Beliefs Culture David Gushee: Christians, Conflict and Change Ethics Faith Opinion

When forbidden sexuality meets unchanging religious tradition

A member of the LGBT community holds a candle during a memorial service for victims of the mass shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla. Photo courtesy of Rueters/Abhishek N.Cinnappa

(RNS) Multiple reports are surfacing that Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen’s profile was found on gay dating apps, that he had tried to pick up men and that on prior occasions he had patronized the Orlando club in which he massacred so many on Sunday (June 12).

If this is true, it matters a very great deal.

It might move the motivation for Mateen’s horrific act to a very different and psychologically more complex place in which one man’s inability to reconcile himself with his sexuality cost 49 other people their lives — and then cost him his own life.

It might end up making the motivation of the horrifying Orlando massacre look more like: I want you. God says I can’t want you. So I must kill you.

And it opens up the broader issue of the severe mental health challenges facing young people who discover, against the stern teachings of their religious traditions, that they are attracted to members of the same sex.

This intersection of religious authority and forbidden sexuality is a very dangerous one, and it must be navigated by all who are raised in religions that reject same-sex attraction and relationships. It is a problem in multiple religions, including Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and leaders in all religious traditions face the urgent responsibility to address it.

As a privileged married heterosexual and an evangelical Christian ethicist, I finally came to terms a few years ago with how terrible this problem is for LGBT Christians and embarked on a reconsideration process. It led me to a posture of solidarity and moved me to open up my traditionalist lifetime-covenantal-marital sexual ethic to include gay and lesbian unions. This was seen as a grave error by some of my fellow believers. But many LGBT people and their families were desperately grateful. It offered at least one way out of the impasse between traditional religion and sexuality.

Look at it this way. When a young person from a strict religious upbringing discovers the powerful force of his own sexuality, it is scary enough. But if that sexual interest flows toward people of the approved sex, religious authorities have at least a marginally comforting answer: You and your sexuality are normal, but you need to wait till you are married to have sex. It’s difficult, but it can be done. Pat on the back, and out you go.

But for lesbian, gay and bisexual young people, the answer is very different: You are not normal. Your sexuality is uniquely sinful, a rejection of God himself. You must repent and change. You can never act on these sexual attractions. How long must you wait to have a sexual or romantic relationship with someone you actually desire? Forever. You can never, ever, do it, or you will incur God’s wrath.

These answers come from all recognized and trusted authorities in the young person’s world — first parents, then also religious teachers and leaders, and finally most friends from church, synagogue or mosque. Quite often the answers are accompanied by the sternest, sometimes the cruelest, verbal, emotional and even physical violence. Even the very tentative declaration that a young person may be feeling some same-sex attractions can send religious parents and pastors through the roof. At best, relationships survive, but the person’s sexuality is rejected by those whose approval matters most.

So when the irresistible force of a forbidden sexual orientation runs into the immovable object of an ancient religious tradition, what is the affected person supposed to do?

A large number of young adults ultimately abandon their religious traditions as hazardous to their health. Some are in gay nightclubs early Sunday morning because they are welcome there — and would not be welcome in church eight hours later.

Others spend years attempting to conform their desires and behaviors to the religiously prescribed options, such as celibate singleness or heterosexual marriage, remaining in their religion at the cost of cauterizing their sexual identity.

Some ping-pong back and forth between these options, both of which they find agonizing and neither of which they can sustain.

Others eventually find peace in creating, or discovering, a version of their faith that can accommodate the sexuality they have, rather than the sexuality that the tradition demands they have. They find a place where they no longer have to choose. This is usually a very long and difficult process.

And it may be that one particularly troubled young man “solved” his problem over the weekend through mass murder.

So, to America’s orthodox religious leaders, I again ask:

Is the consistent, acute, totally predictable psychological distress caused to these young adults by your understanding of God’s moral rules a relevant consideration for your teaching and pastoring?

In light of this suffering and what is now known about human sexuality, do you still believe that this is what the God you are trying to serve really requires?

Might it be that some aspects of your understanding of sexual ethics are revisable rather than the eternal will of God?

Which of you will take some risks to get a serious conversation going about these issues in your faith community, on behalf of your own most vulnerable young people?

(David Gushee is distinguished professor of Christian ethics and director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University. He is an RNS columnist)

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David Gushee

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  • Dr. Gushee,

    I admire your work. But what if another “traditionalist” sexual ethic was at work? Perhaps one does believe in a covenental relationship yet is unable to find one, and this is what leads one to lash out. It is unquestionable that to many people of faith, marriage is the only relationship which is a reflection of the Creator’s love for mankind. Should we have a conversation about single people and God’s love? I think so.

  • The “traditionalist” view seems to me to be a sort of selective neo-Gnosticism….”Gnostic asceticism for you, but not for me.”

    “Your Gay body is corrupt, unnatural material, and so must be denied.”

    “My heterosexual body, on the other hand, was divinely designed.”

  • You need to decide why you think god would be against homosexuality. There is no reason, except biblical confusion.

  • Christians too, have never figured out that their bible and it’s rules are for them. Many do not subscribe to that edition.

  • What confusion? The Bible is quite clear on this matter. Homosexual behavior, and gay marriage, is sin. Period

    But it’s not just a matter of saying “This or that is a sin.” Most people already know what the Bible says in this area. They struggle with their situation.

    So Christians seek to offer hope — that God can actually do something — for people who are caught up in sin of any kind. That’s why Christians often point people to 1 Cor.10:13 and 1. Cor 6:9-11. Huge, powerful promises of overcoming sin.

    But denying the Scriptures regarding homosexuality and other sins, simply will not work. That just make things worse.

  • As Mr. Gushee has pointed out in his reevaluation…scripture isn’t “clear” on the matter. (A claim that the segregationists also made about their “matter” when I was young, by the way.)

    But a healthy understanding of the Golden Rule, one that doesn’t privilege you, one that isn’t paternalistic to fellow adults, one that doesn’t condescend to “the other,” can aid in moral clarity.

  • Nothing in the bible is “quite clear”. That is why there are so very many denominations and the churches are in schism. They can agree on NOTHING.

  • Not one Gay person has tried to turn christians Gay, but a christian’s mission is to turn people christian. So who is pushing and shoving an agenda?

  • The only significant thing that’s “quite clear” in the Bible is that none of it matters beyond it being a fascinating historical record of assertions by ancient people who had nothing more than ignorance to work with. And many, if not most, of those assertions were made by the the cleverest people who exploited the prevailing ignorance to gain power and control over the populace . . . usually through creating fear.

    And, astonishingly, in 2016 many millions of people are still clinging to ignorance as if it were a virtue . . . largely out of fear being instilled in them by today’s clever preachers quoting “scripture” and citing chapter/verse as if it were a legitimate source of authority.

  • Mr. Lee, Scripture was quite clear about the heresy of heliocentrism when on February 17, 1600, the Church burned Giordano Bruno at the stake.
    But we eventually came to see that the scientists were right. The Earth does indeed revolve around the sun.
    Scripture was quite clear, when for centuries, the Church catholic taught that being left handed was demonic in nature, and left handed people were ostracized and persecuted. But eventually science told us that being left handed is a natural phenomenon, and biological in origin.
    Now Mr. Lee, science tells us that being gay is a natural phenomenon, and biological in origin. So once again we stand at the crossroads of science and scripture.
    Before when we were confronted with scientific evidence, we were compelled to return to our scriptures and we discovered that we had built dogma on mistranslated and misinterpreted ancient manuscripts. We had misinterpreted the poetry and poetic license of Psalms for science, which indeed was not geocentric.
    We had taken ancient customs and superstitions about the left hand, and wounded people in the name of scripture.
    So what will we do now, Mr. Lee? Already most biblical Hebrew scholars tell us that the scriptures that we have interpreted as homosexuality, are but injunctions against pagan fertility worship. And that there is nothing in the ancient manuscripts that comprise our Bible about homosexuality.
    What will you do now, Mr. Lee, as you stand at the crossroads of science and scripture? Continue the heresy of condemning people made in the image and likeness of God? People for whom Christ died, and for whose persecution Christ weeps?

  • This is quite the irresponsible piece, David. You present pure conjecture about the psyche of the shooter which you then move to make your case about the struggles of LGBT+ persons. You have no idea of the issues involved with the shooter, but you used it as a tool to further your own views. Shame on you for using a tragedy to your ends alone.

  • It makes it worse for you, because it means that more people are not buying the crap that you’re selling.

  • There are lots of folks who claim to be Christians, and who harbor the most evil, non-biblical views of gay people.

    My understanding (as a life-long heathen) is that if you’re a true, honest bible-believer, then homosexuality is simply another sin, and that all human beings are sinners.

    Those folks who make those evil, idiotic comments about homosexuality/homosexuals are actually spitting in the face of Jesus with every syllable they utter.

  • Excellent deconstruction. the 1960s student radical Jerry Rubin remarked in his book “Do It!” that “Sex is dirty because you have to be nekkid to do it. Also it’s fun.” For over 40 years since that was written the Religious Right has profited by demonizing LGBTs while they make a comfortable place front and center in their temples of Mammon (megachurches) for the divorced and remarried. Now the chickens have come home to roost. This poor schmuck was unsure what were the differences between ISIS, Al Queda, and Hamas, not to mention whatever other faction of Islam, so the narrative of the xenophobes that “Islam did this!” is made murky by the fact that given the circumstances it could just as easily have been a Christian shooter overcome with his revulsion at what he knows himself to be.

  • Good point, Gregory Peterson.

    A propos of heterosexual bodies being divinely designed…it turns out that an awful lot of them are in fact *mis*-designed–otherwise “normal” people with only one kidney, early cancers, etc…but of course, as we all know, big daddy in the sky has some reason for doing those things….

  • So he’s irresponsible- because he’s right- John. Because you certainly aren’t right. The issues with the shooter are ALL OF THE ABOVE. That’s becoming painfully obvious.

  • I respect and love you more than most folks that I’ve met IRL. Why? You speak the truth and you’re clearly a good person. Your words shine with honesty, respect and integrity. Other human beings words or actions may not shine with greatness, but we’re all part of the same human race.

    We, the People, NEED to UNDERSTAND and KNOW that we are EQUAL. The fundamental rules and laws of existence are simple:
    – BE RESPECTFUL and respected you will be;
    – BE TRUTHFUL and the truth you will receive;
    – INTEGRITY has no VALUE. Let it BE…and let it grow stronger…with every passing second of every passing day.

    Seriously, ya’ll. Everyone justs needs to live and let live. For God’s sake!

    Anyways, just a gay dude from South Carolina…

    With love,
    Craig

    L. Craig Huffstetler, III | Wren Crossing Lane, Easley SC 29642-7859 #ONESC

  • Thanks. It’s the truth, no matter how much the “I love you but hate your sin” crowd whines otherwise.

  • In a pluralistic society and culture subject to changing mores, the legislature is the appropriate place to initiate legal change regarding most issues, cultural or otherwise, if the majority so desires. But the Christian Church, which is predicated on unchanging spiritual principles, is not so compelled. Perhaps a majority of Americans will ultimately embrace philosophically the rights that gays demand be enshrined in law, even those who declare themselves “Christian.” However, for those who will not compromise the spiritual precepts of the faith as they have been traditionally understood, should not then be subject to the hatred, bigotry, and potentially, the violence that is so decried elsewhere by a putatively more enlightened and progressive culture. I believe a day will come when orthodox Christians will have their turn as the despised and rejected of society.

  • I think a statistical analysis of the comments in this thread, and many other forums, would show in fact, that invective, insult, disparagement, etc., come in much greater volume and more vicious tone, from atheists and unbelievers (which are not exactly the same category of people) than from the professors of Christ. My preference is for reasoned discussion and exchange. I wish that RNS would begin a policy of banning posts that are characterized primarily by angry speech and insulting rhetoric regardless of which side a poster may stand on a given issue.

  • Since most would claim they are born gay and cannot change, then your comparison makes no sense.

  • “Simply another sin” is a bit of an oversimplification, though I think it would be hard to logically defend the heterosexual adulterer while condemning someone just for being homosexual.

    Jesus quite harshly condemned self-righteousness, and even rejected traditions of punishing others for legitimate sins (i.e., the woman taken in adultery). So christians who make those kinds of comments are definitely not following the example of Jesus, rather they are emulating the example of the Sadducees/Pharisees that were his primary enemy.

    That being said, one doesn’t have to say that homosexuals are evil to see how it could be a “sin” (recognizing there are probably no consistent definitions of the word “sin”). If you start with the premise that God wants us to have children and experience family life, then obviously there is a good argument as to why, at the very least, heterosexuality should be promoted as the ideal relationship (even technology can’t replace the need for genetic contributions from male and female to make a baby, yet).

    If “sin” is anything that doesn’t further god’s plan, and his plan is centered on families and children, then it’s not a leap to say homosexuality is a sin. That being said, you don’t have to throw the baby out with the bath water and say that because homosexuals cannot biologically make babies in a homosexual relationship, that they can’t do other amazing things and live lives as good, honest people, make the world a better place, and do other things that are part of god’s plan. If one sin meant that we had no good, then we’d all be in for a world of hurt – but that is exactly how a large number of christians try to categorize homosexuals, unfortunately
    .

  • Jews have a long tradition of reinterpreting the Hebrew Bible. For example, the Bible says, “a life for a life”. The rabbis put restrictions on that so it became virtually impossible to ever execute anyone. If you are Gay or Lesbian, no one, not even Jesus, can “cure” you. You will return to being the person you are meant to be.

  • “many, if not most, of those assertions were made by the the cleverest people who exploited the prevailing ignorance to gain power and control over the populace . . . usually through creating fear.”

    It is possible to take it seriously, but not literally. You are ignoring large sections of the Bible that one should treat the stranger well, help the poor, pursue justice. The quoted statement above can be seen as anti-Judaism. You can’t end prejudice by using prejudice against someone else.

  • Jason Hirst: You said “Jesus quite harshly condemned self-righteousness..”

    Now please tell me what Jesus about homosexuality. Be as specific as you can.

  • It does make sense, because Christian’s believe their religion is the only way to God. Therefore they must go into the world and bring everybody to their belief.They also believe with God in your life you will give up on being gay.

  • Wrong. David used this event to tout his position without ANY knowledge of the psyche, motives or personal issues of the shooter because those things have not been disclosed, nor can they be fully understood when the person in question is dead. I respect David’s writings and arguments, but this one took advantage of a tragedy to throw out points he wanted to make.

  • It all comes down to which concept you want to live with. Yours is one of sin,man is born with sin and must act accordingly to your Bible to not have sin in your life. The other is simply love and how we treat one another, period.

  • Of course, you simply ignore that a great many Christians, apparently a majority of American Christians, disagree with you. And most Christians would also disagree that being antigay defines being a good Christian.

  • Dr. Gushee is wrong when he says the Scriptures aren’t clear on the matter. Other scholars have tried to point this out (see Dr. Rob Gagnon for example).

    But don’t take my word for things …. check the Scriptures yourself on this topic. They’re right there and anybody can read ’em. Deal with the Scriptures.

    Not one of the Bible texts affirms homosexual behavior or gay marriage. Period. The Bible oppose such things and offers a way out in Jesus Christ.

  • Nope. The remarks make perfect sense, but your rebuttal is a stretch at best. LGBT do not open fraudulent “conversion therapy” clinics for Christians, but some “Christians” do all manner of evil to LGBT youth in order to “save” them from being true to themselves.

  • The correct answer is “nada, nothing, zip.” That’s why Old Testament “Christians” bring out their “3-in-1 oil” Jesus to claim that every word by Jehovah/Yahweh in the Old Testament is really just Jesus telling us how it is. But the mortal Jesus never said a word against gays, and it is widely believed, based on historical anthropology, that the “beloved servant” of the Roman centurion that Jesus healed was the man’s gay lover, a thing Christ would have known when healing him.

  • “Christians” who make those sort of harsh, judgmental statements cannot possibly be real disciples of Jesus Christ. Their wrong attitude shows it and nothing they say makes it better, once they show off that harsh hypocrisy. Braggers do not good Christians make.

  • What do we do now, Ms. Cheryel? Well, (no accusations here but just being honest) we start getting real about the Scriptures that deal with homosexuality.
    Hebrew scholar Herbert Wold (author, “Out of Order”) has already dealt with (as in disposed of) the claim that the OT homosexuality statements are mere “injunctions against pagan fertility worship.”
    Besides, Genesis makes clear that human marriage/sexuality was created to be gender-complementarian. And Jesus, directly quoting Genesis, re- affirms all this in Matt. 19:4-6 — NO gay marriage/sexuality at all — so clearly the OT is prohibiting the gay stuff.

    P.S. You didn’t mention the NT statements. I didn’t bother to ask why.

  • Yes, it’s all harsh and judgmental and bragging to simply stand up and say “Hey, this is what the Scriptures say, and as a Christian I’m bound to go by them.”
    But I think I’ve had enough of sitting around quietly (for years, actually) allowing the opponents of Scripture to do all the talking. It’s time for some Christians to talk back.

    It’s time for Christians to affirm (not just regarding the homosexual issue but regarding all sin issues) that the Scriptures really ARE correct (no matter what the sin is), and that God cares and really does offer a way out through the power of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 10:13, 1 Cor 6:11.)

  • So, if we fail or refuse to love people at ANY time (even when the inevitable misunderstandings or tensions arise), is that not a sin?
    And since nobody’s got a perfect track record in that area anyway, doesn’t that prove we are all sinners?

  • Why can’t fundamental, evangelical Christians follow the model of Amish Christians who don’t seek to impose their interpretation of Christianity on others but strive to witness to their interpretation for themselves?
    Too many so-called Christians have a political agenda to impose their ‘values’ on others despite the First Amendment freedom of religion, and its resistance to adopt any religious group over Americans who increasingly are choosing not to identify with any religion.

  • Hmm. I for one am not calling for any executions, actually. And the NT statements against homosexual behavior (or any other sin) do not call for anyone to be killed.

    Meanwhile, concering Jesus, the rabbis were NOT able to stop him from healing a bunch of people right and left, day in and day out. Nobody strong enough to stop Jesus from healing folks, it seems.

    Even after Jesus was crucified, he rose from the dead and then He decided to permanently remove homosexuality from some Corinthian homosexuals (see 1 Cor. 6:9-11). Took it away from them. Go figure.

  • It’s not a numbers game, Ben. Every last Christian in America could publicly approve gay marriage tomorrow, and it still wouldn’t change what the Bible is saying.

    Gay marriage is still wrong. Jesus Christ is still healing and delivering people from homosexuality. The Bible is still the Bible.

  • The bible doesn’t change. WE DO?

    That’s why we don’t burn witches anymore, segregate lunch counters, and deny women the vote. WE CHANGED?

    Let me know when you are as concerned about the sin of not believing that Jesus died for your sins as you are about whatever you imagine my sex life to be.

  • Jesus confirmed everything the Torah said about sexuality when He denounced “porneia” or sexual immorality, which according to the Greek lexicon included every kind of sexual behavior prohibited by Leviticus 20 (He mentioned adultery separately).

  • It’s widely believed, all right, but not based on any kind of “historical anthopology.”

    Now maybe YOU can tell us whose gay lover Jairus’ 12-year-old daughter was, and also whose gay lovers the infants of Bethlehem were, who were slaughtered by Herod and were all under the age of two.

  • The problem I have with christianity is precisely that they are so compelled to initiate legal change, placing their religious views on all of us. And no, it is not up to the will of the majority to determine the rights of other people. That is churchman rhetoric, and it must be stopped. There is no compromise needed to be made by christians in order for LGBTQ people to have equal rights and protections. They have only to sit back and enjoy their own!

  • I don’t look at it as sin. We can have disagreements,differences,etc, but that does not mean we continue to label them as a “lesser” person than ourselves.Whenever someone is taking advantage of another for their own self gain is wrong and should be corrected.If a person continues to put the other person first,they will receive just rewards. Again,using the term sin is a strong way to control people.

  • You’re saying the Bible called for racially segregated lunch counters? Seriously?
    Meanwhile, it’s us humans who have to change. But in our human situations — indeed all of our favorite sins and stuff, we don’t have the power to even start to change, we need outside help. As in God. He has power to save, cleanse, heal and change things that we don’t have.
    The Bible is clear on that. And no, it doesn’t get “re-interpreted.” Jesus is Jesus, the same yesterday today and forever.

  • Gagnon…derisive snort. I’ve had an extensive conversation with that pathetic hate propagandist….sigh.

    What you can’t seem to read in the Bible, and are too cowardly to have a sense of curiosity, is context…intratextual and historical.

    “Not one of the Bible texts affirms homosexual behavior or gay marriage. Period.”

    Way to recycle a proslavery Evangelical tactic. They made the claim that not one of the Bible’s texts affirm that God wants slavery to be abolished.

    And…they were right about that, yet they were morally and intellectually bankrupt, nevertheless.

  • Hilarious. That Jesus chap has been dead for 2100 years. He predicted, quite wrongly, that the Son of Man was about to arrive with the kingdom within the lifetime of many of those then standing. OOPS (he also hated the goyim, calling them “dogs” and “swine”). Then Paul – the true founder of the superstitious codswallop that has turned into a pagan cult that worships an imaginary man-god – shows up and starts saying that the dead Jewish chap was going to be back IMMEDIATELY and then the dead would meet him and then Paul and Pals of Paul would blast off and meet the dead Jewish chap on the clouds. OOPS.

    By the way – given that, according to the founder of christianity, the dead are just, well, DEAD and won’t “meet Jesus” until Jesus returns to earth, why do christian preachers ramble on at funerals about how the deceased is “with the Lord”??? That’s not what the magic book says.

    But you’re right about one thing – the christian book of stories never changes. Its predictions have ALWAYS been wrong.

    By the way, I happen to know that the christian sky-god DOES approve of gay marriage. If he didn’t, he would have granted the prayers of all the hateful christians to turn the Supreme Court against it. christians insist that christian sky-god does answer ALL prayers (but “doesn’t always give the answer we want”). When the answer is “go away you hateful lunatics,” why do the nasty christians ignore it?

    And of course, according to christians, gay people who do many acts of lovingkindness for their fellow humans are going to roast in christian sky-god hell, while nasty christians are going to be yukking it up with christian sky god. christianity – what a plague and a pestilence.

  • Yeah, I read that conversation, too. And like everyone else you were reduced to insults because you simply couldn’t refute him with your this-reminds-me-of-slavery refrain. Some things never change.

  • With all due respect, Mr. Gushee is a Christian ethicist not a NT scholar. Better to look to NT Wright or Scot McKnight on the understanding of homosexuality in the New Testament and how it affects our thinking today. Having said that, yes, we have done a poor job with the LGBT community to our shame. “Messy Grace” by Simi Valley pastor Caleb Kaltenbach offers a better understanding of loving our LGBT brothers and sisters while wrestling with the tension of grace and truth, acknowledging the biblical standard set forth in the NT yet also treating our LGBT brothers and sisters with love and respect without forsaking biblical truth. He speaks from experience, having been raised by gay parents, so he does not speak from point of hearsay or anecdotal stories. His offering relies on some of the best biblical scholarship but it is more a memoir and practical help on how we better love not only the LGBT community but anyone who struggles–that would be all of us.

  • Yes, of course. I was curious to see if/how Jason Hirst would respond.

    And, of course, those “Christians” who cite the OT are careful to avoid any mention of or reference to the 613 other laws contained in Leviticus…interesting, isn;’t it, how they seem always to focus on sexual stuff…..

  • Interesting to say the least.

    point 1.
    What I would ask is how would Jesus have approached this life-style. Answer: Like He did every other life style that involved sin. The church has been extremely judgmental and critical rather than loving and kind. You can love someone and not agree with them. You can be kind and even have a relationship with them. This is where I see a major error in our church

    point 2.
    Tradition? I suppose that Biblical teaching is traditional, however, we need to hold it as truth. The Bible defines sin. There is not one sin that is more offensive than another though the church would seem to think so. Keeping the Bible the source of doctrine and truth is important. This means that we use it as a means to govern not just what we believe but our practice as well. To be a follower of Jesus means to live as Jesus would and 3 times he was confronted with sexuality immorality. Not once did he condemn or judge or criticize. With love and kindness He pointed people to repentance.

    point 3.
    Circumstances should not determine what we believe. Yes, there are misunderstandings and even various opinions on this subject. The church needs to move in grace, love and kindness rather than critical judgment and shame. If we are going to be the church that resembles Jesus, then this is what it is going to take. If the church would love as Jesus did then we would live in a very different world – one where we would see God move and people repent.

    This is my humble opinion for what it is worth.

  • Hey, my great grandfather was a Union soldier in Sherman’s march to the sea. I’ve studied proslavery Evangelicals and I know what they wrote.

    You read that conversation? It was in 2013 in Patheos.

    “Does Leviticus Only Condemn Idolatrous Homosexual Practice? – An Open Letter from Robert Gagnon”
    March 28, 2013 by Timothy Dalrymple

  • Really well written Dr. Gushee.

    In America Christianity has a great deal of influence. Thus, when churches condemn people who are LBTG, they do those people great harm. When churches, through subtle or blatant language, make it clear they see LBTG folks as ‘other’, they’re contribution to violence, bigotry and hatred against LBTG can have death-dealing consequences, as occurred in Orlando.

    Evangelical Christians and the Roman Catholic Church are a powerful block in the USA and when they work for anti-LBTG laws, refuse to officiate LBTG weddings and so forth, they give implicit support to people like the Orlando shooter.

    No group has a greater suicide rate than LBTG folks. That’s directly due to the suffering visited upon them by Christians, especially evangelicals and the RCC. Dr. Gushee has written a very clear description of just how those 2 groups visit their damage on LBTG folks. The Orlando shooter was another suicide who took out the self hate he was so carefully taught on himself and 49 innocent LBTG people.

    Shame on the haters, especially evangelicals and the RCC. Shame, shame.

  • The various Christian Churches claim to be in the business of proclaiming objective, eternal truth. However, this claim cannot be supported historically. I am a Catholic, and Catholic teachings can and do change. If anyone wants, I can give examples.

  • There are most certainly those who claimed that the Bible called for racial segregation. Indeed, there are those who still make that claim.

  • Sure I read it. I’ve been reading Patheos longer than I’ve been reading here.

    Why do we keep hearing about your great-grandfather and Sherman? I have a great-great-grandfather that fought for the Union as well, though most of my family was still in Europe during the Civil War — does that do anything to support my position? No. My husband’s great-great-grandfather was raised in a slave-owning family in the deep South and turned his back on all of it to fight for the Union. His 4th great-grandfather on another line, a Methodist Episcopal minister, actually bought slaves for the purpose of freeing them. I seriously doubt that any of the blowhards here who throw around facile talk about slavery to serve their agendas would have put themselves out in such a fashion had they lived in that time and place. So perhaps we can stick to actual scripture and ancient commentary thereon?

  • homosexuals make passes at people all of the time. I’ve never heard of them asking for church affiliation before offending someone. Homosexuals are trying to make their sin, law, after creating God in their own image.

  • I was going to insert sarcasm, but felt perhaps the truth would help you more.
    Christians are not condemning homosexuals any more than they were condemned and we all grow up condemned to Hell – not only homosexuals. All persons must repent of their sin to be a member of Jesus’ family – as all Christians recognized their own sin and repented and continue to repent on a regular basis.
    I appreciate your support of the power of evangelicals and the RCC.
    Homosexuals do not need to die. But, being told the lie that they are a homosexual, with no hope of ever leaving the sin, and expected to cheer on that they are sinners, well, I would find that disturbing also – particularly as it is a lie. Homosexual lobbyists lie.
    Jesus said that He would cleanse us of our sin and that our sins would be as far as the east is from the west. The homosexuals don’t have to die if they accept that Jesus died for them should they choose to accept that gift. Blessings.

  • Matthew 28:16-20English Standard Version (ESV)

    The Great Commission

    16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

  • The reason I keep mentioning that is that having a great grandfather who fought in war that was started over slavery got me interested in how slavery was justified religiously.

    I went and read what the proslavery Evangelicals wrote…how they approached scripture to justify their elite caste position of privilege and power.

    And what I found looked very familiar, as they used the same hermeneutic as the segregationists of my own youth, and the homophobes of my getting on in years years. Not to mention the same hermeneutic used by churches that forbid female ordination.

    And that rests upon a few assumptions not shared with moral people.

    Patriarchy and paternalism, which in this country, generally translates as white privilege. Granted, as an aging white male…works for me. lol. Nevertheless, it’s about sexism and conserving privilege at the expense of everyone else. And…I am not only a white male, I am also “everyone else.”

    Another assumption is that the Bible is inerrant and without contradiction. Hideous bibliolatry, that. It encourages scavenging the Bible for “proof texts” which make your point, at least when read “literally.” Once you have found one, you don’t have to do anything more, because if the Bible is without contradiction, there will be nothing to contradict your “inerrant proof text.” You can then smugly pound it over someone’s head because it privileges yourself at their expense.

    As the Bible is, you proclaim greedily, “inerrant” (as if you could really know that) there is no need to have a sense of curiosity and empathy. Contexts are unimportant and just a waste of time seeking them out. “The other” is condemned by God, and rather than think…you just have to sell them on the concept that God hates what you hate…which is them. Sometimes they’ll buy it, unfortunately.

  • A pass is not an attempt to convert. Conversion therapy is. Superstitionist proselytizing is also.

  • It’s a shame you take offense with someone being open with you, but you can just say no, you know?

  • If you convert to being Gay, that is 100% your choice. Someone else just provided you the opportunity to decide.

  • “Jesus said that He would cleanse us of our sin and that our sins would
    be as far as the east is from the west. The homosexuals don’t have to
    die if they accept that Jesus died for them should they choose to accept
    that gift.”

    You have to be really gullible to accept such nonsense, but it’s actually more than just nonsense, it’s utterly disgusting.

  • I’m sorry you feel that way. I would prefer that people go to Heaven when they die, as does Jesus.

  • Let us not be ignorant of our bible. We all know Paul was the only new testament writer who spoke against homosexuality, and he foolishly took his speech from the OT. Christians say the OT has no meaning for them, even though god’s word supposedly never changes.

  • A person would have to be pervertedly sick minded to label a person a sinner for his sexuality. If you stick with your 10 commandments, you will do fine. Otherwise, stop eating shellfish, hypocrite.

  • Me too, Windsor, but we have all seen disinternments. If there is a heaven, they missed their targets!

  • You are being judgmental in calling it sin, while you fail to follow many other OT rules.

  • All other cases of sexual activity which jesus confronted involved harm to another person. And are there other cases, besides the addendum of the woman taken in adultery? The point is, the harm to others is a sin. No one is harmed by homosexual love. Loving another is not a sin.

  • If any gods condemn homosexuality, then the gods are wrong. The bible too. Have the courage to say so.

  • We do not know who wrote Matthew. Look it up. Why accept the word of a primitive superstitionist?

  • The superstitionists are just more sensitive. Those who live in reality know what to expect, and are not looking for any claim to martyrdom..

  • It sure is hard to believe in a resurrected man who will live forever, and act as ticket taker at heavens gate!

  • You’re wasting your time arguing with Shawnie. She’s a sola scriptura girl as long as it’s her sola and her scriptura.

  • Some Christians are still saying it. If you don’t believe it, then you simply don’t wish to educate yourself.

  • I choose to think that Jesus Christ is still healing and delivering people like you from learned bigotry. Isn’t that what makes the Bible, the Bible?

  • Paul spoke against homosexuality, but Jesus never did. And Paul took his rant from the OT, which the Superstitionists tell us has expired. It is in Acts 13, especially verse 26-32 where we learn this.

  • Paul was a false prophet when he spoke against homosexuality. Since he was using the expired OT, which had been fulfilled by Jesus, (christian interpretation) his words were in error.

  • Yes, He has the power to save, cleanse, heal and change bigoted hearts. But you have that power too. He gave you that very powerful ability. Honor Him; use it.

  • Christians are not pro-bestiality, or incest, or murder, or stealing or the many prohibitions in the OT. Jesus brought homosexuality into the New Testament also.

  • Hmmm…you’re slipping Ben….you’re agreeing with me…..I’m glad that you understand he was a homosexual.

  • Traditional churches HAVE CHANGED their views on sexual morality…drastically. In practice, interracial,inter-demonimational, and interfaith marriage was classified as sexually immoral. Your mistaken view of history is conveniently self serving for “traditionalists”.

  • Why would we look to any man for the right to be ourselves? That is between us and our choice of the gods. N T Wright is just another Superstitionist who cannot see past his own bigotry.

  • No, I not slipping at all. Nor do I agree with you, not in the sense that you mean it, and not in the way that you want it to mean.i said this the very first day, and posted my comments here and I several places. I had no doubt that he was a homosexual hating homosexual, just as as I have no doubt that the most virulently antigay people are homosexual hating homosexuals. The key word is hate, as in self hating.

    You want to use it to prove that gay people are sick and evil. I mean it to say that some homosexual people– homosexual, not gay– are so full of self hatred, the kind of self hatred taught to them so carefully by fundamentalist religion- that the only way that they can exorcise their demons are murders and beatings.

    We have Cardinal o’brien of England, denouncing gay people left and right, putting the full weight and authority of the church in trying to stop gay marriage. Turns out the the bad Cardinal had a few secrets, was forced to resign.

    What he hated, and what people who claim their religion allows them to hate, was that more and more gay people are not willing to accept the place you and your ilk want to assign to us. He, and Matten are birds of a feather. They hated seeing gay people not living I the shadows. Living in fear, having everything they so desperately desired, but which their self hatred would not allow them to have.

    Try again.

  • Hold on to these tired, old beliefs as long as you can. Just don’t inflict them on the general public–and especially not on the unfortunate gay kids who are growing up in your church.

  • I would appreciate if you would stop forcing characterizations on me. You don’t know me, or much of what I think. But, I do think it is funny that we seem to agree on this. blessings.

  • Paul was a liar when he said that people must follow the law of the land, as he did in Romans, and yet admitted Gentiles to his Jewish faith, telling them to ignore the laws of Jewish circumcision, as he does in Galatians…

  • It is simple to find the lies of Paul in his writings, but that is because so many other people wrote the letters of Paul. More than half are forgeries. But why trust him either way? He is either a liar, or we have the works of many unknown, and possibly false teachers who are writing the epistles, and expressing their own differing opinions..

  • Most of your replies are taunts, bullying, and have no discussion. Please, if you are truly christian, can’t you get yourself together in love?

  • I have forced no characterization onto you. You’re quite capable of doing it all by yourself. As for not knowing you? That has never stopped you, has it?

  • No. It is about proselytizing, believing against logic, and converting others, by force if necessary. That is the history, that is the expectation.

  • If you were really for promoting love, found, you would not be endorsing these people to go to Hell. I’d suggest you learn about love before making more comments.

  • Paul was sorely mistaken when he preached in Romans that we follow the law of the land, but then told the Gentiles to ignore the law of Judaism to be circumcised.

  • It is easy to find the major mistakes of Paul in the epistles, but that is because so many others wrote them, and expressed their own opinions. More than half his letters are forgeries, so either Paul is badly mistaken, or we have many differing opinions within his epistles.

  • And we continue with characterizations…..typical when one cannot respond to a post. blessings Ben.

  • That’s all well and good, and does not address the point of my comment. Your intentions, your finer points are irrelevant. The effect is the same. LBTG are marked as Different, Other, Not Right. So fuel is added to the fire of hate for the haters. You’ve just made it all worse.

  • As you reject Jesus, Her, you only hurt yourself. These people need Jesus and His cleansing love. Don’t try to deny them that

  • Sure, Amish don’t proselytize to outsiders. But, trust me, that doesn’t make it any easier to be LGBT and grow up Amish.

  • I didn’t expect your attempt at a sane, compassionate approach to gays to sound so…”qualified”? The real question you did not answer is why you now believe (is that the word?) that the advice from the bible is wrong on gay love and marriage. Obviously, if this is so, you believed a lie found in the bible and now you know know this was a lie.
    How can you be part of a community that would rather condemn their sons and daughters than admit it’s hate that binds their hearts together.

  • Why in the name of Jehosophat would any gay person try to turn some Christian nutjob into a homosexual? In what universe would foundone be a welcome addition to any party? Don’t flatter yourself that people admire your ignorance.

  • Well, let me say this, then. If I am wrong about this, I apologize. And I mean that sincerely .

    But your past comments do not lead me to believe that I am wrong. And in two other websites I comment on, people who were clearly raging bigots made exactly the same observation, but with venom.

    But again, if I am wrong, I apologize. I have no wish to deal with untruth.

  • And straight people make passes at homosexuals all the time. No one is trying to convert anyone. Quit being offended an learn to say “No, thank you.” just like we do.

  • I would suggest that you learn the history of how men invented the idea of hell. Wikipedia explains it.

  • I have a better idea – recognize religion, including hateful christianity, as the superstitious claptrap that it is, and thrown it in the rubbish bin. Problem solved.

  • “A person would have to be pervertedly sick minded to label a person a sinner for his sexuality” so if someone is into pedophilia or necrophilia or bestiality that’s not sinful

  • how do you know what their motivation is for suicide? what proof do you have that its due to Christian persecution? In places such as the Netherlands for example, where homosexuality is widely accepted, the suicide rate among lgbt is just as high

  • Off subject Daulphin but I have a question. I know the ultra Christian was in all the gay peoples business because they were fighting against your right to marry. Well, they lost the fight so why do they still feel they have the right to worry about what the gays are doing? It is over. Now, to me it feels like, what the hell business is it of yours Mr. and Mrs. Christian, whether or not I am gay or married or if I am sinning in your eyes. Why, is the subject still being argued about? It is none of their blasted business. They can go preach and hang out and talk their trash, feel all smug and superior but, stay away from something that doesn’t concern them, anymore.

  • If you only knew how condescending that sounds. Goody for you, you were born straight. Now you’re all sweet and condescending and have no idea what you are talking about or what anyone is truly going through.. It is annoying.

  • The article draw very reasonable and well-reason conclusion based on the largest single study of LGBT and Sexual Orientation Change Efforts by Dr. Bill Bradshaw and Dr. John Parkinson Dehlin in 2011 and published a few years later of 1612 Mormon LGBT. You can watch a 2 hour presentation or download the slides from the presentation as a PDF: http://mormonstories.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/LDS-LGBT-Study-Feb-2016-MBB.pdf
    http://www.mormonstories.org/health-and-healing-for-lesbian-gay-and-bisexual-mormons/

  • If someone is born homosexual and can’t help that they are born homosexual. How is that a sin? That makes no sense to me.

  • Actually, shame on you for rebuking the well-reasoned article without better evidence yourself. A huge study of Mormon LGBT was done a few years ago and the results very much support the reasoned conclusion in the article. The study, when published, was widely reported upon in a number of publications, including possibly this one.

  • There are basically three directions an LGBT person can go when raised in a religion that hates LGBT: reject religion, compartmentalize religious life and sexual life, or attempt Sexual Orientation Change Effort (SOCE). The Bradshaw-Dehlin study of 1612 LGBT Mormons a few years back shows conclusively that SOCE never works and often causes permanent personal harm. Resorting to mass murder as SOCE fails shows just how severely the shooter was harmed by his efforts to change.

  • If gays want to create a religion in which their sexuality and lifestyle are considered acceptable, then they are free to do so. In our country, people of shared beliefs have formed countless groups who socialize and support each other-civic groups, neighborhood groups, religious groups, etc. It’s a time honored tradition. The big problem with gays, however, is that they don’t want to form their own groups. They want to find other groups who are particularly in disagreement in a most fundamental way with their lifestyle and sexuality, groups whose beliefs are not random, ad hoc choices but whose beliefs are based on principles that have existed for thousands of years. They then choose these groups, and individuals from these groups, and target them for persecution, prosecution and defamation. They demand that these groups change their beliefs to suit the gay lifestyle. It’s like a member of the Ku Klux Klan demanding that the NAACP embrace and support white superiority. The Klan is allowed to exist, and so is the NAACP. They are opposed at the deepest fundamental level, but they both co-exist in this country. Is the NAACP charged with discrimination and hauled into court by the Klan? Does the NAACP attack the Klan and demand that the courts force them to support African American interests or be sued? No. So why is it alright to demand that everyone shed their sincerely held beliefs when it comes to gays? Because they’re “born that way”? There is no evidence of that, only rhetoric, though being born with a certain color of skin is undeniable. Gays have followed a brilliant campaign for about 50 years now whose main goal was to put themselves in the victim role while putting heterosexuals with different beliefs in the predator’s role, just because their beliefs differ. Who is really discriminating here? Who is really choking the life out of freedom of religion, freedom to associate with who you choose, freedom even from thought? Stop falling for their manipulation and do some research on the gay movement, their tactics and goals. Stop tossing your beliefs under the bus for the sake of gay approval. You will be surprised that these “victims” are a powerful minority that historically have repeatedly played a part in the destruction of civilizations, past and present. And there are plenty of us who object to the gay lifestyle for medical and societal reasons. You don’t need religion to see the problems with any lifestyle that takes things to extremes.

  • Thousands of Christian based churches. Yeah, I’d say they don’t agree. Understandable. The bible is so convoluted and contradictory. No one can agree on what it says. If I were gay I sure wouldn’t live my life, taking men’s word for what men made up in the first place. Be happy and do good. OT times were rough. Over time they made 613 laws, in order to survive. Imagine when a village was overrun by sickness because they found shellfish and prepared it wrong and everyone got sick. Hence, shellfish is now an abomination. The planet didn’t have 7 billion people on it. If someone was gay and was spilling their seed when they needed it to grow the small village. Then, I would imagine they were worried about their survival, hence do your duty even if you don’t like women. Despite the fact that OT is the Jewish people’s words and history. It is theirs to decide what it says, not us. You don’t see Jewish people knocking on doors trying to get people into their synagogue. I am sure Christians running around telling everybody what the OT says has to be extremely annoying to these people. Jewish people wrestle with the word. Each Rabbi wrestles with their own interpretation and they love their history.

  • Yeah, nothing to contribute. I respond to people who have something positive to contribute. You aren’t responding to my comments. You’re just being pious. I hope it makes you feel better. I’m done with you. You’re a waste of time.

  • When an LGBT person raised in a hateful religion first explores homosexuality, the harsh teachings immediately raise internal conflicts. If you download the PDF slides of the study, it shows that LGBT who try to reconcile hateful religions with their own life end up with a lot of health issues, whether they try to deny it (attempting to “pray it away”) or they compartmentalize and live two separate lives, one “straight and religious” and another one “LGBT and non-religious.” Mental health issues also follow both of those efforts. LGBT who become inactive in their hateful religions and/or reject religion outright have the best personal outcomes in terms of quality of life.

  • It would really help if you straight people would quit giving birth to these gays and raising them up in your religions. You do realize they started out with you. Right?

  • Gays “proselytize” all the time. They target young people especially. Its ok when they make jokes about heterosexuals, or discriminate against them, which they do all the time. They never stop trying to portray their sexuality as fabulous, when in reality it is rampant with violence, drug abuse, suicide and disease. They own the media so all these things are hidden, but not hard to find. What kind of people have parades that are too filthy to bring children to? What kind of group makes a sexual preference, a flippin’ SEXUAL PREFERENCE, a matter of supreme importance, more important than hunger, poverty, child welfare? They are so obsessed with their sexual preference, so narcissistically self-involved, that their never-ending demands leave no room for anyone else’s needs, beliefs or lifestyles. They, and the foolish people who support them and crave their approval, are a destructive force for all of humanity. And its a greater shame when “Christians” cave to their destructive agenda. No true Christian would hate a homosexual, and no true Christian would ever support their lifestyle, either. Any “pastor” doing so should admit he’s making up his own religion.

  • You see how gays respond to even the kindest and sincere comments meant to encourage them? Don’t “throw your pearls before swine; they will trample them and then turn and rend YOU to pieces”. Please read that scripture. I know you mean well to try and encourage them with the love of the Savior, but as you can see, they refuse to admit that they sin and then turn on you and insult you. God bless you!

  • Is it possible for any of you gay people to respond with anything besides sarcasm, rage and narcissistic smugness? If you had been able to understand what you read, you’d have seen that there is no proof of gays being “born that way”, and therefore i don’t believe they are. So how could straights give birth to gays? Your whole answer is a non sequitur and a pathetically lame attempt to be a mean-spirited smart aleck. People are starting to notice just how nasty, judgmental and vicious gays truly can be.

  • How else can we respond to such stupidity and paranoia, but with sarcasm? You make up a whole bunch of stuff like we’re out to get you, and then you bristle at the suggestion that not only might not it be true, but it’s outright silly

    Gay people targeting your churches? How does that work, exactly? How is that we have managed to persuade a majority of Christians in this country that we’re the best thing since sliced bread!

    The Mormon Chruch, the Catholic Church both agree that being gay is inborn, as does virtually every single scientific, medical, and social service group in the civilized world. Oh, I know, those mean gays have intimidated all of them and cowed them into it.

    What I think is really happening is that decent, kind, and in comparison to certain people, INTELLIGENT human beings have seen the kind of nonsense you and your fellow travelers have been pushing,g and they are no longer buying it.

    Boo hoo for you. It must be terrible to be on the receiving end of the judgments of the court of public opinion, when all of this time you thought you were on top.

    Fear our power, my pretty. We’ll get you, and your little dog ,too! Fear our power! FEar our power!

  • Do christians have to be so pedantic that they have to pick at every little opening? Have they no sense of judgment, of balance?

  • Apparently, you don’t realize that heaven and hell were invented by the cleverest ancient people as an essential part of the larger scam designed to amass power and control over the gullible masses. And, behold, it worked, and astonishingly, it still works, albeit to a lesser degree.

  • Shawnie5: Can I conclude from your post that you follow ALL the rules spelled out in Leviticus? Or are you actually selective?

  • Except judging others, not reflecting on your own sinful behavior, and not showing love of thy neighbor in the manner Jesus loved his flock.

  • A buggerer, murderer, molester, thief and adulterer can expect far more humane treatment from Christians like yourself than two consenting adults in a loving relationship trying to form a family.

    Only one sin counts amidst the selective importance of Christians like you, for inhumane and malicious treatment. So you can take your dishonest overly generalized talk of sin and blow it out your posterior.

  • There certainly was no exception or caveat attached to Jesus’s explicit commandment to love thy neighbor or his call to love EVERYONE as he loved his flock. There was no “except if they are heathens or gay” at the end of those words.

    The contortions and spurious rhetorical constructions used to add unnamed conditions to those words gets ridiculous. Making it more galling is the BS that it is the only possible interpretation of the text. Despite the fact they are laboring to refute fairly straightforward and unbiguous parts of it.

    My take on such things is that if Christianity really is represented by such intellectual dishonesty and bigotry, then it has no socially redeeming value. Nothing worthy of respect. Just a form of prejudice where the proponents vainly expect no criticism in response.

  • When buggerers, murderers, molesters, thieves and adulterers try to tell the world they are not sinning and have to be told that they really are, so they can be helped, they will be treated the same.

  • I just told them how Jesus judged homosexuality. That is love. How are they going to know they need to repent if not told – especially in today’s culture. Jesus told the woman to go and sin no more. We do no different.

  • Craig:
    Here are a few thoughts I’ve pondered over the years, which you may find of some interest:

    1. It appears to me that there are some people who want to call themselves Christians, even though by any reasonable standard they consciously ignore the main teachings of Jesus, i.e. they are spitting in his face. Why is that? What’s going on there? I don’t know, but it happens too often to be conicidence or random.

    2. Some of those folks (? a majority? maybe.) who focus on “sin” seem especially preoccupied with *sexual* sin. Again, I don’t know the explanation, but it happens too often to be coincidence.

    3. As we’ve seen in recent political history, occasionally political figures (most often Repugnicans) who are very vocally anti-gay are later revealed to be gay themselves. It appears that they are so vocal in order to cover up their own sexuality. Similarly with some very conservative individuals who are very vocally opposed to porno stores, who are later revealed to be sex criminals, collectors of kiddie porn, etc. The message here is, “when you run across an individual who is especially vocal about issue X, look more closely at his (her) personal life.”

    4. You may find it interesting to do some reading of the work of behavioral scientist Jonathan Haidt, who’s done some very interesting and credible research on characteristics of liberals and conservatives.

  • Jason:

    You observed, ” If you start with the premise that God wants us to have children and experience family life….”

    Does that mean that marriages where one or both partners cannot have children, should be banned?

  • Ben:

    I’m no expert on the NT, but I do recall reading things like “love them that hate you” and “turn the other cheek”. Do those verses ring a bell with you?

  • I try to follow everything that God actually gave to the Gentiles. Torah-observant Jewish Christians, which included the apostles, settled that question at the Jerusalem Council shortly after the death and resurrection of Christ.

  • Homosexuals swarm people who are outside the crowd. I’ve seen them do it several times and then, sometimes, the person decides they are gay.

  • The overwhelming number of gay LGBT suicide from the specific Christian fundamentalist backgrounds, the number of gay teens left homeless because their devout Christian parents disowned them, the high suicide rate of people undergoing “ex gay therapy”. The complete opposition to addressing gay teen suicide from Christian circles, the outright willingness to deny counselling for gays expressing suicidal motivations, the willingness of anti gay Christians to support measures to execute gays, the list goes on. But it’s not like you why to hear any of that as long as you can continue to hate with the delusional expectation that it will have no consequences for you.

  • I will pray for you on Her Leftness’s behalf with all the sincerity Christians give to such statements online. 🙂

  • Then I will be blessed, if God hears you Spuddie. He doesn’t hear sinners. I can help you with that though.

  • A bit off topic — but better now than never! What would Jesus do, think or wank abutt us watching porn?! Would he care? WWJD – turn a blind eye, watch us get off with both eyes, cum with us or not cum again?

    Food for thought! Feed your minds, hearts and souls…

  • No. You went though a long winded, extremely indirect and spurious explanation why you think Jesus might have said something to that effect. Based on ambiguous and threadbare interpretation. This is as opposed to Jesus’s direct command to love others as he loved his flock and to love thy neighbor.

    “Jesus told the woman to go and sin no more. ”

    Which would be a fine reading of such things if you conveniently excised the entire beginning of the passage and removed any shred of context to it. Proof texting the Bible is such a dishonest pursuit. But without doing so, you could not find end runs around the parts of Jesus’s teachings you find personally inconvenient. As I recall, Jesus demanded that only those without sin cast stones at sinners. There is no better definition of casting stones than the kinds of attacks you have been making and those which you encourage. You are also not without sin either. Of course all of this assumes you actually care about full, complete and straightforward interpretations of the Bible and are not just using parts of it to excuse malicious intents. An assumption which cannot be made concerning your posts.

  • Untrue as well. Christians treat no other “sin” and no other sinner (even unrepentant ones) like you do gays.

  • Nope. They replace moral judgment with adherence to arbitrary unquestioned authority and self serving excuses.

  • But it is a bigots club. All those who do not share your bigotry earn just as much malice as the objects of your hate. Bigotry defines your Christian belief. It’s not a bug, but an integral feature.

  • I understand you believe that is a nice thing to say. I’d rather not go there with people who treat others so badly. Since it doesn’t exist, I’m not worried about it. I’ll let you worry about it.

  • You can research it anywhere you like, but you will find that men invented hell. It is a part of the growing myths within christianity. It is nonsense. And regardless of your choice of reference, you will never show that it is anything other than make believe for fearful people, whose minds have been corrupted by faith.

  • If I thought mine were more accurate, I wouldn’t recommend doing some research on these things you say by habit.

  • Experiments with children have shown that they behave better when left alone, if they are told that an invisible being is in the room with them, and watching their behavior. But the Being is not the truth.

  • And how about his allegiance to ISIS, a group known to be into mass shootings….But then that would transform what he did into a terrorist attack on Americans by a radical Islamic group who is set on taking over the world; something we should all be concerned about. When I first heard about the shooting I was horrified; then I heard where the shooting happened and I was horrified at how the liberal/progressives would spin it–making it all about the sexuality agenda–you met my expectations!

  • It’s the same response the south had regarding race. Loving made inter racial marriages legal, but you still have “Christian” preachers in the south today who won’t preform their weddings either. They just don’t know when to quit.

  • Again, the numbers are no different regardless of ones upbringing. I’m not sure who you’re referring to about supporting gay execution as any person or organization claiming to be Christian who supports such measures are very much in the minority and certainly not truly Christian. are you aware that that even in “moderate” Islamic nations that homosexuals are beaten,. stoned to death, hung, and thrown off buildings on a regular basis. The shooter at the club was from an Islamic background, not Christian. Why is it that no matter how much hate and violence is spread in the name of islam it is still insisted that it is a religion of peace and yet people like you will paint all who claim to be a Christian with such a broad brush. Also, are you aware that chick fila, the supposed antigay bigot chain, opened on sunday, made a large amount of food, and delivered it for free to those who were waiting to donate blood to save the lives of the people who were shot. Ironically this isn’t news. I suspect had they said something like ” serves those homos right” it would have made international headlines.

  • There is so much they are learning about the brain. Studies are being done all the time to understand why some people identify as gay.
    A study, which also used brain tissue from autopsies, did not reveal any significant difference between the size of the INAH3 in gay men and straight men. It did, however, show that in gay men, neurons in the INAH3 are packed more closely together than in straight men.

    PET and MRI studies performed in 2008 have shown that the two halves of the brain are more symmetrical in homosexual men and heterosexual women than in heterosexual men and homosexual women. These studies have also revealed that connections in the amygdalas of gay men resemble those of straight women; in gay women, connections in the amygdala resemble those of straight men. The amygdala has many receptors for sex hormones and is associated with the processing of emotions.

    Some studies have shown that the corpus callosum – the main connection between the two halves of the brain- has a different structure in gay men than in straight men.
    Gay women and gay men are more likely to be left-handed or ambidextrous than straight women and straight men, according to a number of different studies. Some researchers have suggested that this difference in handedness – preference for one hand over the other can be observed in fetuses – is related to differences in the corpus callosum.

    A 1992 study showed that the anterior commissure, a smaller connection between the brain’s two hemispheres, is larger in homosexual men than in straight men. However, according to a study that was performed ten years later, the size of the anterior commissure is not affected by sexual orientation.

    We know from studying rats that exposure to sex hormones in the womb during a critical period in brain development affects future sexual orientation. By manipulating hormone levels during this time, scientists can make rats engage in homosexual behavior later on.

    So your brain was influencing your sexual preference even before you were born.

    This can explain why many gay people feel that they have always been gay.

    Brain development does not stop at birth, though.

    A large amount of brain development takes place during childhood, when you are learning many new things – including how your family and the adults around you believe you should feel about things and what they believe is acceptable behavior.

    The education you receive as a child strongly affects how your brain will develop as you grow. For example, children who are given musical training experience changes to areas of the brain associated with hearing and motor control.
    I will let science help me understand why some people identify differently than me. I am not going to throw my gay brothers and sisters under the bus for a 6000 year old inaccurate book filled with fear and hate. Love will rule my life.

  • I thought all people sin. You can ask forgiveness for something but golly 5 minutes later here we are sinning again. What is a sin anyway? Just a mistake? I make them constantly. I don’t try to make mistakes but I do. Perfection doesn’t exist. It would be impossible for perfection to exist since no two people will agree what is perfect. Don’t assume all who post against your idea of things are gay.

  • Is it possible for you to realize not everyone who responds to you is gay? Anna isn’t. She’s a straight married grandmother.

    We don’t need another church, there are already many who don’t have the issues with us you do.

    And it is Christians who have been passing laws that limit others rights, not gay people. The rest of you rant is simply not true. The only “right” christians are losing is the ability to discriminate against LGBT people in the public square. Just like people can’t discriminate against you for your religion in the public square.

    And here is a little more science for you:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3138231/

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3030621/

    http://www.livescience.com/50058-being-gay-not-a-choice.html

    http://www.newscientist.com/ch

    http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/33

    http://www.economist.com/node/12465295

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/science-of-homosexuality-explored-in-new-doc-1.2442432

    http://www.apa.org/topics/lgbt/orientation.aspx

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/wyatt-and-jonas-maines-twins-born-as-identical-boys-but-one-always-wanted-to-be-a-girl-a6701941.html

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/06/04/the-science-of-sexuality-how-our-genes-make-us-gay-or-straight/

  • What are you talking about? Homosexuals aren’t bees and we don’t swarm.

    No one decides they are gay, who isn’t actually gay. Some may try, but if they aren’t gay it doesn’t work. I know that for a fact. I dated a straight woman for a year. She loved me and our relationship dearly, but had no sexual desire for me. Rather like I have no desire for men.

    She is now married to a great guy and they are among my wife’s and my closest friends.

  • Absolutely false. Besides, there are numerous instances where anti-gay Christians PROTEST efforts to address gay teen suicide. Its not like there is a shortage of Christians who publicly announce that it is far better to have dead children than gay ones.

    Christians like yourself define your faith in terms of being anti-gay. Even to the point of claiming those who do not share such bigotry are “not real Christians”. At least several posters here have already made that clear.

    Frankly the response that “___ are not real Christians” lacks any credibility. Christian apologists really have to stop using it. Nobody believes such nonsense. It only makes them look more dishonest.

    As for Muslims, I note a little bit of envy among Christian fundamentalists on the anti-gay atrocity front. It is obvious if they had the political power Islamicists have in dictatorial Middle East hellholes, they would be doing the exact same thing. The efforts in Uganda and Russia are living proof of that. Christians actively working to commit government backed atrocities against gays. There is no fundamental difference in the beliefs and practices of fundamentalists. Only the degree they can get away with them.

  • As I said, when they try to convince the world they are not sinning, they need to be reminded of that. They need to know they need to repent so Jesus can help them.

  • Wow, this generation makes me laugh…..First of all, that interpretation has been accurate for let’s guess 5000 or more years.
    If I were sinning telling someone what Jesus said of their behaviour, I would be concerned, but as it is, we are told to tell the world what he said.
    You’re barking up the wrong tree Spuddie.

  • You really don’t understand, or have a knowledge of Christianity at all; do you? I would suggest that you learn some truth before spouting off.

  • Considering we have an article here on why Evangelical Christian voters are endorsing and loving an unrepentant serial adulterer, con artist, and malicious bully, you don’t have a leg to stand on here. Unless you can show me how all Evangelical voters not only reject the person I am referring to, but also call for his public censure, you are SOL.

    Nobody has to convince the world anything. That is the whole point of not casting stones if you are with sin. By the tenets of your faith, people are only answerable to God and god alone for their sins (when convenient, because consistency is not a Conservative Christian trait). Not to you or anyone else.

    There is no sin in a loving consenting relationship among adults. There is a sin in attacking people in service of your faith. In bearing false witness to support your position.

    Please reflect on your sins before you even consider speaking out on those of others. Keep it between you and God. Nobody else has to care.

  • Really? We do? Where? Cite it for me, show me where that happens. I came out 40 years ago. No one “swarmed” me, no one recruited me, I didn’t even know gay people existed then. I still fell in love with a woman. Who also didn’t know gay people existed. Felt for her what I was supposed to be feeling for my fiancé, but didn’t. He was quite relieved to find out it wasn’t him, it was me. We both have far better lives today than had I married him.

    You are afraid of us for no reason.

  • Tell me where **the Bible** calls for racially segregated lunch counters.
    See, people around here sometimes blame the Bible falsely for things, and then when they get called out on it, they suddenly switch to “But some Christians claim such-and-such”…

  • So an Islamist, who was most likely a homosexual hating homosexual, attacks gay people and murders 50 of them, because although he was twice investigated by the FBI and was STILL able to purchase automatic weapons of mass murder without so much as a peep from anyone…

    It’s all about the liberal agenda.

    How about all three? homohatred, dominionist Islamism, and the easy access to murdef weapons.

  • Eh, I don’t see the problem here. All Christians have things they want to do, but don’t do, because they know God doesn’t approve of it. The Bible is crystal clear on homosexuality. God doesn’t approve. To say it is “forbidden” is a form of hyperbole. It’s an act some people want to participate in, but can’t if they choose to follow The Way. The Bible is likewise crystal clear about lying, stealing, idolatry, and many other things. It’s hard not to lie sometimes, probably for everyone. It’s hard not to steal sometimes, for certain people. Different behaviors are difficult for different people, but it isn’t up to us to decide what’s right and what’s wrong – where God stands on the matter is the only criterion. Period. Each man has a personal relationship with God. God searches our hearts and minds, he extracts our motives and judges us thereby. If your burden is that you want to have homosexual relations but can’t, perhaps my burden is that I covet wealth but am poor. These burdens are given by God, and if your burden is more difficult than mine, that’s between you and God. As a Christian, I’d be glad to help you if I can. Celibacy actually IS an option, your sex life is not the most important matter facing mankind. People are constantly looking for ways to make the Bible mean what they want it to mean, to justify their behavior instead of confronting it as a mortal sin. In truth, the Bible simply means what it means, and God doesn’t change his mind.

  • I understand your Christian beliefs are a hodgepodge of proof texting to validate your beliefs and prejudices. You will say anything to claim, “god says I’m right and you stink”

  • Not even, but the fiction makes you feel better. Fundies are notoriously sloppy on their scholarship and assumptions.

  • Just because some dogma or other is what you believe does not make it “truth.” Religion all boils down to opinion based on old texts. Your opinions on those old texts are no more valid than anyone else’s.

  • The price of “Christian love” comes at too high a price when it amounts to surrendering one’s soul and self-esteem to your twisted view of God and the Bible. Anti-LGBT rhetoric is never “encouraging,” even when couched in flowery language and dressed up with words like “love.”

  • I’ve had gay men and hetero women make passes at me! I’ve never minded either angle! But I’m not controlled by religious whackiness!

  • Well-stated, sir. I hesitate attempting to fathom the motive behind the gay community’s insistence on being accepted by what could aptly be described as the anti-gay community – the community that believes the Bible says what it means and means what it says.

    Acceptance at-large doesn’t seem to be enough for them. The message I’m receiving from the gay community is, “Equal rights is not the consideration we were looking for, we also demand the right of final determination regarding the validity of YOUR longstanding, fundamental beliefs.” Beliefs upon which, by the way, this country happens to have been built, and under which it has prospered to unprecedented heights of earthly wealth and power.

    This makes me wonder at what point their agenda ends (if ever), and it makes me a little angry – not at their sexual behavior, but at their civic behavior.

    The Bible commands us to love our enemies. This is the true test of Christianity – it’s easy to love our friends. Unfortunately, I am starting to love the gay community these days a lot more than I used to. Because I haven’t always considered them enemies.

    It’s no great mystery where the power base for all this pro-gay activity lies – Hollywood of course. The weak knee of the modern, disenfranchised American is bending more and more to the will of his pampered, decadent, ultra-wealthy movie and TV stars, who are in turn controlled by the even more pampered, decadent, and ultra-wealthy media moguls and power brokers behind the scenes – many of whom are well-known homosexuals.

    But God can’t be co-opted to any man’s agenda, and we will see how this works out for America’s homosexuals in the long run. They may well prosper for now, God allows evil to prosper when it suits his plans – he handed the Israelites over to Nebuchadnezzar as slaves, and made Nebuchadnezzar the King of Kings in order to do so. Where now is Babylon though?

    I wonder how many militant, practicing homosexuals realize that they are merely being used as pawns in a much more complicated game than they will ever understand?

    Have a nice day, Ben.

  • That’s only because you do not have a knowledge of Christianity. We’ve already been here Spuddie

  • If being a bigot means agreeing with Jesus, I’ll wear the name proudly. You just don’t know Jesus, as I keep telling you.

  • They aren’t Anna They have homosexuals who work for them and they are treated the same as everyone else.

  • I’m not a prophet Spuddie. Just a speaker for the One who loves you. blessings to you Spuddie.

  • Please do. My brother is a Jehovah’s witness and is always trying to save me. 🙂 I spend my time taking care of my busband who can’t walk. I help my neighbors. Take food and love all people. I see no sin in anyone. I’m a bit of a free spirit. I don’t pray. I’m just happy, content and see the good in all. As far as I’m concerned the gays aren’t sinning anymore than anyone else. Namaste

  • I use to believe in the Jesus story. I no longer believe it is necessary for someone to die for people.

  • The no true Christian argument once again.

    More false premises about “want to participate in the act.”

    What it really is, is that despite your claim to the contrary, you do pretend to speak for God, and do believe you are privy to what God thinks about other people.

    Mr. Log, meet mr speck.

  • Even more of the same silly stuff as Ben.

    The difference is, ben Thinks we are the masters of all evil, andyou think we’re the pawns. You both think that you represent the Only True Christians.

    I think youre both pretty silly.

  • As one can see from many of the comments below from Evangelicals, the depths of Evangelical hatred for gay people is a bottomless pit. Gay people aren’t fooled by the sudden “niceness” over the killings in Orlando. You can’t erase decades of mistreatment with one statement. Actions speak louder than words. To whit:

    Just a few months ago in Mississippi, Evangelicals helped write and pass a law that among other indignities, allows physicians to refuse to give health care to gay people. Any denial of medical care, including emergency treatment, just short of the gay person’s death, is totally legal in Mississippi.
    Evangelicals helped write that law, and gay people will NEVER forget that. Nor will we forget their part in places like Russian and Africa, where Evangelicals have helped draft draconian laws against gay people.

    Some day the tables are gonna be turned, and it will be the Evangelical’s turn on the rack. Given the way Evangelicals have mistreated and hated on gay people for decades, will there be anyone to defend them?

  • They’ve been anti-gay for a looooong time. There was a point when they fired employees when they found out. There was a point where job fair fliers distributed at college campuses explicitly said not to apply if you were gay. It is still at a point where the owners and board are openly anti-gay and the actions of a few local franchise owners, while appreciated, is held in comparison to the lack of a company lead initiative or even statement.

    Chick Fil A as a company is still very very anti-gay, but much like individual churches may go against the anti-gay leanings of their national conventions, some individual franchises are being quite decent.

  • So you claim, but the scriptures themselves do not back you up. It takes a lot of twisting and turning of holy writ to make your prejudicial views fit the Bible text.

  • I… what? Can I just throw a flashing neon arrow next to this comment? “Choose reality” and that reality would be, what? An invisible space man who created the universe just for you and listens to every request to alter his unknownable plan that you send to him with psychic instant messaging? And that’s just the entry fee.

    Then you have to break into different “realities” depending on whether you think the earth is only a few thousand years old, whether you think the earth is flat, whether you think the earth is the center of the universe, whether you agree with a certain priest who did the math and proposed the theory of the big bang, whether everything was created whole cloth as it is, whether things have changed according to plan, etc. etc. etc.

    Then once you get that sorted, you break into further “realities” on some parts of the bible being absolute fact and others being allegory. People have killed each other in the streets in this nation over disagreements on that issue alone. (See: Pennsylvania Bible Riots)

    So when you suggest someone pick this rather unbelievable “reality” I have to ask, which one do you mean? Because christians can’t even agree upon that among themselves. Weird how that happens with the one unalterable and unwavering word of god on your side, isn’t it? I haven’t seen too many wars fought over the ancient art of Al Jebra and how to properly practice it, and they’re still making new books on that subject. (though they tend to spell it algebra these days)

  • Nope, there are plenty of Bible scholars and LGBT-affirming Christians who would tell you the same thing. That’s why some observers say that Evangelical “Christians” are the “Amish of the 21st Century.” You are trying to freeze your faith back in the anti-gay rhetoric of the 1950s.

  • Oh, I can answer #1 for you. Paul. If you look at the worst of the evangelical churches, they’re founded on the words of Paul (or at least an author claiming to be Paul) rather than the words of Jesus.

    They aren’t Christians, they’re Paulians.

  • Some religious observers suggest that Evangelical “Christians” are the Amish of the 21st Century because they are trying to freeze their beliefs back in the McCarthy era (1950s) when conspiring social conservatives used pseudoscience and bad legislation to go after the LGBT community. Everything about their views and values is as twisted as Senator Joe McCarthy and just as unhealthy and un-American.

  • While “Christians” debate whether or not Orlando was somehow “God’s judgment” on the LGBT community, during the actual massacre, a heroic young Hindu-American ex-marine risked his own life to get 60-70 patrons of the gay bar to safety. He was just home from active duty by 4 days and had just been hired as a bouncer at the bar, but he put the lives of others ahead of his own. That’s just what Jesus would do and did, but were there any “Christian” heroes that night? Harsh preaching after a bloody massacre tells us a lot about some folks “Christian” values and the news is not good.

  • No one has to invent anything; there are more than a dozen LGBT-affirming Christian Churches in America. More and more Christian Churches are losing the harshness in their rhetoric and dogma toward LGBT as more and more real evidence comes out to show that it is simply how some people are designed to be and to love. Folks who cling to old, outdated and just plain wrong notions about LGBT are quickly becoming the Amish of the 21st Century, trying to freeze their beliefs and lifestyles back in the McCarthy Era of the 1950s. Your rant is just more evidence of that sad phenomenon.

  • Thank you for taking the time to update me. I was very out of touch on this issue. I am the opposite of anti gay. 🙂

  • Some strangers believe they should have a say in other people’s sex lives.
    Some strangers hypocritically attack other people’s equally rightful beliefs.
    Some strangers act as though they have supervisory authority over others.
    Some strangers blaspheme and desecrate other people’s sacred pastures.
    Some strangers are so sanctimonious, they can’t see their own immorality.

  • Achron: Yes, exactly. And as we know, Paul never met Jesus; and if he were around today, we’d describe him as “marginalized”–his fellow Jews rejected him.

  • I have to disagree.

    When the chorus of antigay theology is reduced to a small cymbal clanging, and the bigotry justified by so called religious belief is labeled by the larger society for what it so clearly is…

    There will be no tables turned. There will be no revenge exacted. That simply the anti-gay theocrats fantasy and deeply held belief that somehow their imaginary persecution at the hands of gay people will get them a seat at the right hand of God, or something.

    You know what will happen? absolutely NOTHING. We gay people will just continue to live our lives, with one less social force that has the power to harm us,

    I couldn’t possibly not care and less than I already I already don’t about defanged serpents.

  • There is no fundamental difference in the beliefs and practices of fundamentalists. Only the degree they can get away with them.

    bingo! Bingo! Bingo!

  • Chick-n-craps president made national news a few years ago, when he decided he was god’s representative earth, and claimed that gay marriage was “shaking our fist at God” and was going to result in his bully God punishing millions of innocent Americans, as he usually does when he gets pissed off at someone. Except that it never happens, outside of the bible and the fantasies of Christianists.

  • Interesting, if you’ll note what sandinwindsor told me below, I guess a christian can spread all kinds of false information. I have never ate there so I am glad I never gave one dime to that judgmental corporation. I wish I could say the same thing for the Mormon church. I take heart knowing they haven’t gotten anything from me for 18 years though.

  • You can rely on anti-gay bigots to say whatever they need to say to make anti-gay bigotry not look like what it is. As Rochefoucauld said, hypocrisy is the homage the vice pays to virtue.

    This is one of the many things I wrote about Dan Cathy, president of chik-n-crap, a few years ago when he made his remarks.

    ——————-

    For those who defend Cathy as just stating his opinion, his sincere religious beliefs, can we deconstruct his personal religious beliefs?

    I am a gay man, and american citizen, a tax payer, a law-abiding, productive, contributing member of my community and my society, well thought of by family, friends, and colleagues.

    Mr. Cathy said that who I am, what I am, and what I ask/demand of my country as the afore-described citizen and tax payer, is AN AFFRONT TO ALMIGHTY GOD. (His versions of god– not mine, it might be noted– with whom Cathy is intimately acquainted, who just happens to agree with Cathy. God has offered no comment on the insult or the hubris).

    I am offending– that’s what an affront is– the Holy of Holies, the Creator of the Universe. My request/demand that my government treat my life, my love, my family, my children, my assets, AND MY RELIGIOUS FAITH, as it does all other citizens is so offensive to his version of God, that God will send down his wrath upon the country, making MILLIONS of innocent people, innocent children, suffer for my offense.

    This makes me a worse threat than terrorism, Wall Street, Al Quaeda, Islam, Atheism, and congressmen.

    Mr. Cathy, being the kind of Christian he is– a Christain’t, a so-called Christian, A Pharasitical Christian– purports to know the mind of God, to know that status of relationship to god of any human being, and feels competent to render his judgment, IN EXPRESS VIOLATION OF JESUS’S COMMANDMENT NOT TO DO JUST THAT.

    Mr. Cathy would seat himself on the throne of God, and you’ll remember the last being that did that, and the consequences for innocent people.

    THOSE are his sincere religious beliefs.

    And he backs them up by giving money to groups whose sole purpose is to demean, defame, and flat-out lie about gay people for partisan political advantage, power, money, and a rather constipated version of Christianity. He then brags about, and asserts that mindless, baseless, outright lying attacks on me and mine are not only OK, but justified, given my offenses against god.

  • Quite honestly Ben I’d love to try a society that has no religious affiliations at all. If I choose not to like someone, it would be based on their integrity and honesty only. I hope you know that you and daulphin, ranch hands,craig (all I can think of now) are my true heroes. You make the world a better place. I agree with every word of your post. People who demean gays, want to do it. They find whatever excuse they can. Their minds are closed and shriveled. Very sad. Happily though I believe they are the minority rather than the majority. Your work will change the course of history just like Martin Luther King and his advocates. Peace dear one

  • You don’t know how I define my faith. You undermine your own arguments by being so presumptuous and painting with a broad brush. And yes one who claims to be Christian yet calls for execution of whole groups of people are not in accordance with the teachings of Christ and would make them by default “unchristian”. It’s not rocket science. blind hatred fueled by ignorance profits no one. Your comments are exactly that. The most persecuted people in the middle east are not gay, they are in fact Christians. Christians who want nothing more than to be who they are without fear of persecution. If this doesn’t bother you then you my liberal friend are in fact guilty of the same bigotry you accuse me of. Are you willing to speak out against the bigotry and intolerance against them? unlike you I do not presume to know what is in your heart or how you define yourself based on a few comments on an article, but I suspect the thought of millions of Christians being slaughtered in the east is not a concern to you. Furthermore the hate filled ramblings of people like Walid shoebat and Steve Anderson are by no means an accurate representation of what Christians as a whole believe. The majority denounces such vitriol as the disgusting unchristian filth that it is. are you helping rid the world of hatred and bigotry By casting me and others in that bunch without any real knowledge of what I believe or how I live or how many in the LGBT community I associate with? hate produces more hate, ignorance begets ignorance.

  • Thanks.
    BTW please tell Daulphin that I have been banned from the Trib for a few weeks. I may not go back at all, but I might.

  • Just a point of interest here, but “you don’t know how I define my faith” is absolutely right. For so many people who claim to be “Christian” it’s absolutely meaningless as a label because there’s thousands of distinct denominations of christianity. Wars have been fought between them, blood has been spilled in the streets of the US between catholics and baptists, etc. etc. So if you say “Hi, I’m a Christian” that means absolutely nothing. Maybe if you’d call yourself something more useful, we’d know something about you.

  • I will be happy to let her know. Wait until the Mormon church says something else outrageous and come back in. It never takes them long. 🙂

  • Indeed. It’s quite exhausting to figure out what you yahoos each mean when you say you’re christian, since it seems each one of you is carrying around their own personal version of what that supposedly means that is in conflict with each other.

  • Then you have rejected the greatest gift that you would have received in your life. I’m sorry for you Anna. God bless you.

  • I know from your prior post that you have an irational compulsion to misrepresent facts and to use a nonsense argument to distance yourself from the more embarrassing elements of your faith. ___ are not “real Christians” is Grade A bovine effluvia. You don’t get to decide who is and isn’t “real”. Nobody needs to take your opinion on such things seriously. If they call themselves Christians and say they believe in the teachings of Jesus, they are Christians.

    If you say you oppose Christians who act in such uncivil and hateful ways. Then call them out on it.

    Frankly the only time I read from NALT (not all like that) Christians is when they are in a huff defending the entire faith from criticism of non believers. Making them a patently useless group. If you are not actively opposing fellow Christians who besmirch your faith, I don’t give a damn how different you are from them. You are just as much of the problem as they are.

  • I used to think Christians were reasonable people capable of making intelligent statements. You are showing me how wrong I was:).

  • And I am Queen Elizabeth’s secret love child. I figured this is the point where we trade tall tales about ourselves

  • Yep. A lot of us have seen the light and now see how a lot of “Christians” like to live in darkness.

  • The good news out of Chick Full of “S” is how it inspired thousands of gay PDAs and took away the stigma of LGBT kisses in public. Good came from an overt effort to do evil.

  • They took exception to my language on the Orlando murders. It was nothing I hadn’t said before. But I will probably apply for reinstatement. Or, maybe just get a new disqus account

  • My experience is that good Christians identify themselves by their denomination, bad ones identify themselves with the Christian label.

  • That all depends on whether you are on the giving end or the receiving end.

    Sodomy– a term religious in origin– was the “crime against nature, not to be named among Christians– a religious group.

    Funny how no other “sin”, as recently as 2003 in this country, was given criminal penalties. In Georgia and .virginia, you could get more time for the sin of sodomy than the crime of murder.

  • The Supreme Court took care of all that legal stuff for you. That’s all done.

    But the Supremes are unable to repeal the fact that it’s a sin. That fact is never going to change.

    And they likewise can never overturn Christ’s power to save, heal, transform and deliver homosexuals (and everybody else too, as per 1 Cor 6:9-11).

  • What if gays were put on this earth to test people to see if they would accept and love them unconditionally. I do. If I am right then I guess I’ll have to feel sorry for you.

  • “Beliefs upon which, by the way, this country happens to have been built, and under which it has prospered to unprecedented heights of earthly wealth and power.” I assume you mean your worship of a man as a god, right?

    Why do christians continually lie about the role their beliefs played in the founding of the country? The Treaty of Tripoli, signed by Adams back when most of the Founders were alive, confirmed that this country was not founded on “christianity.” Thomas Paine, the Founder that got the independence ball rolling, despised the pagan worship of a man-god, calling christianity “a parody on the worship of the sun, in which they put a man called Christ in the place of the sun, and pay him the adoration originally paid to the sun.”

    Unlike most nasty christians (who would deport Jesus in a heartbeat if he showed up on our shores), Thomas Jefferson liked Jesus’ ethical teachings and condemned all else as pagan twaddle:

    And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this the most venerated reformer of human errors.

    Of course, “reason” is a concept foreign to christians.

  • Darned tootin! I have a sincerely held belief in Santa Claus. Granted, he doesn’t do anything the fairy tales say he’ll do – he never brings me toys no matter how hard I pray, er, I mean, ask him, and there’s absolutely no evidence that he really exists, but I don’t care. I ignore all that.

  • Anna, Jesus would not do that. He would not make a person with a particular urge that he has condemned to hell and perdition and then expect us to to feel sorry for them. God is not a sadist. Jesus said countless times that homosexuality is a sin, it is unnatural, it is sexual impurity….I could go on and on. He said they will not see the kingdom of Heaven hon. This is no joke on Jesus part.

  • Jesus never once said anything against Gays. Paul is the one talking about gays. Paul was a son of a gun until he went down the road to Damascus and got his epiphany. Take Pauls words out of the bible and Christianity is gone. Paul created Christianity and not Jesus. Jesus was a Jewish man. He would of been raised with the 1st 4 books of the bible. Paul is the creator of your religion. He never knew Jesus personally. People who followed Paul during that time (not the Jewish people) were called Paulies.

  • At over 50% divorce rate, ( I understand that is a biblical no no ) Why aren’t you beating the drums and not allowing those people to get remarried. It is against Christianity. Yet they are in your churches. Been married several times in fact. The girls and guys have definitely been around. Nothing, come on in partake of the bread and water.

  • Does it make you feel as if you are making an argument when you accuse me of trying to speak for God? In fact I am doing no such thing, I am speaking truth about what the Christian Bible says. It doesn’t say “Homosexuality is just A-OK with the Man Upstairs,” it says God considers homosexuality an abomination.

    I personally do not find it an abomination. In fact, my interest in what other people do with their genitals is so negligible as to be non-existent. Maybe 20 years ago I cared more.

    It’s not an argument, Ben. An argument consists of two sides with points to make about a matter. You have no point to make. Homosexuality is a sin. You can’t be a homosexual Christian, according to the Bible, which seems to be the authoritative source on the matter. The Bible is the authoritative source, mind you, not ME.

    So play games with your life. Be the noble intellectual warrior, unbound by ancient legends, just doing the right thing and making up perfectly-adequate rules as you go along. Pretend things mean what you need them to mean.

    Jesus said “No man may come to me except he is drawn by the Father who sent me.” That certainly seems to indicate that it’s none of my business whether or not you are a Christian.

    But what is my business is when you, and people like you, insist that I have no right to practice my religion, because it interferes with you practicing your sodomy. In fact it does no such thing, you are now, and have always been – in the modern era anyway – free to practice sodomy in every U.S. state besides Alabama. But what you really want, instead of this freedom, is for me to say, “I’m wrong” about what is quite plain and clear in the handbook of my religion.

    That’s not going to happen. You should make friends with Mr. Gushee, the author of this ridiculous article representing the non-Christian view of Christianity. He seems quite willing to compromise with you, scripture apparently being totally unimportant to his view of religion – he’s wide open to the option of ignoring it completely. And I certainly am willing to compromise with you as well, I don’t have a horse in your race at all. As for whether God will compromise with you or not, why don’t you ask him?

  • It is probably because the parents in all these churches gave birth to a few children and alas. One was gay. That gay child grew up in your churches. That gay child went to sunday school and sang your songs of Jesus, lived in your neighborhoods and thought that maybe he was loved. Now the parents might of divorced or had affairs, stole money from work, and lots of really bad things but they said they were sorry and they are still going to their church. Now the gay boy never did any of those bad things, the parents did, but somehow the parents got it in their head, that their child is choosing to be gay. Why on earth would any sane person do this? I have a husband and he is the twinkle in my eye. Now just change the rules and tell me because there are too many people on earth, you will have to have sex with women from now on. I am telling you that will never happen. I’ll tell you I’m sleeping with my husband and only my husband even if you throw me in jail. No one wants to be gay. The very fact that they are attracted to their same gender, means they are gay. There is nothing they can do about it. The fact that they want to live their lives like straight people, is because they were raised by straight people, who showed them that being a committed couple is where happiness is. This is basic common sense that most people understand. I would never choose a religion over supporting my child. Those that would, have made a grave mistake. There are over 7 billion people on this planet. Are you telling me that God is watching 7 billion people have sex? That information is creepy

  • Excellent points and deserving of discussion, but this shooter claimed he was upset because the U.S. has been killing his friends and family in the middle east. I am flabbergasted at Americans debating whether to blame the NRA, or Muslims, or Christians, or gays, and never once stopping to consider that someone might be angry at us because we have sanctioned the murder of millions of innocent people. That just requires an astonishing amount of cognitive dissonance, and certainly deserves study to figure out why human minds can be so messed up.

  • But majority rule is precisely one of the premises on which democratic government is founded (re: Athens, etc.). Representative govt. ensures that the rights of minorities will be protected. It also allows me to (at least) protest when I think such protections go too far, this then is when majority rule settles the question. I have no doubt that under present trends your view of political and social rights will prevail, that does not mean I have to view them as morally or spiritually correct, nor will I take violent action to oppose them. I will trust in God in the end to be the Judge.

  • My rabbi says that if you are reading the “OT” by yourself you should be arguing with yourself,

  • The rabbis have always been willing to break the Sabbath to save a life or if your health would be endangered. I don’t believe those parables of Pharisees stopping Jesus from healing were accurate. They were about other things.

  • Who is we? I base my religion on who it gets me through this life. I don’t base my religion on the next life. As a Jew, I’m going to Hell anyway. I don’t need Jesus in my life.

  • Some evangelicals swarm Jews and try to reduce the number of Jews on the planet to zero.

  • The rabbis eventually reinterpreted those words so that, in order to be executed for adultery someone had to warn you in person as you were about to commit adultery.

    I agree Jason, just because you can create a child, doesn’t make you a good parent. I’ve met Gay couples who have adopted children and are better parents than many heterosexual parent.

  • There is not such thing as “Jewish Christians” Jews might have thought Jesus was the Messiah, but the Messiah is not a personal savior.

  • Such a statement would have meant very little to the very Jewish and very observant disciples praising God in the Temple after the resurrection.

  • Even Huffington Post pronounced the big “kiss-in” a flop, although they tried to blame it on “lack of leadership.” Actually most people found it extremely silly. I hadn’t seen anybody trying to offend someone else by PDA since high school. I suspect it elicited far more snickers than gasps.

  • If you read the Bible carefully, you will see that Sodom was not destroyed just for homosexuality. It was destroyed, because Lot said no and the Sodomites tried to force Lot and Lot was a guest.

  • “Take Pauls words out of the bible and Christianity is gone.”

    Wrong:

    “Then He took the cup, gave thanks and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Matt.26:28.

    That is Christianity in a nutshell, Paul or no Paul (who was a Jewish man, as well.)

  • Except in Ezekiel 16:50.

    The homosexual thing was the tipping point. Then, **boom.**

    Let’s just hope the United States of Sodom doesn’t meet the same fate soon.

  • I see you don’t know the Bible very well. I suggest that you start to read in Leviticus 18, verse 1.

  • Majority rule never comes into final play, as we have just seen. The 3rd branch of government comes into play. You can vote on issues, but the court will settle it.

  • First and foremost, you are speaking about what your belief is the your version of the Christian bible says. Shawnie to the contrary, there are a lot of Jewish and Chrsitian scholars who disagree that it says that. Then there are all of the sins that are in your bible that so many Christians of your sort are willing to ignore, especially around the issue of divorce. When Anita Bryant got hers 35 years ago, she claimed that it violated the deepest principles of faith that she had. But she still got one anyway, because convenience is a harsh mistress.

    Then there is the fact– AND IT IS A FACT– that a lot of Christians, ministers, churches, and entire denominations also disagree with your claims, not despite what you think their bible says, but because of what their bible says to them, and what their prayers to their God say to them. And unless you are willing to claim that the entirety of current Christian thought depends upon being antigay, you don’t have much of a leg to stand on.

    If you have an argument, your argument is with other Christians and the majority of Jews it his country, not with me,

    Can’t be a homosexual Christian? I thought everyone was a sinner, none better, and none worse. All kinds of other sinners can be Christians, but not gay people. That is a surprise to gay people and all of those Christians etc that don’t make bring antigay the centerpiece of their faith. Are you claiming that God doesn’t speak to them, and do you claim it on your own authority?

    Again, you are presuming to know the relationship of any other Christian on the planet with their God, based upon your interpretations of largely irrelevant scripture– irrelevant in the sense that equally serious admonitions, as in Corinthians, are routinely ignored, if not applauded. Absolutely your right, just as it is your right to pretend that those people have not been “drawn to the father”, have not been called to their faith by Jesus himself. But you “know” they haven’t, just as you “understand” something written in a book 2000 years ago by people a universe away from us in thought, language, morals, and culture.

    I have no beef with you believing whatever you wish, even when you think it interferes with my right to practice sodomy. That you phrase it in those terms says worlds about you. But when but when you insist that your right to practice your religion includes having dominion over my life, includes having your purely theological concerns placed into civil law for my disadvantagement in law and society, then don’t be surprised if you get a very strong disagreement from me, my family, my husband, my friends, my colleagues, and my neighbors. Those days are long gone when the majority of public, humane, and religious opinion agreed with you.

    Believe whatever you like. But your right to believe it ends at my nose, the door of your home and the door of your church. Just as my right to interfere with your faith and beliefs ends at your nose, your home, and the door of your church. I want nothing more from you but the same courtesy, respect, and rights that you routinely extend to all of the other people you believe are going to burn in hell forever, including the 2/3 of the world that reject the entirety of your religious beliefs, not just the antigay part.

    Not different rights. Not more rights. And not fewer rights. Exactly the same rights. I don’t care if you will ever say, “I was wrong about that.” I neither want nor need that power. I certainly don’t have that power. The only thing that will ever convince you to change your mind about that is when it starts harming you and those you love, and you see the harm for what it so clearly is.

    As for your version of God? Well, honey. I’m an atheist– well, an it doesn’t matterist. If I did believe in God, it would be the Unitarian God, not the baptist God, not the sola scriptorum God, not the small minded God of vengeance.

    Your comments about Mr. Gushee reveal that you are just another so called Christian willing to attack other Christians because they neither share your prejudices, nor your desire to justify them as the word of God. It is generally not gay people and our allies that are attacking Christians, as you complain of. It’s not us insisting that there is only one kind of Christian.

    That’s all on you.

  • Wrong. Gays kissing in public is now “no big deal” whereas before, the Hallelujah hypocrites could make a big deal out of it. It’s you folks who had the belly flop on that one.

  • The irony, of course, is that all sexual acts enjoyed by LGBT are also enjoyed by heterosexuals, except in vastly greater numbers: oral, anal and frottage all have their heterosexual devotees. The human body is “divinely designed” to be enjoyed.

  • It now appears the shooter was basically a psychopath with a history of violence and acting out that went back to grade school. His Afghani father is patently nuts. We could ask a lot of questions, like why the US keeps letting psycho creeps from the Middle East into the country. This case illustrates the convergence of three dangerous interlocking problems: (1) military assault weapons specifically designed to maximize the loss of life in the shortest time are considered big boy toys, (2) mental health infrastructure in America is underfunded and nearly non-existent, and (3) religious loons have effectively turned the Republican Party into a big, whoop-and-holler snake-handling church full of imbeciles. For evangelicals, the LGBT community has become what the “coloreds” and “Commies” were for their fathers and grandfathers. The blood of the martyrs has never been the seed of the church. The blood of its enemies has.

    It’s laughable to see fundamentalists who’ve made religious and political hay out of gay hatred for literally decades suddenly scurrying like roaches when the lights turn on and issue non-apologies worthy of some preacher caught diddling kids. It’s also contemptible. After 17 centuries of internecine murder, crusades, inquisitions, burning books and heretics who write them, endorsing slavery and the genocide of indigenous populations around the globe, turning the female half of humanity into second-class citizens, and preaching death to homosexuals, WHO THE HELL THINKS CHRISTIANS HAVE ANYTHING TO CONTRIBUTE ON ANY SOCIAL OR MORAL QUESTION? Stupid people, that’s who.

  • I’m not at all sure you have a clear view of the Bible. It would not surprise me at all if you claimed to have studied it, but it would surprise me very much if you actually had.

    The Bible is not some big mystery. In spite of the hordes of preachers, ministers, priests, scholars, and atheists who claim a special relationship with the Bible, to the extent that they have some new, unprecedented interpretation of it which can be explored to their own glory and profit, or that of some special interest group, the Bible is in fact not open to much interpretation at all. To the extent that it is open to interpretation, it has already been THOROUGHLY interpreted, over many long centuries, by international teams of scholars much more knowledgeable than you or me – and it still retains the same message it always has – God created mankind, desired fellowship with him, was disappointed to discover that giving man free will led to unforeseen problems in the relationship, and ultimately offered a solution to that problem in the form of the great sacrifice of his only son, in whom he placed his own holy spirit, to the extent that mankind has now had the opportunity to not only meet God personified, but has his eternal guidance at our fingertips. Because God loves us and wants us to succeed.

    What the Bible is open to is scrutiny. Unlike every other religion on the planet, Christianity stands up very well to scrutiny. Where some people feel there is a translation problem, it can be shown that there isn’t. Where some people feel there are contradictions, scientific inaccuracies, or other discrepancies, it can be shown that there are not. Where some people say it is not possible that the Bible can be used to demonstrate its own truth, philosophers and scholars of a mind to do so have done just that. I’m sure you’re familiar with the works of Lee Strobel, William Lane Craig, C.S. Lewis, or countless other highly-educated, well-respected apologists who have written tremendous volumes and/or engaged in lengthy debates with world-class public intellectuals regarding the Bible’s authenticity and meaning.

    So you are simply wrong. Because you haven’t done your homework.

    But you know, it’s always the same argument. I myself could sit here and banter with you about whether or not a homosexual can be a Christian, and easily win the debate using arguments that have been around for centuries. But I should clarify something, because I have misspoken – yes, a homosexual can be a Christian. It is a PRACTICING homosexual who can’t be a Christian. He can claim Christianity for himself, but God will not accept him at the final judgment – ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE, not me.

    Do you want me to quote scripture to you? Do you want me to “thump” my Bible? I will do it as a service, because I honestly don’t think you know what the Bible says about this subject – who says what, what the alternative meanings are in the various Biblical languages, or the fact that there is in reality no possible interpretation that doesn’t end with God considering homosexuality not only a sin, but one of the most reprehensible sins.

    There is a difference in committing a sin and living in sin. David, God’s favorite human, committed a GRAVE sin when he ordered the death or Uriah so that he could have sex with Uriah’s wife Bathsheba. But he did not compound the sin by living in it. Once Uriah was, indeed, dead, the sin had been committed. It was no longer a sin for David to have sex with, and subsequently marry Bathsheba. God is quite specific about what is a sin and what isn’t. Now, God visited a great deal of misery on David over that sin. But he didn’t discard David, or break his promise to keep his family line on the throne, because David repented of the sin, and sinned no more. Had David let Uriah live and simply stolen his wife from him, married her adulterously and maintained the marriage, God would not have forgiven him. That seems like a more humane option for David, certainly, and to me even, probably to you as well – at least Uriah would have been alive. But God sees things differently than we do. He makes the rules, not us.

    I’m sure I don’t have to go into graphic detail to explain to you that having homosexual relations is a sin, one which can be repented, whereas living with your homosexual lover and having sex daily does not equal repentance in any way.

    You are offended that I call it sodomy. You say this tells something about me. Actually, it tells something about you that you would even mention it as if to make a point in your “argument.” Sodomy is what it’s called; look it up in the dictionary. The alternate wording is much more vulgar.

    In any case, Ben, I’d be glad to educate you on the Bible, at your request. But your first step would have to be admitting that you do not know what the Bible says, or why you seem to think it can be interpreted to mean what it does not mean. None of those arguments stand up to even the slightest scrutiny – I assure you I can destroy all of them very quickly, as can any person with access to correct information from God’s crack team of top earthly apologists and real Biblical scholars who are not the charlatans to whom you’ve obviously been exposed – like the author of this article. But fair warning – ALL the arguments against homosexuality being acceptable to God end the same way: with the other side losing.

    I salute your courageous atheism. It does take a lot of courage to see all the evidence of God in this world and decide that he doesn’t exist and that you are actually in charge of your own destiny. Because when we kill God, we make ourselves – the only creatures in the universe who ask “Why?” – into the universe’s great cosmic joke.

  • What makes you think I support divorce and remarriage, Anna, when I have not mentioned it at all, nor defended those who do? In fact I do not support it. I myself am single (big surprise right?), and would never consider marrying a divorced woman, UNLESS she had divorced her husband over infidelity, which is the only circumstance under which God approves divorce and remarriage. On the rare occasions I do date, it’s only women who are single, widowed, or divorced due to unfaithfulness on the part of their husband. My late grandfather, in fact, an Assemblies of God minister, was once fired from his position at a church because he refused to marry a couple who he considered would be living in sin. He accepted the firing and moved on. Just as I would do, or any man would do whose beliefs are more important to him than his earthly profit.

    I know, we sound like a real fun family. Actually, we can be, though I admit I frequently feel I am talking a completely different language than most people. Let it be enough said that I’m happy, and content that I’m following God’s fundamental principles. To me, and to my forefathers, life is not about cheap thrills or instant gratification. It’s about the deeper peace that comes from living a principled life that merits God’s acceptance. I not only believe in God, I am certain about God. It is quite possible to prove God’s existence, and Christianity’s validity, with an attainable preponderance of evidence on Earth. It merely requires education – which is not to imply that you are uneducated.

    Maybe that type of peace means something to you. In my opinion, it means something to everyone – it’s just that most people are content to distract themselves with life’s many pleasures rather than pursue God’s clearly-laid-out principles for mankind toward a deeper understanding of “pleasure” than merely satisfying their earthly lust. We are all permanent, spiritual creatures contending with a temporary physical reality – not vice versa.

  • You then, are probably the exception and not the rule. I don’t worry about any of those issues because I haven’t made any of those kinds of mistakes in my life. I am pretty boring myself. I am happy though. I just can’t stand on a soapbox and fight against gays because common sense says they are indeed born that way. If God made them that way then I support them simply, because they too want to make a commitment to someone they love. People are too focused on sex. I don’t mentally go there in my mind with any couple. I watch a clean movie and look away when someone kisses. I am old fashioned but I wasn’t raised in any religion. My folks were the kindest, most loving people. My mom didn’t gossip or look out the window to see what the neighbors were doing. They were democrats, through and through. I do not have a love of the bible. I have read it, but I find it ridiculously Contradictive and convoluted. It has to be since thousands of churches have risen out of one book. So let’s say I look around and choose a church that I feel is the right one. I die and God says, sorry you chose the wrong one. Get out…………… I’ll just keep doing what I always do. Love everyone and don’t judge their actions. Root for the underdog and smile. I’m sure if you were my neighbor we’d get along great. 🙂

  • I think you entirely missed most of my points, especially the one about “sodomy.”

    If the bible were anywhere near as clear as you think it is, there would be only one Christian faith, not hundreds.

    But I don’t really care. Do you really think I’m trying to convince you of anything? As I said at the end, I don’t have that power, nor would I want it. As my Dad used to say, “you can listen to the guy who says he’s looking for the truth, but run like hell from the guy who insists he found it.”

    No, I’m not trying to convince you of anything. I’ve been in this fight for 45 years, and I learned that nothing gets through to people who are irretrievably poisoned by whatever has poisoned them, especially the belief that they know all there is to know about god, and that God agrees with them,

    I don’t write for you, not really. I write for all of the people who read but don’t comment, the people in the middle, the people Shawnie derisively refers to as the “gullible and the uninformed.” They are neither, of course, and like your sodomy comment, this says a lot more about her than it does about the objects of her disaffections.

    It is exactly this Completely unwarranted belief in your wholly imaginary superiority as a Christian, a moral person, and a human being that comes through in your comments and in hers. It is my job to point it out, and likewise, to point out why you are losing in the court of public opinion, why bible beating Christianity is on the same decline as religion in general, and why young people today, even among evangelicals, would much rather be friends with a gay or trans person than friends with someone who is so rock-solid sure that he is god’s special one.

    So, believe whatever you like. I don’t care. But just to make sure you understand. We’re not going back into the closet, not at least in the free world. And every time you try to use the law which governs all of us to enforce your purely theological, but hardly kind and compassionate agenda on gay people and our allies, there will be someone to stand up to it and to point it out. You can hug yourself with secret glee that you alone have the truth and that God thinks youre special because of it, but you will generally lose in the court of public opinion, just as religious bigots did with black people and Jews within my lifetime.

    Antigay religion will of course continue to fornicate with anti human government, as it has always done, and there will be more pain and discord in the world as a result.

  • Why do you assume that when gay men are being close to one another that sodomy is involved? There is a high likely hood that it is not part of their closeness.
    You sure gave a great argument for some lawyer though, for his murdering client.

  • I’m sure we would get along, Anna. But I would preach at you now and then if we did. I don’t have much of a burden to preach to people, I believe God chooses who he will call and who he won’t, within the constraints of a system of free will, divinely-known character and motivation, and Christians who profess their religion rather than deny it or compromise it. But if I like someone, I want them to succeed, and to me, there is only one way to succeed – to overcome the distractions of life and fulfill what is really important.

    I would say to you that the contradictions in the Bible that seem so blatant to you may not be as blatant as they seem. It’s quite easy to see these discrepancies as problematic when they are presented as problematic, which they always are by God’s enemies – but for each problem people find with the Bible, there is another side to the story. Most people never bother to read the apologists, they only hear the “prosecution” side of the case. The defense is invariably much more eloquent and compelling. If the Bible doesn’t suit you, perhaps the work of William Lane Craig would show it in another light.

    I’d suggest that you consider facts you might not have considered – such as the fact that the Hebrew law laid down to Moses by God on Mt. Sinai and detailed excrutiatingly in the Pentateuch gave the Israelites perfect guidelines for the healthy handling of corpses 2,000 years before mankind discovered there was even such a thing as microbes. Or that every deity ever put forth in any of mankind’s hundreds of false religions has had a name, whereas God introduced himself simply as “I am.” Why would God have a name? Our parents name us.. Or that every prophecy of End Times in the Bible is clearly coming to pass in the modern era, the world’s superpowers being now geopolitically-aligned perfectly for the Biblical “Armageddon.”

    I’d explain to you that being a Christian isn’t hard at all – it is the most natural human state to be in harmony with one’s creator.

    I’d pray for you, that God would touch your heart and mind and push you to explore the limitations you’ve set for yourself – because in reality those limitations aren’t there at all. The happiness you feel is nothing compared to the happiness God wants you to feel.

    Have a nice day, Anna. I’ll be rooting for the underdog too.

  • The real question here, Ben, is why you are proclaiming so vehemently and repeatedly that you don’t care, when you obviously do. You wouldn’t be having this conversation if you didn’t care, you wouldn’t have read the article in the first place if you didn’t care, you couldn’t have possibly made a reasoned decision for atheism had you not given the matter extensive thought.

    But it’s not cool to care, I know. The very essence of cool is not to care. The core of Internet “bantz” is not to be the try-hard. The most insouciant wins.

    But that’s just a child’s game.

    I care. I care that God’s real message, of the purest love possible, doesn’t get distorted by the likes of some uneducated, impulsive, belligerent, malicious propaganda artist who in fact hasn’t the slightest clue of what he speaks. I don’t direct that at you personally, Ben, but you certainly flirt with the edge of that category. Others in this comments section are so blatantly ignorant they require no rebuttal, but you’re just smart enough to affect someone’s opinion, so congratulations on getting my attention.

    The most interesting thing about atheists is, they actually do consider themselves to have made an intelligent, informed decision. But the funny part about that is, atheism is in fact the losing side of the debate. Every time.

    The truly intelligent choice is to look at ALL the information, in context, with a mind open to all the possibilities that it can’t encompass. Do you think I haven’t fully considered atheism? Of course I have. I find its tenets generically suicidal, its curriculum lacking any substance, and its conclusions, if one can even call them that, to be entirely unsatisfactory and unsatisfying. Atheism is foolishness – nothing drawn from nothing, giving the potential immortality of the human spirit the same consideration one might give a rat. It will not do. The universe did not create itself 13.8 billion years ago, it’s utterly ridiculous on the surface and even moreso the deeper it gets.

    We have a record of our creation, given to us freely by the creator. It withstands all scrutiny and has done for thousands of years. It satisfies our knowledge that we are, to the best of our current information, the only self-aware, spiritually-seeking creatures in the universe. It makes sense in every way we need it to make sense, and when it is truly broken down into its core substance by modern, educated professional academics like Drs. Craig, Miller, or Brown, it rings even more true. It delivers a powerful personal philosophy of living that, if followed by all men, would immediately result in peace on Earth.

    But to follow it means giving up control. Because the real core of it is, by our understanding of interpersonal dynamics, the one true God is the ultimate egomaniac. He demands one thing, and nothing else will do – total submission. Absolute, unquestioning obedience. He wants us as companions. That’s why he gave us free will. A companion without free will is merely a slave.

    But he knows what is best for us, and he is a father, not a friend.

    I’ve committed my entire life to knowing the truth of my creation and my final destiny. I see nothing else on this planet of much importance – 80-ish years of trying to satisfy myself, then eternal nothing? Pass.

    You believe what you want, Ben. But before you go all the way to the bitter end riding in the back of the losing team’s bus, I hope you will at least give yourself enough consideration to do the reading. I know for a fact that you haven’t. You’re just hacking, slashing, and hoping you hit a bone. So far, though, nothing but air.

  • To “religious conservatives” who dismiss/diminish/omit/avoid the fact “that the gunman specifically targeted lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people”, the Washington Post cited the following quote:

    ” ‘This is a time to grieve, to mourn and to consider what it means to stigmatize people,’ said the Rev. Raphael Warnock of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, who supports gay marriage as a civil right. ‘Religious communities have played a particular role in … marginalizing gay and lesbian and transgender people.’ ”

    — see WashingtonPost-dot-com’s spiritually enlightening article, “Religious conservatives attempt balance in Orlando response”.

  • First I’d suggest to you that it isn’t possible for two men to be married under God. No such marriage is recognized or even mentioned Biblically. Even Jesus, who did not specifically speak against homosexuality (while, I should mention,also not speaking specifically against bestiality, pedophilia, or rape) did specify marriage as being between a man and a woman.

    But your question is a very, very good one. I can’t answer it. We’re basically talking about an unrecognized marriage in which both participants are celibate.

    My OPINION is, no, I can’t see the sin there. Thing about sin is, for those of us who have read the Bible, accepted Christ, and have been granted the Holy Spirit, which in essence is a clean and discerning conscience, sin is usually very obvious. In this case though, my answer is you’d have to ask someone wiser than me to get a definitive answer.

  • Yes, and the Court is frequently wrong, or, as it periodically reverses itself, is confused in its jurisprudence. It is a dangerous demagoguery that nine unelected individuals’ judgement is superior to the sentiments of a nations citizens. As usual in human institutions, it all depends on whose ox is being gored.

  • Frequently? Reverses itself? Those are but the toned down rhetoric of a person with a bloody ox. Demagoguery because 9 people prevent the majority from running the country on christian rules? SCOTUS is not a demagogue, Trump is.

  • Regarding “True Christians” who “love the sinner, but hate the sin”:

    True Christians know Matthew 19:4-6 and Mark 10:6-9 are Jesus’s answers on divorce — only.
    True Christians know that only “imperfect” Paul, not Jesus, spoke on homosexuality in the NT.
    True Christians don’t put words in Jesus’s mouth, and don’t misrepresent his teachings.

    True Christians realize that other people’s private lives are none of their business.
    True Christians don’t while away their time dwelling on the sex lives of strangers.
    True Christians impose their own personally chosen beliefs upon themselves, not others.

    True Christians know that only Jesus judges with perfect knowledge, wisdom, and love.
    True Christians know they are only human, and incompetent to pass such judgment on others.
    And True Christians remember what Jesus said about throwing stones.

  • Jews and Christians became two separate religions just because of this point. Jews can and and should define Judaism for ourselves. The Gospels were written by Christians after Jesus was supposed to have been resurredcted.

  • Thank you for the compliment of being just smart enough. You continue to miss my point. I don’t expect better from you.

    I don’t care what you believe. I are what you do with those beliefs. And I care about gay kids killing themselves, getting kicked out of their homes by their loving parents, because of toxic religious belief. I care about the 2000 years of misery heaped upon gay people for the crime of existing, justified by religious belief. No other sin gets that extra special treatment.

    You Know nothing about me. I was very much nearly a Christian some 45 years ago. Ironically, John 3:16 convinced me it was nonsense.

    You mischarscterize atheism and religion to the point of a cartoon. No atheist claims that the universe came from nothing, not an educated one. But you claim that God came from nothing. You think this received wisdom has withstood all scrutiny? Only if you close your eyes, clench your teeth, and keep saying “no!No! no!”

    And you do the same to your religion. Gos is the ultimate egomaniac– absolutely, at least in your assessment of him. But you see this as a GOOD thing? Unbelievable. God gives us free will, but demands total submission? HE loves us so much that he sacrificed himself to himself, and we’ll burn in hell forever if we don’t believe it? 2/3 of the world doesn’t, and half of Christianity doesn’t believe it either.

    Believe what you like. If it brings you comfort, wonderful. If it makes you a better person, even better. But it doesn’t sound that way to me. And as long as you insist that you speak for God, you will always find people like me, ready to disagree.

  • Nowhere does Ezekiel say that. Just something about sexual immorality.

    It sounds like you really, really hope that the wrath o’ God will fall on millions of innocent people.

    Sad.

  • God speaks about something. Whether it is homosexuality is another question entirely.

    But sure: true Christianity is dependent upon whether or not you believe being gay is a sin. That’s the central tenet. Says so everywhere in the bible.

    Keep repeating that. You do so much good in the world with it.

  • And then I imagine some of our favorite interlopers around here will break in (if anyone cares to listen to them) and tell you that you don’t get to decide who is a real Jew and who are isn’t. LOL!

  • Thanks for intentionally missing the point. My point and it’s accurate historicity can be tracked easily in popular TV media. Before August 2012 and the Gay Kiss Protest, TV shows often got TV-MA ratings for episodes that showed a gay kiss on screen. After that time, the rating dropped to TV-14 for the same gay kiss. MTV’s Teen Wolf had two shirtless boys share a steamy kiss in the summer of 2013, a year after Chick-Fil-A and did not have to change the rating, but they did post a pre-episode warning. Prior to the Gay Kiss Protest, such a scene would not have been possible.

    Now, gay kisses occur on TV-PG shows, such as Freeform’s (formerly ABC Family) show The Fosters. They did not even have to raise the episode rating to TV-14 when two teenage boys kissed on screen as the actual first minors on regular TV to do so. All previous gay “teen” kisses were done by actors actually age 18 or older, such as on MTV’s Teen Wolf series.

    As for Chick-Fil-A, the Orlando restaurant keep it doors open all Sunday to feed massacre survivors and volunteers, doing their best to put their company’s past shame behind them by reaching out to the LGBT community in a moment of crisis.

  • I am not a one-person decider of who is Jewish. I listen to the experts and people who know a lot more than I do and they all agree.

  • They don’t all agree. There are many who identify as both Jewish and Christian. Who are your “experts” to decide they aren’t therefore Jewish?

    See how that works?

  • Yeah, but you guys can’t even agree on that most of the time. Again. It’s meaningless if you each make up your own version. Not what you’d expect with an unerring god. Exactly what you’d expect from fiction, but even Trekkies can keep their lore straight.

  • No, it never says that in the Bible. That’s your addition. God may have said that elsewhere, but not in the Sodom and Gomorrah section of the Bible.

  • Anyone who thinks they can be Jewish and Christian at the same time is deluding themselves. They are ignorant of Judaism and have been taken advantage of. I know the founder of a group in Philadelphia area was a Christian who converted to Judaism under false pretenses and legally changed his name to a “Jewish sounding” name.

  • Well. I don’t need Jesus and his cleansing love. I have God’s love and that is good enough for me. I have a question for you. Are the Jews who were murdered in Auschwitz now in Heaven or Hell?

  • Yeah, sorry you lost all credibility the moment you divulged that you think King Jimmy’s personally changed and edited version is the most accurate.

  • You are full of it. The fact that you can’t even respond to my post without demonstrating the bile and malice you have towards gays. It clearly demonstrates alone that you are not going to be honest or objective on the subject. It is not difficult to see how you have no problem with the idea of gays being removed from your sight or existence at all. You can’t demonize an entire group and then claim suddenly you show some measure of concern for them. Give me a break.

  • Reiterating your position does not render it logical. You still do not get to decide which of those who identify as Jewish are truly Jews and which are not.

    In case you haven’t noticed yet, I’m only playing with you here. I actually agree with you to some extent. But I can not resist the fun of highlighting the hypocrisy of Larry and Ben who would not hesitate to call out a Christian for the kind of assertion you just made.

  • Well it is certainly easier than trying to follow
    “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34

    or

    “Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31

    Those are so damn inconvenient for most Christians. Why bother, amirite?

  • Especially those of the Jewish community and faith. As opposed to Christians, who have a long history of trying to eradicate the Jewish faith either culturally or physically.

  • They are called Messianic Jews and they are considered Christian by both faiths. Jewish groups consider them part of a proselytizing effort to Christianity. Christians consider them one of their own as well.

  • Christians are notoriously tone deaf when it comes to the Jewish faith. Many times Christian posters will make remarks concerning Judaism which are not meant to be offensive, but end up being so. Mostly out of their own sectarian perspectives and a lack of understanding of how other people may believe.

    A Christian would never get to decide who is and isn’t a Jew. Jews would do that for themselves. Just like you don’t get to decide who is and isn’t a “Real Christian”. 🙂

  • So Jews get to decide who is a Jew, but Christians don’t get to decide who is Christian?

    Larry, you’re hilarious.

  • How did He love us? By telling us to repent and laying down His life for all who would.

    Why attack what I said instead of the claim that Christianity disappears without Paul, which evidently you don’t believe yourself?

  • Christians of course consider them one of their own but of course that does not exclude other identifications which they may bear.

  • You would probably have a point there ,if not for the various efforts through the ages by Christians to eradicate Judaism. Some of which included prosletyzing efforts. Which is primarily why I suspect Jewish sects don’t accept Messianic ones as their own. Simply as another one of many efforts to undermine their religion.

  • I didn’t see such disclaimers at the end of each of those passages I cited. There were no stated carve outs or exceptions there save what you chose to read into them.

  • People have tried to eradicate Christianity as well. Jews in the first decades of the church, and most currently communist atheists and radical Muslims. It has no bearing on self-identification. If some Jews can disown other self-identifying Jews them some Christians can disavow other self-identifying Christians and you are a hypocrite for claiming otherwise.

  • Oh please. If you saw “Christians for Mohammed”, or “Christian Buddhists”, you would not call them Christians*. They have chosen to identify with another faith and its beliefs. You are simply defending your own here. Not really paying too much attention to possible the perspectives of others. That Christian tone deafness I was talking about.

    In the case of you disavowing other Christians, most of them aren’t even of the same sect as you. Christian covers a much broader spectrum of belief than your own and literally hundreds of sects at odds with your beliefs. Short of your own sect, you are still an outsider pretending you have a right to designate who belongs to a given group.

  • “In the case of you disavowing other Christians, most of them aren’t even of the same sect as you.” Jewish Christians are of another sect as well. And therefore non-Christian Jews would have no right to pretend they have a right to designate who belongs to a given group. The disciples and the Jerusalem Church, without a doubt, would have laughed at anyone who purported to suggest that they were not Jews.

    “If you saw “Christians for Mohammed”, or “Christian Buddhists”, you would not call them Christians*. They have chosen to identify with another faith and its beliefs.” Probably, but then I am not the one who claims that any imposter pretending to a given faith must be taken at face value. That would be you.

    “You are simply defending your own here.” Not at the moment What I am doing is laughing at you.

  • “Jewish Christians are of another sect as well.”

    “If you saw “Christians for Mohammed”, or “Christian Buddhists”, you would not call them Christians*. They have chosen to identify with another faith and its beliefs.”

    Probably…

    There you go. The rest is just you being contrary for its own sake.

    “The disciples and the Jerusalem Church, without a doubt, would have laughed at anyone who purported to suggest that they were not Jews.”

    Christianity as its own religion didn’t exist until after the death of Jesus and when his disciples started to court gentiles as well. But that sort of thing requires a little more honesty about the history of your faith than what one will get from an apologetic.

  • “Christianity as its own religion didn’t exist until after the death of Jesus and when his disciples started to court gentiles as well”

    Well, of course there is the response to Susan’s original and completely pointless objection.

    LOL! It’s so funny to see you guys trying so hard to argue with us that you end up arguing with each other without knowing what hit you.

  • I am sure that response made a lot of sense in your head and thought you were being very witty. I will leave it at that.

  • mr. Cathy, and numerous people like him, have stated that god’s wratch will fall on America. Not just the gay part. But on everyone.

  • There are 65 abominations in the Old Testament, including eating shrimp. somehow, I don’t think abomination is the word you want.

  • The word homosexual did not appear In a bible until 1948. Martin Luther thought Corinthians referred to masturbation, not homosexuality.

    But you believe whatever you Like.

  • My term was, “periodically,” not frequently. As to demagoguery, I stand by my claim, while deferring to your assessment of Donald Trump. Personally I find both putative nominees’ to be oily and unsavory. God help this Republic.

  • Virtuous or Guilty

    I am sick and tired of religious hatred! God does not want vengeance, murder,
    maiming, shaming and censure: loss of opportunity, property, equal rights and
    the creation of irreconcilable differences!
    I am sick and tired of people who are being taught by the Righteous to hate themselves and fear
    others!

    Are Catholics, Mormons, Jews, Baptists, Lutherans and many
    Fundamentally based Christian Religions radical fringes? Neither are most Muslim groups. Yet their official teachings and doctrine
    are fomenting hatred, murder and suicides.

    In light of Orlando what do we hear from the leaders of most
    religions? SILENCE! And how can they be other than silent, when
    their doctrines are the cause of the hatred, and while their minions carry out God’s wishes?

    Priests, Bishops, Preachers, Ministers, Imams who do nothing
    to change their teachings and do not raise their voices to condemn hatred and
    violent acts are not innocent! And
    they, not so subtly, give consent to the violence by remaining silent. Rather
    than remaining silent they must accept responsibility by CHANGING THEIR
    RELIGION’S DOCTRINE TOWARDS GLBT.

    What thinking person can insist that LGBT persons, when
    acting according to their God given nature, are intrinsically disordered? How can that even be possible for someone
    who believes God made all things and creatures?

    Silence, so deviously encourages murders like we have
    endured for centuries, and as recently as last week.

    How many need to die before the so-called virtuous are condemned
    for what they are?

    CLOSET PERPETRATORS!

  • So, another so-called Christian so called pastor has called upon god to murder gay people, since apparently his aim was so bad last Sunday. And because the good pastor lacks the moral fortitude to do it himself.

    Donnie Romero, pastor of Steadfast Baptist Church. Google him.

    So cue some of the True Christians (TM) here present to applaud him, and the other true Christians here to deride him. They can, perhaps, attack each other as not being True Christians.

    What they cannot do is deny the influence of toxic religious belief, or pretend that all sins are alike, or use religious belief as the excuse for a vicious prejudice.

  • Hmm, the author here must be one of those Christians who isn’t too worried about what the Bible actually says about stuff. Also, how did an attack against gays by an Islamic extremist turn into a problem with Christianity? Half the people in this comments section are attacking Christianity’s position on homosexuality as if it is somehow responsible for the death of all those people. Extremism in any form is problematic, but I don’t see any Christian extremism against gays happening these days, outside of the activities of the Westboro Baptist Church, and they’re just protestors.

    The Christians I know are all open to letting gays do whatever they want, though some might confront them over their belief that God is flexible on their homosexuality. He really doesn’t seem to be very flexible about it in my opinion. In any case, no Christian I know wants gays killed for being gay. This article and this thread of comments are a poor reflection on both the author and the readers, just in different ways. The author lacks the courage of his conviction, and the readers lack perspective on what actually just happened in Orlando.

  • ” I assure you I can destroy all of them very quickly… ”

    Pride and boasting will get you in trouble…heap big trouble.

    “…the charlatans….. like the author of this article. ”

    For you will be treated as you treat others. The standards and words you use in judging others will be the standards and words by which you will be judged….Matthew 7:12

    For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned…..Matthew 12:37

    …who art thou that judgest another?…..James 4:12

  • If you don’t see it, That’s because you’re not paying attention, or more likely, because you’re just not gay and it doesn’t really affect you.

    These are several pastors calling for our deaths. These are just the ones that made th new.

    There are Tony Perkins, pat Robertson and Bryan Fischer, and their usually vast amount of ilk, making their livings by lying and fear mongering.

    There is the north Carolina legislature, and their fellow travelers in other states, demonizing trans people who just want to pee as heterosexual predators. How is that for a kick in the pants.

    How did the attack of a homosexual hating homosexual self proclaimed Islamist come to be conflated with equally venomouss but less deadly Christian Homobigotry? Why, you might read over the first four paragraphs.

  • I would like to point out that church officiated weddings are a relatively recent introduction – the 15th century I believe. Until that time marriage was a civil matter. At the time of Jesus, proof of consummation was required to legitimize the union which and was normally associated with blood staining on the assumption the bride was a virgin although at one point in fact required witnesses to be physically present to witness the consummation. A dowry was required and the betrothed was required to wear a veil that she was ‘taken’. Later on this was simply replaced by carrying the bride over the threshold of the husband’s residence. In other words, marriage was a social construct – not a religious construct. Understanding marriage as a social construct also makes sense of the direction to marry the widow of a brother and act to provide her with a son (to be named after the deceased husband) to ensure she did not marry a foreigner and to carry on the (male) family lineage. The acceptability of polygamy for men suggests that marriage had a different understanding/purpose. Even Jesus said in response to the question of the ultimate marital status of the unlucky wife of the 7 dead brothers that in heaven ,no one will be married to anyone.

    With respect to an unrecognized marriage, there was a practice called Adelphopoiesis, found in medieval Catholic church and and for an even later time period in the Eastern Orthodox Church and described by Pavel Florensky as an overlap of Christian philic and agapic love but not eros. Ceremonies included prayers, scriptural readings and partaking of pre-sanctified Eucharistic gifts. I wonder if the relationship between David and Johnathan was considered a precedent for establishing this rite.

  • What man thinks is of little consequences. The end goal of getting into heaven is personal. Only that person can get oneself into heaven, what others say or do has no affect on that fact. Adjusting the law to suit the social climate is basically giving out false information, an will certainly not lead to the Heaven i envision.

  • Those who think religion entitled them to tell others how to live are relics of a premodern age. Self-government requires good faith participation in the seeking of consensus to set policy. Those who believe they know God’s mind can’t participate in that. To them anybody who disagrees with them is a heathen and an apostate.

    I won’t even get into how regulating sexual behavior vests churches with political power–the real reason it is done. I will just conclude by saying that faith itself–the disengagement of the most human facility: skeptical curiosity, is the most pernicious of all human behaviors.

  • who heard that? I didn’t know you could hear God speak. but God specifically said that homosexuality is an abomination.

  • That’s from Delusions1:01.
    Your “christ” is imaginary. The character was based on earlier myths.
    If you insist he’s real, tell him to do something about birth defects, incurable childhood cancers, etc.
    Nietzsche said, “there’s not enough love in the world to hand it over to imaginary beings”.

  • “God specifically said”

    Only if you are one of those who maintains the rather bizarre belief that the bible was written by God and not a series of scribes. Do you also believe that children should be executed for cursing their parents? That’s in the bible as well.

  • “We don’t hate you, but your very existence is an abomination.”

    So much for the Christian love ethic.

  • Since you haven’t shared Ben’s experience, your comment on it is without merit or meaning.

  • “There is no room for misinterpretation.”

    Why, then, do so many different interpretations exist? Every denomination interprets the meaning of the book in different ways.

  • It would be a much better world if so-called “Christians” would believe in unconditionally loving their neighbor rather than a pedantic and unsupportable belief that every word in the bible is the “Word of God”.

  • Read your bible! The red letter text (the statements of Jesus) never mentions homosexuality.

  • Are you now claiming that Jesus wrote Leviticus? It predated his birth by hundreds of years.

  • If your mother was Jewish, you’re Jewish. Otherwise you need to go through a daunting conversion process and be made Jewish by a Rabbi. Judaism doesn’t actively seek converts. It’s not merely a self-identification is it is with Christians.

  • That’s not what we were talking about. We were discussing actual Jewish-born Jews of the early church who believed in Christ and who our interlocutor suggested were therefore not “real” Jews.

  • “As a privileged married heterosexual and an evangelical Christian ethicist, I finally came to terms a few years ago with how terrible this problem is for LGBT Christians and embarked on a reconsideration process. It led me to a posture of solidarity and moved me to open up my traditionalist lifetime-covenantal-marital sexual ethic to include gay and lesbian unions. This was seen as a grave error by some of my fellow believers. But many LGBT people and their families were desperately grateful. It offered at least one way out of the impasse between traditional religion and sexuality.”

    David, neither your ethic nor mine is of any value here. Yet it seems, your professorship, that you have elevated your ethics to a level similar to that of SCOTUS as of late. Your grave error is one of promoting yourself to that of someone who pretends to “offer someone a way out of their impasse.” in god-like fashion. Please, though you are not alone, are you serious?

    Ask a legitimate counselor to allow you to sit in on the sessions of LGBTG clients. YOU are as much of source for their angst and consternation as the John Brown preaching “hatred to the homo’s.”

    After everyone has legitimized, legalized and formed their hug fests and rainbow parades, these children and adults go home to an inner consternation not caused by anyone’s bible or quest to put down the gay. They don’t understand why your mighty Professorial vote and SCOTUS pronunciations are inadequate to stop the guilt and shame. You assume it is the basher-bible thump crowd. When they are nowhere to be found, the root of their remorse remains unresolved. Getting the whole of Christendom Eldership to abandon any and all moral directives from Scripture makes no true difference. Plowing under what remains of perceived scriptural integrity and removing all pages that “offend” provides no recovery and healing. It prolongs the pain my friend. This you know in your ethic of heart but you prefer the anti-ethic of topical solution that is ego-stroking to the well-wisher and benign to the patient.

    YOURS IS THE GRAVE ERROR GOOD DOCTOR. Your ethics are slipping.

    “So, to America’s orthodox religious leaders, I again ask:
    Is the consistent, acute, totally predictable psychological distress caused to these young adults by your understanding of God’s moral rules a relevant consideration for your teaching and pastoring?”

    It is all to obvious from your questions that you are out of your field. Your feigned concern for the masses is way behind the curve. Your moral rules are as meaningless as mine.

    I am glad you came to terms with their problem, I just hope you can come to terms with your copy-cat solution that has more to do with your need for security and well being than theirs. They have found no “one way out”. They remain as bound as the adulterer, thief, gossip and idolater who insists their inherent infection is just cause enough for continuance.

    So to America’s “Ethic” Professors, I ask, “Is it really your role to assume the responsibility of their psychological distress?” If so, they will need to look well beyond this psuedo salve.

  • It is the role and DUTY of everyone to assume the responsibility of their distress. We all know the only regime which is against LGBTQ is the religious faction. They are hell-bent on destroying these fine people. Your squirming words, engineered to shirk your own responsibility is awkward, obvious, and due to fail. The majority is now welcoming LGBTQ folk as good people, deserving of equal rights and the compassion of even such a hateful god as Yaheh/Jesus/Spirit.

  • Religion causes us to kill. It begins with Genesis, and continues through Revelation. The god figure kills at random and also with specific intent, for the flimsiest of reasons. This is not something to ingrain in our children.

  • A man whose drives are in conflict with his imagined gods, will kill to satisfy the gods, and in an attempt to end his conflict. It is the same resolution to problems chosen by god in the bible. He was supposed to be all knowing, and capable of anything, but murder was his solution. The bible could only be the imaginings of people working without science.

  • An all knowing, and merciful god could surely have found a way to bring the people in the bible around to loving him. Murder and genocide are beneath the dignity of such a loving god, if he was real. But since people such as the Midianites irritated Jews no end, genocide and murder were chosen. Then they said, “god told us to do it.”

  • The Jews murdered Midianites with the same lame excuse christians use for hating Gay people. “god told us to!” We are no longer children. Lord of the Flies does not dictate our behavior. We do. We have science now.

  • When you refer to being gay as an infection, which you did by implication, you are demonstrating the problem clearly. When you compare an inherent– and that is a fact, not a supposition– state that harms no one to adultery and theft, that do harm people, you are betraying your biases. and when you compare it to idolatry– well words just fail me.

    The question is indeed what the bible says, as well as believing in sola scriptorium, as well as believing that god spoke 2000 years ago, we understand him then, and that he no longer speaks, AT LEAST NOT ON THIS SUBJECT SO DEAR TO THE HEARTS (so called) OF A CERTIAN CLASS OF SO CALLED CHRISTIAN.

    The bible may condemn something, and it may even be homosexuality, but certainly not as it is understood in our time, or theirs. The Bible knows nothing about that, any more than it knows about computers. It cannot condemn what it knows nothing about, except by proof texting and its big-hands brother, hermeneutics.

    Millions of Christians no longer condemn gay people, not despite what their bibles say– or more accurately, what certain Christians SAY it says– but because of WHAT their bibles say. Many more believe god has spoken to them, the spirit has moved them, however you want to put it, and they can see that a mere social prejudice has been justified as the WORST SIN EVER by religious belief. And in fact, that sincere religious belief condones the lying, the slandering, and the reviling of gay people, in direct contravention to what the bible does say on those subjects, without a peep from bible believing Christians. In fact, they just lap it up.

    You wrote: “After everyone has legitimized, legalized and formed their hug fests and rainbow parades, these children and adults go home to an inner consternation not caused by anyone’s bible or quest to put down the gay.” That’s exactly the opposite of the facts. 2000 years of a prejudice that is so deeply engrained in our culture that it twists, perverts, and destroys everything it touches. 2000 years of toxic religious belief, teaching people to hate themselves, to hate the finest part of them. Fathers are afraid to show affection to their suns lest someone hurl homophobic abuse at them– when they are not doing the job themselves.
    Do you SERIOUSLY think you are immune from this, comparing the ability to love and connect with another human being just like theft (voluntary brt for a few kleptomaniacs), adultery (always voluntary), gossip (voluntary) and idolatry (2/3 of the world thinks the Christian story is nonsense).
    we don’t “know” that there is something wrong with us. That’s YOUR fanatasy– misspelling intentional. We have to be taught that. Self hatred is the problem, not some imaginary knowledge that we are wrong wrong wrong. It’s a fact that gay people all over the civilized world are rejecting that whole idea.
    And therein lies the real problem for you. We no longer know our place, or accept the place that homohatred and homobigotry has assigned to us. And THAT is what p**ses you off no end.

  • So then you are not even willing to admit to the possibility that what you call faith might actually be, instead, a strong hypothesis backed by evidence? A lot of Christians now would maintain that Christianity has moved beyond mere faith in the current era many are calling the Information Age, and is now in the realm of science. Secular historians, for example, are in nearly universal agreement that Jesus of Nazareth lived, followed a path around the Middle East that is not contradicted by biblical texts, and was indeed crucified by the Romans. Chains of reasoning surrounding the biblical texts about Jesus’ empty tomb have also been used by professional theologians and philosophers to show, by logical progression, that it was much more likely an actual historical fact than mere fantasy or skullduggery, thus bringing the Resurrection of Christ itself into the realm of archeological interest rather than mythological speculation.

    Meanwhile, physics and evolution, the formerly reliable fallback positions that atheists have always assumed would eventually reveal the scientific, non-supernatural origin of the universe and mankind, have both recently had to acknowledge some very startling roadblocks. Physics has revealed that it is unable to interact in any way with the substance called Dark Matter or the force called Dark Energy, and can only deduce their very existence from context – Dark Matter comprising the vast majority of matter in the universe, and Dark Energy being what propels the universe to continual expansion. This reveals a substantial failure in human understanding of the underlying forces around us.

    Evolution, at the same time, has discovered and been forced to acknowledge that there is only one DNA chain-of-life. The phenomenon we call “Genesis,” the formation of life from non-life, has only occurred once in the history of the universe, even though conditions for the event on Earth were so perfect for it, that it happened as soon as the planet cooled down enough to allow it.

    So one might say that Christianity, though it can’t be proved – perhaps by design and perhaps because no one has yet found the proverbial missing link that may ultimately prove it – is starting to look less and less like mythology and more and more like a better solution to mankind’s eternal quest for the ultimate answer to life, the universe, and everything…than science.

    Regarding your statement about “regulating sexual behavior,” I don’t see any regulation of sexual behavior whatsoever happening in the USA. Nothing is “forbidden,” as the author here implies. Nothing is illegal anymore, with the possible exception of what might be done in public view, and that applies to heterosexual behavior as well. You are misrepresenting the situation. Churches are powerless to insist on legislation of sexual behavior, and have been for many decades. If it’s gay marriage to which you refer, gays now have that right as well, even though they have always had the right to cohabitate and live as married folk, lacking only the license and the tax break.

    I’m sorry, but your hyperbole is lost on me. I think you are intentionally acting as if a problem exists for homosexuals that in fact has not existed for quite some time.

    Now, if you want to talk about problems homosexuals face in Islamic countries, or problems homosexuals face from Islamic terrorists here in the USA, then you have a valid point. But to indict religion-general as some kind of anti-homosexual juggernaut is a misstatement of fact.

  • I only hope that I live long enough to come across an archived copy of this article and think to myself : “So this is when the enlightenment finally began …”

  • The Bible condemns homosexual practices in every place it mentions it. It is never affirmed in any way.

  • I believe the “Christians” who protest the most against homosexuality, are homosexuals themselves, just as this shooter appeared to be. The Bible, like most religious doctrines, is a dangerous book.

  • He also instructs people to kill their neighbor if they work on the Sabbath while also condoning slavery, soooo….maybe people need to read it as the fairy tale it is.

  • The God of the Christian Bible is an evil entity. How they attempt to promote it as loving is beyond me.

  • Robert – churches ARE NOT political groups. I seriously doubt if you are a church member and would not understand even if it was explained to you. I won’t throw pearls to a swine.

  • That law was for ancient Israel. Do you follow laws from ancient societies that you read about? Do you consider them fairy tales?

  • That’s nice. It also condemns not believing in the Jewish God, and the Christian God, and eating shrimp…everywhere it is mentioned.

  • God condemns homosexuality in the Holy Bible in the strongest terms. God has clearly ordained in his Holy Bible that any person who has not repented of homosexuality will never enter the Kingdom of God. Read it for yourself if you don’t believe me. I’m sure the writer of this article is well aware of the Scriptures.

  • If you don’t believe The Bible to be the inerrant word of God and without error, then you do not have any moral absolute, so therefore any sin is justifiable in man’s site and without penalty. At physical death, your decision & what you put your faith in (Salvation through Jesus Christ and His Death & Resurrection or the anti-Christ belief) this will prove to be your decision for eternity, so decide right!

  • Experience? Your statement shows your complete ignorance. To understand what Christianity is, please read the Letter to the Romans by the Apostle Paul. Read it slow.

  • One of the things that makes the Bible dangerous book is that it speaks truly of the corruption of men. It is contrary to the world system and its false beliefs and practices. Most people don’t like to hear that.

  • Ben – Get off of your high horse. Are you trying to justifying homosexuality? If you are a Christian, I’m sure you don’t engage in homosexual activities. Having a close and dear friend of the same sex is not a crime or a sin, but sexual activity with a person of the same sex is condemned by God….in the strongest terms.

  • In the OT it says they are not to eat Shrimp but not in the NT. In the NT homosexuality is condemned and is one of the sins that can keep a person out of heaven.

  • So the story in Matthew about the dead hopping out of their graves and walking into town, high-fiving folks along the way, is the TRUTH? Wow! You’d think that there would be some sort of reliable source for such a MASSIVE event! Google “Former Fundy” and you’ll find lots of great discussions about what superstitious codswallop christianity is.

  • The Bible is not a road map, a dictionary, or a glossary. It’s a collection of stories, proverbs, and parables any man can read it and interpret any way it suits him. Each person is entitled to make his own decision as to the truth or non-truth of it, and having made that decision, is also entitled to decide what he will do based on his level of belief. Yet another option is to make no decision about it at all.

    But let me guess, you are one of these “oppressed homosexuals” who is in fact not oppressed in any way whatsoever outside of his own head, a man who is actually allowed to sexually behave any way he wants with anyone he wants, a man who doesn’t even associate with Christians but somehow has this huge problem worrying about what all the Christians he doesn’t know think about him snoodling his boyfriend.

    What a huge problem you have. Your sexual behavior will be completely tolerated but never wholeheartedly endorsed by all those people you don’t know who believe a book you don’t believe. What will you do? Where will you go? How can you possibly live your life under this unacceptable condition? Is suicide your best option? Your only option?

    Puh-lease, sir. Do you know the word for people who have no grounds whatsoever for complaint but continue to complain anyway? I do, but if I used it to refer to you, you might have to immediately leap off a tall building or something.

    You know the real problem with the homosexual community? They never…stop…whining. Give them everything they want and it’s still this endless buzzing in the collective ear of the nation.

    People have real problems in this world, pal. You aren’t one of them. You want problems? Go to an Islamic country and see what this line of conversation gets you. Meanwhile, be grateful that Christians are commanded to love you no matter how irritating you become.

  • Homosexuality is a disorder that causes depression, suicide and untold pain to children who have to live in a society where sexual perversion is celebrated.

  • Where is your proof that shows this did not happen?

    You must be an atheist. That means:
    1. Order came from disorder
    2. Uniformity came from the accidental
    3. Intelligence came from non-intelligence
    4. Design came from chaos
    5. Personality came from non-personality
    6. Love came from hard matter
    7. Something came from nothing
    8. Life has no ultimate purpose
    9. It is all meaningless
    10. Man is just a meat machine.

    It takes more faith to be an atheist than an a Christian.

  • Well, you have it exactly backwards.

    Congratulations.

    It’s not a disorder, and depression suicide, and untold pain are caused by hatred directed at gay people, oppression from government and church, and unthinking stupidity.

  • Well you seem to know everything about me. Except for that word– everything.

    Gay kids kill themselves. No concern for you. Got it.

    No, “pal”, I am not an oppressed homosexual, not any longer. But I have been attacked twice on the street for it, and for the crime of walking down the street. I have had two attempts made to get me fired from my job, for no other reason that that. And I have pastors calling for my murder, so called Christians calling for jail, and people who sincerely religiously believe every lie told about me.

    But thanks for your fake concern about gay people in Islamic countries, “pal.” And thanks for saying, yet one more time, “at least we Christians are not as bad as the Muslims.”

  • So can reviling and slandering and drinking too much. Convenient how god’s word never changes, except when it does.

  • As I said, you can rely on antigay bigots to say whatever they need to say to make antigay bigotry, justified by religious belief, acceptable.

    Plenty of Christians and entire denominations don’t agree with you. So you attack them as not being true Christians.

    Cute.

  • Don’t understand it. Googled it. Didn’t see it. You got a point, express it in a way that is comprehensible to someone besides your twin with whom you speak that special language nobody else can understand.

  • Jesus, did exist there are other writings about him outside the Bible.

    “If you insist he’s real, tell him to do something about birth defects, incurable childhood cancers, etc.”

    He did not become man to fix our problems, he told us how to fix our problems if you follow him and that God is loving not destructive.

    And in closing one of the greatest quotes from Jesus – “I don’t judge you. Now go and sin no more”.

  • You won’t make any progress with the good doctor there, friend. I have bothered myself to read through these comments, and that guy is one of the turd-burglars who thinks this article’s comments section is his personal forum for promoting atheism – for some unknown reason, since the article itself is not about atheism versus Christianity, but in fact about Christians rethinking homosexuality as a sin.

    There are several of them like DoctorVanTurdstrom here. If I were you, I wouldn’t waste my time hacking away at someone who’s only here to incite Christians to anger. Also, nothing of what he says makes a bit of sense, he’s far too ignorant to engage intelligently.

    In fact, nearly every poster in this thread seems to have gone full retard and way off-topic.

    I, on the other hand, agree with you sir, and salute your efforts to enlighten these mouth-breathers about the reality of God hidden behind all the distractions of their earthly desires. But I know threads, and this one is a waste of time.

  • The story of Christianity, from the Nicene Council onward, is of schism (bloody or otherwise) and divergence. Never convergence or consensus.

    So “no room for misinterpretation”, even if you only count those that use the King James version, seems a very bold claim.

  • I think its well worth the effort to engage the pro-homosexual crowd. Where else will they hear the truth?

    BTW- there is no reason to get angry when you have the truth.

  • After we have knowledge we must have patience because this is going to be a long long battle for truth. Don’t give up.

  • The Holy Bible is the ONLY statement of faith in Christianity, not the opinions of a denomination. I suggest you read it.

  • I thought this story was about the christian taliban, but it’s about the other religious nuts.

  • Not according to the Catholics and a great many denominations. Just according to you.

  • @Kent Lee: disqus
    Sin of Sodom homosexuality? Wrong! It was rape, especially rape on men, and attacking strangers. The homosexuality was incidental. Think Prison-rape or military rape where a culture of Heterosexuals indiscriminately rapes men to dominate them.

    The Bible doesnst recognize even Female Rape as its only a property crime. Its considered theft, not rape.

    Abomination?
    It says that right after ‘eating shellfish is an abomination and people who do must be Put out to death’

    And it follows with murdering people who wear mixed fabrics.
    GO read your Bible.

    Have you ever had a Christmas Tree? That’s also an abomination and you are supposed to be put to death.
    https://www.openbible.info/topics/christmas_trees

    Working on Saturday? Thats the worst sin! Off with your HEAD!

    Is that a crucifix? Sorry, You have to die for the graven image. and then double for a likeness of God.

    Dont invoke these codes , unless you are willing to kill yourself or commit mass murder

    and jesus.?
    http://biblehub.com/mark/7-15.htm
    “Nothing that goes in a man defileth him…”

  • Your compassion for others is truly impressive. May it bring you the joy you so richly deserve,

  • Nope. All that defines an atheist is a lack of belief in your particular, peculiar version of God. And the only difference between an atheist and a true believer, such as yourself, is that an atheist believes in one less God than you do.

  • You obviously don’t believe the Bible is the word of God because if you did you would know that homosexuality is an abomination in the eyes of God. Read your Bible! Just look at the example of Sodom and Gomorrah! You my friend have chosen to rationalize the actions of sinners rather than listen to the very words of God.

  • Ben, there are 7 billion people on this planet. I have compassion for every single one of them. But there’s a big difference in having compassion for people and having pity for people. Compassion is helpful. Sometimes it’s kind and generous, but other times it’s more along the lines of shaking someone awake on a camping trip because they’re about to be overrun by ants.

    How many people die every day, Ben? How many of them commit suicide? If I shed even a single tear for every one who did, I’d spend my entire life crying and still owe centuries of non-stop weeping.

    Your problem is, you seem to want to be some kind of victim. If I were you – a gay man in modern American society – I’d be gloating about my team’s amazing victory. Your group has achieved TOTAL equality, even to the extent of gay marriage, even, some might say, an overabundance of equality – to the extent that those who speak against you are much more likely to be ostracized now than homosexuals ever were when they were commonly oppressed.

    So what’s it going to be, Ben? Are you equal or are you not? Can no one speak against you and escape your verbal wrath. Is your view so small that it can only encompass religious fundamentalism now? Because I’ll tell you something, Ben, you’re NEVER going to win that crowd over. The Bible is pretty clear on homosexuality. The steady and steadfast among the Christians are never going to agree that it’s okay, or that you’re not going to burn in hell for it.

    What you’re doing now is the equivalent of scoring a touchdown, then trying to run the ball through the wall of the stadium.

    So you know, if you want to be the victim, no one can stop you. But it is very irritating. And that word I hesitated to say earlier – the one that describes a person who has no grounds to complain but continues to do it anyway? It’s “bitch.”

  • Male homosexual sex is inherently dangerous for homosexuals and straight people alike. No one should endanger their health engaging in this type of sex. Call it Gods wrath, Mother Natures wrath, sin or what ever you want to call it, there are serious potential consequences for this kind of sexual satisfaction.

  • I know right?
    I heard these two guys rubbed penises together, and it caused spontaneous human combustion!

    There is consequences for this level of Hotness.

  • Sodom and Gemorah is why its wrong to rape , and to attack strangers.

    ( in the bible Female Rape is in only a property crime ) .

    If you dont know the difference between sexual assault , and making love with a consensual partner you should not be having sex!

  • After reading the bible I came to the conclusion, either the bible is collection of made up stories to bring out a teaching, much like fables always had a moral to the story or God is an idiot. I’m going with nice/crazy fables with a moral to the story, made for their times. Cause if the kids won’t behave, scare them with hell and reward their good behavior with heaven.

  • Nonsense. Christianity has been doing good for mankind for 2000 years. What good has atheism done?

  • to all of you who condemn homosexuality: do you include Lesbians as well? The Bible does not condemn Lesbians.

  • My post was a compliment on your post. Your name= Is he wise? My post= Yes, you are wise. Moot point now.

  • The preacher in CA. that cheered is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many who secretly agreed with him and yet hold up their bibles and push their religious ideas down Americans throats. They some how believe their ideals are wrapped in the constitution and they have the right to run everyone’s lives as they see fit. This is the real danger to America as they have the same beliefs as the terrorists they are so afraid of due to their myth religion. The men responsible for building the foundation of the United States were men of The Enlightenment, not men of Christianity. They were Deists who did not believe the bible was true. They were Freethinkers who relied on their reason, not their faith. Nowhere does the Constitution say:”The United States is a Christian Nation”, or anything even close to that. In fact, the words “Jesus Christ, Christianity, Bible, Creator, Divine, and God” are never mentioned in the constitution– not even once. Just sayin.

  • ” …it seems, your professorship, that you have elevated your ethics to a level similar to that of SCOTUS… ”

    ” Your grave error is promoting yourself…who pretends to offer someone a way out of their impasse in god-like fashion. ”

    ” YOU are as much of source for their (LGBT) angst and consternation… ”

    ” YOURS IS THE GRAVE ERROR GOOD DOCTOR. Your ethics are slipping. ”

    ” It is…obvious…that you are out of your field. Your feigned concern for the masses is way behind the curve. Your moral rules are…meaningless… ”

    ” I…hope you…come to terms with your copy-cat solution that has more to do with your need for security and well being than theirs. ”

    ” …they (LGBTs) will need to look well beyond this psuedo salve. ”

    Wow…after reading your comment, I can’t help but recall that very applicable and hard hitting verse —

    Don’t sit in the seat of the scornful…..Psalm 1:1

    and this one applies also —

    Do (write) nothing out of…vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves……….Philippians 2:3

  • Thank you for this thoughtful piece. Having made the transition yourself, you’re in an excellent place to help your fellow evangelicals do the same. It’s never easy, and these days, I fear, complicated by a vicious politics. May your tribe increase.

  • Oh! I’m not used to compliments. That makes the score 1 to 894,876 insults. I’m not sure what to do? That make undermine my very purpose here on the internet.

  • Thanks Billy.

    I agree with you that these two verses could be applied to the good Gushee professor.

  • Are we not all sinners? How is the practice of homosexuality different than the endless plethora of sins that “good” Christians commit, repent for, then repeat? No one is compelled to sin by anything other than desire. It seems that the only difference here, is that people with homosexual drives want their religious leaders to abandon thousands of years of teachings, so that they can fulfill their desires without the stain of guilt. I doubt there are many Jewish or Muslim pig farmers, but for those who feel compelled to engage in this occupation they need to reconcile themselves to the contradiction between their desires and the requirements of “their” religion. If they cannot do so, then their options are: follow the rules, accept their sinful nature, or leave the faith. Changing the rules to permit one to do what one wants, is an excellent strategy when lobbying the legislature, but this apprach does not apply to matters of religious belief. While Avoiding sin is seldom easy, for some religions, that is the express point.

  • Well, it helped people stop burning witches at the stake, helped take a stand against slavery and the slave trade and helped in the development of science and a number of other good changes that the world has seen.

    Lots of religious people helped, too. It wasn’t all done by unbelievers.

  • I have read the bible carefully… yes its full of hate ,rape,murder and slavery.
    as is…it’s a cheap fan fiction soap opera ..a bit like games of thrones.

  • No one claims you should have limitless compassion. That’s called a straw man. But my ethics as an atheist demand that I try to make the world a better place, especially for those less fortunate than me,

    You keep telling me that I want to be some kind of victim. I don’t know where you could have gotten that idea. I have been victimized, absolutely, on several occasions. There are plenty of people, usually religious fundamentalists, who would like to make me a victim. But I have had a great life– a wonderful career,
    .Wonderful family, success in everything I have put my hands to, lots of good friends. But I’don’t believe in “I’ve got mine. I’ll try to have yours. And sc**w you.

    I’m not gloating about my teams amazing victory. I’m not like so called Christians. And though we have had some victories, there is still plenty that needs to be done.I’ve been in the fight for 45 years. I don’t intend to stop now.

    Your whining about pretend victimization is just that, and rather startling considering your other whining about victimization. Even MORE amazing in that you admit gay people were “commonly oppressed”, but seem to thinkthat’s all over now. But no, they will never be the same. No one wants to throw you in jail for being a bigot, but they did throw gay people in jail, and still want to. No one will. But with a little bit of luck, you (a generic you, not you personally, as I have no idea about you personally) WILL be treated as you have been treating gay people. And hopefully, exactly how racial bigots and antisemites are treated by decent people now.

    Can no one speak against me and not earn my verbal wrath? AGain, you betray yourself. What is there to speak against? I don’t bother anyone, I contribute to my community. I speak against people who wreak harm. I don’t care what fundelibangelists believe. But when they try to make their purely theological concerns civil law, and hide behind their religion to defend outright bigotry, you bet I will speak up. But not to win them over. I already know that’s impossible– to win over people irretrievably poisoned by hate, fear, ignorance, religious belief, or their own imaginary superiority. The only thing that EVER wins them over is a karmatic, rhetorical 2×4 upside the head.

    I will speak up to defend the innocent from them.

    So no, I don’t want to be a victim. And nice that you called me a bitch. Again, you betray yourself. I do not “complain” for myself, even though I am offended beyond belief at the lies your fellow travelers tell routinely. But there are kids right here and now. There are the weak people you show such open contempt for. There are people in foreign countries who need a voice.

    I write not for you, but for the people of decency to see who you and your fellow travelers are.

  • im not preaching here … just want to make one point … homosexuality is mostly a choice most choose the path i agree sometimes its biological and a man has the desire to be with a man but that doesnt make it right much like withdrawal symptoms are biological in nature but a drug or alcohol user shouldnt succumb to them to prove my point

    (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) 9 Or do you not know that unrighteous people will not inherit God’s Kingdom? Do not be misled. Those who are sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, men who submit to homosexual acts, men who practice homosexuality, 10 thieves, greedy people, drunkards, revilers, and extortioners will not inherit God’s Kingdom. 11 And yet that is what some of you were. But you have been washed clean; you have been sanctified; you have been declared righteous in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and with the spirit of our God.

    verse 11 says some of the Christians back then were drunkards and homosexuals but they changed their way they made a conscience effort to change even if it meant abstinence forever , seems like thepros outweighed the cons

    i dont hate homosexuals and would never shun one but its their choice to do what they want but i dont have to agree with their choice… we all have free will and can do as we please but there will always be consequences but nonetheless we all have to abide by physical laws such as gravity

  • its nice to know that willful ignorance is alive and well.
    as for gravity…no we don’t have to”abide” by that law…how the hell do you think we got to the moon?
    while we are here,please explain what gravity is, or else how can you even use it as an analogy?

  • I embrace the possibility that there is a god. It is just as valid a leap as the leap that says he cannot exit. Both are faiths to me–not inferences drawn from material evidence, but grasps at self-certainty in its absence.

    To me, an open mind is the important thing. I think faith itself is humankind’s worst practice. It is a purposeful closing of the mind; a suspension of the most valuable and human asset we have: the capacity for skeptical curiosity.

    Faith says, “This I will believe, no matter what.” It can pretend to allow for contradictory evidence, but it doesn’t. It is such a powerful narcotic–the ease of self-certainty, that it resists countering evidence, causing blindness where there need be none. It proliferates as a practice onto other issues once you accept it on one. Indeed, the pervasiveness of the human intellectual capacity to construct its own personal reality–being more fully understand by both science and philosophy, suggest overcoming faith is an inherent challenge to the species.

    The list of miseries caused by faith are nearly endless. One species is warfare motivated by faith in nation, ideologies, faiths themselves, clan, tribe and even family. I will kill because believe in (insert your choice). Pervasive hate of “the other” is also ubiquitously founded on the faith that someone is different than oneself.

    Faith blocks new understanding. What was Einstein’s achievement but overcoming the consensus of scientific faith in the then prevailing paradigm? Even those most focused on disciplined empirical observation of natural phenomena are often blinded by unthinking faiths.

    The hard fact is that there is no proof of existence of a god. For every argument that can be spun up in favor of his or her existence, a just as valid countering argument can be spun up. Neither can be more valid than that other in the absence of evidence.

    Once one accepts the faith that a God exists, the race for adornment is on. Suddenly he lives in a specific castle in the sky. He’s a jurist at the final adjudication. He is like Santa Claus and know when your are sleeping and knows when you are awake. He’s counting your masturbations. He imbibes in blood sacrifice. He demands, fear and cares about ritual performance. He prefers this religious doctrine and disfavors another.

    The atheist is a self-aggrandizing fool, who pats himself on the back for his rationality, but who is just as self-certain as the “believer.,” However, misguided as they are their shortcomings do not include embellishing the absurd on top of his first self-certainty.

  • But then what do we, as Christians, do if homosexuality is not a choice, but a chemical/genetic abnormality? I, for one, find it hard to match my Christian compassion against a preteen/teen who is so mentally anguished over finding the same sex attractive that they would commit suicide and then say, “well, they chose to be that way”.

    We, as Christians, read into 1 Corinthians that those in that particular list instantaneously changed in the amount of time that it took to read the verse. I believe though, that these persons who accepted Christ possibly still struggled with some of the same sins that they were cleansed from. You yourself said that there are withdraw symptoms

    Look at a Christian who is an alcoholic…are they still saved even if they slip back?
    What about a Christian who is divorced and remarried when there was no adultery? Are they lost forever?
    What about a Christian who views pornography, or checks out the opposite sex while at the mall? Adultery is a matter of the heart? Are they lost forever?
    What about a Christian who intermittently shows up late to work and effectively steals an employers time?
    What abut a Christian who wants the new car, big house or any of the other material items that come from greed/envy/want?
    What about a Christian who is a lesbian? All of the verses in the OT and NT are in masculine form of the Greek and not the feminine, so strict literalness means that it does not apply to women.

    If we, as Christians, are already seated in the heavenly place when we accept Christ, then we are indeed washed clean and forgiven for those sins that we have in our life. We are a new creation, but we all still stumble.

    Salvation is by grace through faith, not by works.

  • Kent, I am a devout Evangelical Christian, and I believe that we Christians need to be careful where we stand. One of the seven abominations of Proverbs 6 are haughty eyes; haughty meaning proud.

    Are we proud when we, as Christians, say that our sins aren’t as great as another persons because well, we’re saved and we’re forgiven? If we, as Christians, cling to salvation while still struggling with sin while in Christ, and then condemn another for their sins that they have, is that not the epitome of pride? We all still sin in one regard or the other.

    We, as the Church and the body of Christ, would be better off leading a person to Christ through love and then let the Holy Spirit work on them, just like he does with us. Calling out a particular sin because it’s in the open is like waking a sleeping person with a mag light… it repels them.

    If you wonder what I mean, the next time you’re in Church, go to a person that you know has a particular sin and call them out on it openly. See what their reaction is.

  • It is said here, in plain terms.

    Leviticus 20:13 New International Version (NIV)

    “‘If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”

    If the religionists want to appear rational, then they should demand that their leadership immediately disavow the command of their Christian god to kill homosexuals.

    After all, knowledge and understanding have advanced such that we know the condition of homosexuality presents a profound disorder of mind. Homosexuals suffer from a mental illness. Let us hope one day medical science finds a cure for homosexuality, to end the suffering from this affliction.

    Meanwhile, we must tolerate if not accept the homosexuals for the simple reason that homosexuals like heterosexuals have human dignity.

    Yet, this toleration does not necessarily require that society view the abnormality of homosexuality as normal or as just another lifestyle. Homosexuality falls outside the sexual norm. Toleration here means respecting the homosexual for his or her humanity.

  • Homosexuality is an abnormal behavior, whether viewed from a religious or scientific viewpoint. There is no value in the behavior in terms of faith or in the survival of a species.

    That being said, homosexuals are still people. We, as the Church, need to start thinking critically on how to deal with the situation of preteens/teens/young adults committing suicide because they are sexually attracted to the same sex. I don’t believe that they choose to find the same sex attractive only to put themselves through so much anguish that they would kill themselves.

    Are there some people who choose to homosexual? Yes. But there also many who don’t want to be attracted to same sex.

    The problem is that we, as Christians, don’t have issue with heterosexuals running rampant sexually, but have severe heartburn when dealing with a loving, monogamous homosexual relationship. Many young couples in church today are living together outside of marriage, but we give leeway until they get decide to get that point; we also give leeway to the half of the congregation that has been divorced. But there is no leeway in homosexuality, even though the first two are more discussed in the New Testament than the three verses that mention homosexuality.

    We need to learn to minister to the homosexual, instead of just judging them to condemnation.

  • Ah, isn’t that cute? you want to overthrow the word of God in the interests of making religionists appear rational. Good luck with that.

    Homosexuality does not present a profound disorder of the mind, except in the minds of virulently antigay people like yourself. I feel fine, function well in society, as does everyone I know,

    Homohatred, on the other hand, and unhealthy fear and hatred of homosexuality, an obsession with what other people do with their gentialia, and a willingness to harm people who aren’t bothering anyone, especially because of sincere religious belief…

    Well, there you have a profound mental disorder.

    If it bothers you so much, I would suggest you stop thinking about it as much as you clearly do.

  • Or, you could just stop pretending that whatever you think the bible says about gay people, which you have already indicated it doesn’t, contrary to what most Christians think it says, is merely a matter of the bible given as an authority to support an already existing prejudice,

    Lots of Christians disagree with you. Entire denominations disagree with you.aybe you should do as Jesus commanded and refrain from presuming to know who is going to heaven and who isn’t.

  • @Her Leftness, I would have to disagree with your statements. Evangelical Christianity does view homosexuality as a sexual sin, but that does not implicit support for violence.

    Case in point, Evangelical Christianity views many lifestyle choices that are becoming legal in today’s America as sinful, but you don’t see the same backlash as you do with the homosexual community.

    Prostitution as a sin, as is drug use, but we don’t see massacres of prostitutes or bombings of weed stores. Why, because prostitutes and potheads don’t outcry that if you don’t accept them for the way they are, you’re a bigot. I believe that it’s the vocal cultural war that ignites the mentally unstable.

    That is why the average Christian likes Ellen DeGeneres, but can’t stand Rosie O’Donnell. They are both gay, but Rosie basically implied that anyone who didn’t accept her was a bigot, or worse. She ignited that hatred flame, so shame on her and those that react like her.

    Also, asking a Christian minister to perform a wedding that goes against their religious beliefs is akin to asking a Christian to perform a wedding ceremony under the name of goddess Lilith, or asking a homosexual minister to formally denounce homosexuality during a heterosexual marriage ceremony.

  • “After all, knowledge and understanding have advanced such that we know the condition of homosexuality presents a profound disorder of mind. Homosexuals suffer from a mental illness. Let us hope one day medical science finds a cure for homosexuality, to end the suffering from this affliction.”
    Nope. All of that is based on bigotry as “research” back in the 1950s as dupes of the McCarthy Era social conservatives sought to refute all the real information coming out of the Kinsey reports on human sexuality. It has all been thoroughly discredited and you should know that. The fact that you blithely state discredited misinformation as “facts” just shows how willfully distorted a view you have on the issue. Basing your silly arguments on discredited propaganda from hate groups like the Family Research Council and World Congress of Families just makes you part of the effort to deceive and harm people in God’s name.

  • Since 60% of Americans approve of LGBT rights and equal marriage, that means at least half of your Bible believers are progressive Christians who attend and/or affiliate with an LGBT-affirming church, cutting your alleged support for Bible-based bigotry in half. Too bad, for you, but good news for everyone else.

  • I know. Let’s call it stupidity. Or unreasoning prejudice.
    I’m 66 years old. I have committed “this type of sex” thousands of times. And yet I still seem able to run six minute miles.

  • Ben, the Bible does speak against homosexuality, in Romans 1 and Jude (implied), and very specifically in 1Corinthians 6, which speaks against both the dominant and submissive acts of homosexuality. Jesus chose Paul explicitly, knowing Paul’s mind and heart. That is why the Christian should give credence to what Paul wrote.

    If you could relax your religious hatred for a few minutes, you would know that we have been given the answer as to who is going to heaven: those who have accepted the sacrifice of Jesus, who is God in flesh, for the atonement of sin. Not just an outward acceptance, but an instilling in the heart of the grace and mercy of God.

    The Bible teaches that we will know true Christians by the fruit they bear, and the love they have for one another. Unfortunately, many Christians view anger and judgment as a fruit. I believe that Matthew 7:21-29 was expressed by Christ for this reason.

  • Muslims, cathars, protestants, catohlics, jews, witches, gay people would all disagree.
    Ever see the papal palces, the vatican art collection? The Catholic church didn’t do a lot of good, buyt they did very well indeed.

  • Not implied at all in Jude. The vast majority of scholars think jude is about angelic flesh.
    I don’t hate religion, as I have said repeatedly. Believe whatever you want. I don’t care. but stop pretending that you have some right of dominion over our lives because of them. It’s not your belief, but what you do with your belief that is at issue.
    And please, stop attacking your fellow Christians who don’t believe what you believe. The majority of Christians in this country don’t believe what you believe. The fruit your beliefs about gay people bear are obvious. Gay kids form fundamentalist homes killing themselves. How many children could have been fed and educated and fed while good Christians like you fought against my right to live my life as a fully participating member of society.
    Rotten theology– and antigay “theology” is as rotten as they come, given that it is used as a screen for plain old prejudice– produces rotten fruit.

  • BTW, CDC statistics show that 37% of heterosexuals engage in anal sex. That means they outnumber gay people in toto by a factor of 9 to 1. Yet where are their ill effects?
    The real question is: why are you so called Christians so obsessed with anal sex?

  • Ok, either we are talking about those outside of the Church, or those within.

    For those outside of the church, they don’t know or give a hoot about what the Bible says. It’s not the Church’s responsibility to ensure that the world abides by the same rules and beliefs as the Church. That is Islam’s way of thinking with Sharia.

    For those inside the body of Christ, there may be many who struggle with the sin of homosexuality. We need to treat them just like we do every other Christian, leading them in love in the sometimes slow progress of holiness. All we can do is lead, not push.

    In both instances, yes, I believe that “playing patty-cake” with them, will lead them closer to Jesus. No one has ever been saved or edified while being chastised for their lifestyle, but if we continually show them the way of holiness in our own growth and loving spirit, while creating friendly, caring relationships with all people, both in the Church and out, we will make a profound impact on their lives.

    I know many persons who are gay, and they know my belief of it as a sin, but we can eat dinner together, laugh together, cry together, and when the Spirit of God calls to them, they will know that I will be there to help them. If that spiritual call never comes, I still did what my God called me to do, and that was to reflect Jesus in my life.

    If your communication repels me, in my “abject stupidity”, as a devout Christian of many years, I can only imagine what it does to the non-believer.

  • So, you object to a Christian who opposes your right to dominate your own life, but you also object to a Christian who asks Christians to let the world be the world and not expect it act like the Church? Give a guy a break…

    And yes, Jude is implied because it mentions angelic flesh going after strange (mortal?) flesh, which is what happened in Sodom, so the strange flesh must imply same sex flesh. It’s not explicitly written, only implied.

    The reason a majority of Christians in this country don’t believe the way I believe is that they haven’t spent thousands of hours pouring over textual criticism and performing specific word studies in the original languages using the eclectic fragments that have been found in the past century. Those who have still believe that homosexuality is identified as a sin in Romans and 1Corinthians, but are generally not as judgmental toward those outside of the Church, or as judgmental toward those who still hold onto the King James inaccuracies within the Church.

  • I don’t think the word fact means what you think it means. There is nothing inherent in anal sex that makes it dangerous. There is something inherent in unprotected anal sex– or penis-vagina sex– with people whose disease status you or they don’t know. Those are facts.
    your obsession with anal sex is not healthy.

  • Christians attacking Christians for not being true Christians like each believes himself to be. What does that say about Christianity.
    For the record, I can see that you are trying hard to be a good person. Good for you. Maybe some day you will understand that whatever the bible may be talking about, which may or may not be homosexuality, it has little or no application in modern life. There is not one single reference to same-sex sex within the context of same-sex love in the bible. Not anywhere, David and jonathan notwithstanding. The bible cannot condemn what it knows nothing about,

  • ” There is no value in the behavior in terms of faith or in the survival of a species.”
    Really? I suggest you do a little research into the field of sociobiology. and then I would suggest you read a book called “Biological Exhuberance.” Then I would suggest you ponder on all of the gay people, more than willing to accept children in their lives, who adopt the cast off, unwanted products of irresponsible heterosexual procreation.
    As for survival of the species? Unbridled, irresponsible Heterosexual procreation is strangling us and the planet. Just because we gay people don’t normally reproduce does not mean that we don’t value family and children.
    As for no value to faith? Could you possibly make a clearer statement of contempt for us than that?
    You just lost a lot of points with me. You’re trying, but maybe you need to step out of your box of comfortable, probably white, probably heterosexual, and definitely Christian superiority.

  • A superbly-written article. I write for a living and I couldn’t have written a more persuasive and lucid apologetic of the reality of the homosexual identity if I’d tried. BUT, it all rests on ONE critical underlying premise, one conceptual linchpin that is the sine qua non of all the exposition that follows: ARE THEY REALLY BORN THAT WAY?

  • There is no evidence that is the case. Every study which has claimed to have found the elusive “gay gene” has been debunked. Homosexuality is a behavioral choice; a preference, nothing more.

  • @Dangermouse, how would you explain it being a behavioral choice when there are many preteens/teens/young adults that commit suicide because they are attracted to the opposite sex and it bothers them?

    I understand that there are many who do ‘choose’ to be homosexual for whatever reason, but it doesn’t explain the mental anguish that many feel if it’s only a behavioral choice.

    That is where the writer of this article is coming from. How do we, as Christians, minister to homosexuals in today’s society?

  • Ben, I believe that a true Christian will act like Christ. Now, the only evidence that we have of the way Christ acted is in the original texts of the four gospels, and the Book of Acts, and I don’t read where Jesus ever looked at Peter and said, “Pete, that was just abject stupidity!. That wasn’t Jesus’ way. And it shouldn’t be the way of His followers.

    I have completed many years of study in the Bible outside of congregationalism and denominational influence, and I have to disagree with reference. The wording that the Apostle Paul uses in 1Corinthians 6 shows both the dominate and submissive acts of homosexuality in relation to other historical Greek texts that use the same language. Whether these acts were within a loving monogamous relationship or a one night hookup, I don’t know, so we can’t infer
    which relationship that Paul was referring to.

    In Romans 1, I believe that Paul was writing about the rampant spread of
    bacteria/disease (recompense) that can follow anal intercourse due to the weak lining of the intestinal wall causing fissures and allowing disease to spread.

    With that in mind though, Paul was in prevalent Roman communities which did not dissuade homosexual relationships, so his writings could have been more detailed had homosexuality been that great of issue with God.

  • Wow, you’re really an angry person, aren’t you. I’m not viewing this at all from a position of superiority. Homosexuals have to adopt because they cannot procreate on their own; in the scientific sense of evolution, the gay gene (unless homosexuality is behavioral) should have been dissolved from society because the gene should not be passed by heterosexual couples, hence homosexuality is diametrically opposed to scientific evolutionary theory.

    In terms of faith, I am speaking of mere Christianity which is explicitly described by the Apostle Paul as a sinful act in 1Cor 6. If one wants to accept the writings of Paul as a person chosen by Christ Himself, then one must also accept those things that Paul has written.

  • “In Romans 1, I believe that Paul was writing about the rampant spread of
    bacteria/disease (recompense) that can follow anal intercourse due to the weak lining of the intestinal wall causing fissures and allowing disease to spread.”
    this is simply not true, and has never been true, outside of right wing websites who claim it as a matter of course, because they are obsessed with anal sex. No more true is your belief that paul is referring to the dominant and passive aspects of some gay sex. The only other greek text that I am aware of that uses arsenokoitai prior to paul is the Septuagint. And in any case, if that is true– and that is what the conservative jewish scholars determined many years ago, that Leviticus is a prohibition of anal sex and nothing else– then the bible doesn’t condemn homosexuality at all, but simply, anal sex between men.
    But it does underline something that you simply don’t wish to see. By your own admission, you have spent thousands of hours over many years of study to try to tease out the “true meaning” of these texts. Martin Luther was sure Corinthians referred to masturbation. Doesn’t it strike as just a little bit odd that the this meaning must somehow be interpreted out of the text over many centuries? That the creator of the entire universe, form the smallest sub-atomic particle to the whole thing, who could say “don’t eat pigs”, “don’t get divorced”, and “no adultery”, somehow was completely unable to say, “Two men or two women should not have any sex in any way shape or form? Penis and vagina: that’s it, and nothing else shall be allowed?”
    Your years and hours of study indicate that the real problem is the need for hermeneutics: the exquisitely fine art of getting your holy book to say exactly what you need it to.

  • You should really be telling that to heterosexuals. Or stop thinking about it as much as you clearly do, “pal.”
    What consenting adults may or not be doing in private is simply none of your business.

  • Angry? Both yes and no. angry that we are still having this debate, that gay kids commit suicide, that might rights as an American citizen are up for debate. No, not in the sense you mean it. Disagreement isn’t anger. It’s disagreement.

    “in the scientific sense of evolution, the gay gene (unless homosexuality is behavioral) should have been dissolved from society because the gene should not be passed by heterosexual couples,.” But it is, and obviously so. Nor is it diametrically opposed to evolutionary theory.– because, obviously. Epigenetics certainly plays a role. Sociobiology probably plays a role. Bisexuality obviously plays a role.

    There may or may not be a gay gene; the same is true about a heterosexual gene. Have they found that one yet? There is no gene for left-handeness.

    but here is Francis Collins, bigtime evangelical and genome researcher, on the subject. Take it up with him.

    ” It troubles me greatly to learn that anything I have written would cause anguish for you or others who are seeking answers to the basis of homosexuality. The words quoted by NARTH all come from the Appendix to my book “The Language of God” (pp. 260-263), but have been juxtaposed in a way that suggests a somewhat different conclusion that I intended. I would urge anyone who is concerned about the meaning to refer back to the original text.

    The evidence we have at present strongly supports the proposition that there are hereditary factors in male homosexuality — the observation that an identical twin of a male homosexual has approximately a 20% likelihood of also being gay points to this conclusion, since that is 10 times the population incidence. But the fact that the answer is not 100% also suggests that other factors besides DNA must be involved. That certainly doesn’t imply, however, that those other undefined factors are inherently alterable.

    Your note
    indicated that your real interest is in the truth. And this is about all that
    we really know. No one has yet identified an actual gene that contributes to
    the hereditary component (the reports about a gene on the X chromosome from the
    1990s have not held up), but it is likely that such genes will be found in the
    next few years.

  • BTW, if you read my comment as really angry, then you are simply reading in your own biases. I’m calling a spade a spade. That there is anger there I don’t deny. But that it indicates I am “really angry” means more about you than me.

  • Ok, I’ll go with slightly angry. 🙂

    Gotta get off of here now. Hope to chat with you again.

  • Actually, no they haven’t been debunked. That they haven’t found a homosexual gene is right there with another fact: they haven’t found a heterosexual gene, either. But why take my word for it. Here is Francis Collins, big time evangelical and genome research scientist:

    It
    troubles me greatly to learn that anything I have written would cause anguish
    for you or others who are seeking answers to the basis of homosexuality. The
    words quoted by NARTH all come from the Appendix to my book “The Language of
    God” (pp. 260-263), but have been juxtaposed in a way that suggests a somewhat
    different conclusion that I intended. I would urge anyone who is concerned
    about the meaning to refer back to the original text.

    The evidence we have at present strongly supports the proposition that there are
    hereditary factors in male homosexuality — the observation that an identical
    twin of a male homosexual has approximately a 20% likelihood of also being gay
    points to this conclusion, since that is 10 times the population incidence. But
    the fact that the answer is not 100% also suggests that other factors besides
    DNA must be involved. That certainly doesn’t imply, however, that those other
    undefined factors are inherently alterable.

    Your note indicated that your real interest is in the truth. And this is about all that
    we really know. No one has yet identified an actual gene that contributes to
    the hereditary component (the reports about a gene on the X chromosome from the
    1990s have not held up), but it is likely that such genes will be found in the
    next few years.

  • Well, there a are hundreds of studies indicating some genetic basis. There are the statements of the Mormon and catholic Churches, no friends to gay people at all. There are the statements of virtually every medical, scientific, and social service professional organization in the entire civilized world. There are the statements of millions of gay people. I knew when I was THREE. I didn’t know what it was or what it meant, but I knew. There is the failure of faith, fraud, or freud to turn anyone into a heterosexual.

  • That’s a question you would do well to ponder.

    I can tell you two things, though. As long as your faith or anyone’s is used as a weapon against gay people– I’m not saying that’s you, but I am saying the weaponization of faith is an absolute, demonstrable fact– you will; find it impossible to minister to any gay people who have not bought what your faith is selling.

    And as long as you– and this time, I am referring to you– refuse to call out those who routinely lie, slander, revile, defame, and degrade gay people, who label us a threat to everything good and holy, who blame us ofr evry social ill of heterosexual society…

    for the sake of power, money, dominion, or their own personal demons…

    you will find it impossible to convince any sane gay person that you are not a part of the problem, and that the concerns of your faith are anything but bogus.

  • I included heterosexuals but I guess you missed that and it takes no time to understand something like this is dangerous. Even a child would understand it.

  • If the facts of my life, and the facts of the lives of millions of gay men cannot convince you that you are wrong, then you simply are not interested in the truth.

    Yes, unprotected anal sex carries increased risks over penis-vagina sex of sexually transmitted diseases. However, if the partners are monogamous, those risks are nearly equal. Not knowing how to do it also increases risks; knowing how, using proper techniques and lubricant, again reduce those risks to nearly equal.

    Those are facts.

  • Could you kindly point me to two or three of these studies/statements (preferably from researched findings than from anecdotal evidence) from among the hundreds documented? Much obliged.

  • Please google “genetic basis for homosexuality”. You will find hundreds of citations. If I recall properly, though it has been years since I read it, the Wikipedia article is fairly comprehensive and very well documented. But there are many, many others.

    you might check out the websites of the American Psychological association and the American Psychiatric Association. And then, here is Francis Collins, big time evangelical and genetic researcher, former head of the NIH and the Human Genome project. This statement was form some years ago.

    It troubles me greatly to learn that anything I have written would cause anguish
    for you or others who are seeking answers to the basis of homosexuality. The
    words quoted by NARTH all come from the Appendix to my book “The Language of
    God” (pp. 260-263), but have been juxtaposed in a way that suggests a somewhat
    different conclusion that I intended. I would urge anyone who is concerned
    about the meaning to refer back to the original text.

    The evidence we have at present strongly supports the proposition that there are
    hereditary factors in male homosexuality — the observation that an identical
    twin of a male homosexual has approximately a 20% likelihood of also being gay
    points to this conclusion, since that is 10 times the population incidence. But
    the fact that the answer is not 100% also suggests that other factors besides DNA
    must be involved. That certainly doesn’t imply, however, that those other
    undefined factors are inherently alterable.

    Your note indicated that your real interest is in the truth. And this is about all that
    we really know. No one has yet identified an actual gene that contributes to
    the hereditary component (the reports about a gene on the X chromosome from the
    1990s have not held up), but it is likely that such genes will be found in the
    next few years.

    Interestingly enough the only place where you find contradictory evidence is from virulently antigay websites and people.

  • Identical twins actually have and can have genetic variations, depending on when one fetus becomes two. If the zygote splits and individuation into two separate fetuses begins from the first cell division, “true” or “pure” identical twins occur. If the fetus has started to differentiate cells after division, more variance in the looks and behaviors of the two twins naturally occur. The chance of one twin being straight and one gay or lesbian increases substantially with later divisions of the cell mass into two separate fetuses.

  • Nope. I’m not trying to do that at all. I’m just trying to correct your incorrect Information.

    But whatever you need to believe.

  • Supercessionism is just another of the thousands of superstitions surrounding the godman, godboy, and godghost. From dual covenant to supercession, and all forms of the religion, it is superstition.

  • I didn’t think it would, but I don’t care. The world is full of antigay people with bad information and an axe to grind.

  • I think you misunderstand atheism in the common way so many people do.

    As a thoughtful atheist, I do not assert there is no God. I will assert, as you aver, that there is no evidence for a god, much less the Christian three in one God. “I believe there is no God” is far apart from “I don’t believe there is a god.” And worlds apart from “I have seen no evidence for a god, and therefore, have no belief in A god.”

    Like many thoughtful atheists, I would give world’s to see incontrovertible proof/evidence of a good. Strictly speaking, I’m an “it doesn’t matterist.” I don’t believe the question even matters.

  • Unfortunately you are passing along bad information here.

    Whether or not homosexuality is genetic is by far the most important consideration when determining how homosexuals should be treated by a Christian society. The Civil Rights movement in the USA is a strong push, by righteous individuals who are correct in their assessment that people should not be discriminated against because of traits they’ve acquired via simple Mendelian genetics, i.e., racial characteristics.

    This movement has provided the perfect coattail for homosexual activists. “Us too,” has been the battle cry of gays everywhere. “We can’t help it either!”

    Is this true? Whether or not it is true is important to know. If it’s NOT true, then homosexuality is simply a behavior, no different than any other choice people might make about how to live their lives. If it is not genetic, then homosexuals are not deserving of any special treatment based on a mere behavior preference, nor is anyone with a belief that their behavior is wrong particularly obligated to accept it, any more than someone is obligated to accept alcoholism. If homosexuality is not genetic, then homosexuals are not eligible for Civil Rights consideration, any more than are liars, or people with poor fashion sense, or communists. Which is not to equate homosexuality to any of these negative choices, but to demonstrate that if it is a choice, then it is incorrect to approach it as a genetic trait.

    So a lot of work has been done, by the homosexual community and its sympathizers, along the lines of proving that homosexuality is, indeed, a genetic trait.

    Unfortunately, Ben of Oakland, the elusive “gay gene” has NOT been shown to exist scientifically, as you boldly and falsely claim in your post here.

    Numerous studies have claimed to have identified the gay gene. Most prominent are the studies of Simon Levay at the Salk Institute in San Diego, the Bailey and Pillard “Twins” study, and the chromosomal work of Dean Hamer at the National Cancer Institute.

    Each of these studies claimed success, and each was ultimately debunked for different reasons.

    The Levay Study could not be replicated, and still can not. Even Dr. Levay himself finally admitted it had failed.

    The Bailey and Pillard Study of twins, it was found, utterly failed to account for environment altogether, i.e., where both twins were homosexual, they were also raised in the same household. This was not considered. Also, nowhere close to a 100% equivalency rating was found – more along the lines of 52% of identical, 22% of fraternal. The study much more disproves a genetic cause than proves it, since a genetic trait would unquestionably deliver a 100% equivalency. The study continually claimed massive success – until it was scrutinized, and finally debunked.

    The Hamer study completely failed to include a heterosexual control group, thus utterly negating its findings on review.

    It’s true enough, though, Ben, that the American Psychiatric Association declassified homosexuality as a mental illness in 1973. But there was no scientific basis for the declassification, it was merely a safe response to protests from the gay community – a no harm, no foul way out of getting their conventions protested year after year. Homosexuality was not the hot-button issue in 1973 that it ultimately became.

    There is no gay gene, Ben, until someone finds a gay gene. They have not, as yet, done so, as much as your wishful thinking and unattributed claims might wish to make it seem as if they have.

    For now, homosexuality is simply a behavior. So is alcoholism, drug addiction, and thievery.

    I’m not saying homosexuality is evil. But I am saying that you, Ben of Oakland, are misrepresenting the truth by claiming it is proved to be genetic. It most certainly is not. Maybe it will be someday. That day is not today.

  • At your suggestion, I have perused several of the articles listed under Google’s “genetic basis for homosexuality” (as well as under the less-scholarly “are homosexuals born that way”), both for and against said premise. I have also carried out a cursory reading of the Wikipedia article you mentioned. Time limitations have not allowed me to check the websites for the Psychological and Psychiatric associations. I did, however, have time to examine Dr. Collins’ work and philosophy, and read the very quote you cited verbatim.

    My synthesized conclusion of the contents of this corpus of research: there is a weak – intermediate SUGGESTION of a discrete biological (incl. genetic) basis for an innate homosexual tendency, esp. in males, and then, more markedly so in some populations than in others, but this view is continually being recalibrated by ongoing research, and by taking into consideration pathological, environmental and social factors, with new findings now favoring one side of the argument, and then the opposing one.

    So it seems that we’re back to where we started with that, Ben. My PERSONAL conclusion, though, is that at least SOME individuals are born with a predisposition towards homosexuality, and the rest acquire it along the way. WHAT this means for my worldview, however, is as yet undecided.

  • Let’s put ISIS with the gays who love them and let those people sort it out

  • You just contradicted yourself. Sodom and gomora were destroyed because God said “man shal not lay with man”.
    It is not bigatry or hate when you live God’s Word.
    Repent now, Jesus will be back soon.

  • Your wrong I never said anything anti gay or anti heterosexual. This has been a physical discussion on my part only. Your making it personal because I don’t agree with your “beliefs” and you can’t respond to valid facts. So anyone who doesn’t agree with you and accept what ever you say, is “anti gay” or a “hater”. Typical strategy.

  • God said everything was good to eat. You are mixing old testament with new. We live in new testament time. Please read the Bible before you tell more lies.

  • What Bible do you read? I have never seen where children should be exacuted in God’s Word. Wow, wow, wow, lies.

  • Quit reading something in that is not in God’s Word. The end of Revalatians says anyone who takes away or adds something to my Word, Bible will be delt with horrably. Repent now.

  • You don’t understand science. “Abnormal” does not mean “wrong” or “useless.” For instance, many people of African descent have a higher chance of having sickle-cell anemia. This would have killed many ancient Africans before they could have children! Why would such a thing occur? Turns out that if you have one gene for sickle-cell anemia, you are protected from malaria. So sickle-cell anemia killed fewer than malaria did.

    There are things that are abnormal about every one of us. At one time left-handed people were considered ungodly. My great grandfather was forced to learn to write with his right hand because being left-handed was thought to be wrong. Think of how ridiculous that seems now, and then think about the things you condemn that could just be a less common way of being.

  • Real born again christians do not believe man shall lay with man. It is an obamanstian in God’s eyes and God is the only one who counts.

  • We do not live in old testament times. Jesus came to save us from all that with love but when he comes back it is not love that he will bring to all that dont accept his love and there are abominations Jesus will not accept and one is man laying with man.

  • I’m not religious at all, but I understand that it’s important to many people. I appreciate articles like this greatly, because so many people I know have been hurt by the people they respect and love turning away from them. If their religion could only teach acceptance, they would suffer so much less.

    If there is a god, and he’s the type of being that cares about the universe being a good place, I can’t imagine he would be angrier about 2 men sharing their lives in happiness than he would be about a mother and father turning their backs on their son.

  • You are right but when someone will not listen to God’S word the we are to leave them to their own ways. We as christians can only let peoole know what God says. You can lead a horse to water but you cant make him drink. Some people just get a kick out of destroying God’s Word. It is up to them to accep Jesus as Lord and Savior or not. All we can do is lead them to God’s word.
    All have sinned one time or another but some chose not to after accepting Christ.

  • Have you seen the negative health ramifications from the CDC on homosexual sex? Such stats would not make anyone happy.

  • I have. It’s far less dangerous than smoking, and no one was born with a cigarette in their mouth.

  • Maybe they dont want employees working there that have deseases from two men doing increadably sickining things with esch other then handling food.

  • You are a sick puppy. Resd God’s Word and you will know where they are.
    All of you putting God and Jesus down i feel sorry for you. Jesus will be back and i would not want to be in your shoes.
    Please repnt now and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior before its to late.
    This is not a joke. God is real.

  • Yes, cigarettes kill far more people per enthusiast than homosexual intercourse. And even if homosexuality were a choice, why would that choice be so much more abhorrent to you than say smoking while pregnant.

  • They can marry pre-puberty little girls and that is dandy but let someone truly love an adult of the same sex and they react with horror.

  • Kind of unfair to other religions like Buddhism, Taoism, etc. What I think would be more accurate is that all religions demand a certain way of life.

  • That’s nice. Here’s a knock knock joke.

    Knock knock!
    Who’s there?

    It’s Jesus. Let me in.
    Why

    I’m here to save you!
    From what?
    From what I’m going to do to you if you don’t let me in!

    And this, dear friend, is why I am no longer a Christian.

  • Not all cases of depression are caused by homosexuality, and likewise, not all people in the LGBT community suffer depression or suicidal thoughts. I would also say, that children nowadays live in a society obsessed with sex and sexuality in general. Just as an example: girls become conscious of their body image earlier and earlier in recent years, and that’s just a result of what society offers — most notably entertainment media.

  • Part of the untold pain is also inherent because of the struggle of self discovery — which everyone undergoes. We all try to find out who we are and we all resist being defined by others, don’t we?

  • In one way or another, churches are already taxed. See, churches rely on donations and the donors (the people) are taxed by the government.

  • Sometimes the Bible is more of an example of what not to do. Torah means instruction. You may have read the Bible, but if you haven’t read any Midrash, Torah Commentaries or heard the explanation in the Talmud that interpret the Bible, you haven’t read it carefully at all.

    The real world is still full of all those things you mentioned. We are not as advance as you think we are.

    I don’t know if you’ve just seen the HBO version or have read the books, but the books are not just cheap fan fiction.

    You might want to read The Genesis of Ethics.

  • “Real born again Christians” is an oxymoron. If you feel you have to differentiate that way you probably are some smug, self-righteous jerk that Christ will reject. Nothing says pretend “Christian” like the need to put others down in the name of Christ.

  • But the book of Revelations is not the last book of the Bible, not chronologically or theologically. The compilers of the Bible put Revelations last because of that warning, but the warning is itself a rip off a similar warning at the end of Deuteronomy, the last “Book of Moses,” as a similar warning, and then the Jews added the rest of the Old Testament to it, So, the plagiarism in Revelations is no big deal.

  • Cool. Why don’t you hold your breath while waiting for Jesus, if it’s really that short of a wait. Otherwise, chill on the silly predictions.

  • But not nearly as much fun or realistic. As fantasy fiction goes, Game of Thrones does a great job of making the impossible seem real. The Bible, not so much.

  • But since being gay is how God made them and it’s not a choice, the rest of us will just wait for you “21st Century Amish” to discover the benefits of electricity and catch up. The real Jesus is just fine with LGBT; you can find Him in any number of progressive, LGBT-affirming Churches.

  • You don’t have to. Your obsession with anal sex is a Indicator of high probability. If I’m wrong, I apologize..

    But for the record? do you believe that gay people should be treated exactly the same as heterosexuals in law and society?

    Do you believe that homosexuality tears at the fabric of society, and that openly homosexual people are harmful to society, the family, children, faith, morals and marriage, if nit civilization itself?

  • Lesbians have far lower rates of std’s than heterosexuals. By your logic, they must be god’s chosen people.

  • Glad to hear it. In noticed this some time ago others have concurred, far more into the Christian thing that I am.

    This is what I noticed. There are people who almost always identify themselves Christian. They READ their bibles, understand very little of what Jesus had to say because they think it doesn’t apply to them or think that they are doing it by saying they are, want to go to heaven, but are afraid they are going to hell, and therefore obsess about sin, especially sexual sin. They use their beliefs as weapons against others in order to shore up their own righteousness.

    Then there are people who usually identify themselves by their denomination, UNDERSTAND their bibles, follow what Jesus has to say because they know it applies to them, don’t care about heaven or hell, and therefore don’t obsess about sex and sin, preferring to be the best people they are capable of being. They use their beliefs as support for treating others well, for being kind, for avoiding judgment and self righteousness.

    In other words, faith makes some people better people, and makes others worse.

  • Religion is a choice. Your religion is protected by law. End of story.

    you can argue with Francis Collins and the entire medical establishment if you wish. I’m not going to bother to argue the point with you. Look up epigenetics and sociobiology. There is no gay gene! There is no left handed gene. And most assuredly, there is no heterosexual gene, unless you can produce it. In which case, heterosexuality is just a behavior and a choice. So no reason to privilege heterosexuals ,

    But you already indicated where your bias lies. The APA declassified homosexuality, as YOU say, as a safe response to the gay community. In other words you are another person that ascribes mystical power to the gay movement, 40 years ago, and that we were so powerful that we bullied the NATIONAL APA into giving us our way. It is a very typical antigay, right wing meme. It couldn’t possibly be that they realized it was bias, and not science, driving their “diagnosis.” Nah. Couldn’t be.

    Please. You sound intelligent, but the right wing has been circulating this junk for years. As I say, argue with Francis Collins, not with me.

  • BS all religions.
    you’ve obviously haven’t read up of the religions you mentioned.

  • haven’t read the bible have you?

    If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear. — Deuteronomy 21:18-21

    He that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death. — Exodus 21:15

    He that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death. — Exodus 21:17

    Children who mock their parents will have their eyes plucked out by ravens and eaten by eagles.

    The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it. — Proverbs 30:17

    Like Abraham, parents should be willing to kill their children for God.

    And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and … offer him there for a burnt offering…. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. — Genesis 22:2,10

    God killed all the firstborn children in an entire country.

    The LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon…. And there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. — Exodus 12:29-30

    Sometimes God kills children for misbehaving.

    And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them. — 2 Kings 2:23-24

    Someday God will force parents eat their own children.

    And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat. — Leviticus 26:29

    And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters. — Deuteronomy 28:53

    And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend. — Jeremiah 19:9

    And then there’s this statement, which could only be found in the Bible:

    Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. — Psalm 137:9

  • If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear. — Deuteronomy 21:18-21

    He that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death. — Exodus 21:15

    He that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death. — Exodus 21:17

    Children who mock their parents will have their eyes plucked out by ravens and eaten by eagles.

    The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it. — Proverbs 30:17

    Like Abraham, parents should be willing to kill their children for God.

    And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and … offer him there for a burnt offering…. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. — Genesis 22:2,10

    God killed all the firstborn children in an entire country.

    The LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon…. And there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. — Exodus 12:29-30

    Sometimes God kills children for misbehaving.

    And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them. — 2 Kings 2:23-24

    Someday God will force parents eat their own children.

    And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat. — Leviticus 26:29

    And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters. — Deuteronomy 28:53

    And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend. — Jeremiah 19:9

    And then there’s this statement, which could only be found in the Bible:

    Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. — Psalm 137:9

  • really? seems that DR Richard carrier would disagree with you,
    i’m sure you have all your sources ready….

  • problem is..its real in the head of the bible “fans”….
    ever met anyone who really believes that marvel superheroes are really ,really ,real!?( over the age of 8)

  • Jude 7 ESV “Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.”

  • This is what the Bible says: Leviticus 20:9 ESV “For anyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death; he has cursed his father or his mother; his blood is upon him.” The entire section is a listing of particular civil capital crimes for the nation of Israel. The civil law was given to make the nation of Israel different than the nations around them. There is no implication that these laws were intended for anyone other than adults which came quite young in Israel at the bar and bat mitzvah, around age 12.

  • Actually, Revelation written by the Apostle John around 95-96 AD is actually the last chronological book of the New Testament. 1 Thessalonians was the first book of the New Testament to be written by the Apostle Paul in the year 51 AD.

  • I don’t agree. I have personally seen religion make people of different faiths better people. Human beings have a tendency to divide the world into us and them and that includes everything whether it involves religion or not. Have you read Andrew Newberg, a neurologist, who studies the effects of religion and meditation on the brain?

  • I agree with Ben in Oakland. I’s people like you who believe that homosexuality is sinful that cause homosexuals to be depressed. They get depressed if they try to change, because it cannot work.

  • I have a friend who is married to a man and they have never had children. She is now 60. Is there marriage valid? Just because you can procreate doesn’t make you a good parent. There are homosexual couples who adopt those children and make much better parents than their biological parents. If you haven’t noticed our planet is over-populated. Maybe homosexuality is God’s way of doing something about that.