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Religious roots of hatred resurface in Orlando

Friends and family members embrace outside the Orlando Police Headquarters during the investigation of a shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida
Friends and family members wait outside the Orlando, Fla., police headquarters during the investigation of the deadly shooting at the Pulse nightclub, June 12, 2016. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Steve Nesius. *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-HATRED-GAYS, originally transmitted on June 13, 2016.

(RNS) One year after the Supreme Court ruled that gays can legally marry across the country, and at a time when most polls show a majority of Americans support LGBT equality, the mass shooting in Orlando, Fla., shocked many Americans who had begun to take gay rights for granted.

Not only did the shootings at the Pulse nightclub occur during Pride month, when LGBT people and supporters across the U.S. celebrate the gains they have made toward equality, they also took place at a gay club — historically a safe gathering place for LGBT people, especially back when no other establishments would welcome them.

Suspected gunman Omar Mateen, 29, was armed with an assault-type weapon and a handgun when he opened fire at the Pulse nightclub, killing 50 people. Mateen, who was killed in a shootout with police, was born in the U.S. to parents who emigrated from Afghanistan.

The New York Times reported that Mateen called 911 shortly before the attacks and pledged allegiance to ISIS.

But Mateen’s father, Mir Seddique, said his son was not driven by religious ideology. Instead, he said, Mateen seemed upset after seeing two gay men kissing in Miami a few months ago.

If there was one message in the massacre, it seemed to be that LBGT people are still not safe, and that religious teachings — or at least a narrow reading of them — may be a contributing factor to hatred against gays.

Religious leaders from Pope Francis to the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations sharply condemned the shooting.

The Vatican’s spokesperson, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Pope Francis shares in the victims’ “indescribable suffering” and “he entrusts them to the Lord so they may find comfort.”

Muslim groups also condemned the killings.

“The Muslim community joins our fellow Americans in repudiating anyone or any group that would claim to justify or excuse such an appalling act of violence,” read a statement from the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The Florida chapter also called on the Muslim community to take part in a blood drive for those wounded in the attack.

But such words from religious groups provided cold comfort to many gay activists.

“There’s such a cognitive dissonance for me when public officials ask us to pray when the majority of world religions promote anti-LGBT theology,” said Eliel Cruz, executive director of Faith in America, an organization that attempts to end the harm to LBGT youths it says is caused by religious teachings.

“This isn’t isolated to Muslim beliefs. It’s seen in Christianity and it’s just as deadly,” added Cruz, a former RNS columnist.

Just last month in Congress, Rep. Rick W. Allen, from Georgia’s 12th District, led a Republican policy group’s opening prayer by reading Bible passages that condemn homosexuality and those “who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.”

Allen read from Romans 1:28-32, which says: “God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. … Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them..”

A handful of biblical passages condemn homosexuality. These include perhaps the most oft repeated: “If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense” (Leviticus 20:13).

Likewise, the Quran condemns homosexuality and recommends stoning as a form of punishment:

“For ye practice your lusts on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds. … And we rained down on them a shower (of brimstone)” (Quran 7:80-84).

But for many modern readers of Scripture, such passages are meant to be read in the context of the time and should not be taken literally.

LGBT groups across the nation sprang into action Sunday. Equality Florida, the state’s LGBT civil rights organization, began collecting contributions via this GoFundMe page to support the victims of the shooting.

A host of demonstrations and vigils were being planned across the country, including at Stonewall, the historic Greenwich Village gay inn where riots broke out in 1969 in response to police raids.

More than 400,000 people were expected to line Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood on Sunday for the 46th annual LA Pride Parade. Organizers announced that the celebration would begin with a moment of silence for the victims of the shooting.

One of the owners of Orlando’s Pulse club, Barbara Poma, started the establishment to promote awareness of the area’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Her brother died from AIDS, USA Today reported.

Poma opened Pulse on Orange Avenue with friend and co-founder Ron Legler in 2004.

“It was important to create an atmosphere that embraced the gay lifestyle with décor that would make John proud,” Poma wrote on the club’s website. “Most importantly, (we) coined the name Pulse for John’s heartbeat — as a club that is John’s inspiration, where he is kept alive in the eyes of his friends and family.”

President Obama, speaking from the White House, reached out to LGBT Americans:

“This is an especially heartbreaking day for all our friends — our fellow Americans — who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender,” Obama said, noting that the place where the attack took place “is more than a nightclub — it is a place of solidarity and empowerment where people have come together to raise awareness, to speak their minds and to advocate for their civil rights.”

About the author

Yonat Shimron

Yonat Shimron is an RNS National Reporter and Senior Editor.

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  • Amendment I

    FREEDOM OF RELIGION, SPEECH, PRESS, ASSEMBLY, AND PETITION

    Passed by Congress September 25, 1789. Ratified December 15, 1791. The first 10 amendments form the Bill of Rights

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

  • Sorry, but I don’t know of any Bible-believing Christians who have joined ISIS and committed mass murder. It’s time to openly speak up against gay activists who would seek to tar Christians with the brush of the heinous Orlando mass shooting. That was the work of one man, an ISIS terrorist. Not Christians.

    Both the Old Testament and the New Testament clearly condemn murder, and murder is what the ISIS terrorist committed. The same Old Testament and New Testament also clearly condemn homosexual behavior and gay marriage, but this is NOT the time for gay activists or their allies to try to force Christians to re-write their Bibles. (Tomorrow isn’t the time either, Mr. Cruz.)

    A lot of people, both Christians and non-Christians, both gay and straight, are shocked and very concerned over what has become America’s largest mass murder. A lot of people are #PrayingforOrlando, just like the hashtag calls for. So let’s leave things at that for now.
    (Also R.I.P. a brave and strong American, former “Voice” singer Christina Grimmie.)

  • What, exactly, is the point of your comment? Are you suggesting that the gunman in Orlando was simply exercising his freedom of religion?

  • Thanks for demonstrating that your prime concern is making sure the hands of bible-believing Christians appear to be clean . . . which is going to be difficult, considering the number of documented statements by Christians expressing the view that gay people are worthy of death.

  • This is **the** time to cut out any finger-pointing, and just join in the condolences as Americans.

    Already one of the nation’s more conservative Christian governors has ordered state flags flown at half-mast for the upcoming week, and issued an official state-level message of shared shock, condolence, and prayer for the families. No debating, just dealing.

    Simply delay any blame-gaming, simply delay any exploitation of this tragedy for LGBT and gay-marriage purposes, until after everybody’s had a chance to deal with this tragedy as (ahem) Americans. Just give it a rest, yes?

  • ” … NOT the time for gay activists or their allies to try to force Christians to re-write their Bibles …”

    So, gay activists or their allies are not Christians? At least some of them? Good of you to clear that up.

    BTW, have you washed your hands today?

  • Sadly, the writer seems to want to paint all religious beliefs with one fell brushstroke of hatred. Not very tolerant I would say. What say you?

  • Bah, you just want to sweep it all under the rug until it’s safe for the religious to say horrible things AGAIN. It’s like how the NRA doesn’t want gun control talked about after such a horrible tragedy then when it’s later, get mad and say “Why are you bringing it up now?”

  • This circumstance is horrific, but beyond the question of religious motivation is the question of disturbed mentalities; the growing number of such acts suggests a trend which in some instances appears at a glance to be religiously motivated, but if we dig a little deeper I believe we will find that most of the perpetrators of these heinous crimes are socially and mentally disturbed, such individuals often hang their thoughts and actions all too casually on the hook of religion, as do others who superficially appraise the facts. It seems that more and more, people are becoming untethered from any rational moral foundation, acting and reacting by pure impulse.

  • Do you really want to bring up that debate now? You want to have a good heart-to-heart about 1 Cor 6:9-11, John 3:16 and Jesus Christ (and whether you yourself may or may not be a Christian) at this time? Is that it?

    I really think such discussions could wait till later. Do you?

  • Sorry, but you don’t seem to be paying attention. Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal and Ted Cruz all spoke at a Christian conference last November where pastor Kevin Swanson advocated for the execution of gays and lesbians at his National Religious Liberties Conference in Iowa.

    “Yes, Leviticus 20:13 calls for the death penalty for homosexuals,” Swanson boomed onstage at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.

    “Yes, Romans chapter 1, verse 32 – the Apostle Paul does say that homosexuals are worthy of death. His words not mine!”

    “And I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!’ Swanson continued, more and more feverish. ‘And I am not ashamed of the truth of the word of God. And I am willing to go to jail!”

    Swanson called for gays to be executed to cheers from the crowd, and the welcomed Senator Ted Cruz to the stage.

    Swanson has also advised Christians who are invited to same-sex weddings to sit outside the churches in sackcloth and ashes in a pile of manure to greet the guests. Not just that, but to rub the manure all over their bodies.

    Pastor Steven Anderson, whose anti-gay spewing are even more hateful and vitriolic than Swanson’s (Google him) is cheering the mass murder of LGBT people in Orlando. He says there are “50 less pedophiles” in the world. (Watch: https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=EUOBFjRGvPI)

    Anti-gay rhetoric such as this isn’t helping. It is dangerous. Fundamentalist Christians might not be killing gays in the streets any more, but they’re certainly not spreading the Word of Jesus either.

  • I posted a lengthy response to you which might not make it through moderation. Look up pastors Kevin Swanson and Steven Anderson. They might not be physically pulling a trigger, but they’re most certainly stirring up hatred of LGBT people.

  • Bury your head in the sand and pretend that our pastors aren’t calling for the death of gay people just like their mullahs.

  • Blaming it on mental illness is too easy. This cretinous man killed these people because his religion taught him that gay people are worthy of death.

  • “If there was one message in the massacre, it seemed to be that LBGT people are still not safe, and that religious teachings — or at least a narrow reading of them — may be a contributing factor to hatred against gays.”

    MAY BE A FACTOR IN HATRED AGAINST GAYS? May be?

    On what planet do you exist?

    Time to post this again.

    ——–

    Regarding the murder of 50 gay people today in Orlando by a young Muslim man:

    This is the result of the toxic religion that falls so easily from the lips of religionists. And please, spare me that this is just another facet of Islam, and has nothing to do with the toxic spew from so many so-called Christians, whether they are calling for our deaths, calling for our imprisonment, or calling us threats to everything good and holy, or claiming we are mocking God, or whatever other nonsense they are vomiting from their dark hearts.

    And especially, when they claim to love me but hate my sin. You CANNOT love me and hate my sin. Because it is not a sin, despite what your holy book allegedly says. It is how I live and love and fulfill my life, the same as any heterosexual. And to hate this not-sin, and to wish it gone from my life and from the world to satisfy YOUR religious impulses, is all about you, and not about me. And it doesn’t say anything nice about you OR your religion.

    Love the sinner and hate the sin? How about this? We drop every word, every qualification, after the very first word, and leave it at LOVE. Because, personally, I find this so called love that you profess completely indistinguishable from hate.

    The father of this mass murderer said that his son was angry because he saw two men kissing in Miami. Your son was angry because he saw two men kissing? There is more Bullscheiss in that statement than in every cow residing in the state of Texas.

    Your son was angry because he had been taught to hate and fear, whether by his religion, by you, or by political religionists or religious politicians who see gay people as less than human, as disposable, as fodder for their never-ending quests for power, money, and dominion. And will these political maggots do anything about the easy access to weapons of mass destruction in our so-called civilized society? Most assuredly, no. If the murders of several dozen children a few years ago couldn’t do it, the murder of 50 despised adults will not even merit a ho-hum. They might wring their hands once, or even twice, utter a few meaningless platitudes, and perhaps even deplore the tragedy, in a vague, general sort of a way. But do anything? Not a chance.

    The fundelibangelist “leaders” will of course say something about it, for a while. But eventually, their guard will drop, and the truth of what they really feel will come through. Wages of sin, God will not be mocked, god’s wrath at sinful America, and all the rest of that moralizing, moral rot. And then, they’ll be back to “God says…the bible says…” And business as usual. Pass the collection plate, please. We have homos to fight.

    This young vermin was angry for the obvious reason. I am increasingly convinced the the worst, the most vicious, and the most virulent of those opposed to our right to live our lives as free men and women and equal participants in society, whether religious or not, are homo-hating homos who cannot bear the thought that we are allowed to do just that, when they have confined themselves to the prisons of their small minds, shriveled hearts, minuscule souls, and over-mastering fears that someone will find out about them. Maybe even the God of love that they pretend to worship.

    So violence, and the abuse and misuse of democracy and law are the result.

    Look to yourselves, bible-believing, so-called Christians. You’re not much better than these Islamist monsters. It wasn’t so long ago that you were doing the same, under color of law, one gay person at a time, whether by prison, judicial murder, legalized discrimination, or presenting no alternative but suicide. Now, you can only attempt to murder our souls by doing everything you can to force us back into the closet, to enable discrimination under color of law, to tell the slandering, reviling lies you tell with the smug assurance that you, like your Islamist brethren, are simply doing god’s work. Some god you worship there. He looks suspiciously, but not surprisingly, just like you.

    Be assured. This will galvanize us and our loved ones, friends, families, neighbors and colleagues even more. This Islamist may have murdered 50 of us, but has infuriated and energized millions more.

  • You so called Christians are no longer allowed, in a general sort of way, to kill our bodies. But you are still after our lives and our souls

    But the toxic spew of enemies of God, enemies of faith, enemies of Christianity, enemies of everything good and holy, enemies of faith, family, children, morality, marriage, heterosexuality, and western civilization has been non stop for the past 45 years that I have been in the fight.and when you’re not attacking gay people and our participation in society, you’re attacking other Christians for not toeing your vile line.

    The lies, reviling and slander that you all repeat endlessly with your Christian smiles of holiness are every bit as dangerous– just not generally fatal. But the alliance of your “faith” with the second amendment nuts is quite easily documentable, and someone will. I’ve seen it time and time again in individual postings.

    No, you are not directly responsible for THIS atrocity. But you are no more innocent in general than Islam is.

  • Ben, your article is written with a lot of passion. Your voice is very strong and true to what has happened and will continue to happen.This has been a problem of mine for some time now, that “my God” believes this or believes that. Whatever happened to “our God” who believes in doing what is right for all of us. Meaning that whoever it is you are treated with respect.

  • I say that the writer is saying nothing of the sort. And the condemnations of anti gay religionists are also not forthcoming,

    Tony Perkins. Pat Robertson. Matt barber. Peter la Barbara. Franklin Graham. Phyllis schlafley. The Mormon church with their counterfeit families. The world congress of families. Brian brown. Bryan Fischer. The American family association. Anita Bryant. Jerry Falwell. Stephen Anderson. Robert gagnon. Cardinal Mahoney. Pope Benedict and his intrinsic tendency towards grave moral evil and inherently morally disordered. Cardinal George and his lost touch with their humanity. Linda Harvey. Yehuda Levin. George Rekers. Ted haggard. Lonnie Latham. Mike Huckabee. Rick Santorum. Janet porter. A good many posters on these very pages– at least the stupider ones who don’t hide behind their learning.

    And all that is before my first cup of coffee.

    I could spend ten minutes in my files and come up with a couple of hundred more names of so called Christians who have spoken the most vile, documentable lies about us, who repeat them ad nauseum, without a peep from anybody except for the few NALT Christians who actually are Not All Like That.

    No, not every religion is like that, not every Christian for sure. Not even every Muslim.

    But to claim the hands of Christianity are clean in this matter simply denies reality.

    I’m not interested, as mr. Lee thinks, in exploiting this tragedy to attack religion. I’m not like you. But I am very interested in using it to point out what religion has been doing to gay people for the past 2000 years, and continues to do, all the while pretending to love, pretending to be holy.

    If any good comes out of this, it will be that finally we will get some gun control laws and get assault weapons off the streets. But that will require that we remove the republican office holders who have been in bed with right wing Christians ever since Ronald Reagan, and who obstruct every sensible measure to keep us safe.

    The shooter in this matter was on the do not fly list, or so I’ve read. But the republican congress prevented passage of a law to keep him on the “can’t buy a gun list”, because WE DONT HAVE ONE.

  • Thanks.

    Believe me, if the anger I and so many gay people feel over this and (being kind) what has been done to us for the past 50 years were made manifest and a tempest in the world, every single anti gay church, temple, and mosque would be flattened, every vicious, vile, lying politician who uses religion as his excuse would be branded with the single phrase “traitor to the God Who is love”, and every tax-exempt attack on our right to live our lives as we, not THEY, see fit would be strangled at birth.

    But it won’t be made so manifest. We’re better than that.

    Instead, we will work for sensible gun control laws. And we will do everything in our power to see that anti-gay, so called Christians are treated with the same contempt that racists, religious bigots, and anti-Semites are treated today, at least in the civilized world.

  • Its not like you have any concerns for the victims here. You just don’t want the atrocity to infringe on your usual bigotry against gays. You still want to hate them and call for their deaths. But don’t want to take responsibility when someone actually does it.

    Go away.

  • So your first instinct was to look to avoid blame rather than display compassion for victims and their families. Whatever.

  • Preachers literally calling for the death of gays don’t deserve respect. Hate begets hate.

  • I haven’t walked in your shoes, but I feel the pain and you are so right. Your feelings and your message are important because you articulate well and most people are looking at things from a narrow perspective. When I hear people say God is love and what has happened is not upsetting to them,is very disturbing. I feel that the only way they will ever understand the meaning of life or see a different view is through social media. It is the mode for thoughts and your message is important part of those thoughts.

  • This article is spot on and very strongly voices the concerns that every American with LGBT friends and family has. Response by most GOP to the violence and hate on Sunday was tepid at best. The mass insensitivity on the right was like another hail of bullets at the victims.

  • Some new facts have come to light this morning, proving my points below.

    The father of this vile vermin proved that he is no better than his son. He said he told his son that he should leave the punishment of homosexuals to God. There’s the religious connection.

    The son wanted to be a cop, and went to the gym a lot. There’s the homosexual-hating homosexual connection.

    QED.

  • Yet another case of religion fostering hate and causing deaths. The article left out the fact that the killer’s father said that killing LGBT people would be done by “God”. Obviously, God wants them killed. It’s only a small step for the killer to be the tool of God, as we’ve seen time and again with both Islamic and Christian terrorism. Both the Bibles and the Qu’ran are clear, again and again, that gays are to be killed. “Literal interpretation” or any other euphemism – as long as millions of people see these hate filled books as the “word of God”, these kinds of killings will continue. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_terrorism

  • “The same Old Testament and New Testament also clearly condemn homosexual behavior and gay marriage” Actually there is no “clearly” about it. There is a growing sense among scholars that the Bible has been misinterpreted/misunderstood in this area. Now is the time for religious people to pause and ask if they have let their biases cloud their reading of the Bible.

  • The first response you had was, “don’t blame us”. Then followed by some nonsense demonstrating your beliefs are not all dissimilar to the gunman. It says all we need to know here.

  • I’am a christian and i do not support the killings. this is done by ISIS it is a false religion- God is not at fault

  • We already have sensible gun laws- it is up to certain people to not get their hands on them.

  • No we do not. This young man was investigated twice by the FBI, and is on the no-fly list.

    Nothing prevented him, or anyone else, from purchasing an assault weapon.

    As long as anyone can purchase one in this country, as long as there are no background checks and waiting periods, WE HAVE NO SENSIBLE GUN LAWS.

  • When ordinary Christian fundamentalists start killing people in job lots in the name of God I’ll take the moral equivalency between Christianity and Islam seriously. Not before.

  • False religion? Not according to them. Yours is.

    Your own true religion has been preaching violence and denigration against gay people for decades. Here is just a partial list of Good Christians who demonstrate the fact, all done before my first cup of coffee.

    James manning. Tony Perkins. Pat Robertson. Matt barber. Peter la Barbara. Franklin Graham. Phyllis schlafley. The Mormon church with their counterfeit families. The world congress of families. Brian brown. Bryan Fischer. The American family association. Anita Bryant. Jerry Falwell. Stephen Anderson. Robert gagnon. Cardinal Mahoney. Pope Benedict and his intrinsic tendency towards grave moral evil and inherently morally disordered. Cardinal George and his lost touch with their humanity. Linda Harvey. Yehuda Levin. George Rekers. Ted haggard. Lonnie Latham. Mike Huckabee. Rick Santorum. Janet porter. Ted Cruz.

    A good many posters on these very pages– at least the stupider ones who don’t hide behind their learning.

  • Yeah, it’s called “Don’t act a fool, don’t point your finger at people who had nothing to do with the crime.”

  • I recently in the last 2 years purchased a fire arm to protect my right and to exercise it as well as to protect myself- we do have sensible laws i passed my background test…maybe we should not have such things as ‘open borders’ and a lousy vetting system before you say that we do not have sensible gun laws. Obama is reactionary- he will not say Muslim Terrorist- WHY??? Because he is a wimp! The bar had no security, tell them to do so, we at church have a security team of people each time an event comes up and each sunday. We will not be a victim to morons.Terrorist are cowards they go after soft areas in our society- ISIS is here in all of 50 states most likely as ‘supporters’ when this government gets serious about it then this will continue as another phase of wholesale murder. So far obama talks ‘gun control’ when this stuff comes up but not muslims on the rampage! WHY!?? maybe he is just a boy in a mans suit. Now he is the bathroom monitoring president..good grief!

  • Google: Pastor Steven Anderson Orlando

    Pastor Anderson says he is “not sad,” and says he is “not gonna cry” about the horrific massacre, because the victims were just “disgusting homosexuals at a gay bar.”

    Anderson has also said that he [email protected] gays and that they should all be k!lled.

  • maybe if you do some calculated thinking Ben..this kid did not have to pass a background check because he bought the gun from a private owner or stole it? So how do you know he even tried to purchase it in a store? Seems like you have all the answers..good grief man wise up. As for the FBI..they have to answer to this murder now don’t they? The FBI will have to answer as well for this so called ‘no fly guy’, so obviously he did not purchase the gun in a retail setting. there are ways to get around any law..look at the welfare system!

    I passed my background check..then i was given the right to purchase- it is in all 50 states!

  • But the crazy killer didn’t swear allegiance to (nor even any knowledge of) Swanson or Anderson in his 911 call. He swore his allegiance to ISIS.
    That one group is who you need to channel all your blind finger-pointing anger at, unless the police point to other sources.

  • Remember Eric Robert Rudolph – the devout Bible Believing Christian? http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/04/13/eric.rudolph/ He had the same motives as Mateen, he just called the God of Abraham by a different name.

    Of course Christians don’t join Islamic organizations, they join the Army of God, like Rudolph, Operation Rescue, the KKK, and thousands of congregations that teach hate and promote violence.

    Until Christians clean their own house they should not point the finger elsewhere.

  • Like I said, “when ordinary Christian fundamentalists start killing …” Our fundamentalists look like the Westboro Church, disgusting but not dangerous. Muslim fundamentalists are a very different animal.

  • Ben, your over reacting! We love the gay man or woman to christ- but we also do not hide the sinful act by glossing over it. we also do not believe it is the only sin that offends god but also adultery, fornication, stealing etc etc ad infinitum are just as grievous on the same scale. your cherry picking on people whom i do not agree with in your laundry list of names- i do not subscribe to them, just the Word of God. Men are fallible but god is not. God loves the homosexual celibate or not. I’am against ISIS not against these 50 men.

  • “They might not be physically pulling a trigger, but they’re most certainly stirring up hatred of LGBT people.”

    There wouldn’t be so much anti-gay animus in Amercia were it not for hate-spewing fundamentalists and their “deeply held religious beliefs.”

  • In light of the shooting in Orlando and the disgusting comments by the Lt Governor of Texas and the comments by a Republican Senator, David Perdue, who prayed for the death of the President it is high time that the the bishops of the Church be they Methodists, Episcopalian, Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or whatever faith community that holds the office of bishop as leaders, and denominations that have moderators and elders and presidents, to say without apology to these politicians and those who support them, “We rebuke you and all those who follow you in the Name of Jesus the Christ, for preaching hate and violence towards gay people and for perverting the Scriptures of the Old Testament and making a mockery of the Gospel”!

    So please if any of you know anyone who knows these people or may know people who do know these people present this to them and do so very publicly! No wishy washy kinda sorta response but demand they rebuke them publicly in the press and to their faces!

  • Don’t kid yourself. The hate that’s spewed from the mouths of these cretins has a direct impact on the LGBT community. These “pastors” might not be throwing gay men from rooftops or gunning them down in nightclubs but they’re empowering the anti-gay types and giving them a voice. When LGBT are attacked and killed in Amercia it’s because they’ve been led to believe that gay people don’t matter. They’re “less than” and don’t deserve equal treatment under the law. Or in some cases, don’t deserve to live.

  • Oh brother. Do you guys actually hate Christians more than you care about your own LGBT brothers and sisters?

    You’ve known about the genocide of middle eastern Christians and were of course unmoved. You’ve known about the violence being imported into democratic western Europe. You’ve known about gays being thrown off buildings daily by ISIS but easily ignored it because it wasn’t right in your face. None of it mattered because you were too hungry to acquire another minority voting block for the progs that you couldn’t afford to alienate. Well, here it is, in your own backyard, leaving no doubt about what Islam really thinks of you. And STILL..blah blah blah Christians… Blah blah blah racism…Blah blah blah xenophobia…And silliest of all, blah blah blah guns.

    No wonder ISIS thinks we’re a nation of fools.

    Now go and “confront the evil” by putting little rainbows and teardrop emojis on your facebooks while others actually deal with the fallout of our national failure to protect our country and our civilization. But don’t worry…no doubt the ISIS recruit planning the next massacre is voting Democrat in November.

  • Just calling for some common sense around here. When Versace was murdered, did you blame the entire gay community for it, or did you just blame the gay shooter who did the crime by himself ?

  • Christian terrorists have been killing for their religion for a very long time in the U.S (it is not a coincidence the KKK’s symbol is a cross). See this article and many others. This one doesn’t even mention the Christian motivated attack bombing of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics where random people were murdered in anti-abortion terrorism: http://occupydemocrats.com/2015/11/17/the-top-five-attacks-on-america-committed-by-christian-terrorists-not-muslims/

  • I’m not over reacting. Not to the murder of 50 of my brothers and sisters.

    I’m not interested in the kind of love found in “love the sinner and hate the sin.” I find it completely indistinguishable from hate, and have never in my 66 years found it to be anything other than a cover for using your religion to inflict harm on gay people.

    As I said below, how about we drop every single word, every single qualification after the word love in “love the sinner and hate the sin.” Despite your beliefs, I have seen NOTHING on my 66 years that supports it.

    When you spend the same amount of time on my list of religious bigots above, on their documented reviling and slander– recognize the reference?– that you spend on defending guns and attacking our right to exist and live as we are made, as full citizens and humans, let me know.

    Until then, “love the sinner” is nothing more than a clanging cymbal– or symbol.

  • There’ s nothing sensible about giving civilians access to assaukt weapons, or vetting gun licenses so carelessly that tge mentally ill, criminals, and persons on terrorist watch lists can all legally purchase weapons.

  • You, sir, are the problem. Your attitudes,alid and abet violence toward my community. You also do not get to be the official spokesperson for Christianity. My denomination and others,affirm the goodness of faithful same- sex reltionships and affirm LGBTQ people in society and in the life of the Church.

  • Many of the tears from the Muslim community are crocodile tears. It is a fact that all mainstream schools of Islamic jurisprudence permit or require execution for homosexuality.

    Yes, I know the old testament says some nasty stuff about gays too, but that’s a change of subject. This shooter was a devout follower of the depraved barbarian warlord Mohammed, not a Christian.

  • And with what few such killings that happen the killers are at best clearly mentally disturbed people, at worst on the fringe. What they aren’t is mainstream Christian the same way that what happened in Orlando is mainstream Islam.

  • Talk about projecting. Any rational reading of the news shows it is the far right seeking to monitor bathrooms. That security team sounds like the time The Three Stooges went to the Old West – more mya-mya-myas and woo-woo-woos only with guinfire.

  • Does the name Eric Rudolph ring a bell? Scott Roeder? Paul Hill? Surely they were no less tenuously connected to Christianity as this shooter is to Islam.

  • The pursuit of justice does not end for the convenience of those who do not want justice to be obtained.

  • Versace was gay. Man, when was that, 2006 or something? IIRC he was killed by a jilted lover or whatever. Sure, the gay community was entirely responsible for that in exactly the same sense that the entire heterosexual community was responsible for the O.J. Simpson murder of Nicole Brown Simpson.

  • I quit a church in 1981 over the gay issue. They are not bible thumpers who still are anti gay. Ben is right, the numbers of so called ministers, and I mean so called, who have blamed gays or tormented them has been in the hundreds. I think the problem is now with religion itself. I don’t care whether it’s Islam or Christianity or whatever, both need to f—in grow up. This isn’t about God, the gay issue is about a cultural stupidity about people being threatened by anything that is different.

  • Well, obviously. Human knowledge is increasing at a rapid pace and it is painfully obvious to any except the hopelessly delusional that the Bible was never intended to be taken literally.

  • That could be so, if it weren’t for the fact Donald Trump being elected President would be the most amazing tool for Isis recruitment ever.

  • I would not blame gays for feeling hate against Christians. Ben is right. Ever since Reagan, the Republican Party has been in bed with the Fatwells and their ilk. Falwell was the most arrogant smug human I have seen, and he cloaked that under this title he had. He did it all for money which he worshipped a heck of a lot more than God.

  • It doesn’t matter what you will “take.” Any religion has its good and bad adherents. By the way, ordinary Christian fundamentalists have been killing people in job lots (whatever that is, I’m guessing from context it means more than one at a time) since Salvi first executed reproductive health clinic staff.

  • Oh, no, Grasshopper. Westboro is a performance art show. Our fundamentalists look like Cheryl Sullenberger, abortion clinic bomber who then aided and abetted Dr. George Tiller’s assassin Scott Roeder. There have been, until this incident more Americans murdered by right wing white Christian extremists here than Islamacists since 9-11, not that it matters. A terrorist is a terrorist regardless of what name he calls his false deity.

  • Your last sentence seems to greatly illustrate the unbelievibility of your proclamation of “love” for the LGBT community. I have not seem the list of the slain, but I would venture the guess that there was at least one each of the following in the body count: a “fag hag” (female friend of gay men, a la “Will and Grace’); a lesbian; and a transwoman. Your failure to acknowledge same reveals the emptiness behind your proclamation of “love”.

  • So essentially he was just another cop wannabe like George Zimmerman, murderer of Trayvon Martin, only with an animus toward a different group.
    Police departments all over have to deal with individuals all over who are unfit to serve because of their biases and they necessarily screen them out. That is what happened to Zimmerman and why he never had a real badge. If this guy had had a brain he could have moved to Saudi and joined the religious police and gotten the same thrills legally.

  • Was he targeting an entire group indiscriminately? Of course not.

    Aside from recriminations and equivocations, do you have anything to say on behalf of the victims?

  • There are many aspects to religion. In mental health however the belief one is directed by either God or some underling of his or hers is like the free spot on the bingo card.

  • So do Islam and Christianity suck in practice exactly equally then? It seems to me like that would be such an amazing coincidence that it would require an omnipotent invisible magic sky spirit to suspend the laws of probability, and I don’t believe in spirits.

    Do mainstream Christian denominations also call for the execution of gays, lesbians, blasphemers, apostates and adulterers?

  • Yes, every religion has it’s good and bad adherents. But the question is what, for a particular religion, a “good” adherent actually is — what does the mainstream of that religion put forward as “good” behavior?

  • What gun control measure would have prevented this? This guy passed any number of background checks conducted by the FBI for a government security job which game him clearance. This is an Islam problem, not a gun problem.

  • US pastor Steven Anderson says gay people should be executed for an ‘Aids free Christmas’
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-pastor-steven-anderson-says-gay-people-should-be-executed-for-an-aids-free-christmas-9903543.html

    Pastor Kevin Swanson blared during a ‘religious liberties’ conference in Iowa about a Biblical justification for executing gays and lesbians

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3492289/Ted-Cruz-spoke-Christian-conference-pastor-introduced-just-calling-gays-EXECUTED.html#ixzz4BTq0TeGC

  • No, our fundamentalists don’t look like Sullenberger, she was an aberration rather than the norm — which is the point. Is the terrorist acting in accordance with the standard principles of the group he claims to represent, or not?

  • My comment is in moderation. It might never make it through. Google these headlines:

    – Ted Cruz spoke at Christian conference where pastor introduced him just after calling for gays to be EX*CUTED

    – US pastor Steven Anderson says gay people should be ex*cuted for an ‘Aids free Christmas’

    * = e (I didn’t want those words to “flag” my comment and put another one into moderation.)

  • Then you get the picture.
    Let’s point the finger at the crook who did the crime. And then leave it at that. Common Sense, folks.

  • I have gay friends..they hear me out and know my intent with my beliefs, you on the other hand love to feel superior by denigrating me or my beliefs because you have never dialogued with a real person of my faith so you go to the common cliches. that are convenient…i’m 64…imperfect but love my neighbors and try hard to all the time,.I do not hide from my beliefs nor do i make denigrating comments to gays. were all sinners whether one wants to look at it from gods view or a secular humanist view which in itself is a form of personal code or religion in it’s base semantic form. no matter how much one tosses out easy cliches towards others it is just that a convenient way to stop talking and hide in your own sinful lifestyle because rationalism is the religion of the day for most people. Go ahead hate me- for in so doing your doing the hating not me.

  • I agree, Ben. I just don’t want ANY fundamentalist, no matter what faith, to get away with murder. I’ve already had plenty of “discussions” with fundamentalist Christians and will continue to speak up.

  • It’s hard to say, Debbie. When I post here the list of churches that will marry and ordain us I get told those churches aren’t really Christian. I also get posters in various forums saying they supports the death sentence for all LGBT, while calling themselves christian.

    My contention is that religion gives people cover for their hatred, whatever it is for, us or others.

  • Your gay friends tolerate you if you speak to them about their sinful lifestyle, they don’t trust you. I speak from experience. Most of us have people in our lives we tolerate for any number of reasons. I have a sister who has spent her lifetime reminding me she has a moral issue with my lesbianism. I tolerate her now, I used to try and speak her language about god, etc. I quit tolerating her when she told me I don’t have a marriage and never can. Don’t be surprised if your gay friends decide to no longer make compromises to hang out with you.

  • Love the sinner and hate the sin is just a passive aggressive way to judge and denigrate someone else. You are talking about who we are, not what we do.

    Ben isn’t over reacting.

  • It was indeed like another hail of bullets, Thank you for caring about how this affects us and not just using us as fodder for the immigration and gun control arguments.

  • Thank you for speaking up. I ran into our neighbor this morning. This 50 year old straight man was more torn up than my wife and I were. I just held him while he cried for me and mine. You all are the best.

  • I once had a handgun that was stolen in a burglary…along with the small gun safe it was in. The burglar was probably disappointed that there was only one gun in it. God only knows what happened to it.

    Handguns don’t protect your home when you’re not there…which is when burglars want to strike.

  • Lots of Bible believing Christians had joined the Klan, though. And, it’s difficult to believe that the majority of people who specifically claim to be “Bible believing” Christians really give a damn about Gay lives.

  • And at my age just about anyone could take it from me and use it against me. I’d be stupid to provide an attacker a weapon.

  • “This is an Islam problem, not a gun problem.”

    Who knew that Dylann Roof was a Muslim?

    Actually, nobody, because he wasn’t.

    And unfortunately, I could go on and on…

  • There is simply no methodology for legitimately determining that one religion is correct while all the others are false. The overwhelming odds are that a person’s religion is determined by the geographic location of their birth, and/or who their parents are. People don’t acquire their religion through education, they acquire it through indoctrination.

  • I was pointing out that the guy was trying to shut down about how the victims were chosen because they were gay and he was mewing about how dare people get mad about religious homophobia and acted as if Christians were the primary victims because of their butthurt feelings at being called out for contributing to this.

    I would also like to point out that gun violence is also done by white Christian men so if you blame Islam, why can’t YOU say radical Christian extremism?

  • I sincerely apologize for being blunt, but “your denomination and others” have abandoned the Bible on this issue, and are bringing much confusion, damage, and bondage to people instead of truth, healing and freedom.

    But both of us already know each other’s criticisms. So why not the both of us just agree to blame the guy with the gun?

  • No True Scotsman fallacy there, floydlee. There are reputable scholars who don’t interpret the way you do. There are denominations who don’t interpret the way you do. They are every bit a christian as you are.

  • It’s hard say whether Islam and Christianity currently suck in practice exactly equally, yet you can read and write? Sounds like a case of willful blindness.

    Try to find a single halal bakery in the US that will bake a cake for your wedding, or a mosque that will host a gay couple’s marriage.

    Outside the US, homosexuality is illegal in most Muslim-majority countries, and punishable by death in many of them.

  • Scholarship has nothing to do with the “heart.” It’s a matter of history and background documentation.

  • Well, it’s been Christians who have made my life as a 59 year old lesbian much more difficult than it needed to be. I don’t have as much experience with islam. So in my mind is hard to tell which “sucks” worse.

    Calling me willfully blind may have sounded clever to you, but you have effectively removed any ability to actually converse with each other and rather cements my negative view of Christians.

  • Re-read what I wrote, I would ask. I didn’t say Ellen wasn’t a Christian.

    But yes, she and her denomination are wrong,, and many MORE reputable scholars say so (not to mention the clear wording and context of Scripture itself).

  • If tRump actually makes it to the White House, the blame will go squarely on the doorstep of the present administration with all their slavering after the minority Muslim vote and their refusal to meet the radical Muslim terrorist threat head on. You guys are not going to EVER make terrorists like you by playing nice with them and blaming their bloodshed on everyone but them. They only despise you more for it.

  • Oh, that’s right. Well, let me get that straight. Jesus is a matter of history and documentation, nothing else. There is no interpretation of what he meant-it’s simply documentation. Let’s see. When Loving vs Virginia made interracial marriage legal across the land, it’s simply a matter of history. It didn’t affect people’s lives, it’s just a fact.

    I do realize scholarship has to do with history and background documentation, but the interpretation of what it means is yes, up to interpretation in many cases.

    If it’s just about scholarship, why were there all these articles about who Abraham Lincoln really meant and thought about slavery in the past few years? This “scholarship” about Lincoln has not led to everybody concluding the same thing about who he was and what he thought about slavery.

  • Both sides are tired of being told they have to compromises their beliefs. It’s like two separate, diametrically opposed religions.

  • Yes, but you chose your religion and you choose to degrade homosexuals.

    I did not choose to be lesbian. I did chose to live with and marry the love of my life. Just like my straight siblings did.

  • Wake up to an attitude among Christians that is the same as his. The cultural denigrating of homosexuals in this country comes straight from Christianity. That cultural background leads him into feeling that the christians are all talk about us, so he joined a faith that let him move to killing us.

    Trying to say that the years of Falwell, Robertson, Phelps denigrating us doesn’t empower the sick and twisted to act is to refuse to look at the end product of every day discrimination.

  • Nope. But but I will state that I left a link on one of the related stories with suggestions on how to help in the wake of the tragedy.

  • you’re entitled to your opinion- Thank GOD we have a first amendment so far I am not shunned and if they do- they are the ones who hate and have the issues-plural. Secular humanism along with it’s self righteousness never bothered me to talk with others even if i feel they are just disengaged by popular rhetoric and passive insults. It goes to show that even gay people as your self do not have real personal dialogue to critical thinking or are challenged to view it from another viewpoint. Educating oneself by being engaged in dialogue breaks down your stereotypes of me.As you know stereotypes are just as hypocritical as most politicians will tell you. Were done conversing or are we?

  • All right then…let’s have an example of a writing from roughly the NT time that indicates that homosexual practice was accepted as scriptural by either Jews or Christians.

  • No, I have not offered to degrade anybody. I have not commented on your marriage.

    But I do offer and explain what the Bible says in response to this or that story. I don’t abandon what the Bible says, even though LGBT activists and some of their allies refuse to be placated with anything less, especially during these tense days.

  • No, that has already been done in countless articles. So, why do YOU personally not like it?

  • Get real. Muslims don’t execute or imprison gays in the middle east — or any of the other violence they do — because of American Christians, and they don’t kill them here because of Christians either. They have a Koran — ever check it out? If anything, they target gays here because of our western fashion du jour of celebrating them. And they laugh in disdain at how they can do anything they want and have you sheeple invariably blame it on someone else. If you don’t want a Trump presidency you progs had better tell your leaders to grow a spine and at least call this what it is, even if they don’t know what to do about it.

  • I am pointing out that no true friend tells their friends that they are sinning, going to hell, don’t have a real marriage, or are not right with your religion.

    And I said “if you if you speak to them about their sinful lifestyle”

    No one responds well to that.

    You know nothing about the 40 odd years I have spent in constructive real dialogue with many people, the years of public speaking to human sexuality classes. The years of being the only out person in the room. I have had many thank me for helping them become more christian and more loving toward all. That I finally gave up with my sister doesn’t mean I don’t allow other views, it means I was tired of listening to her demeaning my life and my wife under a false “concern” for our souls.

  • You offer and explain what you think the bible says about any story. There are as many interpretations of the bible as their are people who read it.

  • NO. The rhetoric spewing hatred against our LGBT Brothers and Sisters created the environment where the poor fool thought he’d be a hero.

  • The assertion LGBT people are somehow “in bondage” to sin more so than the speaker is pure hubris.

  • By current definitions, Eliel Cruz is one hateful person. The idea that
    someone is evil, dangerous, hateful because they disagree with you over
    what sexual acts are appropriate – is itself, a hateful, disrespecting, and potentially dangerous
    ideology. Comments like hers do nothing to bring us together – she just
    helps build the strawman of people of traditional faith which is just
    as ugly as the strawman the other side makes of the LBGT community. I
    am a Christian. To call me hateful simply because I disagree with you –
    is hateful.

  • Please. There’s not enough Muslim voters that HRC does not already have that are worth chasing after. Every family has its black sheep. The best way to fight terrorism would be to withdraw our support of Israeli apartheid, but that ain’t going to happen under either DRT or HRC.

  • People like the slick American fundamentalists in the Religious Right are too savvy to do that. So instead they dogwhistle their contempt for those they hate to their minions.

  • But you want to ignore that Christian pastors using us as the embodiment of evil creates an atmosphere that makes a kid like this not only feel like his hatred is right and just, but that there is another religion that is even more clear about what to do to those nasty sinning gays.

  • That would definitely be a good research proposition. But the problem is the way right wing American Christians call any Christian as liberal as Obama or Clinton “not a Christian.” shows the difficulty of that line of inquiry. I have no doubt whatsoever that given the opportunity, like the right-wing militia in Octavia Butler’s novel “Parable of the Sower” that if our American Christian right-wing thought they could get away with murder and torture they would commit them willy-nilly. The praise abortion doctor assassins receive is a case in point. Always the right wing blames the victim.

  • Every time one of you American Talibanists says “Abortion is murder,” you enable the terrorists like Sullenberger. The blood they shed is all over your hands.

  • Bull. You wouldn’t know Mainstream Islam from page 8. Do you even know what a minaret is?
    Classifying any type of Christianity as “Mainstream” is tricky. We are split right down the middle when it comes to acceptance of LGBTs. The average Southern Baptist, Assembly of God, nondenominational fundamentalist is however no different at all from the average Islamic fundamentalist.

  • No you don’t. You offer only your uninformed opinion about what you think obscure biblical passages mean in an effort to show how much better you think you are.

  • Does that mean that Jesus the Christ cannot literally redeem us,Kangaroo52?

  • Funny how we hear so much about these “countless articles” but nobody seems to know what any of them say.

    But they’re sure they are “countless.”

    Same old same old.

  • For goodness sake – this had to do with RELIGION – not simply sexual direction ! They are beheading Christians and crucifying them as well. This author must be so afraid of exposing the real defect of his religion and that is it has evolved into something non-religious at all and the members simply go along with this devious change. So, so sad.

  • What do Simon the magician, Philip’s ministry in Samaria, and the Ethiopian eunuch have to do with approval of homosexual practice?

    And as for the centurion, nothing in that story points to any homosexual practice. Perhaps you might be able to tell us whose same-sex lover Jairus’ 12-year-old daughter was? I have never been able to get an answer on that yet.

  • I could be considered “right-wing” and I’m certainly a Christian, and I’ve never said that Obama or Clinton aren’t Christian — BAD Christians, perhaps, but not non-Christians. If you believe that Christ atoned for your sins and rose again on the third day, you’re a Christian, full stop. If you don’t, then you aren’t. As for what the Christian Right wing might do if it thought it could get away with it, why aren’t Islamist-style suicide attacks being carried out by Christians? Are they less devoted to their religion than the Islamists? Or just perhaps there’s something fundamental to Christian teaching that prevents the truly devout from doing so.

  • I have loved ones in the LGBT community. In my youth, I went dancing at a club with a gay cousin and had the time of my life. Gay clubs are sanctuaries to everyone willing to venture in with an open mind. I’ve also done a fair amount of “church-hopping” in my life. I grew up Mormon, then got offended by all the harsh antigay nonsense. I chose my gay cousins over Church dogma and bigotry. I admire churches with the courage to be inclusive and scorn those, like my birth religion, who insist that religious bigotry is somehow pleasing to God.

  • If accurately labeling most abortions leads some people to kill those that carry them out, perhaps there’s something wrong with abortion to begin with and we should rethink our laws. Meanwhile, those that carry out those attacks should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

  • Nope. Your effort to make it political in the other direction is why LGBT and those of us who support them have to press back hard against your “soft” bigotry just as hard as against the violent hate of hardcore bigots.

  • The waning support for Israel in Europe has not saved it from any terrorism, and it won’t here either. These guys aren’t playing by your rulebook, pal.

  • The killer (possibly with the help of ISIS) picked an LGBT target because of the harsh rhetoric by both extremist Christians and Muslims against the LGBT community. The killer was partially successful in his attack; he succeeded in showing the hypocrisy in the alleged American values of anti-gay religionists in America. At least Trump changed his tune today to be more inclusive of LGBT and to express sorrow for the victims. Most GOP did their best to ignore the suffering of “non-constituents,” too closely tied to anti-gay social conservatives to express any degree of humanity over the suffering.

  • Hi Ben. Your judgement is clouded and you’re clearly not familiar with what the overwhelming majority of Christians in the U.S. — even zealous Christian groups — believe. Homosexuality is sin, but we’re all sinners incapable of judging another sinner unless we want the same judgement for ourselves. There is but one judge — God. That’s Biblical and that’s what most Christians believe.

    While some may single out one sin or another for specific scorn, Christians as a whole understand and believe that no one is without sin and judging someone else would be like one murderer judging another murderer for his actions. We are all guilty and require God’s grace and mercy, which comes through Christ.

    Stereotyping Christians isn’t a solution or way to move forward after a hateful act of terrorism is committed by a person enamored with a fringe element Islam.

  • “Mainstream” is the sects and divisions that at least large minorities of a faith tradition belong to, and especially those aspects on which those large minorities agree. And for what the Muslim mainstream believes, have you ever looked through “Reliance of the Traveller”? I have, it’s on my hard drive for reference and study — and the Keller translation has been certified by Al-Azhar. You might want to look it up and see what it says about homosexuality and jihad.

  • The kid probably never even heard a Christian pastor. Muslims think Christianity is a blasphemous religion for worshiping “three gods” and would never defile themselves by listening to our clergy. They don’t identify Christianity with sexual purity anyway — they identify it with the decadence and licentiousness of the West. It’s one and the same to them.

  • Yup same old same old. You won’t look into yourself as to why you feel as you do. Read chapter 8 from Embodiment by James B Nelson that goes through every verse that condemns or seems to condemn homosexuality. The argument about Roman’s 1 18:32 is basically this. Paul sees homosexual acts as the result of idolatry. He did that with his own understanding of the Old Testament understanding of idolatry, on his own wisdom of his day, and on his own personal understanding. So, basically, he saw homosexual practice, idolatry, venereal disease and he put those together. In the author’s view, a Pauline methodology would have to include the wisdom of the day and the best empirical understandings that could be found. That understanding is now that most homosexuals are born with at least the tendency to be gay if not totally gay. Thus, if we can indeed now question Paul’s moral convictions about the status of women and slavery, then his moral judgments about homosexual acts ought not be exempt……… I will now quote a paragraph from that chapter. “The central biblical message regarding sexuality seems clear enough. LIke very other good gift, it can be misused. The idolatrous dishonoring of God inevitably results in the dishonoring of persons, and faithfulness to God will result in sexual expression which honors the personhood of the other. Our sexuality is not a mysterious and alien force of nature but part of what it means to be human. It is a power to be integrated fully into one’s selfhood and to be used in the service of love. That message, I am convinced, applies regardless of one’s orientation.

  • There is no way you can live in this country and not have attitudes like his hardened by the ability of Pastors to say the following with out being called out by other Christians:

    Now let me just be real clear: I’ve never advocated for violence. I don’t believe in, you know, taking the law into our own hands. I would never go in and shoot up a gay bar — so-called. I don’t believe it’s right for us to just be a vigilante… But I will say this: The Bible says that homosexuals should be put to death, in Leviticus 20:13. Obviously, it’s not right for somebody to just, you know, shoot up the place, because that’s not going through the proper channels. But these people all should have been killed, anyway, but they should have been killed through the proper channels, as in they should have been executed by a righteous government that would have tried them, convicted them, and saw them executed. Because, in Leviticus 20:13, God’s perfect law, he put the death penalty on murder, and he also put the death penalty on homosexuality. That’s what the Bible says, plain and simple.

  • You can live in this country and never even hear the gospel at all. You can even attend church regularly and not hear it. I meet such people all the time. Trump just made it plain to the press that he’s never heard it. So don’t take a militant Muslim who just killed 50 of your brothers and sisters and try to tell me “the Christians made him do it.” Have more self-respect than that.

  • Sad that many do not recognize the difference between man made religion where one must earn a way to heaven versus Jesus followers who accept the free gift. Ye must be born again to see the Kingdom of God. He calls. One has a choice to respond or ignore God the Father. Jesus, when seeing the adulterous woman challenged each individual to throw the first stone IF he was without sin. They all left. Jesus told her to go and sin no more.

    Most ignore the call, preferring darkness, anger, and their sinful ways.

  • Projection. Projection. Projection.

    Perhaps you could demonstrate where I said things that were not true, and attempted to limit your participation in society.

  • I’m not stereotyping Christians. I am talking about a certain class of so called Christian. A good many Christians have moved well beyond the idea homosexuality is a sin based upon some badly translated passages of the bible. And a majority have moved well beyond the idea that the participation of gay people in society should be dependent upon enforcing your ideas of sin on people who don’t share them through the mechanism of secular law.

    This was indeed a hateful act of terrorism. But the lies, slanders, and reviling of gay people by the highly paid class of professional religious grifters that I’ve listed several times is not all that different, except for the level of physical violence. The political campaigns directed against us, whether bogus “religious freedom ” arguments, anti marriage initiatives, sodomy laws, and a whole host of actions just like them are also not that different.

    My judgment is quite clear. I am well aware of whom I am dealing with.

  • Idolatry is not a mere matter of little statues, Ivaro. Idolatry is a matter of SELF. It is, fundamentally, putting self before God. We owe no duty to our “selfhood.” We owe no service to “love” in the abstract. We owe service to God. If we have a duty to self it is to deny that self when obedience to God requires it (Matt.16:24).

    BTW, where is that example of early Jewish or Christian approval of same sex practice that would indicate that we have “misinterpreted” it?

  • And the road is narrow. You count all these as Christ followers because they self identify themselves as Christians when many have not been born again but simply practice religion. Even after one is born again, one is still a sinner but grows to be more like Christ. They are not perfect.

  • I don’t hate you, whatever you may think. Like a good Christian, I hate your sins.

    I don’t care what you believe. I care about what you do with those beliefs. Disadvantage get me in law in society is not an act of love.

    I have had plenty of dialogue over the 45 years I have been in this fight. Those I have dialogues with come in two varieties. Those whose faith leads them to make their lives better, and the lives of others better. And those who use their faith as a weapon against those they disapprove of, as a club to control other people who don’t share their faith.

    Which one are you?

  • PS: I don’t hate you. I disagree with you.

    As Christians of your ilk will remind me continually, disagreement isn’t hate.

  • Religion is man’s way to God. Jesus told Nicodemus that ye must be born again. It is a free gift from God. One cannot earn one’s way to heaven. Without Christ, the world would be without a country such as the US where laws are based on the Biblical code and hospitals, homeless shelters, and orphanages came from Christ followers. So much good from evil religious people.

  • You have it exactly. I count them as Christians because they say they are. I’m not playing the “no True Christian” game with you. They call themselves Christians, they are often pastors, they go to church like Christians, they raise money, support, votes, and political power from other Christians who think exactly the same way that they do.

    And they call the people who also call themselves Christians Fake Christians because they don’t agree with the kind of Christianity that they practice.

  • If you aever get around to letting me know where I said things that weren’t true, or hoe I have attempted to harm you through the law, please let me know.

    Calling me your pet names isn’t going to earn you any kisses.

  • It had to do with hate for gay people disguised as religious belief, and combined with our failure as a society to do anything about the easy availability of guns.

    They the are equal opportunity destructors does not take away from either group that they hate.

  • So the best you can come up with is, “at least we’re not as bad as the Muslims?”

    I’ve posted a list of just a small portion of the political/religious grifters who earn their livings attacking and demonizing gay people, demanding that we be forced back into the closet, disadvantaged in every legal way possible, our families, children and faith harmed.

    That their not killing us– any more– or imprisoning us– any more…

    Is hardly a defense of anti gay Christianity.

    There are still plenty who want to.

  • See Christine D.’s comments above. She seems to disagree with you as to who is a true Christian.

    I would suggest a cage match so you can fight it out.

    What’s fundamental to Christian teaching that prevents Christians from murdering the people they disapprove of– Jews, witches, gay people come readily to mind– isn’t fundamental to Christianity at all. It’s civil law. In our country, they are separate. In Muslim countries, except for Turkey, and even that is changing there, civil law and sharia law are the same.

  • I am a Christian, and I do not condone killing anyone for any reason other than protecting innocent people. I however do not see any value in taking a few scriptures out of context, and then condemning all of Christianity base on misconceptions and lack of an entire picture. I think if you look at all of the humanitarian work done in this world by Christian organizations it makes it hard to justify condemning all of Christianity and advocating laws that would deprive me of my right to voice my opinion just because I am a Christian. That is the height of hypocrisy. True Christians have shown great love to all people in all parts of the world.

  • ” I wish to serve and love, that is all. ”

    That’s one of the best things anyone can say.

  • ” …and the disgusting comments by the Lt Governor of Texas… ”

    Those comments were from a loveless fundamentalist mindset. And they wonder why their attitudes are not acceptable. Here’s why —

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

    Our conversation and attitudes should always be seasoned with grace and salt. To speak with grace means to say what is wholesome, fitting, kind, sensitive, purposeful, complementary, gentle, truthful, loving, and thoughtful.

    Hateful, mean-spirited and scornful public rhetoric, even cynically quoted scripture, by angry, immature, conservative, fundamentalist Christians, namely towards LGBTs, is constantly being ‘thrown out’ and ‘trampled on’ by all sorts of mature minded folks who simply know better, they know what common-sense and love-sense are.

    The moral of this story should be —
    Christianity without good quality works and deeds and with all kinds of loving attitudes included won’t amount to a hill of beans…….James 2:26

  • I won’t go into step by step. Your mind is made up. Father Majeski on All in the Family once dealt with Archie Bunker when he chose not to listen. So here we go.

    From “All in the Family: Edith’s Accident (#2.7)” (1971)

    Father Majeski:
    “Go from the presence of the foolish man when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.”

    Archie Bunker:
    What does that mean?

    Father Majeski:
    It means don’t waste your time arguing with an idiot!

    Proverbs 14:7

  • I don’t have a rulebook. I’m talking about their recruiting. If it weren’t for Israeli apartheid their recruiting would be a lot worse than it is.

  • Hail, Mecca! Hail, Nashville! Who stinketh the most? (Apologies to the writers of “1776” for this parody of Edward Rutledge’s “the Triangle Trade” song)

  • When Christ said he was sent to this place “to redeem all mankind” that was literal in my interpretation.

  • The centurion and his servant were a couple to anyone who’s not hopelessly naive. The eunuch was a flamboyant queen. Next.

  • Acts says nothing about the eunuch being a “flamboyant queen.” And even if he were, all the more reason why he needed the gospel — immediately.

    You haven’t told me yet whose same sex lover Jairus’ daughter was. Also you need to specify how the infants Herod had slaughtered in Bethlehem were “coupled.” And while you’re at it, how did both Jesus and David manage to become the same sex lovers of God the Father?

  • You gotta take the good along with the bad. There’s bad apples in every bunch. I agree religion’s done a lot of good but also a lot of bad. Where sex is concerned it’s more bad than good, Hinduism and paganism possibly excepted sometimes.

  • Then why are “we” mortally afraid of calling an act of radical Islamic terrorism what it is? And why are “we” waving away our citizens’ entirely justified concerns about the dangers surrounding illegal immigration, unsecured borders and ineffective vetting? Why are “we” worried about empathizing with and “understanding the perspective” of those who want to shoot, behead, burn etc. our citizens?

    This is the kind of dithering that is driving people to Trump. Good job, Einstein.

  • Ah,I get it,Kangaroo52…to you,Holy Writ is to be taken literally when YOU say so,or according to YOUR interpretation…got cha; thanks for clearing that up.Peace?.

  • it was not an assault weapon it was an AR -15 RIFLE . its not guns its the person holding the gun just as it is the driver of a car who purposely runs over people. there are no ban on vehicles, baseball bats, knives ,rocks nor are there bans on neck ties, ropes, matches used to take the lives of people.. oh and no ban on doctors who prescribe pills that hundreds of people die from taking them as prescribed by a doctor. IMO muslims should not be sold a Gun of any type because muslims are not US citizens nor can they become citizens because they cannot obey the laws of an non-muslim nation . muslims cannot take the oath to uphold a Constitution of an non-muslim nation their pagan religion the quran forbids they do so .

  • there are background checks and waiting periods . We have sensible gun laws .. muslims are not intelligent sensible people and those who can not buy guns steal them like they do vehicles and they are not banned.

  • its the far left who wants to put dirty old men in restrooms with little girls its the far left who want to take away their safety and its the far left who want to take away your Second Amendments rights to protect your self, your home and family

  • if there was no judging our jails would be empty ,people would be more lawless than they are now.
    Fact is we, Christians are commanded ( not suggest) to judge and judge rightly .
    We were all born in sin , the difference is Christians do not “Practice” sin after conversion, though we are not sinless, we do not practice sin and are to call right right wrong wrong and good good and evil evil . Christians are to have the mind of Christ ,that means to call a thing what it is be it good or evil .Judge a tree ( person ) by its fruit .God does not condone sin, excuse sin, promote sin and those who do are helping those in prison to it stay a prisoner to it by defending their acts.

  • All Scripture is God breathed and its is clear that homosexually is a great sin to use their bodies in a way God did not design them to be used . God made them male and female and their body parts made to lawfully be used to give pleasure to their spouse the husband and wife for marriage to is of God .
    And America was founded on the Bible ,America is not founded a secular nation ,America was founded a Christian nation . The US Constitution is sealed with these words ” In The Year Of Our Lord” America is not a nation of many nations having many gods, America is one nation under God . America’s 50 states preambles declare and proclaim God is God of their state. What does your states preamble say ?

  • I choose God over pagan practices and all Scripture written in the Bible is God breathed .
    If you love your cousins you would care where they go the moment they die, and you should care were you go the moment you die .
    Mormon teaching is false Yeshua is not a brother to satan God was not married , fact is Yeshua is God .
    There is but One God
    GOD THE FATHER
    GOD THE SON
    GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE THREE ARE ONE ..
    The Earth has but one Sun and it gives off Heat , Light and Radiation
    John 3:16 Says “Who so ever and that means you too and your cousins….
    There is God and there is satan ,God has Heaven waiting for you and satan has Hell waiting for you . I chose God and I pray you do too ,and your cousins .
    Why hate those who hate satan who hates you and your cousins .

  • Gay people will die and the second they do they will be in Hell ,God said it I believe it I’m not about to debate God ,or rewrite the Bible and call good evil and evil good .
    God Him self came through Christ Yeshua and paid your sin debt, as He paid mine and every one ever born or will be born , you only need to repent believe and receive it.
    I ask if you were to give me a Christmas gift and I left it lay beneath the tree year after year un-opened ,its un-received un-received I could not benefit by it .
    Yeshua left for you the gift of Salvation it lays beneath Calvary’s tree un-received .

  • what white Christian men take the life of another human being in cold blood , any that do are not true Christian . Killing in self defense or for family or any innocent human being is justified .
    Yeshua told the Disciples to sell their coat and buy a sword …they didn’t have guns back then to defend them selves when attacked.

  • Real Christian Pastors are not calling for their death ,they are praying for their life a new life that is eternal and praying that people will stop lying telling them they were born that way.
    All are born in sin , and all choose the sin they practice.

  • they didn’t fly the Flag at half staff when Christians were murdered by muslims, so maybe the governor hates Christians …

  • hating the bondage they are in is not hating the person .. loving Gods truth is not hate

  • In the majority of cases, but a pretty high percent of Americans are religious converts. My Dad and my Mother’s mother were. My Dad was previously a non-theist raised Baptist.

    Also there are cases of people not raised in any religion who become religious. (Tamsin Greig, Anna Haycraft, Will Herberg, Gabriel Marcel, William J. Murray though I grant he is a bit weird, Rosalind Picard, Sally Read, R. J. Stove, and likely others)

  • Much farther back in this skein I was accused of a lack of compassion because I attempted to make a rational analysis of an irrational act without tying it primarily to the question of religion. Take note, my first words were to this effect, “This is a horrific circumstance.” I, who am opposed to acts of violence in any cause, can grieve for the lost lives of these individuals quite sincerely, not in spite of, but because of my deeply held orthodox (read traditional) Christian beliefs.

  • It doesn’t sound pretentious at all, ivar03. It sounds like you’ve laid bare your heart in humility, grief, and generosity. And your heart is beautiful.

  • I’m sure you believe every word you said. In most every particular, you are outright mistaken, as in the Christian nation nonsense, you are absolutely entitled to believe what you like. If you attack my life, family, and participation in society because of those beliefs, expect a fight. The bulk of the nation does not agree with you.

    But it’s absolutely no surprise that your personal vision of God does.

  • People who say that we have sensible gun laws, when assault weapons can be purchased over the counter, are not sensible people.

    People who say 1.6 billion people they don’t know are not sensible people…
    Are not sensible people.

  • It’s all we can do. We will never reach those irretrievably poisoned by hate, fear, stupidity, imaginary superiority, or religious belief. But there are plenty of people who will read or hear what we have to say, and realize where their humanity is lacking.

    Those are the people I write for,

  • “. . . a pretty high percent of Americans are religious converts.”

    How high? Please provide a link to your data source.

  • Apparently, from your complete lack of concern for the victims and the easy access to weapons of mass destruction…

    All stupidity and callousness is also God breathed. Good luck with it.

  • this your opinion and your entitled to it. i am a sinner as well as they are, no sin usurps another sin as worse. this is your first mistake in doing the equating of it as the catholics like to do. this is the misnomer of making evaluations when god said sin He means all sins and not by pointing out which are worse. they are all equal. This is where man gets himself into trouble. This is why you put me down and say i have no real friends whom i can talk to. A gay man came to me over a year ago to talk about his issue with me. So why? because he was comfortable in coming to me about it. Obviously you have no one to relate to it but the gay community to give you pats on the back and say your okay. That’s not love! thats is doing a disservice to you or anyone who wants out of the lifestyle. Many want out of the lifestyle and many do not.

  • So, you are admitting that prayer does not work! If prayer really worked, why would anyone incur the expense of buying a gun and ammunition, plus the inconvenience of carrying it around all the time?

  • Nope, you don’t get to say Christians who act badly aren’t Christians but that Muslims who act badly still are. You don’t get to get rid of Christians who suck so you can say Christianity is the greatest thing ever unless you are willing to do the same for people of all religions AND are willing to call out fellow Christians.

    I’m talking about Christians who would leave their own children to die on the street because they’re LGBT unlike the parable of the good Samaritan where a heretic is better than a Pharisee. I’m talking about all the preachers. I’m talking about all the Christians who say that LGBT deserve to die or deserve everlasting torture in hellfire. I’m talking about all the Christians who throw tantrums when forced to make cakes for gay people and vote for politicians who pass laws to make LGBT miserable. We’re talking about a group of people who want to go back to the 50s where people could still be arrested for being LGBT because they value their interpretation of a book and sense of righteousness over the lives of people.

    You don’t have to actually KILL someone to make something more likely to happen.

  • Your unsolicited response comes across as the sort of fanatical rant that causes hate crimes and terror, not love and peace. There you go preaching against Mormons and gays in equal measure. All you do is assure me that no fruitful discussion can be had with such ravings. The Bible itself is your false God, based purely on the words of your rant.

    Furthermore, for you to go all biblical in a moment of real grief for people gunned down in cold blood just shows how inhumane your fanaticism causes you to be. Such evil as yours must be opposed, even as you try to veil it in biblical double-talk. Last of all, since you claim to be a biblical literalist, Paul said women are to keep silence and not preach to men. If you are going to rant some of his advice, take all of it, and go away. And therein your total hypocrisy is reveled.

  • Thank you for being so very articulate, thoughtful, and well-spoken. Your response is why thoughtful Americans need to be as proactive against the ranting of fundamentalist Christians as with other harsh anti-gay religionists.

  • Thank you for the compliment.

    It’s not just antigay fundamentalism, but anti human, anti peace, anti love, and anti freedom fundamentalism.

    It’s the belief that “you must believe as I believe, or I’ll hurt you.” That’s the problem.

  • And again you troll with the same drivel. You know your religion promotes hate, that is why you must keep denying it. Strive for mental health. Stop subscribing to Bronze Age ideas. They’re dead.

  • Delirium and misplaced hope. The story you tell is an interpolation. An add on. It was not original with your bible. (Your bible will tell you this in the footnotes.)

  • The original objection of the Jews was not homosexuality, but the sexual practices in the fertility cults. Christians misunderstood due to the passage of time. They are now acting in ignorance on a misinterpretation. Even Paul got his warnings from the OT. (scripture, as he called it)

  • Your stereotypical “good” Christian (i.e., one that has moved beyond the idea that homosexuality is a sin based on badly translated passages of the Bible) evidently has not read Romans chapter one. Here is a portion: “26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.”

    How would you read that? Is it not clear what these words say about same sex relationships? Those that are soft on sin via poor translation (i.e., your “good Christian”) are not doing anyone any favors. However, let’s be clear that ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Homosexuality is not any greater of a sin than that of pride, lusting, and murder. The greatest sin of all is the rejection of God. Most individuals just do not want to accept a God who makes demands. They prefer to run their own life sans God doing what they want to do without accountability.

  • Actually there are no quotes from God about gay people only other men. Jesus never said one thing about gays. Saying that gays were not born that way gives you the right to condemn them! Even though there is more and more evidence that they are. But I know you socalled “Christians” do not believe in science. Even though it was created by God.

  • Your information is incorrect. The club had an off-duty police officer working there in full uniform. Your good guy with a gun was not enough.

  • The only condemnation of gay people in the bible was added by men. Is there a ten commandment about being gay? No! Just men’s intolerance added to the bible for their own intolerance.

  • No. If there was one message it was that when the victims of mass shootings are gay, our politicians and law enforcement officials and news outlets and media sources do everything they possibly can to downplay that fact until it becomes laughably impossible to do so.

    If there was one message, it was that, despite what polls might show, this country is still full of people who view us as second-class, third-class, or worse, citizens. That having to say anything kind about gay people is like nettles in their mouths.

    That is why many of us feel like criminals in our own hometowns. We’ve always known that religion was a toxic influence encouraging bigotry. We didn’t need Orlando to tell us that; just to remind us how truly indifferent most hetero Americans still are to whether we live or die.

  • That is the stupidest logic I have ever read. Yes the radical moslems are doing evil things. But is that any excuse for the hatred sounded by the far right “Christians”/
    No it is not. And your comment about Democrats is one of the reasons our country is going down to ruin. Just because someone is Democratic or Republican does not make them evil. I fell sorry for you!!

  • I remember a phrase from an article that I read years ago, during the height of the Lebanese civil war. The Lebanese man said:

    “When everyone has guns, there is no reason to reason.”

  • In my heart I know that since the time of Jesus until today no matter how much good true Christians do in the world there will always be those who persecute them. That is what the Bible says, and that is what always happens. I am at peace with that because in my heart I believe good will overcome evil in the end.

  • How about a measure that says when someone reports a co-worker to the FBI for threatening to kill several people, he’s on the no-guns list.

  • “I think if you look at all of the humanitarian work done in this world by Christian organizations . . .”

    Let’s be honest. Throughout Christian history, a huge percentage of their “humanitarian work” was a marketing strategy for selling Christianity to people of other religions.

  • You cannot disseminate hate and cruel words one day, and then come praying and soothing the next. We never asked for your approval, so stop singing “The Whine Song” of the christian. We need you not.

  • Most of the commentary I’ve seen about the shooter in Orlando has been understandable, but nevertheless distressing–tho not for the reasons that might ionitially seem “obvious”.

    I think it’s important in these situations to *understand* matters before condemning anyone. We can’t prevent future mass murders unless we understand the people who commit them.

    In this case, the murderer seems to me to have been a very disturbed individual for many years. I just read somewhere that in *fifth grade* he threatened to shoot classmates!

    This is a very complex matter, and this comment should not be taken to in any way excuse Islam, or Christianity, for their attitudes towards gays. To me, Christianity and Islam are both pretty awful in their ignorant, hateful condemnation of lots of things, beginning with homosexuality. And I think it;s also clear that only a tiny minority of believers take the attitudes preached in religion to extremes. Nevertheless, it’s also clear, I think, that the haters in Islam, and in Christianity, get a lot of their cues and attitudes from their holy books–and, sadly, their leaders.

  • One of the things we need, to prevent further mass murders like this, is stronger gun laws.

    I can predict when that will happen: not until some family members of Repugnican congress members are gunned down.

  • The amount of personal sacrifice Christians make to serve others is a show of true compassion and caring for others. Many of these people have died or been murdered in their service. I guess in this age of cynicism and apathy that is hard to understand.

  • You are apparently unaware of the growing body of very solid evidence that says that homosexuality is inbred, and in no way a choice.

    So the question is, why would your all-powerful god create people that way?

    Maybe the idea of god is a myth? When will believers recognize that?

  • Thank you for mentioning that some feel that it is an interpolation, an opinion not held by all; otherwise, it would not be in the New Testament. I’m not sure about your point though? How does the story of the woman caught in adultery contradict the content of the New Testament, the Gospel?

  • Canada has already taken in more than 25,000 Syrian refugees, and plans to admit an additional 10,000.

    I don’t recall hearing about any incidents of mass violence in Canada.

    Can anyone here speak knowledgeably about Canadian gun ownership?

  • My point is the entire bible is fraudulent. The OT was not written during the time of it’s stories. The NT is 4 anonymously written gospels, possibly cribbed from Gospel of the Hebrews, and more than half the epistles are known forgeries.

  • The NRA is acting like a terrorist headquarters in making sure guns are available to anyone.

  • Florida Catholic Bishop Robert Lynch wrote this on his blog:

    Second, sadly it is religion, including our own, which targets, mostly verbally, and also often breeds contempt for gays, lesbians and transgender people. Attacks today on LGBT men and women often plant the seed of contempt, then hatred, which can ultimately lead to violence.

    His blog can be found here–

    http://bishopsblog.dosp.org/?p=6644

    and is worth reading, I think.

  • Most people do discount the part “Ye must be born again.” Not playing. It’s the most important idea to understand. By a personal knowing relationship with Christ, one is born again. It is not achieved by going to church. He personally saves and changes individuals.

  • I have thought that myself (Bible is fraudulent) but was stunned to learn that the Bible was written over thousands of years by many different authors without contradiction, all pointing to one thing: Jesus. The clincher for me: the many prophecies about the Messiah that were fulfilled. And I love the fact that 500 saw Christ after He was raised from the dead.

    You do have “your point” though. You are free to have your beliefs and not believe in God.

  • I do believe that many (or perhaps most) Christians ‘in the trenches’ doing the actual humanitarian work are doing it for admirable reasons . . . because huge numbers of Christians are very good people. But they may not realize that the prime goal of a church’s power structure may be to spread their religion.

  • You would have to likewise argue that the Jews also misunderstood their own scriptures. Their own commentaries from the early Christian era demonstrate that they understood them in precisely the same manner. Nothing to do with “cults.”

  • Religion only codifies existing societal views. Christianity has condemned homosexuality from the beginning but due to changes in our society only half now think it is wrong. I am sure some of my fellow atheists are homophobes. In communist countries hatred of gays is alive. In my opinion religion may just give some the excuse for their hatred and fears just as what’s in some people’s hearts moves them to ignore or even repudiate what is in their religion’s beliefs. Don’t hang this soley on religion. The religions may state that homosexuality is a sin and worthy of punishment but the hatred for the person (as opposed to the sin) comes entirely from a person’s heart.

  • I think it is a very bad mistake–I emphasize, VERY bad–to speak so soon and attribute this horrible violence to religion. I think it is very bad, because it diverts attention from the true causes.

    My intent here is not to excuse religion. But the news that I see emerging about the murderer is that he was a very troubled individual, and that his religious beliefs contributed only marginally to his murderous activities. The latest news is that his second wife may have know of his intentions.

  • If it’s civil law that prevents devout Christians from massacring gays, then why didn’t that civil law prevent the Islamist attacks that have taken place, both here and elsewhere?

  • No, the bible was not written over thousands of years. Not even 1 thousand. Look it up. Try Wikipedia for a quick overview, then dig more deeply. You will see how christian apologists and ministers have been less than truthful. They teach faith, not fact.

  • Of course Jews misunderstood them. The scrolls were passed down over generations, interrupted by several rebellions in which they were first forced to change their religion by the Romans, and then expelled from Palestine. (Roman) So they did change meaning over time, and especially during the prior oral stage. Please do not inform me of how accurate the apologists claim oral tradition to have been.

  • Well, thank you for your honesty. I believe you’re the first person around here to come right out and say the Jews didn’t know what their own laws were about.

    But in any case, that changes nothing for Christians. We know from 1st century writings how the Jews understood the Torah, and it was this understanding that Jesus taught from and endorsed and which Christians are therefore obligated to accept.

  • Jesus, had he actually existed, would have died around the year 33CE. Jews were forced by Rome to change their religion after the rebellion around 70CE. So christians could not have continued any teaching from Torah done by a Jesus. Rome would not have permitted that. You have been misled by believers in nonsense.

  • Wikipedia is a poor reference site as a Wiki can be altered by anyone who desires to alter the content. The Pentateuch was written circa 1400 B. C. Malachi, the last book of the OT was written circa 400 B.C. Revelation was written by John circa 95 A.D. The math is about 1500 years.

  • Jews are face palming for your calling their Torah the Pentateuch. That’s Greek. You know, the ones who misinterpreted so badly we got virgin from “young woman”, (Isaiah) and Red Sea from “Sea of Reeds.”

  • Wiki is fine for a 1st reference to pique your interest in the “reality” of what is in the bible, but then, as I said, you must dig more deeply

  • No prophecies came true. The stories of a Jesus were written using Isaiah and other scripture as a “blueprint” or put another way, Isaiah was used to provide the details with which to flesh out the stories of Jesus. That is why there was a parting of the sea and a birth from a virgin. Simple mistranslations when the Septuagint was written.

  • There is nothing in the definition of “Interpolation” denoting that not all people agree on it. But in this case, the Christian scholars do agree that it was added later. The apologists do not, but they are paid to toe the christian line. (Lie)

  • Your date for the Pentateuch is in disagreement with scholarship. The Pentateuch was probably written down during the captivity in Babylon in the 500’s BCE. Revelation (Apocalypse of John) was written by a John of Patmos, and definitely not the apostle John, though the church fathers thought that he was. Your date for that is in the proper range.

  • That is absurd. We have the scrolls from shortly before the birth of Christ. They are virtually identical to what we have today. Your argument was debunked over a generation ago.

    I don’t suppose it’s occurred to you that if the oral traditions and/or the scrolls have been corrupted, then there is no way to verify YOUR argument either?

  • “YOU DON’T HAVE TO ACTUALLY KILL SOMEONE TO MAKE SOMETHING MORE LIKELY TO HAPPEN.”

    Amen. This fact is absolutely CRUCIAL FOR OUR SOCIETY TO REALIZE.

  • Virtually? That seems a strange word for what is claimed to be the never changing word of god.

  • What scholars are you speaking of? Moses wrote the majority of the Pentateuch. He didn’t live in 500 B.C. He had plenty of time though to write it while the chosen people, the Israelites wandered in the wilderness.

  • I think you are dead wrong.

    Religion is clearly responsible for a good portion of the homohatred that has corrupted western society,vote church, and any semblance of morality for centuries.

    Religion certainly contributed to this vermin self hatred, as it has done to so many people.

    I’ll say this again in case you missed it.

    This young vermin was angry for the obvious reason. I am increasingly convinced the the worst, the most vicious, and the most virulent of those opposed to our right to live our lives as free men and women and equal participants in society, whether religious or not, are homo-hating homos who cannot bear the thought that we are allowed to do just that, when they have confined themselves to the prisons of their small minds, shriveled hearts, minuscule souls, and over-mastering fears that someone will find out about them. Maybe even the God of love that they pretend to worship.

  • THAT’S your response?

    For example: “Even though the two copies of Isaiah discovered in Qumran Cave 1 near the Dead Sea in 1947 were a thousand years earlier than the oldest dated manuscript previously known (A.D. 980), they proved to be word for word identical with our standard Hebrew Bible in more than 95 percent of the text. The five percent of variation consisted chiefly of obvious slips of the pen and variations in spelling.” — Dr. Gleason Archer, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction (Chicago, IL.: Moody Press, 1985).

    “It is a matter of wonder that through something like one thousand years the text underwent so little alteration. As I said in my first article on the scroll, ‘Herein lies its chief importance, supporting the fidelity of the Masoretic tradition.” — Dr. Millar Burrows, The Dead Sea Scrolls (New York: Viking Press, 1955).

  • I’m sure you mean well, but you speak from the position of heterosexual and Christian privilege, with a healthy doll of ignorance.

    “Because of this” makes the reference clear. This is about idolatry, not some stand alone sin. It’s called proof texting, and it’s not pretty. Your quotation assumes that people are not naturally gay. That’s simply untrue. I’m not heterosexual, I’ve never been heterosexual. My natural usage is exactly as I am.

    No it’s not a condemnation of same sexrelationships. It might possibly be a Conde,nation of heterosexuals having homosexual sex, but that isn’t what makes me homosexual. I’m not heterosexual, and never have been. All you are saying is that you see my fifteen years with my husband, or the relationships as of my many friends who have been through it all, better and worse, sickness andhealth, from anywhere from 20-50 years, as simply sex. That’s your myopia, your ignorance, your assumption of superiority,

    I thoroughly resent your comparing the quotidian sins of heterosexuals– your lusts, your adulteries, your fornications,your what-have-you, to my actual relationship with a real human being, or the decades my friends have spent in their lives together. It is beyond resentment when you so cheerfully compare my relationship to the taking of human life. It ones o good to say that God sees all sin as the same. It’s a lame excuse. And if that is how he sees things, he is obviously no better than his worshippers.

    But since you are assuming this godlike position, let me tell you something. You are not God. You don’t represent God, as much as it thrills you to think so. And unless I see a letter of patent from him, you don’t speak for God. And I sincerely doubt that he confides in the likes of you his relationship with any other soul on the planet. That is again, just your way of asserting yourself.

    Here’s something to consider. It’s a sin not to believe that Jesus died for your sins. 23 of the world thinks the Christian story is nonsense, yet I suspect you don’t write lengthy screeds to Jews, Mormons, Buddhists, Muslims, atheists, Hindus, Jains and Sikhs, all to explain to them how their religious beliefs are exactly the same as murder.

    That you feel free to do so with gay people makes it really clear what this is about.

    Look to yourself, Christian.

  • The author got this one right. There many who are religiously indoctrinated to hate gays. The author obviously doesn’t understand the bible very well. His biblical citations taken out of context result in their meaning being clouded. To be fair there is a minor percentage of Christians who interpret those passages the same way, which is very sad.

  • Being a straight guy I actually agree with you. Those of any religion who teach and practice hate, intolerance, bigotry, and anything but love and respect for one another should be abolished. Just remember no matter how self righteous they are they will get their just reward when they meet their maker. I realize that doesn’t change the here and now but these haters should be very fearful of the afterlife. I hope you like most of my gay friends can find it in yourself to love and respect even those who revile you. And that I would remind all my Christian friends is the hallmark of a true Christian.

  • There is also nothing nonsensical about allowing civilians access to assault weapons, otherwise how will we overthrow a tyrannical government should it become necessary. Remember we overthrew one government for our freedoms there is no reason we shouldn’t again if it becomes required.
    BTW none of the groups you mentioned can legally purchase a gun under current law. I will agree background checks are very inefficient and sloppy.

  • When you are there is when you need to protect yourself. When you are not there all they get is stuff not your life. Stuff doesn’t matter it can be replaced your life can’t.

  • When everyone has a gun that is the ultimate reason to reason. When one has a gun and the other doesn’t there is no reason to reason.

  • That was really lame. If everybody believed prayer worked, there would be no homicides. Unfortunately not everyone believes. BTW I am living proof prayer works; without it i would have been dead twice.

  • FYI nowhere in the Bible does it say homosexuality is a sin. To say that it does requires erroneous deductive logic.

  • So why would you choose to believe some of what Paul writes and not all of what he writes. I can flat out guarantee you don’t follow all of what Paul writes.

  • That proves nothing. The poor ass didn’t know the difference between ISIS, Al Queda, and Hamas

  • Uh…no,Kangaroo52.I take the Word of God literally where it is clear it should be taken so; it’s really not that hard when one trusts the Holy Spirit’s guidance. My”go-to”verse,if you will,is Proverbs 3:3-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart,and lean not to your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him,and He will direct your paths”. In all of my nearly 40 years as a Born-Again, Blood-bought, Spirit-Filled Child/Servant of Almighty God, I’ve NEVER been steered wrong by that passage. I certainly haven’t always lived in obedience to its tenets,usually to my chagrin,but even so…At any rate,Kangaroo52,I have no more to say on this issue. As the great Apostle Paul said in the Epistle to the Romans,chapter 14,vs 5: “Let everyone be fully convinced in their own mind”. So…Peace and love in Christ to you?!!

  • That is the point, cken. No man can follow perfectly any law. That is the point of the ten commandments. Man cannot perfectly keep the law. Every man lies and every man covets and every man commits adultery. However, there is a God that lets no sin into heaven. What does man do to get rid of that sin? He turns to the Savior who died on the cross. Man cannot deal with his sin problem.

    Every man needs the transforming relationship with Jesus. Every man needs to be born again.

  • “Because of this” refers to the points made in the previous verses of this first chapter. These are the points:

    1. they “suppress the truth by their wickedness”,
    2. they “knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him,”
    3. they “claimed to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.”
    THEREFORE, God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.

    ” 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.”

    At one point in my life, I was given over to the same desires. I was a slut and a whore and a drunkard. When I married I was 7 months pregnant and did not know who the father of the baby was. I chased sex, trying to be loved, find fulfillment, trying to control men as I had “daddy” issues. I was a fashionista, caring about things that were not lasting.

    That was 35 years ago. Praise God that He pulled me out of all of that. I was a mess.

    This reasoning of yours holds no water: “Your quotation assumes that people are not naturally gay. That’s simply untrue. I’m not heterosexual, I’ve never been heterosexual. My natural usage is exactly as I am.”

    I was “naturally” an out of marriage, sex loving, pro-creating drunkard. Quite easily though I could be a pedophile or a person who loves sex with animals or someone that gets my kicks from the chase and murder. Just because one is something “naturally”, does it make it right, acceptable, and moral?

    So because of all of those reasons….

    “26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.”

    28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.

    32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

    So yep—this is about everybody.

    I’ll speak to your other points in a future post. Thanks for taking the time to reason with me. It’s quite refreshing instead of just hurling insults.

  • They don’t much like me posting here, but I did post a link to “Pew Research.” They have that post as “pending” which may well mean “forget it kid.”

    (I’ve been to liberal sites, not uncommonly even, but this must be an uber-Left site as I’m not sure I’ve gotten this much scrutiny before anywhere.)

  • You are again making the same assumptions and mistakes. If you were a slut and a whore and a drunk, that had nothing to do with the fact that you were heterosexual. YOU WERE HETEROSEXUAL WHEN YOU WERE A SLUT AND A DRUNK, YOU ARE HETEROSEXUAL NOW, Being gay isn’t a behavior– it’s an orientation, just like being a heterosexual. I’m not a mess, none of my friends are messes. We live happy, fulfilling, productive lives as gay people,living AUTHENTICALLY, AS WE ARE MADE. if you cannot and will not understand that, then there is no point trying to reason with you.

    You admit the context of Romans is about idolatry, and then Still try to make it about homosexuality. you admit that God turned those natural heterosexuals into homosexuals as punishment for idolatry– and we gay people know what trying to live a lie is like– and you still want to pretend that there are no natural homosexuals.

    Let’s be clear. It’s not about “everybody”. It’d about you and your refusal to believe anything about the reality of our lives, preferring to equate my fifteen years with my husband to your failures to not be a slut or a drunk, it is insulting beyond belief when, from your position of wholly imaginary moral superiority, you equate a life that is productive, peaceful, Happy, and filled with family. friends, and success, with your rather quotidian sluttiness and inability to live a decent life.

    And if you are Going to preach Romans, than preach the rest of it.romans 2:1 seems quite apropos.. What you are doing is nothing but reviling and slandering innocent people because it took YOU years to Ive a decent life.

  • Love people who wish me harm? Do you love and respect ISIS? I’m willing to let the people who wish me them live their lives, unless they commit a crime. I won’t wish them harm, despite the harm they wish me, but if the karma of the harm they wish on me and mine harms them, I’m not going to lose the slightest bit of sleep over it.

    Respect those people? If you want respect, then be respectable. If you want your beliefs to be respected, than have respectable beliefs. Respect pat Robertson, for example, for suggesting that gay people and Islamic extremists should just kill each other, while Christians sit on the sidelines and cheer them on, as that sick old fossil said yesterday? DO you find that worthy of respect? Do you find his assumption that we gay people are anything like those evil people, or anything like him for suggesting it, respectable? Please.

    Love and respect must be earned. This “I love everyone because I’m a Christian (of a sort)” isn’t love at all. At best, it’s a lack of discernment. At worst, it’s simply narcissism,

  • Your comments in your last paragraph contradict your earlier comments to me about religion.

  • Who is making assumptions? I was bisexual. You just cannot seem to wrap your brain around this. Sexual activity is a behavior, not an orientation. It is an action not a question of ontology.

    Let’s not sidestep this question. Please try to answer conscientiously.

    I was “naturally” an out of marriage, sex loving, pro-creating drunkard (who had bisexual tendencies). Quite easily though I could be a pedophile or a person who loves sex with animals or someone that gets my kicks from the chase and murder.

    Just because one is something “naturally”, does it make it right, acceptable, and moral?

  • So you were bisexual. Did you choose to be bisexual? I doubt it. And in any case, So what? Many people are not.

    No, you chose to be a slut and a drunkard. you also choose to denigrate gay people. You also choose to be a Christian.

    You are right. Orientation is not the same as behavior. But that doesn’t mean person can “choose” to be something one is not.

    As for heterosexuals, being a sexually active gay man is how I find love, romance, and fulfillment with my husband, same as any heterosexual. It is right for me, it is acceptable for m, it is moral for me. It harms no one else, and fulfills us s human beings,

    But if you want to talk about morality, perhaps you can talk about the morality of what has been done to gay people for 2000 years, and is advocated by so many so called christians today, all for the crime of being different: jails. Prisons, murders, beatings, rapes, destroyed families and careers.

    Real harm directed at real people for an imaginary crime.

    Your type of Christianity is responsible for a great deal of harm. My sexuality harms no one.

  • What is your reference source Found One? There has been a lot of so called “scholars” whose sole purpose is to discredit Christianity. Two “scholars” were actually Jewish and Muslim. Now why would they want to discredit Christianity?

    Do tell — what scholars believe that the first five books of the Bible were written in 500 B.C.?

  • Let’s not sidestep this question. Please try to answer conscientiously.

    I was “naturally” an out of marriage, sex loving, pro-creating drunkard (who had bisexual tendencies). Quite easily though I could be a pedophile or a person who loves sex with animals or someone that gets my kicks from the chase and murder.

    Just because one is something “naturally”, does it make it right, acceptable, and moral?

  • No. Moses is a character. Archaeology has shown that no mass egress out of Egypt could have occurred. Read about the burial of Moses in your bible, and see if it makes sense. Who recorded this if no one knows where it happened? Believers say a narrator stepped in, but there is no introduction. Search “Biblical Criticism” for the scholars, both christian and secular. Again, Wiki is a good beginning.

  • I appreciate your Christian cliches you used to deflect not answering my question. I guess you are indicating we all break the scriptural laws but only gays should be held accountable for it. What abut those gays who are born again Christians?

  • Thank you. I read it. But I could not find in the article the dating. I did find out that —
    “In the 18th century Jean Astruc (1684–1766), a French physician, set out to refute these critics. Borrowing methods of textual criticism already in use to investigate Greek and Roman texts, he discovered what he believed were two distinct documents within Genesis. These, he felt, were the original scrolls written by Moses”

    When did Moses live?
    From chabad.org

    Moses (1393-1273 BCE)

    Maimonides calls him “the most perfect human being”, and the sages of the Talmud said that “the Divine Presence spoke from his throat.” Yet the Torah also attests that the man who took the Children of Israel out of Egypt and received the Torah from G‑d was “the most humble man on the face of the earth.”

    Moses was born in Egypt on the 7th of Adar of the year 2368 from creation (1393 BCE), at a time when the Israelites were slaves to the rulers of the land and subject to many harsh decrees. He was the third born of Jocheved and Amram’s three children — his brother Aaron was his senior by three years, and his sister Miriam by six.

  • I love and respect all people as humans even if I don’t agree with their philosophy or approve of their actions. I don’t have to associate with some of these people or even like them much. They are still part of the human race and we are all connected.

  • Specifically, what did I not answer? I acknowledge that all are sinners, including myself, and in need of a savior. All will be held accountable and give an account of their life before the Judge. All people who are born again are convicted of their sin. Without conviction by the Holy Spirit, their cannot be true repentance.

    Repentance is divided into two acts.

    “Two requisites of repentance included in sub are “to turn from evil, and to turn to the good.” Most critical theologically is the idea of returning to God, or turning away from evil. If one turns away from God, apostasy is indicated. Three times Ezekiel included God’s call to the people of Israel: “Repent! Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices!” ( 14:6 ); “Repent! Turn away from all your offenses” ( 18:30 ); “Turn! Turn from your evil ways” ( 33:11 ).”

    Being born again has spiritual fruit. It may be not seen on the outside as the person’s heart changes as they recognize their sinful ways. Upon being convicted, the external changes take hold, some slower than others.

  • “Are you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today?” asked Jimenez. “Um no. I think that’s great. I think that helps society. I think Orlando, Florida, is a little safer tonight. The tragedy is that more of them didn’t die. The tragedy is I’m kind of upset he didn’t finish the job – because these people are predators. They are abusers.”

    Jimenez went on to criticize the government, saying he wished homosexuals would be put in front of a firing squad.

    “I wish the government would round them all up, put them up against a firing wall, put the firing squad in front of them and blow their brains out,” Jimenez said.

    http://www.abc10.com/news/local/sacramento/sacramento-baptist-pastor-praises-orlando-massacre/243211965

  • I don’t disagree that religion–all brands–has been responsible for a good deal of gay hatred, over the years and throughout the world. But religion is not the sole source, and clearly not all believers hate gays.

    More to the point, we need an accurate understanding of the behavior and “thinking” of these mass murderers. The latest stuff I’ve read says that this individual was motivated primarily *not* by hatred of gays, but by his own screwed-up-edness, and that he directed it against gays. But similarly screwed up individuals have engaged in violence against blacks and others who were not gay.

    I’m a lifelong heathen (agnostic). To me, religion is nonsense, a fantasy. But that does not mean that all believers are bad, or that all religion is bad. It’s indisputable that believers pick and choose what they believe, and that in fact some good does result from religion.

  • I would never say that all believers are bad. Not have I EVER said that all faith is antigay. We were married by a Chrsitian minister who is a friend, despite that we are both atheists.

    I have no issue with religion myself, other than yours: I think it is silly and defies fact, logic, and experience. My issue is with dominionism, people who use their fifth as a weapon against others, and people who cannot live in piece with their neighbors.

  • Sorry for the slow reply, I’ve been off the grid for a few days.

    If you want some experience with Islam, try living as an un-closeted 59year-old lesbian in any Muslim majority country.

    It makes absolutely no sense that an atheist pointing out that the homophobic nature of mainstream Islam has somehow escaped your notice cements your negative views of Christians.

  • Sorry for the slow reply, I’ve been off the grid for a few days.

    That’s an evasive answer which I’ll interpret as “no,
    I don’t believe that an omnipotent invisible magic sky spirit suspended the laws of probability to make Islam and Christianity suck in practice exactly equally, and mainstream Christian denominations don’t call for the execution of gays, lesbians, blasphemers, apostates and adulterers,”
    until and unless you clarify.

  • Sorry for the slow reply, I’ve been off the grid for a few days.

    Who the heΙΙ is this “we? who you imagine that I came up with, and why don’t you or can’t you answer the questions which I asked?

    Do you also imagine I’m defending Christians who are anti-gay?

  • I don’t know you from Adam, and had no way to know from the comment to which I responded that you are an atheist.

    So let me fix that:

    “Calling me willfully blind may have sounded clever to you, but you have effectively removed any ability to actually converse with each other.”

    African Christians are doing the same thing to LGBT people that Muslims are, encouraged by American “christian” ministers like Scott Lively.

    It makes no sense that an atheist dumps on an agnostic lesbian for pointing out christianity does not have clean hands in this regard.

  • “I don’t believe in spirits,” including omnipotent invisible magic sky spirits (i.e., gods) was a clue to my atheism.

    Knowing whether Islam and Christianity suck equally in theory requires some good knowledge of both ideologies (I’m only a student of Islam myself), but knowing whether they suck exactly equally in practice (and I mean currently) only requires paying attention to the news. Sorry if you feel dumped on.

    I don’t claim Christianity has “clean hands in this regard.” I assert that Islam currently sucks worse in practice if one uses objective, standard units of measure like body counts. Who is killing more people in the name of their religion? Devout Muslims are running total body counts in the thousands every month in their various jihads around the globe, devout Christians, not so much.

    The gay bashing of some African Christians isn’t representative of modern, mainstream Christian doctrines, whereas the legality of executing gays and the illegality of homosexuality in most Muslim countries are direct reflections of all current, mainstream schools of islamic jurisprudence.

  • ” Google: Pastor Steven Anderson Orlando ”

    I did. Stunning hatred observed. Hard to understand unless he is merely pandering to the people who support him. After all, that’s where his money comes from.

    The Christian fundamentalist world needs to be rejuvenated with a firm understanding of —

    The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love….Galatians 5:6

  • There have been hundreds even thousands of intelligent, well-informed scholars over the centuries that (a) have all concurred on the authenticity of the Gospels and (b) would have debunked the New Testament if they could, but haven’t. Many seeking to debunk it have had to admit its authenticity, especially many scientists.

  • Always a difficult question kimcheeman22. That’ll be one of my first questions I ask God when I die! Babies born with chromosomes different from the norm, be it Down’s Syndrome, the wide
    differences on the Autistic spectrum, other mental aberrations that falls outside the most typical combinations of chromosomes, including the sex chromosomes. These all have to be ‘studied’. I’m fully aware of the thinking on sex and gender by many
    scientists today, but even these have to be studied and ways found to help them integrate into society and live comfortable lives. So too with homosexuals, lesbians and all others that consider themselves non-heterosexual and whose combination of chromosomes are different from the average person. I would also disagree with you that “homosexuality is inbred, and in no way a choice”. Many have turned away of their own accord from homosexuality. Many have been led
    into homosexuality for many reasons. One reason I believe is society’s acceptance of promiscuity and the increasing number of single mothers. After babies are born, many relationships are easily broken due to incompatibility (and yes very often due to the incapability of men!), the lack of marriage or the ease
    of divorce. Often, these heterosexual men feel redundant or depressed when dealing with relationships with women (as well as the involvement in their own family unit) and therefore seek solace and love in relationships with other men. But this is a separate debate in itself.

  • “Love”
    “If you want respect, then be respectable. If you want your beliefs to be respected, than have respectable beliefs.”
    “vomiting from their dark hearts”
    “This is the result of the toxic religion that falls so easily from the lips of religionists.”
    “every single anti gay church, temple, and mosque would be flattened, everyvicious, vile, lying politician who uses religion as his excuse would be branded with the single phrase ‘traitor to the God Who is love’”.

    Practise what you preach about ‘love’, Ben in Oakland. Reading all your replies in these threads you come across as a man with anger as well as passion, with similar intolerance, vitriolic rhetoric and hatred of which you accuse Christians and other religions. You also seem to berate ALL Christians and other religions, instead of the FEW fundamentalists who preach hate, especially those who act on it in a violent way. You’ll not find many, if any, Christians acting in hate but only in love, so please don’t tar all religious folk with the same brush in your debates.

    I’d like to correct one or two of your assertions:
    1. “This is the result of the toxic religion that falls so easily from the lips of religionists.”
    It has since been considered by the authorities that this was more likely a terrorist attack against all westerners and non-Muslims. The attacker could easily have come upon a church full of Christians, as has indeed happened many times. Or he could have counted the LGBT community as just one of his targets. Yes, I agree, due to his religious beliefs. But you must understand that these were
    fundamentalist Muslims. I repeat, you’ll not find many, if any, Christians acting in hate but only in love. I’ll explain this reasoning below:

    2.“You CANNOT love me and hate my sin. Because it is not a sin, despite what your holy book allegedly says.”

    First I ask you to enter the debate leaving religion to one side, which, I agree, does get in the way sometimes.

    The discouragement of homosexuality is not directly the result of the advent of Christianity. Forget about Christianity or the Bible for a moment. All through history people would indeed have developed similar “convincing reasons” against homosexuality. The
    rationale for not encouraging homosexuality goes way back before Christianity, even since before the dawn of recorded history, when, as the LGBT lobby always points out, homosexuality was rife. In those times tribes and communities would have disagreed with anything its members did that was considered against the
    best interests of its group. Such people would be punished or ostracised, e.g. liars, adulterers, thieves, murderers, even lepers, to name but a few. They would have felt the same about homosexuality. The medical ‘practitioners’ of the time, even without the backing then of today’s science, would have warned against the homosexual act because they would have seen with their own eyes how unhealthy a lifestyle it was. They would have seen, heard in discussion and
    even experienced how it created adverse repercussions (I won’t list them as you might be having breakfast at the moment!), not just for the individual, but for those in the community with which the homosexual had sexual relations.

    [ see
    http://www.equip.org/articles/is-homosexuality-a-healthy-lifestyle/
    http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/same-sex-behavior-is-hazardous-is-harmful-and-is-dangerous-scottish-catholic/
    http://famguardian.org/Subjects/SexualImmorality/Homosexuality/HowSexBehImpactsPublicHealth.htm
    ‘Same-sex marriage will damage family and society by James Bowen’
    News Weekly, September 17, 2011http://www.newsweekly.com.au/article.php?id=4923
    ‘Medical Downside of Homosexual Behaviour’
    http://www.zenit.org/article-8199?l=english

    The truth is now considered “hate speech” and anyone who disagrees is “homophobic”. In fact, much of the health industry now promotes homosexuality.
    Dr. Joseph Nicolosi (Dr. Nicolsi
    is a clinical psychologist and the founder of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH)) claimed “most medical groups have embraced the homosexual agenda and are advocating that lifestyle despite all the scientific studies and medical evidence that demonstrate medical and psychological risks. Homosexual activism and political correctness are clearly trumping science.”
    He promotes “conversion therapy”, a rehabilitation program that transforms homosexuals into heterosexuals. Dr. Nicolsi claims homosexuality can be treated with psychology.

    But why not let people love whoever they want? Why not be “accepting” and “compassionate”?

    It’s not “accepting” or “compassionate”
    to encourage unhealthy, destructive behaviour.

    In his book “The God of Sex”, Dr. Peter R. Jones wrote: “Gay sex is dangerous. Physical injuries of the intestines and the rectum come not from extremist behavior but from the actual regular practice associated with gay sex, for which the body was not designed –
    rimming, fisting, anal intercourse, barebacking, plus “golden showers,” and direct contact with fecal matter”.
    The medical industry not only ignores these facts but actually tries to justify homosexuality. Most recently, UCLA conducted a “Sexual Identity Study” and claimed homosexuality naturally exists in mice. Dr. Dean Byrd criticized their findings: “There is no animal model that
    accurately reflects human sexuality. Pigs don’t date, ducks don’t go to church, and mice don’t fall in love. Human love is more than an attraction, it’s a conscious decision of self giving sacrifice for others. Sex is meant to be the physical expression of the spiritual love between a man and a woman. Homosexual relationships are flawed because they lack the gender balance of heterosexuality.

    The negative consequences of homosexuality have also been measured by science.
    Medical & Sociological studies show:
    They have higher rates of STD’s (including HIV/AIDS)
    They typically don’t have faithful, monogamous relationships
    They are more likely to be abused by their partner
    They are physically unable to conceive children (obviously)
    If they do adopt, their child grows up without a mother or father.]

    Getting back to my rationale for not encouraging homosexuality:

    Over the years, backed up by the medical practitioners, the rules or laws developed through basic experience and common sense would have been picked up and implemented in the rules/laws made by the religious communities that developed, not least Christianity. In biblical times the religious communities called such offences ‘sin’. The Jews not only considered homosexuality to be a sin (i.e. against the interests and well being of the individual and those with
    whom they associate), but also considered the homosexual an outcast, like lepers. When Jesus was born He taught us all to love homosexuals, but not homosexuality, just as He taught us to love prostitutes but not prostitution. “Go and sin no more” He told one prostitute. Unfortunately some governments (yes, even some Christian ones) retained the harsher view of the homosexual. It
    became a criminal offence and homosexuals became persecuted. It took a long, long while for the teaching of Jesus to be really understood as one of loving people who disobeyed society’s rules, whilst discouraging their actions.

    It’s good that today’s Society and governments have developed a more loving, liberal approach to many minority groups, including the LGBT group. However, instead of showing concern and warning against homosexuality itself, their stance on it with its decriminalisation some years ago and greater encouragement with the more recent same-sex marriage act, has come about as a
    result of yielding to pressure groups, the desire to look good on the world stage and not listening to those with the skills, knowledge and experience. They dismissed not only the warnings of adverse repercussions experienced by other countries that had gone down this road, the warnings from many of our own MPs and 600000 petitioners, but also the fact that medical science today still advises against this unhealthy act.

    So “codes of conduct formulated centuries ago” are indeed still relevant today, in spite of advances in medical science and medicine. Even those taught by and in the time of Jesus! – those who tried to follow his ‘codes of conduct’ became known as Christians! Nobody special, just ordinary folk like you or me, who wanted to follow a ‘good example’, as I’m sure you do. Codes of conduct don’t
    basically change. Just because science can now abort babies easily and successfully, it doesn’t mean to say they should automatically be aborted at the selfish wish of the mother, or that promiscuity should be encouraged because the mother can easily get rid of the baby. Nor should we necessarily as a matter of course always have to “review moral codes in light of principles and developments in society and human knowledge”. We have to weigh up the pros and cons, using our common sense and wisdom, developed from the skills, knowledge and experiences of life to determine the best course of action for the person involved and the community at large. Sadly, people with such skills and life experiences are all too often shouted down, without discussion, by minority selfish groups, who think only of themselves, or ignored by liberal governments and institutions who are hell bent on pandering to these minority groups in order to look good on the world stage of political correctness.

    Many of us in Society today (whether religious or not) are showing real love for homosexuals by warning them of the dangers to themselves and society of practising the homosexual act. We love homosexuals, but disagree with the act. In comparison, perhaps,
    society’s attitude to smoking can now be considered an act of love. We all love the smoker, but it’s the act of smoking with which society disagrees (and has now more or less been ‘outlawed’), due to its unhealthy effects on both thesmokers and those around them.

  • You can quote Nicolosi and tell me I am full of hate for Christians. Nicolosi is a charlatan, a fraud, and virulently Antigay. As are you.

    There is nothing here that I’m going to be bothered to answer. It’s the same old Antigay nonsense, repeated and related and repeated.

  • I’ve been listening to this nonsense for the past 45 years. None of it is new, but is the same garbage trotted out by Antigay religious people for the past 45 years. Very little of it is true, or applies to all or even most gay people. The very fact that you believe my sexuality is a danger to society makes it sufficiently obvious where you are coming from– well, to anyone with a brain and who doesn’t think like you do.

    The only things that are completely true in your entire screed are

    1) you believe them.
    2) you believe you are acting in love,*
    3) and nothing I could ever do or say will convince you otherwise.

    So, please have a nice evening. You might want to look up Corinthians where Paul talks about slandering and reviling. It’s context is a hoot.

    *but it’s a very peculiar concept of love. In fact, it is so peculiar I find it complete indistinguishable from hate,

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