• Larry

    You are mistaken. All ultraconservative Christianity fetishizes sex.

    They commodify the virginity of a woman, gauging her worth on it.

    They seek to control the sex lives of others by showing over concern with contraception abortion, they reduce sex to procreation and commodify the worth of families by progeny produced.

    They get up in arms over frank and honest discussion or depiction of sex in culture.

    They use your orientation as an excuse to be malicious with social sanction.

    They define themselves with sex. Because its far more pleasant for many to be finger pointing sanctimonious jerks than to be the charitable and compassionate people that Jesus wanted his followers to be.

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  • I appreciate your point here. It reminds me of Peter Brown’s review of Kyle Harper’s book. Pastors make a lot of noise but is anyone really listening? The same pre-occupation might also be felt by singles. By the time someone becomes a church leader they are usually a heterosexual parent of teens or adult children. Sexual partners have a way of becoming sons and daughters in law and parents of grandchildren. Not as often of course with SS couples. Sex is an area where parents quickly lose control of their children and anxiety is a great breeding ground for anger and anguish.

    Here’s the quote. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2013/dec/19/rome-sex-freedom/

    In Constantinople, in the 540s and again in 559, edicts designed to “cure the disease” of same-sex love circulated in a city burned out by the bubonic plague, along with grim processions of mutilated offenders. Away from the solemn tread of the laws, the battle for a new sexual code was fought out “parish by parish,” aided by “the megaphone of public preaching.” When we go down “into the trenches of Christianization” with a preacher such as John Chrysostom, in late-fourth-century Antioch and Constantinople, what we hear is the voice of a bruiser, denouncing same-sex love in an unparalleled “spasm of hatred.” Faced by outbursts such as these, we are tempted to think that, when it came to issues of sexual morality, the revolution in popular communication that we associate with the rise of the Christian sermon in late antiquity all too often placed the megaphone in the hands of bullies and loudmouths.

    But it may be more complicated than this. How were such sermons heard? Here I am less convinced than Harper that the effects of so much public hectoring were as instant and as chilling as the speakers might have wished. We study the messages that went out over the megaphone. Volume after volume, the collected sermons of the Fathers of the Church line the shelves of our libraries. But we know next to nothing of the earphones through which average Christians listened to these messages. It is quite possible that the good Christian mothers and fathers of Antioch and Constantinople left the basilica unpersuaded, or that they scrambled the message to fit their own views.

    They were like the good bourgeois of fifteenth-century Siena, who would listen for hours to San Bernardino of Siena as he preached against homosexuals (with even more vehemence and circumstantiality than did Chrysostom) but remained convinced that, whatever the preacher said, it was still better for their boys to chase boys than to mess with the virginity of girls of their own class. Chrysostom was a man of great humanity when it came to preaching on the care of the poor and the reception of repentant sinners. Perhaps he had to shout so loud on sexual issues in order to be heard at all.

  • Doc Anthony

    “When LGBT people come out, we’re no longer seen as persons. We’re seen as “sinners” struggling against “temptation” – that temptation being sex.”

    Or maybe, just maybe — you’re actually seen as BOTH, not just one or the other. Certainly the Bible offers that view.

    Perhaps you’re viewed as “persons”. Persons carrying the image of God just like everybody else; persons whose names and life-stories are known to God just like everybody else; persons deeply loved and valued by God just like everybody else.

    Perhaps you’re ALSO viewed as “sinners”. Persons with a tragic and terminal sin problem just like everybody else; persons with a desperate need for an all-powerful Savior, Healer, and Deliverer just like everybody else; persons who are “struggling against temptation” (including sexual temptations as specified in the Bible), just like everybody else.

    “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” — 1 Cor. 10:13.

    “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” — 1 Cor 6:9-11.

    Youth, adults, millennials, boomers, seniors, ALL of us have to make a choice. Jesus ain’t offering affirmations of anybody’s sins. Instead, the all-powerful, all-loving Lord Jesus Christ offers Deliverance. Healing. Holiness. Cleansing. Salvation.

    And the only self-identity Jesus is affirming in the lives of God’s children, is HIS OWN. There’s **no** room for “queer self-identity”, because there’s no room for something that (just like with every other sin category) Jesus found it necessary to clean up, sanctify, deliver the ancient Corinthians away from. (Verse 6:11).

    So what self-identity will you choose? Which master will you serve?

  • Anonymous

    It can also become a dangerous self-fulfilling prophecy: when the preacher implies that LGBT people are all about sex, a person coming out the closet can get the impression there are two alternatives: Christian celibacy and orgies.
    So if I identify as gay, my preacher implies “gay people are all about sex” so what am I going to do? Find as much as I can!
    The truth is life is much more diverse. There aren’t only two options.

  • Marlene

    Yeah, the problem with the bible is that if you want to live by it, you’ll be in jail for the murder and rape that it commands you to commit. For every sensible good thing in the bible, there is a collection of psychotic felonies you’re commanded to perform. Murder your wife if she’s not a virgin on your wedding day. Murder your children if they curse you. Rape the women in the towns that you conquer. Oh, but you say you only live by the new testament, discarding the “word of god” as you please? Ok, but you are specifically commanded in the new testament to also follow the old testament. You can’t discard the word of “old god” without also discarding the word of “new god.” And if you think I’m wrong, you never read the bible. Maybe you should. Then you’ll realize what a wacko mess it is.

  • Shawnie5

    VERY well said, Doc. Thank you.

  • James Carr

    It is the LGBT’s gall in redefining the word “marriage” to include same sex partners that brings out this, so called, sexual obsession.

    Married, as a state of being, is becoming meaningless, and only the “traditional church” seems to see that truth.

    What gays see as their marriage is really only an imitation of the real thing. When children play house, they do the same thing. Gays should have the mature decency to create a word that defines their unions instead of attaching it to a word that is exclusive to one, historical, meaning.

    Now we have all kinds of issues, since the states have been hoodwinked. “The religious call our marriages sin”……”..let’s harass them, discriminate against them, make them bend to our inclusion in the word marriage…..” . So this is where the conflict began, with the gays, not with the Churches.

  • Laurence Charles Ringo

    I won’t waste time arguing with you,Marlene,but with all due respect,there is a world of difference between simply”reading the Bible” and actually understanding how to interpreting and understanding what you’re reading.You failed at the latter so spectacularly that it would be hilarious if it wasn’t so profoundly sad.NO knowledgeable person reads the Scriptures like that.Seriously?

  • Larry

    And if your interpretation and understanding of the bible leads you to justify malicious anti-social nasty acts against others, it doesn’t say much about its adherents.

    One thing is abundantly clear, Christians frequently use their interpretations of the bible as excuses to act badly and harm others. To exclude them as “not really being knowledgeable” about the bible is dishonest apologia said to make you feel better.

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  • I dislike it when people lump a whole group of people into one category, so I bristle at the way you just did it…

    …and yet I find it hard to argue with this… strange, huh?

  • Oliver

    I think you should re-write your article within the context of specific bible verses and quotes from prominent quotes from sermons because your argument makes excessive elaboration on a number of assumptions such as:

    “no matter what aspect of the multifaceted subject of LGBT lives is being discussed, inevitably, the conversation will be reduced to same-sex sex.”

    “It’s almost as if Christians who hold traditional views of scripture think about gay sex more than gay people do.”

    “And I believe the church is influencing a system that leads many to lead that sort of life – all by sexualizing LGBT people.”

    “It’s clearly a double standard as we don’t sexualize straight people. We don’t assume straight persons who show interest in individuals of the other sex are certainly having sex.”

    I’ve been to Church, and I’ve tried to be pretty keen on things given that I’m an ally, but, I can’t see eye to eye with your point of view unless you give more evidence.

  • Larry

    I did qualify my statements with “ultra conservative Christianity”.

    I do not say “Christians” in a general sense because many sects do not share these ideas and many even rail against them. Such groups usually suffer the slings and arrows of fellows in faith who also identify as Christian, but of a more conservative bent.

    For examples, one only need to see the reactions given to Mr. Cruz’s postings.

    Mr. Cruz is a man of faith and identifies himself as a Christian (Seventh Day Adventist). His harshest critics are people who also identify themselves as Christian. Usually to deny he is even of the same faith as they.

  • Gay Christian

    “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Gal 5:22-23

    When your church influences you into compulsive lying/deceit, incessant turmoil, ruthless self-loathing, and suicide, you cannot – within the context of Christianity, at least – consider the teachings “fruits of the spirit.” This Christ-clad rationalization for heterocentric bigotry has the blood of countless LGBT youths on its hands, so just be prepared to reconcile for that when you meet your maker.

  • Lucy keller

    Did anyone ever tell you that Corinthians was NOT written by Jesus but by an Apostle?
    The writers of the Gospels made it clear that Jesus didn’t care about labels. What he cared about was people, especially the downtrodden, the poor, the homeless, the searching, the discouraged, the lonely, the sad, the widows and the orphans. Jesus condemned only the self-serving wealthy, the hypocrite, and the unbending. He didn’t care with whom you lived nor whom you loved other than yourself(not). It’s time all Christians start living as Jesus tried to teach them to live. “Love one another, as God has loved you.” There is no room for name-calling, selfishness and judgmental attitudes.
    LGBT people are the same creation of God as the rest of us.

  • ben in oakland

    You’re so right.

    How dare we think that our lives, families, freedoms, faith, assets, children, and humanity are every bit as important as yours.

    Or even as important as those of a thrice married, fornicating, adulterous, former republican congressman.

    And how dare we even think we are worthy of fighting back against 2000 years of oppression, murders, jails, vilification, human damnation, prejudice, bigotry, and discrimination? That’s not what weak, inferior people do. Weak, inferior people should just accept the judgment of their human, religious, moral, and faith based betters.

  • James

    I have often wondered why there is no mention of a “straight” or “heterosexual lifestyle” mentioned by extremist Christians in the same way they mention “homosexual lifestyle.”

    Now I know. It’s because overly simplified generalizations make no sense and have no purpose except to inflame.

  • Billysees

    Larry,

    “One thing is abundantly clear, Christians frequently use their interpretations of the bible as excuses to act badly and harm others.”

    Sadly, that is often the case especially among conservative fundamentalists.

  • Billysees

    Gay Christian,

    Here are a few goodies, just like the 9 ‘fruits’ you mentioned, that should encourage churches and congregants to be on their best behavior towards everybody including LGBT’s. They could make a big difference in the way the gay community thinks it should be treated —

    1. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put anything unfriendly in your brother’s way……….Romans 14:13

    2. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God…..Romans 15:7

    3. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love…..Ephesians 4:2

    4. Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble…..1 Peter 3:8

    5. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves…………Philippians 2:3

    6. Be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone…….Titus 3:2

    7. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven………..Luke 6:37

    8. ABOVE ALL, LOVE EACH OTHER DEEPLY, because love covers over a multitude of sins……1 Peter 4:8

    9. Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near……….Philippians 4:5

    10. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others…….. 1 Corinthians 10:24

  • Billysees

    Lucy,

    “…Corinthians was NOT written by Jesus but by an Apostle?”

    Consider this —

    Paul wrote —
    1. …our knowledge is partial and incomplete…
    2. …we see things imperfectly…
    3. All that I know now is partial and incomplete…
    (1 Corinthians 13:9,12)

    This is the evidence needed to show that because of those words, he is revealing that there is no infallibility or finality of scripture.

    We can also realize that in those three points are the reason it is necessary to judge and evaluate a matter or people based on all reasonable, ‘current or modern’ attitudes, experiences and knowledge.

    Therefore ‘we must do’ what he was limited to do in his time, and that is to help ‘reveal more’ of the work of the ‘Spirit’ in every generation.

    To accept LGBT’s is a perfect illustration of this up-to-date work of the ‘Spirit’.

  • Billysees

    Lucy,

    “There is no room for name-calling, selfishness and judgmental attitudes. LGBT people are the same creation of God as the rest of us.”

    Of course.

    Here’s what we should strive to do towards one another —

    It is ‘better’ NOT…to do anything…that will be considered unfriendly to others. So whatever you believe about anything, keep between yourself and God…….Romans 14:21……and the 1st sentence of Romans 14:22

  • Eliel Cruz

    Hi Oliver,

    I’ve written quite literally hundreds of pieces on the intersection of faith and sexuality over the past five years on international platforms. I’ve written about it critiquing various denominations and these are re occurring themes. This is my professional experience. Also note, that your experience as an ally will be much different than those of us who are actually LGBT (also notice not a single LGBT person is disagreeing with my assessment in this thread).

  • Ben in oakland

    We inferior and weak people wouldn’t want to disturb your narrative that this isn’t about prejudice, would we? that gay people haven’t been discriminated against, and viciously, for 2000 years? Or that the immorality of what has been done to gay people for that 2000 years is simply not something that concerns you in the slightest?

    The very last person on the planet I would ever discuss a truly moral issue with is a bible believing Christian, who mistakes his prejudices and ignorance for the word o’ God, and himself for God. But thank you for one more time illustrating a simple fact: not all bigotry is hate. So much of it is the completely unwarranted belief of some so-called Christians in their completely imaginary superiority as Christians, as moral people, and as human beings.

  • Laurence Charles Ringo

    Well,shucks Ben…don’t hold back;tell us how you REALLY feel,brother.I would love to see your “blanket”,you know,the one big enough to fit ALL those you so sneeringly refer to as”Bible-believing Christians”.Did someone say something about superiority?

  • Ben in Oakland

    Well, I could refer you to the comments of bible believing Christians on these very pages. But instead, I will just refer you to what I actually said, which contained a QUALIFIER, and an important one.

    “The very last person on the planet I would ever discuss a truly moral issue with is a bible believing Christian, who mistakes his prejudices and ignorance for the word o’ God, and himself for God. But thank you for one more time illustrating a simple fact: not all bigotry is hate. So much of it is the completely unwarranted belief of SOME so-called Christians in their completely imaginary superiority as Christians, as moral people, and as human beings.”

    emphasis added for your clarification.

    I have known a number of bible-believing Christians who do not make the sneering comments about gay people, our lives, and our marriages, that Mr. Carr makes all of the time. They do not consider themselves my betters. They consider that their alleged sins are just different from mine.

    Believe whatever you wish about homosexuality as a sin. I don’t care. I think it’s nonsense, an abuse of scripture, and gives an ancient, vicious and durable prejudice some sort of respectability as “sincere Religious belief”, much as was done towards black people around miscegenation and Jim crow laws. But go ahead and believe it. I really don’t care.

    But if you believe that my alleged sins don’t merely give you the right to publicly denigrate my life and the lives of millions of people like me, but give you the rights to make up crap about us, and the right to dominion over our lives— and this Mr. Carr surely believes– then expect me to call you out on it.

    Mr. Carr’s original comment, which has since been deleted, even though I responded to it, demonstrated his attitude and beliefs clearly. As thus I will repeat the SECOND part of my comment:

    But thank you for one more time illustrating a simple fact: not all bigotry is hate. So much of it is the completely unwarranted belief of some so-called Christians in their completely imaginary superiority as Christians, as moral people, and as human beings.

    I hope that clarifies things for you.

  • Laurence Charles Ringo

    Hmm…O.K.,Ben…I’ll concede that perhaps I may have misconstrued some portions of your earlier comments,and if so,I offer my most sincere apologies.Often we all find ourselves caught up in overheated rhetoric and before you know it,we’re angrily shouting past each other and nothing is resolved; we simply become more entrenched within our respective”armed camps”,if you will.So again,my apologies for misunderstanding you.I happen to be a”Bible-believing Christian”,and everyone who knows me knows that I try my utmost to engage with my fellow human beings with the utmost respect,courtesy,and equal treatment as I would expect for myself,even if they’re…”sins are different from mine”… (never heard it put like that before…I’ll have to mull that over! ).Now,normally I try to avoid groan-inducing cliches,but I’m afraid this one simply cannot be helped: Some of my best friends are same-sex,and I love them dearly,and they me.In the interest of full disclosure,they know that I am a Christian,and so far no substantial conversation or questions have been engaged in on the issues surrounding the subject between myself and my same-sex friends as of yet.I don’t know if it’s cowardice or dread,none of us have tackled that 800-pound gorilla yet,and frankly I’m not looking forward to doing so.Suffice it to say I know where I stand,and for now I’ll leave it at that.But know this,Ben: As a Bible-believing Christian,I’m duty-bound out of love for My Saviour to…”love my neighbor as myself”…,and if you were my neighbor I would do just that.I’m not aware if there are same-sex relatives in my family;I’m 60 years old,have never been married,have no children as of yet(I’ve been celibate for over 25 years.),but I do have a slew of nieces and nephews and various other kin,so who knows? Someone may come out in the near or far future.If and when that occurs,my love for them won’t change one bit.When I became aware that the homosexual/lesbian friends I have were as they were,nothing changed in my dealings with them;they know where I stand,and we act accordingly.They know that I don’t judge them,and that I don’t allow anyone to denigrate,mock,or ridicule or abuse them in my presence. So…I hope that I have made myself clear to YOU.Sorry for any harm I may have caused;it was not my intent,and God bless you!—PEACE IN CHRIST.

  • ben in oakland

    First and foremost, Mr. ringo, thank you sincerely for your kind, humane, and intelligent response.

    I tend to be very careful when I write. I may be strong in my expression, but I also try very hard to be accurate, as well as polite and respectful. That also doesn’t mean I don’t call things as I see them.

    In Mr. Carr’s case, and Doc Anthony’s case, and a few others I can name– but won’t– their attitude towards gay people is obvious, and it has nothing to do with religious belief. Their contempt, their willingness to believe any reviling or slanderous lie, is what tells me this isn’t about religious belief.

    Bible believing Christians OF THEIR TYPE are free to believe whatever they wish; I’ve made that clear. I’m free to believe they are sanctimonious, hypocritical, moralizing busybodies, who believe harm directed towards gay people is justified, but want to call it “sincere religious belief”, rather than what it so clearly is. They have an image to maintain, after all.

    You (both generic and personally) are also free to believe whatever you like, but you are not of THEIR type. Thus your kind, apologetic response.

    Many bible believing christians seem to believe that if you have not accepted Jesus as your savior, you have committed a very grave sin, and will likely be damned to hell for eternity for it. Not believing seems highly immoral to me. It’s interesting to me that as a former Jew, a former Christian (almost), and a current (for lack of a better word) atheist, I can reject the entirety of bible-based belief, and this bothers no one but the most rabid of conservative Christians. But let me say that I’m gay, and reject this tiny part of conservative Christian belief, and out comes a flood of lies, slander, and vitriol.

    Is it too much to ask to be treated like you (generic) would like to be treated, with the same courtesy and respect you (generic, again) routinely extend to all of the other people you believe are going to be burning in hell for eternity? The failure of that to occur is what tells me this has precious little to do with “religious belief”, sincere or otherwise.

    You wrote this: “even if they’re…”sins are different from mine”… (never heard it put like that before…I’ll have to mull that over! ). Let me give you the perfect example of this, in the intersection of context in which I speak.

    Doc Anthony has several times published a list of minor vandalisms and petty threats allegedly directed by gay people towards Christian people who are antigay. I say “allegedly”, because this is (probably) a heritage foundation list of these events that has been presented in courts on a number of occasions to prove that gay people live to threaten and intimidate christians. In nearly every case, if not all, it has been laughed out of court as simply not credible. There are rarely police reports, just allegations that “something” happened. There are almost never arrests, names named, charges filed, findings of fact, convictions of responsible parties, responsibility and ideological reasons admitted. Yet this doesn’t deter him from claiming that gay people are violent, bullying people intent on forcing America into some apocalyptic vision of sodomized lepers who will destroy faith, family, and country, if not the entirety of western civilization, such as it is.

    Here’s the problem: it is a reviling, slanderous lie, intended to harm and hurt people who have done nothing to deserve it– except to offend His Holiness. He, as a black man, would be outraged to hear it directed at black men and women AS A CLASS, and call it bigotry of the worst sort. But if he does it towards gay people, why that’s just fine and dandy, because he isn’t one of us. He’s better than that.

    funnily enough, in that very same list of sins that Anthony likes to pull out to justify his antigay– call it anti-human, though he would call it anti sin, by which he means anti-other-people’s-alleged-sins– activity, Corinthians 6, are two OTHER kinds of sinner listed: REVILERS AND SLANDERERS.

    Do you think that Anthony’s lies and slanders measure up to the rather simple standard? Is this not a lie and a slander? He has no actual proof. He just knows. It’s obvious.

    Even if this list of alleged vandalisms and shovings were absolutely true– AND THEY ARE NOT– absolutely the fault exclusively of gay people– AND THEY ARE NOT, EVEN IF THEY HAPPENED– they represent a very small fraction of gay people. I know no gay person, not now, not in the past (I’m older than you), NOT EVER AMONG THE HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS I HAVE KNOWN, who would encourage or condone these actions OF THE FEW, or do anything but condemn them.

    So why is the majority of us being held responsible by the likes of Anthony for the actions of a few? Do you think he would call it anything but bigotry if I said that the fact that 30% of all prison inmates are black, but only 12% of the population is, indicating that black people are dangerous criminals?

    And more importantly, why aren’t the rest of the bible believing Christians on these boards calling him out on his damnable sins of reviling and slandering? If they indicate any reaction, it’s applause for putting them uppity homosexuals into their proper place, as the trash of humanity. But explaining to him the nature of his sins? nope, they are too busy being superior.

    One in particular: it took me five attempts, if I recall, to get her to condemn the homo-hating lies of Pat robertson. She FINALLY did it: ONCE. But Doc? Nope.

    I think there are a great very good many reasons why I don’t believe the bible condemns gay people or gay love, and why this obsession of some people on the subject of homosexuality has no more to do with god and religious belief than it has to do with the price of tea in china. But even if it does say this, the real question is why this alleged sin is treated differently, with greater violence and vitriol, than any other alleged sin.

    the answer to that isn’t faith. It’s prejudice.

    Thank you for your attitude on this. I don’t ask any more from any religious person.

  • Doc Anthony

    Wow. I’m counting six “Ben In Oakland” paragraphs there (with the first one large enough to count as a couple extra paragraphs all by itself), all complaining about ole evil Doc Anthony.

    Each paragraph talks **about** me and/or what Ben angrily says that I’ve said, but none of the paragraphs are actually directed **to** me for a reply. That’s interesting.

    Apparently Ben was extremely caught by surprise when I first showed that yes, gays can be just as bullying and violent and vandalizing and even death-threatening as the Christians or any other label. Gay activists proved this fact in spades after voter initially approved California’s historic Proposition Eight.

    Local and regional media outlets, and even a national media outlet or two, reported and recorded a phalanx of incidents — and it’s still possible to find them on Google, with the most comprehensive collection of reports AND clear media citations, being compiled by the Heritage Foundation (I’ll give that link in a minute).

    But Ben refuses to take all those media reports seriously unless I can produce police records from each town for each incident.

    (Sort of analogous to saying the nationally reported Ferguson Riots never happened because nobody gave either Doc or Ben a copy of the official Missouri police records.)

    Ben also tries to downplay the unprecedented level of Prop 8 violence, vandalism and threats by by using words like “minor” and “petty.” That’s what people say when THEY are not the victims. One church received an envelope with white powder in it. Ben apparently thinks THAT is a minor matter. Obviously,I do not.

    Anyway, I’m sure we’ll revisit the topic again sometime. This post is just to show you that there are two sides to the issue Ben is talking about.

    I have met and shaken hands with several gay activists, and sat down and dialogued well despite our sharp differences. Obviously, I do not attempt to claim that all gay people are violent and hateful.

    But I DO claim that the Gay Activists are clearly anc currently bullying Christian small business owners (and yes I can get good media documentation on that one too).

    Ben is a gay activist. I am opposed to what the gay activists are currently doing, it IS bullying and intimidation, and I try to keep track of what they’ve done in the past, as a reminder in case certain topics need to be re-visited or discussed. So naturally, we are going to HEAVILY disagree on who’s doing the “lies” and other infractions, etc. We will disagree a lot.

    Meanwhile….check this out:

    http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2009/10/the-price-of-prop-8

    Click on each footnote to see media citations.

  • Ben in oakland

    Proof, says doc. I don’t need to show you no stinkin’ proof.

  • Larry

    True.

    I will be honest I don’t have much patience for “NALT” (Not All Like That) Christians. Those who only chime in to such discussions to act defensively about Christianity in general, rather than show their own disapproval of the conservative fundamentalist set.

    If they wanted to show how different their beliefs are from the conservative fundie set, they should be at the forefront of opposing them. Voicing their differences so as to not be lumped in with the others. Not hanging back in defense and self-exculpation.

  • Dave

    [Jesus] “didn’t care with whom you lived nor whom you loved other than yourself.”

    Evidently you missed his teaching on marriage in Matt. 19, Mark 10, or Luke 16. Here is one statement Jesus said about whom you live with:
    “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that in the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh….Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

  • Miles

    Why do some or perhaps many Christians associate LGBT individuals with sexual behavior? Certainly this is a complicated question, one deserving introspection by the church and LGBT community alike. Each community bears its share of responsibility for shaping perceptions.

    As for the church, its ignorance is to blame. too few followers of Christ cultivate a relationship with those in the LGBT population to embrace a perception that is multi-faceted. Instead, they draw their ideas primarily from the media or previous generational conditioning that leads to stereotypical conclusions, there is a laziness issue here. It is far easier to stand on the sidelines and throw stones than to proactively engage in building relationships which would in time destigmatize and allow the walls to come down long enough for a dialogue.

    However, the church is not alone in their laziness. LGBT characters in entertainment are often written one dimensionally as a caricature instead of fleshed out genuine indivuduals who have a shared experience with the straight population. Also it’s far easier to play the victim card than to invite an attitude free zone for sharing concerns and commonalities.

    So what would it take for Ben and Doc to drop their defenses and engage one another in a manner where each would listen to the other with respect and consideration? Until we get to that point and I use those two merely as representatives of a much wider consortium, then all of this is just chasing after the wind. Everyone have a blessed Easter, an excellent opportunity by the way to start fresh in how we interact with one another.

  • ben in oakland

    “So what would it take for Ben and Doc to drop their defenses and engage one another in a manner where each would listen to the other with respect and consideration?”

    I could be wrong– and I apologize if I am– but why do I have the feeling you’re not actually on the side of fairness and communication?

    I may be strong in my statements, because I believe very passionately that this vicious prejudice, or at least its legality and establishment as policy, must end. I use facts, logic, and experience to support my beliefs. I am respectful, though I am quite willing to call out mendacity and hypocrisy when I see them. Nor do I generally engage in name calling even when someone clearly is a bigot, and deserves the label. I have repeatedly stated that everyone is entitled to their religious beliefs, even if I think they are nonsense, or worse, bigoted nonsense. What they are not entitled to is religious dominion over my life. .

    If you think so, you haven’t been following me.

    I don’t use terms like “gay gestapo”, homosexuality religion”, “cult of homosexuality”, “anti-=Christian bullies”, “vicious”, and “gay marriage evil”. That’s all Doc.

    I don’t call conservative, anti-gay Christians threats to marriage, family, children, faith, freedom, and Western Civilization, based upon my fear-and-paranoia fueled beliefs about people I don’t know and know nothing about, . That’s all Doc and his fellow travelers..

    I don’t demand religious dominion over Doc. I don’t want to take away anything from him or his church. I don’t want to deprive them of their freedom to believe whatever crap they wish about whomever they wish. I don’t wish to limit his participation in society.

    I’m not funding and fueling political campaigns, based upon lies and propaganda, in order to deny Doc and his church participation in society or their religious beliefs.That’s them.

    I don’t pull out lists of unsubstantiated incidents which allegedly prove that ALL gay people are violent bullies who wish to destroy conservative Christianity and faith. Doc does this on a regular basis. His justification? “Everyone knows its those bullying, violent homosexuals.” There isn’t any proof. These lists have been repeatedly laughed out of court. In short, I’m not the one that’s reviling and slandering a whole group of people, trying to blame the entire group for the ALLEGED, UNPROVEN actions of an irresponsible few. That’s all doc, too.
    And his fellow travelers.

    There are Christians who have determined that their former perceptions of gay people and the nature of homosexuality were wrong and prejudiced, not despite what their bibles say, but because of what their bibles say. Doc regularly calls them tools of satan, quislings, collaborators, co-bullies. and Not True Christians.

    So exactly who is that you are requiring to be respectful and considerate? And why?

    If you want to show me where I’ve not told the truth, or been inaccurate, then please do so. But to claim that Doc and I are simply two sides of the same coin is simply not true.

  • Miles

    Whereas I never explicitly stated that you or Doc were being disrespectful or inconsiderate, I can see where you would draw the inference and for that I stand corrected for not better clarifying my intentions.

    Your defenses, however, are clearly in full ‘Danger, Will Robinson!” mode. And that is understandable considering years of vicious attacks from those who should know better.
    Your initial impression, however Ben, that I am not on the side of fairness is curious as I clearly lay responsibility for misperception on both the church and the LGBT communities. I challenge you to find a more unbiased response associated with Mr. Cruz’ ruminations.

  • Dave

    Ben,
    I don’t know either you or Doc. It appears you have a significant history of disagreement, but based on just this comment thread, it’s hard to agree with your assessment of your rhetoric.

    You claimed you don’t use terms like “vicious,” when you used it in the paragraph preceding that claim. 🙂 I counted 4 uses of the word “vicious” in this thread, all by you, all describing others actions or views.

    You mentioned twice that you are polite and respectful in your comments Categorizing tone is difficult, but I think we’d all agree that condescension and sarcasm are not truly “respectful” modes of discussion. I’d describe condescension and sarcasm as less than civil and certainly not rising to the level of “polite” disagreement.

    Please don’t misunderstand. I am not arguing that strong expression is inherently impolite. Often it is essential. Many views have threatening implications, but they need not be expressed in a threatening tone. One can say they find a view repugnant while being respectful of those who hold it.

    In my view, neither of you is very polite nor respectful. I don’t know what it would take to have a polite disagreement, but until you do, it seems you are talking past one another.

  • Ben in oakland

    When someone, on the basis of their prejudices, calls my marriage a threat to everything good and holy, when they routinely accuse me of being a threat to western i civilization, that doesn’t count as Vicious

    When doc routinely publishes his list of proof free offenses, and claims that gay people are bullying and violent and wish to destroy Christianity, that’s also not vicious?

    Please. Show me where I have been inaccurate.

  • Ben in oakland

    Did you notice that.Miles ALS0 used the word “vicious.”

  • Ben in oakland

    You admit that we gay people have been the subjects of vicious attacks by people who should know better. I have been listening to those attacks for over 50 years.

    I am more than happy to respectfully exchange a difference of opinion with anyone. But when those people routinely engage in mendacity and hypocrisy, what exactly is respectful about that?

    Yes, you clearly lay the responsibility on both sides of the debate. My point was, which side of the debAte is relying on lies, paranoia, half truths, fear monger inc, an innuendos, and which is laying out facts, logic and experience?

    I know of very few gay people who could care any less than they already don’t about Christinaity. But if Christianity is going to attack us with those lies and Fear mongering, why are we being less than civil for calling them out on it?

    Frankly, I’m not really sure what your point is. Perhaps you can explain it better. I willing to hear it,

  • Doc Anthony

    Looks like those “defenses” are going to stay up for a while longer, judging from Ben’s responses there. If Ben still thinks at this point that I’m saying that “ALL” gay people are violent or hateful, then there’s no way I can talk him out of it — and I’m not going to waste time trying.

    All I can say is that any suggestion that violence or bullying or threats is a one-way street on the part of Christians, will be countered with “two-way street” documentation and media citations that Ben, in particular, is visibly unable to refute.

    Meanwhile, AFAIK, both Ben and I are trying to call ’em like we see ’em. Sincerely so. That’s going to mean a lot of disagreement between us, and pretty much NO sugarcoatings. I don’t like Ben’s words, and Ben equally don’t like my words. Ben thinks I traffick in lies, and equally, I think Ben traffick in lies. It is what it is.

    Our worldviews, in both word and deed, are diametrically opposed to each other, and I notice that the inherent opposition is visible even when we’re intentionally trying to speak in respectful or diplomatic tones.

    So I have no suggestions for anybody. What you see, is what I write. But I think I’ve written well enough, and respectful enough, and sometimes even friendly enough, to avoid getting banned if nothing else.

  • Dave

    “Please. Show me where I have been inaccurate.”

    I think I did. I quoted you saying you did not USE the term “vicious” to describe others when in fact you used it 4 times in the thread and int he paragraph that immediately preceded the claim. Not trying to be picky here, but it’s hard to resist the question when the evidence is obvious.

    And it appears by time stamp that one other person did use the word in the thread…they posted a few minutes before I did, but it took me a long time to write my response, so it was NOT evident when I started writing. Thanks for the clarification.

    Again, I’m not arguing that others have not treated you badly. I’m quite confident that has happened. My main thrust is the discourse I am observing is not civil, let alone respectful and polite. Those terms require far greater care with words and tone. You have no obligation to be polite, but it’s improper to claim that mantle if you are not in fact being polite.

    My desire is to see civil conversation about everyone’s ideas, and how we can improve dialogue, not just rant at one another. That may not be a shared value here.

  • Ben in oakland

    Yes, Dave, I did indeed use the word VICIOUS– to describe a prejudice, to describe the hate directed at gay people.

    What I did not do was apply it a person.

  • Miles

    It is evident that the scars run deep, scars I cannot begin to fathom or heal with mere words. I fear it will take another generation before a dialogue can ensue sans the vitriole and pain. And this is to everyone, not just one person or argument. (sigh)

  • Ben in oakland

    Miles, you would be totally surprised at how uninterested most gay people are in having anything to do with conservative, antigay Christianity.

    We did not declare the culture war. they did. They have attacked us for decades and done everything in their power to defame us, to harm us, to harm our families, and to make our lives as difficult and unpleasant and expensive as possible.

    All we have ever asked is to be treated the same as everyone else. Not better, not specially, not differently, but the same. We have asked an end to laws which harm us, and worked the democratic process to make our lives better.

    The response has been an unending deluge of hate, lies, vilification, and vitriol.

    If the Christian Right would simply cease its was against our right to exist, AS WE ARE MADE, to live our lives authentically, AS WE ARE MADE, stop the lies and hate and political campaigns…

    Well, you’d just be amazed at precisely how little we would bother with them.

    What amazes me no end is that you and Dave simply don’t see it. I have a feeling, though, if they were using the same language about you or those you love, clarity of vision would descend like grace from heaven.

  • Dave

    Ben,
    Thanks for your honest appraisal. There is a huge danger in assumptions and the stereotypes that go with them, for all of us.

    I agree with you that much fault falls on the church for our behavior, language, vilification and dishonesty about the LGBT community. I have spoken to many who wish the church would just “go away” either metaphorically or physically. I have no delusion that most LGBT people welcome bible-believing Christ followers into their world, though I know many that do.

    But disengagement won’t get either of us what we really desire. Maybe I’m wrong. Being left alone is a challenge because there are whole mini-industries of activists, agitators, politicians and pundits who make a living feeding discontent and the rage of division. They will not go away quickly, nor likely peacefully…on all sides.

    Secondly, we are neighbors. So we need to find ways to be in community respectfully and, at least for the church, lovingly.

    That is why I jumped in on the side of civility. Maybe we can build that to gentleness, then kindness and respect.

  • ben in oakland

    Dave, Now I have a little time to answer you. I’ve had guests.

    I appreciate your kind and measured response. But I do have to repeat something. In NO case did I apply the word vicious to a person. I applied the word to prejudices and actions. And for one reason: I don’t hate Christians in general, or bible believing Christians in particular. Some of my best friends are, y’know? What I hate is what they do in the name of the god that is love that they profess to worship. I gave some very specific examples of that, something that neither you nor miles responded to. And that’s fine. you’re not required to. But I want it noted, nevertheless.

    Doc did– by repeating what he had said before and then denying he had ever said anything of the sort.

    The best answer I can give you is this. Suppose the homo-obsessed Christian right would announce tomorrow, “You know, we have misplaced and misdirected our energies. We have said our last word on the subject of gay people in our society, and will limit our discussion to our churches and our adherents.”

    You know what the first and last two words I would write on the subject?

    “Thank you.”

    You are quite correct on one thing. “I agree with you that much fault falls on the church for our behavior, language, vilification and dishonesty about the LGBT community.” The Church has inflicted enormous damage on our lives for centuries, all in service to an old and vicious prejudice given some sort of sanctity by calling it “sincere religious belief.” Harm, mendacity, and hypocrisy.

    THAT is what I have an issue with. Not religious belief.

  • This is outstanding. I completely agree with you in your analysis. The Church’s refusal to acknowledge loving LGBT relationships absolutely helps contribute to the sense that gay and lesbians are somehow more promiscuous.

    Traditional marriage is one of the primary vehicles for reducing promiscuity in the straight world (or at least, advocating for it). In the congregation I serve, we have gay and lesbian couples who have been together 30, 40, and 50 years. I consider these couples miracles, in that everybody knows, without the encouragement of the church and the social “norming” of marriage, such longterm relationship are challenging, even for “traditional” couples.

    Excellent essay that gets to something I have believed for a long time.

  • Doc Anthony thanks for what you said so well that those claiming to be informed bible believing Christians should read the passages you listed. I guess they do not like to see themselves fall into the list of sinners that are in with the Homosexuals. They should learned how the Love of God , by His Grace can justify them along with homosexuals. I am so tired of them doing great harm to the GLBT community. Not all in this group will become saved, but neither will all heterosexuals. Those listed will be saved only when they accept by Faith and believe the truth in the saving power of God because he loves them so much that Jesus paid the ‘Wages of sin is death” He died in our place, but thanks to God he was buried and rose from the grave to prepare for us to live in spirit with Him forever.

  • Dan

    If you can find another way to interpret or “understand” what this means other than it being ok to rape women, then please do…(just because it says you have to wait a month after killing her parents before sleeping with her doesn’t make it not
    Rape”

    Deuteronomy 21: 10-14
    “When you go out to war against your enemies, and the Lord your God gives them into your hand and you take them captive, and you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you desire to take her to be your wife, and you bring her home to your house, she shall shave her head and pare her nails. And she shall take off the clothes in which she was captured and shall remain in your house and lament her father and her mother a full month. After that you may go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife. But if you no longer delight in her, you shall let her go where she wants. But you shall not sell her for money, nor shall you treat her as a slave, since you have humiliated her.”

  • ben in Oakland

    If you don’t like the woman you raped– maybe she’s always objecting to your having murdered her parents and raped her– You just send her on her way as if nothing had happened. Maybe you’ll even give her a dress to wear.

    That’s Yahweh’s idea of a joke. Because, you see, having been raped and on longer a virgin, that woman has pretty much outlived her usefulness in that gentle land of our spiritual leaders and patriarchs.

    It amazes me how much certain so called Christians are willing to condemn me and my husband for our life together that harms no one, but this sort of thing just results in a resounding Tsk-Tsk.

    after all, it was no one they know.

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  • CG

    This research proves that LGBT is not sinful in any way, shape, or form:

    https://www.facebook.com/notes/tina-jones/full-bloom/1042602595754223

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  • xnlover

    Sorry, Doc. Your third paragraph shows you live in a fantasy world of your own making. I have never, prior to reading your post here, heard anyone who was critical of same-sex-loving people begin their rant with, “How can a person who bears within them the image of Almighty God act in such a way?” Somehow, that just gets passed over, if it even comes to the person’s mind. The reality is closer to what Carl Jung described, when he said that the thing which people criticize in others is that which resides within themselves but which they wish to ignore or deny is a part of them. In light of that, what we realize is that most people who criticize and condemn same-sex-loving persons are haters of their own sexual urges, if not actually having homosexual desires that they seek to suppress by being hyper-heterosexual. Beyond Carl Jung, that’s what Jesus was talking about when he spoke that which is recorded in Mt. 7.1-5. The log in one’s own eye is so big, the person can’t even…

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  • RET

    Eliel, I won’t bore you with preamble. I’ll just say that many evangelical Christians have no significant personal connections to gay folk and so don’t concern themselves with being fair. Their arguments are reductive and simplistic because very little effort goes into them. And why would they bother? Evangelical Christians regard gay folk as either opportunities to save “lost souls”, annoyances to be casually shunned, or vermin. Yet you expect these people who’d just as soon spit in your face to develop a “holistic understanding”? Don’t hold your breath. The church and its proponents make clear what they think of gay people. That’s enough.

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  • Annie Earle

    What you said…