An Email Exchange Between Playwright Jonathan Brower and a Missionary in Italy

Jonathan Brower_1

After Xtra!’s article on our upcoming reading series The Aspect of Eternity appeared online, playwright Jonathan Brower – whose play Oblivion is being read as part of the series – received some negative push-back from former colleagues in the evangelical Christian community.

Below is a Facebook exchange between Jonathan and a missionary in Italy, whose name, for privacy reasons, has been edited out.


From: [A Christian Missionary in Montebelluna, Italy]
hey Jonathan…
I’m not sure if I should even be sending this, but since you posted that article talking about your journey…I just have a sincere question…
I really don’t want it to be taken the wrong way, or for you to think Im being aggressive or attacking you…
but…in the article about being Gay and Christian, there was the comment about the conflict between what a person IS and what they Believe.
when it comes to sexual orientation, or any impulse that we feel for that matter, do those impulses define who we are? You are gay because you feel the impulse to be gay. right?
the article and many other discussions in current times equates the current gay rights movement to the civil rights movement of the 60’s.
a man is black because he is black. do you believe that you are gay in the same way that a black man is black? a black man is black genetically, empirical evidence sustains his ‘blackness’ as such. Is it intellectually honest to equate the gay ‘definition’ who how a person is if one’s sexuality is based on what one feels they are with no empirical evidence to sustain the classification? I understand impulse, i understand preference, even desire, but do those classify a type of person like race does?

I really hope you don’t receive this as an attack
again, just wanted to have your sincere thoughts in response to mine…
hope you have a great day bro…


Reponse from Jonathan Brower:
… thank you for messaging me, the nature of FB allows us 8 years later to dialogue about something that you never knew about me when we met. It is interesting that we are provided this opportunity, but will it be an opportunity? I think I understand your question, but I’m not sure it is actually a question or chance to dialogue more than you telling me you don’t believe there is any evidence a person can be created gay as they are created black. You specifically asked me not to take this as an attack, so my question back to you is are you asking me to prove to you that I didn’t choose to be gay? If so, there’s nothing I can tell you that will convince you, just as you being innately created straight is something you couldn’t prove to me. I can tell you without a doubt, this was not a choice, but that’s not really what this is about. From my experience, there will never be enough proof for evangelicals that LGBTQ people are actually loved and celebrated by God the way they are. These are my sincere thoughts, and like the article says, I hope that the christian love that you have can overcome the need to have people follow the evangelical rules. I’m open to dialoguing more about this, but with the intention to love and seek understanding. This is something I’ve been working through for 20 years non-stop, something personal to my experience, whereas you have read a Facebook article and then, I don’t know the extent of how else you have been touched by this issue, but unless you experience same-sex attraction yourself, know that your words aren’t just to a people group with no face, they are to me, that kid that hung out with you at the Austrian castle for that weeklong pastor’s conference, that spoke Italian with you, that wanted to change the world just like you.

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