Sex: an unlikely subject to round out this year's Jesus Week. Last night, with topics ranging from sexual addiction to reform programs for homosexuals, sex topped the agenda in a 90-minute discussion with Theresa Latini, the executive director of One-by-One -- an organization that counsels homosexuals in conflict with their religious beliefs. Latini, whose talk marked the culmination of Jesus Week 2000, addressed about 40 students in Stiteler Hall. Latini, a self-described "former" homosexual, discussed religion as it pertains to both heterosexuals and homosexuals. She stressed the idea of "sexual brokenness" -- which she defined as "anything about our sexuality that falls outside of God's plan" -- as the basis for whatever problems Christians encounter. In fact, for Latini, homosexuality is "not primarily a sexual issue." "This is not a fundamental part of who [homosexuals] were created to be," she said. "Perhaps homosexuality is meeting legitimate needs in illegitimate ways." Heterosexuals, she argued, often use "illegitimate" means to fulfill a greater need as well. In one of the more controversial parts of her talk, Latini said such behavior -- which includes "lust, compulsive masturbation, voyeurism and promiscuity" -- is a "destructive consequence of sin" that plays into the idea of "sexual brokenness." Now, on the other hand, she said the pendulum has swung to celebrating homosexuality, which is not necessarily the answer either. Latini offered her controversial opinion about the causes of homosexuality. She said she saw little biological basis, but rather pointed toward experiences in early childhood, such as the "breakdown in the relationship with the same-sex parent." Latini grew up with a "homosexual orientation" and found difficulties when trying to reconcile her feelings with those of the ministry. But through a combination of support groups and one-on-one talks with a counselor, she said that she and others like her "began to experience significant change, not only in our identities, but also in our orientation." Latini then took questions from the audience, and she found herself challenged on many points. Most students found flaws in the environmental basis of homosexuality in which Latini believes. About Latini's talk, many students were somewhat critical, but by no means offended. "You can't be offended if she wants to share a change in her life," College freshman Jessica Rodriguez said. "I think everyone reacted with a willingness to listen at least." Perhaps, as College junior Nina Harris pointed out, the response was less charged because the discussion "wasn't really focused on homosexuality, but rather 'sexual brokenness.'"Comments powered by Disqus
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