Is there a right way to respond to extreme homophobia? (ANALYSIS)

(RNS) To paraphrase "The Sound of Music," how do you solve a problem like Steve Anderson?

While the nation’s eyes were on Ferguson and Staten Island, Pastor Steven Anderson found time on Nov. 30 to deliver a sermon at his Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Ariz., on the subject of AIDS. AIDS, he said, is God’s punishment for homosexuality, Leviticus calls for “sodomites” to be killed, et cetera. We’ve heard this before.

Anderson did have a way with words, though. “Turn to Leviticus 20:13 -- I actually discovered the cure for AIDS. … Everybody’s talking about ‘Let’s have an AIDS-free world by 2020.’ We can have an AIDS-free world by Christmas.” Anderson proceeded to read a common rendition of the biblical verse, which calls for males engaging in anal sexual intercourse to “be put to death.”

“And that, my friends, is the cure for AIDS,” he said.

So, what to do? Is Anderson’s speech “news” that should be covered, publicized and reported as widely as possible? Ought it be condemned by all right-thinking people? Or perhaps, should it simply be ignored?

In fact, there are several ways to respond to such speech -- although the most effective one, challenging Anderson on religious grounds, is also the least used.

But first, yes, the speech was widely covered. The story didn’t make the network news or most leading newspapers, but it did get into Fox News Radio, the New York Daily News and England’s The Independent, as well as The Huffington Post and numerous gay blogs.

As the coverage progressed, it became clear that Anderson is not a reasonable man. In addition to calling for the death of 6.9 million “sodomites” (his term), he once got the attention of the Secret Service by calling for the death of President Obama, whom he called a communist “bastard” with a “whore” for a mother.

What was the response?

Nothing from the major LGBT organizations, who reported it on their blogs or Facebook pages but didn’t do much else.

That left the folks at Planting Peace, which once built a rainbow-colored Equality House across from the notorious Westboro Baptist Church. They ran a Crowdrise campaign that has thus far raised over $20,000 -- twice its goal of $10,000. For each donation, Planting Peace will send Pastor Anderson a lump of coal on Christmas Eve.

That’s a lot of coal.

In a sense, then, the response to the sermon has been all of the above: some media coverage, some yawning and a clever fundraising campaign.

Conceivably, Pastor Anderson could raise a lot more than $20,000 for the LGBT equality movement. He’s a gay development officer’s dream, and the worst nightmare of those trying to put a human face on the “traditional marriage” movement. Every time an extremist like him makes the news, more people come over to the pro-equality side.

More important, to focus on one Arizona preacher as the embodiment of evil would be tone-deaf in the context of #blacklivesmatter protests rolling across the nation, and severe persecution of LGBT people overseas. The best reason to ignore Anderson isn’t to deny him press coverage, or to acknowledge that gay rights won and he lost, but to recognize that there are more important social justice issues that a broad-based LGBT equality movement should focus on.

By way of contrast, the afternoon of the Eric Garner non-indictment in New York, the Human Rights Campaign tweeted out its celebration of a pro-marriage-equality ruling in Florida. Many gay activists found this offensive. Yes, Florida falling into the equality camp is exciting news, but progressives were not in the mood to celebrate on that particular afternoon. The HRC tweet seemed narrow and misplaced.

One missed opportunity was to challenge Anderson on religious grounds. Here, the media coverage and the LGBT movement both fell down.

Anderson made several common mistakes in his rant. Like most people, he mistranslated the Hebrew word "toevah" as “abomination” when really it means “taboo.” This is relevant not just because of the different nuance of that term, but also because it clearly places the ban on male anal sex in the category of ritual commandments -- i.e., those Old Testament rules that were replaced by the New.

If we should reinstate the death penalty for anal sex, then we should definitely reinstate the death penalty for lighting a fire on the Sabbath, which presumably Anderson himself did if he got in his car on Saturday. After all, unlike the penalty for male-male anal sex, the Bible does record the death penalty for Sabbath violation actually being meted out.

Anderson also committed a grave theological fallacy, disclaimed by all reflective religious thinkers, of presuming to know which “acts of God” punish which offensive acts. Is Ebola, too, a divine punishment? And for what? For taking care of the bodies of the dead (one of the primary disease vectors in West Africa)? Maybe chicken pox is divine punishment for children who play too much with others.

For that matter, maybe the extreme climate events that have disproportionately impacted conservative states are punishment for conservatism. Why not?

Of course, Anderson also misstates the purpose of Christianity itself, which seems to have something to do with love and grace, and less to do with rage and disgust. But admittedly, that is a matter of opinion.

To be clear, most of the foregoing does not matter to most Americans -- not even to most Christians, who have made their minds up that God loves all people, including gay people.

But about a third of gay kids are growing up in evangelical households. For them, it may not be getting better. And while there are some who are reaching out to conservative white Protestants -- the Gay Christian Network, the Reformation Project -- one gets the sense that many progressives would prefer that such people simply not exist.

That’s the missed opportunity. The Steven Andersons of the world are losing the battle for public opinion. But for those still enmeshed in the culture of which he is a part, outbursts like this are an opportunity to engage, challenge and trouble the waters.

(Jay Michaelson is a columnist for The Daily Beast and author of "God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality")



  1. Anderson’s bad theology does not negate the bad theology of those claiming homosexual behavior is not a sin and marriage is not just man plus woman.

  2. Re: “… and marriage is not just man plus woman.”

    Biblically that’s not true. Marriage in the Bible comes in several forms, including polygamy (sometimes with concubinage added). Here are some Biblical highlights:

    Abraham: Married Sarah (Gen 16:1), then took as additional wives Hagar (Gen 16:3) then Keturah (Gen 25:1).

    Jacob: Married Leah (Gen 29:23), then Rachel (Gen 29:28), then Bilhah (Gen 30:4), then Zilpah (Gen 30:9).

    Moses: Married Zipporah (Ex 2:21), then an unnamed Ethiopian woman (Num 12:1).

    David: His named wives were Michal (1 Sam 18:27), Abigail (1 Sam 25:39), Ahinoam (1 Sam 25:43), Eglah, Abital, Haggith, & Maacah (2 Sam 3:3-5); and Bathsheba (2 Sam 12:24). He had an unknown number of other wives as well (2 Sam 5:13).

    Solomon: Had 700 wives plus 300 concubines (1 Kg 11:3).

    Again, those are just a few examples. Many rather famous … and revered … Biblical figures were polygamists.

    What’s more, in the New Testament, 1 Timothy 3 explains rather specifically that deacons and bishops had to be husbands of one wife only; but having said that, it does NOT put this injunction on anyone else. In other words, lay Christians are quite free to be in plural marriages.

  3. Frankie No-Facts, here’s a news flash for you: he’s yours because you built that.

  4. So, Frank, since you are the self-appointed arbiter of what your book means, please enlighten us on what your book says should be done to men who have sex with other men?

  5. “how do you solve a problem like Steve Anderson?”

    Abandon religion.
    Stop going to church. Just CEASE this!

    “Killing gays is a wonderful idea” – Steve Anderson

    Every person who goes to church and puts money in the basket
    is supporting this nightmarish cult of death.

    For Peace, Civility and The Separation of Church and State

  6. @ Frank

    Something to think about —

    The word sin and it’s meaning is difficult to make. It’s not clear what it is. Let’s look at it this way — Jesus seldom mentions the word sin and almost never refers to it. Is sin then all that important?

    I think the basic definition of “sin” is that it is the breaking of God’s law. But what is God’s law? Where do we find these laws? Can they be found in the NT?

    I think the word sin is thrown around too much and is erroneously attached to things that it shouldn’t be. Habit will do that. Perhaps we need to get some new habits. Maybe we need to say as the New Testament would declare — “all things are lawful”. I think that is where gay sex subject matter belongs.

    Gay and lesbian issues are deserving of something far far better than what religious conservatives or ancient writings declare.

  7. @Hi Billysees,

    “Is sin then all that important?”

    If we were to write a new gospel it would be amazingly easy to improve the ones which already exist.

    Simply eliminate all references to:
    rape, genocide, Hell and slavery and you have dramatically updated the morality of the Bible to modern times. It would immediately become a more respectable and improved book.

    But we would have to eliminate all of: Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Judges, Exodus, Kings and Isaiah.

    Throw out all references to ‘sin’. As it is unclear what it is anyway.

    Insert a God who is only loving, who never commands genocide, slavery, rape and who will always bring all people into eternal happiness after they die.

    Just don’t imagine that it has anything to do with Jesus, Yahweh or Allah.
    Such a god is fiction – as in, completely made up out of our desires.

    The God of the Bible is such a god. The materials needed to build a god are obviously very cheap.

    Gods are created by primitive tribes to fit exactly the desires of primitive tribes. Just as you are trying to create a god who fits your own desires – the God who fits your ideal of a good and loving god.

    But that doesn’t make it real.
    And as you can see from the video, these notions get innocent people killed.

  8. “Like most people, (Anderson) mistranslated the Hebrew word “toevah” as “abomination” when really it means “taboo.”

    Ummm, no. Anderson’s all wrong, except on that one point.

    To’evah really DOES mean “abomination.” Period. The gay activists (and especially the late John Boswell) can NOT save anybody’s bacon on this one.

    To see this for yourself, go grab a copy of the Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon. Pick one that is coded with “Strong’s Concordance Numbers” in the margin (that way you can look up the definitions even if you don’t know Hebrew).

    On or about page 1072, look for the number “8441” in the margins. When you find it, THAT Hebrew word is “to’evah.”

    Notice what it says in bold font: “abomination.” Hard to miss, ain’t it?

    Now look further, to bold-font entry “1”. It says, “ritual sense” and has sub-definitions “a” and “b” attached. But you’ll notice that NONE of the Leviticus prohibitions against homosexual behavior are found anywhere in “1”, whether “a” or “b”.

    But now look to the next entry, the bold-font entry “2”. It says, “ethical sense.” Now you’re getting warm. You’re getting serious now, because now you’re not talking about who-cares cultural or ritual taboos, but instead your’re talking INTRINSICALLY WRONG, automatically wicked, ethically wrong behaviors.

    Furthermore when you get to sub-entry “b”, it says: “to God and his people”, in other words an automatic, intrinsic, permanent piece of wickedness and wrongness to God and his people — and THAT’s where you will find the homosexual to’evah prohibitions of Leviticus, especially Lev. 18:22.

    So the Leviticus homosexual “to’evah” is actually quite clear here. God loves everybody, yes. But at NO time in the Bible does God ever repeal the ABOMINATION status of homosexual behavior. It’s not some “taboo.” It’s solid abomination.

    Now there are other, more technical supporting arguments, such as those given in Herbert Wold’s book “Out of Order”, but let’s stop here.

    Michaelson’s “taboo” argument (and other ‘Gay Christian’ talking points) are aimed primarily at people, young and old, who take the Bible seriously. Especially “questioners” or “strugglers” who are dealing with same-sex attraction. So it’s important for Bible believers NOT to ignore issues like this, but instead to give a clear reply from Scripture.

  9. @Doc,

    That fact that the Bible is misunderstood
    by a majority of people
    does not argue in favor of a God who is all-knowing
    and all-powerful
    but a god who can’t do anything right!
    and who probably can’t exist if he tried!

  10. Who in the world told you that Jesus almost never referred to sin?

    And Paull’s statement that all things are lawful was LITERALLY about “things” (food and drink) which the Corinthian church was having issues about. But he goes on to say in the very same passage that unlike with food, which the stomach is made for, the body is not made for sexual iimmorality.

  11. Thank you, Doc. I wonder if Anderson also thinks that “hands that shed innocent blood” are also merely “taboo” and not that big a deal, especially for Gentiles, Prov. 6:17.

  12. Hello Max,

    “If we were to write a new gospel it would be amazingly easy to improve the ones which already exist.”

    That comment of yours is true in that I see the creation of a new ‘unofficial’ gospel by continually emphasizing the importance of the ‘wheat values’ and deemphasizing the ‘chaff values’ written about before in other comments.

    I need to mention 3 of Paul’s writings to make ‘your’ and ‘my’ point —

    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)

    Right away those tell us that we need to know and learn more. All the more reason to ‘write a new gospel’ or at least improve the current one which as you said would be easy.

  13. The word “abomination” does not mean to us what it meant to the KJV scholars, and it does not mean to them what To’evah might have meant to ancient Hebrews.

    When the KJV was created, it was translated into English from Greek and Latin translations that were held at, I believe, Basel. Those translations, of unknown provenance, were about 400 years old at the time of the KJV. That makes them some 1200 years and unknowable translations down from whatever originals they were copied and/or translated from.

    The word “abomination” was taken from the Latin “ab ominare” which refers to bad omens or bad weather omens. The word applies to eating shrimp as well, but no one is arguing that shrimp eaters ought to be punished or will burn in hell forever.

    And none of this has the slightest thing to do with the 2000 year old jihad against our light to exist and live authentically as we are made.

  14. I am all for people like Anderson, Scott lively, Tony perkins, and the rest of these human abominations being given every possible platform to spew their hatred, violence, and psychological problems.

    Every time they open their mouths, a decent, caring, compassionate Christian sees the hatred and begins to reconsider their prejudices.

    Every time they open their mouths, and so-called Christians who post on these very pages fail to call them on their slander and reviling, the absolute hypocrisy of antigay christians becomes apparent to anyone who wishes to see it, c

  15. Shawnie5…

    “Who in the world told you that Jesus almost never referred to sin?”

    Using my old Cruden’s Concordance, I checked out the word ‘sin’ and found that Jesus used or referred to the word ‘sin’ about 13 times.

    1 Corinthians 6:12 and 10:23 were more than about food and drink. They referred to Paul’s take on morality also. I use them frequently because they can apply to anyone’s personal acceptance and understanding of what is right or wrong. Paul’s commentary here is not the final answer.

  16. If you take the bible seriously, Doc, then you must agree that the punishment for this abomination is death.

    But you don’t, because that amount of hate is too much for even you to stomach.

  17. I suggest you actually understand BEFORE you continue to look ignorant.

  18. @Billysees,

    The sheer quantity of junk in the Bible
    should disqualify it as a source of anything.

    There is no chaff and MUCH more wheat
    in any of these books:

    “‘D’you know what happens when you hurt people?’ Ammu said. ‘When you hurt people, they begin to love you less. That’s what careless words do. They make people love you a little less.'”
    The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy.

    “If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.”
    -A.A. Milne
    Winnie the Pooh

    “If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look
    at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”
    — J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire)

    “Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

    “I can’t die yet, doctor. Not yet. I have things to do. Afterwords I’ll have a whole lifetime in which to die.”
    – The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

    “Most men and women will grow up to love their servitude and will never dream of revolution.”
    —Brave New World (Amber D.)

    “I think of my life as a kind of music, not always good music but still having form and melody.”
    —East of Eden

    “I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful one-hundred percent!”
    —Horton Hatches the Egg

    “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
    —The Fellowship of the Ring

    “Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story.” – The Things They Carried

    “To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is the bad dream.” —The Bell Jar

    “‘Nobody run off with her,’ Roscoe said. ‘She just run off with herself, I guess.’” —Lonesome Dove

    “You know it don’t take much intelligence to get yourself into a nailed-up coffin, Laura. But who in hell ever got himself out of one without removing one nail?” —The Glass Menagerie

    “There are people who, the more you do for them, the less they will do for themselves.”
    Emma by Jane Austen

    “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.”
    The White Album by Joan Didion

    “What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again.”
    Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

    “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

    “Our lives are defined by opportunities, even the ones we miss.”
    The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald

    There is more wisdom
    in almost any good Literature
    even in the few sentences above than the entirety of the Bible.

    The Bible is among the cruelest, and most chaff laden of books.
    Except for Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs (both obviously written by Atheists) and a few proverbs, it is a struggle to get anything of value out of such a tome of nonsense.

    The letters of Paul are among the worst, cruelest things ever written. “Avoid Them” (Romans) .

    The Gospel of John is a masterpiece of mythology – but not a whiff of it is good for you. It is as hateful and as diabolical as Mein Kampf:

    “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” – (John, 3:20)

    This is a nightmare of totalitarianism, mass conformity
    and thought crime. Worse, though everyone is supposedly a sinner we are to subject ourselves to the judgement of mobs as a moral duty!
    The Gospels are insidious and depraved.

    For Peace, Culture and The Separation of Church and State

  19. “Exreme homophobia” nice term. I don’t remember reading it in the Bible. Maybe you can provide the chapter and verse for this term? lol God condemns this behavior from Genesis to Revelation. Nothing you say will EVER change that. Your fight is not with man but with God Himself. Good luck with that. What you needn to do is turn from your rebellion and sin and receive Christ as Savior and Lord. Then you can be about God’s work rather than fighting Him.

  20. Here is the source of the Extreme Homophobia:

    “Kill Homosexuals” – (Leviticus 20:13)

    If you signed up to put the ‘Christ’ in Christmas
    you signed up to put the ‘Kill’ in Kill Homosexuals.

    Thank your local church for propagating this nonsense.

  21. Strange…just off the top of my head I can remember more than twenty times that Jesus spoke of sin.

    “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.”

    “See, now you are well. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”

    “If your brother sins against you, go and point out his fault just between the two of you.”

    “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance”

    “You shall surely die in your sins, unless you come to believe that I AM.”

    “This is my blood of the covenant, shed for you that sins might be forgiven”

    ” If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. But they no longer have any excuse for their sin.”

    “Go and sin no more”

    “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven”

    “When He [the Holy Spirit] comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment”

    “Father, I have sinned against heaven and you, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.”

    “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin.”

    “Every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven”

    “The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.”

    “There will always be temptations to stem, but woe to the one through whom the temptation comes.”

    “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

    “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.”

    “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”

    “But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.”

    “The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners.”

    “He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations.”

    “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.”

    “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

    And I am sure that is not all of them…nor does it include any of His many sayings about evil, wickedness, and uncleanness.

    To pretend that sin isn’t important is to pretend that there was no point at all to Jesus’ mission.

  22. “If you take the bible seriously, Doc, then you must agree that the punishment for this abomination is death.”

    Yes Ben, I do take the Bible seriously. And that’s how I know that there’s something wrong and incomplete regarding your words there — and Anderson’s as well.

    Rather than spending a lot of time re-inventing the wheel, let me simply provide a brief link to the necessary information. If you’re interested, and if YOU take the Bible seriously, then please check it out.

  23. Though Steven Anderson can be extreme, Lev 20:13 does call for the death sentence on those who commit homosexual acts. And ‘toebah’ means disgusting or abominable, not taboo. Just because God under the New Covenant calls sinners to repentance rather than commanding civil execution, does not mean He has changed His attitude about this sin or any other (adultery and fornication were also capital crimes). Nor does it mean these sins should not be subject to punishment by the state today. Only a degenerate and dying culture can allow the practice and promotion of such acts (including adultery and fornication).

  24. @ PASTOR,

    “Just because God under the New Covenant calls sinners to repentance rather than commanding civil execution, does not mean He has changed His attitude”

    Oh, Really? And tell me how do you know this!?

    What is the source of your special information which the rest of us have no access to?

    This Yahweh Leprechaun of Terror must be kept in your Church of the Holy Kool Aide. Nobody else needs this nonsense.

    These despicable, foolish and primitive theories
    about reality are no better than a Halloween Parlor Game where everyone plays who is behind the mask!

    Real human lives are seriously threatened by the promotion of such childish, irresponsible garbage.

    For Peace, Civility and the Separation of Church and State

  25. Actually, it doesn’t call for the death penalty for people who commit homosexual acts. You’re making that up. Women are not part of that. And actual Old Testament scholars have a different opinion.

    But it’s interesting, your wish for capital punishment idea for sexual offenses. It shows what a fascist you are, no better than those who murdered millions of others for their offenses against your God.

    You want to talk about degenerate cultures? How degenerate is that? Using the authority of the state to murder those who harm no one. To’evah does refer to ritual uncleanness– again according to actual people who know what they’re talking about.

    But do keep taking. You’ll not convince decent people of the rightness of your beliefs, and certainly not of the rightness of your God. But you will convince them of who exactly possesses moral degeneracy.

  26. Now here I thought it was a sin just like any other sin. We know you don’t actually think that, Frank. But it shows that you have not totally abandoned decency. Hypocrisy is the homage that vice– and homohatred IS a vice, and a bigotry– pays to virtue.

  27. Doc, doc, doc.

    I knew exactly what it was going to say even before I went there. I’ve read all of that nonsense before about why we can ignore the parts of the OT that are simply inconvenient,

    As always, whenever the bible says something inconvenient, a certain class of so called Christian will convince themselves that it says something else entirely. And you will draw your lines so carefully as to include that which you agree with, and exclude that which is too much for you to stomach.

    Jesus said the whole of the law can be reduced to love God and love your neighbor. He didn’t go for the pharisaical delineations that so delight some christians, and enable them to do exactly what they want.

    Deuteronomy says to slay all the unbelievers in your midst. It would seem that the total rejection of the Christian myths would be sufficent provocation of your OT God. But somehow, you have no problem with letting non Christians live in peace, with none of this grievous sin crap you spout.

    As with that word, abomination. Eating shrimp is an abomination. Homosexuality is an abomination. Both are To’evah. So let us pretend that God really approves of eating shrimp, and really disapproves of gay people and our alleged sin.

    One thing I liked about your citation. It is just plain antigay. It mentioned treating gay people with love and dignity, and then went right into opposing special rights for gay people– the same rights that a certain class of so called Christian reserves for itself. Can you Imagine the screams that would result from your ilk if the civil rights protections afforded the Christians– exactly what gay people seek– were removed entirely from civil law? can you imagine the screams of persecution we would hear? but if WE get those rights, then they are SPECIAL rights. When you get them, it’s just natures.

    Your citation also went into the nonsense of redefining marriage, a buzzword that means absolutely nothing.

    As I said before, doc, please just admit you are antigay, and using your religious beliefs to justify it

  28. So what about the sin of bearing false witness to others? Evidently lying is not a sign of moral degeneration if you are doing it for the Lord.

    Mr. Anderson deliberately lied to a Holocaust survivor in order to make a blatantly anti-semitic film tract.

    The man is a scumbag. His views are repugnant in any free democratic society as well as anyone making excuses for him. Feel free to include yourself among them.

  29. @Max — First; It never ceases to amaze me that someone who has no faith, feels they must attack those who do. The subject/topic is; Is there a way to respond to extreme homophobia” so why are you trying to change the subject to “what is wrong with religion?” I would ask you to please stay on topic. To everyone else, I would ask you to please ignore the Atheist trolls.

    Now, back to the subject at hand. First, we need to understand what ‘homophobia’ means. Most if not all homosexuals describe homophobia as a dislike of or prejudice against homosexual people. In this sense, I have to agree that some people are definitely homophobic. They actually hate homosexuals and would do them harm if they thought they wouldn’t get caught. These people should be sent to a black site somewhere and “processed.”…hehehe

    However, most Christians do not fall into this category. We simply believe that the bible (our guide in matters of faith and practice) teaches that sex outside of marriage is sin and marriage is the union of a man and a woman designed by God for humanity to “be fruitful and multiply.

    I’m not sure if they allow links here but I have a series of posts on my website regarding homosexuality and the bible. The series can be found at “”

  30. Shawnie5…

    “Strange…just off the top of my head I can remember more than twenty times that Jesus spoke of sin.”

    Interesting list of comments from Jesus using the word sin. I must be using the concordance incorrectly then. I have always been confident about that number.

    I’m going to take a second look at this.

    Offhand and a quick look at the words, it appears that other words similar to ‘sin’ are being listed such as ‘sinner’, ‘sinning’, ‘sinned’, and ‘sins’. That’s where my error has been, not considering other derivatives.

    I stand corrected in that other words about and meaning the same thing as ‘sin’ are being used.

  31. Thanks for pasting from one of my all time favorite novels, Jane Eyre. I’ve always loved Jane as a portrait of the kind of integrity that one seldom sees in real life:

    “The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself. I will keep the law given by God; sanctioned by man. I will hold to the principles received by me when I was sane, and not mad — as I am now. Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour; stringent are they; inviolate they shall be. If at my individual convenience I might break them, what would be their worth? They have a worth — so I have always believed; and if I cannot believe it now, it is because I am insane — quite insane: with my veins running fire, and my heart beating faster than I can count its throbs. Preconceived opinions, foregone determinations, are all I have at this hour to stand by: there I plant my foot.”

    BTW, you’ve mangled what Jesus said about coming into the light. It had nothing at all to do with mob judgment. Jesus was talking about why many people would reject Him. He is the Light in this passage, as is clear from the immediately preceding verse: “The Light has come into to world, but men have loved the darkness more than the light.” John 3:19.

    Nobody who has actually read John 3 in its entirety could come away from it thinking it was about “mob judgment,” Mr. “Sunday School Teacher.”

    If that is in fact a true story (which I doubt) why did you ever undertake to teach what you did not know–and why did anyone let you?

  32. @ Atheist Max

    “The sheer quantity of junk in the Bible
    should disqualify it as a source of anything.”

    I would easily agree that there are ‘many’ dumb and asinine statements or comments that can be read in the Bible.

    But I also feel that there are many kinds of ‘not so dumb’ comments in that same book. There’s a ‘story line’, one could say, that should be taken into consideration that is more important than the words and phrases used to describe it.

    This ‘story’ is about a person and the good things he did and the comfort many experience from knowing and appreciating the ‘story’.

    One of the NT writers said something about things being ‘spiritually discerned’.

    I wonder that many of us could easily be sidetracked by ‘dumb wording’ and thereby missing ‘better stuff’ to know.

  33. Ben in Oakland…

    “Every time they open their mouths, a decent, caring, compassionate Christian sees the hatred and begins to reconsider their prejudices.

    Every time they open their mouths, and so-called Christians who post on these very pages fail to call them on their slander and reviling, the absolute hypocrisy of antigay christians becomes apparent to anyone who wishes to see it…”

    Your comments above deserve to be repeated, especially this part —

    “…and so-called Christians who post on these very pages fail to call them on their slander and reviling…”

  34. “Only a degenerate and dying culture can allow the practice and promotion of such acts (including adultery and fornication).”

    That doesn’t sound like a very intelligent comment.

    Fornication is a word that doesn’t qualify to describe the ‘fun’ and ‘utter enjoyment’ of sexual activity. All have done these things. They’re apart of life’s learning experience.

    I think that Jesus first used the word and is an indication of how separated he was from certain realities. He didn’t know and understand everything, and his words need to be measured.

    That’s why we rely on the work of the ‘spirit in us’ to allow or disallow whatever we do.

  35. If only you just left it at “homosexuality is a sin.” But you don’t.

    If only you spent the same amount of time, energy, and energy opposing all of the other things you think are sins. But you don’t

    If only you didn’t oppose all civl rights protections for gay people, protecting us from the same religious discrimination that you would be outraged if applied to a certain class of so called Christian– i.e., YOU. But you don’t.

    If only you left your beliefs about homosexuality and what it means to be gay inside your church where it belongs, and stop insisting that your purely theological beliefs about homosexuality should govern civil law that affects all of us, our civil rights, our religious faiths, our churches, our families, and our participation in society. But you don’t.

    If only you stopped insisting that whatever lies you tell yourselves about us, whatever stories you make up about us, whatever demonization of us you engage in, whatever vicious nastiness, whatever reviling and slander you engage in, whatever calls you and your fellow travelers make for our murder, our imprisonment, and our casting out from society, is all right with god because you believe it is for the greater glory of God. And besides, yo speak for God, don’t you. But you don’t.

    If only your claims about marriage were restricted to those of your own faith and inside your own church, and not placed upon the civil contract known as marriage, hereby disadvantagingg us, our families, our children, and our faiths. But you don’t.

    Are we beginning to see a pattern here? I notice that you yourself did not condemn Anderson and his fellow travelers.

  36. Ben; I assume you are responding to my post, so I’ll reply. I’ll start by replying to your last statement. If you will re-read my post very slowly, you’ll see in the second paragraph the statement; ” They actually hate homosexuals and would do them harm if they thought they wouldn’t get caught. These people should be sent to a black site somewhere and “processed.”…hehehe” Certainly this would include Anderson and others like him (ie: Westboro-so-called-Baptist-Church). So yes, I did condemn them.

    Also, I notice the use of the word “you” quite often in the above post. This is usually an indication that someone is ignorant on a subject or realizes they have no argument and so the logical next step is to attack the character of the opposing side.

    The responsibility of the Christian (lay and clergy) is to preach Christ and Him crucified, buried and risen again. Additionally, pastors are given the responsibility as over-seers, to warn their congregations of the consequence of sin and to make sure they understand what those sins are.

    God, sees all sins as equal. the sin of sex outside of Biblical marriage is no worse than the sin of gluttony, and gluttony includes the over-indulgence or excess of anything. This includes greed (some televangelists need to get a hold of this) all addictions, etc. Unfortunately, some preachers “go to seed” as it were, on certain topics.

    I’m not sure what ‘civil rights’ you are accusing me of opposing, but if you will be more clear and let me know how you know what I oppose and what I don’t, I’ll be more than glad to respond.

    But, so that you understand me a bit better, I’ll tell you a bit of what I believe.

    First and foremost, I do not have the slightest idea why homosexuals, transgenders, bi-sexuals, etc. are the way they are. Whether born that way or the condition is caused by childhood influences beyond their control is a debate that has been carried on my those with much more intelligence than myself so I’ll not put my toe in that water. However, I do not believe that homosexuality is ‘natural’ in the basic/biological sense because homosexuals cannot propagate the species.

    Having said that, I do not believe that they should be discriminated against because they are the way they are. They should be able to live their lives just as anyone else would. And, if they wish to live together, then I have no problem with a civil union of some sort that would grant them similar benefits as marriage to a hetrosexual couple.

    But you see, it’s not that simple. The homosexual would call me intolerant if I voted against homosexual marriage. Well, if I don’t then the homosexual can sue me if I don’t want to celebrate that marriage with them by shooting their wedding photos, baking their wedding cake or allowing them to use my facilities for their wedding.

    But what is a “Wedding” and where did that start? The term wife is first used in Genesis 2:24, but the first time marriage is talked about is in Genesis 34 concerning Dinah the daughter of Leah and Jacob and Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite.
    Ge 34:8 And Hamor communed with them, saying, The soul of my son Shechem longeth for your daughter: I pray you give her him to wife.
    Ge 34:9 And make ye marriages with us, and give your daughters unto us, and take our daughters unto you.

    So “marriage” is a religious ceremony, not a “civil” ceremony. The two are completely separate. No marriage license was needed for the first thousand years or so. And today, no marriage license is needed unless one wishes to take advantage of the benefits that the government offers those with a license. Up until just a few years ago, a ceremony wasn’t even necessary as far as the government was concerned. “Common law” marriages (while frowned upon by polite society) were not all that uncommon.

    So, having said that, I oppose with every fiber of my being, the re-purposing of the term marriage to include same sex unions, just as I would a father-daughter, mother-son, union, etc. And I have every right to participate in the political process as anyone. I do not have to bottle my beliefs up when I walk out of church on Sunday or Wednesday. My beliefs go with me to work, to play and all other times.

  37. Of course someone would consider you intolerant of gays if you voted for banning them from a civil right to marriage. Your reasons for doing so lack any kind of secular and rational reasons.

    First of all, marriage is a function of the state. The fact that your religion performs the ceremonies for its congregations is immaterial to that. Marriage has a certain set of legal attachments and defaults having nothing to do with what version of God you believe in.

    Second of all, the “it will lead to” or “is equivalent to” arguments are utter crap used to avoid discussion of the subject on its own facts. Marriage equality is not like incest, buggery, or polygamy on any factual level.

    No you don’t have to bottle up your beliefs when you step out of the church. But you have to respect, that your religious views do not have to carry color of law or be enforced against those not of your faith. Laws must have a rational and secular purpose in our nation.

    Frankly I sincerely doubt you actually oppose anything Anderson says. I think you just find him embarrassing. But truth of the matter is you share many of the same views.

  38. @Book, Chap, Verse,

    “never ceases to amaze me that someone who has no faith, feels they must attack those who do.”

    Incredibly disappointed to hear that you have no objections to the behaviors of the Islamic Fundamentalists. Being the NON-muslim that you are, I suppose the Mohammedan injunction to behead unbelievers is fine with you – as long as you are not the victim.

    “Slay the infidels wherever you find them” – Surah (Q’uran)

    Non believers like you appear to think such things are none of anyone else’s business?

    Considering that this is your idea of morality,
    I’m rather indifferent to anything else you had to say.

  39. @Billysees,

    Well said!

    “That’s why we rely on the work of the ‘spirit in us’ to allow or disallow whatever we do.”

    As an Atheist I do the same thing, only I take full credit for those decisions when they go well and full responsibility when they go wrong – the consequences are all mine.

  40. Larry already answered you, and said many of the same things that I would be saying. but I’ll still answer what he didn’t address.

    First, the word “you”. generally, I would refer to a generic “you”, not you in particular. But that also doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t apply it to you, and based upon what you said, it certainly does to some extent. Are you of anderson’s ilk? Probably not. Do you think, like he does, that your purely theological concerns should have dominion over my life? Probably.

    God may see all sins as equal. So gluttony is the same as mass murder. I don’t, and I can have no respect for such a god, but then, my moral sense is a gift from him that apparently he doesn’t share. But then also, YOU AREN’T GOD! And I suspect that you would object a great deal if Murdered you and your family, and wouldn’t claim it is no worse than overindulgence. In short, you’re putting your prejudices onto God. you don’t believe it yourself.

    Here’s a civl right you oppose: the right to enter into the civl contract of marriage. Here’s another: the right to have the government neutral in matters of faith. I was married to my husband by a minister of the United church of Christ. Apparently you oppose his civil rights as well. Your church and its beliefs get government approval. His church and his beliefs don’t.

    If you have EVER Had sex for any other reason than to propagate the species, or have used any form of birth control, or are over the age a 50 (for a woman) by your own definition, you have just invalidated your own argument, lots of heterosexuals get married, or have sex, or both, with no intention of ever propagating. But you don’t object to their marriages, do you? Of course not. In any case, homosexuality is quite common in the mammalian and bird kingdoms. You might want to read a book called “biological exuberance”, by Bruce Bagemihl. You will learn something if you are so inclined. Among humans, Homosexuality is as ancient as mankind. Your statement about it being unnatural is simply your preferred belief, and is not reflected in reality.

    You claim you don’t believe we gay people should be discriminated against, and then you go right into how you would discriminate against us. Whether you wish to accept it or not, we’re talking about civl marriage. religion is completely optional. That is EXACTLY the “Civil Union” of some sort you are talking about. CIVIL MARRIAGE. I have neither the right nor the interest to be holy matrimonied in YOUR church. So you are wrong there, too. But thank you for accepting some legal recognition. But what I want is the same legal recognition available to you or to a fornicating, adulterous, thrice married former republican congressman. He is also a sinner, but you have no objection to HIS civl marriage, do you,

    As far as intolerance goes, there are laws at every level of government which forbid discrimination on the basis of religious belief, yours or mine. There are also laws in many states and locales which forbid discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. If you think the latter laws are wrong, then work to remove then. If you think the former laws are wrong, then work to remove THEM. But you won’t, because that would allow discrimination against Christians, Seeking to find exceptions to them merely underlines why we have those laws in the first place.

    There are not merely benefits to civil marriage, but rights, obligations, and responsibilities. Without the government license, those rights and benefits are not available. Most of the gay couples I know have been together for decades, and I know of literally hundreds more. We and they long ago accepted the obligations and responsibilities of marriage. Now, we want the rights and the benefits as well, and for those of us with children, 70,000 in Caifornia alone, the protections. And we want the name.

    When you and that former republican congressman are willing to accept a civil Union of some sort, do let me know. Until then, I want what you have, nothing more and nothing less.

    As far as bottling up your beliefs, of course you do, every time you accept as your civil equal Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, Unitarians, and everyone else who reject the enirety of your religious beliefs, not just the antigay bits. If you objected to them being treated exactly the same under civil law as you, you would rightly be called a religious bigot.

    Why is this different? Oh yes, because I am a special icky sinner. We’re not talking about inestuous marriages, and i resent your equating mine to theirs. This issue has nothing to do with that issue. If a man can marry a woman, why can’t he marry his sister, and what does that have to do with religion?


    I would suggest you try again.

  41. I forgot to include this as well.

    Whatever religious beliefs you may have, regarding homosexuality or anything else, NO ONE is insisting that you abandon them. Believe whatever you like. I don’t care.

    But why must I believe them? why must my life be governed by YOUR religous beliefs?

    And why don’t you insist that all of the other people in our country that don’t share your religious beliefs at all must be governed by them? Is it because you would be called a religious bigot if you insisted on that? Is it because you there are more people who don’t share your religious beliefs than those that do? Is it because it could happen to you?

    Or is it simply because you are justifying a mere social prejudice, albeit as sincere religious belief, and you see us as both beneath you, and weak? that would be my guess. So you don’t hate us and wish us dead. You merely wish our lives, faiths, families, and children be compromised.

    Not all bigotry is hate. A good deal of it is your wholly unwarranted belief in your completely imaginary superiority as a moral person, a human being, and a Christian.

    You don’t have to accept a thing. I won’t invite you to my wedding, nor will I expect a gift. If you don’t want to believe I’m married, I don’t care. I’m not interested in what you believe, your life, your family, or your faith. As far as your fear of lawsuits, again, I just don’t care. As I said earlier, if you wish to operate a business, and wish to violate laws forbidding discrimination on the basis of religion, or of sexual orientation, then you should be willing to accept the consequences of doing so. I thought you christians think you receive special blessings for being persecuted, no matter how imaginary your persecution may be.

    Or, instead of insisting upon your moral superiority and your entitlement to ignore the law, you could just do what ANY smart business person does who doesn’t want to do a job: you say you’re booked, and refer them on to someone else. You tell them that you don’t think you’re the right person for their needs, and refer them on to someone else.

    What you don’t do is insist that the law just doesn’t apply to you, including the law that guarantees me the same freedom of religion that you claim for yourself.

  42. That’s a decent argument against the argument that the Bible absolutely commands one and only one man for one and only one woman……but it is a poor argument for the notion that the Bible condones same-sex marriage, as neither monogamy nor polygamy in the Bible contemplate it, while homosexuality itself, even without marriage, is deemed a sin.

  43. How do you solve a problem like….. Stalin,Pol Pot, Mao, Fidel, the Kim family……

    Mass murderers all…..atheists all…..

    How do you even tell them they’re wrong and they have no right to treat their people like disposables when they tell you to butt out and mind your own business?

    If you’re going to tell them their wrong, you’d better lay aside your atheism…’s about as useful against tyranny as a toothbrush against an axe murderer.

  44. Cute but ineffective as its on display how little Psicop understands what he is talking about.

  45. Every post you make exposes your ignorance, bias and invalidates anyone taking you seriously. Well done!

  46. Frank, I’m just quoting book chap verse below. He said it, not me.

  47. Well you certainly don’t hold up religious belief as a counterpoint to them!
    You can’t even count the number of historical figures who used religious faith as a pretext to mayhem of all stripes.

    After all those communist dictators merely used the form of religion and directed it towards the state (as opposed to an entity in league with the state). Merely replacing one violent state sponsored form of faith with another. Rational belief, humanism and secularism had nothing to do with anything they did.

    Religion has never been much of a bulwark against dictatorships and oppression except in the outliers. In most cases it is in support of repressive and oppressive regimes.

    Religious freedom and democracy only exist when one distances themselves from their sectarian concerns. Ecumenicism and secularism. The very opposite of following the dictates of a given faith.

  48. Larry, you’re taking a French view of the relation between religion and democracy, one that is quite foreign to the American experience.

    It took a French aristocrat named Alexis de Tocqueville, after visiting America in the early 1830s, to write his seminal work, “Democracy in America,” which including a full treatment of this issue.

    Tocqueville thought the difference between the French and, by extension, continental European view and the American view was remarkable. In America, he wrote, clergy were fully on board the democracy experiment, unlike in the revolutionary France decades earlier, in which the pro-democracy people hated religion and the clergy hated democracy.

    Not sure why you hard lefties have convinced yourselves you’re in France rather than America, but the good news is you’re mistaken.

  49. Well, Anderson hates Christian Zionists like myself as much as he hates homosexuals, but I suspect that some of the same people who rightly disagree with his hatred of homosexuals wrongly agree with his hatred of Zionists of any kind, Jewish or Christian. And anti-Zionism is quite often a cover for anti-Semitism.

    I have an idea — how about we all agree not to hate anybody…..or at least make the effort? We can hate what people stand for without hating the people themselves. We can even ridicule people’s beliefs…..but somehow, we need to draw a line against devaluing people themselves. Not easy……but it must at least be attempted.

  50. Max, your preaching of hate is precisely what whipped up radical mobs during the French and Russian revolutions to commit horrible acts of atrocity and murder against people of faith.

    You are retracing the steps, using the same language, that led to the mass genocides of the 20th century committed by officially atheistic regimes.

    Your posts resemble the ancient Romans whipping up hatred against the Christians by twisting the Bible or early Christian sayings, and the medieval church’s whipping up hatred against the Jews by twisting the words of the Talmud. In each case, they used texts to make the objects of their hatred into subhuman monsters or outcasts who did not deserve to live or to live free.

  51. Anderson is a despicable anti-Semite with a heart overflowing with hatred who singles out sins of the flesh while ignoring the worst sins of all — the sins of arrogance and pride.

    But using Anderson as a means of shutting down the speech of principled supporters of traditional marriage will not work.

  52. Ben, I just read Doc’s link and it’s obvious from your response that you don’t understand mainstream Christian theology about biblical law as it has been taught for the better part of 20 centuries.

    Simply put, few Christian movements in history have even come close to saying that the penalties in the Torah, which include the death penalty for many things, were ever meant for the church or for any other entity or group other than the Jewish people. Those who have said otherwise have always been declared heretical by nearly every denomination and communion in Christendom.

    This critical point was first made by the apostle Paul nearly 20 centuries ago, long before the current issue of gay marriage arose.

    So banish any thought about this being some modern Christian attempt to wiggle out of the capital punishment statutes of Scripture. Again, Christians in virtually all times and places have believed that they are not under the Law of Moses as a unified system of governance. That was for the Jews alone.

    And even regarding the Jews, there is powerful evidence from both the New Testament and Talmud that capital punishment for any crime was very far from the norm. The story in John’s Gospel about the woman caught in adultery makes that very clear. Jesus’ entire argument against stoning the woman worked precisely because every person holding a stone knew that they too could be stoned for other capital crimes, such as disrespecting parents. And yet they were still alive, and many of them advanced in years.

    Simply stated, if every person in ancient Israel (or any other place in the world) who committed an offense deemed a capital crime in the Torah were to be put to death, there wouldn’t be many people alive.

    And yet they were alive…..

    This fits not only with Jesus’ words but with the Talmud’s claim that capital punishment was mostly not used in ancient Israel.

    Well, why not? Were they disobeying God’s orders in the Torah?

    Actually, no…..In the same Torah, side by side with the tough laws and the punishments, was a whole system within a system that allowed for repentance and provided atonement. One day a year, Yom Kippur, was set aside specifically for the repentance of all of Israel, for all sins. And throughout the year, the sacrificial system in the Temple included offerings for sins, representing atonement for them.

    In other words, the same God who through the Torah, revealed His will and ways for humanity, what was right and wrong on a host of issues, and what human beings deserved when transgressing those laws, also provided a way for human beings to repent, be atoned for, and be forgiven their trespasses.

    His goal, it seems, was not to kill people who broke the law, but to show people right and wrong through the law, what they deserved by transgressing it, and yet offer them mercy and grace when they repented…..even if they had to repent over and over and over again.

    And again, that fits with the apparent fact that the death penalty was rarely used……Mercy and grace triumphed overwhelmingly…..Yom Kippur and the sacrificial system were the dominant realities…

    The nuances of this have been debated for centuries and millennia, but the basics are clear — Even the toughest penalties in Scripture were not meant to be meted out, but to proclaim what humanity deserves….to convict the heart to repent, even it meant repenting repeatedly. If they were meant to be meted out, there would have been no provisions in that same Law for repentance, atonement, and forgiveness.

    Lots more to say on this vast subject, but this is a brief summary.

  53. Lumping Anderson together with someone like a Tony Perkins is frankly obscene and repulsive. Anderson is a fire-breathing hate machine. Perkins is a conventional Christian who is simply standing for the scriptural view of marriage, as has virtually every pastor and priest over the past 20 centuries — not to mention every society in history, including pre-Christian pagan societies, none of which proposed same-sex marriage..

    You might as well compare Adolf Hitler to Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

    I guarantee you that Bonhoeffer would have opposed gay marriage …..and I also guarantee you that he would have condemned Anderson with equal vehemence.

    If you think you are going to shut down opposition to redefining marriage by lumping that opposition with people who wish to inflict physical harm on other people, including gays, think again.

    Long after you and I are gone, people will take their stand against both redefining marriage and against hatred and violence. Even if every government on earth redefines marriage, men and women of faith will stand for traditional marriage, at the cost of their own lives, livelihoods, and freedom if need be. No matter how much they are hated, vilified, and perhaps persecuted, they will take their stand.

  54. Except there is no such thing as “principled supporters of traditional marriage”. Anderson is no different from the more mainstream faces of Bryan Fischer or Scott Lively. Their views are identical, only the rhetoric changes.

    The “principles” in question being that one’s religious beliefs must carry the color of law to the detriment of everyone else. There are certainly no rational or secular purposes behind their “support” or even definition of “traditional marriage”.

    Anderson is a great example of what the anti-gay crowd believes but avoids saying in public. Its not like he as being censured by fellow conservative Christians. They really have no disagreement with him.

    There is the canard of people calling out moderate Muslims for not speaking out against the extremists within their faith. But where are you seeing the same for Christians and their own extremists? They seem to wait until others have already chimed in before making their criticisms (if any).

  55. If you just ignore centuries of oppression aided and abetted by very wealthy state sanctioned churches, economic stagnation of the middle classes and ultra-reactionary regimes which were being overthrown.

    Compare Pre-revolutionary France or Russia with the UK at either period. They were socially, politically and economically backward in comparison.

    Your posts display an ignorance of history and a knee-jerk need to paint someone as anti-Semitic. Its ridiculous.

  56. Referencing Anderson isn’t shutting down opposition to marriage equality. It is just showing their true face. There is no fundamental difference in views and rhetoric between Anderson and Perkins. Your attempt to distinguish the two is dishonest garbage.

    Tony Perkins is even worse than Anderson. Perkins actively campaigned to have gays executed and imprisoned abroad and met with some measure of success.

    Opposition to marriage equality has ALWAYS included those who actively seek to harm gays. From the Ex-gay ministries and their tortures and abuses of self-loathing gays, to efforts to criminalize gays, even encouraging suicide of gay teens. Those are all the people with your view associate with freely and openly.

    You are no different.

    Your whole spiel about redefining marriage is nonsense. Its not your actual argument. Its just a catchphrase for a view which seeks to demonize gays under the color of law. You don’t cough up a rational and secular purpose behind keeping the “traditional marriage definition”. There is no legitimate reason why our laws would have to reflect your views.

  57. I am whipping up hatred?
    I reject that. Don’t call me a blasphemer!

    The Pastor is whipping up murderous hatred!!!
    I am merely imploring people to re-consider their adherence to this despicable Jesus cult of horrors!

    Jesus is despicable.
    Christmas is the celebration of a murder condoned by Yahweh.

    If I can’t speak the truth then we don’t have freedom and the religious nuts have already won.

    I won’t let you smear me as I condemn your worship of this Pastor’s call for blood sacrifice and murder.
    Be responsible for once and renounce these ‘Holy’ Books!

  58. @Jack,

    “how about we all agree not to hate anybody”

    Finally! What took you so long?

    “Hate your parents…hate your life” – JESUS (Luke 14:26)
    “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his daughter, and a daughter against her mother, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; and A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD.” – JESUS (Matthew 10:35)

    Sorry, Jesus.
    Jack is one of us Atheists now! Back off and let us all get along!

  59. No I am taking the American view.

    The one first adopted by Roger Williams in the 17th Century. That religion and government cannot be entangled if either of them is to keep integrity and freedom.

    Secularism, stepping away from the dictates of faith and sectarianism to acknowledge the existence and liberties other views and faiths.

    Religion in of itself, when given state power gravitates towards repressive governments. Be that an established church or a substitute state religion (like Juiche or Cults of Personality).

    Religious groups supporting civil liberties and democracy are the ones that say first and foremost that their faith is not the guiding principle for all people. That one has to look past their sectarian concerns and play nice with others.

    In the early days of the US, clergy had wildly differing views of how democracy was supposed to be applied. If not for the foresight of a few from minority faiths, with a tradition of secularism, we would not have the religious freedom we have. Our 1st Amendment, the codified disengagement of state from religion is their work.

    Calling me “a hard leftie” and trying to ascribe views to me which I have never said or discussed is just laziness on your part (and a bit of ad hominem). A way to make a short hand canned argument without bothering to figure out what is being said.

  60. @ A. Max

    “As an Atheist I do the same thing, only I take full credit for those decisions when they go well and full responsibility when they go wrong – the consequences are all mine.”

    That’s a mature comment.

    As for me, I more-or-less thank God (or the spirit) when things go good and blame myself when things don’t go good.

    I love to be thankful to ‘something’ or ‘somebody’ when things work out OK, and I don’t blame that same ‘something’ or ‘somebody’ when things don’t work out OK.

    I think your approach is good but I still enjoy being thankful to ‘other-than-myself’ when things are going good.

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