Friday, 29 April 2011

Rembert S. Truluck's 12 Steps to Recovery From Bible Abuse.

For all those who are bothered by allegations that the Bible is (allegedly) against homoerotic love, here's a site to bookmark now: Steps to Recovery From Bible Abuse. I first came across this just yesterday, by way of a reference in the excellent book, "The Queer Bible Commentary", and am delighted to have found it.  As gay men, lesbians and trans peoples, we all know how freely the bible has been used and abused to argue against full equality, or even to justify direct discrimination, bullying, violence, criminalization and even execution. For those of us who are Christians, this abuse may have led us to deep feelings of guilt as we have struggled to reconcile and balance the supposed demands of faith, and living lives of personal integrity.

There are numerous resources now available that show how this supposed opposition is a chimera, and a gross misrepresentation of what the Bible really says about homosexuality, but most of these do not go much further than rebutting the handful of texts of terror. Dr Truluck's site does much more - offering suggestions for healing from the years of guilt engendered by this Bible abuse.

Dr Rembert S Truluck

The developer of the site, Dr Rembert S.  Truluck, was a  Southern Baptist Pastor from 1953 to 1973, Professor of Religion at Baptist College of Charleston, SC, 1973-1981, and later a pastor at Metropolitan Community Churches in Atlanta, San Francisco, and Nashville, TN., 1988-1996.

He was a Doctor of Theology from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY, 1968, and the author of "Invitation to freedom", (a guide to Personal Evangelism in the Gay Community), and "Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse".

A note on the home page states that Dr Truluck passed away at age 74 on November 13, 2008, and that the last update was on 07/22/2007. Although the site is no longer being updated, it is being maintained, and still accessible at the invaluable OT Kenyer Portal, which also houses links to the Lesbian and Gay Catholic Handbook (also no longer updated) and numerous others.

There are mixed views on the long term value of 12 step programmes in treating addiction, and in the extension of the original concept from Alcoholics Anonymous to other forms of addiction. The further extension to applications that have nothing whatever to do with addiction, or even to mental or physical health, is particularly problematic. However, in the light of the (mis)representation of the Catholic "Courage" pastoral program as a 12 step recovery program for homosexuals, I find this idea a delightful counter.  At this stage, I do not want to get into any detailed evaluation of the merits of Truluck's proposed steps, although I would say that overall, they make sense to me.

The 12 steps to Recovery

1. Admit You Have Been Hurt By Religion
2. Turn to God As Your Guide to Recovery
3. Examine Your Faith
4. Face and Deal With Your Anger
5. Avoid Negative People And Churches
6. Face The Scripture Used Against You
7. Find Positive Supportive Scripture
8. Read And Study The Gospels
9. Come Out And Accept Yourself

10. Develop Your Personal Support System

11. Learn To Share Your Faith With Others
12. Become A Freedom Missionary

The Bible Recovery Website

Dr Rembert's website contains much more than just the 12 step program listed above. Additional pages are
Go ahead, explore!

Suggested Books:
Truluck, Rember S : Invitation to Freedom
Bohache, Thomas, Guest, Deryn (et al, eds): The Queer Bible Commentary

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