Commenter on Sexual-Revolutionary Allies: ‘They’re Enablers, Not Friends’

Heed this insider’s warning about sex-revolution sympathizers who ignore real people’s real trauma.
on Oct 14, 2019

Someone dropped this epic comment in my Joshua Harris article, apparently speaking from within (one of) the LGBTQ+ “communities.”

Because of my ongoing book work (and foster care work), I almost missed this comment.

Thank God I didn’t. You shouldn’t either.

Here’s a quick recap of this article, “Some Early Responses to Joshua Harris’s Confession of Apostasy.”

First, I explored several sympathetic aspects of Joshua Harris’s anti-faith statement. Then I addressed the falseness of his “apology” to sexual revolutionaries. Then I concluded that Harris seems to have joined the cabal of progressive Christians and/or “ex-vangelicals.” Despite any good intentions, these folks often use this era’s trendiest victim group as a therapeutic “avatar” or surrogate to express their own frustrations with the Church:

. . . The young Christian is not at first reasoned into advocacy for the victim group. Rather, young Christians identify with these victim groups because of personal empathy based on their own stories of conflict. . . .

[They] empathize with and effectively to use professing victim classes as an “avatar,” or surrogate victim, to express their own unresolved conflict with evangelical institutions, families, or churches. Similarly, they must cast “the evangelical church” as a surrogate oppressor, playing the role of the churches, institutions, or even family members who have caused the young Christian perceived harm in the past.

In this comment, Ahsoka Jackson summarizes her frustration with these supposed “heroes.”

I thought about simply excerpting her remarks. But you have to read the whole thing:1

First of all, addiction and “queerness” are actually quite similar in multiple ways. What’s more, those in my community actually do, for various reasons, engage in substance abuse at disproportionately high rates, so the two are often not only similar but also concurrent. That’s also true of various mental illnesses, like bipolar disorder (the comorbidity).

Secondly, a distinction must be made between the impulse/tendency and the acts. People very often fail to do this, and it’s destructive for multiple reasons. One of which being how they’ll point to the more innocuous-appearing things in an effort to defend or glamorize, while conveniently ignoring the more obviously unpleasant, unethical, and cruel stuff that’s a harder sell.

I will briefly state that the inclination is harmful in factors like how it can drive the destructive behavior and also drive people to defend or promote such behavior.

‘Characteristic destructive behaviors’

Now, regarding the behavior itself, there are any number of types of it, but to summarize, the relationships and interactions are unhealthy and destructive from both psychological and physical standpoints. One way—and this is analogous to addiction again—is how it’s used as a false replacement for actually dealing with the deeper issues a person has. People in my community have significantly higher rates both of having been raped or molested in general and also of having been abused in that way by someone of the same sex. And some of the characteristic destructive behaviors of the community are common to those who have suffered that way.

But in my case, the biggest thing I center on when people make comments asking how it’s harmful, problematic, wrong, etc, is the physical aspect of some of these behaviors.

The body quite literally isn’t designed for certain stuff, and there are major consequences to subjecting it to such trauma.

Besides being unsanitary and degrading, some of this stuff is very damaging physically, causing a myriad of health problems: diseases, chronic infections, vulnerability to further disease, multiple forms of injury, loss of normal function of one’s body, and pain in a myriad of ways. The body quite literally isn’t designed for certain stuff, and there are major consequences to subjecting it to such trauma, especially on a repeated basis and over a period of time.

Some of this stuff is also practiced in heterosexual contexts—though it tends to be less commonly, less frequently, and also with less extremity—and guess what? It’s harmful, painful, unsanitary, abusive, and degrading there, too!

‘People who claim to care just so much’

This is something that really disgusts and infuriates me in dealing with these various people who claim to care just so much about my community.

And this is something that really disgusts and infuriates me in dealing with these various people who claim to care just so much about my community.

Some of their support and normalization of it could be attributed to ignorance, to not realizing the destructiveness and harm of this stuff. But even in that situation, there’s an extremely basic level of sanitation that they’re showing disregard for, so what it suggests about their own cleanliness and decency level is severely disturbing. We’re talking about levels literally taught to young children, regarding both sanitation and normal functioning of the body. So what excuse do adults have?

But that aside, I’ve repeatedly found that it goes beyond just that. Because when you try to educate these so conscientious people who just love my community and are friends of ours and care so much about our wellbeing…they don’t care. They either refuse to listen at all or just dismiss or make excuses for or otherwise show a real lack of genuine compassion and love.

Do you have any idea how painful and staggering that can be? To talk to them about some of the appalling, grotesque stuff that goes on and about how much people SUFFER, and to see such an emptiness of love and compassion in response.

I feel like crying as I’m typing this. It’s not only painful—it’s enraging. And I think it exposes the selfishness and sheer dishonesty at work in some of these people. To be honest, I mistrust people in general now who claim to be “allies” of ours, because I’ve repeatedly been shown that they don’t actually care.

How can you talk about how much you love and care about people who are addicted to meth, but you actually encourage and normalize the use of it, and then when someone tries to, assuming that you actually cared like you claimed to, educate you and explain about the harm it does…things like rotting out your teeth, causing brain damage, causing psychosis…you don’t care or you make excuses, and you keep encouraging people to horrifically harm themselves and each other, all while continuing to claim how much you love them and support them and their wellbeing?

That’s absolutely sickening, and I consider it a massive betrayal.

(And speaking of meth, that’s one of the drugs disproportionately used by the community….)

‘The real motives and priorities’

And I think it reveals some of the real motives and priorities. I think people want to follow the popular trend, and to paint themselves as being “nice” and “loving” and “kind” and “ compassionate,” but without actually worrying about having substance and integrity and honesty behind those claims. Because their behavior demonstrates the exact opposite of what they profess. They’re enablers, not friends.

And another commonality is how they’ll use a friend or family member as an excuse. That should actually be GREATER reason for them to show genuine, honest compassion and concern, not an excuse to further the lies and harm! Your aunt smokes so you’re busy promoting cancer sticks?

See, I think this is again largely due to selfish motives. They don’t want to cause any disturbance to their social circle by being honest, and they’re more concerned about social enjoyment and making “friends” by enabling people rather than caring enough about those friends to either speak the truth or at least refrain from lying. It’s not like you are required to confront them. I don’t really expect that of people. But just be a half-decent person and don’t ENCOURAGE them to abuse themselves or others!

And that’s another aspect of how unethical this all is. Not only do people harm themselves, they also inflict harm on those they engage in certain practices with. Much like smoking harms both the smoker and those breathing in the secondhand smoke in proximity.

Sexually injuring people, damaging their bodies for some moment of sexual enjoyment, is a truly cruel, unethical act, and is not remotely “loving” or “kind.”

And people talk about things like respect for women and being kind and nice and loving, but then promote sexually harming those you supposedly love and whom you should be expected to treat better than average, if anything. It’s dehumanizing and objectifying to trash and misuse someone’s body that way. The sanitation factor also plays into the degradation, in several ways.

I’m guessing a site like this probably wouldn’t want me to be too graphic, and I’d rather not get too specific for now, anyways. But to talk about loving and respecting a person whom you’re subjecting to certain stuff is just laughable. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t care about them at all, but the actions and words don’t line up. It’s like a professed health nut who smokes, or a loving parent who locks their children in closets. Maybe you do care about health in other areas, and maybe you do love your children in other ways. But you’re also egregiously and unrepentantly violating the principles you claim.

‘These are often deeply wounded people acting out of their pain’

Which reminds me…one of the very reasons our relationships can fall apart is that we do get pricked by our conscience, because the more we do come to genuinely care for the other person, the less we’re able to stomach abusing them so! And no, the fact that they “allow” or even “enjoy” it doesn’t make it not abusive or unethical. There’s a lot people allow that isn’t right. Like women who choose to stay with men or women who beat them. And yeah, those men and women claim to “love” them, too.

It’s disturbing how people [claim] that you shouldn’t be violent in other ways in your relationships, but being sexually violent and causing sexual injury gets such a free ride.

Which reminds me—it’s disturbing how people get that you shouldn’t be violent in other ways in your relationships, but being sexually violent and causing sexual injury gets such a free ride. That’s appalling and contradictory.

And if you really care about things like harassment, and mistreatment of women, and respect for people, well, I feel supporting this kind of dehumanizing stuff is promoting just that. Treat women well and respect them…except when you’re sexually injuring them? I call so much bull.

There’s an apt proverb (not quoted from Scripture, mind you) about not tearing down a fence until you know why it was built. If people had listened, there’s a huge amount of suffering that could’ve been prevented. What’s more, time and other resources could’ve been devoted to things like investigating and problem-solving. (One concern relative to this is the effect that environmental contamination—which in some areas disproportionately affects Black, Brown, and poor communities, who are already suffering—can have on prenatal development and hormonal exposure. So basically, normalizing this is potentially like normalizing how people affected by substances used in warfare will have various medical issues and birth defects. You’re dismissing and further victimizing people, saying the damage is normal!)

And one thing about those who are in my community is that while it often is hard to be patient, especially for those lacking remorse and not attempting to change their behavior, there’s also the balance that these are often deeply wounded people acting out of their pain. That molestation thing I mentioned is an example.

And I also understand how extremely difficult it can be to extract yourself from stuff once you get involved in it.

‘With friends like these, we’ve no need of enemies’

What’s the excuse for the supposed allies?. . . . They’re not the addicts themselves, yet they want to keep the addiction going.

But what’s the excuse for the supposed allies? Those who should be able to see much more clearly, but refuse to. They’re not the addicts themselves, yet they want to keep the addiction going.

I’ve been through Hades dealing with people like that and watching them put on these acts of being nice and sugary sweet and claiming friendship while showing horrific levels of callousness, dishonesty, and cruelty.

And people want me to be forgiving about it and let it go, but so far…I’m not in a forgiving spirit. And again, it’s one thing if someone is regretful and trying to be better. I tend to be Ms. Cheerleader and very proud of people like that in various situations. But those who blatantly and brazenly continue, like those who normalize “consensual” sexual slavery (and this is extremely offensive racially, by the way…) and other abusive, demeaning practices, and while still claiming friendship and spewing lies about love in the midst of this mishegoss they’re fostering…they are lucky that karma hasn’t inflicted on them the same pain, injury, and loss of function that they cheerfully encourage people to inflict on themselves, and worse, each other. Those they “love.”

Anyways, I think this article actually does an excellent job of analyzing and discussing one of the factors behind some of these people taking up banners, and I’ve seen similar ideas suggested before: that in some cases it’s really more self-concerned and not about the people the cause is supposedly about.

How badly do we have to suffer to garner [our allies’] supposedly abundant compassion for us that mysteriously vanishes when it comes to what results from these lifestyles?

Because with friends like these, we’ve no need of enemies. In fact, I prefer those who are openly hostile and at least don’t claim to care about use versus those who claim it while so deeply betraying us and furthering our hurt and self-destruction and exploiting our pain and vulnerability to paint themselves as something they’re not.

Just how badly do we have to suffer to garner their supposedly abundant compassion for us that mysteriously vanishes when it comes to what results from these lifestyles? Because I’ve seen them stonily unmoved by some heavy stuff.

Read the original comment here.

I replied:

This is an absolutely epic comment, though it is born of real tragedy and trauma. Thank you, Ahsoka. I hope you see my reply (even a few weeks late). And I will take other steps to ensure that you do see my reply.

Everything you’ve written here, apparently from an insider’s perspective, aligns and fleshes out what I’ve read elsewhere about the real emotional, physical harm in the movement.

That includes the very detailed descriptions of the physical harm. Many of these I’ve seen described at length elsewhere, particularly from Joseph Sciambra. (This is the original link, though I see the site has apparently been down for maintenance for some time.) To be sure, one must be very careful with such details, but sin thrives when it’s done in the darkness and painted over with melodrama and sentimentalism. I believe the benefits of exposing these unfruitful works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11) outweigh the risks.

  1. I’ve edited only to add italics, subheads, and a few other formatting changes.
E. Stephen Burnett explores fantastical stories for God’s glory as publisher of and its weekly Fantastical Truth podcast. He coauthored The Pop Culture Parent and creates other resources for fans and families, serving with his wife, Lacy, in their central Texas church. Stephen's first novel, a science-fiction adventure, launches in 2025 from Enclave Publishing.
  1. Kira Thomas says:

    Goodness, that was a heavy read, but I’m so glad you spoke up, Ahsoka. And as always, thank you for facilitating the discussion and drawing our attention to it, Stephen.

  2. notleia says:

    Oh, I would’ve missed this if you hadn’t boosted it. Thanks.

    But while you can make addiction an ANALOGY for homosexuality, there’s no evidence for homosexuality for actually FUNCTIONING as an addiction, what with the electrical firings in your brainpan.

    But I think Christian subculture has a very skewed notion of what the definition of “addiction” is. From all the peeps who tout a sordid past with an “addiction to porn,” anytime they give specifics, it seems more like “porn addiction” = “I looked at porn more than once.” Like, you can use the words professionals do, but without knowing the wider context of the terms, you still look like you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    The other parts of her comment were mostly veiled commentary on buttstuff, but buttstuff is not actually required to be gay. Phallo-centricity is a fairly common pitfall, but you can do teh sechs without penetration. Gay girls can have lower STI rates than heteros, but I doubt anyone is going to take that as an excellent reason to be gay.

    • notleia says:

      Imma take this moment to go abstract about gayness. Ahsoka spent a lot of time on veiled language about buttsechs, and this made me ponder on the cultural baggage of sex, sexism, and penetration in particular.
      Is penetration inherently degrading? Traditionally yes, and I think that’s what certain clans of radfems are reacting to when they advocate boycotting hetero relationships or that junk about all hetero sex (ie, penetration) is rape.
      It dates back to the Romans, where the criteria for manliness was not whether they boinked exclusively women, but whether they were seme rather than uke.
      It’s probably a chicken-and-egg question, whether being penetrated is despised because it’s done to women, or whether women are despised because they’re “meant” to be penetrated.
      Are gay dudes considered despicable because they are feminine or because they are penetrated, or is that asking the same thing?
      But this is so very abstract that the answer is most likely “probably, kinda, but not entirely.”

  3. Original writer (paraphrased): People who claim to support “our movement” don’t actually know about the emotional and physical ways that people are hurting themselves, and when they find out, they don’t even seem to care.

    notleia: Well, actually(proceeds to repeat the same talking points and follow the exact lack of knowledge, or care, being criticized)

    • notleia says:

      Should I go find a gay person to repeat what I said? I’d feel bad about making them deal with basic concern troll crap.

      • notleia says:

        But I suppose I should congratulate you on learning the basic vocabulary of how to effectively debate liberals instead of whatever it is that Travis is attempting.


    • notleia says:

      Y’know what tho, I can also talk about the emotional hurts that gay people encounter, also.
      Most of them are caused by anti-gay attitudes in the first place, but I’m going to ignore that or this will prolly devolve.
      For those gays who decide to be celibate, that sucks hard, to feel doomed to be forever alone. Maybe they wanted a traditional bio-family and white picket fence (which is a defunct illusion for other, wage-stagnant reasons) and they’re mourning that happy picture that will never come to be. They share that in common with other infertile people.
      Theoretically the church is supposed to provider a bigger community and family, but in practice, big ol’ NOPE. It’s just as nuclear-family oriented as the wider culture. Perhaps even more so.
      (My solution for that would include communal living, but that’s another sidetrack.)
      But even just the forever alone feelings suck hard. We as a culture expect most emotional needs to be filled by a spouse, and that’s often an unrealistic expectation that leads to a lot of general suckiness.
      It can also be annoying and exhausting to deal with other people’s inability to comprehend why you aren’t just following the usual life script of marriage + kids. Al Mohler recently said some dumb sh*t about needing to have children to be fully human. He deserved every inch he got dragged on Twitter, but that’s the sort of background radiation they/we live in. Al Mohler did not spring fully formed from a vacuum.

What say you?