Betty Greene Salwak

Carol Boltz: Straight To The Point

Filed By Betty Greene Salwak | April 18, 2010 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: Carol Boltz, gay Christians, Ray Boltz, straight wives

CarolCarol Boltz.png Boltz finds herself the focus of public attention these days as a result of circumstances beyond her control: just a few years ago and after thirty years of marriage, her husband Ray told her he was gay. This confession came forth when Carol and their grown children gathered around him and confronted him with their fears about his state of mind. They were stunned. When they realized his anguish, they responded with loving affirmation.

Ray Boltz has had an extraordinarily successful career as a popular Christian singer, selling over four million records. Carol worked with him in the music business, happy to be a supportive wife and mother. With Ray's confession, everything in her world changed. It took a few years of coming to terms before Ray made his announcement public. By then, he and Carol were divorced.

ray-boltz.jpgThis sounds similar to a number of other stories about public figures, but there is one major difference: Carol doesn't cry "woe is me." She still loves Ray and has stepped up to defend him. She tells fellow Christians that the fundamental interpretation of the Bible is wrong. She knows now that you can't "pray it away" and she will patiently explain it to anyone who will hear.

On her blog "My Heart Goes Out..." Carol constantly receives angry email from people who claim to be Christians. She says that the majority of the feedback from straight people is negative. Most of it she deletes because the authors are not interested in discourse. When she does respond, she is gentle and firm. Carol knows where these believers come from, and she addresses their fears and accusations with grace. She offers solace to straight spouses in mixed-orientation marriages and writes in her blog that "it makes more sense for gay people to marry gay people."

When we met recently, we talked the afternoon away in a coffee shop in Muncie. Carol is a warm and intelligent woman with a great laugh. Amid the laughter, as we shared our stories, it became apparent that she is lonely for the life that changed forever when her husband revealed his truth. She was living the life she wanted and loved. Many of her friends have since abandoned her, but I suspect it is for the crime of being single. For all of her hardships, she would not go back because she is a woman of integrity.

Forced to deal with homosexuality on a personal level for the first time, Carol learned to look at the Bible in a new way and find its true meaning. Her faith remains strong in the face of life changes so great that she is building anew at an age when some are thinking about settling in to a quiet denouement. The LGBT community has a strong and able ally.

She is somewhat uncomfortable in the spotlight which shines on her, but she won't back away. Carol is not like other public figures' wives who have capitalized on their situations with books that ask the reader to sympathize with their plight. Everything I've read about or by Carol conveys her stance that this isn't about her at all. Her story points not to herself but to faith, forgiveness, integrity and love. Hers is a story everyone should know.

Ray Boltz photo by Nellie Doneva of the Reporter-News

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She can't seriously be looking at what the Bible says about homosexuality. I'm not some hate speaking homophobe, but the Bible is VERY clear about how God views homosexuality. Christians who disagree with Carol are on target. You can't be Christian and support gay lifestyles. Now if you are Christian and struggling with orientation or something you can get counselling but if you embrace the gay lifestyle then something is wrong.

Miles, the struggle isn't so much with orientation; it's with the response that comes from people with ideas like your own. You say you're not a hate-speaking homophobe. If I said to you that your ideas make it clear you are not a Christian—which is what you're saying to me—do you feel loved? You see, I can't make that judgment. And forcing my ideas about faith on to you is not a loving act. The Bible is VERY clear about not using it as a weapon.

I cannot truly say that I know the mind of God; that you believe you do elevates you to his equal. Such hubris. From what I understand, all you need to be Christian is faith in Jesus Christ. All else is an effort to emulate him: love God and love your neighbor. Who's to say who is a Christian? Only God knows what's in our hearts.

I think it's more about the redeeming and transforming power of love--which IS a very Christian thing.... and it is more powerful than hate..although hatred can be a very powerful
force, it is nothing--nothing when compared to the love of a human for another being.......because of my love for a dear friend, a gay friend-----it did not transform HIM--it changed ME! changed ME...FOREVER.......thank you....
Finding out that my dear friend was gay did change me from being a total bigot to a tolerant person was as fast as you could snap your fingers--that is how fast it was....I see the world through different eyes now----tolerant eyes that see a world that is inclusive of all its' citizens....where all the citizens have the same rights as everybody else.

Oh gosh, Miles... you must not be a christian. WWJD
Dust your bible off and start over.

Regan DuCasse | April 19, 2010 4:37 PM

MILES, Christians are NOT supporting a "lifestyle."
Sexual orientation isn't something you decide on, GOD has already done that.

Once you say words like that to describe a biological function in all of us, you have proven yourself ignorant. It's understandable if you are ignorant.

But you have plenty of people here FAR more knowledgeable and experienced than you are about being gay, and living in a world with a tradition of teaching hostility, distrust and exacting indignity on gay people as innocent of their existence as you are.

The most Christian thing that you can do: is to treat a gay person the way you'd want to be treated. That means in public policy, civil and secular law too.
Equal treatment and justice should prevail if you have any doubts.
These things have ALWAYS done right by societies and individuals, even where religious belief hasn't.

Were gay people given the same opportunity to speak THEIR truth, without fear and threat, then the Boltz might never have married in the first place.
You are the one without knowledge here, but a golden opportunity to change that.

Miles you surely know that when Martin Luther used Bible passages to condemn Galileo something was wrong indeed. When Hitler and the Reich used Bible passages to conduct exterminations of Jews and undesirables something was indeed wrong. When Popes and preachers used the Bible to support slavery something was indeed wrong. And if you are married and your wife was not a virgin at the time of your marriage surely you aren't a Christian if you didn't have her stoned to death. Homosexuality is not an abomination but the interpretation of Scripture which levels that charge is both wrong and at variance with everything Jesus Christ of Nazareth taught.

Thank you Betty. I spent time today learning about Ray and Carol. It was worthy in my opinion.

And one by one they put down their stones and departed.

I've added her blog to my RSS feeds. Can't wait to read more.

Ray and Carol are both fascinating and admirable.

Gay Christians always make homophobic Christians angrier than the rest of us. For that, they and their allies get points in my book.

For those of use who so longingly look to home knowing that a most challenging choice in this time -- to walk out of homosexuality -- means beating the odds stacked against us. It has been with much grace and a revelation for perseverance that has made the difference. Peace is found through righteousness. Not giving in. To learn of this story of a Christian icon... it is tempting to see it as a blow to the progress those of us who stand and believe homosexuality is not God's best for his children. The world does not make it easy, and this seems to destroy from inside the ranks. God's word is truth. He has made it clear. How deceived does a believer have to be to be comfortable with this? If you think of the message behind the song Thank You. -- the implication is that small choices in life could mean so much more for others. Ray Boltz's choices will effect others. He will have to stand before God. My heart hurts for him and those his choices impact. The word is clear. Immediate peace does not equate to eternal acceptance. It seems so poetically sorrowful. As a man who boldly walked out of homosexuality and into the arms of Christ, I do not celebrate the choice of Ray Boltz to come out , nor do I support his ex-wife's decision to be 'okay with it'. I am deeply saddened by this. Homosexuality is a choice. A complicated one... a challenging one... but it is not larger than Christ. It is still a choice. I am deeply hurting over what I have learned and I will continue to pray for your family, Carol. We love you and your ex-husband. Blessings to you.