At 10:00 a.m. every Tuesday the Old Fool meets with the Samhedrin, an informal group of retired professionals, many with pastoral experience and all with a genuine love for the Mennonite Church. Most of our time is used for conversation.
A member of the Samhedrin had a career as a research psychologist. We turned to him for information about homosexuality. He told us of his research as a member of a team of research scientists. The team was divided into subgroups.
Another subgroup of researchers discovered that adolescent youth know for certain that they are gay or lesbian. They do not always know what to do with this knowledge. Some are bullied by their peers. Some experience so such stress that they commit suicide.
The third subgroup discovered that young adults struggle desperately to escape their same sex orientation. They pray to be made straight, date members of the opposite sex and sometimes marry and have children, all in a vain attempt to be accepted as normal by themselves and society.
A fourth subgroup studied adults. As young adults, many of them at first tried to disguise their identity by making heterosexual relationships, some by marriage. These unhappy adults discovered that living as a heterosexual was not for them. They knew that if they came out as gay, their loved ones would be pained. Reluctantly, they accepted themselves as they are.
The researchers advised their colleagues to consider same sex attraction to be normal, not an aberration. Later researchers learned that gender is determined at conception or in the womb.
After members of the Samhedrin dispersed, I came upon six or seven members discussing their experience as children who had been born left handed. These men had not chosen to be left handed, yet their first teachers demanded that they write with their right hands, something they could not do deftly.
The discoveries of the researchers support the stories I heard as an informal listener. Listening without judgement changed my life.
It is apparent that the children of Chester and Sara Jane Wenger are indeed blessed. They love all their children, not because they are straight or gay, but because they ARE their children.