Poor +Rowan. Lately everybody has been picking on him -- both the "progressives" and the "traditionalists." (That's the problem with standing in the middle of the road -- you are likely to be hit by trucks coming from both directions.)
Anyway, somebody recently made reference to +Rowan's 2002 small (in size) book, Writing in the Dust, written in the wake of September 11. So I pulled it off the shelf and read it again last night. It really is a remarkable book -- wise and deeply thoughtful. I am particularly struck by Chapter 5, "Against Symbols."
He writes: "'Using other people to think with'; that is, using them as symbols for points on your map, values in your scheme of things. When you get used to imposing meanings in this way, you silence the stranger's account of who they are; and that can mean both metaphorical and literal death." (p. 64) He speaks of Christians and Muslims, of Christians and Jews, of the West and the East, of men (males) and women.
He doesn't say anything about gay people, nor in the context of the book is there any particular reason why he should. But it seems to me that the sin of "using other people to think with" applies just as much to what we think and say about gays as about Muslims, Jews, women, and all "others."
+Rowan, GO RE-READ YOUR OWN BOOK!
(Hmm. Do you suppose it's possible? -- Grand Tufti, who are you really? And what have you done with our Rowan??)