Opinion

A Mennonite pastor is suspended and a denomination is splintered (COMMENTARY)

Two men kiss each other during a pro-gay demonstration in front of the Nossa Senhora da Paz church in Rio de Janeiro. Photo courtesy REUTERS/Bruno Domingos. Eds: This photo may only be used with RNS-FLORIAN-OPED published May 27, 2016.

(RNS) The Virginia Mennonite Conference suspended a pastor’s ministerial credentials Wednesday (May 25) because he officiated at a same-sex wedding.

The Rev. Isaac Villegas of the Chapel Hill (N.C.) Mennonite Fellowship and my pastor, is “at variance” with the conference, which belongs to the Mennonite Church USA. The denomination, with some 100,000 members, holds that marriage is “a covenant between one man and one woman for life.”

The conference was aware of Villegas’ plan to officiate the wedding well in advance, as the congregation has been in dialogue with it for years over the matter of fully welcoming LGBT people in the congregation.

But the conference went one step beyond an immediate suspension of the minister’s credentials. It shifted the tone of the conversation, not to mention the power dynamic, from “variance” to “misconduct.”

So much hinges on these word choices. Variance applies to those congregations who are allowed to continue barring women from the pulpit despite the denomination’s most recent affirmation of women’s gifts and calling. Variance applies when a minister chooses to bless the union of persons who have been divorced and seek to remarry.

But misconduct?

Misconduct applies when a minister steals from the church. Misconduct is when a minister is presumed guilty of physical and/or sexual abuse.

Misconduct is not blessing the marriage of two committed adults, with the full support of their church community, an action that roughly half the ministers in the conference support. Yes, there is a range of opinions in the conference. But it has chosen to shift the narrative from one of theological diversity to one of punitive measures, from variance to shame and censure.

The Mennonite Church is not alone in its struggle to navigate such theological diversity; mainline Protestant denominations around the country are splintering over LGBT people, too. Young talented leaders in growing congregations are driven away — sometimes formally, as with Villegas, and sometimes simply because they are worn down by the fight. The lament over the lack of young people in churches is a common refrain, yet the unwillingness of denominational leaders to consider inclusive theologies is likely a contributing factor.

Leaders in the conference believe Villegas has sinned, and must repent. Yet their own guidelines say ordained ministers are to “build up the local body and to further engage the congregation in the mission of God.” Villegas was carrying out the calling placed upon him in his ordination, ministering to the local church body he serves, a body that welcomes LGBT people without hesitation. Villegas and his church understand his actions as those of a faithful pastor.

Meanwhile, when it comes to actual instances of misconduct, of abuse in the church, predators continue to find safe haven in the conference. While officiating at the wedding of two committed adults will result in punishment for the pastor who blessed the marriage, the conference seems willing to make every effort to protect pastors who kept quiet about abuse in their church, as they have done with Lindale Mennonite Church in Linville, Va. They will punish those who seek to create safe, open spaces of mutual accountability in our churches, while protecting those who are complicit in violence.

What a waste of effort, to put a good pastor on trial. What an absurd tragedy that a historic peace church would reprimand those who want to bless loving, consensual, committed relationships, while failing to train pastors on how to respond to real violence in their communities.

The Virginia Mennonite Conference’s guidelines speak of the minister’s breach of trust, but it is conference leaders who have shown themselves to be untrustworthy, as they continue to foster an environment that is unsafe and unwelcoming for so many people.

(Meghan Florian is a writer teaching at William Peace University and the Center for Theological Writing at Duke Divinity School)

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  • The central message of conservative Christianity as it is practiced today is “get the gays”. If they spent the time, energy, and money they spend on getting the gays on something like charity, good works, education, and alleviating suffering, how much good could they accomplish in the world?

    Of course, the real problem is that they have is with uppity gay people, not the gay people who say, “Yes, Massa. You are right. I am the most worstest sinner there is. I need to get right with god…”

    so that you, Massa, can feel Ok, or feel superior, or pay more attention to my mote than your beam, or whatever other pernicious nonsense that you are feeding yourself.

    nothing worse than an unrepentant sinner to give the lie to what they are selling.

  • There is something worse, Ben. These same anti-gay pastors don’t restrict their attacks on LGBT Americans to their own denominations. Fact: anti-gay pastors routinely violated IRS regulations to promote the 32 now-revoked anti-gay Hate Votes that not only deprived LGBT Americans of their Constitutionally protected right to legal marriage, these anti-gay pastors also attacked the Freedom Of Religion of the many American churches that want to marry same gender couples. These denominations will marry same gender couples: Affirming Pentecostal Church International, Alliance of Christian Churches, Anointed Affirming Independent Ministries, The Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Community of Christ, Conservative Judaism, Ecumenical Catholic Church, Ecumenical Catholic Communion, The Episcopal Church, Evangelical Anglican Church In America, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Global Alliance of Affirming Apostolic Pentecostals, Inclusive Orthodox Church, Moravian Church Northern Province, Metropolitan Community Church, Old Catholic Church, Presbyterian Church USA, Progressive Christian Alliance, Reconciling Pentecostals International, Reconstructionist Judaism, Reform Judaism, Reformed Anglican Catholic Church, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Unitarian Universalist Church, United Church of Christ, Unity Church

  • I know that some, perhaps many, Christians find it much easier to point the finger at gay people instead of working on the beam in their own eye. But that doesn’t mean that homosexuality is an approved behaviour as far as the Bible is concerned. Homosexuality is still a sin. In saying that I’m not stating that my own sins are any less a flaw in God’s eyes.

    In James 2:10 it says;

    “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.”

    Having an open and accepting attitude towards gays isn’t the same as saying that their sexual behaviour is ok.

  • These folks are seriously out of step with the US Constitution, religious freedom and peoples’ rights. Conservative Christian pastors are oblivious to their own sin(s) and need to open their eyes and repent, like now!

  • ” I know that some, perhaps manyChristians find it much easier to point the finger at gay people instead of working on the beam in their own eye. But that doesn’t mean that homosexuality is an approved behaviour as far as the Bible is concerned. Homosexuality is still a sin. In saying that I’m not stating that my own sins are any less a flaw in God’s eyes.”

    Irony isn’t your strong suit, is it? Here you are, doing exactly what you say so many Christians are doing. If you have your sins, where on earth do you find the time to comment on mine, instead of repenting your own? Could it be that you don’t really think your sins are as important as mine? Or you think your BFFF doesn’t think so, which is curious, because it happens to agree with you?

    More and more, as I hear Christians tell me how they are sinners, too, and love me so much, I’m coming to think this: So much of it is a complete unwarranted faith in your entirely imaginary superiority as Christians, as moral people and as human beings.
    After all, you folks can sin and repent and sin and repent and ask Jesus to forgive you which he always does and sin and repent some more.

    We gay people are spiritually poor in your theology, because we are neither buying that we are sinning, and repenting not even once, because there is absolutely nothing to repent. I suspect that’s the part that really bothers you. We’re being uppity, and we don’t know our place. We are no longer buying the stuff you’re selling– not even those who stay with your churches buy it, certainly not their friends and families, and increasing, not young people in general. And certainly not your churches.

    Personally, to repeat something I have said many times: it’s one thing to believe that being gay and acting on it are a sin. It’s quite another to believe lies that people tell about us, to support bigotry in law and society against us, to call for our deaths and imprisonment if we don’t learn our place, to deny us the same legal protections you believe belong to people who reject the entirety of your religious beliefs, or anyone else you believe is going to burn in hell forever. My family, faith, Children, Freedom, finances, marriage, Love and life are every bit as important as yours.

    Where do you stand?

    .

  • My comment is directed at this article, Ben, not at you. The article fails to mention that homosexuality is a sin, and it’s in the context of a pastor officiating at a gay marriage. Pastors aren’t supposed to publicly approve of sinful actions, let alone endorse them. The participants in the same sex marriage have every intention of continuing in a sexual action that the Bible tells us is wrong.

    If you know the Lord Jesus, then you have the same access to forgiveness for your sins that I do. The Bible tells us to come boldly to the throne of grace. I’ve struggled throughout my 34 year old born again life against addictions to pornography and drugs, so I know all about going to God to ask for a forgiveness that I don’t deserve.

    But in my view, a pastor who officiates a same sex marriage is the same as my going forward to ask for a blessing upon my signing up for a porn website. The pastor can’t/shouldn’t do either – to do so as a pastor is to give approval to an inherently sinful act.

    On a personal level, I would guess that the number of sins that I’ve committed in my born again life exceeds your count. Just a guess, Ben, but I know myself, a sinner saved by grace. Both you and I have sin tendencies that we struggle with, but Jesus died on the cross and gave His blood so that we are forgiven. Homosexual acts are no more or less sinful than any of my porn or drug sins – we struggle to overcome them as best we can, depending on the Spirit to help us when we are too weak to resist of our own strength.

    The moment that you and I came to know Jesus as our Saviour, and God put His Holy Spirit within us, He knew in advance every sin that you and I would commit in our lives from that minute onwards. There is no sin His blood did not pay for in advance of our committing them. It’s just that we shouldn’t expect an official of the church to approve of them in advance.

  • If you will allow me to digress for a bit, Brother Dave,here’s a loving suggestion for you: Read Romans chapter 6 slowly,prayerfully,meditatively… then do it again.In the years since the Holy Spirit directed me to this ground-breaking passage,it has revolutionized my life; I literally call it the “sin-breaking” chapter! One thing I’ve learned over the years: When you find yourself struggling with something,it usually means that one of you won’t let go.The great Apostle Paul asks THE pertinent question in the beginning of Romans chapter 6: “How can we,who are dead to sin,live any longer in it?”—That is our position in Christ,Brother Dave-ask the Holy Spirit to teach you how to embrace it. Victory can be yours,Bro!! PEACE.?.

  • Yeah…but the relevant question is: are they “out of step” with what Almighty God commands, PetrusRomanus1?

  • Thank you, Laurence. I have had a go at Romans 6, and Romans 8 too. I memorized them both, and they did work well for about 6 months. but then I started to drop off again. and I can’t explain why. However, I have found victory over those sins, not 100%, but substantially. I became so utterly frustrated at failing over and over again. Eventually, I realized that all the resistance that I was putting up was in my own strength.

    So, whenever temptation came knocking at the door, I asked the Holy Spirit to fill me with his strength. I stopped resisting of my own will, and let God do it for me. That was a tough journey, but eventually, I found it.

    I appreciate very much your taking the time to give me that Romans 6 tip, Laurence. God bless you too.

    Dave

  • Actually, I think you both affirmed my point and missed it entirely. I also think your comments are directed at gay people.

    There are lots and lots of sins, and lots of sins, like the abomination of bacon sandwiches, have been conveniently turned into not-sins. There is a reason we don’t burn witches any more, as sinful as witchery was. There is also a reason why lots of sins don’t merit political campaigns, lies and denunciations from the pulpit, and schisms in entire mainline denominations. And there is also a reason why divorce and adultery in people like trump and Gingrich are completely ignored, except for an occasional tsk-tsk.

    You’d almost thing it really doesn’t have a thing to do with sin at all, with a context like that.

    “Pastors aren’t supposed to publicly approve of sinful actions, let alone endorse them.” Pastors do it all the time, especially when it comes to divorce, or covering up child abuse in the clergy, or committing adultery, or reviling and slander, or alcoholism. But gay people are your whipping boys. Well, your scapegoats.

    “The participants in the same sex marriage have every intention of continuing in a sexual action that the Bible tells us is wrong.” You don’t know that, the pastor doesn’t know that. The bible tells you lots of things are wrong, but this one merits lengthy replies to anonymous strangers on the Internet.

    “I’ve struggled throughout my 34 year old born again life against addictions to pornography and drugs, so I know all about going to God to ask for a forgiveness that I don’t deserve.” But you ask, and it is always given, isn’t it? And for 34 years? SOmeone might think you actually enjoy your sins. As I said, you folks can sin and repent and sin and repent and ask Jesus to forgive you which he always does and sin and repent some more. So you have indeed found time away from your sins to tell me about mine. I’m not addicted to anything. Maybe you should work on your addiction, instead of commenting on my lack of one? And how do you know that every gay Christian couple is not asking for forgiveness of sins– if they’re stupid enough to buy that nonsense– and God is not granting it to them, just he does to you?

    “And then, there is this: “But in my view, a pastor who officiates a same sex marriage is the same as my going forward to ask for a blessing upon my signing up for a porn website.” So, you equate the promise of two people, before God, family, and community, pledging their lives to each other with you going to a porn site, logging on, and getting your log off– for the umpteenth hundredth time this year? And of course, Jesus forgave you again! Wow!

    Do you not see this massive superiority complex you are playing in?

    Funny, Jesus doesn’t help you to give up your sinful habits of porn and drugs. But he forgives you anyway, knowing that he will be doing the same every day for the rest of your sinful life. You’re not giving up your sins at all; you’re only giving up your personal responsibility for having them.

    Jesus never turns people straight. Exodus international folded a few years ago, with the admission that they had been Grifting for years. So much for God putting his Holy Spirit into anything useful. Christianity as you practice It, still supports the grift, however. And you are certain that Jesus doesn’t forgive gay people for living out their lives as best as they are able, though he does forgive you for living yours as badly as you are able.

    this real hypocrisy and imaginary superiority are toxic to ethics, compassion, and especially to gay kids, who are going to be gay whether you like it or not. I have no objection to adults believing whatever they wish, if it neither breaks my leg or picks my pocket. But I object most strongly to gay kids killing themselves because of the toxic nonsense about homosexuality and sin that conservative and antigay religion foists upon them, all underneath a phony mask of concern, love, and morality.

    It is absolutely none of those things.

  • Good for the good pastor. As bigoted interpretations of the Bible get challenged, more and more people of good conscience and good spirit will accept equal marriage and LGBT persons of faith as part of God’s will.

  • Actually, I think you both affirmed my point and missed it entirely. I also think your comments are directed at gay people.

    There are lots and lots of sins, and lots of sins, like the abomination of bacon sandwiches, have been conveniently turned into not-sins. There is a reason we don’t burn witches any more, as sinful as witchery was. There is also a reason why lots of sins don’t merit political campaigns, lies and denunciations from the pulpit, and schisms in entire mainline denominations. And there is also a reason why divorce and adultery in people like trump and Gingrich are completely ignored, except for an occasional tsk-tsk.

    You’d almost thing it really doesn’t have a thing to do with sin at all, with a context like that.

    “Pastors aren’t supposed to publicly approve of sinful actions, let alone endorse them.” Pastors do it all the time, especially when it comes to divorce, or covering up child abuse in the clergy, or committing adultery, or reviling and slander, or alcoholism. But gay people are your whipping boys. Well, your scapegoats.

    “The participants in the same sex marriage have every intention of continuing in a sexual action that the Bible tells us is wrong.” You don’t know that, the pastor doesn’t know that. The bible tells you lots of things are wrong, but this one merits lengthy replies to anonymous strangers on the Internet.

    “I’ve struggled throughout my 34 year old born again life against addictions to pornography and drugs, so I know all about going to God to ask for a forgiveness that I don’t deserve.” But you ask, and it is always given, isn’t it? As I said, you folks can sin and repent and sin and repent and ask Jesus to forgive you which he always does and sin and repent some more. So you have indeed found time away from your sins to tell me about mine. I’m not addicted to anything. Maybe you should work on your addiction, instead of commenting on my lack of one? And how do you know that every gay Christian couple is not asking for forgiveness of sins– if they’re stupid enough to buy that nonsense– and God is not granting it to them, just he does to you?

    “And then, there is this: “But in my view, a pastor who officiates a same sex marriage is the same as my going forward to ask for a blessing upon my signing up for a porn website.” So, you equate the promise of two people, before God, family, and community, pledging their lives to each other with you going to a porn site, logging on, and getting your log off– for the umpteenth hundredth time this year? And of course, Jesus forgave you again! Wow!

    Do you not see this massive superiority complex you are playing in?

    Funny, Jesus doesn’t help you to give up your sinful habits of porn and drugs. But he forgives you anyway, knowing that he will be doing the same every day for the rest of your sinful life. You’re not giving up your sins at all; you’re only giving up your personal responsibility for having them.

    Jesus never turns people straight. Exodus international folded a few years ago, with the admission that they had been Grifting for years. And this despite their claims that they and Jesus had delivered hundreds of thousands of people from this sin. So much for God putting his Holy Spirit into anything useful. Christianity as you practice It, still supports the grift, however. And you are certain that Jesus doesn’t forgive gay people for living out their lives as best as they are able, though he does forgive you for living yours as badly as you are able.

    this real hypocrisy and imaginary superiority are toxic to ethics, compassion, and especially to gay kids, who are going to be gay whether you like it or not. I have no objection to adults believing whatever they wish, if it neither breaks my leg or picks my pocket. But I object most strongly to gay kids killing themselves because of the toxic nonsense about homosexuality and sin that conservative and antigay religion foists upon them, all underneath a phony mask of concern, love, and morality.

    It is absolutely none of those things.

  • The Bible says Jesus didn’t agree with your claim about loving, committed same gender couples. Jesus affirmed a gay couple. Read Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10. This is the Gospel story where Jesus healed the servant of a Roman centurion. In the original Greek, the word that the Roman centurion uses in this passage to describe the sick man – pais – is the same word used in ancient Greek to refer to a same-gender partner.

    Of course, anti-gays won’t agree with that translation. However, modern Biblical scholars have proven the Bible was intentionally mistranslated in order to provide “Biblical cover” for then-rising levels of homophobia. For example, the word “homosexual” didn’t even exist until 1870. Many major Christian and Jewish denominations condemn misusing the hate-based mistranslations to attack their fellow Americans and are marrying same gender American couples now. About 400 years ago, a group of religious authorities (sanctioned by King James I of England), secretly manipulated the English version of the Bible to reflect their own heterosexual attitude; they opposed the King kissing other men in public.

  • “The article fails to mention that homosexuality is a sin”

    The article fails to spam readers with the increasingly minority claim that loving, committed same gender couples are sinning with their love and support of each other, Mr. Roberts. Americans are increasingly annoyed with the emphasis anti-gay churches place on “gay sex.” There is simply no valid comparison between same gender couples and your claimed “addictions to pornography and drugs.”

  • You’re suggesting he ignore Jesus, who said the second most important Commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself, but instead tune into a deeply disturbed misogynist who never met Jesus because Jesus NEVER said to attack same gender couples.

  • Please don’t pretend all Christians have the same beliefs about loving, committed same gender couples being able to protect each other through legal marriage.

  • Romans 1:32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

  • Ya gotta love Christians who advocate the death penalty for sinners. Well… SOME sinners, but not others.
    can’t you just feel the love?

  • Jesus is against the sin of judging others. But doesn’t stop you.
    Jesus says treat others as you would like ot be treated. so I guess we can execute you for your sins, right?

  • Moderator: this comment has been deleted TWICE. I can see nowhere that it violates terms of service. It is not a personal attack, but does point out the OP’s hypocrisy and short sightedness when it comes to his own sins and behaviors, while being busy judging other people. It is quite relevant to the conversation. If the problem is in mentioning to particular examples, I have eliminated their names.

    If you are going to delete it, perhaps you will have the courtesy to say why.

    ——-

    Actually, I think you both affirmed my point and missed it entirely. I also think your comments are directed at gay people.

    There are lots and lots of sins, and lots of sins, like the abomination of bacon sandwiches, have been conveniently turned into not-sins. There is a reason we don’t burn witches any more, as sinful as witchery was. There is also a reason why lots of sins don’t merit political campaigns, lies and denunciations from the pulpit, and schisms in entire mainline denominations. And there is also a reason why divorce and adultery in people like Certain well known politiciansare completely ignored, except for an occasional tsk-tsk.

    You’d almost thing it really doesn’t have a thing to do with sin at all, with a context like that.

    “Pastors aren’t supposed to publicly approve of sinful actions, let alone endorse them.” Pastors do it all the time, especially when it comes to divorce, or covering up child abuse in the clergy, or committing adultery, or reviling and slander, or alcoholism. But gay people are your whipping boys. Well, your scapegoats.

    “The participants in the same sex marriage have every intention of continuing in a sexual action that the Bible tells us is wrong.” You don’t know that, the pastor doesn’t know that. The bible tells you lots of things are wrong, but this one merits lengthy replies to anonymous strangers on the Internet.

    “I’ve struggled throughout my 34 year old born again life against addictions to pornography and drugs, so I know all about going to God to ask for a forgiveness that I don’t deserve.” But you ask, and it is always given, isn’t it? And 34 years? someone might think you actually like it, or something. As I said, you folks can sin and repent and sin and repent and ask Jesus to forgive you which he always does and sin and repent some more. So you have indeed found time away from your sins to tell me about mine. I’m not addicted to anything. Maybe you should work on your addiction, instead of commenting on my lack of one? And how do you know that every gay Christian couple is not asking for forgiveness of sins– if they’re stupid enough to buy that nonsense– and God is not granting it to them, just he does to you?

    “And then, there is this: “But in my view, a pastor who officiates a same sex marriage is the same as my going forward to ask for a blessing upon my signing up for a porn website.” So, you equate the promise of two people, before God, family, and community, pledging their lives to each other with you going to a porn site, logging on, and getting your log off– for the umpteenth hundredth time this year? And of course, Jesus forgave you again! Wow!

    Do you not see this massive superiority complex you are playing in?

    Funny, Jesus doesn’t help you to give up your sinful habits of porn and drugs. But he forgives you anyway, knowing that he will be doing the same every day for the rest of your sinful life. You’re not giving up your sins at all; you’re only giving up your personal responsibility for having them.

    Jesus never turns people straight. Exodus international folded a few years ago, with the admission that they had been Grifting for years. They claimed thousands or hundreds of thousands of people had been fixed by Jesus, but later admitted that NO ONE HAD, NOT ONE. So much for God putting his Holy Spirit into anything useful. Christianity as you practice It, still supports the grift, however. And you are certain that Jesus doesn’t forgive gay people for living out their lives as best as they are able, though he does forgive you for living yours as badly as you are able.

    this real hypocrisy and imaginary superiority are toxic to ethics, compassion, and especially to gay kids, who are going to be gay whether you like it or not. I have no objection to adults believing whatever they wish, if it neither breaks my leg or picks my pocket. But I object most strongly to gay kids killing themselves because of the toxic nonsense about homosexuality and sin that conservative and antigay religion foists upon them, all underneath a phony mask of concern, love, and morality.

    It is absolutely none of those things.

  • was that an advocation of the death penalty, or was it a lack of approval for those who promote their wrongs? I have great difficulty for people who push people toward Hell. What about you? To help you further, that statement was endorsed by Jesus.

  • It sure sounded to me like that is what you were advocating, as in “deserve to die.”

    I don’t believe in hell, and certainly, not for being gay.

    As for being endorsed by Jesus? Really? You people sure me making stuff up, specially, attributing t the God wh is e your own base desires. Romans was written decades after Jesus died.

  • No, Jesus said nothing about the subject. Not one word. But whatever you need to believe.

    But that line about not judging, just reporting, is getting really old. But honesty really isn’t a part of the antigay Christian repertory.

  • Jesus put that penalty on them. They make they choice when they reject Him Ben. Are you supporting that?
    Here, I’ll help you with something else:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

  • You never answered my question. Just because you don’t like the answer, does not mean I didn’t answer it. How do you feel knowing you are sending people to Hell

  • All Christians do have the same feelings carrot. It is apostate to believe otherwise.

  • I did answer your question.
    I don’t believe in hell, any more than I believe in Oz or shangrila. So i’m not sending anyone there.
    So, will you answer my question, or continue to weasel.

  • Well, my comment keeps getting deleted. So I can’t really answer what you have to say, and the moderator won’t explain why it keeps getting deleted.
    This much I will say again. Sin repent, sin repent, re-sin and re-pent. You take no responsibility for your sins. But you have the time to tell other people about theirs.
    quoting carrot: There is simply no valid comparison between same gender couples and your claimed “addictions to pornography and drugs

  • Please stop with the whining already. The Bible is clear, and so is the Mennonite pastor’s misconduct. As a gay non-Christian, you don’t agree with the Bible nor the Gospel anyway. And you don’t agree with Christian leaders who are tasked with holding pastors accountable.

    All the belly aching in the world isn’t going to rewrite Scripture. It’s not about hatred and holier-than-thou , but it’s not about caving in to caustic
    gay marriage worshippers either. Forget that mess.

  • As I said. Thanks for demonstrating it.
    When virulently antigay Christians start treating gay people the same way , with the same courtesy and respect, they treat all of the other people they believe are going to burn in hell forever…
    then and only then will I believe that it is about what the bible says, instead of an ancient, vicious, and deeply ingrained prejudice.
    And of course it is about hatred and holier-than-thou. What else would it be about? And as long as gay kids kill themselves because of the toxic messages that so called Christians continue to deliver, or are kicked out of their homes by good Christians such as yourself, you can bet I will be speaking about it.
    loudly and long.

  • I do love my neighbor as myself,carrotcakeman…but I don’t want to marry him or myself. PEACE.?.

  • Please understand, Ben. You have lots of anger, but I’m not here to talk you out of it. Go lay your gay activist guilt-trips on some other Christians (Methodists seem particularly vulnerable these days), because honestly? I worship God, not gay marriage. Period.

    And as such, I’m not going to waste one micro-second trying to assuage your anti-biblical angst. I’m not here to hate on anybody, I want to help both straight youth and gay youth, but I’m not here to betray my Bible either.
    You are not a Christian, but I am a Christian. It is what it is, dude.

    From the looks of things, The Virginia Mennonites apparently feel the same way. Wouldn’t you agree?

  • Again, thanks for demonstrating my point, and clearly.
    You are indeed a Christian– of that sort.

  • No, it’s getting old as people scrape hard to claim Jesus said anything about homosexuality, when he did not. Paul was not Jesus, never met him and didn’t speak for him. And even at that, Paul only counseled about people going against what was “natural.” For some natural is there own sex. The council of Nicaea decided what went in the Bible and what got tossed. It isn’t a book by god but a man made collection of myths about gods.

  • “Homosexuality is still a sin.”

    That assertion is only applicable among people who are voluntary members of the Jesus Christ Fan Club, and who agree to follow the club’s rule-book. For everyone else, it is irrelevant.

  • The reality of Hell is not contingent on your belief, Ben. It’s real.
    As far as your question. I answered it already, but, will answer it further for you. Jesus said people who commit that sin should die for it, and then turned around and died for them, should they choose to accept that gift. I want all men saved.

  • Actually Paul met Jesus several times and he spoke for Jesus to the Gentiles.
    Jesus is God and He is responsible for everything in the Bible. It’s all His word.
    No…Jesus claimed that it is unnatural because heterosexual sex is natural. We won’t play semantics. Homosexual sex is and always has been a sin – as declared by God.
    Actually it’s 66 books written by the inspiration of the spirit of God. blessings.

  • Non-members of your club, such as myself, don’t care what Jesus is for or against. It is simply irrelevant in our lives.

  • Watching porn or not watching is a choice you make. Someone who is gay isn’t making a ckoice to be gay. They are born or created by God as gay people. It isn’t wrong to be who you were born to be. Sinning is a choice. Gays are not sinning

  • Even though there is a dearth of books written during the Jesus time, even though Jesus was almost like a rock star, turning water into wine, raising the dead, healing the sick, even with all those miracles, not one thing was written about him from all those authors during that time period. It wasn’t until over 60 years later after Jesus dies that anyone wrote anything. Until some men like Paul had an agenda. Suddenly books from john mark matthew and luke show up. Seems suspicious to me. I believe in facts not fairy tales. I will not call people who are gay sinners based on something that is a lie.

  • Hallelujah hypocrites have to have boogeymen to scorn and hate to justify their own lack of obedience to Christ’s higher law: Love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself. LGBT are simply their latest target. They still hate on the Mormons, Adventists, Jehovah Witnesses, and Christian Scientists when they are not hating on the Pope and Roman Catholics. Paranoia and McCarthyism go hand in hand with their dark view of Christianity.

  • “. . . we’re trying to help you.”

    That’s like some Mafia members saying, “We’re trying to protect you.”

  • So you still won’t answer that question. I guess that means we know what the answer is.
    Yes or no: Do you believe that gay people should be executed?
    As for hell being real? Sure. whatever you need to believe. Perhaps you’ll send me a postcard to prove it.

  • Yep. The moral of the story in Genesis 19 is very clear: vice is nice but incest is best. Lot and his daughters as the sole “righteous” survivors of Sodom and Gomorrah celebrate with drunkenness, debauchery and father-daughter incest. They were obviously the very first Tali-Baptists/Hallelujah hypocrites. Either the Bible is one messed up book or some passages got messed up along the way. You pick. Either way, your bigotry is showing. You really should tuck that in.

  • Homosexual behaviour is a mortal sin and excludes from eternal salvation according to the NT. There is no legitimate place for it in the Church. It is abomination, and the open celebration of it is blasphemous.

  • Then, be advised, you are choosing to believe a fairy tale. And, all are sinners, some are forgiven.

  • Isn’t this the old problem of trying to put new wine into old wineskins? The new wine of marriage equality is incompatible with the old wineskin of marriage as the union of a man and a woman for life. No wonder the denominations are splitting.

  • Oh please. Now you wanna start debating the Bible or something, right?

    Ok, fine. Go get your Bible and show us where it permits ANY Christian clergy to officiate and/or “bless” any homosexual wedding, period.

    While you’re at it, show us exactly where the Bible condones or allows homosexual marriage AT ALL, with or without clergy officiants. No need for delay; start showing now.

  • Thanks for mentioning the story of Lot’s daughters, and how they got their old man drunk and did him when he was too besotted to know what was going on. And nary a word is said against it either in the text (the god apparently doesn’t think it’s an abomination) or by those who are so big on the Sodom and Gomorrah story. Maybe that’s why so many “christians” are silent on the stories of preachers and other highly visible “christian” TV personalities who have such interesting relationships with family members. BTW, these are the same two daughters the Lot offered to the men of Sodom so they wouldn’t abuse his guests. Interesting how fundie bible experts can’t tell the difference between rape and intimate, caring, committed relationships. Says a lot about their own marriages, I reckon.

  • No, I’m here to defend Americans’ Freedom Of Religion, meaning our right to be free of the anti-gays’ beliefs.

  • Shame on you! You’ve attacked the Freedom Of Religion of the many denominations that will marry same gender couples: Affirming Pentecostal Church International, Alliance of Christian Churches, Anointed Affirming Independent Ministries, The Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Community of Christ, Conservative Judaism, Ecumenical Catholic Church, Ecumenical Catholic Communion, The Episcopal Church, Evangelical Anglican Church In America, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Global Alliance of Affirming Apostolic Pentecostals, Inclusive Orthodox Church, Moravian Church Northern Province, Metropolitan Community Church, Old Catholic Church, Presbyterian Church USA, Progressive Christian Alliance, Reconciling Pentecostals International, Reconstructionist Judaism, Reform Judaism, Reformed Anglican Catholic Church, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Unitarian Universalist Church, United Church of Christ, Unity Church

  • Please show us just where in the Bible Jesus said, “Go attack loving, committed same gender couples. Play dirty tricks with Caesar and con Caesar into depriving them of their rights.”

  • He didn’t. He did say, “Leviticus 18:22 – 22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. ” He then sentenced them to death. He then died for them should they choose to accept His gift.

  • Here’s what you have sown by attacking the Freedom Of Religion of Americans:

    “Among those who say they left their childhood religion and now have no religious identity, nearly one in four (24 percent) say their church’s negative teachings or treatment of LGBT people was an important reason they left. That rises to 31 percent of millennials, damaging churches’ ability to bring in — and keep — young adults”

    http://www.religionnews.com/2014/02/26/gay-marriage-lgbt-prri-pew-religion/

  • Leviticus is OLD Testament. You just tried to put lies into Jesus’ mouth. So much for “Thou Shalt Lie,” huh?

    This is why Americans consider anti-gays immoral as well as disloyal to our Constitution.

  • If you read Romans 1, you will see that homosexuality is a choice. 26…..” For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.” It’s always been a choice.

  • Here’s what else you are reaping by sowing such lies, the coming disappearance of religion in the lives of Americans:

    “[T]he major new survey of more than 35,000 Americans by the Pew Research Center finds that the percentage of adults (ages 18 and older) who describe themselves as Christians has dropped by nearly eight percentage points in just seven years, from 78.4% in an equally massive Pew Research survey in 2007 to 70.6% in 2014. Over the same period, the percentage of Americans who are religiously unaffiliated – describing themselves as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” – has jumped more than six points, from 16.1% to 22.8%.”

    http://www.pewforum.org/2015/05/12/americas-changing-religious-landscape/

  • No Paul never met Jesus. He lived decades later. None of the gospels were written by people who met Jesus, the earliest was 70 years after he was purported to be dead.
    Homosexual sex is perfectly natural for homosexual people, it is only unnatural for people who are not gay. Many gay men can’ t get an erection with a woman and I know from personal experience that gay women often can’t be aroused enough to produce the required lubrication with men.
    I realize straight people find the idea of gay sex icky, thinking about it makes you a little sick to the stomach. What most of you fail to understand is that for us straight sex is icky, and thinking about it makes us sick.
    Homosexual sex itself was only an issue is leviticus, the other quotes you all are so fond of don’t speak to committed gay couples at all, and in fact, even with Paul, the problem was sex with male temple prostitutes.

  • nope. Paul met Jesus.
    Homosexual sex is declared unnatural in Romans 1:27.
    Jesus loves the homosexuals, He doesn’t love their sin.
    No such thing as a committed homosexual couple in Jesus’ eyes Daul, He didn’t approve of the sex, He will not approve of anything else they may try to do with it to make it acceptable.
    Jesus loves you and wants better for you hon. How can I help you?

  • Science ……….have you heard of it? I’m sure the folks that thought the world was flat are not the best source for truth.

  • Yes, Jesus invented it. It just hasn’t caught up to His wisdom yet. It will one day.
    Also, please cite the scripture where it says the world is flat. Thanks.

  • There were indeed committed same sex couples in Jesus; time, he in fact healed one part of a gay couple when he healed the Centurion’s pais.
    There is nothing any where that proves the historicity of Jesus’ life itself, let alone Paul meeting him. Paul was born and raised in Turkey. So saying Paul met him is a real stretch…
    How about I help you to figure out that it is unlikely your Jesus existed? You’d find that fairly offensive, wouldn’t you?
    I don’t appreciate the hon, or the how can I help you. Both denigrate me as a human being. I need no help from you, or your fictitious god to continue living a happy healthy vibrant life, full of fun, wonderful people I love and things I enjoy.
    Nor do I need to remove your right to believe whatever you want, although people who argue what you have often wanted and in fact have stripped my secular rights from me.

  • Someone got you bad info Daul. Jesus healed no homosexual. That is homosexual propaganda and it isn’t even good. No truth to it. No scripture to support it.

    Judiasm proves Jesus existed.

    Maybe it’s more important to get you on your way to Heaven.

  • If your only book is the bible then there isn’t much to discuss. Columbus went out to prove the world wasn’t flat. General thinking of the time.

  • Delusional as far as I can tell. I tried the religion route for 30 years. Common sense prevailed. And love and humanity took its place

  • Your attempt to be “cute” failed. It isn’t as if right-wing religious respected marriage at all:

    “Divorce is higher among religiously conservative Protestants – and even drives up divorce rates for other people living around them, a new study finds.

    The study, slated to be published in the American Journal of Sociology, tackles the “puzzling paradox” of why divorce is more common in religiously conservative “red” states. If religious conservatives believe firmly in the value of marriage, why is divorce especially high in places like Alabama and Arkansas?

    Researchers also discovered that people living in areas with lots of conservative Protestants were at higher risk of getting divorced, even if they weren’t conservative Protestants themselves. Community institutions in such areas might encourage early marriage, affecting divorce rates for everyone who lives there. “Pharmacies might not give out emergency contraception. Schools might only teach abstinence education.” On top of that, “if you live in a marriage market where everybody marries young, you postpone marriage at your own risk. The best catches … are going to go first.”

    http://www dot latimes dot com/world/worldnow/la-sci-sn-red-states-religious-conservative-divorce-20140116,0,7835151 dot story#axzz2qllXU5CS

  • Not only is that vicious anti-gay Hate Speech, it’s even a LIE about the Bible. Modern Biblical scholars have proven the Bible was intentionally mistranslated relatively recently in order to provide “Biblical cover” for then-rising levels of homophobia. For example, the word “homosexual” didn’t even exist until 1870. Many major Christian and Jewish denominations condemn misusing the hate-based mistranslations to attack their fellow Americans and are marrying same gender American couples now. About 400 years ago, a group of religious authorities (sanctioned by King James I of England), secretly manipulated the English version of the Bible to reflect their own heterosexual attitude; they opposed the King kissing other men in public.

  • Are you a Pauline instead of a Christian? That’s from the ramblings of a disturbed misogynist who never met Jesus except in an alcohol-induced hallucination. Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” NOT “Go hurt loving, committed same gender couples.

  • Americans are waking up to the fact that the extreme right-wing, overpoliticized “churches” are indeed advocating for genocide against LGBT Americans. The failed GOP presidential candidate Cruz had two allies, Iowa pastor Kevin Swanson, and Duck Dynasty creep Phil Robertson, say they want to round up and murder LGBT Americans. Robinson wants to “remove from the earth” anyone who just supports equality for LGBT Americans.

  • Jesus never “endorsed” the hate speech from Paul. You aren’t promoting religion, you are using deception to promote an anti-gay political agenda.

  • We aren’t here to “answer” your trick questions but instead to debunk your lies.

  • I’m not here to answer your trick questions, I’m here to debunk your routine anti-gay lies.

  • See, Ben, this is where he admits he does fantasize about genocide against LGBT Americans.

  • How many LGBT Americans does your minister say is the minimum requirement to kill for his flock to “go to Heaven”?

  • So Jesus didn’t endorse Paul’s Hate Speech.

    No one is fooled by such obvious lies.

  • It really is a shame of anti-gays to try to drag all American Christians down in the dirt with anti-gays. The vast majority of American Christians would never intentionally try to subvert the Constitution. This is why the 3 last anti-gay Hate Votes in November 2012 all failed, American Christians figured out they were being hoodwinked.

  • Here’s the evidence you’re LYING:

    “More than six in ten (62 percent) white mainline Protestants support same-sex marriage. Among white mainline Protestant denominations, support ranges from 69 percent support among white mainline Presbyterians and 68 percent among both white Episcopalians and white Congregationalists/United Church of Christ members, to lower support among white mainline Baptists (53 percent) and white mainline Church of Christ/Disciples (50 percent).

    And while the Catholic Church officially opposes the legalization of same-sex marriage, about six in ten white (61 percent), Hispanic (60 percent), and other non-white Catholics (60 percent) support allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally. A majority of orthodox Christians (56 percent) also support same-sex marriage.

    The most supportive major religious groups are Buddhists (84 percent), Jews (77 percent), and Americans who select “Other religion” (75 percent); additionally, more than three-quarters (77 percent) of the religiously unaffiliated also support same-sex marriage.”

    http://publicreligion dot org/2015/04/attitudes-on-same-sex-marriage-by-religious-affiliation-and-denominational-family/#dot VbUcrRNVhBe

  • That sounds like a curse to me, after you said murdering LGBT Americans was “saving” them.

  • If you really wanted to see the evidence, you would change the word dot and the spaces around it into a period.

    But anti-gays don’t want to see the evidence they are LYING. Psychologists report that the most commonly observed symptom of the mental disorder homophobia is cognitive dissonance, an inability of those so afflicted to accept documentation that contradicts their deep-seated phobia and hatred of LGBT Americans.

  • No, you have reaped the whirlwind:

    “Among those who say they left their childhood religion and now have no religious identity, nearly one in four (24 percent) say their church’s negative teachings or treatment of LGBT people was an important reason they left. That rises to 31 percent of millennials, damaging churches’ ability to bring in — and keep — young adults”

    http://www dot religionnews dot com/2014/02/26/gay-marriage-lgbt-prri-pew-religion/

  • More evidence:

    “[T]he major new survey of more than 35,000 Americans by the Pew Research Center finds that the percentage of adults (ages 18 and older) who describe themselves as Christians has dropped by nearly eight percentage points in just seven years, from 78.4% in an equally massive Pew Research survey in 2007 to 70.6% in 2014. Over the same period, the percentage of Americans who are religiously unaffiliated – describing themselves as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” – has jumped more than six points, from 16.1% to 22.8%.”

    http://www dot pewforum dot org/2015/05/12/americas-changing-religious-landscape/

  • Yes, you judged LGBT Americans worthy of death, the same way Iowa pastor Kevin Swanson did at Cruz’s rallies.

  • It’s getting old because it is a LIE that the MAJORITY of American Christians reject and condemn.

  • Actually, Paul had alcohol-induced hallucinations. Paul was included in the Bible for political reasons.

  • Nope, Paul never met Jesus. “Romans” is Paul’s writing, not Jesus’s words. No one wants your “help,” you already made the mistake of revealing what that “help” is.

  • Why lie? Jesus affirmed a gay couple. Read Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10. This is the Gospel story where Jesus healed the servant of a Roman centurion. In the original Greek, the word that the Roman centurion uses in this passage to describe the sick man – pais – is the same word used in ancient Greek to refer to a same-gender partner.

  • Paul lied. Science has proven sexual orientation is inborn and unchangeable. The US Supreme Court, several US federal and several US State Supreme Courts have examined that evidence and ruled that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is similarly unconstitutional as discrimination based on race because BOTH are IMMUTABLE characteristics. A quick look on any search engine on the phrase “Physiological Basis of Homosexuality” turns up over 26,000 articles, the vast majority supporting the biological basis of same sex attraction, but NONE of them have any PROOF for the wild claim anti-gays make that “it’s a choice.”

  • Why don’t you tell us just where Jesus said, “Go, attack loving, committed couples. Trick Caesar into depriving them of their rights under Caesar’s law”?

  • Anti-gays are desperate to hide the facts from readers here, and probably flag each and every comment that debunks their lies.

  • If you supported laws that denied same gender couples the same ability to protect each other through legal marriage, you do not love your neighbor.

  • Wrong, Scripture has already been rewritten, and by anti-gays to boot. Modern Biblical scholars have proven the Bible was intentionally mistranslated relatively recently in order to provide “Biblical cover” for then-rising levels of homophobia. For example, the word “homosexual” didn’t even exist until 1870. Many major Christian and Jewish denominations condemn misusing the hate-based mistranslations to attack their fellow Americans and are marrying same gender American couples now. About 400 years ago, a group of religious authorities (sanctioned by King James I of England), secretly manipulated the English version of the Bible to reflect their own heterosexual attitude; they opposed the King kissing other men in public.

  • Part of that is because anti-gays themselves want to have “gay sex.” “Homophobia is apparently associated with homosexual arousal that the homophobic individual is either unaware of or denies.”

    http://www dot landman-psychology dot Com/Homophobia%20Associated%20with%20Homosexual%20Arousal dot pdf

    http://psycnet dot apa dot Org/journals/abn/105/3/440/

    An agency of the federal government, the National Institutes of Health, publishes a supporting study:

    http://www dot ncbi dot nlm dot nih dot Gov/pubmed/8772014

    Here’s a video that illustrates that study:

    http://www dot youtube dot Com/watch?v=AEuDDvqYbVw

    How about a You-tube SONG that explains this?

    http://www dot youtube dot Com/watch?v=1CQg9f7z9eg&feature=youtube

    Sometimes I wonder if anti-gays attacked legal marriage for same gender couples because that would destroy their ability to have “gay sex.”

  • We’ve been through this. Jesus affirmed a gay couple. Read Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10. This is the Gospel story where Jesus healed the servant of a Roman centurion. In the original Greek, the word that the Roman centurion uses in this passage to describe the sick man – pais – is the same word used in ancient Greek to refer to a same-gender partner.

  • Anti-gays always claim that Americans who support Equal Protection Under the Law for LGBT Americans are “angry.” Why would we? We WON.

    It’s anti-gays who are enraged at their defeat.

  • Andrew Sullivan calls them “Christianists.” Christianism is a political movement, not a religion. Anti-gays have no interest in religion, it’s just something they misuse to hide their hateful, hurtful political agenda.

  • “I realize straight people find the idea of gay sex icky”

    This is how we know anti-gays are not heterosexuals, since they all tell us they find “gay sex” highly arousing.

  • They also focus on nothing about our marriages except how we are intimate. I swear the real issue is straight men being jealous of the sex they assume gay men are getting that they aren’t.

  • And, BOY, do they ever FOCUS on that! I’m sure you’ve read anti-gays post their fantasies in great detail.

  • “Alcohol-induced hallucinations.” Seriously? Please cite chapter and verse on that one.

    P.S. Do not cite “The Gospel Of Gay Skeptic Atheism” as your source. Aftet all, Christians demand facts, not fiction !!!

  • The Centurion’s servant? Where servant was mis translate and the word was pais, which means lover? He didn’t support that couple?

    The Catholic church performed same sex unions until the 1400’s. Saints Segius and Bacchus are shown together on a marriage icon in 303 A.D

    Judaism doesn’t prove anything about Jesus’ existence at all, pro or con. It is it’s own religion, the religion the stories all say Jesus was.

    Your Jesus said heaven is here among us, where are you going?

  • The Episcopalians are certainly christian, and they will marry us, ordain us, and don’t believe we are hell bound. They are hardly alone.

  • You use your bible to prove your bible. Circular reasoning. There is no historical record of Jesus. the census Joseph was “required” to go to Bethlehem for was taken in April, not December, and wouldn’t have required him to go to Jerusalem anyway, any more that none of us go to our birth towns to be counted, they count us where we are.

    Even the Catholics of my childhood, pre-Vatican II, didn’t pretend Paul ever met Jesus, just that he had a vision of him on the road to Damascus.

    God is, as always, completely and utterly silent. Men purport to speak for “Him” and it’s always Him.

  • The bible is clear? Then so is mud. If you think the bible makes sense, then I’ve got a nice bridge to sell you in the desert.

  • floydlee,
    “… show us exactly where the Bible condones or allows homosexual marriage…”

    Here’s a good start —

    All things are allowable, all things are lawful, all things are permissible…..1 Corinthians 6:12…..1 Corinthians 10:23

  • Most people that are Christian don’t want to “get the gays.” Many Christians believe that the first commandment is to love and obey God first. Some Christians stand for marriage between one man and one woman because it’s what, in their hearts and minds, is the will of God. It’s about obeying and loving God first, and that’s what I stand for. I get that many people don’t understand that, and that’s okay. We don’t have to think the same, but in order for me to stand for what I believe, some people may not feel that I support what they think. I shouldn’t have to do that, and vice versa. I can like a person and not agree with them, and in my life I’m able to separate that out and not seek to do harm.

  • Here’s all the evidence we need, the denominations that will marry same gender couples: Affirming Pentecostal Church International, Alliance of Christian Churches, Anointed Affirming Independent Ministries, The Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Community of Christ, Conservative Judaism, Ecumenical Catholic Church, Ecumenical Catholic Communion, The Episcopal Church, Evangelical Anglican Church In America, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Global Alliance of Affirming Apostolic Pentecostals, Inclusive Orthodox Church, Moravian Church Northern Province, Metropolitan Community Church, Old Catholic Church, Presbyterian Church USA, Progressive Christian Alliance, Reconciling Pentecostals International, Reconstructionist Judaism, Reform Judaism, Reformed Anglican Catholic Church, Religious Society of Friends (Qu

  • The study you quoted is well worth considering but I can’t understand why you feel I’m trying to be ‘cute’ whatever you mean by that.

    The idea of marriage for life without the possibility of divorce has been rejected. Now the law of the US and several other countries is that same sex couples can also marry and this puts even more strain on holding onto the old ideas.

    That is why denominations are cracking under the strain of those who hold contrasting views on marriage. To state that is not to take sides in the debate between the old ideas and the new but to describe what is happening.

  • Hey Carrot, have you figured out whose same-gender partner Jairus’ 12-year-old daughter was? I can’t wait to hear.

  • Hooray! Someone else who can, perhaps, tell us whose same sex lover Jairus’ 12-year-old daughter was?

  • I want to thank you sincerely. For admitting what was obvious.

    Your advocacy of execution for gay people clearly indicates that this is no more about sin and God and love than the similar position among Islamic extremists.

    The good thing about it that people of decency, compassion, good will, common sense, and intellect can see this. However much they may have been in the middle before, the virulently antigay are helping them to see what this is really about.

    And every time they see it, and realize what it is about, a little gay angel gets his or her wings.

    So please, keep it up.

  • “Most people that are Christian don’t want to “get the gays.” ” I agree with you 100%– now. 45 years ago, when I came out, I would not have agreed with the statement. And there are significant numbers of virulently antigay, so called Christians even now. You need only look at some of the comments posted herein.

    “Many Christians believe that the first commandment is to love and obey God first.” Absolutely again.

    “Some Christians stand for marriage between one man and one woman because it’s what, in their hearts and minds, is the will of God.” Absolutely the case. But it doesn’t take too long with some of those that claim this to realize that that’s just what they say. Underneath, all of the lies, reviling, and slander are working their way outward. And there are an awful lot of Christians, individuals, ministers, churches, and entire denominations that think that their gay parishioners ought to have the full advantage of civil and religious marriage in their faith communities. Do you think that the civil law should enforce your views on other Christians who don’t share them? do you think that civil law should be used to damage the lives, families, and children of gay people who don’t share your views?

    “It’s about obeying and loving God first, and that’s what I stand for.” That’s what all Christians stand for, so they say. Many pro-gay Christians come to their conclusions not despite what their bibles say, but BECAUSE of what their bibles say.

    “I get that many people don’t understand that, and that’s okay. We don’t have to think the same, but in order for me to stand for what I believe, some people may not feel that I support what they think. I shouldn’t have to do that, and vice versa. I can like a person and not agree with them, and in my life I’m able to separate that out and not seek to do harm.”

    Absolutely true again. Please understand something. I don’t Condemn all Christians, or even most of them. Some of my best friends are, and even though we are atheists, we had a Christian minister perform our marriage– TWICE. What I Condemn and fight against is people who use their faith as an excuse to hate others (at worse) or elevate themselves above others (at best, and it is a very, very poor ‘best’).

    If you seek to do no harm to me and my people, I have no argument with you.

  • Really? incompatible So my marriage affects you, harms you, deprives you of something? Because as far as I can tell, this is just nonsense.

  • I see, gay people are at fault because heterosexuals cannot and will not honor their promises to each other, before God, their faith communities, and their families.

    If my marriage puts a strain on yours, yours has far more problems than mine will EVER have.

  • “this puts even more strain on holding onto the old ideas”

    That’s a LIE. Massachusetts, the US State with marriage equality the longest, has the LOWEST divorce rate of any US State. Same gender couples who waited 20-30-40 years to have the SAME RIGHT to protect each other through legal marriage are NOT divorcing–but anti-gays themselves divorce more often than any others, as I have posted already in this thread:

    “Divorce is higher among religiously conservative Protestants – and even drives up divorce rates for other people living around them, a new study finds.

    The study, slated to be published in the American Journal of Sociology, tackles the “puzzling paradox” of why divorce is more common in religiously conservative “red” states. If religious conservatives believe firmly in the value of marriage, why is divorce especially high in places like Alabama and Arkansas?

    Researchers also discovered that people living in areas with lots of conservative Protestants were at higher risk of getting divorced, even if they weren’t conservative Protestants themselves. Community institutions in such areas might encourage early marriage, affecting divorce rates for everyone who lives there. “Pharmacies might not give out emergency contraception. Schools might only teach abstinence education.” On top of that, “if you live in a marriage market where everybody marries young, you postpone marriage at your own risk. The best catches … are going to go first.”

    http://www dot latimes dot com/world/worldnow/la-sci-sn-red-states-religious-conservative-divorce-20140116,0,7835151 dot story#axzz2qllXU5CS

  • Ben, you are so utterly unfamiliar with scripture that you can not even see that MGlass is trying to use it in support of YOUR side.

    If you do not even know what the entirety of scripture SAYS, how do you expect to tell us how we should view it–snd be taken seriously?

  • Sorry, I cannot help you with your sexual confusion except to suggest you obtain psychiatric care. Homophobia is curable.

  • And Shawnie, you just have a so special vision that I guess is denied to the rest of us. I guess I just don’t have the proper biblical perspective to understand plain English.

    Maybe MGlass will explain exactly what he meant. But as far as I can tell. He was claiming BOTH that same sex marriage affects entire denominations– no disagreement there– AND that it affects heterosexual marriage.

  • Actually, I think this was just a moderator. But since I asked him-/her to detail the reasons in one of those deleted posts, and he didn’t, we’ll never know.

  • I can’t be sure, but at other websites, I’ve been able to contact moderators, and they did tell me anti-gays flag everything that contains facts they want to hide. After all, why else would we catch anti-gays telling those same debunked lies again and again?

  • Looks like my previous answer to you was “deleted” , to use Ben’s term of 19 hours ago. The short answer is simply that your attempt to “pin it on Jesus”, so to speak, has been debunked both by scholars and non-scholars.
    First, Jesus ONLY affirms the centurion’s **faith** as he asked Jesus for healing — absolutely NO other item for either centurion or servant is affirmed. Second, the Greek word “pais” does NOT mean “same-sex-partner”, it simply means “boy” or “child” (as in your Matthew text) or can also mean “servant, slave” as in the Luke text.
    (“Doulos”, of which the NT says all Christians are called to be the “doulos” of Christ — therefore the word can only mean a regular servant or regular slave, NOT a sex-slave!). Most likely it means that the Centurion’s servant was also his son. So does Jesus affirm incest also, Carrot?

  • Canon of scripture was never even discussed at Nicea. They were there to settle a doctrinal issue using the writings that were already universally regarded as authoritative by all Christians.

    Hint: The Da Vinci Code was fiction. Read actual history.

  • Sheesh, this one is more off-base than Carrot !!
    So adultery is allowable? Mass murder is lawful? Is this the best you can do?

  • Well, we can see why your filth falsely comparing loving, committed same gender married couiples to incest, adultery and mass murder was deleted before! You’re entitled to believe anti-gay lies. That’s your problem. However, a majority of American Christians reject those lies, and these denominations will marry same gender couples: Affirming Pentecostal Church International, Alliance of Christian Churches, Anointed Affirming Independent Ministries, The Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Community of Christ, Conservative Judaism, Ecumenical Catholic Church, Ecumenical Catholic Communion, The Episcopal Church, Evangelical Anglican Church In America, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Global Alliance of Affirming Apostolic Pentecostals, Inclusive Orthodox Church, Moravian Church Northern Province, Metropolitan Community Church, Old Catholic Church, Presbyterian Church USA, Progressive Christian Alliance, Reconciling Pentecostals International, Reconstructionist Judaism, Reform Judaism, Reformed Anglican Catholic Church, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Unitarian Universalist Church, United Church of Christ, Unity Church

  • Anti-gays are indeed becoming more and more desperate to find ways to demean, demonize and dehumanize loving, committed same gender American married couples now that Americans have seen same gender couples already together 20-30-40 years just wanted the same ability to protect each other that all other Americans took for granted.

  • “That is why denominations are cracking under the strain”

    You mean the strain of institutionalized homophobia?

    “NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Southern Baptist Convention lost more than 200,000 members in 2014 and saw the lowest number of baptisms since 1947.

    Total membership in the nation’s largest Protestant denomination was just under 15.5 million last year, according to an annual report by Lifeway Christian Resources, the denomination’s publishing arm. That’s down from 15.7 million in 2013. It also marks the eighth straight year of declining membership.

    The number of baptisms has declined in eight of the past 10 years, according to the denomination. In 2014, baptisms declined by more than 5,000 to just over 305,000.”

    http://wate dot com/2015/06/11/southern-baptists-see-8th-year-of-membership-decline/

  • Sad to say, we see this poster routinely tries to deceive readers about Scripture in a desperate attempt to spread homophobia.

  • Show me a place in the new testament where divorce is okay. Or remarriage after divorce. Show me a scripture that allows for women preachers in Church. There are dozens of modern “Christian” practices that cannot be justified by any specific Bible verse. Christ had two guiding principles: Love God with all our hearts and to love our neighbors as ourselves. The apostles declared Christians free of responsibility to and for the Law of Moses. They did not single out homosexuality as the one thing to still avoid. That would be to not consume blood. And yet Blood or Black Sausage is a big deal in a lot of “Christian” nations. Are Germans all false Christians because of all the many things forbidden under the Law of Moses, the Apostles kept the ban on eating blood? What is lacking here is common sense. You really need to rethink your position.

  • The problem for MGlass is that institutionalized homophobia clearly affects denominations negatively. Look how Catholic parish churches are closing nationwide, because American lay Catholics have had it with the crass anti-gay political machinations of the bishops.

  • You’re 100% correct, Ben. Anti-gays have no interest in religion, they just hide the more unsavory aspects of their immoral and traitorous political agenda behind the skirts of “religion.”

  • In AD 104, during another census cycle, the prefect of Egypt, Gaius Vibius Maximus, issued an edict stating that: “The census by household having begun, it isessential that all those who are away from their nomes be summoned to return to their own hearths so that they may perform the customary business of registration and apply themselves to the cultivation which concerns them.”

  • Thank you for admitting that this” interpretation” (to use the term loosely) of the word pais is fantasy.

  • Sorry, Angelique, but we saw the result of that “Some Christians stand for marriage between one man and one woman,” the 32 US State anti-gay Hate Votes that deprived LGBT Americans of a basic civil right every other American takes for granted, accompanied by televised anti-gay Hate Speech meant to demean, demonize and dehumanize LGBT Americans. The worst of that televised Hate Speech came as secret, illegal campaign contributions from churches. Mormon leaders have already been assessed penalties for their criminal acts.

  • Please go back and relearn your history. No one with even a shred of education in Columbus’ day thought that the earth was flat. And he set out to find a trade route to India, not to prove anything about the earth.

  • How many times must we remind anti-gays that Jesus affirmed a gay couple? Read Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10. This is the Gospel story where Jesus healed the servant of a Roman centurion. In the original Greek, the word that the Roman centurion uses in this passage to describe the sick man – pais – is the same word used in ancient Greek to refer to a same-gender partner.

  • I will show you who divorces more than any other Americans:

    “Divorce is higher among religiously conservative Protestants – and even drives up divorce rates for other people living around them, a new study finds.

    The study, slated to be published in the American Journal of Sociology, tackles the “puzzling paradox” of why divorce is more common in religiously conservative “red” states. If religious conservatives believe firmly in the value of marriage, why is divorce especially high in places like Alabama and Arkansas?

    Researchers also discovered that people living in areas with lots of conservative Protestants were at higher risk of getting divorced, even if they weren’t conservative Protestants themselves. Community institutions in such areas might encourage early marriage, affecting divorce rates for everyone who lives there. “Pharmacies might not give out emergency contraception. Schools might only teach abstinence education.” On top of that, “if you live in a marriage market where everybody marries young, you postpone marriage at your own risk. The best catches … are going to go first.”

    http://www dot latimes dot com/world/worldnow/la-sci-sn-red-states-religious-conservative-divorce-20140116,0,7835151 dot story#axzz2qllXU5CS

  • Comparing loving, committed same gender couples to adultery and mass murder is HATE SPEECH. And that’s the worst you can do. This is why Americans reject and condemn your disgusting agenda to hurt LGBT Americans.

  • I’m claiming nothing here except to have actually READ the gospel passage about wineskins. Had you done the same you would not be embarrassing yourself now.

    Not only does this thread take the prize for the greatest amount of scriptural and historical misinformation and propaganda in one place since the site went to Disqus, but it’s your camp’s all-around shabbiest showing of general reading comprehension and logic. Try a little harder, at least.

  • Wow. That’s interesting. Thanks. I had read elsewhere that social conservatives tend to be very high-stress, high-anxiety people in their personal lives. That information shows how that plays out in marriage, and it’s not good news for them.

  • Columbus, a self-taught man, greatly underestimated the Earth’s circumference. He also thought Europe was wider than it actually was and that Japan was farther from the coast of China than it really was. For these reasons, he figured he could reach Asia by going west, a concept that most of educated Europe at the time thought was daft — not because the Earth was flat, but because Columbus’ math was so wrong. Columbus, in effect, got lucky by bumping into land that, of course, wasn’t Asia. The Columbus flat-earth myth perhaps originated with Washington Irving’s 1828 biography of Columbus; there’s no mention of this before that.
    I found this on a website. I was taught in school, exactly what I said. The site said, ancient China believed in a flat earth as far as the 17th century. Belief in a flat earth goes back to the bronze age, which is the time the bible is written about. My point was that bronze age thinking shouldn’t apply to our thinking now, as to homosexuality.

  • This is a discussion board. If you don’t like that everyone can debunk the deceptions you post here, take those deceptions to a website where only anti-gays are allowed to post.

    And please stop harassing me.

  • As always, you can be counted on to display your contempt for people who don’t see your book as you do.
    A week or two ago, you wrote about how my lack of knowledge about theology could fill a book. Funny, but that’s how I see you and the entire crop of theologians on whatever side of whatever issue there is: what you all don’t know about theology in general and god in particular could fill entire libraries.
    In fact, it has. That’s why, paraphrasing a joke from my Jewish childhood: two theologians, three opinions.
    That’s why there as so many theologians who differ in their opinions about what and who god is, and what his message may be to the world. That’s why there are so many denominations of Christianity, each one, especially of the fundelibangelist variety, claiming that it and it alone has the truth. That’s why you good Christians slaughtered each other for centuries, and why you slaughtered others who were not Christians. That’s why there are so many religions in the world, each of which claims the special knowledge of god and his/her/its/their message to the world.
    But of course, that isn’t the issue at all. The issue is to what use and purpose you put your faith. As I have said many times, if it makes your life better and you a better person, I’m all for it, even though I am an atheist. And, as I have also said many times, that is not the purpose to which so many people put it.

  • There are 613 Jewish laws in the old testament, but the Oh so religious cherry pick which ones they want to follow. They allow themselves this so they can sit in judgment. Meanwhile gays are so patient with the religious vitriol and demeaning remarks. Gays have my undying respect.

  • But if you’ve already “won”, why do you care about the Virginia Mennonites suspending one errant pastor??

  • Oh, Bob, thank you for this. Once again, proving the biggest detractors, if not enemies, of Christians are other Christians.
    One more round of “We are the true christians. You people are not.”
    Pervert weddings! Gotta love that love.

  • Yes, Carrot, this IS a discussion board. And you are expected to defend your positions. If you can do so, feel free. If you can not, then instead of crying like a baby that you’re being “harassed,” kindly step aside and let someone more capable take over for you.

  • Nice litany of excuses for not having read the works you are attempting to refute.

    And I’m sorry, but I can not pretend to be impressed by how “the entire crop of theologians” is “seen” by one who can not have an educated opinion on the subject due to near-total unfamiliarity with the writings in question. But you’re perfectly capable of correcting that unfamiliarity –perhaps then we could have a real discussion.

  • Oh brother. The Bible was not written during the Bronze Age. It is a compilation of works written over a period of many centuries, all of them written well after the Bronze Age.

    What ancient China thought about the earth’s shape is irrelevant. Christendom knew the earth was round. We all pick uo some misinformation in school, but presumably we learn to read and use sources, and are therefore responsible for checking out what we pass on.

  • All THINGS, Billy. Such as food, drink, wood, stone, etc. Not actions. Go back and re-read Corinthians.

  • Go read Acts 15 and find out about the question of Gentiles and Torah. This was all settled two millenia ago by the apostles themselves.

  • This article is about marriage, not about “the wedding night.” Americans all have had the opportunity to see mature same gender couples who have been together 20-30-40 years finally being able to protect each other through legal marriage, but all anti-gays can ever think about is “gay sex,” what they mean by shrieking, “perversion” over and over and over.

    Ultimately, we know why anti-gays always fantasize about “gay sex.” Readers who would like to see the scientific evidence for why anti-gay posters are so obsessed with what they IMAGINE same gender couples do in private should Google “Homophobia is apparently associated with homosexual arousal that the homophobic individual is either unaware of or denies.”

  • It’s so sad to see anti-gays attack the Freedom Of Religion of the many clergy members and churches that want to marry same gender couples and whine that marriage, which has always been a government construct, is still a government construct.

    However, it’s just annoying to see this obsession with “perversion.” Don’t anti-gays have their own websites where they can share that obsession?

  • The despicable personal attacks anti-gays fling at anyone who debunks or even just disagrees with them is not going to advance their failed political agenda to force their peculiar, minority “beliefs” onto all Americans.

  • “the greatest amount of scriptural and historical misinformation and propaganda in one place”

    Yes, anti-gays routinely try to deceive readers about Scripture in a desperate attempt to advance their failed political agenda.

  • Are you suggesting Ben acquaint himself further with the claims on the website of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas?

  • Please stop posting personal attacks at me. I already debunked your lies. Your hypocrisy at whining when I do debunk your lies is tiresome. I’m not the one “crying like a baby” at the ongoing defeat of the anti-gay agenda.

  • Anti-gays didn’t “refute,” they just whined about the clear fact the Bible says Jesus affirmed a same gender couple and the evidence that a majority of Americans reject their LIES about the Bible. No one is impressed with that whining. After all, is there even ONE denomination that went from Welcoming And AFFIRMING and downgraded to promoting the anti-gay political agenda, even ONE?????

  • “It is a compilation of works written over a period of many centuries”

    Funny, you usually claim God wrote the Bible. You just switch your claims around to fit whatever fiction you’re promoting at the moment.

  • Once again, anti-gays suggest we tune into the barely coherent ramblings of a disturbed misogynist who never met Jesus, but who only had an alcohol-infused hallucination, and ignore Jesus saying the second most important Commandment, to “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

  • Because the anti-gays are acting immorally by attacking that one decent, loving pastor.

    Face the fact, Americans will always come to the defense of the intended victims of anti-gays.

  • It seems that, no, your anti-gay political agenda was not settled two millennia ago.

  • No, he needs to read the entirety of scripture before weighing in on how those who HAVE read it should view it.

  • That won’t help those, like you, that promote false Scripture.

    Please learn to accept that the misinterpretations and intentionally false translations of the Bible are rejected by a majority of American Christians.

  • LOL! Carrot, you have no tools to debunk ANYTHING. That is why you cry about being “harassed” instead of producing some support for your positions. I have only ever asked you ONE question and you have slinked away from it every single time — as has everyone else, for that matter. If that is what you call a “personal attack” then perhaps you would like to cease responding to questions that are not addressed to you.

  • Yep, pretty much it was. A baby crying for the moon doesn’t see the issue as “settled” either — but he’s not going to get it regardless.

  • You’ve provided incontrovertible evidence for the fact that Jesus NEVER said to attack loving, committed same gender couples. I’m not crying, I’ve won.

  • Carrot, hate to break it to you but your inevitable failure to answer is actually the desired answer, which you have already rendered quite obligingly — many times. 😀

  • I have read history. You prove my point. the met to decide what to keep and what to toss. For the benefit of controlling a population. Christianity was a better manipulator of people than sun worship was and it didn’t include infanticide, which sun worship did.
    I have never read the DaVinci code, I read history.

  • I’ve already done that, you just can’t accept facts that differ from your political agenda.

    Psychologists report that the most commonly observed symptom of the mental disorder homophobia is cognitive dissonance, an inability of those so afflicted to accept documentation that contradicts their deep-seated phobia and hatred of LGBT Americans.

  • I understood the reference Shawnie, but thanks for the compliment.

    I also didn’t think the reference was relevant, because it sounded sufficiently like the whine– or old wine–get the pun?– that same sex marriage redefines Hetero marriage. And as I maintain, it didn’t redefine marriage, it redefined gay people.
    You and MGlass are good to go as far as disagreement goes.

    But thank you for showing me your respect.

  • I said rebut from scripture, which is what is being discussed here. I have no interest in the views of psychologists who only a very few years ago were calling all of you mentally ill.

  • I rebutted your fake Scripture.

    Please seek help in learning to accept the defeat of your anti-gay political agenda.

  • Be serious, please. Nicea, I repeat, did not even discuss “what to keep and what to toss.” They were there to address the doctrinal issue of Arianism — specifically, whether Jesus Christ was co-equal with the Father or a lesser, created being. In deciding this issue they made use of all the NT writings which were universally accepted as authoritative by all Christians everywhere at the time. The canon of scripture was mostly set by the middle of the 2nd century AD and may be found in the Muratorian Fragment, along with the reason why other works were NOT canonical (because they came after the apostles’ time).

    You may not have read The Da Vinci Code, but it’s rather obvious that you are not reading history, either. Most likely you are repeating misinformation you have gathered from scoffer websites — and this particular myth about Nicea largely originated with The Da Vinci code.

  • Jesus didn’t say to attack ANY sinners. But He also said not to encourage others to sin — which you are doing here daily, as is Ben.

  • As soon as you offer some “facts,” then I’ll think about “accepting” them.

  • Why be serious and write a master’s thesis when people like you who use a book a of fables to denigrate me, my life and my relationship with god?
    I have a minor in world religions and Nicaea, was indeed a council around a doctrinal issue and they did indeed argue about what “all the NT writings which were universally accepted as authoritative” as part of that council. Those books were what they were basing doctrine on, which on it’s face requires elevating some while denigrating others. That you disagree that any of that was done points to your need to be right, even when you are not.

  • They are not following Christ if they are supporting immorality. That is not Christian

  • You’ve gotten some bad information Daul. It was his servant – not his lover.
    Tell me, where did Jesus say “heaven is here among us?”

  • Yes, you an anonymous poster on the Internet told me something. Doesn’t make it true. Doesn’t mean that the Jesus you think you know could not be a compilation of several itinerate preachers around the same time.
    Done here. Too much else to do this weekend. Enjoy.

  • Exactly, and since they are following christ there is no immorality.

    It would be immoral of me to have married a man and ruined his life by having a frigid, non-responsive spouse. I chose not to do that to my fiancé over 40 years ago. And for me, celibacy is not an option. I remind you that even Paul said is was better to be celibate but not everyone is capable of it.
    You expect us to live a life of hell on earth, a life of loneliness, no partner, no helpmeet, no one to hold you when you hurt, no one to take care of you when you are ill. Not hot bath waiting after you’ve been out shoveling snow. No one for a quiet dinner, where conversation is unnecessary because of the close intimacy you share. No one to hold at night, no one to snuggle and laugh with, no one’s hand to hold. No one to roll over and see in the morning who makes your breath catch and your heart skip a beat even when they are now old and no longer look like they did at 20. No one that thinks you are special and no one you hold close in your heart, as they hold you close in theirs. No one with whom to celebrate your triumphs, knowing how hard you worked toward them, no one to catch you in your defeats, having watched your efforts and loving you enough to help you try again, no one to parent with, or even no children at all. And, least of all, no sex life, ever.

  • Luke 17:21 “Neither do they say, ‘Behold, here it is!’ and ‘Behold, from here to there!’, for behold, the Kingdom of God is within some of you.”

  • I have no idea what you just said. If you are trying to say christ expects no more of us than straight people, I believe that is true. You, however, do expect something from us, celibacy, that you don’t have to follow, because you can marry and still be in a “state of grace”, while you deny us that.

  • Here, allow me put it this way for you….Christ expects no more from you than He does single Christians….

  • That was because Christ is God and He was standing in front of them Daul.
    Luke 17:21 – 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”

  • Yet they have the ability to marry and be sexual should they choose. I already described for you the life you expect us to live, and apparently it bothers you enough to try and claim single straight people are treated the same way as we are.

  • And christ was within some of them?

    There is one spiritual truth that all religions speak to, that you can indeed achieve peace here on earth. Christ taught how, but it’s difficult to not judge others and love them as yourself. Hard to in this world but not of this world. So he was turned into a god to be worshiped rather than a rabbi to follow to enlightenment, the state of being one with all things.

  • The Holy Spirit did not enter people permanently until the Pentecost. That came much later.

  • And therein is the pure hypocrisy of your stated opinion. The whole reason Christian youth groups have “True Love Waits” campaigns every year is because “young loves” frequently does not wait and you know it. But no one kicks sexually active straight teens out of the worship pews or denies them communion. That’s between them and God, where it belongs. The hypocrites only want to get into other people’s beds and bedrooms when LGBT love is on the menu. So, for all your talk, you know you keep two totally separate standards.

  • How do you know? Also, youth who are fornicating are not trying to convince the world that they are not sinning.

  • I get tired of “Christians” who presume to talk for Christ on the issue of LGBT when I know more than half of them had premarital sex and not necessarily with their current spouse. Also, I was just made aware that social conservatives are the group of believers with the highest divorce rate of all people of faith. Hypocrisy for them is like water to fish. They just don’t know how very hypocritical they are.

  • They really don’t see their hypocrisy. I am sick to death of being told they “love” me, while trying to have my marriage annulled and made illegal. I really don’t care what creation/god myth to which any one subscribes, I just want them to leave my secular rights alone!

  • I grew up Mormon in a small Hallelujah town in northern California. Some of my high school Hallelujah friends were such bold hypocrites as to use condoms for Bible bookmarks. They assured me they were “saved” no matter how much “backsliding” they did while young.

  • I was the kid who went church-hoping with non-LDS friends. I saw the same kids being treated like royalty at church. It was just a “coincidence” that their daddies all drove Cadillacs and Continentals to Sunday School and sat on the front row of the sanctuary during worship. No one in those churches “buys their way” to heaven. They already own a chunk of it.

  • A person who has their Bible as backward as you have is in no position to “help” anyone. And Judgment, BTW, belongs to God, not you.

  • Nope. What real scholars know is that Roman officers, including centurions, took gay lovers in the field. They left their wives at home to run their homes and businesses, but that does not mean they were celibate. They weren’t, not even a little bit. The word in the Bible for “beloved servant” was also a word used to mean the gay sexual servant of a Roman officer. There are lots of other words the writers of the Bible could have used in place of that one to describe that servant of the Centurion, but they chose that one. Deal with it.

  • Actually, if you google the word, a lot more scholars talk about how that word was used outside the Bible to mean a teenage boy used for sex by other men. Some critics of the Bible go so far as to suggest Jesus was giving a green light to the sexual child abuse of teenage boys, obviously neither pro-LGBT or pro-Christian critics in that case. But the fact that someone who is both anti-gay and anti-Christian makes the charge that the “beloved servant” was the Roman officer’s gay sex slave suggests that there are plenty of ancient texts outside the Bible using that word that way. It’s only the anti-gay Christians who claim otherwise.

  • Nope. You selectively misquoted God. That’s the sad difference. Taking God out of context is no virtue.

  • enjoy your fantasy….blessings.
    While you are at it, please quote scripture where Jesus approves of homosexuality. thanks.

  • Nice way to try to deflect the discussion. The point is that sources outside the Bible from that ancient era support the use of that word to mean “same-sex lover.” “Beloved servant” is just the English translators used to interpret the word for us. Their translation does not equal God’s Word.

  • Cute. Some churches were “Big Box” churches, built to hold hundreds of “worshipers.” The bigger the better for passing the plate.

  • I know they did not brag about it in Church. They just did so in school, among their peers.

  • He IS following Jesus. Why must I tell you this AGAIN? Jesus affirmed a gay couple. Read Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10. This is the Gospel story where Jesus healed the servant of a Roman centurion. In the original Greek, the word that the Roman centurion uses in this passage to describe the sick man – pais – is the same word used in ancient Greek to refer to a same-gender partner.

    And please don’t tell us again you don’t believe that.

  • Everything you claim is fake.

    Please stop harassing me with these demands I repeat your many deceptions.

  • No one cares whether anti-gays accept the facts or not. Psychologists report that the most commonly observed symptom of the mental disorder homophobia is cognitive dissonance, an inability of those so afflicted to accept documentation that contradicts their deep-seated phobia and hatred of LGBT Americans.

  • But YOU keep claiming Jesus DID say to attack LGBT Americans. Debunking anti-gay LIES is NOT “a sin.”

    Once again, please stop harassing me.

  • Everything.

    Please stop harassing me by whiningly insisting I repeat all your deceptions. Look at your own deceptions.

  • I’ve rebutted you on Scripture.

    And we can all understand why anti-gays don’t want to discuss the study of psychology, which long ago reversed their previous error. Psychologists identified homophobia as a mental illness and published their results in the Journal of the National Institutes of Health in 1953. Homophobia is the irrational fear, disgust, or hatred of gays, lesbians, and/or bisexual people, or of homosexual feelings in oneself. It refers to the discomfort one feels with any behavior, belief, or attitude (in self or others) that does not conform to traditional sex role stereotypes. Homophobia exhibits itself in the fear of knowing, befriending, or associating with gays, lesbians, or bisexual people; fear of being perceived as gay or lesbian; and/or fear of stepping out of accepted gender role behavior. Psychologists report that the most commonly observed symptom of the mental disorder homophobia is cognitive dissonance, an inability of those so afflicted to accept documentation that contradicts their deep-seated phobia and hatred of LGBT Americans.

  • I don’t have to quote the scriptures to you. You don’t get to set the terms of debate. But I bet you do not know why you never see the name “Jesus” in the Old Testament. Let’s see if you know your Bible scholarship enough to explain that one. It’s actually deceptively easy.

  • 1 John 1:9 – New International Version
    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

    That said, a believer does not unrepentantly sin.

  • As long as you are making assertions about scripture Riding, scripture would help me to know you know what you are talking about.

  • Nice try. That’s just your pretext to quote passages you want to use as backstop to more preaching. I grew up around Hallelujah Hypocrites. I know all their ploys.

  • Who said they did not “repent?” They repented and sinned again on a regular basis.

  • No, that’s what you have done. Anti-gays typically try to disguise their own misdeeds and deceptions by blaming their intended victims for their own misdeeds.

  • You have attacked the Freedom Of Religion of the majority of American Christians who reject your political agenda you hide behind “religion.” That is NOT AMERICAN. Americans have finally noticed anti-gays are disloyal to America and our Constitution.

  • That would be categorized unrepentant sin. To repent of something is to turn away from it completely. Now, there are some who fall back, as we all do because of our sin nature, but to sin, repent, and the next day same sin again does not indicate repentance.

  • Deception again, debunked by the Bible when Jesus affirmed a gay couple. Read Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10. This is the Gospel story where Jesus healed the servant of a Roman centurion. In the original Greek, the word that the Roman centurion uses in this passage to describe the sick man – pais – is the same word used in ancient Greek to refer to a same-gender partner.

  • You won’t go to Heaven because you are american, carrot, but you will go to Heaven if you repent of your sin and allow Jesus to be your Lord.

  • He doesn’t know what he posted either. The barely coherent ramblings of anti-gays make more sense when you realize they are all spamming discussion boards with set scripts they receive from anti-gay Hate Cults.

  • Jesus affirmed no homosexuals, carrot. He said it is a sin worthy of death. Show me your scripture please.

  • If you thought you were fooling anyone with that lie, you wouldn’t spam this and other discussion boards with that lie.

  • We know that because when the “religious wrong” were able to infiltrate local school boards, drop genuine sex ed and substitute the fake “Abstinence-Only” pseudoreligious training, unwanted teen pregnancy rates skyrocketed in those areas.

  • Correct. Derelict Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis claims she is holier than thou but has 3 divorces so far.

  • Anti-gays lie constantly without repentance. Lying is so serious it’s in the top 10, whereas Jesus NEVER condemned loving, committed same gender couples.

  • The only church you are representing is the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas.

  • I just proved again you’re LYING. I just showed you Scripture. I’ve seen what you claim is Jesus calling for genocide against LGBT Americans–the Old Testament.

    Please face the fact no one falls for your lies about Scripture.

    And please stop harassing me by asking me the same question again and again.

  • No use trying to deflect from your disloyalty to the United States Constitution.

  • But that would be you imposing your views on them. You are not inside their heads or hearts. I believe they were living the way they were taught to believe by Evangelical Christianity in all its pure hypocrisy. They were genuinely living their religion. I just think it wasn’t real Christianity.

  • It isn’t. This should help you: 1 John 3: 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.

  • And there it is. the assertion that Shawnie alone– well not alone, but in the company of everyone who agrees with her– has the truth about what the bible says and what it means. Coupled with the assertion that there is only one way to read the bible or to understand God and his message to the world.

    Biblical inerrancy. clear meaning of scripture. Etc.

    And here am I, a rock standing against that flood of righteousness, whose sole job is to confuse and mislead gullible Christians who don’t know scripture the way Shawnie does. So Shawnie informed me herself, and she should know.

    I think you have made my point for me.

    Thanks.

  • Clearly, his only interest is in imposing his views on all Americans. You will note he repeatedly has attacked the Freedom Of Religion of the many American churches that are marrying same gender couples now. The 32 state anti-gay Hate Votes were clearly attempts to subvert the United States Constitution.

    This is my problem with the “religion” of anti-gays, they are trying to destroy the United States Constitution.

  • You have deceived no one here. Please learn to accept the failure of anti-gays to use “religion” to hide their murderous intent.

  • You’re being too kind in describing anti-gay “religion” as a flood. We can all see anti-gays are shrieking as loudly as they can to try to distract us from the fact they are far fewer in number than even just trans Americans.

    Take the 6-8 times since Prop H8te that anti-gays in CA have taken out petitions for yet more anti-gay Hate Votes. Anti-gays haven’t even turned in their many such petitions because they can’t even get 1% of voters to sign their petitions. I know of only ONE instance when an anti-gay has taken a Hate Vote petition in public to seek signatures, demonstrating anti-gays fear being known by their neighbors and coworkers as disloyal anti-gays.

  • That’s your whole problem, we DO know Scripture, and where you are LYING about it.

  • More excuses for not doing your homework, Ben?

    As I remarked last week, there are many biblical issues for which there are good scriptural arguments going both ways. This doesn’t happen to be one of them.

    “And here am I… whose sole job is to confuse and mislead gullible Christians who don’t know scripture the way Shawnie does. So Shawnie informed me herself” Actually you informed me of that, in stating quite plainly that you are here to convince people who haven’t made up their minds how to think. In other words, the gullible and the uninformed. Why would you admit it there and not here?

  • “Everything” means “I da know…”

    Come on, Carrot, people are listening to you. Produce something substantial.

  • I’ve already said I am not interested in the musings of psychologists. I wish to discuss scripture here. If you don’t want to discuss that, why do you keep responding to my posts?

  • No, Daulphin, they did not argue about what NT writings were authoritative. By virtue of that assertion alone I call BS on your claims to any expertise in world religions.

    Everything we know about what happened at Nicea is found in the writings of Eusebius, Socrates, Sozomen, Theodoret, and Rufinus and Gelasius. Nowhere in any of their writings is there any mention of canon of scripture being discussed at Nicea. If you can produce anything to the contrary, please do share.

  • I’m glad that you, at least, have the integrity to take a stand on this that can be discussed. The word “pais” is used 24 times in the bible. In all instances it is translated either “child” or “servant.” Jesus and David are both referred to as the “pais” of God (a very strange situation indeed under your “interpretation”), also Jairus’ 12-year-old daughter, also the infant boys slaughtered in Bethlehem. Now we know that a few Greek writers with a taste for underage boys used this term in a sexual manner, but what is relevant is how the biblical writers used it.

    The most likely situation in the case of the centurion’s “pais”, given its similarity to another story recounted by John and the use of “pais” elsewhere in the NT and the Septuagint, is that the “pais” was the centurion’s own son, probably by a de facto marriage to a slave woman (who may have been Jewish). There was a whole body of Roman law dealing with the legitimation of such unions after a centurion’s term was up.

    Of course, if you want to argue that Jesus “affirmed” the sexual use of a powerless underage boy, then I see no point in discussing this or anything else with you.

  • You’ve been reading Boswell. Tsk tsk…

    Sergius and Bacchus are not depicted on a marriage icon. Adelphopoiia is totally different from matrimony.

  • You’re being asked to show something that didn’t get totally corrected (such as your weird definition of the Greek word “pais”. )

  • There is no assertion as to age of the servant. The implication that the servant was under age comes from people who are both critical of Christians and gays. Your effort to pin that tail on me as your donkey just shows that we have little to discuss now or in the future. Your whole argument boils down to the usually hallelujah hypocrite notion that somehow you know best and we should just take your word for it. No thanks. Your “expertise” is no greater or more credible than anyone else’s. Feel free to debate with yourself.

  • Thanks Shawnie5. I saw that one too.
    Too much hate in your eyes Ben; ya can’t even see when people may be on your side…

  • No, the idea that the servant was underage is from the consistently youthful connotation of ” Pais.” Which is why I keep asking Carrot whose lover Jairus’ daughter was and he keeps running away.

    I’d also like some explanations about the sexual activities of the ” paises” of Bethlehem, if you have any.

  • I don’t. I just have what I’ve looked up about why and how some Christians are LGBT-affirming and why some are not. It boils down to people whose rigid views about Christ do not appeal to me in the least and people who are more people-oriented. It comes down to the age-old struggle between the materialists and the humanists. Sadly, for you, Evangelical Christians are very much materialists. Not my scene, regardless of the issue. But materialists are the same folks who brought us the Dark Ages, the massacre of the Knights Templar on the first Friday the 13, the Inquisition, the round-head revolution in England, the Salem Witch Trials, the McCarthy Era, and the Taliban, to name a few. That will never be my cup of tea, not even with the window dressing of Jesus Christ.

  • These denominations agree with me: Affirming Pentecostal Church International, Alliance of Christian Churches, Anointed Affirming Independent Ministries, The Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Community of Christ, Conservative Judaism, Ecumenical Catholic Church, Ecumenical Catholic Communion, The Episcopal Church, Evangelical Anglican Church In America, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Global Alliance of Affirming Apostolic Pentecostals, Inclusive Orthodox Church, Moravian Church Northern Province, Metropolitan Community Church, Old Catholic Church, Presbyterian Church USA, Progressive Christian Alliance, Reconciling Pentecostals International, Reconstructionist Judaism, Reform Judaism, Reformed Anglican Catholic Church, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Unitarian Universalist Church, United Church of Christ, Unity Church

  • The material vs. the human…the problem is, values must, of necessity, transcend both.

    Your historical lineup there is curious. Even leaving aside the reference to the “Dark Ages” (which were not dark in the slightest and actual historians do not refer to them as such) it’s odd that you would start there and not even consider what was responsible for the universal and unapologetic brutishness of the pre- christian world — or how the sacredness of the human being ever became a “cup of tea” in the first place.

    “Looking up” something is only a start. It needs to be followed up by some thought and examination.

  • I disagree that many of those that wanted marriage between one man and one woman, and still do, are haters. Most of those weren’t hate votes, they were votes to uphold marriage between one man and one woman because of their religious beliefs. I don’t hate any LGBT person, just as I don’t hate any non LGBT person. I vote and support for certain issues based on my own, and not because of fear that someone will or won’t like me; I want to vote for what I think is right. This is also about an individual’s right to stand for what they believe in. I support your right to do so, and I hope that you’d do the same for me without giving me a label. I don’t hate, but I may, at times, disagree. And there are probably times that we’d likely agree about certain things.

  • But I just did! Is there no satisfying you, woman?

    Except, of course, is that that is what we are both of us doing, you every bit as much as me. You just don’t want to admit it. I’m happy to. Except that of course, I wouldn’t use the words like gullible, which was actually one of YOURS, or uninformed. And I certainly wouldn’t use words like confuse and mislead.

    So You say there are many biblical issues with divergent points of view, but this isn’t one of them. Funny how the creator of the entire universe can communicate so poorly. And of course, this IS one of them. That was the whole pong of this article, this entire discussion. In fact, this is one of the biggest issues ever, with highly divergent opinions. This sets the biblical inerrantists, like yourself, against people who believe that God also speaks to them, and he isn’t speaking what you’re speaking. It is such a big issue that entire denominations are splitting up over it. It’s such a big issue that the True Christians are fighting with the other True Christians about which are actually the true Christians.

    The best part of this is that the antigay religious people are the very best at showing the this is only in part a religious issue, and majorly an issue of prejudice. You need only read the comments to see that.

    We,ll just have to see after the fact who has been misled and who has been enlightened. My bet is on the people who will side with what’s right, with compassion, intelligence, decency, and morality, and not what is simply and obviously simply prejudice– like the nice gentleman who claims that the gay rights movement is inherently antisemitic, or the other one who is certain that Jesus has been forgiving him for 34 years for the same sins, but doesn’t forgive gay people.

    We’ll just have to see. But not to worry. You can still call yourself a True Christian.

  • Respectfully this is one reason why so many young people are becoming “nones”. We do beleive in God but we look at the church politics as no longer having answers to Jesus’s call.

  • I interpreted the comment one way, you in another. Maybe MGlass will make an appearance to tell us which was correct.

    If I was wrong about it, I’ll be pleased to admit it. You can say neener neener all you like.

    If you were wrong about it….

  • “We,ll just have to see after the fact who has been misled and who has been enlightened.” After the fact of ..what?

    “In fact, this is one of the biggest issues ever, with highly divergent opinions. This sets the biblical inerrantists, like yourself, against people who believe that God also speaks to them, and he isn’t speaking what you’re speaking. ” Ben, we’ve been over this before. The “big issue” is not truly about what the scriptures mean — that much is obvious, and you are rather atypical of gay atheists in insisting otherwise — but about what part of scripture to throw out. That is pretty much ALWAYS where the debate ends up, and it simply is not a legitimate stopping point for a follower of Christ, the “Word made flesh.”

  • I’ll be happy to admit it as well. But if I were a visitor like MGlass I probably wouldn’t come back after such a rude attack from those I came to support.

  • “…like the nice gentleman who claims that the gay rights movement is inherently antisemitic” Not an altogether outrageous claim, given that Judaism (whose core values were taken to the world at large by Christianity) is the original source of the western world’s repudiation of same sex practice.

    “…or the other one who is certain that Jesus has been forgiving him for 34 years for the same sins, but doesn’t forgive gay people.” I’ve yet to see any gay person on this site or any other ask for any forgiveness. What they want is to be told that they’re not sinning at all. That is the heart of the difficulty.

  • As a born, bred and long gone Mennonite, let me just aver that the Mennonite church hasn’t splintered; it’s over and done with, stick a fork in it dead and gone. Baby Boomers are leaving along with the “younger” generations. Friends who have stayed (for what reason I cannot imagine) are merely going through the motions; there’s no hope for resolution.

    The thing I find most interesting and infuriating is that Virginia Conference, the very same organization that defrocked Villegas, is busy as a cat covering up doo-doo trying to keep quiet a really ugly situation involving some serious sexual abuse by one of its members who was also a big shot at Eastern Mennonite University until he got caught in a prostitution sting in Harrisonburg. Yep. And any truth-telling Mennonite will tell you the sexual stuff has been going on for years and has been covered up for years (two of my Mennonite friends were molested and abused as little girls by Mennonite men over 40 years ago). Click on the Lindale link in the article. Sickening but true. The LGBT kerfuffle is nothing more than a last ditch attempt to take the pressure and attention off a much more serious issue, one that’s been covered up by the highest powers that be for as long as it’s existed.

  • Take it easy, Carrotcake! I have no argument with the statistics you have produced. I am not advocating against same sex marriage. All I am saying is that the new ideas have put a strain on denominations. The abolition of slavery did the same thing to Protestant churches.

  • Interesting statistics. I had no idea that denominations were declining at this rate in the United States.

  • On the matter of “institutionalised homophobia” that’s the very idea or cluster of ideas that is under challenge! Of course this creates tension because it cuts across beliefs such as the way we traditionally interpreted the Bible.

    The churches have gone through this several times before. One was when Copernicus came up with the idea that the earth went round the sun. Bang went the literal interpretation of several verses in the Old Testament!

    Then, people had the effrontery of suggesting that poor women who were burnt at the stake for witchcraft may not have been witches after all. People believed them and bang went another Old Testament verse!

    Then people had the nerve to suggest that the horrors of the slave trade and slavery were wrong and immoral. Bang went a whole slew of verses in both the Old and the New Testaments.

    Then a wicked Englishman came up with that horrific idea called evolution. Bang went a literal interpretation of the beginning of the Book of Genesis, something that educated Christians had already known for centuries.

    Then people turned their attention to, Shock! Horror! Sex! They insisted that marriage need not be indissoluble, that children born out of wedlock should have rights, that people have the right to use contraception, that homosexuals and the intersex have rights and so on. Bang went a lot of other texts and the traditional interpretations of others.

    It’s a bit like climate change. The changes are happening so fast that the conservatives can’t keep up.

    Carrotcake seems to think that because I can see that there are people on both sides of this debate that I must be taking the conservative side. Big mistake! I’m not. The difference is that I’m not going to attack people rather than ideas, and sometimes I just want to observe what is going on.

  • Not an altogether outrageous claim?

    Thanks. You will now NEVER convince me that this isn’t about bigotry for you, as nicely as you try to dress it up as god’s word.

    As for asking for forgiveness? When will you or he ask for forgiveness for slandering gay people will anti-semitism? Again, it’s the biblical inerrantists like you versus people who believe that God still talks to them.

  • The conservative side would be to seek equality for all. You’re taking the anti-gay side, and, as we can all see anti-gays always lie. Anti-gays clearly do attack people.

  • Why bother posting such obvious LIES? The US Supreme Court already ruled that unacceptable animus–HATRED–was the only reason for the 32 anti-gay Hate Votes. Americans saw the vicious anti-gay Hate Speech anti-gays forced onto the airwaves in order to fool voters. If you voted to attack LGBT Americans, YOU HATE. Spare us this lie about “uphold marriage,” especially since we also know anti-gays divorce more often than others:

    “Divorce is higher among religiously conservative Protestants – and even drives up divorce rates for other people living around them, a new study finds.

    The study, slated to be published in the American Journal of Sociology, tackles the “puzzling paradox” of why divorce is more common in religiously conservative “red” states. If religious conservatives believe firmly in the value of marriage, why is divorce especially high in places like Alabama and Arkansas?

    Researchers also discovered that people living in areas with lots of conservative Protestants were at higher risk of getting divorced, even if they weren’t conservative Protestants themselves. Community institutions in such areas might encourage early marriage, affecting divorce rates for everyone who lives there. “Pharmacies might not give out emergency contraception. Schools might only teach abstinence education.” On top of that, “if you live in a marriage market where everybody marries young, you postpone marriage at your own risk. The best catches … are going to go first.”

    http://www dot latimes dot com/world/worldnow/la-sci-sn-red-states-religious-conservative-divorce-20140116,0,7835151 dot story#axzz2qllXU5CS

  • “What have I said about scripture that is false?”

    Even if everything you have ever said about scripture contents is true, the significant thing is that none of it matters beyond us having a fascinating historical record of assertions by ancient people who had nothing more than ignorance to work with. And many, if not most, of those assertions were made by the the cleverest people who exploited the prevailing ignorance to gain power and control over the populace . . . usually through creating fear.

    And, astonishingly, in 2016 many millions of people are still clinging to ignorance as if it were a virtue . . . largely out of fear being instilled in them by today’s clever preachers.

  • Ben, you’re funny. So, you deny that the western world’s repudiation of same sex behavior was rooted in the Jewish scriptures? Where do you think it came from then?

  • Your opinion is noted. However, it is completely irrelevant to the discussion. You, in fact, are completely irrelevant to this entire thread dealing with an entirely intra-church matter.

  • This website provides evidence:

    “Among those who say they left their childhood religion and now have no religious identity, nearly one in four (24 percent) say their church’s negative teachings or treatment of LGBT people was an important reason they left. That rises to 31 percent of millennials, damaging churches’ ability to bring in — and keep — young adults”

    http://www dot religionnews dot com/2014/02/26/gay-marriage-lgbt-prri-pew-religion/

  • “I am not advocating against same sex marriage.”

    But earlier you wrote, “The new wine of marriage equality is incompatible with the old wineskin of marriage,” which clearly was against marriage equality. Even the term, “same sex marriage” is meant to bring up sex, not marriage equality.

  • That’s the whole problem for anti-gays, we are familiar with Scripture, and know when anti-gays are lying about Scripture in a desperate attempt to revive their failed anti-gay political agenda as “freedom of religion.”

  • We see anti-gays claim they are in favor of some inferior alternative form of marriage. That is not “on their side.”

  • I wasn’t aware Shawnie claimed he is a woman. However, if that was the case, if he really followed Scripture, he would know he is to remain silent.

  • Yes, I do.
    MGlass, my apologies for misunderstanding you. And I mean that sincerely. I maintain that within your analogy, the comment could have been interpreted either way. However, now you have clarified what you meant, I can see that I was wrong.

  • I’m sure that that is one of the places it is rooted. We find it rooted in some cultures, not in others. Same as we find misogyny, which is its first cousin.
    the question is, why is it still so rooted, and why is it so rooted in you?
    but in any case, this isn’t what I was talking about.

  • If this discussion concerned an intra-gay matter about wedding plans, for example, I’m sure you would not hesitate to chime in with something like, “scripture is clear that all same-sex relationships are abominations in the sight of God, and He will sentence the practitioners to eternal punishment,” and you would consider your unsubstantiated assertion as urgently relevant.

  • MGlass, my apologies for misunderstanding you. And I mean that sincerely. I maintain that within your analogy, the comment could have been interpreted either way. However, now you have clarified what you meant, I can see that I was wrong.

  • You won’t find me on any “intra-gay” sites, m’dear. Not interested in the slightest.

  • When I have a sock puppet, everyone will know about it. I had quite a bit of fun with a Larry puppet that I was quite open about. Puppets, however, are too much trouble on disqus.

  • LOL! You haven’t even produced a single scripture yet, Carrot. Even Larry has produced more than you, and that’s rather scraping the bottom of the barrel.

    For instance, I’m still waiting for that “fake” scripture you mentioned. Let’s have it, please.

  • Sorry, not hate. I can’t be bothered with hate.
    I saw what he said, I interpreted differently than what he meant. He corrected my impression, and I apologized.

  • Actually, China did not believe anything of the sort. Most educated people, including the greeks, knew the world was round.

  • Charming. Simply charming. Thanks again for the job you’re doing, showing the true colors of antigay Christians.

  • I don’t detest Jesus, and never have. A certain class of so called Christian? Well…

    Look to your reviling. Your slandering, your judgment of others.

  • How about some specifics about these “other cultures” where it is not rooted?

    Or, if that’s too much homework, never mind. I can tell you right now that you won’t find the judeo-christian kind of repudiation of same sex practice in any other pre-christian world culture. Of course nobody thought to institutionalize it as marriage, since society has no particular interest in regulating inherently non-procreative unions, but they had no problem with the practice itself and often considered it a positive good. Judaism stood alone among the world’s cultures in denouncing it as sin, until Christianity turned the Torah’s basic values into western civilization’s values. So it’s not terribly far off-base to link gay activism and anti-semitism, since you guys are fond of calling repudiation of homosexuality “evil” and Judaism was of course the original source of that repudiation.

    That’s the problem with so many libs–you all are such thoroughly indoctrinated lock-step conformists that the mere mention of certain words such as “anti-semitism” seems to shut down your thinking processes altogether. Never a thought as to what might actually lead someone to link one thing to the other.

    As for misogyny…well, that is simply a universal default setting of the fallen human race. Just more of that “innate human empathy” that we hear much about but see little evidence of in pre-christian human history.

  • If we meet up in church one day, we’ll revisit that, of course. This is not a church setting, as is obvious from the large number of atheists who hang out here day and night trying to convince everyone that they don’t care about what Christians think.

  • Oh my, that’s SO painful, coming from one who throws around terms like “fundelibangelist” so flippantly.

    Perhaps you remember Grinling Gibbons who used to follow me around HuffPo? Very quick to point out others’ uses of stereotypes — but when called out for the same she was only “making an observation.”

    See why I find these boards so entertaining?

  • Unlike someone who claims that antisemitic merely means not accepting one extremely minor part of ancient Jewish belief, and not what everyone else knows it means? Please.

    There are points, Shawnie, Where it is not worth responding to you. This one of those points

    Until next time.

  • No, Shawnie, I am not here for that. I’m here to let people see an alternative viewpoint to yours, or those of your fellow travelers, and decide which one of us is correct, which one of us the welfare of others in mind, which one of us is the most connected to reality, and, even though I am an atheist, which one of us seems most connected to the kind of god and the kind of Jesus they wish to worship.

    As for being so concerned about sin, I will point out to you the number of people on these various threads who are reviling and slandering– you know Corinthians as well as I do– who are calling for our executions, and about whom you cannot find it within you to say one single word of rebuke.

  • “Even leaving aside the reference to the “Dark Ages” (which were not dark in the slightest and actual historians do not refer to them as such)…” It’s no longer PC to refer to the Middle Ages as the Dark Ages. But the reality is that socially speaking, the era after the Fall of Rome and before the Renaissance was a time of high social intolerance and people feared being perceived as different. True, some technological advances occurred during that era and increased commerce toward the end of the era helped ease social restrictions somewhat. But “Holy Church” had final and often deadly say on what was and was not acceptable. Censorship is never enlightened in any age.

  • Carrotcake, either you misunderstood or I miscommunicated. Think of new wine splitting an old wineskin. Then read on…

    The old idea that marriage has to be between a man and a woman is breaking down, and is being replaced by a new understanding of what it means to be married. In one way the new concept does not challenge traditional marriage between a man and a woman, but accepts that marriage can include committed same sex relationships. Both same sex and traditional marriages can coexist in the new concept.

    However, the old concept of marriage as only a union between a man and a woman is incompatible with this new understanding of marriage, and it is this that is breaking down.

    In stating this I am not taking sides, but trying to describe as fairly as I can what is going on. If you still see a problem with what I have stated, please get back to me.

  • Please see my other reply. I think it answers what you have stated here. I most certainly am not anti-gay.

  • floydlee,
    Sheesh…

    They are interesting statements though…allowable, lawful, and permissible. There’s no clear suggestion on how they should apply. I was humorously thinking that some poor people in need might start robbing banks if they knew about them.

    I think they would apply to a situation where there was a need for some kind of back-up justification for a serious and sincerely held belief about something non-traditional, say same sex marriage for example.

    Here’s another similar idea —
    The person who does what he knows is right shouldn’t feel guilty. He is blessed……Romans 14:22

    My paraphrase of that is — Happy is the boy or girl or man or woman who do not condemn themselves for the things that they allow or approve of.

    Or simply put, we don’t condemn ourselves because we are LGBT because if we realize how good and fulfilling and happy this makes us be, then we should realize that this must be the work of the ‘Spirit of God’ in us.

    When you ‘work out your own salvation’, all things are possible.

  • Shawnie5,
    All things…

    I did, and I don’t find any reference to the items you mention related to ‘all things’.

    Don’t forget, we’re talking about 1 Corinthians 6:12 and 1 Corinthians 10:23. They’re stand-alone and independent verses aren’t they?

  • “But the reality is that socially speaking, the era after the Fall of Rome and before the Renaissance was a time of high social intolerance and people feared being perceived as different.” That is a universal feature of human existence, pal. Ever wonder why the Romsns fed the Christians to the lions? That’s right — they were too “different” for everyone’s comfort. Snd remember: “Caesar is Lord.”

  • This enraged, defeated anti-gay poster prefers to refer to LGBT Americans in such a way that reminds him, again and again, about “gay sex.”

    Readers who would like to see the scientific evidence for why anti-gay posters are so obsessed with what they IMAGINE same gender couples do in private should Google “Homophobia is apparently associated with homosexual arousal that the homophobic individual is either unaware of or denies.”

  • The Romans had their faults, absolutely. But when the Christians became the Romans, they were even worse, not better. While all human rights to-date derive from Christianity, most of them came about due to the politics of religion rather than the preaching of religion. Several areas of growth and progress came out of the fact that Queen Elizabeth I of England danced on a powder keg of political and religious intrigue. The concepts of Freedom of Conscience and Religious Tolerance were political necessities that allowed her to keep her throne and her head. Even so, she was not without her faults, hence the whole hideous “revirgination” process of painting herself white and vowing to live as a celibate “new virgin” for the rest of her life. It was good religious theater and it allowed her to rule in her own right instead of being relegated to “queen consort” upon marriage.

  • What kind of Jesus one “wishes to worship” is entirely irrelevant. Either there is one Son of the Living God and “Word made flesh” or there isn’t — and to imply that there is a range to choose from is openly advocating idolatry.

    As for the “executions,” allow me to end the whining right now, for it has gone on far too long and I am extremely bored with it. The fact is that NOBODY here called for anyone’s execution. Several expressed an opinion, however, on a certain politician’s assertion that gays are “worthy of death.” Yes, they are. So are heteros. So am I. So are you. So is everyone who walks the earth — which is the almost universally overlooked point of the Sermon on the Mount. If you applied God’s Torah to the letter, let alone to the standard approaching God’s holiness, it would condemn every last one of us to death. Which is why God sent a Savior, who the worldly and “rational” of His day saw no need for and speedily disposed of because they, like you, considered themselves to be just fine and dandy the way they were and therefore opted to be judged on the basis of their own righteousness. Good luck with that and God bless. Any more questions?

  • If you are referring to man-made laws that affirm so-called same-gender “marriage”, then no,I don’t equate that idea with love of neighbor,carrotcakeman. I can love my neighbor without affirming/endorsing everything he/she does. If my Saviour is for it, I will be too, simply put. Peace in Christ.

  • Billy, 10:23 was a passage that was SPECIFICALLY about food — namely, food sacrificed to idols. Paul was explaining that such food was not affected in any kind of material sense by having been offered to an idol and therefore was fine to eat unless it was being eaten in front of someone who knows that it was sacrificed and thus is receiving the impression that you are condoning idol worship.

    In 6:12, similarly, you see Christians then (as now) trying to extend their liberty from dietary rules into a license for sexual immorality as well, but Paul demonstrates the falsity of that kind of logic: “‘All things are lawful for me,’ you say, but not all things are beneficial…Food is for the stomach and the stomach for food, but the body is not for sexual immorality.”

    Ironic that you are quoting this passage to make the very same argument that the passsge condemns.

  • Carrotcake, I stated above that I am not anti-gay and I stand by that statement. I am not attacking you and I am not attacking gays. You are mistaken in your belief about me. Please read carefully my previous posting. This should make this clear.

  • You seem to be determined to believe something about me that isn’t true. As i can’t reason with you there is no point in discussing the matter further.

  • ..the conference seems willing to make every effort to protect pastors who kept quiet about abuse in their church, as they have done with Lindale Mennonite Church in Linville, Va. They will punish those who seek to create safe, open spaces of mutual accountability in our churches, while protecting those who are complicit in violence”

    Bear in mind the lack of moral priorities for those who claim biblical authority in this situation. Evidently consecrating the union of two loving consenting adults is a grave form of misconduct, but aiding and abetting the ongoing abuse of children is not of any importance.

  • Officiating a wedding is against scripture. Abusing children is perfectly OK. Let’s be honest here, under most circumstances you would be calling the Anabaptist based Mennonites heretics for their beliefs. But if it validates your bigotry, they are alright with you now.

  • Rape, incest, slavery (of anyone but ones own group) and genocide are crimes which are sanctioned by scripture. Consensual relations are virtually non existent. Marriage as a commercial transaction, political alliance, act of conquest or social obligation abound.

  • Thank you for your apology, which I am happy to accept. On checking one website I can see why you took my analogy in a way it was not intended. I had always taken it the other way.

  • Most anti-gays deny the evidence of love that all rational Americans saw when loving, committed same gender couples who have been together 20-30-40 or more years were finally able to protect each other through legal marriage the same way all other Americans take for granted. It seems anti-gays are too fixated on their own fantasies about “gay sex.”

    Fortunately, most Americans see through the claims made by anti-gays that attacking LGBT Americans is “loving” them.

  • Shawnie, if being in favor of gay rights is anti-Semitic according to this view, then all of Christianity is just as anti-Semitic. Both involve a rejection of the Torah at some level. Christians can call it “fulfillment” of the Torah but it’s undisputed, at least for most Christians, that the bulk of the Torah’s laws no longer apply. This is a pretty tenuous argument. Calling it “not altogether outrageous” even gives it too much credibility.

  • Bob’s comments were deleted. They should not have been. He is entitled to his opinion, no matter how twisted and barbaric, and people are entitled to see it, especially that so much of what is called “sincere religious belief” is just hate dressed up in its finest sunday-go-to-meetin’ drag.

  • Hmm…I think that this dialogue has run it’s course,carrotcakeman.I’ve make my position clear,and frankly I’m not sure what you are going on about,since apparently you and those of your ilk are literally on the verge of victory,so…what’s the problem? I would hate to think that those who accuse same-sex people of seeking to force themselves and their “agendas” on everyone who disagrees with them are right.The laws of man have sided with you now; the tide has turned in your favor…revenge will be sweet for a time,no doubt. At any rate,I’ll say no more on this issue.I’m sorry that you consider me anti-gay; as cliched as this sounds,I actually have some dear friends who are gay, and I can assure you I DON’T fantasize about having sex with them!! (That was actually kinda funny when you said that,carrotcakeman…). Their orientation never comes up in conversation, and I prefer to keep it that way; they know where I stand,and we leave it at that,for their souls’ sake.So…that’s all I have to say about that,carrotcakeman. I bid you adieu, God bless, and PEACE IN CHRIST, ALWAYS!

  • You’re absolutely right, the principal engine of defeat for the anti-gay political agenda is the lies and hate speech anti-gays are shrieking.

  • Something is rotten in the State of RNS – my comment (see below) was marked “spam” and never posted until I asked why. Hmmmm.

  • Christianity does not reject the Torah at ANY level. Since the second century AD the vast majority of Christians have been Gentiles, and the bulk of the Torah’s laws do not apply to GENTILES, of course, because they never were given to Gentiles. It was the very Jewish and very Torah-observant Jerusalem church itself which decided that during the apostolic age.

  • (Cont.) Please note, as well, that this is not MY argument. It’s someone else’s argument that Ben quoted in isn’t-this-terrible pearl-clutching mode. At best it’s an extreme exaggeration. What I did was point out what might lead one to link gay activism with anti-semitism since evidently it didn’t occur to him to wonder about it.

  • Don’t worry, I know it wasn’t your argument. Yes, it’s an extreme exaggeration.

  • “Inclusive Theologies? Does the word heresy ring a bell? As Christians we are called to love the sinner,but, we can never condone their sin. So called “inclusiveTheologies” are nothing more than heresy and false doctrine. I am reminded of this warning from the Apostle Paul to his protege Timothy….”For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth…” 2Timothy 4:3,4

  • Science has not demonstrated that people are born homosexual. Find one genetic research that posits that suggestion. You won’the find one because genetics concludes that science does not know the answer as to why some people are homosexuals. Even the study of monozygotic twins do not demonstrate that homosexuality is an inbred factor.

    Before quoting science, please know your facts

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