Beliefs Culture Ethics LGBT, race and religion Politics

Black clergy walk a fine line between religious liberty, discrimination

The Rev. Jerry Young, 18th president of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. Photo courtesy of Will Sterling of Sterling Photography
The Rev. Jerry Young, 18th president of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. Photo courtesy of Will Sterling of Sterling Photography

The Rev. Jerry Young, 18th president of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. Photo courtesy of Will Sterling of Sterling Photography

(RNS) Since the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is constitutional, the Rev. Jerry Young has been in a quandary.

As the president of the National Baptist Convention, USA, a predominantly black denomination, he is grappling with a new reality: how to respond to the specter of discrimination against gays. While he doesn’t support gay marriage, the refusal of some religious bakers and florists to provide services to gays prompts memories of racially segregated hotels and restaurants.

“On the one hand, you have to be sensitive to the fact that you do not want people to be victims of discrimination — that’s just an absolute fact — you just do not want that to happen,” said Young, who grew up in Mississippi in the civil rights era and is developing a position paper to guide NBCUSA congregations on these issues.

“And on the other hand, there is this tension between what, as Christians, we believe God has called us to do, and what it appears to be, in some sense, what the culture seems to be doing.”

Though some national black Baptist denominations and the Church of God in Christ oppose same-sex marriage, a new poll from Public Religion Research Institute shows that 63 percent of nonwhite Protestants object to religious exemptions in nondiscrimination laws.

READ: Can clerks refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses? A guide to the legal debate

The Rev. Fred Davie, executive vice president of Union Theological Seminary and a gay Presbyterian Church (USA) minister, says he thinks most black clergy share concerns about discrimination.

“Most of us know the sting of that and the scourge of that and don’t want to repeat it even though they would reserve the right to choose who to marry, who not to marry, in their churches,” said Davie, who is married to Michael Adams, his partner of 17 years.

Seventeen states have introduced legislation to create or alter state-level religious freedom restoration laws, some of which could affect same-sex marriages. Many Voices, a pro-LGBT group that works with black churches, said it hopes to influence legislators crafting those bills.

“Voices of faith leaders will be required to hold in balance the highly valued religious liberty we enjoy along with freedoms and protections for LGBT persons and their families,” said the Rev. Cedric Harmon, co-director of Many Voices.

Not all African American clergy oppose same-sex marriage, but many oppose laws that would allow legal discrimination against a group of people.

Bishop George E. Battle, Jr., Senior Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. Photo courtesy of A. M. E. Zion Church

Bishop George E. Battle, Jr., Senior Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. Photo courtesy of A. M. E. Zion Church

READ: Black churches split over gay marriage and Obama

“I know what it’s like to be discriminated against, and our people do, so I don’t want them to be discriminated against,” said Bishop George Battle Jr., senior bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, which opposes same-sex marriage. “If their money is green and you’re taking green money I think you should take it all.”

But the Rev. T. DeWitt Smith Jr., an Atlanta pastor and co-chair of the National African American Clergy Network, said he doesn’t think owners of mom-and-pop establishments should be equated with the segregationists of the past.

“The smaller groups have to grapple with their own consciences,” said Smith, former president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, noting he was stating his personal opinion.

While some businesses may make that choice based on religious belief, “I don’t really equate that with the denial of hotel space based on color, ethnicity.”

Bishop Talbert W. Swan II, a Church of God in Christ pastor in Springfield, Mass., agreed that the church-run bakery down the street from his congregation should have the right to deny its services to a gay couple.

“So if someone walks into the New Hope Bakery and said, ‘We wanted you to bake a cake for a same-sex marriage ceremony,’ I think they should have every right to say `No, we won’t bake that cake,’” he said. “They should have every right to refuse to bake a product that’s going to be associated with something that violates their religious belief.”

But he said a for-profit corporation that serves the general public should not have an exemption.

READ: What if Atticus Finch turned out to be a polite racist?

To Swan, the history of enslavement of African-Americans cannot be compared to gay struggles.

Terence K. Leathers. Photo courtesy of Capital Workforce Development Board for Johnston and Wake Counties. N.C

Terence K. Leathers. Photo courtesy of Capital Workforce Development Board for Johnston and Wake Counties. N.C

“I don’t think it’s comparing apples to apples,” he said. “The history does not compare and to me it’s quite insulting to try to make that connection.”

The Rev. Terence Leathers of Clayton, N.C., unsuccessfully lobbied the North Carolina legislature, which passed a law allowing magistrates to refuse to perform a same-sex marriage ceremony. He feels magistrates and bakers should not deny services to LGBT people, and connects these issues to times when other discrimination was evident — like the nearby town that once had a welcome sign that read “This is KLAN country.”

“It’s discriminatory and should not be tolerated,” he said.

But he admits to feeling like he’s a lone voice among black clergy in his rural area.

“There are people who may be for me but they’re keeping it silent,” he said. “They don’t want to cause any trouble.”



About the author

Adelle M. Banks

Adelle M. Banks, production editor and a national reporter, joined RNS in 1995. An award-winning journalist, she previously was the religion reporter at the Orlando Sentinel and a reporter at The Providence Journal and newspapers in the upstate New York communities of Syracuse and Binghamton.


Click here to post a comment

  • “there is this tension between — what as Christians we believe God has called us to do and what it appears to be…what the culture seems to be doing.”

    Well, there’s your first problem. You’re not the only Christians, are you? There are plenty of Christians who disagree with you, not despite what their bibles say, but because of it.

    Here’s your second problem. Illegitimacy rates among black people are around 70%– multiple men fathering multiple children on multiple women. It’s 40% for the rest of the population. A young black man is far more likely to go to prison than he is to college, making his prospects for supporting his family even dimmer.

    here’s your third problem. Those lunch counters your forefathers couldn’t sit at were run by small businesspeople. The citations made for justifying slavery and segregation were made from the bible.

    OPEN YOUR EYES. Or at least get the beams out of them.

  • Ben has a good point. It seems the black Christian churches turn a blind eye to their members living in fornication, having babies out of wedlock, having multiple babies with different fathers. In fact over 80% of black babies are born to single mothers, with the fathers effectively absent. So until they get their own house in order, no reason to look outside of it. What did Jesus say? “How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5″You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:5). Now this doesn’t mean that the gay groups are justified in what they are doing and claiming, but only that the black churches have a lot to straighten with their own congregations. Preach the whole gospel, and live it; that is what we are all called to do. And then we will not fear eternity.

  • Ben,

    You have no business or religion to be butting in to Christian issues. Gay marriage does not exist in Christian truth. Those “Christians” that have rejected truth for cultural lies will have to be rejected as well.

    But, since YOU and your homosexual pals can now ply your trade in places called churches, you have no reason but trickery to be in Christian Churches that follow the truth of scripture.

    The beams never entered the Christian marriage eyes. And Christian marriage is not a same gender affair. That, is for pagans and other non-believers.

  • Homosexuals have won their means to get a secular “marriage.” And those that practice some pagan religion can do their thing there.

    Christians that do not support redefining marriage in an antithetical way are not “opposing gay marriage” they are simply being the kind of Christian the Apostles were. Honest Christ-following believers.

    It’s bigotry and intolerance by anyone that labels or charges a Christian with hate or discrimination, or anything negative for not celebrated and condoning same gender marriage.

    The Church should rally around each other now as Jesus instructed. All the poor persecuted Christians sued by LGBT’s should be supported financially by their brothers and sisters in Christ. I’ve already sent Christians money that were sued by homosexuals.

    There is enough room in society for Christians and those that oppose them. The Church came out of a pro-homosexual society and it can thrive in the same kind of unhinged depravity now. Just don’t join in.

  • Blacks need to separate their experiences with discrimination from the gay claim that they are analogous with theirs.
    Blacks never had to advertise their identity, their skin color spoke for them. Gays do need to inform someone publicly that they are gay and they “want this”. This label sparks an immediate ideation of the individual, right or wrong. Color of skin has no Biblical grounds to use as a defense to discriminate. Homosexuality certainly does.
    Now, because of the challenge set up by the gay individual, a religious person could find themselves unable to “help”, for very real reasons.
    Blacks had only societal barriers to contend with, not religious ones… their complaints were found to be legal, their discrimination illegal.
    Gays should be sympathetic to those who cannot offend God by “assisting in gay marriage”, for I’m sure the number is minuscule. They needn’t “evangelize” their cause. And stop using the Black examples!

  • Excellent article by Adelle Banks. It’s a snapshot of the current state of confusion, disarray, shoulder-shrugging, and weakness that America’s black churches are mired in, as a result of their leaders tacitly sleeping with the Gay Marriage Religion.

    Black leaders like Young and Battle encouraged their people to vote for Obama in 2012, even after Obama made TOTALLY clear that he was going to do a big crusade to legalize gay marriage. Young, Battle, and other church leaders actually put **racial pride** above God’s Word, the Scriptures. They accepted gay marriage on the down-low.

    Now we have a situation in which black churches have their hands dirty with gay marriage, and are openly stuck in pitiful confusion and disarray.

    And now BLACK Christian businesses and families are going to find out exactly what happens when the Gay Gestapo knocks on THEIR door, as with Indiana, Oregon, New Mexico, Minnesota, etc.

    Soon, baby, soon. Price tags cometh.

  • “………The Rev. Fred Davie, executive vice president of Union Theological Seminary and a gay Presbyterian Church (USA) minister, says he thinks most black clergy share concerns about discrimination……..”

    Apparently Rev. Dayle does not seem to understand that there are significant physical differences between skin color and two men practicing sodomy. It has been previously pointed out on this forum that the former is genetic and immutable, while the latter is evil and predatory.

    Rev Dayle and his Presbyterian Church USA do not particularly desire sodomy for members of their own families, but they wholeheartedly approve of it for other people’s families, and especially for male teenagers who have reached the legal age of consent. They espouse common gay
    propaganda which equates sodomy to skin color in order to mislead and indoctrinate young people into supporting sodomy as a civil right.

  • Gay propaganda followed Goebbels’ Germany National Socialism method perfectly. Making the unimaginable a pride thing. Study that and see. The comparison is eerie. And just as the Germans woke up one day to their world utterly changed for the worst, America will more than likely suffer the same fate.

    In the context of “The Church,” there is no such thing as The Black Church. Once the interaction happens, Christians of any race know they are of the same family. Just attend a Christian music festival like Spirit West Coast and see. Now surely, the LGBT Rainbow worshippers will invade and infect these Christian gatherings, but there’s no justifying homosexuality in the end. Just the situation Jude preached and prophesied:
    “For certain individuals have secretly slipped in among you.”
    “These people are blemishes at your love feasts…”
    “…they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.”

  • Typical Christian hypocrite. He only opposes things which could bounce back to his own group. Being completely tone deaf to the kinds of arguments and actions which used to be used against people like himself, but have found new life against others.

    Only the confluence of religion and personal prejudice can produce such an irrational disconnect.

    Summary of posts from our usual crowd:
    BB- Stop Criticizing Christians you are pointing out flaws we don’t like to talk about

    Doc- Obama BAD! Gay marriage argle bargle blah!!!!

    bqrq- loves sodomy with black men and is fapping to such images

  • Larry,

    You know nothing of Christianity except what you have programmed to learn from MSNBC and Huffington Post.

    “Judging” actions is completely honest to do. If, you were honest, you would know how to support Christians that were honest and faithful. There is no such thing as same gender marriage in Christian truth. Whatever the rainbow idolaters are doing, it has nothing to do with “the faith delivered only once to the saints.”

    But then again, operative phrase: If you were honest.

    I have yet to see any honesty in the pro gay agenda.

  • Yes, when the New Testament speaks of not judging, it doesn’t mean we stand idly by–so to speak–and watch people go to hell without saying anything. What this simply means is you can warn people that their actions are gravely sinful, and that God Almighty has told us where that will lead to in the afterlife, but you cannot judge a person’s eternal fate. In other words, concern for a person is good, but finger pointing and judging is not so good. That is for God Alone.

  • part 1: Spoken from ignorance, the perspective of a white heterosexual Christian man, and with a deft change of subject thrown in.

    I always find it amusing when racial hatred refuses to share a drinking fountain with The Geyz, claiming the gold medal in the Oppression Olympics. Of course some black people don’t think that gay oppression is the same as black oppression. They are not exactly the same, but like all bigotries, there is a great deal that is shared. The real reason is that they would then have to give up the coveted position of having a whole class of people beneath them, their wholly imaginary superiority to people they have been taught to despise.

    I am always amazed when I hear a black person saying that the systematic legal oppression and disadvantaging that black people suffered for centuries is totally unlike the systematic legal oppression and disadvantaging that gay people have suffered.

    No black kid has ever been kicked out of his family for being black.

  • part 2: No black kid has ever had to sit in his church and be told that god loves him, but hates him for being black.

    In no state can a black person be legally fired for being black or for putting a photo of his black wife on his desk. In 29 states, if your employer is an antigay bigot who fires you for being gay, you have no legal recourse.

    You’re quite incorrect, or else where did the stereotypes of gay men and lesbians come from? Many people can’t hide it, and more than some black people can’t lighten their skin. Kids get beat up on the playground for being gay, long before anybody’s gaydar goes off, long before they could announce themselves. I know, because I used to be that kid.

    Here’s your change of subject: from the perpetrators to the victims. It is exactly about civil rights– the right to be treated without discrimination by your government, and the insistence by our government that society reflect and support the principle of equal treatment before the law.

  • part 3:

    The two bigotries actually have a lot in common: an undeniable parallel to the sexually compelling aspect of black people in Jim Crow. Black men, like gay men, especially were libeled with the stereotype of being morally bankrupt, sexually immature, aggressive and predatory. For black men: the assumption that they were unnaturally attracted to white females, so Jim Crow had to be strictly enforced. For gay men: boys and straight men. White men found black women sexually compelling, with a lot of curiosity. Lesbian porn isn’t made for women, but for straight men.

    There is no compromise to equality. None at all. I should not have to have this conversation with a black man. A black man knows the spiritual damage caused by being dehumanized.

    Nor should I have to have this conversation with a white, heterosexual, conservative Christian male. you simply don’t know what you’re talking about. When you have to hide YOUR life, you can tell me how I ought to hide mine.

  • If only you actually knew the difference, but given your consistent comments about gay men as predators, you clearly don’t,

  • Yes, black men know the spiritual damage caused by being historically dehumanized. That is correct.

    But some of us ALSO know, from observation of people’s lives, the spiritual damage caused by adopting and practicing a LGBT self-identity. We know the LGBT self-identities and lifestyles cause, not cure, damage and pain to men, women, and their families. Most of all, we know what the Bible clearly teaches regarding homosexual behavior and gay marriage.

    You disagree with that position, yes. You shouldn’t have to have conversations with black Christian men about it, yes. But that’s the rub — you ARE talking about black Christian men, Ben. So some of us are NOT going to sit back and let you Gay Activists do your gay-marriage crusade on us and our families/businesses/churches, without open resistance.

    If that causes a rift with confused or shoulder-shrugging black leaders, then so be it. Gay Marriage is wrong for ALL colors and creeds.

  • Umm, the black man who said the quotation you’re responding to, happens to be the leader of the National Baptist Convention USA, a pretty significant black denomination.

    HE persuaded most of his black denomination’s leaders that it was okay to vote for the puppet of the Gay Activists, a Mr. Barack Obama, even AFTER Obama had publicly promised to kill DOMA and help legalize gay marriage.

    In effect, Dr. Young largely persuaded his own black denomination to vote for Gay Marriage in 2012 — on the down-low, of course.

    Which is part of the reason for the current huge mess in the black church. And it’s why Young himself still sounds like he’s in “a quandary”, as if he can’t figure out what advice to give his churches when the Gay Gestapo knocks on their doors.

    So you ought to be thanking him profusely for doing your bidding and putting gay marriage ahead of his own Bible, instead of lecturing him on “opening his eyes.”

  • This is why I rarely bother to respond to you. you are irretrievably poisoned.

    We “know”? YOU know nothing.

    The bible, like the book of Mormon, clearly taught that black people were inferior, slavery was just, segregation was god’s intention, miscegenation laws were god’s holy will, and that a cross burning on a black family’s lawn was just the way to go.

    Your experiences have clearly taught you nothing. But thank you for proving my point.

    THIS TIME, unlike all of those other times, but THIS TIME, all of the evil visited upon innocent people in god’s name is really just the correct thing, because you just made up a bunch of stuff about imaginary harm visited upon innocent heterosexuals and their families.

    You are truly a piece of work.

  • BB, you know nothing of anything. Any subject. You can be guaranteed not to post anything remotely factually supportable.

    Show me anywhere in the Bible where consensual adult same sex relationships are depicted. It isn’t there.

    Religion can always be used to justify whatever bad behavior you don’t want to take responsibility for. Why should this be any different.. For an alleged guide to moral conduct, it seems to sanction an awful lot of immoral, malicious and harmful behavior from some corners.

  • Ben, righteous anger has its place. When almost 85% of the teenagers abused in the Catholic Church were male, then that places the focus on either gay pedophiles, or bisexual pedophiles. And I have every reason to sound the warning so that this doesn’t ever happen again in the future. Just because you are not a pedophile, doesn’t mean that all gay men are monogamous, and attracted to men their own age. One study done in Minnesota interviewed a group of convicted child molesters, and 85% of these claimed to be homosexual or bisexual. So there is a reason to throw up the caution flag.

  • “Show me anywhere in the Bible where consensual adult same sex relationships are depicted. It isn’t there.”

    Why would it be, when there had already been direct instruction not to lie with a man as one would with a woman (which obviously would cover both consensual and nonconsensual sex, unless you want to go the radfem route and argue that all hetero sex is essentially nonconsensual… :-D)?

    BTW, you might want to pass on your thoughts to the Carrot, who is convinced that the Bible DOES depict consensual same-sex relationships. I’m sure he would find your assertion “so sad…”

  • “The bible, like the book of Mormon, clearly taught that black people were inferior, slavery was just, segregation was god’s intention, miscegenation laws were god’s holy will, and that a cross burning on a black family’s lawn was just the way to go.”

    Ben, in order to torture a prohibition on miscegenation out of the bible, or any suggestion that black people are inferior, you have to mangle it just as much as you have to mangle it to get an acceptance of SSM out of it. As for slavery, Doc knows this much, and so do I…there is nothing and no one else to whom the death of slavery in the western world (not once but twice) is owed but to Christianity. Not Islam, not Hinduism, not Buddha, not Confucious, and most certainly not atheism/deism/humanism/etc.

    It’s time for your gang to stop riding the coat-tails of Christianity. Toss it if you wish, but have the integrity to also toss Christian ideals of justice and morality to which you have no claim.

  • And by the way, the Bible clearly teaches that all people, all races and nations, are created equal by God Himself, essentially a single human race (Acts 17:26) — and NOWHERE does it teach that any race, including us blacks, is inferior to any other.

    (You see Ben, that’s the OTHER thing about some of us black Christians. We study the Bible, and we actually know what it says. So if you’re going to “run a game” on us, you’ll have to work a lot harder. The standard atheist falsehoods just don’t cut it.)

  • Greg1,

    No, Jehovah God, the Father, has entrusted all judging to his son, Christ Jesus (John 5:22).

  • Because if you are going to claim your bigotry is somehow scripturally sanctioned, it would be honest to be addressing the same thing.

    But we both know its all just a matter of proferring any excuses you can feel better about.

    I am not even going to pretend religious arguments are going to be intellectually honest, consistent or remotely rational. Belief isn’t. It’s support won’t be either. Merely overdeveloped rationalizing.

  • Oh, please! I’m sure it looks exactly like that to you from your lofty perch of superiority in all matters of faith, morals, and basic humanIty.

    No one doubts Christianity led the assault against slavery. But you prefer to pretend that it wasn’t Christians who were promulgating slavery, as well as miscegenation laws and Jim Crow.

    And Justifying these evils with their bibles and certainty about god’s word. And about how damnably right and righteous they were about all of it. There is no difference between your actions now and your actions then.

    And the same thing is happening again. Christians are not leading, but are certainly supporting the charge against institutionalized Homobigotry. They can tell a prejudice when they see one.

    Riding on the coattails of Christianity? No, I don’t think so. What you call that is what I would call integrating our romantic-sexual lives into the rest of our lives– in short, ending the closet as your enforcement mechanism. Too bad!

  • As I said, doc, you are irretrievably poisoned by your religious beliefs. That you would pretend that none of these things were justified by the Bible– and that’s exactly What was done, and it is well documented– I really can’t help you then. You can set your certainty that the Bible doesn’t say it, but the historical record says that that’s exactly what right Christian said about slavery, miscegenation, Jim Crow, and segregation.

    You’re not interested in the truth, you’re interested in your ideology. As I said, this is why I really don’t bother to respond to you.

  • Greg, I have referred you several times to the John Jay College report, which refutes everything that you have to say. I referred you to virtually every professional, psychological, Child welfare, and medical organization in the entire civilized world that contradicts what you have to say, and you don’t care about that either. You just claimed that the APA for example is in the back pocket of the gay movement. You really don’t care that 100% of these molesters were Catholic priests. Even though you claim not to blame all gay people for it, it is tremendously clear that that is exactly what you’re saying. Like doc, for whatever reasons you may have, you are also irretrievably poisoned.

    When I respond to you, it’s not so much to refute you, but to display the difference between truth and hate. I’m hoping that reasonable and rational people can see that.

  • “I am not even going to pretend religious arguments are going to be intellectually honest, consistent or remotely rational.”

    Well, that’s probably a good plan for you, as you thereby exempt yourself from doing any homework and offering pertinent arguments that invariably fail.

    Better yet, save some time and bandwidth and keep out of biblically-oriented discussions altogether.

  • “But you prefer to pretend that it wasn’t Christians who were promulgating slavery, as well as miscegenation laws and Jim Crow.”

    Oh, they were about as Christian as the present day Christians who are likewise fabricating “biblical” arguments for SSM. The scriptural support wasn’t there then, nor is it now. Both cases feature people following their own fleshly human desires and looking for loopholes to accommodate them, not crucifying the self and wholeheartedly seeking God’s word and perfect will out of love and loyalty to the Savior.

    “As I said, this is why I really don’t bother to respond to you.”

    Except when you do.

  • Quotes from Coretta Scott-King (1998-2000):

    “I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of racial justice,” she said. “But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream to make room at the table of brother- and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people”

  • Ben, there is a thing called common sense, which is lacking in most politically driven investigations. The problem was deep and wide in the Church, and must be brought to an end. The John Jay College report is just one piece among a group of reports, all stating different conclusions. I for one feel that bringing back the married priesthood will end much of this, as married men with children of their own have very little spare time on their hands to do this type of garbage. It is the safest solution.

  • ben in Oakland said;
    “…….If only you actually knew the difference, but given your consistent comments about gay men as predators, you clearly don’t…..”

    Dear ben,
    Not all gay men are predators. However, among those who actively practice sodomy there is a definite tendency towards a predator-prey type of relationship.

    The predator seeks sexual gratification at the expense of the prey who suffers physical injury, infection and psychological trauma. It is always more dangerous for the guy on the receiving end.

    Previously ben revealed that he is involved in a gay relationship with a so-called “husband” so he probably understands the point of this discussion,

  • Fran, John 20:23 says, “[Jesus] breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.Whosoever’s sins you remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosoever’s sins you retain, they are retained.'” This was a charism conferred upon the Apostles by our Lord. The Apostles, in turn, conferred this charism upon other men through the “laying on of hands” and prophetic word (ordination: 1Tim 4:14); then these men, in turn, would pass this sacred charism on to other men, from bishop to bishop, generation to generation, down through the ages, all the way down to today’s Catholic Bishops and priests in an unbroken line of succession. That is known as Apostolic Succession. That is why a priest can forgive sins. And it is a type of judgment (also see Acts 1:8, Acts 2:4, Acts 6:3-8, Acts 13:3, 2Tim 1:6). We also can judge in certain respects: (see Matthew 18:15, Gal 6:1-10, Titus 3:10-11, 2Thess 3:15), and for bishops such as Timothy: (2Tim 4:2. 1Tim 5:20). Final Judgment is for…

  • Larry,

    You babbling actually proved the point that there is no such thing as same gender marriage OR support for same gender sex acts ANYWHERE in the Bible.

    All of my positions are backed up by reality. In the “Christian religion” sexuality is only appropriate in a marriage. AND, marriage is immutably man and woman/husband and wife.

    Pure supportable fact.

  • Larry is an anti-Christ. Once you see his rants through that reality, you just respond to his hate while shaking your head and chuckling at the same time. His voice is as old as Nero’s.

  • Of course, Shawnee, I will respond to you on occasion. There are people out there that need to be educated. They can choose between your arguments and mine. But mostly, I’m not going to bother to make those arguments.

    But if you would like to make an example of how Scripture is distorted to say exactly what you want it to.,You need look no further than the sodom story. There is no way that a person not poisoned by homo hatred can read that story and concluded that it is anything about homosexuality. But that is how it has been interpreted for centuries.

    One might conclude that there is an entirely different agenda than the word of God going on there.

  • It IS about nonconsensual homosexuality, which is not directly on point to modern-day concerns, of course, which is why I generally don’t bother to refer to it. Other passages are more pertinent.

    But as for distorting scripture to make it say what you want, you and others here are continually under the delusion that we “want” scripture to condemn homosexual behavior, when in fact we want no such thing. I’d be happy for someone to present a sound argument for SSM so this whole issue could go away. But there isn’t one.

    The pro-SSM side, however, has understandable reasons for distorting scripture to make it say what they want. The best example of that is the recurring nonsense about David and Jonathan . That is where we can truly say that “there is no way that a person not poisoned by homo zealotry can read that story and concluded that it is anything about homosexuality.”

  • Ben ~ I agree with you. I just wanted you to know there are many others like myself that are also reading these comments and do agree with you.

    Not only do you make a sound reasonable comments, you brought forth some points that even I had not considered in this debate…..
    “No black kid has ever been kicked out of his family for being black.” etc…..

    You managed to do this under considerable animosity from the other side. There are indeed many of us who appreciate your posts and tenacity. Keep up the good posting, and do it often. Don’t be discouraged when unwilling swine can not hear your pearls.
    Thanks Ben!

  • Frankly anyone who gives credit to ending slavery to Christianity, but fails to take into account how the religion supported it is not going to be engage in honest dialogue. So there is no need to keep up pretenses.

    You can credit Christians for being on both sides of civil liberties issues. But you are well aware of that already.

    Given the propensity towards apologia and revisionism, within a generation or two conservative Christians will be trying to take credit for marriage equality as well.

    The religious right formed from the segregationist crowd and currently tries to appropriate the Civil Rights movement as their own. Taking credit for the works of their opponents is a regular habit.

  • When you can’t make your case and you’ve lost the argument, try appealing to “common sense”. Good last ditch effort, Greg1, but I somehow don’t think ben is gonna fall for that hoary old one.

  • Tieta, in response to your
    response below, John 1:18 says that NO MAN has seen God at any time, but the only-begotten SON which is in the bosom of the Father (in an intimate relationship) has DECLARED Him. Many men on earth did, however, see the son of God, Jesus (Matt. 3:17).

    That is why Jesus could make the statement that if they had seen Jesus, they had seen the Father (John 14:9), because he is just like his Father, is of God, and has also seen Him (John 6:46).

    Jesus is called the Word, as he was the spokesperson for his Father when he was on earth. Because of that, we can actually know God, his Father, his personality, and have a close relationship with Him (John 17:3; James 4:8).

  • Fran- First born over creation refers to His rank. Emmanuel means
    God with us so Jesus was/is God with us and of course nobody can
    look at God or had seen God which is why Christ came. People who
    died before Christ had to go to a place called Abrahams bosom and
    that’s where many get the myth of purgatory. Hell is real/works don’t
    save and the 144,00 are Jewish male virgins that preach the Truth
    during the tribulation after the rapture not Jehovah witnesses. God
    warned us about hell/went to the Cross so we do not have to go to
    hell. You can’t take parts out of Bible just because you don’t agree.

    In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the
    Word/Jesus was God then the Word/Jesus became flesh so Jesus
    is God as part of the Trinity/Godhead. One God with three parts.

  • Thank you! I hear what you are saying and it makes a lot of sense. Thank you for communicating this! I agree w/ what you’re saying.

  • @armed forces

    why, thank you very much. :o)

    This is exactly why I write. I don’t really care most of the time about the animosity expressed from the other side. It’s what they do, and it isn’t going to change. The people I care about are those who haven’t made up their minds, and aren’t commenting.

    I try to keep it polite, but I am certainly willing to say exactly what I think.

    thank you again.

  • Burt, I see you have your common sense blinders on, as well. Be sure to take them off next time you approach a stop sign.

  • John 10: 31: “I and the Father are one.” The Jews picked up stones again to stone him.” The rhetorical question is, why do you think the Jews wanted to stone Jesus for simply stating that He and the Father are One? That is, unless, of course, they understood the Truth he was conveying.

  • @Greg.

    Oh, I don’t know. Perhaps they considered it the worst sort of blasphemy?

  • Greg1, clearly it is yourself with the blinders on, not me. And an inability to reason and face the hard questions.

    You have yet to make any case for your claims, no matter how often you pull out your stories about your big bad god that’s gonna wup your backside. Ben walloped your “arguments”, so get over yourself already and do some actual thinking for a change.

  • Black churches are really no different from any other churches on this issue:

    The theologically liberal ones are hostile to religious-freedom exemptions, while the theologically conservative ones favor such exemptions.

  • Ben, I have to disagree with your assertion that the Bible teaches that black people are inferior. Nothing in it makes such an assertion. Racists have used the curse on Ham to justify that claim but as any biblical scholar will affirm, that has nothing to do with black people and everything to do with Ham’s son, Canaan, the father of the Canaanites. Liberal scholars assert that this was an explanation for why the Canaanites lost their land to the Jews and conservative scholars will say it was a prophecy of same, but no scholars assert that this has a thing to do with blacks.

    Ditto with racial segregation being “God’s intention.” The only separation of any kind that the Bible teaches has to do with separation of Jews in the Old Testament and Christians in the New Testament from the ways of their pagan neighbors. It has nothing to do with skin color.

  • Black churches are just as divided as white churches between theologically conservative and theologically liberal.

    The difference is that the white theological conservatives vote accordingly on election day, black theological conservatives don’t. Most black theological conservatives vote the same way as both white and black theological liberals.

  • Larry is not “the anti-Christ.” Larry is, at times, unintended comic relief…..and Larry is, as we see again, getting the stuffing knocked out of him by Shawnie….but like any good masochist, keeps coming back for more.

  • I know it’s inconvenient, but…

    Jack, like shawnie, you are changing the subject, from what THEY SAID the bible says and how THEY JUSTIFIED slavery, segregation, and miscegenation laws to what YOU THINK the bible says and how it DOESN’T JUSTIFY them.

    Not the same thing at all.

    It doesn’t matter whether they had any justification for it according to your beliefs. They had it according to theirs.

    this will be the THIRD TIME I posted this link. Have you listened to it?

    Here is JUST ONE quote: “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”
    — Judge Leon M. Bazile, January 6, 1959 loving v. Virginia

    Google “justifying racial degrgegation with the bible”. you’ll get nearly 4 MILLION hits on this subject.

  • more accurately, jack…

    The theologically liberal ones are hostile to exemptions allowing discrimination on the basis of religious belief, erroneously labeled religious-freedom exemptions, while the theologically conservative ones favor allowing discrimination on the basis of religious belief…

    Unless it is happening to them, in which case they will howl and howl about how persecuted they are.

  • Ben, religious freedom is what it is, America’s First Freedom, since it’s a right of conscience.

    It’s based on the common-sense notion that no government or person has the right to force other people to go against their own deepest convictions. Whenever any person or government proposes anything that would force others to do so, the burden is on them to show why this is justified. An obvious justification would be if exercising one’s religious freedom would violate others’ religious freedom or threaten their physical well-being or survival.

    I agree that refusing to bake a cake for a customer due to religious conviction is troubling. But I do not agree that refusing a specific request by that same customer for a specific message on the cake is equally problematic. I see a big difference between the two…..and a disturbing precedent that goes far beyond the religious freedom issue if we don’t acknowledge the distinction.

  • Ben, it is true that some Christians were pro-slavery, but the key is this:

    When Christians were pro-slavery, they were just like nearly everyone else. But when Christians stood against slavery, they mostly stood alone.

    The good that they did was almost entirely unique to themselves, and the bad they did was common to the rest of humanity.

  • No jack. It has nothing to do with “deepest convictions.”

    Freedom of religion means exactly that: you have the right to believe what you want, to follow the religious precepts that you want, and no law can force you to do otherwise. Your church likewise has a great deal of this freedom, to define their doctrine, serve who they wish, and within The confines of general legality, do what they want. They can’t murder people, despite their deepest convictions that they should.

    This has been expanded to include freedom from discrimination on the basis of religious belief. I support that. But that applies to everyone, not just Antigay Christians. If they will serve people who reject the entirety of their religious belief, not just the Antigay part, then they have no excuses not to serve gay people. That’s what public accommodations laws are all about. They are baking the same cake they bake for everyone..

    refusing to put a specific message on a cake is a longer discussion.

  • Jack, that is not only highly dubious, it is completely irrelevant. The fact remains that in the south, most people supported segrgegation, slavery, and miscegenation laws, and they cited their bibles to prove it.
    The chirsitans AND JEWS that opposed it also cited their bibles, or just cited secular principles like equality and justice.

    Interestingly enough, the same thing is evolving on the gay issue, despite shawnie’s efforts to claim they are not the same thing, more liberal Christians are deciding that it is wrong to support Antigay prejudice, AND THEY ARE DOING SO NOT DESPITE WHAT THEIR BIBLES SAY, BUT BECAUSE OF IT. Abtigay christians are I it g their interpretations.

    Interestingly enough, even Shawnie admits that the Sodom story is not about homosexuality as we understand it. So even she is changing traditional interpretations in the view of modern knowledge. You all do it.

    Hermeneutics is the fine art of getting your Bible to say exactly what you want it to.

  • Jack is not “the anti-Christ.” Neither is Shawnie5. They are often comic relief when their arguments fail (as they typically do) and they resort to demeaning terms and insults…… They are,as we see often, getting the stuffing knocked out of them by smarter, more rational posters such as Atheist Max, or in this case by Larry….but like other deluded fools, Jack and Shawnie5 keep coming back for more.