catholic teaching. [47]

    September Over 2,000 individuals protest the Pope’s visit to San Francisco. In response, he stresses God’s forgiveness, with special reference to those with AIDS.

    December In their first statement on AIDS, the administrative board of the United States Catholic Conference offers some degree of support for discussion of condoms as a preventive measure in sex education, although it also insists that it is not “promoting the use of prophylactics” and that “the only ‘morally correct and medically sure ways’” to avoid acquiring AIDS are abstinence and/or marital fidelity. Several bishops from major cities release statements of their own in response to the board’s paper, including NYC Archbishop O’Connor who claims that “such instruction” will not be allowed in his churches, and Chicago Archbishop Bernardin who praises the paper for being both “‘faithful’” and “sensitive.’”

    1988 January About 35 members of Dignity return to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City to protest having their special mass banned by Archbishop O’Connor. None are arrested this time as the protesters remain at the back of the church “kneeling, singing, and praying.” [NYT 01/04/1988 pB3] January Vatican officials explain the Pope’s virtual silence on the AIDS crisis by attributing the epidemic to “widespread moral permissiveness which the Roman Catholic Church has condemned repeatedly in clear-cut terms.” [51]

    September Archbishop O’Connor of New York condemns a recent wave of gay beatings as “stupid, ignorant, and malicious,” stating that those who perpetuate such acts are “‘doing violence against Christ Himself,” and that anyone who thinks that such violence is condoned by church teachings is “‘grossly ignorant of what the church actually teaches.’”

    October Ten members of the Cathedral Project are arrested for disorderly conduct after they lay down on Fifth Avenue in front of NYC’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral in protest of Cardinal O’Connor’s anti-homosexual attitude. The archdiocese also obtains an injunction preventing the organization from further pickets or demonstrations outside St. Patrick’s.

    1990 February Roman Catholic officials and New York State clash over the treatment of AIDS patients in church-owned and operated hospitals and other facilities. The state accuses the church of jeopardizing the care of patients while Catholic representatives, such as Cardinal O’Connor continue to insist that safe-sex alternatives to abstinence are “morally sinful and medically dangerous.” The State Public Health Council also approves publicly financed, Catholic-run AIDS homes.

    1995 June The New York Catholic Conference speaks out against a new HIV-AIDS instructional guide approved by the State Board of Regents because the program “undermines [the Church’s] own abstinence program by talking extensively about condoms.” [71]

    June On the day of New York City’s Gay Pride parade, Cardinal O’Connor instructs those attending Mass that “‘most people whose sexual orientation differs from the majority are good, decent people who try to live responsible lives,” urging them not to “judge all homosexuals by the actions of those ‘who may misbehave.’”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OutHistory
    OutHistory is a website about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and heterosexual history, and, more generally, gender and sexual history. OutHistory comprises elements of an almanac, archive, article, bibliography, book, encyclopedia, library, and museum.

    OutHistory.org was produced in its first four years by the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS), located at the City University of New York Graduate Center
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 24, 2015 4:35 PM GMT
    FloridaRugbyBear saidI am HIV negative but have HIV positive friends, including someone who died of pneumonia back when I was in college.

    I remember when I was a teenager back in 1990s and HIV/Aids were so new.

    The Methodist, Lutheran, and Episcopal churches did a lot to help and protect early Aids/HIV victims when few others would.

    Am I the only one left who remembers this?

    Why are so many Gay men now proud to say how much they hate Christians?

    It seems really ungrateful and not exactly tollerant.

    Just my two cents,
    FloridaRugbyBear



    I was too young to experience what happened in the 80- early 90's, but a theme of open hostility and is very prevalent within the Gay community. A lot of Gay men suffered a lot of trauma during there clildhood and early adults life and still carry this with them, causing responses to any suggestion of morality as a concept or to having a workable spiritual involvement of any kind is often not possible due to having a closed mind to the possibility of a higher being or a great good of society and it's replacing it with an inward focused despising of spirituallity or any religious interaction of any kind, not an option
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 25, 2015 9:16 PM GMT
    FloridaRugbyBear saidI am HIV negative but have HIV positive friends, including someone who died of pneumonia back when I was in college.

    I remember when I was a teenager back in 1990s and HIV/Aids were so new.

    The Methodist, Lutheran, and Episcopal churches did a lot to help and protect early Aids/HIV victims when few others would.

    Am I the only one left who remembers this?

    Why are so many Gay men now proud to say how much they hate Christians?

    It seems really ungrateful and not exactly tollerant.

    Just my two cents,
    FloridaRugbyBear




    It takes a great deal of tolerance to deal with intolerance. Many gays feel "the church" is oppressive. It doesn't mean they are anti-Christian. Just because a Gay person is not a Republican doesn't mean they are anarchists. With oppression, political or religious, there is fallout.

    Look at the least religious countries: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/04/14/map-these-are-the-worlds-least-religious-countries/

    Considering our income we are still a religious country compared to Canada, Europe, Australia and especially Sweden. There is a lot pressure to be Christian in the US. From our Puritanical beginnings to our current Fundamentalists (laughable to many in Europe) there is a lot of anti-gay sentiment.

    If these churches didn't have an anti-gay stance there wouldn't be such an extreme reaction from gays. As a young gay man in the 70s I sought out Dignity, a gay Catholic group. They were seldom allowed in an actual Catholic Church or property. Often they met an Episcopal churches.....where a lot of gays eventually went.

    I've called myself a Christian agnostic, not knowing if there is such a thing! lol

    But here it is: http://community.beliefnet.com/go/thread/view/44061/13952817/Christian_agnosticism

    "...the Christian agnostic understands that the most important thing is not to battle over who is right and who is wrong, but rather to try to understand each other through respectful dialogue.

    Faith and doubt are often seen as antagonistic, but faith and doubt as complimentary is another way of looking at it. They coexist in tension, but without one there would not be the other, and so there is much to be learned from engaging this tension. So the Christian agnostic need not believe basic Christian teachings without reservation, but simply keep an open mind about the possible truth of these teachings and to live as if they are true."