Combating Online Hate Speech Culture

Topeka goes from ‘God Hates Fags’ to ‘God Loves Gays’

The God Loves Gays Billboard Project launched Aug. 9, 2014, on the crowdfunding site Indeigogo and a billboard reading "God Loves Gays," with a cartoon God peaking out of white fluffy clouds and a giant rainbow, went up on Sept. 8, 2014, in Topeka, Kan. RNS photo by Sally Morrow

Logo_Google_072414(RNS) As small bands of protesters from Westboro Baptist Church take their trademark “God Hates Fags” signs to demonstrations outside funerals, concerts and schools across the country, a new message has come to their Topeka, Kan., headquarters: “God loves gays.”

The God Loves Gays Billboard Project launched Aug. 9, 2014 on the crowdfunding site Indeigogo and a billboard reading "God Loves Gays," with a cartoon God peaking out of white fluffy clouds and a giant rainbow, went up on Sept. 8, 2014 in Topeka, Kan. Religion News Service photo by Sally Morrow

The God Loves Gays Billboard Project launched Aug. 9, 2014 on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo and a billboard reading “God Loves Gays,” with a cartoon God peaking out of white fluffy clouds and a giant rainbow, went up on Sept. 8, 2014 in Topeka, Kan. Religion News Service photo by Sally Morrow

The God Loves Gays Billboard Project launched Aug. 9 on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo, aiming to raise $50,000 to put up a sign about three miles from the church. Organizers hoped to reach the goal by Oct. 8 but surpassed it about a month and a half early.

On Monday (Oct. 6), the campaign reached $100,000, two days after the announcement that there is space for another billboard, this one in Salt Lake City, the heart of Mormon country.

The project shows the power of harnessing online media — in this case, a crowdfunding site such as Indiegogo — to push back against religious hate speech from a reviled source.

The Topeka billboard, with a cartoon God peeking out of white fluffy clouds and a giant rainbow, went up on Sept. 8, more than a month ahead of schedule.

The campaign’s owner identifies himself (or herself) simply as “God” but also responds to the names “G.M. (Galactic Manager) of the Milky Way Galaxy, The LORD, The Alpha and the Omega, or The Creator.” Beyond that, the true identity of the organizer remains unknown.

Westboro Baptist Church sign reads "Fag Marriage Dooms Nations" on Sept. 24, 2014 in Topeka, Kan. Religion News Service photo by Sally Morrow

Westboro Baptist Church sign reads “Fag Marriage Dooms Nations” on Sept. 24 in Topeka, Kan. Religion News Service photo by Sally Morrow

According to one of Westboro’s official Twitter accounts, church members have already brought their well-known signs to protest in front of the billboard. They also added this message to the front of their church sign: “Billboards and rainbows do not change: God hates fags! Romans 9:13.”

This isn’t the first time that the church founded by the late Rev. Fred Phelps has faced counterprotests that took root online. Communities across the country have created “human walls” to form a barrier between protesters and funeral services and have crafted humorous signs such as: “Guys, you got it all wrong. I said I hate FIGS.”

The billboard campaign’s “God” said “Speaking on the filthy human ‘phone’ contraption is entirely beneath the LORD,” and instead communicates only by email and social media.

With more than 87,000 followers on Twitter and over 1.8 million “likes” on Facebook, “God’s” followers helped grow the billboard campaign into something even bigger, collecting donations to charities with similar views and goals.

The God Loves Gays Billboard Project launched Aug. 9, 2014 on the crowdfunding site Indeigogo and a billboard reading "God Loves Gays," with a cartoon God peaking out of white fluffy clouds and a giant rainbow, went up on Sept. 8, 2014 in Topeka, Kan. Religion News Service photo by Sally Morrow

The God Loves Gays Billboard Project launched Aug. 9 on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo, and a billboard reading “God Loves Gays,” with a cartoon God peeking out of white fluffy clouds and a giant rainbow, went up on Sept. 8 in Topeka, Kan. Religion News Service photo by Sally Morrow

At $60,000, the campaign pledged to give $10,000 to the Trevor Project, an organization that works to provide crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBT youth. At $70,000, organizers planned to purchase bus ads, which are still pending. Once the campaign raised $80,000, a $10,000 donation was made to the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Now that the campaign has raised $100,000, a billboard will be put up in Salt Lake City.

But “God” was having some difficulties. Two billboard companies in Utah turned down the campaign’s request for space.

Dewey Reagan, general manager of Reagan Advertising, said the company owns around 2,000 billboards but has to rent the land around them. And while only some of the leases contain clauses that restrict controversial messages on the billboards, Reagan cannot go through and figure out which landowners would allow the billboard on their property.

“God,” however, eventually found a donor in Salt Lake City for his message.

“God” said the advertising company in Topeka, Lamar Advertising, has been easier to work with. A company spokeswoman, Allie McAlpin, said Lamar does not reject billboards on the basis of whether management agrees or disagrees with the message.

“We support the First Amendment right of advertisers and believe that it is in the best interest of our company and the communities we serve to accept advertising copy openly, subject only to requirements imposed by law and reasonable standards of fairness and decency,” McAlpin said.

The view of Westboro Baptist Church from the living room window of the Equality House, run by Planting Peace, which is located across the street from Westboro in Topeka, Kan. Religion News Service photo by Sally Morrow

The view of Westboro Baptist Church from the living room window of the Equality House, run by Planting Peace, which is across the street from Westboro in Topeka, Kan. Religion News Service photo by Sally Morrow

The Equality House, painted in the rainbow colors of gay pride, is across the street from Westboro in Topeka. The group that owns the house, Planting Peace, has worked to counter Westboro’s hateful message and to provide suicide prevention services to LGBT youth for 10 years.

The organization reached out to “God” after hearing about the campaign on Facebook. Planting Peace helped find a location for the billboard and talked with “God” about how the community might respond.

Amelia Markham, director of outreach for the Equality House, said she initially worried the campaign might prompt a backlash, but she said most of the community had so far been positive.

Amelia Markham, director of outreach for the Equality House, poses for a portrait in the Equality House living room in Topeka, Kan., on Sept. 24, 2014. Religion News Service photo by Sally Morrow

Amelia Markham, director of outreach for the Equality House, poses for a portrait in the Equality House living room in Topeka, Kan., on Sept. 24. Religion News Service photo by Sally Morrow

The goal of the Equality House isn’t to change people’s beliefs, Markham said, but to teach people to love.

“When people are arguing over your personhood, your existence, it does damage,” Markham said. “We need more positive messages. We need more love.”

Markham said the Topeka billboard is the first one she’s seen involving a controversial issue that does not try to instill fear and instead includes a positive message.

While some people argue it would be better to ignore Westboro, “God” disagrees.

“While I respect this opinion, I contend that evil is only allowed to exist because good people do nothing,” the campaign owner said. “The time has come for good people to fight back.”

“God” plans to expand the campaign but won’t disclose exact plans, saying, “God works in mysterious ways.”

Video courtesy of God via YouTube

About the author

Heather Adams

140 Comments

Click here to post a comment

  • “Billboards and rainbows do not change: God hates fags! Romans 9:13.”

    Romans 9:13 reads ‘As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”’

    I wonder if the Westborough Baptists even read the bible. It… kinda looks like they just skimmed the bible and picked out the first instance of the word “hate” they found to cite. It doesn’t even make sense in context of this particular issue…

    Unless Esau was gay?? But… there’s nothing in any scripture that suggests that. This bible verse really is out of nowhere.

  • LOL. So I also just realized, Romans 9:13 is just a verse of the bible that is in turn quoting another verse, Malachi 1:2-3.

    So the WBC is quoting a quote of an piece of scripture that is completely irrelevant to the topic…

  • That thought might not have been too complicated for people weighing in on the matter 35 years ago, but it is today. Many churches (and the clergy in general) seem to have decayed into social clubs for the cloying.

  • The goal of the Equality House isn’t to change people’s beliefs, Markham said, but to teach people to love.

    She has an affection for cotton candy.

  • Tread carefully, Carrot. Jesus told us that conviction of sin and calling to repentance is part of the work of the Holy Spirit, and it is a dangerous thing to attribute it to Satan. Matt. 12:21-22.

  • “The goal of the Equality House isn’t to change people’s beliefs, Markham said.”

    Well, THAT’s a lie. No joke. Equality House is as much an extremist try-to-change-your-beliefs religious organization as Westboro Baptist itself. Not one penny less.

    One set of extremists hate the gays, the other set of extremists hate the Christians (albeit with a smile, as you can see from the photo.)

  • Frank,

    God gives us his view of homosexuality (and/or same sex marriage) at Romans 1:24-27, that females left the “natural” use of the males and vice versa with the males leaving the “natural” use of females and that doing so is obscene in God’s eyes.

    God never changes his standards, laws and principles, but it is obvious that imperfect men, as well as false religion, does.

    God’s viewpoint on this matter should move persons who are homosexual to leave their present lifestyle and turn their lives around. It can be done and has been accomplished.

  • Funny how “god” keeps changing to suit the latest human trends. Must be that man-made Christian god up to his usual chameleon act.

  • Lets see extremist Christians bomb abortion clinics, shoot doctors, call for genocide and mass murder.

    Extremist gays set up visitors centers, engage in the performing arts, engage in lawsuits to uphold the 14th Amendment, write blogs and enter in online discussions.

    Seems to be a lack of parity here. 🙂

  • God has two main messages in the bible one is law the other Gospel..

    the first sighn can rightly be put under Gods law that says God not only hates the sin but the sinner also.. And that he will not
    FORGIVE the sinner see Joshua 24:19 Nahum1:3
    see also
    hates not only sin yet sinner also
    psalm 5:5 also 11:5
    Hosea 9:15

    the second sign CAN PROPERLY BE PUT under Gods
    Gospel message that he loves the sinner in Jesus.
    and has forgiven all people of sin.
    see
    Romans 5:18
    2nd Corinthians 5:19

    I will also find the web site on Walther’s thesis on the proper distinction between law and gospel
    and post it.. So any one that wants can view it.
    it is really just what Walther learned from DR Martin Luther’s many years of bible study and translating work..

    Luther loved the bible because it flowed from the mind of GOD
    He was tickled by how God set up what seemed to the world to be apparent contradictions yet were not.. not if you took time in bible study to see how they both worked toward the Goal of
    our salvation ..

  • I could have used passages from just the new testament to show you .. so don’t think .. this is just a difference between old and new testament ..

    for instance
    The law says every sinner is to be cursed
    Galatians :3:10

    The Gospel says
    all the families of the earth are blessed
    Galatians :16

  • after learning from Luther about the bible I found several apparent contradictions my self that tickled me ..

    one of my favorites was when God said he was going to deliver his people and then told Moses with a army after THEM .to place the people against the sea where there was no way to escape that army .. what ? MOSES MUST HAVE THOUGHT .. .. SOON THOUGH WE SAW HOW THE SEEMINGLY APPARENT CONTRADICTION DISSAPPEARED AS GOD OPENED UP THE SEA AND DELIVERED HIS PEOPLE SAFELY ON THE OTHER SIDE ..
    ANOTHER SEEMINGLY APPARENT contradiction I found was.. when God told Abraham his offspring would be many .. and then told Abraham to kill his one and only son ..

    What? well we all know how that apparent contradiction vanished ..just as quickly ..

    God is always teaching us to trust his word even when its unreasonable to..

  • @Shawnie,

    “…part of the work of the Holy Spirit, and it is a dangerous thing to attribute it to Satan.”

    Dangerous? That is quite a claim.
    Such superstition. I will have to test your Lord.
    Here goes:

    The Holy Spirit is garbage. I renounce the Holy Spirit.

    Hmmm. I’m still here.

  • WAS JESUS GAY?

    Who knows if Jesus wasn’t gay? Sexuality of some kind appears to be part of the Gospel story:

    Did Jesus stumble into a tryst between Peter and Jesus’ lover?

    It is written as if He did.

    “Then the disciple WHOM JESUS LOVED said to Peter, “It is the Lord!”
    As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water”
    (John 21:7)

    “And there followed him a certain young man,
    having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid
    hold on him:
 And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.”
    (Mark 14:51-52)

    Hmmm…It is right there in plain view.

  • Like I’ve said earlier, Larry’s got a bit of verbal style. I give him that.

    What Larry is NOT doing, however, is actually addressing what I said there about Equality House.

    And Larry seems to have (predictably) left something off his list regarding what extremist gays do. Only one year ago, gay man Floyd Corkins tried to commit a mass shooting at the Family Research Council’s office in Washington. (The security guard that Corkins shot, was still able to stop him, however.) He received 25 years in prison.

    Of course we could also talk about what extremist gays did after Proposition 8 was initially passed in California — Larry somehow left THAT mess off his list too. Heh.

    By the way, Westboro Baptist Church, though they are extremists, have NEVER attempted or advocated any shootings of any kind; nor have they bombed any abortion clinics; nor called for any mass murder on anybody. And they obey the picketing restrictions (such as miminum distance) that any municipality imposes on them. Go figure.

  • Umm, Max, you may just want to stick with offering all those Jesus-wants-to-execute-you texts, instead of this stuff.

    This line of argument that you’re floating now, has been TOTALLY refuted by both conservative and liberal scholars. The phrase “disciple whom Jesus loved” doesn’t mean or say anything about any kind of homosexual mess.

    Also Jesus was an **observant Jew** who was familiar with and even quoted from the Mosaic Law. You know, that Mosaic Law that, umm, clearly prohibits homosexual behavior?

    Jesus even made a direct reference to the wiped-out homosexual city of Sodom in Matt. 11:23, as a point of comparison with another city (Capernaum) that He warned was likewise in danger of divine judgment. Does that sound like something a GAY man would say, Max?

    So this “Jesus was gay” stuff definitely has NO traction, anywhere. You may want to hit the delete button on it, and return to the Jesus-wants-to-kill-you line of argument.

  • John 3:16, For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    So, yes God loves Gays. God loves the whole world regardless of behavior. Anyone can be saved, “whosoever” includes everyone.
    You have to do a lot creative interpretation to decide that the bible doesn’t call it sin. The good news is that Jesus made the way for anyone to be saved from their sin, regardless of their sins.

  • Max, from a position of unbelief, God will not respond to you. The only thing God will hear from you is your cry for salvation and forgiveness. You can’t even cry out to him, until he draws you to himself. Your responsibility is to seek, he does the finding.

  • Doc, I was addressing your view of Equality House. I was ridiculing your hysteria over “extremist gays”.

    Again, the parity simply does not exist. One does not see Christians being driven to suicide by gays, assaulted and murdered by them so often that police come up with a term for it, nor their basic civil liberties attacked under color of law. You have one example of an extremist, I have thousands. Your example of gay extremists are still chickensh11 in comparison.

    “By the way, Westboro Baptist Church, though they are extremists, have NEVER attempted or advocated any shootings of any kind; ”

    Their followers certainly did and still do. They even advocate having government do its dirty work for them in places like Russia and Sub-Sahara Africa.

    Lets face it Doc, if people like yourself could get away with it, you would have no problem with having gays imprisoned for life or executed for being what they are.

  • @Robert Brown,

    “From a position of unbelief, God will not respond to you.”

    Religion is harmful because of ‘logic’ like this.
    I was a Christian believer for 44 years and God did not respond to me then. But now as a non-believer God still ‘will not respond’?

    So, according to Christians, I have free will to reject god and suffer the consequences in Hell. But now you say, I have no free will to reject – since God is still pulling the strings.

    You describe a world of complete unfreedom where nobody can escape God’s hidden tinkering even if they wanted to.
    Who would want this?

  • Hey Max, I have had the privilege of communicating with several former believers on other sites. The experience of former believers is very perplexing to me. No offense is meant to you personally by what I’m about to relate to you. There is no way I can know another person’s heart. While there could be such a thing as a former believer, I don’t believe in former Christians. I believe if you are saved by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, it is irrevocable. So, perhaps you had some faith that there is a God and you identified yourself as Christian, but I don’t think you were saved.
    Yes, God is in control. However, he will allow you to reject his offer. This is what I meant by drawing you to him. The Holy Spirit draws you to God and convicts you of your sin. You hear the gospel through the Holy Spirit and realize you are lost and God by his Holy Spirit draws you to an altar of repentance. Was this your experience?

  • @Doc,

    “The phrase “disciple whom Jesus loved” doesn’t mean or say anything about any kind of homosexual mess.”

    How do you know?
    Jesus is completely contradictory in every single thing he preached.
    He preached both sides of almost every issue – even sex!

    Why would he not?
    Jesus (supposedly) was human – so he would have had lust. If he had no lust why did he sleep with Mary Magdalen – why not men too?

    The Gospel of Mary Magdelene suggests it strongly:
    “Levi said to the other disciples: “Surely the Lord knew her very well. That is why he loved her more than us.” ~ Gospel of Mary

    There is no doubt that Mary Magdalene was tight with Jesus; several of the Gnostic gospels reveal her to be one of his most trusted disciples. In both the gospels of Mark and John, she is one of the few to watch his execution. She is also the first witness after the resurrection of Jesus, the only one to stick around his burial site after all the other disciples had left, obviously grieving over the loss of someone whose life was so intertwined with her own.

    “Peter said to Mary, “Sister, we know the savior loved you more than any other woman. Tell us the words of the savior that you remember, which you know but we do not, because we have not heard them.” ~ Gospel of Mary

    As Thomas Moore said,
    “What is shocking about the new view of Mary Magdalene and Jesus, of course, is the implication that Jesus was not celibate. People who see Jesus in an entirely spiritual light may have trouble considering the possibility that he was a sexual being as well. Yet…if you’re going to acknowledge Jesus’ humanity, you have to include his sexuality.”

    Jesus scolds his host for mistreating a female guest, who the host believes to be unworthy of Jesus’:

    “Do you see this woman? When I came into your house, you didn’t offer me water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. You didn’t kiss me, but the woman hasn’t stopped kissing my feet since I arrived. You didn’t offer me oil for my head, but she has poured oil on my feet.” ~ Luke 7:43-46

    Sex is in the gospels. You just don’t see it.

  • Max, Jesus was sinless. He did not lust or have sex. Nothing in those passages indicates any such thing. Why do you think the word love suggests sex?

  • @RBrown,

    “I don’t believe in former Christians. I believe if you are saved by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, it is irrevocable.”

    Yes you do believe this because you are still in the fog of religion. Irrevocable? How could Satan fall then? See?
    This stuff makes no sense.

    “So, perhaps you had some faith that there is a God and you identified yourself as Christian”

    Yes. I prayed intensely, baptized my children, I often wept over Jesus’ sacrifice for my soul ….yup.
    If I wasn’t a true believer then nobody is!

    “Yes, God is in control.”

    There’s your problem. That is a claim. There isn’t the slightest evidence of it.

    “The Holy Spirit draws you to God and convicts you of your sin. You hear the gospel through the Holy Spirit and realize you are lost and God by his Holy Spirit draws you to an altar of repentance. Was this your experience?”

    I wept because I was a sinner. I was a Christian for 44 years.
    I mean, you do understand this, right? I went through ALL OF THAT STUFF. I was certain the Holy Spirit was alive in me.
    I have since changed my mind. Because I cannot believe this anymore.

    ATHEISTS (the vast majority of us) are people who once believed very strongly in Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Most Atheists are ex-Christians! Did you even know that?
    A tiny number of Atheists are ex-Muslims because they still kill unbelievers in Islam.

    If you really love Jesus, read the Bible. Ask questions.
    This stuff is nonsense and there is no gentle way to say it.

    There is absolutely nothing moral or ethical in the concept that a man was tortured and slaughtered for your personal benefit just so his blood could drip out of his body and hit the soil. Yet that is the theory of primitive human blood sacrifice and it is why we drink wine and take the communion.

    I cannot tell you how sickening and immoral it really is – when the lightbulb goes off in your head and you discover that this whole story (as well as the other god stories of the world) are just an enormous delusion.

  • Max,

    What you are describing is covered pretty well in the parable of the sower. You believed, you were saddened by your sin, or under conviction, but did you ever trust his finished work at calvary to forgive you of your sins? The key word in that being trust.

    You baptized your children. What faith is that, Catholic or Lutheran? There are some doctrines that are nonessential and then there are some that are essential.

    As I said before Max, I have communicated with several former believers. Many of them say they were Christians and now they are atheist. I just don’t believe it. You are either a Christian living in open rebellion to God, or you never were what I would consider a Christian. But, it really isn’t up to me, just my humble opinion. The good news is regardless of what you think you were, God can still save you, or bring you back to himself. Consider the prodigal son. The father is anxiously waiting for you to come home.

    What God and his son worked out in eternity past is beyond our comprehension. It is very humbling to think of it in a personal way, but the truth is, he did it for all of humanity.

  • Actually the word used in this passage is “agape.” It’s the same word used in the passages about loving your enemies, and John used it repeatedly in his gospel to talk about God’s love for humanity. “Eros” would ihave mplied a sexual kind of love. I think John’s point was to identify himself as a sinner saved by the unconditional love of Christ, testifying to others of how they could receive the same.

    I don’t think the mere fact of having sex would have impaired Jesus’ sinlessness in any way–He designed it, after all. But since He spoke quite clearly against sexual immorality, of course, it would have had to have been within a marriage. And if He had been so married, the gospel writers would undoubtedly have mentioned it as it would have enhanced His credibility in that time and place. So in that, I agree with you.

  • Believe whatever you want.
    Just keep it out of our public laws, okay?

    I consider Christianity a profoundly immoral philosophy.
    Your hard-wired institutionally programmed, unthinking responses
    are evidence of brain pollution endemic to religion and belief in gods.
    Completely superstitious.

    Good luck. But keep it out or our laws.

  • @Robert Brown,

    “Max, Jesus was sinless. He did not lust or have sex. Nothing in those passages indicates any such thing. Why do you think the word love suggests sex?”

    Sticking with the program, I see.

    But If Jesus did not lust, how can he tell other people not to lust? How would he know what it was he was telling them not to do?
    It would be like me telling you not to do any Cobapalingo this week!

    How would Jesus understand lust if he didn’t experience it?

    And anyway – isn’t Jesus and God supposed to be the same? According to you, didn’t God create sex in the first place
    so not only would Jesus have felt Lust but he must have ‘seen that it was good’ AND TOTALLY APPROVED OF IT when he created Lust at the creation of the world?

    And if Jesus hates lust, why did he tease Mary Magdalene?
    He must have said “no sex from me” quite a bit. You know how leaders attract girls. Jesus must have had a bunch of women running around from time to time.

    Women today have sexual fantasies about Jesus so it must have been pretty wild back then, too. You think women have changed so much in 2000 years? I doubt it.

    None of this stuff about Jesus struggling through life as a real human ‘so he could understand what human suffering is like’ makes a whiff of sense if he didn’t suffer in every way humans do.

    Jesus makes no sense and you are terrified to admit it.

    in your Was he incapable of handling lust?

  • @Shawnie,

    “Actually the word used in this passage is “agape.””

    Isn’t it amazing how often God in his perfect wisdom and perfect knowledge of humanity provides us texts in multiple languages which are so turbulently argued, misconstrued and mistranslated and argued over there is no peace and no agreement on what any of it really means?

    These texts are no better than the Tarot cards. It is a parlor game.
    God simply agrees with whoever is doing the translating at the moment.

    Ugh!

  • -Attempts to argue scripture verses to be sexual.
    -Is corrected in translation
    -Proceeds to complain about how it can be translated or interpreted any way the beholder desires

    Good sir, why do you even try to insist that a certain scripture means something to support your views if you believe it can be translated and skewed to mean anything?? Are you not engaging in the exact same practice you bemoan, of interpreting the scriptures to suit your own fancy??

    And do you think this method will convince anyone?? Has anyone you’ve approached this way admitted fault and your own correctness?? When you try to convince another person using anger and harshness, people are naturally put off by it. You will convince no one of your correctness in this manner. It’s said that “a kindly heart is the loadstone(magnet) of the hearts of men” for this reason. Even though it is a fallacy, most people do not consider arguments when they are posited in the manner you pose them. People reflexively reject harshness. Only through kindness and attempts at understanding can you convince someone of your beliefs.

    If you come to this site just to engage in senseless rage and trolling about how much you hate religion, you are approaching that goal in the correct manner.

    But if you are, as you claim, attempting to foster understanding of truth… you will convince no one by doing it this way. Such contentious debate, studies show, only makes your opponents more sure of their own believes. Only open and kind discussion can change hearts and minds.

    Peace

  • Robert Brown, when you claim you know better than the people involved what they do or do not believe, you’re really saying you would like to force your beliefs onto them. I see your claims along that line as saying we Americans don’t have Freedom from your religion. How has your movement to force your beliefs on others fared in the United States this week so far?

  • For the umpteenth time, “Romans” is the writings of a deeply disturbed misogynist who never met Jesus. Please learn to accept the fact that while you’re entitled to tell us your “beliefs” are hateful and hurtful, Frank, you have failed in your attempt to force those “beliefs” upon others through the traitorous anti-gay Hate Votes. Utah, Oklahoma, Indiana, Wisconsin, Virginia and Colorado established marriage equality Monday. Nevada has established marriage equality today, with the approval of Justice Kennedy. North Carolina has asked the federal judge simply to revoke their anti-gay Hate Vote at once, and South Carolina has some counties preparing to issue marriage licenses tomorrow after their state’s required 24 hour wait period. It’s time you learned to accept the fact that your anti-gay agenda has failed.

  • Doc, why should you expect anyone to take your anti-gay hate speech, personal attacks and propaganda seriously?

  • And yet so many major Christian and Jewish denominations REJECT your hate-based misinterpretation of the Bible, Mr. Brown. These denominations will marry same gender couples in 26 US States and the District of Columbia: Affirming Pentecostal Church International, Alliance of Christian Churches, Anointed Affirming Independent Ministries, The Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Community of Christ, Conservative Judaism, Ecumenical Catholic Church, Ecumenical Catholic Communion, The Episcopal Church, Evangelical Anglican Church In America, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Global Alliance of Affirming Apostolic Pentecostals, Inclusive Orthodox Church, Moravian Church Northern Province, Metropolitan Community Church, Old Catholic Church, Presbyterian Church USA, Progressive Christian Alliance, Reconciling Pentecostals International, Reconstructionist Judaism, Reform Judaism, Reformed Anglican Catholic Church, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Unitarian Universalist Church, United Church of Christ, Unity Church

    Can’t you just accept that no one is trying to force you to change the beliefs of your Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, the way anti-gays have tried to force their “beliefs” onto all other Americans with those dirty, immoral anti-gay Hate Votes?

  • The bible tells us Jesus never sinned .
    the bible tells us homosexuality is sinful ..
    so Know Jesus was not a homosexual..
    yet that does not mean some one like you A Max did not try to temp Jesus into homosexual sin with them.. .. as the bible also says he was tempted in every way..

  • Carrot,

    No force involved, just sowing and watering. It is so passive that you are in no way compelled to read it or respond, yet you do and that speaks volumes about the condition of your heart. God loves you carrot. He loved you so much that he made a way for you to reconciled to him through Jesus Christ. I love you carrot. I love you so much that I’m sharing the good news with you. When you are in need, consider God.

  • Max,

    How did Jesus know?

    As you partially said, Jesus was all man and the son of God. He had direct knowledge of all things, see john 1.

    Yes, God made us to have sex. In the very first book of the bible we are told when it is appropriate.

  • Carrot,

    There is no hate in my interpretation of the bible. I’ve read the interpretations that some use to justify this particular sin and they are frankly ridiculous. One of the most bothersome to me is where they twist it around and make David and Jonathan out to be engaged in this sin. It is unsupportable.

    If you assume hate is involved in my interpretation then there isn’t much I can say, except I disagree. Consider this, we are all sinners. The bible says, if we say we are without sin, we lie. If no one sins, who did Jesus come to save?

  • Shawnei, thanks for the Greek. I always enjoy sermons when the preacher gets into the Greek or Hebrew. God bless you.

  • @Fourth Valley,

    “Are you not engaging in the exact same practice you bemoan, of interpreting the scriptures to suit your own fancy?”

    No I am not.
    The problem is not MY problem.
    It is your problem as a believer.

    I quote the bible to point out how flawed it is so people will stop caring about it and especially so people will stop giving it any respect.

    It is an uphill climb and it is not pretty – but it must be done.
    In the same way I would point out the words of the Q’uran as equally worthy of the trash bin.

    Perhaps you are ready to claim the writings on the side
    of a box of corn flakes are full of Divine Insights.
    But if people start threatening peace-abiding people such as Gays over its decrees, expect to hear from people like me who will challenge the validity of those claims.

    Ideas are not granted special rights simply because they are religious.
    Bad ideas need to be exposed and ridiculed.

  • @Robert Brown,

    “If no one sins, who did Jesus come to save?”

    Indeed. How convenient we can find sinners for him.
    Jesus does have a very aggressive approach to sinners. And your St. Paul seems to have picked up on it quite clearly
    in a series of divisive, bigoted, hate tinged letters known as Epistles:

    “DO NOT ASSOCIATE WITH ANYONE…IF HE IS GUILTY..”
    (1 Corinthians 5:11)

    “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)

    “But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.” (1 Corinthians 5:11)

    “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting” (2 John 1:10)

    “Avoid Them” (Romans 16:17)

    “For whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.” (2 John 1:11)

    “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault.” (Matthew 18:15)

    “As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.” (Titus 3:9-11)

    “Let him who has done this be removed from among you.” (1 Corinthians 1:13)

    “have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.” (2 Thessalonian 3:14)

    “Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.” (2 Thessalonians 3:6)

    “If anyone does not love the Lord, let that person be cursed! Come, Lord!” (1 Corinthians 16:22)

    JESUS : JUDGE THEM HARSHLY

    “deem them unworthy…remove your blessings of peace.” – JESUS (Matthew 10:13)

    “Don’t waste….on the people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs!” – JESUS (Matthew 7:6)

    “shake the dust off…FOR A TESTIMONY AGAINST THEM.” – JESUS (MARK 6:11)

    It is a good thing Jesus is real, right?
    Because if He wasn’t, he could start a lot of wars with hatred like that.

  • Blessings back, Robert. I am humbled by the love and the patience you display towards the scoffers here. Something I struggle with daily.

  • @Robert Brown,

    “Christianity is about love, nothing immoral about that. Peace.”

    Love which EXECUTES those who do not Love is not Love!

    Love is Love
    Peace is Peace
    Jesus has nothing to do with either:

    “I have come to bring FIRE…What constraints! I am impatient to bring NOT PEACE BUT DIVISION.” – Jesus (Luke 12:49-51)

    “..bring to me those enemies of mine who would not have me as their King, and execute them in front of me.” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

    Want love?
    Want Peace?
    Be a humanist. We reject Jesus most of the time because it is dangerous nonsense.

  • Max,

    For the benefit of anyone who may deceived by your reply, here is the context for your quote from Luke 19
    11 And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. 12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. 13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. 14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. 15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. 17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. 18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. 19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities. 20 And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: 21 for I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. 22 And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: 23 wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? 24 And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. 25 (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) 26 For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him. 27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

    It is a parable and I can’t help but think you knew that Max. Why?

  • Good Max, I’m glad you are reading your bible. What is your take away from all of that? Don’t wallow in the pig pen or you will get dirty is mine.

  • You are very kind Shawnie and I appreciate your kind words. I know where your kindness comes from and you know where my ability to share thoughts with nonbelievers comes from. Praise his high and holy name.

  • Carrot,

    Paul was a slave for Jesus and an apostle whose priority was preaching the good news of God’s kingdom and following Jesus’ example.

    His words written to the Roman congregation were applicable to true Christians then as they are now. False religions will continue to promote falsehood by approving what God disapproves of, to its detriment and adverse judgment by God; even if it becomes a law of men.

  • @Robert Brown,

    “What is your take away from all of that?”

    Jesus and Christianity are divisive, contradictory, problematic and apparently incoherent.
    A Christian who rejects a sinner and tosses him out on the snowy night is following Christian Doctrine as much as someone who behaves like the Good Samaritan.

    You cannot say that behaving despicably (‘Avoid them’: Romans) is the same as behaving kindly.
    Those two things cannot be the same value.

    We must have more respect for ourselves than this sinister nonsense.

  • @Robert Brown,

    “Somehow I think you knew it was a parable”

    I certainly did.
    ANALYSIS of the Parable of the 10 Minas – BY ATHEIST MAX:

    1. The servant who was fearful (and not obedient) is punished for his honesty and called ‘wicked’.
    2. The same (wicked) servant is punished for not dedicating to the SERVICE of the Nobleman.
    3. The same (wicked) servant is punished with execution. His paltry life is of no use to anyone and his Mina is handed to someone who has shown Obedience along with Fear.
    4. The Execution is carried out (this is important) by the ‘good’ servants who were obedient! They are given the presumably joyous duty of killing the bad servant for the Nobleman.

    And the Lesson line is:
    “Bring to me those enemies of mine who would not have me as their King and Execute them in front of me” – JESUS (luke 19:27)

    LESSONS of this Parable:
    Be fearful but OBEDIENT with your gifts from God. Drop the word ‘servant,’ as we are talking about slaves here.
    Put them in service to the Lord. God will deny you everything if you don’t return them and ‘with interest’. It is a severe command to do the Lord’s will as you will be measured exclusively by your own adherence to this injunction.
    ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant!

    WHO IS THE NOBLEMAN? JESUS, OF COURSE.
    This terrible parable is a not so veiled attempt by Jesus
    to speak about himself to his disciples.
    This parable is used by the Church to describe what JESUS WILL DO when he returns at the End of Times to judge at the RAPTURE; The Parousia.

    “Execute them in front of ME.” – JESUS

    Means God will instruct his good servants to execute
    the bad servants who did not produce their services exclusively “for the Lord”.

    It is a profoundly immoral, pro-slavery lesson of Jesus.
    I agree with some scholars who suggest Jesus may not have actually preached this parable – as it is so profoundly despicable. But if the Church has decided this fall into the character of Jesus and has decided it is indeed a valid preachment we have no other conclusion except to say this is the most evil preachment of Jesus without any question.

    A profoundly despicable parable.

    “Execute them” – JESUS

  • Atheist Max,,, excellent take on that one. you could convince Jesus Himself to be an atheist….and i’m not sure i’m even kidding.

  • Ohhh, I see. Larry wants “parity”, which means he wants more examples of bad behavior from gay extremists (except he apparently doesn’t want to hear about what those gay extremists did in response to the initial passage of California’s Proposition 8).

    So let’s go there first. But here’s one Prop 8 extremist gay news item you may not have heard about: Obama’s IRS actually gave the extremist gay group “Human Rights Campaign” the confidential tax donor list for their opponents, (including names AND contact information!) the National Organization for Marriage, which HRC then posted the confidential privacy information on its website in 2012 and was passed along by HuffPo and other media prostitutes.

    Now think about that one Larry. Do you have a legal right to expect that the IRS will NOT give away confidental stuff like your name, donor information, and contact information, to potential opponents like me? Of course you do. But that’s exactly what happened, and the extremist gay activists at HRC went right ahead and published that confidential privacy information.

    I think you’ll agree that was a serious violation by gay extremists against their Americans who got violated there. You won’t find any “parity” on that particular scandal with us Christians, now will you Larry??

    Add to that, the death threats, vandalisms, violence, and even anthrax hoax that the extremist gays engaged in. Some, but NOT all, of the extremist gay incidents were mentioned in Wiki; see below. Michelle Malkin’s blog correctly labeled the extremist gays as “Unhinged Losers”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protests_against_Proposition_8_supporters

  • “A Christian who rejects a sinner and tosses him out on the snowy night is following Christian Doctrine as much as someone who behaves like the Good Samaritan.”

    Not really Max. Christians are instructed to avoid engaging in the sinful behavior of nonbelievers. As stated above regardless of how strong a believer thinks they are if you run with the sinful crowd, some of it is going to rub off on you. We are in the world not of the world. We are called to love our neighbor and as the Good Samaritan shows all humans are our neighbor. So, we love our neighbor by helping those who are in need and most of all sharing the gospel. Loving your neighbor doesn’t mean to help them rob a bank.

  • Doc, anectdotal stories from columnists of ill repute are hardly even close to worthy of being taken seriously. Michelle Malkin is know lying in public
    http://www.noethics.net/News/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6062:-michelle-malkin-todays-liar-award-winner&catid=275:liar-award-winners&Itemid=110

    Certainly in comparison to acts of violence, vandalism and MURDER committed by people with your views. Add to the mix are how anti-gay pundits are actively trying to have people imprisoned or executed. Again parity here does not exist.

    Again you give me half-truths and stories, I have well established ongoing nastiness. Violence against gays is so common police have a slang term for it. Is there ANY equivalent to the chickensh11 you cite? Nope.

    And yes, if given a chance, I believe you would definitely advocate the imprisonment or execution of gays here. I sincerely doubt any of those “gay extremists” would ever be close to such vitriol.

  • @Robert Brown,

    Sorry. As a non-believer this is not my problem but…

    You are not listening to your Bible.
    It condemns being nice to sinners:

    “But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.” (1 Corinthians 5:11)

  • @Robert Brown,

    “Christians are instructed to avoid engaging in the sinful behavior of nonbelievers.”

    Wow. You really don’t know, do you?
    That is really ridiculous – You really must not be getting the message.

    Your Religion commands you IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST to avoid being anywhere NEAR any sinners:

    “Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and sin and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.” (2 Thessalonians 3:6)

    Jesus himself commands that you get away from sinners.

    “shake the dust off…FOR A TESTIMONY AGAINST THEM.” – JESUS (MARK 6:11)

    This is divisive, hateful attitudes and you pretend that it is loving – because you think you can get away with it. But you can’t. This is why many people hate religion.
    It is totally cruel and unfair.

  • The “God” character is probably some rich old hippie named Jake who migrated from Beverly Hills and whose mother treated him like he was God.

    Memo to Arnold:

    You’re going to need ice for that swelled head.

    But at least he’s not as bad as Westboro..

  • Carrot, you’re projecting your own hatred on other people who show zero evidence of hate. Bigotry is a deep-seated personality trait that cuts across ideologies….and there is no doubt that if you were living in the Jim Crow sought, you would be a roaring racist in the same way you are a roaring anti-religious bigot.

  • No, Ted, the “God” character sounds like some aging hippie/overgrown child from NY or California who’s still rebelling against the Hebrew or Catholic school his parents made him attend.

  • Earth to Max,

    You couldn’t be more wrong. There are countless Christians who lived dissolute lives before becoming Christians and hence abandoned their cherished former beliefs in a host of areas.

  • Carrot, look in the mirror before you call anybody else a hater. You can’t tolerate the fact that well-meaning people dare to disagree with your highness on issues that really matter to you. Well, tough luck, they do. Welcome to the real world, not the shrunken little imitation you inhabit where everyone agrees with your every opinion.

  • Yup, that Jesus character was quite a warlike soul…..he really took up arms against the authorities and fought like heck when they arrested Him.

    Didn’t you read the part in the Gospels where Jesus punched out the Temple guards….or the part where He flung the high priest across the room like a rag doll?

    And then there was the time where He beat the crap out of the woman caught in adultery…..

    And of course, when He was carrying the cross toward Golgotha….when He suddenly wielded it like a battle axe and started clubbing the Romans into submission…..

    Yup, and in order to crucify the guy, they had to get 60 Roman soldiers to hold him down while He bellowed like a banshee…

    Yeah, he was a real Rambo type, according to Mad Max.

    Oh…..you mean you never read the Gospel of Max?

    Hmmm…..

  • Max, what is “immoral” is to twist and distort what the Bible or any other vehicle of communication is saying. This what distinguishes honest, reasoned objections from over-the-top polemics and ridicule which inevitably involve distortions.

    But since I’m unlikely to get you to engage in mutually respectful dialogue, then if you want to play games of ridicule, I can say your belief that reality just happened by itself is truly ridiculous.

  • @Jack,

    Yup, that Jesus character was quite a warlike soul…..he really took up arms against the authorities and fought like heck when they arrested Him.”

    Actually the Bible is clear that they had weapons and an entourage. Jesus told his followers to take up arms.

    “Didn’t you read the part in the Gospels where Jesus punched out the Temple guards….”

    His followers attacked the guards. It is in the Bible.
    Jesus may have attacked the guards as well for all we really know.

    “And then there was the time where He beat the crap out of the woman caught in adultery….”

    A forgery. The bizarre incident with the adulteress is a known forgery inserted into the gospels in the 400’s. ‘let the one without sin cast the first stone’ did not appear in any gospel until then.

    “And of course, when He was carrying the cross toward Golgotha….”

    Didn’t happen.

    “when He suddenly wielded it like a battle axe and started clubbing the Romans into submission…”

    His followers did that for him years later.
    500,000,000 murders have been committed for Jesus. More happen every day.

    “Yeah, he was a real Rambo type, according to Mad Max.”

    Execute them in front of me – Jesus (luke 19:27)
    Don’t fool yourself.

  • Doc, you’re assuming that Larry is interested in reasonable, honest dialogue. If you can drag him to that point, great. But I wouldn’t bet on your efforts succeeding any time soon.

  • JESUS PREPARED FOR BATTLE.
    He knew the Romans were coming for him since he had announced he would “soon” be crowned the king of Jerusalem. His 12 Apostles were jockeying for positions to lead the 12 tribes of Israel.
    It was a case of clear sedition against Rome:

    “if you have money, buy a sword” (Luke 22:36-37)

    Did you really think Jesus was killed because he preached LOVE?
    Childish nonsense.

  • The gnostic “gospels” were up to a century after the four gospels of the New Testament, and thus long after the generation of Jesus was gone. Moreover, the theology of the gnostics utterly contradicted the beliefs and practices of the people of first-century Israel. For example, they denied that God had created the heavens and earth, believing matter to be either illusory or the work of an evil demigod. In so doing they denied the most basic claim of the Old Testament: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

    It is laughable to think that first-century Jews in either Judea or Galilee would have anything to do with such nonsense….it would be akin to Jews following Hitler or Haman.

  • He told the parable because his disciples expected him to literally take the throne. Instead, he was telling them, I came to get my kingdom started. I’m leaving the believers in charge here on earth, to carry out the work of my Kingdom. He gives them money which kind of parallels the talents in Mat. 25. God gives every believer spiritual gifts that he expects us to use to further his spiritual kingdom here on earth. The one who received a gift and failed to use it, had it taken from him and given to the one who had used all the gifts he had been given. Finally, in the last verse of the parable (27), comes the judgment on his enemies who were mentioned in verse 14. His enemies will be destroyed when he returns.

  • Robert, it’s Carrot who’s the hater, a fact which is amply on display. Carrot can’t stand the fact that people dare to disagree with his childish approach to the matter, and like a child, isn’t mature enough to view disagreement as being a natural part of living in a free society. So he seeks to shut you down by calling you the hater.

  • Even you can do better than that, Max. It’s obvious that Jesus offered no resistance from the time of His arrest all the way to His crucifixion.

    Trying to transform Jesus into a warlike character is beyond silly. Even you don’t believe your own words on that.

  • Leave it to Max to call the much-debated John 10 a total forgery, in effect declaring a complicated debate to be over before even understanding the issues involved, while he tries to pass off the so-called gnostic gospels, every one of them written long after the generation of Jesus had passed, as somehow authentic or credible, despite their theology which was impossibly out of place with first-century Jewish thinking.

  • Max, the whole Gospel story makes zero sense if Jesus was leading an armed rebellion. You’d have to rewrite everything…..but based on what? Voices in your head? The problem is that there isn’t a shred of evidence within or outside the Gospels to suggest He was leading a violent rebellion. On the contrary, the story the Gospels put forth about what happened has an internal consistency and coherence you’d expect if you were hearing the truth. And even a rudimentary knowledge of the first-century politics of Rome and Jerusalem, and between Judea and Galilee, back up the Gospels quite handily.

  • Not to mention that we all have something or other that we wish the Bible didn’t say. God disagrees with me nearly every day. 🙂

  • Don’t even try to figure out the Westboro haters. I can’t even figure out their late leader’s ideological trajectory, which was beyond bizarre.

  • Your shaking your fist at God reminded me of when a friend’s baby hamster got annoyed when its sleep was disturbed and got on its hind legs in a semi-boxing stance.

  • Note how, after being refuted on the agape vs. eros definition of love, Max quickly changes the subject rather than admitting he’s wrong. He then accuses God of confusing him, rather than admitting he was wrong yet again.

  • Among your list is a slew of conformist churches that have embraced liberal theology which effectively denies the veracity of Scripture on anything that is politically incorrect.

    You’re asking us to believe a transparent absurdity — that the churches that are best able to tell us what the Bible says about an issue are those that don’t take the Bible seriously in the first place.

  • Carrot doesn’t know what he believes or why. He takes the position that suits his agenda, and if asked to defend it he simply points to some churches who agree with him or pastes a passage of John Boswell’s confused musings.

    Max, at least, provides a bit of cut-and-paste variety. 🙂

  • @Robert Brown,

    “His enemies will be destroyed when he returns.”

    Yup – Exactly.
    So I repeat what I have told everyone else at RNS boards:
    The Nobleman in the parable IS Jesus.
    And Jesus KNOWS that he is the Nobleman in the parable.

    “Bring to me those enemies of mine who would not have me as their King and Execute them in front of me.” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

    Let it be a lesson to all
    that putting a verse in context DOES NOT soften the violence!
    Notice that the Executions will be carried out by the ‘good’ servants!

    Next time someone tells you ‘Jesus forgives with infinite mercy’ or ‘Jesus loves his enemies’ or some other nonsense, understand that millions of people like me already know that is a load of hogwash.

  • @Jack,

    Gays are killed because of your religion. Do you understand this?

    If God exists, and he demands these killings, he is a monster.

    If God does not exist, and these demands to kill are manmade imaginations, people are allowing themselves to behave like monsters.

    You don’t win either way!

  • @Jack,

    “a roaring anti-religious bigot.”

    Nonsense.

    1. People have rights. Ideas do not have rights.

    2. The right response to a bad idea is to argue against it, provide evidence – and in conclusion to ridicule that bad idea.

    3. If it is not bigoted to preach Jesus to a non-believer, it cannot be bigoted to preach against Jesus to a believer.

    Skin color, hair color, sexuality – these sorts of things which people have no choices over and it is unfair to judge people based on such things.

    But carrying a bad idea around and not having the intelligence to defend why you believe is wrong twice:
    It is a dumb idea and you don’t know why you believe it!

    All progress starts with blasphemy.

  • @Jack,

    “The gnostic “gospels” were up to a century after the four gospels of the New Testament…”

    The Book of John was written approxx. in the years 95-100 C.E.
    So if you think the closest Gospels to Jesus were the more correct ones you should consider that Mark was the first, written in about 50 C.E. well after Jesus was dead, and the early version had absolutely no resurrection.

    You should also consider that Mark was not an Apostle, neither was Luke – so who were these people?? Why should anyone believe them?

    And the Epistles of Paul which were written in about 40 C.E. do not include any mention of miracles, no Lazarus story, no defying of death – no crucifixions, no Christmas myths, no magi, and no sayings of Jesus of any kind!
    In fact Paul goes out of his way to say Jesus was just an image in his head! Not a real person – his doubts about his own preachments occur repeatedly.

    It is no wonder that the contradictory Gospels bear no resemblance to anything Paul preaches!

    A load of superstitious bunk from day ONE!

  • Ok Max, now I understand your point. You like the idea of an all forgiving God, which he is, but you don’t like the idea of a perfectly just God, which he is also. You can’t have one without the other. There is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun.

  • @Jack,

    I’ve admitted being wrong many times on other matters. I’m not wrong here.

    Are you going to tell me that there is no confusion between Christians on agape vs. eros? Are you going to tell me that entire sects of Christians DON’T argue over these ‘theological’ points every day even 2000 years after the events supposedly happened?

    It isn’t my problem that Jesus might have been gay. I have no problem with it.

    But you’ll have more evidence to show Leprechauns support heterosexual unions than you will find for Jesus’ position on sex (pun intended).

  • @Jack,

    “It’s obvious that Jesus offered no resistance…”

    Because… Roman Soldiers!

    “Trying to transform Jesus into a warlike character is beyond silly. Even you don’t believe your own words on that.”

    Christianity is such a blunder. Jesus of the Gospels is mostly made up by people who had agendas – and it shows! We can’t even be certain that he existed, let alone what sort of person he was!
    This character has hints of the warrior – hints of zealotry – hints of everything you can name.
    YOU simply do not know and neither do I.
    My version of Jesus is just as plausible as anyone else’s. And I’ll just use your own argument for the existence of God- YOU CAN’T PROVE I’M WRONG!
    How does it feel?

    “much-debated John 10 a total forgery…”

    It is not a debate. The verse is a forgery. It didn’t exist in early texts before 400 C.E.
    Furthermore, it is incoherent – Jesus/Yahweh cannot be against the stoning laws! He is THE AUTHOR OF THE STONING LAWS.

    “he tries to pass off the so-called gnostic gospels…”

    Not my problem. I’m not a believer in this nonsense, remember?
    I don’t believe the gnostic gospels are true at all.
    I merely present the Gospel of Mary as yet another ridiculous account of Jesus. But for those Christians who care about such things – of which there are many – I’m happy to stick it in their face if it shows that Jesus might have been Gay or Sexual or anything else!

    “Max, the whole Gospel story makes zero sense if Jesus was leading an armed rebellion.”

    Actually no it doesn’t. It makes more sense.
    Crucifixions were carried out on people who committed Sedition. You don’t commit sedition by sitting on your butt and speaking sweet nothings about love.

    “The problem is that there isn’t a shred of evidence within or outside the Gospels to suggest He was leading a violent rebellion. ..”

    Evidence?! You care about evidence? Why start now?

    “the story the Gospels put forth about what happened has an internal consistency and coherence you’d expect if you were hearing the truth.”

    Ha! Tell me some more JOKES! 🙂

    “And even a rudimentary knowledge of the first-century politics of Rome and Jerusalem, and between Judea and Galilee, back up the Gospels quite handily.”

    Off. Your. Rocker.

  • @Robert Brown,

    “you like the idea of an all forgiving God, which he is..”

    Hell is your evidence of this?

    “but you don’t like the idea of a perfectly just God, which he is also.”

    How can one receive ‘perfect justice’ for a finite crime if the sentence is infinity in hell? Not coherent.

    “You can’t have one without the other.”

    Wrong, you can’t have either.

    “There is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun.”

    Superstitious nonsense.

    Even if Heaven existed it is impossible for anyone to be there! 🙂
    If your mother had perfect faith in Jesus and went to Heaven but her favorite sons went to Hell, the mother would be eternally miserable without her sons – or – she would be so altered so as not to remember her sons at all and thus she would not even be the same person. She might as well be dead.

    You simply have not permitted yourself to think about anything.

  • Where are you getting all this nonsense, Max? Mark may have been the first gospel, but there is no proof of that. In fact, the earliest commentaries on the gospels indicate that Matthew, originally composed in Hebrew, was the first, and there is no particular proof otherwise. Most scholars suspect that the original ending of Mark was lost because it ends with a conjunction–a highly unusual way to end a passage–and was replaced by an approximation of what it was known to have included. However, Paul’s earliest epistle, 1 Thessalonians, probably predates all the written gospels and it mentions both the crucifixion and the resurrection (1 Thess. 2:16 and 5:9). All of Paul’s epistles make at least ten references to the crucifixion and more references to the resurrection than I can remember off the top of my head. As for “Christmas myths,” he referred quite distinctly to His birth of a woman (not of man) and from the seed of David, and in the fullness of time according to scriptural prophecy — as the gospel writers explained more thoroughly. Quite a bit of detail, considering that these were letters to established church congregations and not biographies. Our pastor has written letters to our church from other places, too, and of course he doesn’t rehash the life of Christ in every one but mainly deals with church and theological issues, as did Paul.

    Really, you don’t know who Mark and Luke are, and why the early church trusted them???

  • Nope, as a matter of fact, there’s not much argument going on among christians about the difference between agape, philia and eros– provided, of course, that people are actually aware that there are different Greek words for different kinds of love, which you apparently are not.

  • Why shouldn’t I be? Not being God, I would no more expect to fully undersand all His ways and purposes any more than my kids understand mine.

  • @Shawnie,

    And that’s another thing!

    “the seed of David”

    That should have been the first clue.
    Jesus was not born from the line of David, he was from the line of Mary (whoever she was). Joseph was not the father, (supposedly) not having had any sex with Mary who was supposedly a virgin !!!!

    Seed of David? How the hell does Paul connect that dot? How can anyone?

    The ‘seed’ was supposed to be God Himself, NOT JOSEPH!
    Of course this is ridiculous.

    In any case, people in those days didn’t think women passed on any of their properties to their offspring – they didn’t know about cells or DNA!!!

    And tell me who were Luke and Mark? Who were they?

    They are not listed among the 12 Apostles so they were…..WHO?
    And why should anyone believe them since they were not eyewitnesses to all the things they wrote about?

    Gays are dying – killed in the name of a God who clearly is completely made up.

  • ” there are different Greek words for different kinds of love, which you apparently are not…”

    Again, I’m not the issue.
    God decided, in his profound wisdom to create a book which would produce nothing but confusion for 2000 years.

    The truth is, The Bible Stories do not behave like a book full of wisdom or insights from God – it behaves like a book made of manmade stories by self interested individuals with their own agendas through history.. …and it shows.

  • Max, I agree with all your numbered points and your whole post…..but the problem is that it’s completely irrelevant to the fact that there exist anti-religious bigots — meaning those who don’t merely hate religious ideas and beliefs but hate those who hold them. That’s the key element — hating people.

  • So, Max, since John is the last Gospel and since you admit it was written in the first century, you’re admitting that all four New Testament gospels were first-century writings. Note that not one of the gnostic writings was. All were written in the next century, long after every contemporary of Jesus, including John, had died.

    As for your other points, the fact that the first gospel written, Mark, was the shortest one, is exactly what one would expect. The closer one is writing to a set of events, the more the writer will assume about the reader’s knowledge of them. Also, if the writing is about a figure whose followers were being hunted down and persecuted as of the time of the writing, it is equally clear that the writer will be exceptionally careful in deciding what to say and what not to say. Others will later come around and provide further details. So long as one account doesn’t materially contradict the other, and so long as it’s being written within a few decades of the other account, supplementation is fine. It is not a problem to professional historians, only to radical skeptics who don’t know or understand the common-sense rules of historical (or legal) evidence.

    The fact that neither Mark nor Luke was an apostle is not a problem at all. A competent scholar will simply apply the same rules of evidence to them as to any other text written by anyone else.

    As for your assertions about the Gospels vs. Paul, each of your claims is flatly and demonstrably false. Paul not only mentions Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, unlike your puzzling claim to the contrary, but tells Christians that living the Christian life involves rendering one’s old self crucified and one’s new self as having been risen or birthed through His resurrection. None of this would have been intelligible to Paul’s readers without a prior belief in a crucifixion and a resurrection. Moreover, Paul not only speaks of the resurrection, but essentially invites the readers of his day to speak to the hundreds of people who claimed to have seen the risen Christ.

    You write as though you have never read the New Testament for yourself.

  • Of course you’re wrong, Max. You’re blaming God for the fact of your confusion over agape vs. eros? And no, Christians do not argue over the difference between the two words. Their respective meanings are perfectly clear. The problem is that the English language has this one word, called “love,” which has multiple meanings. But we have no such problem in the Greek, as different kinds of love have their own words.

    And what this has to do with Christians arguing over “theological points” is anyone’s guess. And as far as those points go, Christians agree far more than they disagree…..for one thing, they agree on the key essentials of the faith.

    I see you’re obsessed with your own idea that Jesus was gay, but, to use your own words, that’s not my problem, it’s your own. You can say that Jesus was an orangutan if you’d like, but the point is that since you (presumably) weren’t alive then, your assertion is worthless unless you can prove it through a credible interpretation of a text. And there are rules of interpretation as well as evidence. You don’t get to read your own psychology into them. The basic rule of interpretation is a historical-grammatical one that has nothing to do with what’s going on in your psyche.

  • Max, the four gospels present an account of the life and death of Jesus. There are no other accounts of that time which present alternate accounts of that life and death.

    Based on the rules of historical evidence, the burden is on you to prove that this basic account is false. You have to show it and you can’t.

    You need to show material contradictions at the heart of the story that are impossible to reconcile. You can’t. You can try, but I or any other person with even a cursory knowledge of the facts and of the politics behind the facts will run rings around you, not because we’re so smart but because your position is untenable.

    So be my guest. You have no idea what you’re walking into, but give it your best shot.

    Just one thing: We will follow the basic rules of historical evidence, not the whims of Max and those of radical skepticism.

  • The early church did not consider any writing authoritative in a scriptural since unless it was known to have been either written by an apostle or closely associated with an apostle. According to the earliest church fathers, Mark was the traveling companion, interpreter, and scribe of the apostle Peter on his missionary journeys and wrote down Peter’s recollections in response to popular demand. Which makes sense as Peter plays a more central role in Mark than any of the other three gospels.

    Luke was the companion of the apostle Paul, a physician and a meticulous recorder of details. While not an eyewitness, he used many eyewitness sources in compiling his biography of Christ. One of these was most likely Mary the mother of Jesus, as he includes information that only Mary would have known. And the genealogy of Christ that he includes, which differs from that of Matthew (which he certainly knew about) is usually understood to be that of Mary, herself a descendant of king David through a different line than Joseph.

    “In any case, people in those days didn’t think women passed on any of their properties to their offspring – they didn’t know about cells or DNA!!!”

    Certainly the pagans didn’t. But long before the gospels, the writer of Genesis recorded that God said to Satan: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” Gen. 3:15.

    They sure picked a clunker when they let you teach Sunday school, Max — if that is in fact a true story. I was thinking the same thing as Jack: you sound like you’ve never actually read the New Testament at all.

  • Max,

    “How can one receive ‘perfect justice’ for a finite crime if the sentence is infinity in hell? Not coherent.”

    Finite, yes, your time on earth is limited. Whatever amount of time you are permitted to live, you have the opportunity every moment to surrender your heart to the savior. You see this as unfair? How many opportunities do you need? This should give you pause, every time you reject God, you are potentially making an eternal decision.

    “If your mother had perfect faith in Jesus and went to Heaven but her favorite sons went to Hell, the mother would be eternally miserable without her sons – or – she would be so altered so as not to remember her sons at all and thus she would not even be the same person. She might as well be dead.”

    Actually, I have heard this very subject mentioned in sermons.
    Revelation 7:17
    For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
    Revelation 21:4
    And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

    He wipes away all the tears, no more death, sorrow, crying, or pain, sounds like there is sorrow at first, then it is taken away. How are these things accomplished? I don’t know. Some think that the bad memories will be erased. Either way, a land with none of those things is heavenly.

  • @Robert Brown,

    “Revelation 7:17
    For the Lamb which….”

    Telling an Atheist like me that something in the bible is ‘true’ is like telling a Vegetarian his hamburgers are ready.

    All of the evidence indicates that The Bible is a man-made project. Not only as far as who wrote it on paper, but the claims are made by men as well.

    Religion was an attempt by primitive people
    to deal with the agony of suffering in life – at a time when people routinely died at 30 years old of terrible but seemingly ARBITRARY painful infections, women died in childbirth so the price of sex was truly deadly, babies died routinely.

    Life before the age of science was profoundly miserable. Science has lengthened our lives and improved the quality of life so dramatically that the normal life expectancy of a person today is 80 years old.

    The Bible is 2000 years old! For goodness sake! These stories are completely primitive – the Bible is a window into our distant ancestors miseries and hopes for the future! If you had a little imagination you would realize that we are living in the closest thing approximating any ‘heaven’ those primitive people would have imagined!

    We have strawberries and blueberries at any time of the year!
    Most countries have ample food available and most of it is safe to eat!
    Most of us have access to water to drink!
    We can talk to anyone in the world by dialing a number!
    We can interact with total strangers and have conversation from thousands of miles away!
    Medicine can treat more diseases every decade!

    I mean, HOW MUCH can you expect out of life!!? Look at what humans are doing! THINK how much primitive people would love our lives!!!

    Science continues to help solve many problems.

    We need to get busy spreading contraceptives to deal with overpopulation.
    We need to help feed the starving.
    We need to invest in infrastructure to help make road safer.
    We need to get off of fossil fuels and move to alternatives.

    We have SO MUCH TO DO to help our fellow men and women ….and you are bringing up bronze age silliness?

    This is why religion continues to waste our time! None of it is true – none of it is needed.

    You have the right to believe it – along with leprechauns – thanks to a secular constitution which allows all beliefs!
    May those rights always remain!

    But don’t expect your religion to be superior to the leprechaun religion or any other one – they are all equally unsupported time-wasters.

  • @Jack,

    Yes, there are people who hate believers.

    But Carrotcakeman is appealing to Christians to be nicer to gays.
    I don’t see hatred of people in that.

    Christians say “love thy neighbor” in one breath and “No gay marriage for you!” in the next breath. It is just cruel nonsense.

    I say, be nice to others based on how they treat us – that’s all!
    Arbitrary pluckings out of an ancient book are worthless as well as untrue.

  • @Jack,

    There is no way to make it sound gentle when you say to someone “Jesus isn’t real” or “the Jesus myth is dangerous and bad for people.”

    You seem to be reacting to how awful it feels to be told that your beliefs are not real. It does feel awful.

    I understand how awful it feels because I was a devoted Christian for many decades. Religion hates having its doubts examined because these philosophies about god do not stand up to any scrutiny.

    And it hurts. I know that feeling well.
    But the messenger does not hate you – in fact I have been working hard on my anti-apologetics to find more gentle ways to encourage people such as yourselves to at least consider the alternatives.

  • @ Jack, if you think Doc was remotely interested in reasonable, honest, factually supported discussion, you have no idea what those words mean.

    And yes, if given the power I believe you too would support imprisoning or executing people for being gay. Please give me a reason to believe otherwise.

  • Jack, you ARE a hater.

    He has every reason to be hostile to your views. People with your POV advocate and perform very nasty, malicious hateful acts against people like CarrotCakeman. They attack his civil liberties, they try to discriminate against him in public and private life, they ostracize people like him and urge others to do the same. They even assault and murder people like him.

    The worst being how people with your views advocate the execution/imprisonment of people like him. Sorry, but I see nothing close to the same coming from people like Carrotcakeman. He is not the hater here. Merely pointing out the results of your views.

    Your complaint about being called a hater is not a refutation of it. Only a sign that you are thin skinned about how others see you. You are doing nothing to disprove the notion that you support violent, hateful and malicious acts towards people like him. If you don’t want to be called a hater, show us that you aren’t one.

    @Shawnie, Carrot knows exactly what he believes in. He just doesn’t take your view seriously, nor has to. You only like to pretend to have authority to speak for all of Christendom. 🙂

  • So now you hate churches which disagree with your view. You can’t tolerate the fact that well-meaning people dare to disagree with your highness on issues that really matter to you.

  • @Larry Baloney. Carrot doesn’t know enough to take ANY view seriously. It’s perfectly obvious that when someone is invited to defend his position and instead points to his buddies and says “Well, they say so too” he simply hasn’t a clue and doesn’t even CARE to have a clue because it might interfere with what he wants.

    Carrot will go with whatever appeals to him, supportable or not. And he will ignore all requests to support the insupportable and simply continue asserting it in hopes that more and more of the scripturally and historically ignorant will buy it.

    And you are essentially the same, although you’re not quite as childlike in your responses. You’ve me-too’d Carrot’s absurd claims about the bible and homosexuality without even a hint of an explanation of WHY you should me-too them. All you’ve been able to produce is “There are a lot of opinions, so one can’t be any truer than another.” Pure ignorance and intellectual laziness. As well we might tell the SCOTUS and everyone who comes before them to run along home because people look at the Constitution in a lot of different ways so there can’t be any right way to rule on it.

    As I’ve said many times, do your homework and actually participate in the discussion or quit yapping from the sidelines for one side (not yours, of course) to stop discussing.

  • Larry, it looks like you’re competing with Max and Carrot on who can set the world’s record for committing the most logical fallacies.

    Too many to count, but ad hominem stands out, along with strawman, question begging, and guilt by association.

    If you don’t know what a logical fallacy is, don’t be lazy — look it up.

    In other words, your posts read like a butcher attempting brain surgery……the results aren’t pretty.

    What all of you share is what you criticize in others – a primitive and unreasoning bigotry that assumes that anyone who disagrees with you must be evil or mendacious. That’s what got you into trouble with the moderator on another board, the author of an article on a different issue.

    This is the way kindergartners think. It’s the product of living in a miniscule bubble where nobody disagrees with you. I suggest you get out more.

  • Jack, complaining about accusations of being a bigot is not a refutation of it.

    There is no ad hominem employed here. Its just giving facts you find inconvenient. Carrot and those like him constantly face discrimination, hatred and even violence from people who believe as you do and act on it. It is not hateful to point that out. Just honest.

    It certainly doesn’t rise to unreasoning dislike since there are compelling tangible reasons for his view. This affects his basic daily existence.

    Are you telling me you do not advocate the discrimination and ostracism of gay people from public life? You are certainly not denying it. Just being defensive about such things being pointed out.

    Show me that you don’t advocate any of the things I attributed to your POV and I might take you seriously. You are called a hater because you advocate hateful things.

  • Shawnie, you constantly appeal to authority which does not have any objectively credible merit. As a function of your faith, you persist in the delusion of being the sole proper interpreter of biblical text. You will say anything in support of your faith no matter how ridiculous and bereft of facts.

    “There are a lot of opinions, so one can’t be any truer than another”

    When none of them have a drop of objectively credible support, then that statement is true. That has been the case for everyone who claims to have definitive views of the meaning of the Bible. It is a hodgepodge of contradicts, obvious multiple authorship and editorializing and artifacts of political commentary long lost to time. All in at least 3 different languages of varying epochs. Your “homework” is always going to be self-serving because that is the nature of “proof” in theology.

    It never goes beyond what one personally invests into it. You have your views, he has his. Neither of you have a compelling reason to take each other seriously.

  • Max, don’t be silly. Gays are in the worst trouble with radical Islamists, not in western democracies. So wean yourself away from the bigoted, Christophobic, anti-Semitic hate sites you frequent and spend more time reading about what’s happening in the world outside of America. If you really cared about gays being murdered, you would be condemning it where it was actually happening.

  • In other words, no, you don’t intend to do any homework. Well, no surprise there.

    As always, this is NOT a question of faith. It is a matter of history, scripture, ancient commentary and literature, and ancient Greek and Hebrew.

    You think it’s all a “hodge-podge” because you’re ignorant of all of it. The same reason why 6th graders whine that “math is stupid.”

    Since you have nothing to contribute, perhaps you would like to sit out the discussion? I understand you wanting to defend poor Carrot, but believe me, it’s going to require someone bigger and badder than you.

  • The issue of gay marriage, Max, isn’t “love your neighbor as yourself,” but whether it’s a good idea to redefine the word, “marriage” into something it has never meant in any time or place. The issue is whether, over the past decade or two, the proponents of gay marriage have somehow got it right while everyone else in every society in history got it wrong. And that includes cultures like that of ancient Greece and Rome, which celebrated homosexuality but somehow never thought that it necessitated a redefinition of marriage.

    Put another way, even in completely tolerant ancient societies, where homosexuality was considered perfectly okay, there is no record of any drive to redefine marriage. The acceptance of homosexuality simply did not lead to it. One thing had zero to do with the other.

    So to pretend that opposition to gay marriage is some unique preserve of Christians is to ignore all of recorded history.

    Gay marriage is a manufactured issue that makes a host of assumptions, all of them false, about the legal status of gay couples. The origins of the move for gay marriage were in fact with the heterosexual far left, the very same people who were mocking marriage as an antiquated relic of the past, a bourgeois convention imposed on a humanity that was incapable of being monogamous. To see the same people invent the gay marriage movement out of whole cloth is pretty ironic. Essentially, they were recommending to gay people precisely the same institution they have been mocking forever.

    We live in a democracy and so this is ultimately being decided by the people. It looks like gay marriage has arrived and is here to stay. For those of us who are still relatively young, we will see the results either way in our lifetime. For some of you old hippies who have brought us all sorts of dubious things, from hard drugs to medieval economic theories that bankrupt nations, you may never know, but we will….

  • Larry, I don’t answer questions about why I do something or support something if I disagree with the premise that in fact I do.

    But if you want to play this “why-did-you-beat-your-kitten” game, I can play it, too.

    So my question is why do you atheists want to kill Christians…..You certainly killed millions in every country in which you controlled and made atheism the state ideology — from the old Soviet Union to Mao’s China to Pol Pot’s Cambodia.

  • Since none of it has any objective credibility, “homework” is simply what fact dump you can come up with as to not sound completely stupid in a given conversation. It all comes down to confirmation bias. Religion has no inherent objectivity nor relies on factual evidence as a basis of belief. That is why they call it faith. That is why they say faith is the most important part of religious belief.

    You would like to think yourself as some kind of expert to be taken seriously. But that is pure egotism.

    “You think it’s all a “hodge-podge” because you’re ignorant of all of it. ”

    Untrue, I am just honest about it. Not being cluttered by belief and the necessity to defend it at all irrational costs and methods. Its comforting to think of yourself as an expert who has to be taken seriously on the subject. It doesn’t make it true or convincing to anyone else.

    Anyone who disagrees with you and is a follower of Christ’s teachings is just “not a real Christian”. Because you say so, not because it would actually cause their belief to be invalidated somehow. Its comforting to believe there is only one answer, but it usually shows you are not taking the questions seriously.

  • Max, I appreciate your sharing the insecurities you felt when you were supposedly a Christian, but I can’t pretend to be experiencing them myself when I’m not. I’m continually impressed by the remarkable evidence at every level for the truth of that which you reject, and even if I were the only person on earth who believed it, I would not feel the way you did because, again, I am still as blown away by the evidence as I was when I first came upon it.

    I suspect that you’re about insecure now as you were then…..I think that gets us to the heart of the matter, which is that you, like your comrades on this board, can’t handle it when people disagree with you. It makes you feel insecure, which is how you admitted you felt towards non-believers when you were a Christian, and how you now feel toward Christians now that you’re no longer a believer.

    A most illuminating post, Max…..confirming what I suspected…..you have a personality that can’t handle people disagreeing with you….and you wrongly assume that all others do, too.

  • In other words, Larry took several paragraphs to confirm for all that no, he has not done his homework on any of this. Clearly, he is afraid of what he may find.

    He’s flying by the seat of his pants and is attempting in vain to fill in his canyon-like gaps of ignorance with the fluff of empty rhetoric.

  • You just about summed it up, Shawnie.

    But what Larry and others like him end up doing is being unwitting exhibits of the truth of that which they’re denying. The fact that they can’t engage in honest dialogue but have to replace it with rhetorical games shows they’re afraid of the obvious.

    So what we have is on the one hand a compelling witness to truth and on the other hand a bunch of people playing adolescent games with words and hoping the adults won’t notice.

    But they do notice — and therein lies the problem.

  • “Anyone who disagrees with you and is a follower of Christ’s teachings is just “not a real Christian”.”

    Not a very good summation of my position, dear. Actually, I feel that anyone who honestly thinks that approval of same-sex behaviors is consistent with either biblical Judaism or Christianity, or has ever been considered to be so, has been badly mislead at best, and outright lied to at worst, by propagandists. The position is simply not supported by ANYTHING to be found in history, in scripture, or in historical commentary thereon. The Torah, the Septuagint, Philo, Josephus, the Midrash Rabbah Genesis, the Babylonian Talmud, Maimonides, Eusebius, Chrysotum, Augustine, the Apostolic Constitutions, and so on and so forth — these are only “fact dumps” to the historically illiterate. The stress analysis my husband performs in aerospace engineering are effectively “fact dumps” to me too, but only because I know nothing about it and am honest enough to admit that. The planes get off the ground whether I allow it “objective credibility” or not.

    If you have some scriptural or historical evidence which indicates that the Old or New Testaments were ever understood in such a way that same-sex behavior could be considered consistent with them, up until about 1980 or so, then please do produce it because we’re all waiting to hear it. If not, then you are simply wasting time and bandwidth and making yourself look very foolish. Fish or cut bait, dear.

  • @Jack: Oh, haven’t you heard? When atheists do rotten things it’s because they’re being religious. I kid you not — this is the party line.

  • Very true. I’ve been browsing here for a while now and I have yet to get an explanation from either Carrot or Larry about WHY they believe same-sex behaviors to be consistent with the Bible. Whenever the discussion turns toward history and evidence, Carrot quietly drops out of sight and Larry just yells louder about how mean we are.

    I think Carrot claims some sort of Christian belief so there is his motive for trying to rewrite the Bible, but I still don’t know why Larry chimes in on all these “gay christian” apologetics, being an atheist. Most atheists, and particularly gay ones, have no use for this nonsense. They know that same-sex behavior is inconsistent with the Bible and at least have the intellectual integrity to repudiate it outright and honestly. You have to wonder about someone who can’t let go of the subject of the Bible but shrinks from actually checking it out…

  • @Jack,

    “Gays are in the worst trouble with radical Islamists, not in western democracies. So wean yourself away from the bigoted, Christophobic, anti-Semitic hate sites you frequent…”

    ANTI-SEMITIC HATE SITES?????

    I don’t hate people. EVERYTHING I HAVE POSTED IS HUMANITARIAN!

    ” If you really cared about gays being murdered, you would be condemning it where it was actually happening…”

    My view of history goes back beyond last year, Jack!

    The “Night of the Long Knives” was Christian Terrorism and is just as awful as what is going on in Islamic Countries today – and furthermore, where are you getting the idea that I have shied away from the Q’uran!?

    Bad ideas need to be argued against
    and when deserving ridiculed publicly:

    Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism…etc.

    Religion has no evidence for itself – but makes claim after claim.
    It is all immoral nonsense.

  • Max, I don’t see you criticizing radical Islamism, which is killing gays right now, today. I do see you singling out Christianity, and by extension, Judaism for condemnation, when they pose zero physical threat to gays. Show me where Jews or Christians today are slaughtering gays.

  • @Jack,

    “The issue is whether, over the past decade or two, the proponents of gay marriage have somehow got it right while everyone else in every society in history got it wrong.”

    And what are you going to do, Jack? What can anyone do?
    the question can be decided by force – which is ridiculous and violent!
    Or just accept the fact that the decision is entirely in the hands of those gay people who choose to get married and leave it at that.

    If you got married to a woman – great. Congrats. NO GAYS STOPPED YOU!

    If you want to get married to a woman in a church – GREAT, NO GAYS ARE STOPPING YOU!

    If you want God to get respect so you reject gay marriage – fine – don’t go to any gay marriages. GAYS ARE NOT FORCING YOU!

    Think about why you are such a control freak about all this!!!
    Leave gays to get married and go to Hell if that is what you believe will happen to them – If god wants them in hell, LET HIM BE A JERK AND SEND THEM TO HELL – DON’T HELP MAKE MORE PEOPLE MISERABLE. LEAVE IT TO YOUR GOD – HE IS GOOD AT IT!

  • @Jack,

    “I don’t see you criticizing radical Islamism, which is killing gays right now, today.

    I’m not against ONLY radical Islam. I am against ALL ISLAM!

    1. Infidels are those who declare: “God is the Christ, the son of Mary.” (Sura 5:17)
    2. Infidels are those who say ‘God is one of three in a Trinity.” (Sura 5:73)
    3. Make war on the infidels who dwell around you. (Sura 9:123)
    4. The infidels (non-Muslims) are your sworn enemies. (Sura 4:101)
    5. When you meet the enemy in the battlefield, strike off their heads. (Sura 47:4)
    6. Mohammed is Allah’s apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to infidels. (Sura 48:29)
    7. Prophet, make war on the infidel. (Sura 66:9)
    8. Kill the disbelievers wherever we find them. (Sura 2:191)
    9. Believers, take neither the Jews nor the Christians for your friends. (Sura 5:51)
    10. Believers, do not make friends with those who have incurred the wrath of Allah. (Sura 60:13)
    11. Never be a helper to the disbelievers. (Sura 28:86)
    12. Fight those who believe not in Allah. (Sura 9:29)
    13. The only reward of those who make war on Allah and His messenger….will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off. (Sura 5:33)

  • @Jack,

    “I’m continually impressed by the remarkable evidence at every level for the truth of that which you reject”

    I don’t reject any evidence. You and other Christians have supplied nothing to consider – let alone reject!

    “I am still as blown away by the evidence”

    And I have heard of none.

    “I suspect that you’re about insecure now as you were then….”

    Me? Insecure? I condemn the holy spirit. Does that sound insecure?
    I think you are the one without courage – not me.

    “you have a personality that can’t handle people disagreeing with you”

    I don’t see you agreeing to Islamic Head-lopping! I’m against it. Are you saying you are in favor of Islamic murder? Wow!

  • So you disagree with my statement by confirming it and explicating it further. You really have a problem with honest assessments of your views. Christians may affirm the lives of gays, but they are not really doing so with Biblical authority according to your view. Hence not really doing it correctly in your eyes. Which is my point.

    The big problem you seem to suffer from is the delusion that religious belief has anything to do with supported arguments and assertions. Hardly. Religious belief is irrational faith with only post-factor support when you are occasionally asked to pretend otherwise. Nobody has their beliefs invalidated because of the interpretations of scripture by others. You would not have so many divergent sects if it were the case.

    The idea that any individual has a clear unambiguous singular view of the Bible and how it applies to your life is comforting but lacks any evidence in the world around you. Its great to think that one has the sanction of the Bible, especially when acting in an uncivil, hateful manner towards others. But it hardly gives any such arguments convincing or compelling. You can accuse the other person of being ignorant or illiterate, but it doesn’t make it true. Again, it is comforting to believe one to be in the know and the other isn’t. But in the field of religion, nobody is in the know. It is not a subject which has ever depended on facts, analysis or interpretation beyond what you personally invested in it.

    That being said, it really takes a great deal of dissonance and creative interpretation to look for loopholes in the Biblical directives for compassion towards others. But religion is not about making sense, its about making order.

  • I am not interested in your irrelevant musings about what you think my true thoughts and motivations are. Again, I am interested in what EVIDENCE you have that same-sex behaviors are consistent with scripture or have ever been considered to be so before about 1980. You are me-too’ing the crowd that claims this. Defend your position–or if you can’t, at least explain why you defend the indefensible.

  • @Max: Riiiiight. Then I, like many around here, could be told what to think by a tired assortment of atheist propaganda websites that all give the impression of being written by college dropouts staring at screens in their parents’ basements, passing around the same hackneyed canards and 6th grade level vulgarities and congratulating themselves on how naughty and “freethinking” they are. Thanks, but color me unimpressed.

    Now, if Larry could stop yelling “meanies!” long enough to answer a straighforward question we might be able to get back to the discussion…but my expectations are not high.

ADVERTISEMENTs