[UPDATE: Visit Carol’s blog My heart goes out…]
I Wrote About Carol Boltz
On June 17, 2009, I put up a post about Carol Boltz and her interview on the online radio show on the Gay Christian Network. In that interview, Carol talked about her life before, during and after the time when her (ex-) husband, Christian singer Ray Boltz, came out as gay.
A Woman Anyone Would Want to Call a Friend
I think of Carol Boltz as a friend. I believe good, good things about her. So, I was disappointed, but not surprised, to find that a message board run by students from a fundamentalist Christian college had a post that quoted my entire post with the partial transcript of Carol’s interview.
No Quotation Marks to Identify Her Words
The person who copied my entire post failed to use quotations to attribute Carol’s words to her. That led some readers to believe the transcript of parts of her radio interview was actually something she had written. That was misleading. But, at least they included a link to my post. So, at least readers could come here and see what she said, and know they were reading a partial transcript of a radio interview, and then visit Carol’s blog to see what she had to say about her experience of being on the radio show.
Negative Comments About Carol and Ray
After the post, there were comments about Carol and Ray. They were mostly along the line that says, “She just talked about what she thinks and how she feels, but it’s really about what God’s Word says.”
Who Were These Commenters? I Wondered
I wondered who these people were, writing comments on a password-protected bulletin board, saying disparaging things about someone I think of as a friend. So, I did what you’d probably do. I googled them. And, I learned that they call themselves, “an online community for gen-x Christians with connections to …”. Then, I googled the core part of their name, and learned that they are from a “fundamental college.”
That Answered My Questions. Fundamentalism.
There are many people who have grown up in fundamentalist Christian churches. Their teachings about Christianity do not include homosexuality. The people who are posting on the message board seem to be of that belief. They believe that homosexuality is not a sexual orientation, part of who a person is, rather that it is an action or a behavior, a choice and a sin. (I first learned about that bit of fundamentalist theology from Marc Adams when he explained to me the fundamentalist view of homosexuality.)
I Read the Rules for the Bulletin Board
The rules for posting include this:
Discussion of certain topics which destroy that environment are forbidden. The following topics are strictly off-limits:
ADVOCACY OR DEFENSE OF HOMOSEXUALITY
Other bulletin boards concerning PCC have in the past been invaded by persons with an agenda of pushing for the acceptance of homosexuality. Those discussions drove away the existing majority of Christians on those boards, and therefore will NOT be tolerated here. PERIOD. You are free to disagree, but not on this board.
Clearly, it is acceptable to speak badly, on that bulletin board, of people who are open and honest about their sexuality. But, it is forbidden to say anything positive or supportive of people who are open and honest about their sexuality if it happens not to be heterosexuality.
Recognition, Realization, Acceptance, Openness
Those who hold to the fundamentalist theology believe that Carol and Ray Boltz are way off the path. I believe differently. The fundamentalist view is that there is no such thing as homosexuality, there is only “the sin of homosexuality.” (Adams) They refer to ex-gay groups as a way to ‘escape’ homosexuality. But, there is no escaping who you are by denying it. There is life beyond ex-gay, rising up whole (Bakke) and living an honest, creative life as the person God created (Toscano).
(I read more of the rules and discovered that the board is not from a fundamentalist school, but from an evangelical school. “Since we are evangelical Christians, our community standards are pretty strict, so if you’re in doubt, either ask or just don’t post it.” Apparently that school believes the same as the fundamentalists about homosexuality.)
Carol and Ray Boltz Still Walk With God
From what I have seen, Carol and Ray Boltz are on the path and walking with God. What they are not doing is picking up stones from that path to hurl at others. They are walking honestly and openly. Regardless of what others say about their faith and their lives, they are still on the path. They are still walking with God.
My Comment After I Read Those Comments
I wrote a comment to Carol after I read those words by people who believe Ray and Carol cannot possibly be Christians and gay/gay-supporting. Here’s what I said:
Thank you for your openness about your life.
I know there are many who are taking your honesty, and Ray’s, as an opportunity to attack you and Ray (in the name of God, of course). There are people who have chosen to reject you and Ray, because of his coming out, and because of your support for him and all lgbt persons. They are misinformed.
I know you to be an open, honest, loving, giving, devoted Christian woman. If those who speak badly of you and Ray were to look at your history, they would see that your history and your present life give you credibility.
The one good thing I see about people criticizing you and Ray, by name, is that those who need the truth that is in your personal story will be able to find you because of those who have named you and criticized you.
For anyone who has heard of Ray Boltz or Carol Boltz, and anyone who is married and gay or married to a spouse who is gay, you are not alone. Carol has opened her heart to the world, and you can find support, encouragement, comfort and hope in the pages of her personal web page My Heart Goes Out.
Thank you, Carol, for the light you shine in this world.