Beliefs Culture Ethics Politics

Bigotry? Hatred? Christians say they’re tired of being made into the bad guys

Supporters cheered speakers and waved signs during the Indiana Pastors Alliance rally at the Statehouse, on November 17, 2015. Photo by Kelly Wilkinson, courtesy of USA Today
Supporters cheered speakers and waved signs during the Indiana Pastors Alliance rally at the Statehouse, on November 17, 2015. Photo by Kelly Wilkinson, courtesy of USA Today

Supporters cheered speakers and waved signs during the Indiana Pastors Alliance rally at the Statehouse, on November 17, 2015. Photo by Kelly Wilkinson, courtesy of USA Today

INDIANAPOLIS — It’s bigotry! It’s hatred! It’s discrimination!

That’s the tenor of the talk these days as powerful advocates try to write protections into law for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Those advocates, battling against conservative Christians who are staunch in their beliefs of right and wrong, wonder why anyone would deny others their rights.

But some Christians say they’re tired of being made into the bad guys. They’re tired of being called the bigots, the haters.

Because they feel the same way: It’s bigotry, toward them. It’s hatred, directed at them. It’s discrimination, against them.

READ: Why evangelicals are torn about admitting refugees to the US (ANALYSIS)

They are the ones being bullied, they insist. In a country where the cultural tide seems to be moving away from hard-and-fast biblical prohibitions, they feel the government is abandoning them. Once at the core of American politics, some evangelical Christians feel increasingly relegated to the fringe, betrayed by their own conservative lawmakers as their cultural dominance is usurped by a smaller group wielding the heft of the media and corporations.

It is they, many argue, who are the army of freedom fighters in this debate.

The LGBT rights that others see increasingly as a matter of civil rights, some evangelical Christians see as a moral wrong. Expanded protections, they fear, would create “special rights” for LGBT people that could supersede their right to speak out against homosexuality.

To those Christians — and this is an issue that divides many Christians — LGBT rights represent the threat of government deciding where their right of religious expression “ends” so others’ rights can begin, said Arthur Farnsley, associate director of the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

READ: Franklin Graham calls on Christians to blacklist LGBT-friendly companies

“There’s a certain degree to which people are going to be told, ‘You can have your religious beliefs and opinions. And you can practice them in your churches, synagogues and mosques. But in the public sphere, you’re going to have to deal with the greater diversity and recognize civil rights laws,’” Farnsley said.

But where will the line be drawn between religion and the public sphere?

At the Indiana Statehouse last week, Rev. Ron Johnson Jr. of the Indiana Pastors Alliance addressed a roaring crowd: “We’re not here today because we’re angry. We’re not here because we hate people.

“We’re actually here,” he said, “because we love Jesus.”

Their voices carried hymns through the state Capitol, and Johnson marveled at the sound.

READ: Leading evangelical ethicist David Gushee is now pro-LGBT. Here’s why it matters

“I don’t know any better place to exalt God,” he said, “than in the halls of government.”

How can government, Johnson said, force people to act against their religious consciences — against an unshakable belief that marriage is between a man and a woman?

From his worldview, the Supreme Court’s ruling to recognize same-sex marriages doesn’t change his traditional definition of the institution. He “doesn’t buy into those concepts” of sexual orientation and gender identity, saying they were created by LGBT advocates. And, for that matter, he doesn’t believe LGBT discrimination is a matter of “civil rights.”

He does not acknowledge the existence of prejudice directed at the LGBT community, saying no one is denied housing, employment or business services simply for being gay. Nor does he believe that being gay or transgender are immutable characteristics.

READ: The Christian baker who refuses LGBT couples is not a persecuted preacher

Expanding state civil rights law to include sexual orientation and gender identity would grant a special right to same-sex couples seeking marriage services, he said, while resulting in fines and other punishments for Christian business owners who don’t want to violate their beliefs.

“We’re the ones who need a special protected-class status, because we’re the ones that are being attacked by everybody,” Johnson said. “It’s humorous, the way this thing is being portrayed, because it doesn’t fit reality at all.

“I’m not asking for special protected class status. I’m asking to be left alone, for crying out loud.”

Meet, for one example, Josh Boss, a 29-year-old who attends Johnson’s Living Stones Church in Crown Point, Ind.

READ: How to be a Christian ally to LGBT people

He is against anything, he said, that is not in the Bible.

“The truth,” he said, “is the Bible. If we have no right or wrong, what are we?”

But the state, he said, is trying to impose different “truths.”

“It’s not that we want to force our truth onto others,” Boss explained. “We want to be able to tell our truth to others without being chastised for it.”

That means, he said, being able to condemn homosexuality as a sin, as God calls him to do. That means, he said, being able to say that because of the creation of Adam and Eve, God did not intend for two men to marry, or two women to wed.

For many evangelical Christians, religion has no end. It permeates and informs every part of their being — who they are, and what they do. How they raise their children and how they run their businesses. It goes beyond Sundays, beyond the walls of the church.

READ: Indiana House passes controversial ‘religious freedom’ bill

That freedom of religion — the freedom to practice it and the freedom to express it — is guaranteed to them in the Constitution.

Take what state Indiana state Sen. Jim Tomes, R-Wadesville, said on stage Tuesday to swarms of religious supporters, receiving uproarious applause:

“People say to me, ‘There’s a separation of church and state. Don’t you understand that?’

“No,” Tomes said, “I don’t!”

That day, several pastors said: Government is not God. Government needs God.

READ: Where did Indiana law come from? A brief history of religious freedom (ANALYSIS)

Government, they say, may not encroach on religion, but instead has a duty to protect it above all else.

For these evangelical Christians, who are led by the Indiana Pastors Alliance and influential conservative lobbying groups such as the Indiana Family Institute, there is no compromise. Expanding the state civil rights law to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes would effectively feel like a betrayal of their constitutional rights.

“Does the government get to veto their faith?” said Peter Scaer, part of the pastors’ alliance and associate professor at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne. “It’s not just another political issue. This is about who we are as a people. How can this country take a moral wrong and turn it into a civil right?”

To be sure, there are strong views on the other side of the issue, many of which have been reported extensively. Many evangelical Christians say they don’t trust the media, and think it is biased against them. They have been more reluctant to talk with the media than LGBT advocates in part out of fear of being cast as bigots. So they feel as if their message hasn’t received the same attention.

And not all Christians share their views. Some Christians and other religious folks agree with enacting nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people, including a coalition of mainline Christian denominations and a group of 141 faith leaders who signed onto a letter of support.

Bishop William Gafkjen, who oversees Indiana and Kentucky congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, said he doesn’t feel that adding to the civil rights law threatens his religious freedom.

“Sometimes, because we’re yelling at each other from the extremes, we forget that freedom is already there,” he said.

For him, serving his neighbor “wins the day in the public sphere.” And he cited what his church’s founder, Martin Luther, said about the Christian shoemaker: that he honored God not by putting little crosses on every shoe, but by making the best shoes he could.

So now meet Jennifer Luedtke, 40, another member of Living Stones Church. She traveled to Indianapolis last week from her home in Hobart to stand for religious liberty, 4-year-old son Riley in tow.

“We just want to fight for the things we have,” she said.

That’s the fear that runs through this all: Religious conservatives’ cultural foothold is slipping. So on social issues like LGBT rights, “it’s always going to feel like a loss,” said Farnsley.

And if evangelicals give an inch on this, if they lose this bit of freedom, what will happen next? How far, they wonder, will their religious rights be eroded?

For Luedtke, that fear is what brought her to the Statehouse to cheer and clap and pray. That fear makes her worry about how her son will grow up.

What if he couldn’t say, “God bless you” to someone who sneezes, or voice his views on creation in school?

“I don’t want him to go to jail,” she said.

And, she added, “if he owns his own business, I want him to be able to serve, and not serve, whatever his conscience tells him, free from penalty from the government.”

(Wang reports for The Indianapolis Star. Contributing: Tony Cook, The Indianapolis Star.)


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Stephanie Wang


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  • They should stop acting like the bad guys first!

    Complaining about a negative image only carries weight if one is unfairly maligned or being defamed based on untrue information. That is not the case here. There is no discrimination against evangelical Christians. FTS! Its just that they lost the ability to act obnoxiously to others with social sanction. Cry me a river.

    If thjey don’t want to be labelled as bigots, don’t act in bigoted ways. Don’t lobby to attack the civil liberties of others, don’t demonize entire groups and faiths, don’t advocate attacks on others in service of your faith. They are labelled the “bad guys” because they are acting badly.

    When someone attacks, “separation of church and state” they are attacking religious freedom for all. They are advocating sectarian discrimination. They are bad guys.

    When their religious expression involves attacking others as a matter of course, They are the bad guys.

  • If I went around telling members of any group that they’re living all wrong, that they’re going to hell, that they should be stoned to death, that they should be put on an island so they will “die off” and I refused to really take a look at where I’m getting my information and how others see the same information and come to different conclusions, then I should not be surprised that those whom I condemn call me a bigot. The problem with Christians who think that only their point of view is the infallible right one, the only truth is that they have closed their minds, and what follows is closing their hearts. It’s the very definition of bigotry. They should not be surprised that they are viewed that way. The same goes for other fundamentalist religious who will not see that others have a right to their own views, even if they’re different from theirs. So, quite judging others, quit pushing your beliefs down others’ throats, if you’re tired of being made out to be the bad guy.

  • Conservative Christians have played the whore for the Republican Party for so long, their reputation and fortunes are tired to it.

  • For many of these “Christians” religious liberty is simply the right to call for genocide of gay people. If they don’t want to be seen as haters and bigots, then they should not be advocating and practicing hatred and bigotry. Quite simple, really. But they love pretending that they are victims because they are increasingly seen for what they really are: intolerant and small-minded people intent on denying civil rights to others.

  • Where is the middle ground?
    It is not anti-Christian for adults to make up their own minds. If a gay couple wants to marry…that is, and should be their choice. So long as it does not interfere with our right to practice our religion. A baker in a secular world should not be legally able to discriminate. Bake the cake…just do not decorate it. And a public official should have to serve all her constituents.
    But a church owned hospital should not have to pay for things they oppose. A photographer should not be forced to take pics at a gay wedding. A pizza place should not have to cater to a gay event. A man identifying as a woman is his choice…that does not mean that the rest of us have to identify as well (Keep men out of girls bathrooms and let businesses decide on their dress code.)
    Most of these things are really not that difficult. It is when politics and hate enter into the equation that we have problems. And there is plenty from both sides.

  • This pretty much sums it up. “That’s the fear that runs through this all: Religious conservatives’ cultural foothold is slipping. So on social issues like LGBT rights, “it’s always going to feel like a loss,”

    So called Christians are whining and claim persecutionbecause they have to treat gay people the same as they treat all of the rest of humanity that they believe are going to burn in hell forever because they don’t share the poor, widdle persecuted versions of God that these conservative Christians hold.

    We have laws at every level of government forbidding discrimination on the basis of religious belief. But somehow, when it’s beliefs about gay people, THIS is different.

    All we gay people ask is the same respect they deliver to all of the rest of humanity. And all this says it that this has nothing to do with religious belief, but with dominion. They are pissed beyond measure that they are losing it over our lives.


  • The hate comes from one side. Anger comes from the other.

    When gay people start advocating that conservative Christians should be treated differently under color of law, that gay people should not have to serve conservative Christians if they don’t feel like it, and that conservative Christians should not be able to worship as they choose, you might have a point.

    When gay people routinely tell lies about Christians, when easily checked “facts” are trotted out about Christians– facts that have no basis in any reality– you might have a point.

    This long ago left the area of sincere religious belief. Violence, hatred, and outright lies are preached against us on a daily basis. The antigay industry paid $700,000 for a study to prove that gay people are terrible parents– a study that was laughed out of court outright. When have gay people done that?

    Hate comes from one side, ANGER from the other. Exceptions to religious anti-discrimination laws come from ONE side.

  • Definitely not as bad koran-stomping Muslims but thu-mping non-historical passages from the NT and OT puts Christians in the top 5 of bad thinking religions.

  • Your right to religious practice ends where it attacks others. You are allowed to burn a cross on your lawn for your faith. You are not allowed to burn one on your neighbors’ lawn. Discrimination is an attack on others.

    There is no religious freedom to engage in discrimination in a business open to the public.

    If you want to say, “we don’t serve your kind because God says so”, don’t open your business to the general public. Do business by word of mouth, private membership or exclusively through closed channels.

    If you want the benefits of serving the general public, you have to serve the general public. If you can’t do that, tough crap. Your religious compulsion to treat others badly is not an interest worth protecting under the law.

    Hospitals owe a duty of care to patients which does not get amended because of the religion of its owners. What they provide should be based on medical necessity and standards of care. Not the arbitrary idiosyncrasies of one’s…

  • Your right to religious practice ends where it attacks others. You are allowed to burn a cross on your lawn for your faith. You are not allowed to burn one on your neighbors’ lawn. Discrimination is an attack on others.

    There is no religious freedom to engage in discrimination in a business open to the public.

    If you want to say, “we don’t serve your kind because God says so”, don’t open your business to the general public. Do business by word of mouth, private membership or exclusively through closed channels.

    If you want the benefits of serving the general public, you have to serve the general public. If you can’t do that, tough luck. Your religious compulsion to treat others badly is not an interest worth protecting under the law.

    Hospitals owe a duty of care to patients which does not get amended because of the religion of its owners. What they provide should be based on medical necessity and standards of care. Not the idiosyncrasies of one’s religious faith.

  • We have laws at every level of government forbidding discrimination on the basis of religious belief. But somehow, THIS is different.

    All we gay people ask is the same respect they deliver to all of the rest of humanity. And all this says it that this has nothing to do with religious belief, but with dominion. They are pissed beyond measure that they are losing it over our lives.


  • The opposite is true. Christians are way too nice. As a result, they get pushed around by drooling barbarians who want to drag western civilization back 20 centuries to pagan times.

    They also fall far too easily for the “you’re-a-bigot-no-I’m-not-a-bigot” con game of their foes.

    Bottom line is they need to be more tough and more wise, because this isn’t a nice world, and their enemies are playing for keeps.

  • Jay, what are you talking about? Comparing contemporary Christian behavior toward gays to genocide is like comparing a hang nail to the Ebola virus.

    I don’t see Christians killing gays in 2015. I do, however, see radical Islamist groups and regimes torturing and executing gay people. I also see people like you not even batting an eyelash over such brutality.

  • Ben, hate is hate. It can be found within all groups. I’ve seen Christians hate as well as anyone, but every other group has been infected with it, too.

    Hate transcends ideology, theology, or politics.

  • I’m against hate speech and intolerance, no matter who’s the target. And there has been some very ugly language directed at conservative Christians, as well as at LGBT people. But LGBT people have been treated like second-class citizens. Civil rights are civil rights; serving the public means serving all members of the public. And I think that demands to be exempted from any federal law you say conflicts with your religious beliefs is the road to chaos. Especially if you are an official and expect to keep your job while refusing to perform key functions as mandated by law. Try refusing to pay part of your taxes that go to government activities you consider immoral.
    Also, I am really tired of some US Christian groups’ over-the-top claims of govt persecution. And if you claim Christians are facing social pressure in the US, please try being a Jew or Muslim here.

  • Christians should receive the same treatment they gave and promoted for homosexuals. That seems fair.

  • If you are a member of the TrueChristian Club who wants to live according to the club’s rule-book, that’s fine, as long as it doesn’t conflict with civil law. But the moment you insist that non-members also live according to your rule-book, you have stepped out of bounds, and you can rightly expect firm push-back while being told to remember your place. You need to realize that, among non-members, your rule-book is nothing more that a myth-book.

    If TrueChristians would emulate the Amish, we might all get along better. For example, as far as I know, the Amish have never insisted that the government stop issuing drivers licenses in order to protect the sanctity of traditional transportation as the union of one horse and one buggy.

  • this just in; Nazis are tired of being called the bad guys simply because they built concentration camps, filled them with undesirables and gassed and burned millions of people.

    In other news the KKK is tired of being called the murderous racists simply because they lynched so many blacks and liberal civil rights activists

  • Not all Christians are heathen idolators. Only the ones who constantly take the lamp to be the light shining through the lamp.

    Jesus, the lamp, is not God. Christians who declare otherwise are heathen idolators and do not know Jesus or the Christ.

  • Christianity:
    deflects responsibility: “your problem is in God’s hands.”
    corrupts empathy:“God gave you this problem so I would have a purpose today.”
    corrupts friendship:“I’m here to help, but only in ways approved by Yahweh.”
    encourages judgement: “God gave him this problem because he did something wrong”
    encourages solipsism:“My prayers to God will be heard, even though yours were not”
    discourages listening:“God knows what your real needs are, not you.”
    distracts us from each other:“Let’s focus on this passage from Isaiah”
    offers false consolation:“God took your baby girl to heaven to help the angels.”
    threatens you when you are in need:“You must have faith or God won’t help”
    guilts you:“You should have prayed more.”
    trains you to think wishfully:“God please help the medicine work better this time.”
    encourages superstition: “for good luck, wear your crucifix.”

  • Well, Jack, everything you say is true, but it doesn’t conflict with my statement.

    I don’t know, nor have I met, a single gay person who hates Christians, wants to see them, their children, and their families harmed, wants to make laws against Christians of that sort believing whatever they wish, or telling lies contradicted by facts, logic, and experience in order to justify any of these harms towards Christians.

    I’m sure that some such people exist. But I can’t put a name to them. However, I can out a name to Kevin Swanson and Steve Anderson, who have called for my death. I can put a name to Peter spring, who has called for my deportation. I can out a name to a whole bunch of so called Christians who tell all kinds of lies about gay people and get paid for doing it. I can name a number of people who claim that God will destroy America, and did destroy Rome, because of people like me.

  • An occasional Christian is a bad guy, I admit it. But the whole culture is being punished for the actions and attitudes of a few. Cut it out.

  • Alison,

    “cut it out”

    I shall not cut it out. Christians are failing to show any evidence for their claims about blood sacrifice, Hell or anything else. Lying to children is immoral and I shall not stand by or cut it out.

  • How awful it must be to be told that calling for certain people to be treated as second-class citizens, merely because one dislikes them, is “hatred” or “bigotry”! How horrid it must be to realize one’s personal dislikes can’t be made into the law of the land?

    Why, it’s enough to make one assume saying “God bless you” to someone who sneezes will be outlawed … because it will, right?

    Unfortunately for these delusionally-paranoid whiners, loss of the privilege of mistreating people is NOT “persecution.” These crybabies are as free as they’ve ever been to think of certain people as subhuman. Their problem is, the law no longer treats them that way, and they’re being forbidden to act out on their dislikes.

    Time for them to suck it up, grow up, and stop all this juvenile sniveling. They’re not “persecuted” at all. They need to stop lying for their Jesus just because it makes them feel better to do so.

  • Definitely not as bad as koran-stomping Muslims but thumping non-historical passages from the NT and OT puts Christians in the top 5 of bad thinking religions.

  • Jack, you must not read very much about the goings on of good Christians. From the Des Moines Register of November 17, 2015:

    “Three Republican presidential candidates spoke at a forum in Des Moines this month hosted by a pastor who raved approvingly that the Bible justifies killing gay people — “and I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” But neither Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (since endorsed by Iowa’s Congressman Steve King) nor Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal nor former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee rebutted Kevin Swanson incendiary statements.

    They chose instead to talk about a war on Christianity.

    Some 1,700 people paid around $79 apiece, discounted for couples and families, to attend the National Religious Liberties Conference Nov. 6 and 7 at Quality Inn in downtown Des Moines. Swanson is executive director of Generations with Vision, which is billed as a national Christian ministry. Program notes also depict him as a father and radio host.

    “Yes, Leviticus 20:13 calls…

  • Tired of being called bigots and haters? Then stop being bigots and haters! I know many Christians who disagree with the hatred that spews from these publicity seekers who want to drag us back to the stone ages. Problem is their voices are drowned out by a minority who want to freely espouse bigotry and hatred without being called on it. The times are changing, and they fear finally losing the power and influence they’ve wielded like a weapon for centuries.

  • No matter how they twist it in their heads, these Christians (not all) wnat to deny citizen rights to citizens who do not agree with them. The common denominator in this country from teh beginning is citizen, not Christian.

  • Gee, Alison, that’s what the anti gay Christian movement has been doing to gay people for the 45 years I’ve been in the fight.

    John Wayne gacy murders young gay men, and all gay men are psychopathic murderers. vOte Yes on 8.

    Some gay men are promiscuous, so all gay men are promiscuous.

    And on and on and on and on.

  • Hmm….should I bust you on Godwin’s Law?

    Nah….sooner or later, we’re all guilty of that.

    So I’ll just leave you with a warning.

    Should you do it again, you’ll be sent to a corner wearing a dunce cap reading “Godwin Violator.”

  • Stand up to the Radical Christofascist Agenda, before the seething minions of hater-jesusturn their merciless bigotry on YOUR family’s citizenship. Before their prophets and their priests point the scaly finger of Christian hatred at YOU!

  • Atheist Max, if you got into the intellectual ring with a precocious Sunday school kid, that child would run rings around you on the very issue of evidence. Spouting rhetoric and propaganda is no substitute for honest debate.

    Moreover, to accuse someone of lying, unless you have evidence of that person’s intent to mislead, is a cheap and dishonorable tactic. But given how many times I’ve actually caught you lying and obfuscating, I’m not surprised that you would accuse others of same. Mental health professionals call it projection.

  • Yes, Jay, I’ve heard about that, and I will read your link. Anyone who calls for the death of gays should be shunned and if it’s couched in a way that it meets the legal definition of a terroristic threat, that person should be prosecuted. And when that happens, I would relish a front-row seat. I loathe bullies with every fiber of my being.

    However, to imply that this is how “many” Christians think or speak is ridiculous. I don’t know anyone personally who thinks that way, and I know plenty of Christians and non-Christians alike.

    If anything like that ever comes to this country, in whatever form, be it Muslim or Christian, such people will have me and millions of other Christians to contend with. And even though gays often act as jackasses toward Christians, just as Christians have done with them, what we ultimately share is a common humanity. To attack one innocent person, gay or straight, is to attack us all.

  • So many “christians” don’t act very Christ-like. Christ taught his followers to love, to not just “tolerate” others but to understand them, to see good in them, and to treat strangers as family. But so many “christians” ignore those teachings and instead cherry-pick parts of the Bible that support their fear-based world view. They’re doing it wrong, and they deserve being called out for it. No wonder that younger folks are abandoning organized religion–the message of love is lost, replaced by fear, distrust, and scorn of others who are different. Shame on you.

  • Ben, if we’re talking about haters generally, I’ve seen my share in all groups. The object of the hatred varies, but it’s all the same thing.

    As for hated by Christians of gays or gays of Christians, nobody I know well, straight or gay, is a hater of the other. However, as a teenager, I saw a straight kid beating up a kid who I later found out was gay. I stopped the fight & that began a friendship which opened my eyes. I was clueless and hopefully am less so now, having met others through him.

    But I also was in the presence of a gay friend of a gay friend who went on a tirade about Christians. My friend then told him I was a Christian and he apologized profusely. He gave me a look as if to ask what I was doing hanging around with gay people. I didn’t fit his stereotype.

    Was he a hater? Maybe not. People have a natural aversion to the “other.” But non-haters will adjust their opinion once they meet the “other,” whereas true haters won’t.

  • Ben, it depends on what issue or issues you’re talking about. But when the specific issue is gay marriage, Occam’s Razor suggests that the reason Christians oppose gay marriage is that supporting it would require them to rewrite the Bible. It would be like asking a pacifist group to endorse a pre-emptive war. To feign horror when they don’t is just as silly.

    Compounding the issue is the fact that, as I’ve noted in past posts, gay marriage is, unlike homosexuality itself, a unique product of our time and place. Even as an issue, it is unknown in human history. Precisely the opposite is true about homosexuality, which has been common enough across time and place, with societal attitudes varying wildly from execution of gays to celebration of gays and every conceivable stance in between.

  • It’s too bad, Alison, that more Christians don’t speak out when bad, bigoted, hateful Christians cause the kinds of problems they do. But, if you’re angry about the Christian cult being criticized, or made fun of, just remember that for the current right-wing Christians’ population of victims, my sisters and brothers who are trans, being harassed and terrorized by you people ends with us bleeding out in an alleyway, or becoming so distraught we walk into oncoming traffic. I’m a lot more concerned with the victims of Christian bigotry, than the other Christians who are standing around, thumbs plugged up butts, watching this horror unfold. Get off your duff and say something, Alison, if you want people to respect your religion. Repudiate the bigots.

  • and they said to him, “Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations.” The LORD said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them.…
    you can’t have it both ways, religion shall make no laws or other groups/religion(s) will have to make laws in retaliation.

  • “, Occam’s Razor suggests that the reason Christians oppose gay marriage is that supporting it would require them to rewrite the Bible”

    Their moral and legal justification for doing so is garbage. It’s not THEIR marriage.

    Jack, at the root of every one of your so-called issues with “reverse” bigotry is the plain and simple fact that if these Christians would MIND their OWN BUSINESS none of these issues would result.

  • If you don’t like being called a bigot, don’t be a bigot. These people always have had and always will have the right to call gays names or say their “lifestyle” offends them or their gods. They have the right to view gay marriage as invalid in the eyes of their gods. What they seem to be demanding, though, is the right to stop other people from disagreeing. Your rights end where mine begin. You don’t have to marry someone of your sex if you find it abhorrent, but you cannot prevent two other people from sharing the rights and privileges of marriage because you believe it conflicts with your religion. It doesn’t even seem plausible that these people can’t understand this simple concept; they simply don’t like it, so they manipulate the truth and play the victim in an attempt to thwart the Constitution. I will not only continue to call them bigots as long as they exercise their bigotry; I will also call them liars and unAmerican. In this country, you can’t impose your religion…

  • “Maxie,” after a million or so years of marriage being one thing, you don’t just drop down from the sky, suddenly change the definition, and expect everyone to march in lockstep with you like an army of mind-numbed robots.

    It’s striking to me how similar the voice of intolerance sounds, whether it’s from the right or the left or any place in between. What all intolerant people share is a hatred of debate, discussion, and critical thinking.

    What people do in their bedroom is nobody’s business but their own. But the definition of society’s bedrock institution is everybody’s business, because society includes everybody.

    Nice try at trying to conflate the two, though. You get gold star or an A for effort. Either way is fine.

  • And of course, the ultimate problem with radicals is that they can’t stop being radical, even when their major agenda becomes law. Instead of stopping after the June SCOTUS victory and then consolidating that victory by continuing to win the hearts and minds of Americans still on the fence, the far left decided, in quintessential far left fashion, to bully small shopkeepers into acceding to their every demand, including participating in wedding events connected to gay marriage.

    At first I thought it was an aberrant stumble in an otherwise-shrewd decade-long public relations campaign to redefine marriage.

    But having thought about it, I think, again, that no matter the issue, be it cultural, economic, or foreign policy, the extremist left just can’t help itself. Its nature is to get into people’s faces even when it’s winning. Huge mistake. Nobody likes sore winners…..Just ask Newt Gingrich. He was that way after the 1994 midterms.

  • “Max,” based on that standard, you’d make a good ISIS or al Qaeda recruit. Let’s go back decades, centuries, and millennia and whack everyone from any group that did our group harm in the past.

    I see your knuckles are bloody from dragging them along the ground for so long.

  • Godwin’s law is no longer in force when people literally take their cues from the actions of Nazis. It stops being hyperbole and becomes simply an objective presentation of facts.

    Not only does Trump advocate measures similar to The Nuremberg Laws he has the official endorsement of Neo-Nazis and has even quoted their screeds recently (the phony statistics that Blacks commit 81% of crimes against whites that made the news lately)

    The whole “you are intolerant of my intolerance” junk is brain dead. Nobody has to be nice and polite to efforts to attack the civil liberties of others.

  • Maxie, you’re babbling. Huckabee, whom I dislike for a number of reasons (nice try at stereotyping), said something dumb or insensitive, and you conflate it with genocide?

    You have no idea how ridiculous you sound.

    And the shame of it is that by deploying these underhanded tactics designed to shut down opposition to your perspective, you make it really hard for most people, including myself, to succeed in fights against truly dangerous bigotry and hate that actually can lead to genocide.

    As a friend, who happens to be gay, said to me when we were having coffee off Fulton Street near the site of Ground Zero about a year ago, we learned on 911 that Pat Robertson and every gay rights leader in the country have far more in common with each other than either does with those who attacked us that morning.

    Ironically, neither Robertson nor the gay rights leaders would agree. But our foes surely do. Bin Laden did and ISIS does today.

  • Jack,
    “comb over”

    When you change the topic and try to get personal
    you look terrified of my data.

    Christianity demeans the believer. As you demonstrate, it is a defensive, fragile and fearful philosophy.

  • @Jack,

    “to accuse someone of lying”

    Hell is a lie. There is no evidence of a Hell of any kind. Lying to children – telling them how their friends will go to Hell someday – is a criminal abuse of a child’s trust.

    The burden of proof is on the person making the assertions. I would have a man arrested for child abuse if I overheard them telling children about Hell.

  • Opposing bigotry is not bigotry. Fighting against oppression is not oppression. Religious right Christian theocrats/dominionists/revisionists are only starting to be seen for what they have always been. What they are feeling isn’t bigotry, it’s a loss of control, power and unfair privileges. I’m sure it smarts to have your misdeeds called to light and to have your stamps of ownership on public properties being removed as fast as you can stamp new properties. I forget who said it, but unless the church makes a drastic change, there needs to be a separation of church and planet.

  • Perfectly said! They always love to use the slippery slope argument about how their loss of the unfair privileges, like having free reign to enact bigoted Bible based laws, will surely result in Christians being beheaded or churches being outlawed. While I think there is an argument for it being illegal to take advantage of the weak and needy by selling them invisble and nonexistent products, that’s probably an argument for another time.

  • I’m pretty sure you Christians would fit in WAAAAY better than Max. The only difference between that terrorist group and yours is that your attacks on people aren’t covered as much.
    (I don’t know if you heard, but there’s been at least 200 attacks SINCE the Paris attacks thanks to your faith.)

  • You need to learn the history of marriage, buddy. And that doesn’t mean to get your info from the Bible. That’s the equivalent of citing Wikipedia.
    Before you start your search, let me tell you something so you don’t freak out too much: Gay Marriage has been around for a while. This is NOT anything new.

  • For someone who loathes bullies with every fiber of his being, Jack, you spew an awful lot of venom. Bemoaning a perceived lack of interest in debate by the left rings pretty hollow when you are calling people you don’t know from fictional Adam knuckle draggers and the intellectual inferiors of Sunday school children. Grow up. Debate with civility if that’s what you truly desire from the other side.

  • Max, when you’re serious about a real discussion and debate and when you stop hiding behind your blizzards of out-of-context and often-made-up Bible verses and interpretations, let me know.

    Until then, I’m not going to bang my head against your sandwich-board wall.

    I’m not crazy about Christophobes and anti-Semites such as yourself, but in your case, I think it’s more a case of a certain part of your anatomy leading you to such nonsense as opposed to mere hard-core bigotry and hate. God wasn’t going to let you do as you please, so you decided He doesn’t exist. Convenient indeed.

  • Maxie, if we harken back to an earlier time, when the AIDs crisis hit, the far left talked a good game about how much they cared, but when the rubber met the road, and people were actually dying, all the radicals headed for the hills and left the Christians to minister compassion and love. The left loves glamor and glitz and beautiful people, but when things turn south in a person’s life, and that person is hurting terribly, it flees like a rat from a sinking ship. The people who are still there are the much-maligned Christians. Most people, Christian and non-Christian alike, could use far more empathy. But among those with real-deal empathy in real-life situations, a disproportionate percentage are Christians.

  • What conservative Christians need to do is to be much more aware of the fact that they have had a long history of blatantly overstepping their bounds when it comes to demanding that they get the right to bring their own religious views into all aspects of public life. Freedom of religion may be one of the most cherished civil rights we have in this country. But, freedom of religion does not trump any of the civil rights of any other individuals rights.

  • Dp you always paint social pictures with such a broad brush? If you do, you might want to reconsider. I spent several years working at a medical case management office dealing with HIV+ people and their unique medical needs. I saw that the gay community was more active than any religious organization in caring for those people. I also noticed that there were more heterosexuals with HIV, than gay people in need of our services.

  • Nobody actually knows when marriage really began. The claims of “millions of years” or even “thousands of years” of “traditional marriage” history are all fraught with the same fatal flaw of lacking any real foundation in truth. Contemporary marriage as we know it today bears little resemblance to what marriage was even only in colonial times.

    Many of the so called traditional aspects of a modern wedding ceremony were very different or did not exist at all. Large multi-tiered wedding cakes, special white dresses, matching brides maids and groomsmen and all of those flowers are all symbols of wealth added on over time to a practice created by the very people that needed what we know as marriage to legitimizing a successive progression of the right to inherit money, land and most importantly political power.

  • “I don’t know any better place to exalt God,” he said, “than in the halls of government.” , Rev. Ron Johnson Jr

    I found those to the most chilling words I have heard in a very long time. The worship of God does not belong in the halls of government. Religious fervor knows no bounds and will not be contained by reason alone.

    “The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.”

    “The “establishment of religion” clause of the First Amendment means at least this: neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. “

  • “Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups, and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect “a wall of separation between church and State.” Reynolds v. United States, supra, at 164.” Reynolds v. United States, supra, at 164.

    Everson v. Board of Education (Township of Ewing) 1947

  • Jack, that is absolutely BS. I was there. Far too many people, myself included, we’re taking care of the dead and dying while Jerry Falwell talked about the wrath of God.

    Maitri hospice had no affiliation with christianity. Coming home had none.

  • When Christians aren’t allowed to have their way all the time, to the exclusion of everyone else’s rights, they call it a “War on Christianity”. It’s not a war when someone seeks legal protection to keep you from trampling on them.

    If I start fighting a war, I guarantee you’ll see something new.

  • “He is against anything, he said, that is not in the Bible.”

    He must be against computers, the Internet, and any electricity in any form other than lightning. I’m surprised we’re even hearing from him, since he must not have a phone, or use cars or airplanes.

  • it helps immensely to see all this as great theatre–all this intense competition among the new-day moralists for the spotlight center-stage. This was in evidence when the students at U. of Missouri were upset because the Paris bombings knocked them off the front page! The LBGT community is in fierce competition with Black Lives Matter, evangelical Christians, Syrian refugees and anyone else who might–even momentarily, detract from public attention to them on the big morality stage of public consciousness.

  • Jack,

    “red fascist”

    In what way is my support of our US Constitution fascist?
    “Congress shall shall make no law establishing a religion nor prohibit the free exercise thereof”

    Fascism is what you are doing – you are trying to force your fairies on others and to prohibit their objection to it.
    Which is why you have no argument in favor of your fairies.

    If you can’t show it, you can’t know it.

  • @Christian,


    Christians and Islamists insist they have chosen their religions by their own free will.
    This means they have freely accepted the bigotries therein – and those bigotries should be called out as such.

    “If anyone, even someone from your own family, suggests worshiping another God, kill them.”
    – Yahweh (Deuteronomy 13:6–10)

    Insufferable nonsense.

  • @Jack,

    “when you’re serious about….”

    I have been nothing but serious. You have willfully chosen for yourself a depraved theory and you insist on forcing it on everyone:

    “Any person who curseth his mother or father, must be killed.” – Yahweh (Leviticus 20:9)

    What did Jesus say of this law? That it should be abandoned as one of God’s many mistakes? Not at all.

    “why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?! …. ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother shall be PUT TO DEATH.’ – JESUS (Matthew 15:3).

    The burden is on you to defend this insufferable nonsense.

  • He also shouldn’t be speaking English. The only Biblical languages are Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, and Egyptian (and even that one’s a stretch). English is unbiblical.

  • Jack, “christians are way too nice”? REALLY? Who are THEY (and I’m including your ridiculous self in with them for obvious reasons) to decide that their unsupported belief is something everyone should live by? Christians in general have gotten by WAY too EASILY, IMO — which they will FIND OUT when they bring their delusional claptrap my way. I can and will use their own book to shred their silly beliefs.

    “Morality” in the bible is a LIE — NOWHERE is marriage defined as ONE man, ONE woman. ALL OVER that book, it’s represented as POLYGAMY with a heavy dose of misogyny. Disobedient children are to be stoned to death; slavery is ENDORSED. Human sacrifice to YHWH HAPPENED, according to that text.

    The vision of ‘hell’ endorsed by the churches has no application to humanity in general, BY ITS OWN BOOK; an eternity of hellfire only includes humans who ‘take the mark of the beast’ during the so-called ‘great tribulation’.

    MOST of the O.T. stories never happened.

  • To compare anything from the contemporary West to al Qaeda or ISIS is morally insane. Just utter that nonsense to a random person on any street corner anywhere in America and they will tell you the same thing.

  • Ben, read what I just posted on who was there.

    The one point of disagreement with your latest post is the wooden stereotype of Christians as Jerry Falwell preachers. Tell that to the many Christians in the health care arena or to the Christians who volunteered to visit AIDs patients. The idea that all or most Christians had no compassion and did nothing during the AIDs crisis is flatly untrue. Lots did help, anyway they could.

  • Chutney, there is no evidence of the instituting of gay marriage in any time or place besides our own, including in societies like those of the ancient Greek city states and Rome, where there was full tolerance and even celebration of homosexuality as a way of life.

  • Chutney, I think you’re smuggling in “laicite,” the more restrictive French view of religion in public life.

    The American view is different. Religious freedom in America means that in public life, all forms of expression, religious and secular, enjoy equal protection.

    If you like the French way better, that’s your prerogative, but don’t confuse that with the American way. They’re far from identical.

  • Terrell, the more obvious explanation is that “conservative” Christians are mostly Republicans by default, since the other major party became co-opted by culture warriors who not only disagree with them, but have decided to make those disagreement into litmus tests for who is or who isn’t a Democrat.

    Under those circumstance, it would be fairly bizarre for most “conservative” Christians not to identify more with the GOP. They’re left with zero choice, given the above.

  • Jack,

    “I’ve seen haters”

    There is one such hater in the Bible stories
    who condemns his enemies to eternal agony – like the pain a child with bone cancer experiences – except it doesn’t end. It is an unrelenting agony; specifically, FIRE AGAINST THE SKIN which turns the flesh to charcoal while the person is eternally alive to experience it its unmerciful pain.
    The peeling skin melts in this heat. As the nerve endings are eternally burned.

    The hater’s name is Jesus. (Mark 16:16)

  • Max, we’re arguing about words that somebody uttered in a series of books called the Bible. And the worst you can say about Him is that He uttered tough words about the fate of those who spend a lifetime rejecting reality and refusing to deal with the reality of their own flaws and sins while blaming it all on others.

    Unlike your atheist heroes, from Chairman Mao to Stalin, who slaughtered tens of millions of innocent human beings, Jesus never killed or tried to kill a single person while on earth. There was nothing about His life or His death that indicated anything but courage and compassion, honesty and integrity, steadfastness and loyalty.

    That’s why His word and message have spread to the ends of the earth, and to hurting people everywhere, while your message is confined to people who are fat, happy, dangerously complacent, and drunk with the illusion of their own self-sufficiency due to the accident of being born in the wealthy modern West.

  • I’ve given up trying to figure Bernardo out. All I know is that he seems to hate all Muslims, and believes in conspiracy theories about the genesis (no pun) of the books of the Bible.

  • Looks like our friends at RNS or some glitch erased my reply.

    Andrew, your phrase, “fictional Adam” gives you away, as does your convenient failure to note that in the “knuckle-dragger” reference, I was responding to a poster who was fantasizing about taking bloody vengeance against Christians of today for the sins of Christians in prior ages. If that’s not primitive barbarism that has no conceivable relation to enlightened views of justice, nothing is.

    Clearly, you do an exceedingly poor imitation of an impartial and fair observer.

  • Bubba, your post tells us more about you than the imaginary people you’re trying to mock. Put you in the Deep South in the 1950s, and you’d be the stereotype you’re mocking…because bigotry is a personality trait which you seem to have in abundance.

  • Memo to silly board poster:

    Most African Americans are obviously not atheists, and most have a personal or familial connection to the very religious traditions you’re mocking. Only a cloistered, white-bread lefty who’s never met a black person believes otherwise.

  • Persecution is being beaten, shunned, fired, evicted, or killed for loving the way you were born to love. Not having someone dare question your “deeply held” beliefs.

    Oh, the irony of whiny Bible-cultist bigots wailing “Waaah! The big mean homos are persecuting me! I wanna go back to when they knew well enough to stay quiet and eventually kill themselves!” Such a laugh.

  • Mark B, I responded to your post, but RNS has glitches & things don’t always post.

    You’re all over the map — an inevitable outcome of your ranting & sloganeering rather than engaging.

    Your ignorance of the Bible is palpable, as evidenced by your bizarre claim that the Bible condones human sacrifice when it does exactly the opposite. Tell that to any observant Jew or Christian and they’ll laugh you out of court.

    Another thing — your bigotry against the building blocks of Judaism mark you as a theological anti-Semite at best and one who has contempt for the forerunners of the Jewish people at worst. You’re saying that the ancestors of the Jewish people have infected the world with a monstrously immoral set of books that have done incalculable damage to humanity. Try believing that without being a roaring anti-Semite.

  • Max, if arresting someone for imparting their religion to their children isn’t “fascist,” nothing is.

    The fact that you are personally displeased with its content doesn’t give you the right to stop that person from exercising their right to speak and teach it.

    Passing on one’s religion to one’s children is a fundamental human right that you don’t recognize according to your own words.

  • Ron, you’re confusing two things — first a claim that one’s religion is truth and second, a refusal to let contrary views see the light of day.

    The former does not imply the latter. One can believe in absolute truth on the one hand and freedom of thought and conscience, expression and religion on the other.

    One can believe that one’s own religion is the only true religion while at the same time in other people’s right to disagree with and advocate against that notion.

  • Larry, how on earth is rejecting a particular request of a particular customer equivalent to refusing all forms of service to that customer, let along burning a cross on somebody’s lawn?

    Your analogies are totally ridiculous.

  • That’s a pretty silly retort….it assumes every charge of bigotry is accurate. It doesn’t cover instances where the charge of bigotry is bogus but is being strategically deployed to silence another person or group.

  • Tell that to Christian shopkeepers bullied for exercising their right to freedom of conscience by declining to lend their services toward celebration of an upcoming event which would violate their conscience.

    Compelling them to perform the particular service is a totalitarian “trampling” of the most fundamental of human rights — the right to obey the dictates of one’s conscience. While no right is limitless, the burden always rests on the government to give an ample reason for such limitation. “Because we said so” is not an ample reason.

  • Wrong, Max. Neither I nor anyone else have a burden to operate in your demented little world where you lie, distort, obfuscate, act on bad faith, and reject the principle of fair play.

    You, on the other hand, have a burden to deal honestly and fairly with the material you’re handling. Unfortunately, you’ve done nothing of the kind.

  • The government has provided that reason when it forbade any discrimination on the basis of religious belief. Allowing exceptions merely underlines why we have those laws to begin with.

    When these God botherers start refusing to do Hindu weddings, Buddhist weddings, atheist weddings– people who reject the entirety of conservative Christian belief, not just the antigay bits– they, and you, will have a point.

    But you know, and I know, that it only comes up when they are required to treat one particular, despised minority as they wish, regardless of what conserva-Jesus has to say about it.

  • Jack,

    Having a right to practice your religion does not grant you permission to force it onto someone else with threats.

    Forcing children to adopt a religion is abuse. Threatening them with Hell is abuse and coercion.

  • Jack,

    You have chosen to accept the God who commands people to go to Hell – an infinite, unmerciful punishment for a finite crime – you and your God are far more immoral than Stalin or Mao.
    You lack morals.

  • @Jack,

    Wrong again. You have chosen a religion full of bigotry. It is your burden to prove your god is the one which exists and it is your burden to prove he truly loves these bigotries against humanity.

    There are other religions which are less bigoted – but you have chosen one of the most bigoted gods ever invented. Bigots choose bigotry.

  • Some would disagree Jack. Al Qaeda and ISIS make their intentions known and act directly to impart disparity on the nation. The religious west has appropriate measures but are bounded by the morality of our society to protect from death without justification. Both seed future generations with hatred and teachings devoid of science. Both impart their corruption into government using financial and political maneuvers. Both directly halt the social progression of their nation. Sure the religious west does not attack people directly, but they sow the fire of hatred and despair that imparts thoughts of violence that lead to the inevitable hate crime. Like a virus, it spreads slowly but in the long run, will enact the same amount of damage. It’s as simple as direct vs indirect, for their goals inevitably remain the same.

  • Look, be honest.

    It is not the actions of the few, it is the majority.

    If it wasn’t the majority, the three biggest names in the Republican race right now – wouldn’t be the ones advocating America abandon its first amendment with regards to Muslims.

    Now everybody has seen Sam Harris, and there are endless comments about xenophobia within the atheist community.

    The Satanic Temple is basically a group set up to mock religion, they’re actually atheists – a more offensive version of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    When Ben Carson was comparing Muslims to rabid dogs, when Donald Trump was advocating a national register of Muslims, when Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz were advocating religious tests for refugees – the Satanic Temple sent out an offer to provide bodyguards for Muslims who were afraid.

  • Atheism has had a bad name for the stances taken by atheists on feminism – right?

    The Catholic Church, with its “progressive” pontiff is the biggest church in the world. Pope Francis, the progressive, pro-female Pope of right now – won’t even discuss female clergy.

    The Anglican Church is much more liberal than the Catholics – it even has female bishops – as well a specific rule that if a male priest doesn’t want to answer to a woman, he can elect to answer to a male bishop instead. There is no equivalent rule for priests who do not wish to answer to a man.

    Another issue – where is all of this opposition to abortion – even in cases where the alternative is the death of the mother and infant – coming from? The churches.

    And these aren’t the fundies, these aren’t the Quiverful crowd, these are mainstream churches.

  • You get atheists who are climate change deniers, and scientific illiterates.

    Last week I wrote an article on climate change calling for my country to engage in more research in order to better survive the new climate that is coming.

    The very first response I got to that article on Facebook was someone saying “Climate change is a lie, we need God.”

    Not only does the religious right oppose stopping climate change, they oppose doing anything to mitigate its effects and we’re told “it is not the majority”.

    Recently Jordan Wooley went in front of a school board and said her teacher forced her to say God is mythical in order to get a passing grade.

    This was spread throughout the American conservative media as an example of atheist indoctrination. Wooley was, like most Christians, a liar.

    The school board investigated, found out that the “test” was an ungraded critical thinking excercise on the difference between an opinion and a fact, and that the teacher? Is a…

  • In other words, you approve of Stalinist thuggery Max.

    Maybe we should call you Comrade Max, the board’s totalitarian thug.

    In free societies, parents have the right to teach their children to believe or not believe in hell or anything else. So long as they don’t advocate violence, it is their right. It is an international human right. Check out Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

  • Max, stop skirting the issue. Jesus never killed or attempted to kill a single human being while on earth, nor have I. Your friends Stalin and Mao together were responsible for the deaths of at least 100 million people.

    A tree is known by its fruit. The fruit of your friends speak a thousand words, all of them horrifying.

    The doctrine of hell itself doesn’t harm a single human being. it is simply a proposition. As with any other proposition, as opposed to a mere taste or preference, it is either true or false. There is or there isn’t a hell. If there is not, then nobody should believe in it. If there is, then everybody should. Why? Because life is not about feeling good; it’s about facing reality in all of its aspects — the good, the bad, and the ugly.

    To beat up on Christians about hell is to miss that obvious point. It’s also to beat up on the messenger because you don’t like the message. That’s childish.

  • CJ, the problem with your attempt to morally equate the two is that the West is freer, safer, healthier, wealthier, more secure and stable, more tolerant and progressive, and better educated. By any measure, the quality of life in the west vastly exceeds that of tyrannical or chaotic societies in which radical Islamism dominates.

    And the proof is obvious….Far more people move here from there than vice versa. And people elsewhere continue to vote for America with their feet, which is why we’re having a debate about how many or which refugees to let in. People are clamoring to come here.

  • Religious freedom is the given. At its heart is freedom to obey one’s conscience.

    To compel Christian bakers to provide services on demand for same-sex weddings is to force them to violate their Biblically-informed conscience which says that marriage is between male and female.

    Not only is their view the inescapable corollary to what the Bible says about marriage and human relationships; it has been the view of every known society in every time & place but our own.

    It’s not some bizarrely aberrant view that just dropped down from the sky and into the hands of 21st century “conservative” Christians, Jews, and Muslims. It has been humanity’s default position for all of its history.

    On the contrary, it is same-sex marriage which came out of nowhere and has no roots in any society’s past.

    The SCOTUS ruling is the law of the land & should be obeyed. But that doesn’t give anyone the right to force anyone else to participate.

  • As far as weddings for non-Christian or non-Jewish couples, none of the scenarios you mentioned presents a real problem. The reason is that there is nothing in the Bible which restricts marriage to Christians or Jews. The only limiting factor in the Bible is male and female. That’s it.

    And again, that sole limiting factor regarding the Bible was the sole limiting factor in all times and places we know of, across human history. This is not some peculiar omission…..the whole history of the world shows the omission to be nearly universal.

    None of this proves that gay marriage is wrong or right. All it does is show that the conscience claims of bakers and other service people regarding gay weddings are not out-of-the-blue stances. The opposite is the case….and the extent to which it is remains remarkable.

  • When someone is driven out of business by state action or threats of action because he or she refuses to succumb to a demand to perform a particular service that violates their conscience on religious matters, then absent a darned good reason for such bully-boy tactics, it’s a classic violation of that person’s religious freedom and a betrayal of a hallmark constitutional right.

    A good reason would be an accompanying threat of violence. A bad reason would be because society woke up one day and decided to redefine the historical meaning of the word, “marriage.”

  • Max, bigotry is about narrow-mindedness and by any measure, you are the most narrow-minded person on this board. Your position forces you to condemn the core beliefs of every practicing Christian or Jew, Muslim or Buddhist, Hindu or Baha’i, in a Deity.

    And your particular animus against the authors of the Bible, who by definition are the forerunners of the Jewish religion and the literal ancestors of the Jewish people, make you an anti-Semitic bigot. I have even caught you in the past posting pre-modern, outdated, anti-Semitic renderings of a particular New Testament verse, a tactic which is common on neo-Nazi hate sites, which use precisely the same verse as you did.

  • WHACK! WHACK! Ad Hominem Jack is back with more personal attacks.

    Jack, you’re a je​rk. A deluded one at that.

  • Ad Hominem Jack, you are using a lie about Max, that he was a friend of Stalin etc., to try (and fail) to make a point. It’s just one more of your foul tricks. No surprise. We’ve caught you at it yet again. Gotcha!

  • WHACK! Ad Hominem Jack insults again. Jack, obviously Max is serious. You are just an insult thrower, nothing more.

  • Well Jack, then you need to explain why I as a Buddhist or Hindu can toss out the entirety of conservative religious belief and label it a quaint fancy, and this bothers no one but the most rabid of fundamentalists. You certainly never hear the martyrbaters complaining about THAT, and having to serve those demon worshiping Hindus.

    But let me say that I am gay, and reject only the tiniest bit of conservative Christian belief– you know, the rabidly antigay parts– and suddenly, I am violating your core beliefs and forcing you to go against your most deeply held beliefs.

    You say you hate bullies, Jack. bUt you had no problem with the antigay Christian bullies doing exactly that for decades, telling all kinds of lies for Jesus in order to attack gay people and deprive us of participation in society, of depriving non-anti-gay denominations of THEIR RELIGIOUS freedom with marriage bans, and on and on and on.

    Provide a rational justification for it.

  • Exactly the same thing could be said about treating women as the legal and social equals of men. It pretty much didn’t e it’s until about 100 years ago.

    an appeal to tradition is the weakest argument you can make.

  • Are Christians persecuted or are they persecutors?

    You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men……Matthew 5:13

    That’s a biblical description of the results of scornful, mean spirited public commentary and actions, in this case, by conservative, fundamentalist Christians. It is constantly defining what kind of people they are.

    Complaints from them about their treatment are not sincere. What they do and say is being rejected as loveless stuff.

    Their ‘tasteless salt’ is their way of being a persecutor.

    ‘Throwing it away’ and ‘trampling on it’ is the best way to deal with it.

  • Read in context, “Philip.” The context was physical assault.

    If you legally equate tough verbal language in a debate with physical assault, then either you’re too emotionally frail to participate in the former or you’re looking for a reason to take down the First Amendment, as totalitarians losing debates with pro-democracy people generally do.

  • That’s not the issue, “Philip.” The issue, if you read the progression of posts, is whether Jesus can be deemed a murderer or the equivalent simply because He preached about Hell and judgment as stark realities, when He never committed nor attempted a murder, but counseled the opposite in terms of how people should treat each other.

    By the way, “Philip,” the students in colleges across the nation need

  • ….you as their chief grievance counselor. You can teach them how to whine and sob more effectively at the sound of any remotely harsh word uttered within earshot.

  • Max actually has come a lot closer to Marx, Stalin, Mao, and the gang in this series of posts than I expected.

    In true jackbooted fashion, he has said that he would stop parents from teaching their kids about Hell if he had the power.

    Teaching one’s religion to one’s children is an absolutely critical component of freedom of religion — and attacking it has been a hands-down favorite tactic of the most grisly and murderous totalitarian regimes of the past century.

    Max has leaped into bed with them with his chillingly identical stance on this very issue.

  • Problematic example, Ben. It is simply not true that women were treated uniformly as second-class citizens throughout history. Instead we find a series of starts and stops, and even regression along with progression. While women are treated far better today than in the Middle Ages, they were treated much better in early Christian settings than in the Middle Ages. And there were plenty of blocks of time where Jewish communities treated women better than medieval Christian or pagan ones.

    While appeals to tradition don’t prove the rightness or wrongness of anything, the idea that they don’t matter is sophomoric fantasy. If any generation chooses to sever all ties to any and all previous generations on something as weighty as the definition of humanity’s bedrock institution, of course it’s appropriate to question its wisdom without expecting blizzards of hysterical charges of bigotry, let alone threats to tow the line or face fines or prison.

  • The connection, Ben, is religious freedom. While as a Christian, my beliefs diverge at key points from adherents of other faiths, I affirm the right of every human being to believe or not believe, as their conscience leads. That includes atheists and agnostics as well as every kind of theist, from Christian, Jews, and Muslims to Buddhists, Hindus, and Baha’is, and Zoroastrians, Yazidis, and any other group you can mention.

    Thus, while I am dead-set against bakers excluding gays as customers, bakers have the right not to accede to a particular request by a particular gay customer that would require participation in a gay wedding. Freedom of religion is a very broad right that does not end when someone leaves their home or house of worship. Both US and international law recognize this.

    And yes, I have stood since I was a teenager against bullying or bias against gays. That includes hysterical lies about gays.

  • The bottom line is that I really despise bullying in all of its forms and my life and life’s positions have proven it. I despise real bigots bullying gays and ignoramuses spreading lies about what gay people are like. And I despise the far left’s speaking for all gay people in bullying businesses who have nothing against gay people but can’t for religious reasons participate in transactions connected specifically to gay marriage.

    Both forms of bullying, politically incorrect and politically correct alike, are deeply offensive, and while the former has led to far more ghastly and grisly results, I don’t like it when innocent people of any kind are so mistreated.

  • No, Max, the logic of your position is anti-Semitic bigotry. And I have caught you in just that, numerous times. You and I both know that perfectly well.

    In your posts, you have displayed the same patterns of hate that neo-Nazi and radical Islamists sites have exhibited when they pull phrases from the Talmud out of context. And when you quoted from the New Testament, you chose exactly the same verses and even the same old and discredited translation the neo-Nazi and white supremacist sites have favored.

    At best, your posts show a reckless disregard for the historical uses of the Bible by anti-Semites… worst, they show a contempt for the core values and history of the Jewish people….not just observant Jews, but any Jew who has any connection whatsoever to his or her people and their past.

    Your bigotry is so bad, you couldn’t even have a civil conversation with a Jewish poster about a Passover seder! Your bigotry disgusted her.

  • Max, seriously, are you really that ignorant about what religious freedom means, both in the Constitution and in international law, or do you know and just don’t care?

    Let me quote your own words again:

    “I would have a man arrested for child abuse if I overheard him telling children about hell.”

    If that’s truly your position, you are an enemy of the First Amendment and of the greatest human rights document of the 20th century, the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    The right of parents to impart their beliefs to their children is a core element of religious freedom — and again, the first thing totalitarian dictators often attack in their attempts to extinguish freedom.

    I suppose it never occurred to you that the same right of theists to teach their children their beliefs extends to atheists to teach their children theirs as well.

  • Speaking for yourself, Jack. WHACK! WHACK WHACK WHACK! Ad Hominem Jack insults again. Quelle surprise…Jack, we’ve got your number. Stop WHACKING, little Jack.

  • WHACK! WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK! Foul Ad Hominem Jack insults again. Quelle surprise…Jack, we’ve got your number. Stop WHACKING, little Jack.

  • @Jack,

    Child abuse is illegal.
    Threatening children with Hell is child abuse.

    Adults have the right to believe the stories about Hell. Once a child is 18 they may be taught about Hell. Adults do not have the right to threaten children! You are advocating child abuse and you should be punished for it if you do it.

    Bury your head in shame if you ever teach a child about Hell:

  • Jack,

    “anti-Semitic bigotry…neo-nazi..”

    Nonsense. Your ad hominems are as baseless as are your claims about gods.
    There is no example of anti-semitism in my hundreds of comments. The religion of Nazism is among the most disgusting religions of them all.


    What sort of insidious individual talks like that?

  • Jack,

    “For religious reasons”

    You chose your religion! You chose it for its bigotries.
    It is indefensible to claim your bigotry is not your choice! You cannot say… “for religious reasons.”

    You have sided with an imaginary bully named Yahweh. You are the author of your decision!

  • Lots of Christians hindered too. The sinking (and stinking) ship here is Christianity and the rats are the Christians.

  • Max, you can cite pop psychology all you’d like, but no matter how you look at it, religious freedom is an internationally recognized human right that includes the right to pass on one’s religion to one’s children.

    Whether you or I or anyone likes the content is completely irrelevant. What is relevant is religious freedom — and not only that, but parental rights to raise their children as they see fit, so long as there is no imminent threat to their lives or their safety.

    This is the heart of what distinguishes western democracy from totalitarian Fascism or Stalinism. Children do not belong to the state, period.

    So butt out, Comrade Max.

  • Chutney, there’s not a shred of evidence of it being even a topic of rational debate, let alone an institutionalized practice, in any time and place but our own.

  • You are oh-so Palestinian, insurance man….you get knocked flat on your back for the umpteenth time and declare victory in between gasps for breath.

  • How’s the view from the floor looking up, “Philip?”

    The spectacle of you posing as a civility expert is like watching a Japanese Sumo wrestler prancing around in a ballerina dress.


  • I know this is hard to believe, but I promise that I am not paying Max a single dime to make a fool of himself on the issue of religious freedom.

    The man’s ignorance of the basic traditions of his own country, the United States of America, is breathtaking. If I missed 90% of classes from K through 12, I couldn’t have become more ignorant than he about the institutions and patterns of any free society, let alone this one.

    Max, get it through your head: Religious freedom is a first-amendment right and is internationally recognized as well.

    Just because you don’t like the content of a religion, it doesn’t mean you get to play dictator and annul a key human right.

    So dispense with the goose stepping and find a community college to teach you a course in American civics.

  • Max, you admitted that you were taught anti-Semitism for starters.

    If you can’t see it, I submit to you that you are clueless about your own thoughts and behavior. Max, when quoting the New Testament about the Jews, you pulled out exactly the same quote that neo-Nazis use on their hate sites….in fact, their favorite quote of all!

    And you chose not just the exact same quote, but exactly the same old and outdated translation that they regularly use — the one that makes Jews look like enemies of the whole human race.

    If that is not anti-Semitism, Max, then nothing is.

    But even laying aside that example, your misuse of the Hebrew Bible is grotesque. And as I’ve noted, your hatred is so ingrained, you even ripped apart Passover seders, causing a Jewish board poster to recoil in disgust. You were apparently too ignorant to realize that seders are attended by atheists and agnostics as well as theists and are an integral part of Jewish identity.

  • Nice try at blaming the other side. There are far to many Christian Democrats for your argument to hold any humidity, let alone a drop of water.

  • “Evangelicals chose bigotry over faith when they endorsed Trump.” Shame on you, you cult idiots, Trump came before you and you very happily endorsed him. You are NOT Christians, you are nothing but a bunch of infidels who practice bigotry on a daily basis, and now you have validated yourselves by endorsing this egotistical, narcissistic, lying, draft dodging, wife dumping bigot. Shame, shame, shame on you. You put on your Sunday best on Sundays, fill up the pews with yourselves, and claim to worship God, but you not only do NOT worship God, you worship yourselves and TRASH like your idol, Trump. There is a special place in HELL for people like YOU.

  • There are a number of Sunday or Media Christians, who use the mask of religion to enact their prejudices with the pretense that the ‘good book’ says so. The problem, for this and some other religions, is that the extremists professing faith and doing bad things in their own agenda don’t represent the overall community, and the overall community is caught between having to vocalize not having those deep and dangerous views/actions, and getting accused by the offended group(s) of whole cloth lending support, for sitting in the middle of the fence / offense. Each side sees the other intruding upon their lives to live.

    Strange, one group claiming to be tired of being made into the bad guys by other groups claiming to be tired of being made into the bad guys…

    We all have to live with each other, unless you form such tight knit groups that you force every one different out. Either way, you have government and laws to enact and follow, but some seek separation, others incorporation of church into state . . and depending on your religious or nonreligious background, that’s a mix that doesn’t mix well.

  • 2 things, first: you are unique and the kind of bigots hiding behind religious freedom while making laws force transgender people into dangerous bathrooms etc. definitely are not you. second: I am Christian, Catholic to be precise which closes the gap between you and I. We both have similar views on things, you disagree with violent reactions toward people, shown by youer comments on Korryn Gaines, as do I. You support stopping the ‘hate speak’ as I see on your comments about Milo Y. which I agree, Stop the Hate Speak is my entire meaning when I said, do what Jesus teaches! Love

  • God recognizes no gray area in His kingdom. As a nation we are obviously already in opposition to God for what it has allowed in direct contrast to His Law and the covenant it’s broken, but individually we still have a choice to make while we are here, to choose Him or choose the world. I don’t know about anyone else for sure, but I choose Him.

    I’m saying to you right now, and God knows it and I’ll tell anyone within ear’s reach. I would receive all the judgment of the people of the Earth and still choose Him. Jail me. Denounce me. Harm me. Try to coerce me to reconsider. Ban Christ in any nation you want to name. I will still choose Him. I’ll cry out to Him in troubled times, why would I believe I can seek an alternative to the almighty God? You’ve got to be kidding me.

    Again, I refuse to roll over my faith, my devotion, my understanding of God, who is nature’s God, the universe’s God, the king of Heaven. How dare I? Any of you who do the same, perhaps you may just have to meet the same fated moment.

    Don’t you know, all this is testing us? We’ve went through this in humanity before seeing as the scripture of the Bible has already told each Christian, and we will so again. I didn’t go into this trying to hate anybody, and I still don’t, but when the train is off the rails then the hate is coming your way; all of man’s politics and doublespeak stamped upon your visage, and then comes the suffering and struggling and the scars and wounds, but they can have my flesh, I have a soul to deliver, Lord should you take me. Period.

  • No shame on you. YOU’RE the bigots snd infidels. You’re trash like Clinton. You will burn in hell. Saying that homosexuality is a sin is NOT bring a bigot at all

  • I hope you recognize that homosexuality is a sin. The church needs to be supporting Gods holy word. Being against gay marriage does NOT make you a bigot.

  • EXACTLY/ The Liberal mind is confused and full of hatred towards Christians .You can call them hypocrites and Christianophobes since they label and judge everyone with the same paintbrush but fail to see the error of their ways . They are sick truly insane people

  • I agree.. Love. However that is certainly not a guarantee that love will come pouring back to us. Jesus told us flat out that the world would hate us but not to worry because it hated him first. It is the natural progression. Why do you think that Jesus said that we would be hated and that he was hated first? I’d be interested in the answers from folks.