Beliefs Culture David Gushee: Christians, Conflict and Change Doctrine & Practice Ethics Faith

On LGBT equality, middle ground is disappearing

Activists stand under an umbrella in the colors of the LGBT pride flag as they take part in a protest against Westboro Baptist Church members demonstrating nearby in downtown during the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 26, 2016. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Adrees Latif *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-GUSHEE-OPED, originally transmitted on August 23, 2016.

(RNS) Middle ground is disappearing on the question of whether LGBT persons should be treated as full equals, without any discrimination in society — and on the related question of whether religious institutions should be allowed to continue discriminating due to their doctrinal beliefs.

It turns out that you are either for full and unequivocal social and legal equality for LGBT people, or you are against it, and your answer will at some point be revealed. This is true both for individuals and for institutions.

Neutrality is not an option. Neither is polite half-acceptance. Nor is avoiding the subject. Hide as you might, the issue will come and find you.

This is a substantial change. The landscape is dramatically different even from when I began working on my book on this subject in the summer of 2014.

Legal changes are certainly playing a role. The 2015 Supreme Court decision mandating recognition of gay marriage in all 50 states was obviously important.

But most visible institutions of American life had abandoned discrimination against LGBT people before that. Today, these same groups are increasingly intolerant of any remaining discrimination, or even any effort to stay in a neutral middle ground. As with the fight against racial discrimination in the 1960s and 1970s, sexual-orientation and gender-identity discrimination is rapidly being rejected by society.

Institutions where full LGBT equality is mandatory now include any entity associated with the federal government, including the military and the civil service.

And the vast majority of the education sector, its schools, trade groups, accreditors and staff, both because of the values of most educators and because of federal regulations.

And most clinical, medical and helping professions, associations and leaders.

And most titans of corporate America.

And most of the media and entertainment business, including its most visible celebrities.

And most of the nonprofit and civil society sector, including former longtime holdouts like the Boy Scouts.

And most of the sports world, including its famous athletes.

And many state and local governments and their leaders.

And the vast majority of America’s secularists; minorities in many other American religious communities; and majorities in some of these religious communities.

Over against this sweeping trend in favor of full LGBT equality and nondiscrimination stand America’s most conservative religious communities and their leaders, together with localities and states most affected by such conservative religiosity, and a weakening but still powerful contingent of activists, lobbyists and Republican Party stalwarts.

I have been a participant in the effort to encourage Protestant religious conservatives, generally known as fundamentalists and evangelicals, to reconsider their position voluntarily. The same conversation is happening in almost every U.S. religious community.

The most receptive are those who have personal skin in the game; that is, LGBT people raised in conservative religious families and churches, and the friends and family members and leaders who love them.

Experiencing the suffering oneself — or a loved one’s or a parishioner’s — is the major path into theological reconsideration. Many have found their way to a new view along this path. But many remain closed.

Indeed, as of now, the majority of conservative religious institutions, including congregations, denominations, publishers, parachurch organizations and colleges, are responding to today’s sweeping social changes by digging in their heels — even against profound and pained internal opposition from their own dissenters.

These institutions and their leaders are interpreting pressure to reconsider as pressure to succumb to error, or even heresy.

They are interpreting social changes toward nondiscrimination as mere embrace of sexual libertinism.

They are attempting to tighten doctrinal statements in order to tamp down dissent or drive out dissenters.

They are organizing legal defense efforts under the guise of religious liberty, and interpreting their plight as religious persecution.

They are confident that they have the moral high ground, and from their remaining, shrinking spaces of power they still try to punish those who stray from orthodoxy as they understand it.

Surely the events of this political year offer this contingent no comfort.

GOP primary voters had at least a half-dozen conservative religious candidates to choose from, but instead picked Donald Trump.

Marking their continued influence, the GOP platform retained all the old anti-gay boilerplate. But openly gay speaker Peter Thiel received a warm embrace, and Trump himself spoke in defense of LGBT people.

On the Democratic side, not only is LGBT equality now doctrine, sympathy for religious liberty exceptions is drying up quickly. If Hillary Clinton is elected president, making for 12 to 16 straight years of Democratic control of the White House, it is quite possible that by Supreme Court ruling and federal regulation any kind of discrimination against gay people will have the same legal rights and social acceptance as any kind of racial discrimination. Which is, none.

Openly discriminatory religious schools and parachurch organizations will feel the pinch first. Any entity that requires government accreditation or touches government dollars will be in the immediate line of fire. Some organizations will face the choice either to abandon discriminatory policies or risk potential closure. Others will simply face increasing social marginalization.

A vast host of neutralist, avoidist or de facto discriminatory institutions and individuals will also find that they can no longer finesse the LGBT issue. Space for neutrality or “mild” discrimination will close up as well.

Sometimes society changes and it marks decadence. Other times society changes and it marks progress. Those who believe LGBT equality marks decadence are being left behind.

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David Gushee

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  • The hard core Bible thumpers are not allowed reason, logic, common sense or compassion. Their Bible had told them how to feel and what to believe and many are sticking to it.

  • Here’s an article you’ll never find on this website. “The Vatican released a transcript of Pope Francis’ remarks to Polish bishops. His remarks caused a stir because he once again denounced what he called ‘ideological colonization’ and ‘gender theory.’ In Catholic circles, the term ‘gender theory’ refers to the claim that ‘sex’ is what a person is biologically, while ‘gender’ is what the person believes himself or herself to be. Gender theory thus insists that people should be able to identify as male, female, in-between, neither, or both. Recent developments in Colombia, Mexico and Spain suggest that the pontiff’s campaign against gender theory, or gender ideology, may be emboldening Catholic bishops in various parts of the world to speak out themselves.” (cruxnow.com)

  • I have to disagree. The bible doesn’t tell them what to feel. How one reads the bible is wholly dependent upon the kind of person one is, a bigot will find plenty to justify his bigotry. A kind and compassionate person will find plenty to justify kindness and compassion.

    All the bible does is provide an excuse to disguise an ancient, Vicious, and durable prejudice as the Word o’ God.

  • The Church will never accept sin just because its [CURRENT YEAR]. You and your ilk will never win.

  • The premise of this article is that one is stupid and on the wrong side of history if they have an opinion different than yours. As church historian D Fortson has noted, the Church has never, at any time, in any place, affirmed homosexual practice. The view appeared for the first time in our century. Many Christians as a matter of conscience will hold to a minority position here (and will not affirm adultery or fornication either.) They will do so in spite of name-calling and persecution. We will see how tolerant the tolerant really are. The pressure on scores of religious colleges – Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish – to change their convictions for fear of lawsuits has already begun.

  • Actually, some churches and some Christians DO accept the sin, the national evil, of gay marriage. They’ve abandoned the Bible’s clear and unmistakable teachings on that important issue — and by extension, several other key issues too. Today’s situation is a Hadean mess.

    Then you have some churches and Christians who don’t accept the gay marriage mess but are too busy, comfortable (or disunited), to make a difference in seminaries, universities, the media, and most of all with ordinary people. People can’t find anyplace to get deep-down healed anymore.

    That’s why American Christianity is in an unprecedented tragic position today. This nation — and its Christians — are in a rapidly dwindling time of grace. The calm before the storm. But one thing is for sure: there will NEVER be any middle ground regarding the evil of gay marriage.

  • America was founded in part on being INtolerant of discrimination.

    A reduction in the power of Christianists is not persecution. It’s a reduction in power. Christianity is by far the dominant religion of the USA.

  • Another, “you are intolerant for not accepting my intolerance” post.

    I have yet to see someone supporting discriminatory and prejudicial behavior who has been on “the right side of history”.

    Name calling and persecution is what the various churches have been doing for centuries. Opposing such things is not a sign of intolerance, bullying, or persecution. The only reason why you hold a minority position for extolling such prejudice is because the churches lack the coercive force on society they used to have. They have lost the privilege to bully society or have their views given force of law that they used to have. That is simply progress.

    It speaks badly of your religious beliefs to be so beholden to prejudices that it practically defines your faith. The more religious types feel the need to be discriminatory, the further from the mainstream acceptance they will be.

  • Biblical kindness and compassion, openly resists gay marriage and instead offers healing and deliverance in Christ.

  • “The premise of this article is that one is stupid and on the wrong side of history if they have an opinion different than yours.” Nope. It’s not that an opinion is different, it’s that the opinions supported by lies, fearmongering, demonizing and pretending that it is all about sincere religious belief.

    “As church historian D Fortson has noted, the Church has never, at any time, in any place, affirmed homosexual practice.” That changed about 50 years ago. Apparently, Fortson was asleep at the time, and has been since. Until about 100 years ago, the church never affirmed the quality of women. The church became fine with divorce about 70 years ago, because opposing it would actually inconvenience heterosexuals.

    “The view appeared for the first time in our century. Many Christians as a matter of conscience will hold to a minority position here (and will not affirm adultery or fornication either.)” but they are fine with divorce. No political campaigns on the topics that affect heterosexuals and the majority. Why you’d almost think it isn’t about what the bible says AT ALL!

    “They will do so in spite of name-calling and persecution.” Poor Christians. So persecuted because they can’t get away with what they used to get away with. and yet Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for my name’s sake.” It sounds like that would be inconvenient,.In my lifetime, Christians were complaining that people were calling them racial bigots because they supported jim Crow and miscegenation laws. But its not really persecution; you suffer NOTHING except your ability to harm our lives. As for name calling? In these very pages, in the past month, I have been called disgusting, anti-god, perverted, child molesting, a pervert, god hating, sick, unhealthy, diseased, dangerous. I have been accused of trying to destroy life, family, faith, children, heterosexuality, morality, and western civilization, such as it is.

    “We will see how tolerant the tolerant really are.” Believe me, if you hyper-religious so-called Christians just shut up about gay people, instead of constantly trying to attack us, you’d be surprised how little we or anyone else would care what you think about homosexuality
    .
    “The pressure on scores of religious colleges – Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish – to change their convictions for fear of lawsuits has already begun.” One might note that the pressure is mostly internal, not external. But actually, it’s just more of the usual fear-mongering you people engage in as more and more people see your sham morality for what it is– an ancient, vicious, enduring, and deeply culturally engrained prejudice dressed up in its finest sunday-go-to-meetin’ drag as “sincere religious belief.” This is what you promised would happen wherever marriage equality appeared: “CHURCHES AND MINISTERS WILL BE SUED!!!!” Except that it never happened, can’t happen, and never will happen. Except in your fever dreams of fear.

    As Spuddie says below, but in different words. You used to have it all your own way. now, more and more decent, kind, intelligent people, religious or not, see you for what you are, and your church and so-called “religious beliefs’ for what they are. It offends and frightens you that not only gay people have been fighting back– scary enough for the bullies. But so many straight people are as well.

    What you are really afraid of is that you will be treated exactly like you have been treating us for the past 2000 years.

    Don’t worry. We’re better than that.

  • “People can’t find anyplace to get deep-down healed anymore.”

    Nah,doc. They just share neither your fear, your hatred, nor your obsession.

  • “The pressure on scores of religious colleges – Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish – to change their convictions for fear of lawsuits has already begun.”

    As I understand it they (and you) can have any conviction wanted, it’s not the conviction that has to change, it is, where required by law (which hopefully follows secular morality rather than religious dogma), the practice that must improve.

  • Was stoning a cheeky son a sin?
    Slitting the throats of animals as a sacrifice – was that a sin?
    Killing adulterers, committing genocide, having multiple wives simultaneously – sins?

    If they weren’t why do churches no longer follow the biblical instructions, or do you long for a return to the depths of religious depravity?

  • There is kindness within the Bible and there is compassion within the Bible – but there is lot more that is vile, that is virulent, vicious, violent, vituperative, vitriolic, vainglorious, vengeful, venomous and vexatious.

    The healing and deliverance offered is that concocted as a means to control those who have been persuaded of the fictional problems the solutions pretend to address. It’s called creating a market for the product; it’s what we do with expensive, useless inventions we don’t want to bin without seeing if there are enough numpties out there to allow us to get our investment back.

  • Why do you think so many of us Christians are blogging and commenting and tweeting, Ben?

    We’re not just talking with atheists and gay activists, we’re also trying to speak with Christians “who disagree”, and with people of all flavors and labels.

    The “explaining” you’re talking about, is exactly what is going on from day to day. 1 Cor. 6:9-11. Romans 1:-26-27. Ezekiel 16:50. Other Bible verses as well.

    The verses clearly oppose gay marriage and they have NOT been refuted. that’s for sure.

  • It is a consolation for Christians and religious Jews to think that every civilization which encouraged or condoned homosexuality was short-lived, terminated even at the height of its glory. As Clorfene & Rogalsky write in their compendium of the Noachide Laws, “most notable of these, of course, was ancient Greece, which ruled the world and then was summarily voided in its prime. Ironically, it was the tiny Jewish nation led by the priestly Maccabees that broke the back of the mighty Greek Empire. It is no wonder then that Jewish religionists are so outraged at this society’s permissive attitude towards homosexuality, which is the essence of Western’s society corrupting Hellenistic legacy” [Clorfene & Rogalsky — The Path of the Righteous Gentile]

  • “. . . the sin, the national evil, of gay marriage.”

    In the history of humanity, no heterosexual has ever been harmed by the existence of homosexuality, including gay marriage. Thus, it cannot possibly be evil. So, the Bible is clearly wrong in proscribing homosexuality, and it should be ignored. Any holy book which proscribes acts which cause no harm to others should be tossed in the trash.

    There has, of course, been harm perpetrated by bigots against homosexuals.

  • My lord, they will make just about anything up, won’t they? There are so many falsehoods in your quote that it may as well have been ahistory of middle lower earth.

  • What about Ruth 1:14 which states that Ruth “cleaved” or dabaq to Naomi? Dabaq is the exact same Hebrew word used in Genesis 2:24 for a man to cleave to his wife. If this meant that it was evil for a person to cleave to someone of the same gender, then Ruth was guilty of a great sin.

  • Clearly this is the form of a threat, is it not? “Go along with things or become a pariah like the KKK!”

  • And of course, in western culture, ‘intolerant’ is defined as anything that is in disagreement with leftist ‘progressive’ thinking. And who set that ground rule? Leftist and progressives of course. It speaks badly of ‘progressive’ ideals if what is really sought is a demand for conformity in thinking disguised as somehow being enlightened.

  • Well,in context, many of those things were ceremonial practice associated with a particular people at a particular time and place. The Mosoaic law given to ancient Israel was largely replaced by the new covenant put in place by the life, tracing, death and resurrection of Christ. Context matters.

  • Lets cut through the BS here. You are talking about looking for religious based excuses to attack people and discriminate. You want to treat gays (and a host of other groups) as less than people. Opposing such attitudes and actions is not just a “lefty progressive” thing, it is a “being a decent human being” thing.

    The only thing I am seeking conformity with is The Golden Rule. Treat people as you would like to be treated. Don’t do things to others you would not want visited upon yourself. I could care less what you believe. I do care how you act towards others in service of those beliefs.

    Let me check my bigotry excuses bingo card:
    -We got a “you can’t tolerate my intolerance” argument.
    -Now we have, “I am wrong only because I disagree with you”

    Are we going to get a “my religious freedom means I don’t have to participate in the sins of others” nonsense as an excuse to deny people employment, goods and services?

  • America just won’t be the theocratic dictatorship you want it to be, therefore it is heading towards hell. Its a shame you have more in common with ISIS than our Founding Fathers.

  • This article is flawed in that it’s based upon the unspoken premise of ‘discrimination is bad’ always and ‘non discrimination’ is always good. It also is based on the unspoken premise that anything that can be construed as ‘discriminatory’ towards LGBT must be rooted in animus. These are flawed and fallacious premises that sadly set to ostracize and intimidate anyone who chooses to have their views related to sexuality and gender grounded in biblical precepts and not relativistic secular thinking.

  • Yet you Christians refer to Mosaic law whenever you want to sound tough or condemn people in a nasty malicious manner. Hypocrisy is hardwired into the religion. No Christian can refer to the OT in an intellectually honest fashion. Luckily for you, religion never ever requires honesty, nor anything intellectual.

  • This originally posted, then was moderated, then reappeared unmoderated, then disappeared. Who knows, I’ll try it again.

    “The premise of this article is that one is stupid and on the wrong side of history if they have an opinion different than yours.” Nope. It’s not that an opinion is different, it’s that the opinion is supported by lies, fearmongering, demonizing and pretending that it is all about sincere religious belief. Also, denigration of people that harm no one by existing usually does end up on the wrong side of history. It’s one of the reasons you don’t burn witches– anymore..

    You wrote also “As church historian D Fortson has noted, the Church
    has never, at any time, in any place, affirmed homosexual practice.” That
    changed about 50 years ago. Apparently, Fortson was asleep at the time, and has
    been since. Until about 100 years ago, the church never affirmed the equality of
    women. The church became fine with divorce about 70 years ago, because opposing
    it would actually inconvenience heterosexuals.

    And then there was: “The view appeared for the first time in our century. Many Christians as a matter of conscience will hold to a minority position here (and will not affirm adultery or fornication either.)” but they are fine with divorce and a multitude of heterosexual sins, though they will offer a resounding tsk-tsk of disapproval, if pressed. No political campaigns on the topics that affect heterosexuals and the majority. Why you’d almost think it isn’t about what the bible says AT ALL!

    Mt favorite: “They will do so in spite of name-calling and persecution.” Poor Christians. So persecuted because they can’t get away with what they used to get away with. and yet Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for my name’s sake.” It sounds like that would be
    inconvenient, or that you don’t actually believe. In my lifetime, Christians were complaining that people were calling them racial bigots because they supported jim Crow and miscegenation laws. But its not really persecution; you suffer NOTHING except wounded dignity, and lose NOTHING except your ability to harm our lives. As for name calling? In these very pages, in the past month, I have been called disgusting, anti-god, perverted, child molesting, a pervert, god hating, sick, unhealthy, diseased, and dangerous. People call for my death and or imprisonment on a regular basis. I have been accused of trying to destroy life, family, faith, children, heterosexuality, morality, and western civilization, such as it is. My people have been thrown into prisons, murdered by thugs and madmen. Your getting called out for demionstrable bad behavior. They don’t compare.

    “We will see how tolerant the tolerant really are.” A remake of “Just because I’m in tolerant of you is no justification for intolerance back at me.” Except that it isn’t intolerance, it’s vehement disagreement with your assumed dominion over our lives. Believe me, if you hyper-religious so-called Christians just shut up about gay people, instead of constantly trying to attack us, you’d be surprised how little we or anyone else would care what you think about homosexuality.

    “The pressure on scores of religious colleges – Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish – to change their convictions for fear of lawsuits has already begun.” More victimhood. One might note that the pressure is mostly internal, not external. All those denominations that changed their position did so because of their heterosexual majorities, not their gay minorities. But actually, this is just more of the usual fear-mongering you people engage in as more and more people see your sham morality for what it is– an ancient, vicious, enduring, and deeply culturally engrained prejudice dressed up in its finest sunday-go-to-meetin’ drag as “sincere religious belief.” This is what you promised would happen wherever marriage equality appeared: “CHURCHES AND MINISTERS WILL BE SUED!!!!” Except that it never happened, can’t happen in this country, and never will happen. Except in your fever dreams of fear.

    As Spuddie says below, but in different words. You used to have it all your own way. now, more and more decent, kind, intelligent people, religious or not, see you for what you are, and your church and so-called “religious beliefs’ for what they are. It offends and frightens you that not only gay people have been fighting back– scary enough for the bullies. But so many straight people are as well. What you are really afraid of is that you will be treated exactly like you have been treating us for the past 2000 years. Don’t worry. We’re better than that.

  • There is no such thing as well intentioned discrimination. It is always a malicious act meant to demean and attack those on the receiving end. If you support discrimination, it only means that you hold certain groups or people in such contempt you think nothing of it.

    It puts anyone on the wrong side of history if you are a moral person concerned with humanity. If you feel ostracized and intimidated because you can’t ostracize or intimidate people, then you are just making a whiny bully’s lament. Its pathetic.

  • Give them about a generation or two and they will pretend to take credit for gay rights. Just like what they try to do with the racial civil rights movement. Despite the fact that the religious right grew out of the segregationist movement. Revisionism means never having to say you’re sorry.

  • Oh, I see. you are defending intolerance of others, but pretending that it is some sort of left wing plot.

    Are right wingers never intolerant?

    For example, are radical conservative Christians being intolerant when they call my existence as a gay man a threat to marriage, family, faith, freedom, children, heterosexuality, morality and westen civilization?

    Yes or no?

  • Naomi was Ruth’s Mother-in-law. What are you suggesting? Dabaq, is understood to have a spiritual or emotional construct not a physical one.

  • Your response is laden with emotion and way off the mark. The snark in your response doesn’t refute the main point that I made and that is that in today’s society ‘progressives’ are the ones who make the rules about determining who is a bigot, and Who is not according to their criteria and ground rules . Deny it if you want but that is the simple and obvious truth. The media , academia, and the entertainment industry are full of leftists seeking to influence what society thinks and believes . You say you couldn’t care less what I believe but then Assume you know what I think and believe By impugning my motives. So I want to hold to traditional beliefs because I want to attack or mistreat others. please. The golden rule doesn’t mean that everybody thinks about everything the same way . That’s real life.

  • So is the NBA an evil organization because it has few players on its roster who are less than 5’9″ tall ? Clearly they are discriminating in selecting who will play for them correct? is there animus in what they are doing?

  • I think this guy described all the feelings of all my neighbors, both sides of the street if you know what I mean. I’m pretty sure I read something like this argument before. Luke ch 10 maybe?
    Yep there it is. 10:25-37. I won’t give away the plot but it ends with Jesus told him “go and do likewise.”
    Don’t say whether the expert in the law went and likewised or not.

  • Your response is loaded with nonsense euphemisms and phony arguments.

    You want a right to treat people like garbage, I think you are a terrible person for doing so. Plain and simple.

    Your hangup over being called a bigot is not a refutation of such labels or a demonstration that it is in any way inappropriate. Its not like you are trying to show me that you aren’t one. Just that you don’t like being called it.

    You want to feel special for being a bigot. That you are somehow being brave individual. Well you aren’t. You are just being whiny. What you call “traditional beliefs” in this context ALWAYS ends up justifying malicious actions towards others using religious excuses. That is the excuse de jour for discrimination these days. You are lamenting the loss of ability to do so these days. Tough luck.

  • again there is nothing in your response that refutes the basic argument I made you sound like you’re the one who is whining that everyone does not think the way you do and agrees with you further making my point. You say I want to treat people like garbage? Please. Notice how I have not impugned your motives or assume to know what you think but you seem to do that a lot with me. Says a lot.

  • Ridiculous response. Being gay is not an impediment to any kind of employment nor engaging in open commerce. Unless the job is being a straight porn star or gigolo.

    But its good to know that you are not even attempting to make rational arguments here.

  • You were the one whining about how tough it is for people “who hold traditional beliefs” to act on them in this day and age. Euphemisms for discrimination and being able to express religious excused prejudices openly (presumably without being criticized for them). Calling it some kind of progressive conspiracy. It isn’t. Its simply people who are acting in a moral fashion and calling others out on malicious behavior. Its not just disagreement here, its differences in how we seek to treat others.

  • The flawed and fallacious premise is the one that says that animus is the only motivator, but it isn’t usually too hard to find. There is also the other major component of bigotry: the always assumed, always present, and always completely unwarranted belief in an always self- assigned superiority as a heterosexual, a moral person, a Christian, and a human being. And then, there is also plain old dominionism.

    Nothing is stopping you from living your life according to biblical precepts, though you might try talking to the heterosexual majority first. Or maybe just self-proclaimed serial adulterer 2Rump. I really don’t care that you believe it. My argument is with your insistence that if I don’t believe it, too, you’ll hurt me.

    If you feel ostracized because of this, it might be because people don’t like moralizing busybodies, or bigots, or religious bigots, or people who attack their friends, neighbors, colleagues, and family members. Or liars, scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites.

    And believe it or not, the people who don’t like this are more and more in the majority in the civilized world. And you don’t like that. And THAT, my friend, is what intimidates you. If you truly had the courage of your convictions, you’d be out braying like those holy jackasses Pat, Frankie, Jerry, Tonette, Kevin, busTED, Huckster, Little ricky, Paparattzi, JohnP, the Hagard One, and a host of others.

  • And the churches, the halls of congress, the republican party, and the Fields of 2rump are filled with rightists who are likewise seeking to influence what society thinks and believes. So what’s the difference?
    Oh, yes. Here’s the difference. In this instance, as in a number of others, you have failed to maintain your dominion. And you don’t like it one bit. Decent, kind, intelligent people see you and your assumed superiority for what it is.
    Sucks, doesn’t it?

  • The word dabaq suggests she loved Naomi like she would love a spouse. Later on the text suggests she bore a child out of love for Naomi, not Boaz. There might not have been anything physical between them, but she loved her as she would love a spouse. Being Gay is far more a matter of feelings than it is about physical acts, anyway. However, there is no prohibition of female female sexual acts in the Old Testament. For males, only anal, but not oral sex was banned according to several Rabbis I know of. Any other prohibitions, including of same sex marriage, are really traditions of people, not of God.

  • It really is a bottom line question: Will we treat gay people equally, fairly, and decently or not? There is no in-between stance on that. On one side is the Evangelical – conservative Christians calling for gay people to be treated as legal and social outcasts and stripped of their rights and freedoms. On the other side is everyone else saying lets treat everyone equally.

    When it’s your child, your sibling, your neighbor, your co-worker, people realize that their support for mistreatment and discrimination has real life consequences against someone they love and care about. And that more than anything has changed the American people’s thinking on gay people and treating them fairly. Evangelical – conservative Christians can’t defeat that no matter how hard they try.

    Well, we know how this is gonna turn out because we have a long history in our nation of expanding rights and freedom to previously excluded and marginalized people groups. It’s part off the greatness of America. It’s not going to end well for Evangelical – conservative Christians on this issue. The arguments they’re making against gay people now are the same arguments they made against black people then. It didn’t work then and it’s not gonna work now.

    To be sure, Evangelical – conservative Christians are a stubborn lot, but they’ll come around eventually. Most of them any way. There are still racists around, but they’re pretty marginalized by decent society. It will be the same for with regards to anti-gay bigots.

  • Heterosexuals see heterosexuals everywhere. The facts remain that not everyone is heterosexual, heterosexuals are not all that special, and exclusive heterosexuality is apparently far less common than some people seem to need to believe.

  • Dr. Gushee: Your appeal to popular cultural consensus could have just as easily been utilized by the Nazis. You’ve lost the “ground of absolute meaning” you used to promote in your book, “Kingdom Ethics”. My hunch is your mentor Gene Stassen would be appalled if he were still alive. As for a “rational” discussion on this topic, see the latest research from John Hopkins University regarding the popular-held notion that people are “born gay”. I’m in no way suggesting we should tolerate mean or belligerent behavior on any side of the debate–but the reality is “tolerance” has come to mean “agree with the prevailing view or else”. Unless I’m mistaken that’s your point, exactly.

  • You refer to “the unspoken premise that anything that can be construed as ‘discriminatory’ towards LGBT must be rooted in animus”.

    It is a frequently spoken premise.
    The challenges to laws entrenching discrimination against LGBT people have all consistently succeeded because no rational justification for the breaches of constitutional rights resulting from those discriminatory laws could be found.

    Look further afield beyond the borders of the USA, and the same situation emerges again and again and again. No rational justification for denying or restricting the civil rights of LGBT has emerged in the judicial and/or legislative chambers right across what might be referred to as “Christendom”.
    To date, every argument presented in an attempt to justify the restriction of the rights of LGBT, or attempting to justify the continued restriction of their rights, has failed under scrutiny, because none have been found to have a basis in fact, logic, reason & science. They are irrational.

    Without a rational basis, the denials or restrictions of LGBT rights is based on what?
    When you consider who it is who fights hardest and loudest for those denials, who it is who campaigns so tirelessly to put the denials & restrictions into the law, and who funds most of the anti-LGBT legal action & politicking, Religiously inspired animus is the only possible answer to that question.

    This “unspoken premise” you speak of has actually been spoken in courts, high courts, courts of appeal, supreme courts, courts of first instance, council chambers, parliaments, senates, houses of representatives and congresses all over the world again and again and again for decades.
    The continued failure to present a valid rational justification for discrimination clearly indicates that is must be driven by animus, and animus alone.

  • The fact that Jewish and Christian hordes have a habit of pulverizing nations that accommodate gays is not evidence that homosexuality causes the demise of those civilizations.
    It is evidence of the animus Christians and Jews have historically had towards homosexuals, and how those Christians and Jews have historically been so eager to destroy them and then blame their dead victims for their own demise.
    It proves only nasty traits among Christians and Jews of deadly, genocidal intent, and dishonest refusal to take responsibility for their own actions.

  • The fact that gay rights had a beginning does not invalidate it gregarious35. There was once a time when women’s rights and suffrage, abolition, religious freedom between Catholics and Protestants, and our Christian faith itself were tiny minority radical movements. The fact that LGBT had its start just recently does not make it wrong.

    Stop playing the victim. Equality is not persecution. Christians are not bullied and driven to suicide in schools, they are not fired from jobs due to legally allowed discrimination in the name of “gay freedom” (I’m alluding the the false lie of “religious freedom” to promote discrimination), Christians are not denied marriage, they are not compared to pedophiles and bestiality, there are no mass shootings of Christian bars by radical gay terrorists, there is no controversy about Christians competing in the Olympics (I’m alluding about transgender athletes), Christians are not randomly attacked and beaten to death in the streets of America in the same of LGBT rights etc…

  • And I’ll raise you Matt. 5 18-19.

    Every Christian I’ve ever known, and I grew up knowing almost no non-Christians, is a pick-and-mix Christian.
    I used to spend some of my pocket money on sweets in Woolworths each week. “I’ll have a couple of gob-stoppers, definitely some aniseed balls, must have some fruit gums, don’t want any pink shrimps, I’ll have a few lemon drops, hate the flying saucers, don’t think I’ll have a sherbet dip this week etc. etc.. ”

    Some Christians are lovely, wonderful people, some aren’t – just like non-Christians, but to be a good person and a Christian they have to ignore the nastiness in the Bible and carefully select the moral bits. Many people get it wrong, and many confuse morality with a rather silly belief in supernaturalism.(I used to).

    Funny thing is, most Christians’ God seems to reflect and validate their own personality. Good people try to have a good God (and often end up with painful cognitive dissonance), bad people enjoy worshiping a nasty deity. I wonder why that is.

  • Why does it make no sense that the word dabaq was used in this instance, just like in Genesis 2:24, which is THE prooftext for heterosexual marriage? Perhaps it doesn’t make sense to you because you have a deep bias against gay marriage as well as gay persons.

  • Wendy,
    The responsibility of the journalist is to report the news–not create it. What you’ve revealed in your article has been repeated throughout history when journalists allow themselves to be the puppets of the rogue elements who are really about destroying freedoms. You have not helped a humanitarian cause- you have assisted in the dismantling of freedom of religious practice and in some cases aided in people losing their livelihoods.

    If you had a better grasp of history and your responsibility as a journalist you would not be taking this path.

    If you do t believe this write a test article for your outlet, completely disavowing any liberal hot topic and see what happens to your work. You’re not practicing journalism, Wendy, you’re practicing puppetry and promoting a government that I don’t think you’re going to enjoy living and working in.

  • It’s not necessary for you to fall back on accusation about what you think I believe in order to have an intelligent conversation with me. It cheapens your arguement, and I won’t fall for the distraction. 🙂
    The word “cleave” does not connote a sexual relationship in the Genesis passage but an emotional bond — a man and woman’s relationship at marriage should be greater than the relationship they once had with their parents.
    THE proof text?? If that’s all you’ve got, sir, I’m afraid it doesn’t hold water.

    It doesn’t make sense to me because it doesn’t make sense.

    By the way you have no idea how I feel about homosexuality–I’m refuting your logic about the Genesis passage — not homosexuality.

  • Her Leftness, I think the Christians who have been beheaded often on camera so their families can see, hung upside down on crosses through the ages and lost their lives in other horrific ways might disagree with you.

    Aren’t we glad that for now at least in this country we are able to express our views without such threats.

    Please be careful how you use the word persecution. You may feel “persecuted” by my response to you but I can assure you there are Chrisians and others in the world who have a far different view of persecution and experience of persecution than you do at your young age.

    Throughout the ages it has been the Christians largely who have protected your freedoms. It’s sad to me that you’ve grown up not knowing that. Please read your history, so that you can speak wisely when you practice your freedom of speech.
    Best to you!

  • God has not changed. He still redeems the penitent sinner. He still condemns the impenitent sinner. Those who remain true to him still abhor sexual perversion and are willing to bear the scorn of a depraved society. God’s kingdom is coming and there will be no sexual perverts or sinners of any variety there.

  • The word “cleave” is usually used for to marry someone. Dabaq also means ‘cling, keep close, glue, soldering, loyalty, affection.”
    HOW does that not make sense? If you read my other comments, I DO say that it was an emotional bond between Ruth and Naomi, it might not have been physical and it could have been purely emotional, but on par with being married. However, Lesbian acts were never forbidden in Leviticus. You attack my intelligence, but really do not make an intelligent argument against the idea that “dabaq” IS related to MARRIAGE. Anyway, I said “perhaps” you are homophobic, I didn’t say you were. But you attacked me first and thus created a distraction, by saying I was ignorant.

  • “God has not changed.” That’s true. God is still the same egotistical barbaric genocidal maniac who was created in the image of the men who invented him.

  • The church survived charges of cannibalism and holding secret incestuous orgies (“the all call themselves brothers and sisters”) in the first three centuries of its existence. She survived persecution from the Roman Empire, the Islamic Caliphate, and the communists in Eastern Europe and East Asia. I’m sure he will survive being called bigoted and “homophobic” by secular progressives and their so-called Christian fellow travelers who long for their praise and approval more than the commendation of Christ. This, too, shall pass, and long after the “progressive” movement and the sexual revolution have disappeared, we will be here, holding out out Gospel hope for those wrecked by the broken promises secularism could never keep.

  • “Change your religious doctrine to fit the current times or the government will revoke your charities’ licenses, steal from your tithes and offerings via revocation of tax status, remove your last refuges used to educate your children, and potentially start interfering with your families at home” And you say this in an attempt to persuade orthodox Christians? Apply this logic to any religious minority other than traditional Catholics and evangelicals and it’s obvious how disturbing it is. I’m all for political and social equality, and think that evangelicals should strategically retreat to safer political ground instead of fighting rearguard actions on LGBT issues, but you are tacitly endorsing government persecution of religious minorities. Shame on you.

  • Sin cannot bears its own weight. The LGBT argument cannot hold water long-term. The church doesn’t need to cower in the corner in fear. The church needs to be ready to receive the refugees whose lives will be broken by the so-called sexual revolution. Speak the truth in LOVE. We were once far off as well, and have been brought near by the love of God in Christ Jesus.

  • If you think that the vast majority of people- yourself included- derive their ethical views from ‘reason, logic, common sense or compassion,’ I’ve a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn. The average progressive- or conservative, or whoever- acts and thinks in accordance with the group he or she identifies with. If you had lived a hundred years ago, you’d be convinced that science and morality required the state to sterilize the ‘feeble minded’ and chronically poor, not because you had examined things for yourself, but because the luminaries of the progressive movement believed in such things and gave their beliefs the aura of evident truthfulness and morality. The same is true today- the average progressive, for all his or her belief in ‘rationality’ and smug feeling of superiority to religious believers, thinks and acts largely for irrational reasons of mood affiliation and virtue signaling (in other words, like humans of all sorts across the world, ‘religious’ or ‘secular’).

  • Middle ground is disappearing on the question of whether LGBT persons should be treated as full equals, without any discrimination in society — and on the related question of whether religious institutions should be allowed to continue discriminating due to their doctrinal beliefs.

    It turns out that you are either for full and unequivocal social and legal equality for LGBT people, or you are against it, and your answer will at some point be revealed. This is true both for individuals and for institutions.

    Neutrality is not an option. Neither is polite half-acceptance. Nor is avoiding the subject. Hide as you might, the issue will come and find you.

    “Muahahahaha! Behold the awesome Power of the Empire, which I and my fellow Inquisitors will wield when we smoke you out of your ever-narrowing hiding places.”

    This is the kind of thing that should open the eyes of civil libertarians, conscience-libertarians, even those souls who are just quixotic enough to favor the Republic over the Empire in Star Wars — regardless of what they think about religious (Christian, Jewish, Muslim) traditionalists and “the issue.”

    I have been a participant in the effort to encourage Protestant religious conservatives, generally known as fundamentalists and evangelicals, to reconsider their position voluntarily.

    Thanks awfully. You have learned Saruman’s lessons of hospitality well.

    “Saruman,” I said, standing away from him, “only one hand at a time can wield the One, and you know that well, so do not trouble to say we! But I would not give it, nay, I would not give even news of it to you, now that I learn your mind. You were head of the Council, but you have unmasked yourself at last. Well, the choices are, it seems, to submit to Sauron, or to yourself. I will take neither. Have you others to offer?”

    He was cold now and perilous. “Yes,” he said. “I did not expect you to show wisdom, even in your own behalf; but I gave you the chance of aiding me willingly, and so saving yourself much trouble and pain. The third choice is to stay here, until the end.”

    “Until what end?”

    “Until you reveal to me where the One may be found. I may find means to persuade you. Or until it is found in your despite, and the Ruler has time to turn to lighter matters: to devise, say, a fitting reward for the hindrance and insolence of Gandalf the Grey.

    (J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings II.ii.)

  • Unless your religious sect seeks political power or to give its beliefs color of law. Then it seeks to BE mainstream society.

  • Its not persecution to lose licenses or tax exemption status for not following laws of general application for qualification. Nobody is entitled to either of them.

    If the laws for qualification for licenses or a tax exemption is general in nature, has a rational and secular basis and does not have a discriminatory purpose, then the offending organizations don’t have a leg to stand on.

  • Morality will necessarily color your political views-unless you object to white progressive Episcopalians clamoring for “social justice” as well. But I’m all for the “religious right” to beat a strategic retreat and focus on issues with cross-community support. America has not ever been composed of a majority of believers and older evangelicals need to accept that IMO.

  • Interesting, you would never had made such arguments when religious prejudices were given color of law in the past. But when they are finally being removed, you cry foul. Somehow you see the expansion of civil liberties to be an attack on your own.

    Sorry buddy but the loss of your ability to maliciously attack others and discriminate under color of law is not a loss of freedom. Its a loss of undue privilege.

  • Goshamighty, I’m sure you’ll find someone to agree with you. All of those Christians who believe that Christ has spoken to them, and decry prejudice and bigotry disguised as religious belief, are obviously, terribly wrong about it.

  • No you’re not willing to bear the scorn of society, depraved or otherwise. All you so called Christians who are convinced that God agrees with you about gay people do nothing but whine about how persecuted you are.

    Personally, if I were you, sinner boy, I would be truly worried whether God wants you in his heaven.

  • Frankly I find most progressive Christian groups kind of feckless when it comes to political issues. They don’t really organize and seek political power and changes like their reactionary brothers in faith. So its not the same thing. The majority of social justice work is done either by secular organizations or interfaith efforts.

  • Under federal law and in many states, RFRA would in fact be a legal leg to stand on for religious conservatives. In addition, the courts tend to be skeptical of laws targeting unpopular religious views-“a tax on yarmulkes is a tax on Jews” and all that. If you really believe that governments could shut down nationwide chains of Catholic hospitals, Samaritan’s Purse, religious schools, and even churches themselves without being viewed as anti-religious…I’m skeptical. It goes against the nature of American pluralism and towards an even harsher version of French secularism. If that’s what you want, fine. I’m prepared for that future I guess. It’s remarkably totalitarian, but so it goes in the name of “progress” in 21st century America.

  • Progressives wouldn’t win a single political fight in the Midwest or South without the organizing power of the African American church.

  • If they believe Christ has spoken to them, and what he says is to ignore the clear teachings of scripture and the unanimous witness of 2,000 years of church teaching, then they are mistaken. You cannot reject the Bible and the unanimous witness of the church and still claim to be “Christian”. That the voice they hear speaking to seems incredibly consistent with the view of 21st century North American and Western European post-modern thinkers, and so at odds with the clear and plain teaching of the Bible, should really give them pause as to who exactly it is they are hearing.

  • Marcos, I agree with you. Every survey imaginable backs up your comment about media and academia, but you might want to tone down your own language about it. The vitriol here in the attacks on you proves what I feared, that putting up my post was a waste of time. There are angry people out there who won’t have a civil discussion on the issues. I personally won’t be responding here any more.

  • And the voice of YOUR God seems to be incredibly consistent with what you believe. Amazing, isn’t it.

    More flinging of the theo-poo by the True Christians (TM) towards the not so true ones.

  • And in my experience, the white lefty churches are MUCH more political than their more conservative counterparts-there just aren’t that many of them because their churches are dying out rapidly.

  • LOL! You really have a veracity problem. The religious reactionaries have far more political power and the willingness to wield it for their narrow sectarian interests than any other religious group in this country. To the point they have even set most of the platform for an entire political party. There is no equivalence here with progressive churches.

    Btw, reactionary churches are having a major generational problem in retaining members. Demographic expansion has slowed down, endemic racism has limited expansion through immigration.

  • There is no unified African American church. Of course it helps progressives that conservatives embrace racism and demonizing the poor with such gusto. Go figure, political interests tend to unite where they have issues in common.

  • It wasn’t more than several years ago that Christians who hold the position that Gushee holds today (or who were open to that position or moving in that direction) were calling for all Christians, regardless of where they stood on full gay inclusion, to come together and not let this divide us. They were making the case for not letting divergent views on human sexuality keep us from communion. They didn’t want people to use this issue to divide us or drive wedges between us.

    How the times have changed now that they’ve gained the political upper hand. There’s no more talk of agreeing to disagree, or continuing the conversation, or committing to be in communion despite our different viewpoints. It’s now “join us or we will help the state crush you.”

    It makes me wonder whether the view of several years ago was mere naivety or a deliberate feint until more political power was obtained.

  • If it were the case, there would not be the drive to draft discriminatory mini-RFRA laws. Nor would there be the urge for the Orwellian titled First Amendment Defense Act. There is no religious freedom to engage in discrimination. One’s religious rights end at the point where you attack the rights of others. That is a traditional view of free exercise of religion. One has no more right to discriminate as they do to commit human sacrifice or burn a cross on a neighbor’s lawn.

    How hard is it to understand how one’s right to act ends where it becomes deliberate harm to others?

  • “Interesting, you would never had [sic] made such arguments when religious prejudices were given color of law in the past.”

    How do you know? Did we thresh this out twenty years ago? Are you telepathic?

    “Sorry buddy but the loss of your ability to maliciously attack others and discriminate under color of law is not a loss of freedom.”

    For most traditionalist Christians there has been no particular loss of freedoms — yet. But if Mr. Gushee’s essay — which predicts a viewpoint-based contraction of every liberty protected by the First Amendment — is accurate (and I think it is), that loss of freedom is coming.

  • New Totalitarianism is on the rise. It used to be National socialism and International socialism. Now it’s social liberalism, the Leviathan state with homo agenda. Brute power that will ruin everything that stands in its way. Will David Gushee be the Felix Dzerzhinsky of homos?

  • When you use terms like “theo-poo”, you make it clear that you are not interested in civil discussion. Have a good day.

  • On the one hand, Antigay bigots claim we are only 1% of the population. On the other hand, we’re taking over. Which is it?

    Why, neither! What is really happening is that decent, kind, intelligent, compassionate people– people who don’t use terms like the leviathan state with homo agenda– people who have gay friends and family members, see the trash you have been spewing for 1900 years, and they call it what it is.

    Crap. Trash. Garbage, hate, bigotry.

    Here’s the homo agenda– all of it. End legalized discrimination and hatred.

  • Or how about the Antigay religious lobby trying to crush gay people for the past 2000 years. Let’s talk about that.

    No one is trying to crush you. That is your paranoid fanatasy, not reality. Reality is that you once held a majority on this issue. You no longer do, Not among secular people, not among religious people.

    There is no conversation to be had, because no one decent and kind is going to agree to enforcing bigotry through civil law.

  • If gay people get married, marriage will be destroyed.

    If gay people marry, churches and ministers will be sued.

    If gay people are allowed to serve in the military, it will destroy the military.

    If we don’t have sodomy laws, the family will self destruct.

    If we don’t have sodomy laws, God will destroy us.

    If gay people are allowed to work openly, they will bring down society.

    If gay people are around children, they will molest them.

    If gay people raise children, those children will turn into criminals, addicts, and perverts.

    If gay people are allowed into scouting, the nation will collapse.

    You admit that no one has lost any religious freedom, but you are sure it will happen. Because? Not one of your scary scenarios has ever come true. Not one. But this one will?

  • Leviathan state is a term from political thought – Thomas Hobbes. This is what liberalism leads to – all powerful, despotic government that hides behind worldview “neutrality” but in reality puts through a concrete ideological Uravnilovka or if you prefer national socialism – Gleichschaltung. Looks like deep inside homos are no other but sick despots. Do you think burning down the churches will be necessary for homos?

    >End legalized discrimination and hatred

    Let’s end the criminal code! No more discrimination!

  • Why is it that gay people, and ending legalized discrimination, causes you a loss of freedom but the existence of any religion, not yours, causes no problems whatsoever?

    Why is it that I can reject the entirety of conservative religious belief, and this bothers no one but the most rabid of fundamentalists? NO screams of persecution whatsoever. But let me say I am gay, and reject just this little bit of conservative religious thought, and suddenly, every religious institution is threatened?

    Unclutch your pearls.

  • Truth hurts?

    You say all of those other Christians who believe differently than you do are apostates, deluded, and just plain wrong, and you accuse me of bring uncivil?

  • The article above talks about how Christian organizations that touch government dollars or require accreditation to operate could be forced to close. The author says that these organizations will feel the pinch first, which implies that other Christian entities will feel the pinch next, even those that don’t touch government dollars or require accreditation. In the comment section, many commenters are talking about taking away tax exempt status for religious entities that don’t toe the line.

    Perhaps this is all fear-mongering and idle threats and won’t come to pass. If it doesn’t, I’ll be happy to admit I was paranoid. But Gushee is warning that this will be the future. Is he paranoid?

    (By the way, you might want to work on your typing. The haphazardly dropped commas and letters make for more difficult reading.)

  • Because the people whining about “religious freedom” in their thwarted efforts to discriminate now, were the same ones who pushed for the discriminatory laws 20 years ago.

  • “It really is a bottom line question: Will we treat gay people equally, fairly, and decently or not?”

    With respect, no, that is not the issue for me. The issue is whether I will allow myself to be browbeaten and bullied by a thousand little pinpricks of social pressure into calling something good which my My Lord, his Holy Book, and thousands and thousands of years of ethical thinking by all significant religious and moral thinkers all over the planet has said is not good at all.

  • I don’t understand why we need to go after the religious institutions for discrimination. I don’t want to work the them or interact with them anyway. Their hated of gay people is not worth fighting. There is nothing to be gained. Let’s leave them alone.

  • It is rational that heterosexuals see heterosexuals every where since only 4 % of the world population consider themselves to be gay. But these 4 % of the population seeing gays everywhere is confusing. I think everyone is especial whether be gay or straight. The problem is that you consider gay people to be the only human beings who should no fight against the passions, but instead you claim you should let them defeat you and shout it to the world being proud of it, as if they were a virtue.

    In this way gay people consider themselves to be special over the rest human beings. They do not need to practice spiritual exercises to defeat passions. While the rest of us consider a duty to battle passions, gay people want them to be approved by all of us and legalized. No other human being before have has such a claim.

  • I don’t care if you are gay. I hope that you are free and happy and loved. I have no issues with gay people having civil marriage rights or having protections in public accommodations or employment in the private sector. You are of course free to reject any bit of religious thought that you don’t like.

    But I also want the orthodox Christian institutions that have existed for thousands of years, the Catholic hospitals and Christian schools and universities to have the freedom to continue under the same principals that they have operated under since the early Christian church. I don’t want Christian schools to have to choose between hiring non-believers and shutting down. I don’t want Catholic hospitals to choose between performing gender reassignment surgery against their faith or ending their good charity work. I don’t want Christian adoption agencies to choose between placing children in orthodox Christian homes or ceasing to operate.

  • “. . . were the same ones who pushed for the discriminatory laws 20 years ago.”

    In some cases — mostly older evangelicals — that is true. The younger traditionalists (those aged, roughly, forty-five and under) are much more likely to be libertarians — and always to have been libertarians.

  • Yep. You don’t have to take my word for it; you have it straight from David Gushee. There is going to be an Inquisition. He says so very clearly in this post.

  • No, the days of the West are coming to an end. This “civilization” will destroy itself by its immorality and decadence, and finally the Muslim hordes will invade and finish it off.

  • The active endorsement of and coercion to accept sexually immoral behavior, designated as such by the Scriptures and the weight of church and cultural history as normative and even preferred, is the epitome of decadence. These changes western society is embarking on are not progress, they are regress. There are large portions of the non-Christian population of the world, in fact, the majority of the world population, that will never accept these sexual terms and for which our embrace of such erotic libertinism is a sign that we should be destroyed.

    Not only that, there is no scientific basis for the public policy mandates and public shaming being crammed down the throats of those of us who refuse to capitulate. See this article reviewing scholarly research on the subject from yesterday: http://dailysignal.com/2016/08/22/almost-everything-the-media-tells-you-about-sexual-orientation-and-gender-identity-is-wrong/

    All of this is being driven by an intense, pathological hatred for any form of sexual restraint and orthodox Christian doctrine, which is the only thing standing in the way of people getting what they want.

    For those of us who hold to the ideas that there we cannot have truths without TRUTH, we will never bow our knee, even under the threat of loss of jobs, status, friends and freedom. I’m quite sure jail awaits many of us who will not capitulate.

    There is no place in the Scripture where the sexually immoral behavior, which includes pre-marital sex, homosexual sex, orgies/group sex, incest, bestiality and adultery, is ever held up as a virtue. It is always and everywhere portrayed as indicative of the way of life of those who reject God and refuse to honor Him as God. It is always portrayed as a lack of self-control and a failure to honor our bodies as vessels designed to honor and bring glory to God. Sexual immorality is always and everywhere warned against as that which will bring the wrath of God and which is indicative of those who will not inherit God’s kingdom. See Romans 1:18-32; 1 Cor 6:15-20; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Thess 4:3-8; 1 Cor 10:6-15; Gal 5:19-21; Eph 5:5-8; Col 3:5-7; 2 Peter 2:1-10; Rev 21:6-8; Rev 22:12-15…just to name a few.

    I’ll let the words of the Apostle Paul finish echo here:
    But do not let immorality (porneia) or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints…For this you know with certainty, that no immoral (pornos) or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness , but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light
    Ephesians 5:3,5-8

  • It depends on libertarians (unofficial) or Libertarians (as identifying with the current political movement).

    Libertarians are either indifferent to discrimination or support it on the basis of being local based laws. Libertarian views of civil rights these days are some of the silliest stuff said in public discourse these days. A lot of attempts at handwaving the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendenment away.

    Those who are libertarians are not the ones complaining about religious freedom when it comes to this subject. They skew against giving discrimination color of law. Even if religious based.

  • Gosh. That’s just what the racist bigots said 50 years ago. Mixing the races? God don’t like it.

    You don’t have to capitulate to anything. Think being gay is immoral? Don’t be gay. Don’t like gay marriage? Don’t marry a man.

    But you no longer get a free pass to make our lives as difficult, dangerous, unpleasant, and expensive as you can. Decent people, many of them Christians, will tend to shun you if you are too vocal about it, just like they shun the racist bigots and the anti Semites.

  • Nobody is attacking Christian schools. There is some deliberate confusion however. Especially concerning schools not receiving government benefits on the basis of not following the rules which entitle them to it. If you want the freedom to discriminate on the basis of your faith, then you can do so on your own dime. The government does not need to subsidize it.

    “I don’t want Catholic hospitals to choose between performing gender
    reassignment surgery against their faith or ending their good charity
    work.”

    I don’t want Catholic hospitals to constantly attack doctor/patient relationships, codes of professional medical ethics, nor circumvent informed consent. But they do so constantly on the basis of upholding religious dogma. Evidently you think religious beliefs entitle you to harm others. Hospitals have a duty to serve the public and provide adequate and proper medical care to all who come in, regardless of the religious beliefs of its ownership. If they can’t do that, then those churches have no business investing in hospitals.

  • Oh no!
    Your ability to discriminate is losing social and legal sanction!
    You are truly oppressed because you cannot oppress others!

  • LOL, what is the greatest threat to peace in the world today? It isn’t secularism or civil liberties. Its religious fanaticism and dogmatic traditional beliefs at the expense of everyone else.

    The only difference between you and the Muslim hordes are access to heavy weapons and petrodollars. Fundamentalists loved Nazis, Fascists and theocrats. When given the political power, Christian fundamentalists are just as bloodthirsty as ISIS.

  • As opposed to the all powerful world view that you seem to advocate invading the homes of people who are not using their dangly bits in a way that you approve of, and to send them to prison for their crimes? Or perhaps the one that claims that the conservative Christians God is actually the basis for law in our secular country? Or the one that is so afraid of the fact that gay people exist that fathers are afraid to kiss their sons lest someone think they are “that way.”

  • It’s exactly what Gushee said.

    See the quotes I posted above, and this:

    A vast host of neutralist, avoidist, or de facto discriminatory institutions and individuals [read: those who still adhere to traditional Christian teaching] will also find that they can no longer finesse the LGBT issue. Space for neutrality or “mild” discrimination will close up as well.

    The whole point of the article — the title of the article — is that “middle ground” is vanishing. Traditionalists, even kind ones, will be found out. They and their beloved institutions will be marginalized and subjected to pressures that will force some of them to close. Dr. Gushee’s own words to traditionalists, published two years ago at the following link, are now obsolete. No longer will there be even a kind farewell to those getting off the bus:

    https://baptistnews.com/article/if-this-is-where-you-get-off-the-bus-the-lgbt-issue-part-6/

  • You would rather these institutions not exist at all than exist under traditional religious principals. And that’s the problem.

  • No, heterosexuals are perhaps “not all that special,” but they are indispensable for propagating the species. Or is that somehow irrelevant, that heterosexual sex has the unique possibility of producing life?

  • If you can find where I have ever said that, then feel free to vent your righteous indignation. But I didn’t. I am only going to ask you once politely that you do not misrepresent what I say nor argue against points I never made.

    If you bothered to read what I wrote, I said that I would rather they not use the government dime to subsidize discrimination. Taking government money means following government rules. The problem is whinybaby Christianists want government funds without the necessity of following such rules. If they want to set themselves apart from the rest of society, they are free to do so. They just don’t need my tax dollars for it.

  • The end to indirect discrimination is hardly the hyperbole you are discussing. “Their beloved institutions” appear to be ramping up efforts at blatant discrimination in the last 20 years. Whatever middle ground existed in the past was being actively wiped out by them. Especially once their prejudices were no longer given color of law. It has now gotten to the point where “traditional Christian belief” has defined itself by such bigotry. This was not in the case in times past.

  • “If they can’t do that, then those churches have no business investing in hospitals.” Your terms for “do that” included a number of terms that amount to “perform abortions.” If Catholic hospitals, which have existed for millennia, won’t perform abortions, they shouldn’t exist in your view.

  • Still not a point where I said that the institutions should not exist at all.

    Hospitals are not churches. They owe a duty to the public and to professional standards and ethics in a way no other religious based institutions would.

    Catholic Hospitals frequently take unwarranted liberties with the rights of their patients. Even to the point of endangering their lives in order to uphold their dogma.

    If they have to violate all codes of professional medical ethics in order to keep their traditional religious views, then they are failing in their function as hospitals. They should divest such things.

    An appeal to tradition is no appeal at all. It matters not one iota how long a church has operated hospitals in the past. It matters how they operate now. Attacking patient rights, putting their lives in danger, and circumventing professional medical ethics are not proper actions. Religious belief does not excuse it.

  • http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/not-born-that-way-new-scientific-analysis-questions-lgbt-orthodoxies/

    There is no correlation between discriminating against a human person due to ancestry/ethnicity, which is unjust, and discriminating between appropriate and inappropriate sexual acts and sexual relationships.

    Intimate choices may define one’s beliefs on sexual morality, but they do not define personhood.

    The marital act is Life-affirming and Life-sustaining, and can only be consummated between a man and woman, united in marriage as husband and wife. What separates marriage from every other form of Loving relationship, is the ability and desire to exist in relationship as husband and wife. Marriage cannot in essence be, and not be, existing in relationship as husband and wife, simultaneously.

    Men and women are designed in such a way that it is not possible to engage in same-sex sexual acts without demeaning our inherent Dignity as beloved sons and daughters. No one should be condoning demeaning sexual acts of any nature including between a man and woman united in marriage as husband and wife.

    Why not tell those men and women who have developed a same-sex sexual attraction the truth? It is because we Love you, and respect your Dignity as a beloved son or daughter, that we cannot condone the engaging in or affirmation of any act, including any sexual act that demeans your inherent Dignity as a beloved son or daughter. The desire to engage in a demeaning act of any nature, does not change the nature of the act. We Love you, and because we Love you, we desire that you will always be treated with, and will always treat others with Dignity and respect in private as well as in public. We will not tolerate the engaging in or condoning of sexual behavior that does not reflect the upmost respect for the human person.

    If is not Loving or Merciful to deny someone The Truth of Love.

  • And that’s why it rarely is. Slavery, witch burning, heretic hanging, Jew hating, gay hating, woman subjugating, Jim Crow, destruction of native cultures– it’s an old old story.

    But not to worry. There is nothing to bring on, and the fight is all in your head.

  • Shorter NDaniels, my bigotry is different from racism, therefore its OK

    “There is no correlation between discriminating against a human person
    due to ancestry/ethnicity and discriminating between appropriate and
    inappropriate sexual acts and sexual relationships.”

    Except the same actions such as denial of employment, housing, goods and services to them, and public denigration. The arguments in favor of such actions are also identical to those employed by racists (The Bible, freedom of association, its not really hatred, equal protection under the law is a crock…)

    ” It is because we Love you, and respect your Dignity”

    Well that is a pleasant fiction to keep in your head. Truth is people who hold your view prefer actions which act maliciously towards gays, demean them, attack their lives, advocate their imprisonment, encourage assaults and murder of them. Any pretense of “love” is a laughable fiction. Much like how an abuser assaults their victims our of love.

    “We will not tolerate the engaging in or condoning of sexual behavior
    that does not reflect the upmost respect for the human person.”

    You do not want to abide by the existence of gay people in my presence. Much like how a racist doesn’t really hate people of color, they just want them to know their place and not live or exist in close proximity.

  • TT, thank you for your measured response. I’m not at all young, very happy to be 63 years old. Nor do I feel in the least persecuted. I was referring to christianists in the USA. They feel persecuted and victims of discrimination, as they have frequently stated. What they are experiencing is a slight diminishment in national dominance. Christians continue to dominate the USA, but not to the extent they did in the past.

    I agree with you about Christians in areas where they are a minority in a religion dominated nation.

    “Aren’t we glad that for now at least in this country we are able to express our views without such threats.”
    If by “we”, you mean Christians, I agree. On the other hand, Muslims are frequently on the receiving end of threats simply for practicing their religion. So are Seiks, atheists, Jews, American Indians and others.

    BTW, I have taught American history in high schools for years. I probably know our history better than you. Many of the “freedom fighters” were “terrorists” to American Indians, Mexicans and other non Christian folks. The History of Christianity in America is decidedly mixed. A Christian set off a nail bomb in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, blew up the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City in 1992, slaughtered theater goers in Colorado, babies in Sandy Hook, etc. That put a real crimp in their freedom.

    Christians decimated the American Indian population via deliberately introduced small pox. Babies, wracked with fever, died in their mother’s arms. Children were torn away from their families, their culture deliberately destroyed, shamed, humiliated and molested. This nation of Christians still does not fulfill their sacred promise to provide decent schools in payment for hundreds of thousands of acres of land. Same with health care and food.

    The Indians made the best deal they could while losing nearly all their land, their method of feeding and clothing themselves, every damn thing. In return they got solemn promises from Christian Americans on behalf of current and future Christian Americans for food, medical care, education, and monetary payments.

    TT, as a Christian American, what do you do to fulfill those promises which are incumbent upon you and every non-Indian freedom fighter?

    I hope you will rethink your comment: ” it has been the Christians largely who have protected your freedoms.”

  • Sorry for the typos. My iPad makes unauthorized changes frequently. I don’t always catch them. I also just finished a colonoscopy. Not fun.

    If the government were to apply such sanctions, is not because of the fearsome gay lobby conspiracy, but because some will be insisting that discrimination on the basis of religious belief is their right. But It’s funny how these concerns and anxieties never surface with anybody but gay people. As I post below, I can reject the entirety of your religious beliefs, and this bothers no one but the most rabid, hysterical fundamentalist. But being gay, and all of a sudden you are afraid that we will do to you what you have been doing to us.

    It doesn’t work that way. We’re much better than that.

    The pinch you may feel will be the same pinch that racial bigots feel. The law and culture simply does not support that any more. Bob jones university found that out some years ago.

    Let’s just call all of this what it truly is. For 2000 years, the church and its representatives, fornicating with civil governments, and represented by the usual thugs, has attacked, murdered, jailed, vilified, tortured, beaten, ostracized, and blamed us for every social ill. and in all ways possible did whatever was possible to harm us, all in the name of goodness, faith and morality. In much of the civilized world, yo are no longer allowed to do that. Decent people see bigotry for what it is– and in the case of this alleged sincere religious belief, what it is not.

    Believe me, you have nothing to fear. Just treat us with the same respect that you routinely extend to all of the other people you believe are unrepentant sinners, and expect to see burning in hell forever due to the love of your God, and all will be well.

  • No. You believe that, because that’s what YOU would do. MR. Gushee doesn’t say that.

    What he says is that the government, followed closely by secular institutions, is no longer going to tolerate this kind of bigotry, much as the government no longer tolerates legalized discrimination directed at your previous favorite targets– black people and Jews– that you also justified with your bibles.

    You would be surprised just how uninterested we gay people are in interfering in your lives. And I can assure you that if there were any attempt to limit your freedom of worship by the government– real freedom of religion, not fake RFRA freedom– this gay atheist would be standing right next to my Christian brothers to resist it, because I actually believe in freedom and freedom of religion.

    Unlike some I Could name,

  • Nonsense. Your license to discriminate may be revoked, but not your license to believe what you wish. The culture has changed, the law has changed. You are not going to receive the support that you used to enjoy. Very few people today are willing to stand up for racial bigotry. There is a reason for that.

    But you can still be a religious bigot if that’s what you want to do. We gay people are not the problem for you, because we simply don’t have the numbers. it’s our families, friends, colleagues, neighbors, and decent, kind, thoughtful people everywhere that will be your problem.

  • Regarding this last. The catholic social services adoption agency in Boston let gay people adopt for some time. When marriage equality became the law, against they advice of their own board, they chose to stop. They then whined that the government wouldn’t give them money to discriminate against law abiding citizens and shut down. Of course, all of that whining about “The children” was a fake, because they weren’t willing to spend their own dime. The MORMON adoption agency in Boston,, however, continued to discriminate against gay couples, and no one cared, because they were not demanding a taxpayer subsidy for discrimination.

  • If you are so easily browBeaten by a thousand little pinpricks, perhaps your faith isn’t all that much to begin with.

  • So it sounds like you’re saying “You’re paranoid for thinking this is going to happen, but yeah, it’s going to happen.”

    Sorry about the colonoscopy. Not fun. I sincerely hope it went as well as it could have.

  • No, they are not indispensable for propagating the species. You need a woman of child bearing age, and you need sperm. The woman doesn’t even have to be fertile. Heterosexuality is not required and never has been p.

    Many gay people reproduce, when we are not busy adopting the cast off, unwanted products of irresponsible heterosexual reproduction.

  • Absolute nonsense. I claim exactly the same rights as any heterosexual– to live my life as I see fit, to find a person to love and share my life with. Not to live as your church demands I should live.

    Love, family, sex, romance. They don’t just belong to heterosexuals.

  • I am glad that you affirm that it is the Bible which is driving our convictions. Though you belittle my faith I am truly grateful that you are aware of the source from which it is derived.

  • Just as the New Atheists seem to have drowned out the thoughtful atheists, so the liberals marked by “harsh binaries” seem to be drowning out the liberals who show a “mutual respect that allows for different people to reach different conclusions about the purposes of human embodiment.” It would be nice to believe that Gushee is just reporting on how things are heading rather than championing that movement. Surely Gushee knows that the characteristic spirit and nature of the lives of Christians who hold to the historic position on sexual ethics is radically different than that of avowed racists. (The quotes are from Rod Dreher’s “We Have Been Warned” blog today.)

  • Since when do gays claim that they should not control their passions, such as their temper or their appetites? Are you saying that heterosexuals fight their heterosexual feelings so that they can be homosexual? The opposite (trying to change from gay to straight) is actually what many gay persons HAVE tried to do and ALL of them found that it was impossible to gain heterosexual attractions if they did not have them in the first place. I TRIED for years, (many years ago) to try to change my feelings from gay to straight, but I found this to be completely impossible, even with years of psychotherapy. Two “passions” I actually HAVE been successful at controlling (but not eliminating) are my temper as well as my eating habits. I have learned to express my anger without lashing out at people and I have kept off 105 pounds for 6 years now. I exercise everyday, so I don’t have to severely control my diet to keep my weight down. I don’t deny either my anger or my appetites, I just found a better way to express them. Instead of denying my homosexuality, I found a healthier way to express it. I also have achieved a lasting relationship with another man.

  • So good, we start discriminating on the basis of religious belief! Nothing natural about that.

    Of course, that isn’t what you mean at all. What you really are saying in all of that high flying rhetoric is that gay people don’t really exist, our lives are of no consequence, only heterosexuals are entitled to love, romance, sex, and family, and that this is all a figment of our imaginations.

    You neither love nor respect gay people. You haven’t the slightest idea of what you are talking about. Stop pretending that you do. Or don’t. I don’t really care. But I will continue to fight against this hate disguised as love as long as I have a breath in my body.

  • The premise of the article is that religious institutions will have to accept gay people as employees. I don’t care about that. Why would I? Let them run their little clubs. They have nothing to offer civilization anyway.

  • You have obviously never been Amish, Mormon, Jehovah Witness, Seventh-day Adventist, or a member of many other Christian religions, all of which have suffered the discrimination you listed above and worse. They will continue to suffer quietly the same discrimination and worse as the LGBT community continues to push its agenda over their 1st amendment rights.

  • I don’t mind being far from mainstream acceptance as long as I retain my right to worship according to the dictates of my religion.

  • Obviously you can find instances where those groups were discriminated against under color of law in this country.

    After there are all those instances of laws permitting Mormons or JW’s to be fired from their jobs because of the religious views of employers.

    How about those laws preventing SDA’s from adopting children.

    Then there are those laws being proposed abroad to imprison and execute the Amish.

    /sarcasm.

  • “Absolute nonsense” is not an argument. I see your answer does not refer to anything I said, so I would have to look for a another person to establish a real conversation and dialogue.

  • Any movement or idea that is contrary to Scripture is not on the so called “right side” of history.

  • As long as you realize your religious practice is not license to harm others.

    Yes, doing things to people that they don’t like, don’t want, didn’t ask for, and would never want done to you, is harm. Even if you claim to do it out of Christian love and concern.

  • What does the lgbt movement have to offer civilization? We already know the massive problems that are created by them.

  • There is no middle ground; if you are not for Christ, The Word of Love Made Flesh, you are against Him.

    The question is, do you believe our beloved sons and daughters, including those who have developed a same-sex sexual attraction, have the inherent Right to be treated with Dignity and respect in private as well as in public?

  • There is no such thing as homosexual “marriage”. There can’t be because you need a husband and wife. Only a man can be a husband and a woman a wife.

  • Trust me — that faith is not even browbeaten yet.. The Supreme Court can rule in your favor for the next 100 years, but you’ll never see the end of Christians (well, those who haven’t surrendered to Gay Goliath, and that’s a LOT of us who haven’t), who are continuing to fight back in compassionate but very clear words and deeds.

  • Nothing. They just want to be left alone. Religious people, on the other hand, have murdered and imprisoned people for centuries because… Well I don’t know why. Live and let live. Treat others as you wish to be treated yourself.

    After that, I don’t care what sort of fairy tales people believe.

  • “The verses clearly oppose gay marriage and they have NOT been refuted. that’s for sure.”

    It’s tough to refute something which doesn’t exist.

  • Atheists, liberals, homosexuals have also murdered others.

    If the lbgt crowd wants to “Live and let live” why then do they sue bakers who don’t want to bake a wedding cake for them? Why are they trying to push men to use the girls bathrooms and locker rooms if they are to “Live and let live”?

  • 1. Because refusing goods and services to people in open commerce for prejudicial reasons violated the states civil rights law. Discrimination is a malicious and harmful act. Those who do it are terrible people. Those who make excuses for it are vile trash.

    2. Transgenders people have been frequently assaulted using bathrooms for their biological gender.

  • Ah, here we go. My apologies to you for my delay in responding.
    The term dabaq in 1:14, does NOT mean that Ruth had ANY same-sex-attraction or deeds towards Naomi, nor considered her Mommy-In-Law to be a spouse. No creepy half-incestuous lesbian deeds (nor even “want-to-do-it’s”) AT ALL.

    You have to look at CONTEXT here, as well as the word “dabaq.” In verse 2:23, Ruth also “dabaq” (same word) the maidens of Boaz during harvest time, so she can glean the barley/wheat. Obviously, even with the word “dabaq”, Ruth didn’t marry nor do any lesbian hanky-panky with any of Boaz’s maidens.
    Equally important, Ruth (a pagan Moabite) clearly tells Naomi that (Naomi’s) God will now become Ruth’s God. (verse 1:16). And THAT God is nothing less than the Lord God of Israel, who specifically created and approved ONLY gender-complementary marriage for humanity in Gen (no exceptions!!), and Who also specifically condemned homosexual actions in Lev. Finally, Ruth intentionally married Mr. Boaz — she married A Guy Not Another Gal.

  • I neither understand why someone wanted that wedding cake made by someone who hated them nor why it was so important to refuse to bake it. Neither lived up to the ideal.

    What do you want me to do about it? People who like to fight will always find a way to fight. People who seek revenge for every trivial slight will forever make our lives miserable.

    If religious people are harassed as a result of their behavior, then it will not affect me and I don’t care. I wouldn’t waste my time with it.

    In my first comment i suggested we need not have this fight yet here you are demanding that I fight you. Funny.

    Have a nice day.

  • 1- It is “a malicious and harmful act” to force a baker to bake a cake against his convictions. Those that force them to are ” terrible people. Those who make excuses for it are vile trash”

    2- Why do you think this happens?

  • No , that wasn’t my argument. It was a dismissal.

    I answered your “argument”. My passions, as you put it, are quite fine, and satisfy my life. You might consider it your duty to battle your passions, whatever the hell that means. And if you do, have at it.

    Meanwhile, I have a great life and need none of your moral supervision.

  • “Openly discriminatory religious schools and parachurch organizations will feel the pinch first. Any entity that requires government accreditation or touches government dollars will be in the immediate line of fire.”

    If a business is offered as a public service — or accepts public funds — then, of course, it is not their right to act as if it is their own club. And some services must always be public services for public safety — especially medicine. But these issues do not apply to a religious school that really is a private service — privately funded — for its church members.

    Free exercise of religion demands freedom of association. I am sure homosexuals want their gay-only clubs. “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”

  • No one I know wants to fight nor are they doing anything to anyone. We’re all getting along just fine.

  • If you want sympathy for business people who got sued for treating customers in a bigoted fashion, go whizz up a rope. It’s not going to happen.

    Their “religious convictions” involved maliciously denying goods and services in open commerce. Nobody has to respect that.

    If you can’t treat all customers with even the most basic level of respect you don’t deserve to be in business. Calling discrimination “religious convictions” doesn’t make it moral, legal or acceptable.

    You are a terrible, immoral person for making excuses for discrimination in commerce. No better or different than a segregationist looking for excuses not to serve blacks at a restaurant.

    As for #2, you tell me. The people doing the assaults come from your crowd.

  • You need to get your head out of the sand. Anyone who opposes them is immediately labeled a bigot or something worse. Many have lost their jobs because they speak against them.

  • What nonsense. Peoples religious convictions are protected the Constitution.

    You are a terrible, immoral person for making excuses for the tactics of the lbgt crowd. Shame on you.

    Do you think a homosexual baker should be forced to bake a cake that says “I hate homosexuals”?

  • Yes, you indeed “tried for years to try to change the feelings” and yet it didn’t work despite psychotherapy. And in fact I met a hometown guy in the very same boat. No Joke. When my pastor asked me to go meet the guy, I really didn’t want to do it despite God’s promise (1 Cor 10:13), for I didn’t know anybody who had ever been healed from homosexuality.
    I even secretly told God, as I and another person met and prayed with this man for a few months, that I didn’t have any faith, and that God picked the wrong guy — namely, me. I even told God (quietly) that I was TRASH. But this guy knew me, and his own pastor stopped speaking to him when he found out he was gay, so that’s why he desperately asked for me (The Wrong Guy) to become his minister instead.
    So I got this weird three hour phone call about 4 months later. Didn’t recognize the voice at all. His voice was so … DIFFERENT. He said that **something** happened to him in the middle of the night. He could only describe it as “An Explosive Blast Of Power” that crashed into him with no warning. And after the **something** crashed into him, his same-sex-attraction WAS PURE GONE.

  • I think in practice the harsh binaries in attitude about sexual orientation are going to blur at the edges. Sensible people don’t want windows into other people’s secret thoughts about gays or other minorities. What they insist on is equal treatment for all.

    I think that formal and informal subsidies for religion are going to come under increasing scrutiny. It’s one thing for a private organisation to have discriminatory policies, but as soon as it receives any public subsidy or concession, like an exemption from paying rates, this raises real questions of public policy.

    In an increasingly secular world, tax concessions for religious institutions look quite questionable. Why should my taxes support beliefs that I disagree with? I don’t expect my taxes to subsidise the Flat Earth Society, so why should they subsidise the “God Hats Fags” church? And if we refuse subsidies to one religion, how can we continue to subsidise the others?

  • She married Boaz as a Levirate marriage. It was NOT AT ALL a marriage of love, but one of convenience so that she could bear a child to keep NAOMI’S bloodline going. The point is NOT about sexual attractions per se, but rather about the spouse like love she had for Naomi. Since she Dabaq to Naomi, this proves that Genesis 2:24 does not mean a person was not allowed to cleave to someone of the same gender. Dabaq is the same word used to mean to cleave to one’s life wife. Also Leviticus NEVER mentions ANYTHING about Lesbian activity WHATSOEVER.

  • Nonsense is pretending that discriminatory behavior becomes acceptable by claiming it is somehow religious belief. There is no constitutional protection for maliciously harming people. Not even in service of your phony religious pretense. You don’t like anti discrimination lawsuits? Don’t discriminate.

    We already had a period in our history when open commerce was restricted due to personal bigotries. It was called Jim Crow. It was immoral garbage. You want to revive such nonsense.

    You want to run a business and declare to customers “we don’t serve your kind”. Go eff yourself. That makes you a terrible person. Your judgment of me isn’t worth a pile of dung in comparison.

    “Do you think a homosexual baker should be forced to bake a cake that says “I hate homosexuals”?”

    Some pinhead tried that. The baker baked the cake and let the customer write the icing. The bigoted customer protested and sued. His case got tossed out quickly.

    Sorry buddy, there is no excuse for discrimination in open commerce. You are an immoral person for demanding such a right. Why do Thu want to treat people in a,way which would be unacceptable if done to you?

  • Anyone who opposes them. Sounds like fighting to me.

    I can’t be bothered with such silliness. What do I care about this? None of it affects me.

    Live and let live.

  • Yeah. It bothers the hell out of Antigay bigoted people. Huge problem.

    And please, spare me your epic on diseases.

  • That would that would depend on a number of legal factors, ones which the religious Antigay right tends top to gloss over.

    Personally, I think if you are a gay person working for an Antigay church, or an organization owned by an Antigay church, you are just placing a large target on your back.

  • Don’t be obtuse. Yes those groups have suffered discrimination but not by LGBT equal rights movement. Come on…

  • Who says Ruth’s marriage was “NOT AT ALL” a marriage of love”?

    Certainly the Hebrew term “dabaq” does not forbid Ruth’s marriage to Boaz being a marriage of love. Indeed, no word or sentence in the Bible forbids it.

    More importantly — and this is the most rational, biblically supportable explanation of the “dabaq” thing — Ruth made a **daughter-like** (NOT **spouse-like**, because Ruth herself openly pledged to serve Naomi’s exclusively-gender-complementarian-marriage-only God) decision to cleave to, and help out the otherwise economically helpless, family-less widow woman Naomi.

    This is the only interpretation of Ruth 1:14 and “dabaq” that doesn’t crash into the clear context of the other Scriptures (like 1:16), and the other mentions of “dabaq.”

  • Thank you for your good sense here. I’m willing to take a more religion oriented stance, even though I am an atheist. But the price of that is nothing less than keeping their purely theological concerns out of the civil law that governs all of us. This idea that they get tax breaks while advocating “God says gay is a big ol’ sin so let’s punish it under law.” Is something that I will continue to fight against.

  • Actually, most gay clubs welcome straight people and always have, as long as they are well behaved.

    But you’re right about the religious schools funded by religions only. I have no issue with that as long as they are not getting public funds.

  • Speaking of distractions, let me offer one: where exactly are lesbian relationships or marriages PERMITTED in Leviticus?

  • I haven’t yet seen a refutation of 1 Cor 6:9-11 or Rom. 1:26-27, which I offered in good faith. Instead I was directed to address Ruth 1:14, which I have now demonstrated was NOT a lesbian (and creepy half-incest) thing.

  • You should real please… There is no respect in you if you think we have “developed a same sex attraction.”

    I know that it is really difficult for you to understand that gay people are who they are the same way you are (presumably) heterosexual. But it’s true,

    I’m sure you don’t like it because you are sure your God doesn’t like. Good for you and good for him. Now stay out of our lives. There are lots of people who simply don’t share your issues.

  • And by the way, your declaration about who is a true Christian– because that is what you are saying– is something that conservative religionists seem to have a thing for.

    It’s not liberal Christians telling conservatives they are against Christ, and are not true Christians.

  • But we don’t do it in the name of God, do we, or in the name of atheism, in the name of liberalism– I can just see a murderous Unitarian as we speak– or in the name of homosexuality.

    But doing it in the name of God? Oh, my.

  • Labeled a bigot? Like you label gay men child molesters, sick, depraved, evil, and diseased?

    There are worse things than being called a bigot. Like being one and pretending you aren’t,,

    People have been fired? Why don’t you look up the statistics for don’t ask don’t tell and you can tell me all about the thousands of people who were fired.

  • Hey Ben, since you’re happily talking all that “real freedom of religion” stuff, let’s see you publicly lend some MEDIA and MONEY support to 70-something grandma florist Baronelle Stutzman — the Christian lady who employed gay people and served flowers to gay and straight customers alike, yet the Gay Goliath threatens (via the courts) to destroy her business and take away the old woman’s life savings.

    First you need to git out there and put some skin in HER battle, and THEN you can run around here boasting about being some sort of heroic gay atheist who “would be standing right next to my Christian brothers” for the sake of freedom of religion. Yes sir!!

  • Romans 1 is about idolatry and temple rites. Something which becomes obvious when you read the passage through to Romans 2.
    Cor 6:9-11 is about the same thing, adding in male prostitutes and male concubines. Modern translations interpolate greek idioms to refer to gays, but it is more interpolation than a “gotcha” passage.

    But if you are going to be proof texting the Bible to excuse treating people badly, there are always ways to do it.
    Good people can do good and bad people can do evil. But for good people to do evil — that takes religion.
    Steven Weinberg. Physicist

  • Christian churches (and Jewish synagogues, and Islamic mosques) don’t want your tax money.

    All we want is the constitutional religious freedom that’s promised to everybody in the Bill of Rights. Gay activists and their political allies seem to be seriously forgetting about the Bill of Rights.

    (Notice California’s recent attempt to truncate and remove constitutional religious freedom for religious colleges in California. The PRO-GAY / EXTREMIST attempt was recently thwarted, but only because all three religions spoke loudly to the national media at the same time.)

  • The problem with this article’s assumptions is that it doesn’t perceive the lack of Church acceptance of LGBT issues inside the broader sexual context. Conservative Christian churches cannot and will not advocate for ANY of the carnal anarchy brought about by the permissive advocates of the Sexual Revolution. We decline to participate in society’s forn- and porn-culture. We reject its divorce cult. We think its abortion-obsession is thoroughly decadent and utterly lamentable. Such licentious focus will not inherit the Kingdom of God, but it is little wonder that a culture that embraces such moral mayhem is so utterly confused when it comes to lesbianism, pedophilia, polyamory, pederasty, polygamy, homosexuality, bestiality, etc.

  • You don’t seem to understand the concept of “Levirate Marriage” at all. Levirate Marriages were NEVER made out of love, they were to raise offspring for a dead brother USUALLY. The offspring wouldn’t even be considered that of the living brother, but rather of the dead brother. The living brother did NOT marry his brother’s widow “out of love,” but rather out of duty. This Levirate marriage was kind of unusual in that Ruth was raising a descendant for NAOMI. You can read Ruth 4:10 where Boaz explains that he married Ruth NOT for love but rather to raise up offspring for her dead husband’s estate. Chapter 4:15 states that Ruth bore this child out of love for NAOMI, NOT Boaz. Usually a spouse will bear a child for the love of a spouse. Mind you, I am not necessarily claiming Ruth and Naomi had sex, but clearly she had far more love for Naomi than she did for Boaz. Boaz was just a means of having a child, perhaps like a “surrogate father,” just as Hagar was a “surrogate mother” for Abraham.

  • Are they really “Christians”, Ben? And how would you really know if they were actually Christian or not, given your own total rejection of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

    For example, doesn’t your own personal refusal even to accept “gay Christianity” (as advertised by the gay-marriage-friendly MCC and UCC denominations), in regards to your own life, really mean that gay marriage is clearly INCOMPATIBLE with Christianity?

  • You said, “Christian churches (and Jewish synagogues, and Islamic mosques) don’t want your tax money.” That’s not how it’s argued at this site: http://churchesandtaxes.procon.org

    It is clear that tax concessions and subsidies for churches are controversial even today. As society becomes more secular, this is likely to increase. For instance, take this article in Time magazine: http://time.com/3939143/nows-the-time-to-end-tax-exemptions-for-religious-institutions/

    A Newsweek article is even more pointed: http://www.newsweek.com/2013/10/25/are-churches-making-america-poor-243734.html In this article one researcher alleges that Walmart gave twice as much to charity as the Latter Day Saints Church did and that the operating expenses of the churches were way above that of the American Red Cross.

    In return for their tax exempt status, churches are expected to refrain from political lobbying. Many churches ignore this provision of the law and others openly challenge it. Religious bodies often lobby for quite political things, like against the arms trade, gay rights, contraception, same sex marriage and plural marriage. But they’re not losing their tax exemptions.

  • If you are asking me to believe this, you must be kidding yourself. Exodus International FOLDED a few years back and they were THE main organization that made claims like this for themselves. Most persons, whose testimonies I have heard, who have claimed a change in orientation admit to “temptations.” Either this person is lying, or they are in denial, or they are just fooling themselves. When I was trying to change, there were times I thought I had eliminated the Homosexual desire, but it came back in full force. I KNOW, the way to verify this is for the person to take a “penile plythysmograph” test which measures sexual arousal in response to sexual stimuli. Have this person watch gay porn for about 30 minutes and if they show no arousal from this stimuli, then they have changed. Most people who have claimed “change” say they have to avoid tempting situations. If they really had changed, tempting situations, such as porn should not cause any sexual arousal whatsoever. Here is an article about how Exodus shut down, having changed NO ONE’S sexual orientation. http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/20/us/exodus-international-shutdown/ Alan Chambers was one person who claimed he had changed because he got married, but it says here, “Chambers, who has a wife and children and previously identified as gay, has acknowledged that he has “ongoing same-sex attractions.”

  • None of it affects you AT THIS TIME.

    Or your kids. Or your grandkids, nieces, nephews. Schoolchildren at a PC-policed public or parochial school.. Future college students at a PC-policed university. Future employees at a PC-policed corporation. Or even starting and running their own business, and finding out that their state’s official PC-Police is alive and well.

    At this time, none of this affects you. Doesn’t affect many Christians. Not Yet.
    But there is no “live and let live” when you have failed to bow and kowtow to the Gay Goliath upon their request. They don’t play it that way. They play ROUGH.

  • I don’t know about Felix Dzerzhinsky.
    Seems more like Neville Chamberlain to me.

    (America, you’re in deep p.p. no matter what.)

  • Gay activists and their Obama allies, figured out that American Christians are the most GULLIBLE on the planet, and so the gay activists did what gay activists do. LIE to the Christians and watch them fall like dominoes!!!!!

  • The fake “idolatry and temple rite” schtick was refuted by NT scholar Richard Hays DECADES ago. But you don’t even need to Google up Hays, because the Apostle Paul openly grounds his discussion of 1:26-27 in the Genesis account.

    Thus Paul quashes ANY attempt to limit the sinfulness of gay/lesbian behaviors and marriages to ritualized “idolatry and temple rituals.” The Romans 1 position is that you are automatically doing IDOLATRY if you are disobeying God’s design for marriage and human sexuality (which is permanently **gender-complementarian**, not same-sex). So if you do gay/lesbian mess INSIDE a temple, it’s a sin, and if you do it OUTSIDE a temple, it’s still a sin.

    Gay activists are also eliminated on 1 Cor. 6:9-11 and 1 Cor. 10-13, thanks to “malakoi” and “arsenokoites”, the latter term of which ultimately traces back to the Leviticus prohibitions.

  • Ok… You want to fight. I get it. But that doesn’t mean I have to play the game. It’s silly.

  • We discrimiate all the time. The state is discriminating against bakers who refuse to bake a homosexual wedding cake. That is discrimination. Those states that do that are bigots.
    Society has discriminated against men going into the girls bathrooms and locker rooms for good reasons. Now the fake women want to have access as do all kinds of men. Certainly you are not going to be a bigot and not allow men into the girls bathrooms and locker rooms are you?

    So a homosexual baker should be forced to bake a cake that says I hate homosexuals. Not to means that homosexual baker is a pin head bigot.

  • An espn announcer lost his job because he didn’t agree with the homosexual agenda. A fire chief in Atlanta got fired for mentioning a book he wrote for calling homosexuality a sin.

    Do you like being called a bigot?

  • “what you’ve just said… Is one of the most insanely 1diotic things I have ever heard. At no point, in your rambling, incoherent response, were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKjxFJfcrcA

    JP, reality is discriminating against you. Somehow it is not giving people like you license to act like a horse’s posterior to others without consequence or recourse. How inconvenient.

  • Here’s your problem: At NO point in Ruth 4:10 does Mr. Boaz characterize his upcoming marriage as loveless or without love, as he appeals to the city elders for legal approval of his kinsman-redeemer marriage. You are **without** evidence of lovelessness on this verse, and of course “dabaq” can’t help you.

    You’re correct that Ruth and Boaz’s marriage is levirate, but you have ZERO evidence, anywhere in the Bible, that levirate marriage — especially theirs! — can’t be as loving, as full of love, as “regular” biblical marriage.

    Indeed, Boaz gives the game away in Ruth 3:10-13, doesn’t he?
    “God bless you, my dear daughter! What a splendid expression of love!
    And when you could have had your pick of any of the young men around. And now, my dear daughter, don’t you worry about a thing; I’ll do all you could want or ask. Everybody in town knows what a courageous woman you are—a real prize!”

  • The great thing about Bible scholars are that they always have a ready audience by providing validation for people who want to proof text. As for Romans 1, you are putting words in Paul’s mouth which were not present in the passages cited.

    “thanks to “malakoi” and “arsenokoites”, the latter term of which ultimately traces back to the Leviticus prohibitions.”

    But Christian takes on Leviticus prohibitions always come down to, they apply to others but never myself. At no point can a Christian reference Leviticus without looking like a complete hypocrite. That is hardwired into the faith..

  • Of course I don’t expect you to “believe this” on the spot, from behind a who-dat-guy computer screen by a who-dat-guy poster that you’ve never met.

    But the gay guy I met knew me, and he asked ME to be his minister instead of his own pastor. He could have had his pick of 20 local ministers, ALL of them much better qualified than my trashy disobedient self.

    But he trusted me, he asked ME to come see him and pray for his desperate, suicidal situation. He even asked my auntie to become his MAMA, because his own mama refused to speak to him!!

    Oh, I’m still trash, yes I am. And it’s my own fault. I failed a lot. But when that guy phoned me — his voice full of peace, he DID NOT EVEN SOUND THE SAME — and told me about that weird **Explosive Blast Of Power** from God Himself, I changed too. I realized that God DOES heal homosexuals, and He’ll even use trash like me to pray for healings (if He can’t find the regulars to do it).

  • He might have respected her, but that is not at all the same as really loving her as a wife.

  • Oh yes you do. You are hearing both biblical compassion AND biblical clarity.

    (They always go together, you know. That’s why after Jesus dispersed the lynch mob with the famous “Cast the first stone” proclamation, he quietly turned to their intended victim and said “Go and sin no more.” Compassion AND clarity, always at the same time.)

    That’s why many of us Christians aren’t going to bow and kowtow about this gay marriage thing. We’re not going to sit down and shut up; we’re not going to accept gay requests to do wedding cakes with the Two Plastic Gay Guys on top. Even if the government punishes us, our churches, our daycares, our colleges and helping agencies, we ARE going to show both compassion and clarity.

  • I find your contention interesting. As an attorney who has had some involvement in civil rights cases, can think of numerous occasions when Amish, Mormon, Jehovah Witnesses and others have been persecuted in the United States. I have no knowledge of cases where this persecution was done by gay and lesbian people. However there are numerous examples of self-proclaimed Christians persecuting these groups.

    One of the most famous is when the good Christian citizens of Illinois murdered Joseph Smith. Of course the 1943 Supreme Court Case, Barnett v West Virginia Board of Education is another where the good Christian folks of West Virginia decided to pass a law which effectively kept Jehovah Witness children out of public schools. Amish folk have experienced harassment repeatedly from Christians who resent them for some reason.

    So please enlighten us of all the verified evidence which supports your claim that lesbians and gay have been engaging in some sort of organized persecution of these groups.

  • I just thought of something else. Many people have argued that 1 Corinthians 6:9 indicates a change in sexual orientation or attractions. However the word Arsenokoitus used in this verse doesn’t mean *feelings* or *attractions* at all. It only has to do with *acts* which of course a person has some control over. It probably literally means anal sex between men. Like Leviticus, this has nothing to do with Lesbians and even nothing to do with oral sex between men. It also is in the context of idolatry, which also makes heterosexual marriages very condemned (1 Kings 16:31). So I really don’t think this verse buttresses your story of the elimination of homosexual attractions at all.

  • Gay people do not see their attraction to men as a passion to be controlled. I did not mean gays do not fight to control other passions, I was referring specifically to this one.

    Suppose I have a passion that pushes me to sleep with as many women as I can. I restrain my self and do not obey this force, but even though, the passion do not disappear. Now suppose that after many years of fighting against this passion, and seeing it always there, I take your advice and say something like this: “I have fought enough against this passion, and now I do not want to continue lying to my self and the world, I want to reconcile with my self, tell everybody who I am, to be honest to my self and not continues being a divided individual”. And so I obey my passion, being defeated by it.

    Now imagine the whole world doing the same with whatever their passions are .

  • Book Recommendation side bar – Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong Kindle Edition
    by James W. Loewen

    The book sounds like its here to beat up on teachers, but no. It hacks apart the manufacturers of scholastic textbooks and their insistence on having an American “Creation Myth”

    Loewen brings up a view of the plague that decimated the Indians and how that affected how Western Europe took root here on this continent. He contends 97% of the native populations were dead 70+ years before the arrival of the Plymouth settlement. This plague can not be safely attributed to “christian hostility.” – of course I am not absolving Western European Christians from other atrocities. My people were converted at the sword and I’m not so thrilled about saying anything nice about christianists through reflex.

    All that aside, Loewen’s book is a stunner and aggressively debated and checked over the last decade.

  • “Hide as you might,…..” Who’s hiding, Mr. Gushee?

    There are multitudes who have made their abhorrence of perversion perfectly clear. The Southern Baptist Convention kicked your ilk out over 2 decades ago because they knew you supported this and all manner of wickedness.

    So called “Christian” higher education is one of biggest curses to authentic Christianity. I’m praying God will use this issue to show the whole sordid ungodly mess for the sham it is. This issue has the potential to be a two-fold blessing:

    1. By pushing the fraudulent schools to show their true colors when they kowtow in order to keep the government money rolling in.

    2. By robbing the schools who will not bow of the government money they should never have had in the first place.

  • Your pessimistic gloomy outlook is not brushing off on me. I suspect that you are feeling this way because either:
    1) you are incapable of envisioning a world in which the USA is not the biggest & strongest, in which case you need to broaden your perspectives & be open to new ideas. or
    2) you are in a funk yourself and deflecting by irrationally blaming the gays for all that is wrong in your pissy little world.
    Stop being so anally fixated, The world is not ending.

  • I think you are completely putting words in my mouth. I never said we should just give our passions (even homosexual desires) absolute free reign. I merely stated we can’t completely deny any of our passions. Clearly you never have tried to completely deny your attractions for women.
    There is such a thing as sublimation, which is “the diversion of the energy of a sexual or other biological impulse from its immediate goal to a more acceptable social, moral or aesthetic nature or use.” It is like Paul stating to “be angry, but do not sin,” in Ephesians 4:26.” We don’t have to completely eliminate anger, but not act on it in wanton ways. Likewise lust is not to be be completely denied, but unbridled or wanton lust is to be. I think where we differ is that you probably think that there is NO acceptable way to express a person’s homosexual desire. You probably believe your own heterosexual desires can be expressed in an acceptable way, but merely not be expressed wantonly. Heterosexual desires in your mind would never have to be completely denied.

  • Who of us can measure the intensity or intimacy one person has for another, irrespective of any sexual component? Nor can one proof text from one word or one verse. The evidence for your argument comparing Ruth’s love for Naomi to that of Spouses is simply absurd. It is a twisting of the text. I’m quite sure the author of the text would be appalled by your interpretation.

  • And Jehovah’s Witnesses have the lowest percentage of those that accept LGBT too, although like most it’s slowly rising. Being an exJW this pleases me.

  • I discussed this text with my Orthodox Rabbi counselor and he thought my interpretation was valid. YOU are appalled. The Biblical writer would not be. To me, for the text to say Ruth bore a child out of love for Naomi sure sounds like spouse like love. And what about her famous vow of loyalty to Naomi, which is often used in marriage ceremonies? Clearly you read the text from a deep anti homosexual bias. You don’t let the text speak for itself.

  • Yet the candidate you embrace for President, Donald Trump, is a thrice married serial adulterer who lives a decadent lifestyle, has many times robbed contractors and their workers by not paying for services rendered, and opened a “university” whose only purpose was to bilk economically fragile people by promising a new career in real estate.

    Do you not see the hypocrisy in your position?

  • Yet it’s quite likely you DO reject a host of things from your Holy Book: everything from passages about slavery, the role of women in society & the church, prohibitions against divorce, etc etc etc. As a rare book dealer I have held in my own hand a book from the Civil War era, a collection of sermons by a dozen pastors laying out the Biblical basis for slavery and how good Christians should treat their slaves.

    I’m sure they felt just as firm in their beliefs as you do yours, and as aggrieved at the threat to those beliefs. But just as society evolves so does religious practice, and some of the more… prejudicial passages are glossed over or ignored as relics of their time. Well, it’s time to put the very few mentions of homosexuality in the same category.

  • Would you want your son or daughter to marry someone who claimed to be “ex-gay”? Probably not, and that’s your answer right there. On some level you know it’s a farce, likely to lead to pain and heartbreak on the part of BOTH people and the children they might have. It doesn’t work.

  • I am a United Methodist and a lot of the problem with our denomination is that the forces of the right, represented by the “Good News” Movement and the “Institute on Religion and Democracy” are making a great effort to weaken the Social Witness of our denomination. Unfortunately, they have made a lot of progress, esp on homosexuality. But this homophobic denominational stance is the first step toward the complete takeover of the denomination.

  • I don’t mind it, because it isn’t true.

    Of course you have distorted those events for your own purposes. Here’s the ESPN statement o Curt Schilling : “ESPN is an inclusive company. Curt Schilling has been advised that his conduct was unacceptable and his employment with ESPN has been terminated,” the Disney Company-owned sports network said in a curt announcement Wednesday evening.”

    The fire chief? KEvin Cochran claims he was fired for his Christian faith. Of course, that wasn’t true, he was fired for being an total jerk, bringing his religious and political views onto his job, told to stop, and doing it anyway.

    From the New York Times: “The mayor argued that his firing of the chief had nothing to do with Mr. Cochran’s Christian faith, but rather with a lack of judgment on the part of a man charged with managing a 750-member department.

    Mr. Reed said that the chief failed to follow proper protocol in receiving approvals from city officials to publish his book, a claim that Mr. Cochran disputes. Mr. Reed also said that Mr. Cochran opened the city to possible discrimination lawsuits.”

  • Well, then, you should be afraid. You should be very, very afraid. In fact, you should move to Russia, which is lovely this time of year. I understand that they protect the religious freedom of people there.

  • Identifying oneself according to sexual desire/inclination/orientation, which sexually objectifies the human person in direct violation of God’s Commandment regarding lust and the sin of adultery, is consistent with atheistic materialism. Man is not an end in himself, nor is man a means to an end; man was created to live in Loving relationship, as sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, in communion with God, Who Willed us worthy of Redemption.

  • The chief was fired because
    “The mayor released the following statement after firing Cochran:

    “The material in Chief Cochran’s book is not representative of my personal beliefs, and is inconsistent with the administration’s work to make Atlanta a more welcoming city for all citizens – regardless of their sexual orientation, gender, race and religious beliefs.”

    Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2015/10/fire-chief-fired-for-views-on-homosexuality-has-day-in-court/#Ceph9GmtwWoo82Ym.99

    Curt was fired for expressing views against homosexuality. They violated his free speech and showed they are bigots.

  • Of course they accept it. Divorce among baptists and Mormons– check the statistics. Porn use is highest in Utah.

    The culture is not confused. The culture is busy while you obsess over what people do with their genitalia, instead of things like peace, jobs, the environment, and all of the other things you don’t pay much attention to.

  • No doc. It just means that disguising prejudice as sincere religious belief is losing its luster.

  • Gushee is the worst example of a bigoted authoritarian. The Westboro Baptist Church wishes they could be at hateful as him.

  • Hypocrisy is certainly in evidence. But what of it? If we all became murderers would that make murder moral, right, or good? Your argument says little to nothing about the upward calling of God, which is what any authentic Christian should be interested in. And find someone else, please, to use the “obsess” based rhetoric on. It is utter presumption on your part to know what anyone is focussing upon, based upon one editorial comment. Moreover, it is the culture’s own preoccupation with sex that drives many a Christian response— not vice-versa.

  • Love is ordered to the inherent personal and relational Dignity of the persons existing in a relationship of Love, which is why a man does not Love his wife, in the same manner as he Loves his son or his daughter, or his mother, or his father, or his friend. Acts that do not respect the inherent Dignity of the human person as a son, daughter, brother, sister, husband, wife, father, mother, are not and can never be, acts of Love.

  • The left began implementing its radical social agenda decades ago. All of the personal qualities necessary to the maintenance of a free society have been undermined: self-reliance, self-restraint (includes sexual behavior, of course), industry, and thrift. Sobriety not so much since the various available drugs make conquest so much easier. It’s no secret – it’s how totalitarian movements always proceed. Read Anne Applebaum’s excellent book, Iron Curtain, for a clear description of how the Soviets went about destroying civil society in Eastern Europe after the war.

  • I am single thinking. Avoiding obscuring phrases, phony euphemisms and nonsense arguments to cut to the heart of the matter.

    What some call “exercising religious conscience” on this subject is more plainly described as denying employment, housing, goods & services in open commerce or rightful access to government services. It is always malicious in nature and meant to harm those denied such things. Calling it religious belief is simply a tactic to pretend such actions are beyond criticism

    I have given you more of a response than your terse post deserved.

  • So the effectiveness of progressive sects is being undermined by efforts to turn them conservative. I definitely see that in the articles about your sect.

  • You are ultimately talking here about the freedom to deny freedom to others.

    You don’t want self restraint, you want enforced restraint. You don’t want self reliance, you want the power to impose upon others with impunity.

    You don’t want a free and civi society. You want the power to dictate to others. To force people to navigate through your personal animus and inability to respect the lives of others.

    It’s not that you oppose totalitarianism. It’s that you want to be the one to be in control.

  • This isn’t religious freedom, doc. This is discrimination on the basis of religious belief, or as Spuddie likes to call it, malicious discrimination under color of law. It is illegal at every level of government. The courts have repeatedly not sided with her.

    It is very telling that this is the only place that Christians like you and like her claim that discrimination is a violation of her religious belief– when you have to treat gay people the same as everyone else you think is going to hell.

  • Not that one word of what you wrote has a thing to do with anything…

    When you start respecting my inherent dignity as a gay person, please feel free to talk. But saying you do and actually doing it are not the same.

    We gay people have been defined solely by our sexual orientation– and not by ourselves.

  • And yet we are told repeatedly that Christianity has informed and created our culture. But then we are also told, it has no responsibility.

    It is Christianity that is obsessed with sex– well, conservative Christianity.

    Plenty of Christians are concerned about God. They are just not so concerned about what other people are doing with their genitalia.

    Hypocrisy is indeed the issue. Jesus was quite clear on that. Logs and beams, ya know?

  • Yes. The problem is where homosexual men “put it” in that place where the body contains to most bacteria and other nasty stuff.

  • Just remember, Jesus, himself, allowed for those who had removed the log from their eye to comment upon the speck in others’. And He, himself, had no difficulty commenting upon culture— saying, among other things, that porneia was a defiling principle.

  • Because he is reporting the truth, and not picketing people’s funerals?

    Unclutch your pearls, honey. you are cutting off the oxygen to your thinking parts.

  • It would be helpful to forget theology altogether, if this is what it brings about in thinking. If we took theology as the starting point, then we need to discuss whose theology.

    This sounds like more of the “you’re not a true Christian like me” stuff.

  • What troubles me is the notion that in order not to be “intolerant” one must be “affirming” of LGBT behavior and relationships.

    It seems to me quite possible to accept that some people are LGBT and that the should not be discriminated against, without having to affirm that it is a good thing. You don’t have to approve of something to accept that it exists and that you’re not going to discriminate against those who engage in the behavior: you don’t have to approve of out of wedlock births to not discriminate against unmarried mothers or their children, or to approve of divorce not to discriminate against those who are divorced.

  • Sorry, that’s your fanatasy, not reality.

    But since you love the CDC stats so much, you might try to find out about anal sex among heterosexuals. But you won’t.

  • Sure, let’s discuss whose theology. Let’s start with Islam, how abouts? Very interested to see if the Feddies and the assorted lots of SJW’s launch public campaigns to re-educated Muslims on their bigotry. After then, i’d love to see a theology that affirms homosexuality. Let it simmer for 3,500 years and let see what you get as a result.

  • Is Mr. David Gushee now advocating and praising persecution of the dissidents? I thought He was a Baptist. What a sad development.

  • Discrimination is neither good nor bad. And if you are a human being you discriminate multiple times a day. If you choose one brand of coffee in the morning, you discriminated against the others. If you work for a single employer, you discriminate against anyone else who would hire you.

    You equate discrimination with malice, when in reality, you’re talking about malicious discrimination specifically.

    “What some call “exercising religious conscience” on this subject is more plainly described as denying employment, housing, goods & services in open commerce or rightful access to government services.”

    No, “exercising religious conscience” to most means personally refusing to participate in something you find morally objectionable, which is not “denying employment, housing, goods & services in open commerce or rightful access to government services” and conflating the two shows that you’re view of the subject is as narrow as possible. Or that you reject nuance. Neither is great.

  • Ever hear of gay bowel syndrome?
    I have no reason to think that the CDC lies with its stats.
    Yes, heterosexuals also get lots of diseases. That’s what you when you have sex outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.

  • Pretending that there is no difference between discrimination as in choosing a brand of coffee, and firing someone, denying them housing, and so forth as discrimination against a class of people are hardly the same thing.

    Both definitions exist in the dictionary. Look it up.

  • Nonsense again.

    If they have been discriminated against, They have been discriminated against as being the wrong sort of Christian by the right sort of Christian. In other words, BY CHRISTIANS.

  • And you have that. As a gay atheist, I absolutely support that.

    What I don’t support, and will fight against, is the presumption that the civil law that governs all of us should reflect the purely theological concerns of those who claim “God doesn’t like X”. When God shows up in person to testify– and I’m not talking about 2000 years ago, but in a court of law today– then I will be happy to listen.

  • Nope, I summoned two of them before my first cup of coffee. Beware my power! Hahahahahahahahaha!

  • Ethicists on the Left start out by saying human beings are threats to the environment. This gets them a seat at the table because who wants to hurt the environment? Once they establish themselves as the moral arbiters of what’s good for the earth, they move on to offer sexual perversion as the way to save “Mother Earth.” It’s a simple but effective con, and people follow the con artists out of shame. It’s so effective that the biggest con artists are planning to rule the world using Global Warming and Climate Change as the means to achieve dominance over the world’s governments.

    Think of it as controlling the sexual urge (“the hots”) by making people slaves to a false god, “Global Warming.” Once they feel like that’s been accomplished, they move on to the “Climate Change” phase of the project, where people are free to choose from 57 different sexual perversions, none of them fertile. The Elites who push this will be and are, of course, highly sexually perverted. And because the sexual urge can never be extinguished, they envision a perpetual worldwide rule.

  • Of course he did. But of course, his implication was ironic, because we’re all born doing the backstroke in sin. Isn’t that what Christianity teaches?

  • Hey,I am not the one looking for socially acceptable excuses to treat people like garbage. That is all you
    You are spineless enough to think you can attack others without criticism or consequences.

    Why is the Golden Rule such a difficult thing for Christians like yourself to understand? When you attack people, you invite attack yourself. Don’t do to other people things that you would not want done to you. At no point would a Christian like yourself ever put up with the discriminatory actions that you would gladly visit upon gays,

  • If all were humble before God, there would be no need to reiterate what the Bible teaches. All are, indeed, impacted by sin, but why are those prophetic types, who would remind people of Jesus’ words, somehow public enemy number one for doing so? The truth is, just as Jesus warned of Pharisaical types who would distance themselves from the deaths of historical prophets, there are people in THIS day who would paint the tombs of the ancient prophets, even while treating their contemporary equivalents like social pariahs.

  • No one is saying that except you.

    I don’t care about your affirmations. I care about the intolerance that you describe as a matter of civil law and public policy.

  • “Sometimes society changes and it marks decadence. Other times society changes and it marks progress. Those who believe LGBT equality marks decadence are being left behind.”
    The author seems to think that the latter statement is a sign of progress, when it is, in fact a sign of burgeoning decadence. All behaviors are not equal, nor are they all beneficial.

  • Let’s be clear: this is happening. As an orthodox (Not Orthodox) Christian, I understand this. I just have two questions:

    1) how will the pagans justify use of force to suppress Christian expression

    2) how will the pagans justify excusing Islamic compliance with their brave new world of gay acceptance.

  • Is fornication still a sin? Straight, gay, or all-of-the-above fornication? And if so why should the Church affirm the sin of fornication? Simple question, right?

  • What a load of sociopathic BS. Discrimination is an act intended to demean and denigrate those on the receiving end of it. An act of malicious and deliberate harm to others.

    You can pretend rephrasing acts of discrimination change its nature. But that is just dishonesty on your part. Even more to the point, you are advocating actions against others that you would never want done to you. Any pretense of moral conduct on your part is a farce.

  • 1) no one is justifying force to suppress Christian expression, and no one is trying to suppress it. Losing the ability to control the lives of others isn’t persecution.

    2) no one is excusing Islamic compliance, whatever that means. But of course,chat you are really saying is something that irritates me no end: pointing to Islamist persecution of gay people as a way of excusing Christian persecution here at home, or the persecution in Uganda, Russia, Jamaica, and a host of other places that Christianistas support.

  • I’m sorry, ending legal discrimination against people isn’t decadence. Decadence is excusing bigotry by pretending it isn’t persecution and is just an expression of your sincere religious belief.

  • Religious freedom here. Not demonizing Muslims or discriminating against them. Essentially attacking those who come here and make a life for themselves in our free and open society. Many of whom are fleeing the terrors of the Islamicists. These are the people who openly and vocally speak out against terrorists without fear. The people who join our military to fight the Islamicists. People who by their own example show the rest of the world that Muslims thrive in democratic society.

  • So you support discrimination against your LGBT brothers and sisters, and do so under the name of religion. The commandment is love your neighbor as yourself (unless he or she is gay, in which case you should hate and fear him or her).

  • Somehow your Christian expression always means attacking the lives of others. As for Islam, that is a load of garbage. You have jihad envy. Islamicists in dictatorships get to act on their religious zealous bigotry and you don’t.

  • I suggest you google religious acceptance of homosexuality. Wikipedia is a great place to start.

    As for real-educating Islam? Nice little reference to totalitarian communism there. But….

    But more to the point, Since when have the evangelical far-right christians ever expressed any concern or sympathy for LGBT citizens being persecuted across the globe, except as an excuse to continue to demonize the LGBT citizens in their own states in this country?

    And that is exactly what you are doing with this nonsense. It is not organized Islam in this country that advocates for sodomy laws or calls for my execution. that’s all conservative Christianity.

    The evangelical community in this country has actually applauded and given aid to the movements to demonize and imprison gay people in Africa and in Jamaica, as well as in Russia.

    So, let’s talk about re-educating conservative, Antigay Christians, shall we?

  • Someone who seeks religious privilege to attack others has no standing to criticize religious views which do the same. You are in no position to criticize actions which you would gladly do on your own accord.

  • Your point is quite simple: Only left wing progressives are against discrimination, and you poor conservatives don’t like the mean old lefties telling you not to discriminate against gays.

  • Yeah, we don’t like bigots who defend their bigotry behind their religion. How unreasonable can we be?

  • If we were all humble before God, there would not be a certain class of so called Christian who assume that because they think they understand something written in a book 2000 years ago, and that whatever it is they think they understand in that book has something to do with a modern, secular society and the people Who live in it, then they should have dominion over the lives of others who don’t share those beliefs, and be able to harm those people under color of law.

    Want to believe homosexuality is a sin? Have at it. Want to make my alleged sin a crime, disadvantage me in society, and tell lies about me to justify the harm? Expect a fight.

  • But this doesn’t end “legal discrimination” it just ends discrimination certain people think should be illegal.

    I hold your rights in higher regard than you do mine. I believe you should be able to handle your goods, services, etc., in any manner you see fit that does not impose upon the rights of others. If you believe religious organizations should have their beliefs subjected to popular opinion you aren’t serious about the first amendment.

  • Dr. Gushee has now saved me all sorts of time, not to mention space on my bookshelf with his article. I used to read my Bible in order to discern right and wrong, but now I see that all I have to do is follow the larger society and not worry about it. Think of all the time this will free up, including the time I would have spent on Sundays in church. Think of all the money this saves me. I am now free to simply follow today’s “sweeping trend.” And tomorrow’s – whatever that may turn out to be. It’s all just part of progress after all. And to think I wasted all my adult years trying to live in a way that would please Jesus. Had I but known!

  • Funny how this is a publication called religion news and there is no mention of God, His morality or His design for sex in the post or subsequent comments.

  • Ah yes, the old “you don’t do some stuff that’s in the Bible, so therefore gay is fine” argument. Um, no Mr. Strawman.

    On why some OT commands are no longer binding please see this entertaining and informative video:

    http://youtu.be/4r2m_cffRjI

    As for slavery, the Bible does not prescribe (I.e. command) it. Instead it circumscribes it. Given that slavery was a reality for most of human history, and in many places and times was sometimes a self-chosen reality, because life was more secure as slave, the Bible gives injunctions on how slaves are be treated.

    Frankly, life was so hard, so short, and so insecure throughout most of human history, freedom as we understand it today wasn’t even part of the conceptual grid. So Paul tells slaves that if they can gain freedom, great. If not, don’t worry about it.

    You will have to work hard to convince me that the life of a slave in the Ancient Near East was really qualitatively worse than the life of the average poor person.

    American slavery was different in many ways than ancient slavery, and very pernicious and evil. The fact that southern racists misused the Bible to justify it just means that the preachers were bad exegetes and misused the texts.

    Will you also please note that you cannot use the activities of a select group of American Southern Protestants from 1700-1863 represents a tiny portion of Christian history and thinking on the subject of slavery. Whereas the prohibitions against homosexual activity are unanimous among the whole of the Christian church worldwide for 2000 years, all of Judaism, all of Islam, as well as in all the other great religions of the world throughout all of recorded human history. The only exceptions being the David Gushees who emerged in the early 1970’s, and many only emerged the day before yesterday.

  • What critics of Christianity don’t seem to understand is that there is a difference between behaviour and the people who engage in that behaviour. What we do isn’t what we are. It may be true for example, that we can’t control what we feel or our attractions but we can be held justifiably responsible for what we do with these feelings – behaviour is always a choice. That’s not only a scriptural truth – Jesus doesn’t condemn the attraction to a beautiful woman but the lustful thoughts about her – but one that has been held by reasonable people in the West as we formulated our laws throughout history. That’s why you can’t go to jail just for wanting to steal someone’s car.

    The Bible explicitly condemns homosexual behaviour. Full stop. There are no positive affirmations of homosexuality in scripture either. But revisionists like Matthew Vine, rightly point out that there is no hint of homosexuality as an identity akin to being a Jew or gentile in the Bible. The Bible doesn’t condemn the identity because there isn’t an identity it recognizes. Rather, it condemns homosexual sexual acts, including lust.

    That’s why this article from a bible scholar is so disingenuous. He knows that there is a difference between what you do and what you are.

    It’s true, Christians must do a better job accepting people with same-sex attractions and openly welcoming all people at the foot of the cross. But nowhere in any constitution does it say that we must agree that sexuality is an identity that forces us to accept certain behaviour. Frankly, this whole piece simply assumes that same-sex attracted but celibate Christians don’t or can’t exist.

    Besides, if it is wrong to merely disagree with someone’s behaviour to the point that it is considered hateful or discriminatory, then doesn’t this article, by disagreeing with the behaviour of Christians, also constitute discrimination?

  • To the contrary, I am being precise. All of these groups and their members did suffer immensely precisely for the their beliefs, which was the proposition you put forward.

  • You underestimate your own capacity for totalitarianism, and overestimate mine.

    Want to believe Christianity a crime? Have at it. Want to make my beliefs a crime, disadvantage me in public society, and tell lies about me to justify the harm? Expect a fight.

  • The proposition was not whether LGBTers have discriminated against the religious movements, it was whether the religious groups had suffered as much as they had. The radical part of the LGBT movement is seeking to force all other to believe as they do, and there does not seem to be an end to where the LGBT movement seeks to invade the right to practice one’s religion as protected by the First Amendment.

  • A free society does not mean that you are free to do anything you want to do. The society you describe has another name – anarchy.

  • How do you define secular morality and religious dogma? Religion has served as the moral guidepost for every civilization from the dawn of time. Cite me an example of a civilization that has existed without a religious base. The fact that you are so stridently against religion is what causes fear in the religious community.

  • But it means you have to come up a rational and secular reason for not allowing something. The anti-gay crowd keeps losing court cases because they can’t cough up anything like that in defense of their discriminatory actions.

    Your arbitrary religious beliefs are not grounds to restrict the activities of others. Nobody has to live according to your faith. The society you seem to describe is called theocracy.

  • Secular morality means appreciation of religious freedom. That compelling others by force to follow the dictates of your faith is immoral.

    Religion has been an extremely poor moral guidepost since its inception. Whatever prohibitions exist on treating people badly are full of so many exceptions and carveouts to be non-existent. Moral choices are reduced to self-interest. Fear or expectation of divine response for one’s actions rather than considering the impact of them on others.

    “Cite me an example of a civilization that has existed without a religious base.”

    The United States is the first nation founded without an official state authorized faith nor organizing principles beholden to any given religious dogma.

    Our system acknowledges people have religious belief and protects their ability to exercise their faith but it denies religion the reins of power. Knowing that when church and state are entangled freedom of all is threatened. Our nation is not a “Christian nation”, nor founded on “Judeo-Christian ideals” (its not like you can define either of those terms in a reasonable manner anyway). It is a nation of all faiths and none.

  • “The Bible explicitly condemns homosexual behaviour. Full stop.”

    Remember Thomas Jefferson’s special version of the Bible in which the references to the supernatural and miracles were removed? If I had a lot of time to waste, I would carry it a step further by removing all the references to prohibited behavior/conduct/action that causes no verifiable harm to other people. (Then we could probably fit a printed Bible into a shirt pocket.)

    The Bible, which hasn’t been updated in about 2,000 years, is not a legitimate source of authority in the modern world, except insofar as it documents the delusions and bigotry of ancient people who had little more to work with than ignorance. And I have no doubt that it also contains some willful fraud.

    Fundamentalist Christianity, and many other religions, seem unique in their refusal to analyze/evaluate ancient ideas and beliefs through the use of the advanced knowledge, reason, evidence, and logic that have produced the modern world.

    I suspect that devotees realize that their religion is equivalent to a house of cards which may come crumbling down if any card is touched.

  • Secular morality is morality without the addition of religion. Once people started to live in groups larger than the extended family (c. 8K years ago when agriculture freed us from the hunter/gatherer dependence of the previous dozens/hundreds of years humanity had existed) they developed rules for living together rather than exterminating each other. These rules arose independently in many societies because they made sense. They evolved as we did because, over a period of time, some of the changes they brought about improved the likelihood of survival.

    You find injunctions against killing, against lying, against stealing in many pre-Israelite societies – they are present in the Code of Hammurabi and in the Pharaonic Law. It doesn’t matter whether the society had a religious base, two systems (morality and religion) existing side-by-side does not indicate a cause-and-effect relationship (either way). Can you prove that religions were not invented to provide legitimacy and fear-based observance by those who wished to impose moral standards on lawless people? No – you can’t – doesn’t mean it happened but it is as likely as morality somehow growing out of a power structure which worked without needing it.

    You say that the religious community fears those who are opposed to it – so they should. Those who live their lives without the irrationality of religion are constantly being derided and opposed by the environment religions have created to avoid having to face the questions they cannot answer. Merely attempting to level the playing field by removing the pro-religious biases of society is deeply frightening to those who suspect that they cannot survive on equal terms with logic and reason.

  • I will respond to you John, and say what kind of person calls people names they don’t even know. I guess that makes you a religious bigot, by your standards. Goodbye.

  • David Gushee offers no Biblical arguments here. He seems to think that Christians would do well to reconsider in the light of current cultural changes to change their historic views. But true Christians have been called upon, like Noah, to condemn the world and there is no clearer declaration of independence than that of God’s Word.

  • “All behaviors are not equal, nor are they all beneficial.”

    That’s true. Obviously, some behaviors harm other people, and some do not.

    And regarding the existence of LGBT people . . . they have never ever caused any harm whatsoever to non-LGBT people, so there cannot be even one legitimate objection to people living in accordance with their L, G, B, or T orientation, and being granted equality. And furthermore, more homosexuality and less heterosexuality would actually be beneficial to the earth and humanity by reducing the vast number of unintended/unwanted pregnancies.

  • I always find it amusing when some Christians claim they are being “persecuted”, when in fact they were the ones doing the persecuting. Same sex marriage has been legal for over a year. And yet, despite all the ludicrous fear-mongering about it, “It will destroy ‘traditional marriage’!” of course there has been no effect whatsoever on straight marriage, Christian or otherwise. Not in favor of same sex marriage? Don’t marry someone of the same sex. Problem solved. And of course claims like “My Church will be forced to start marrying gay people!” are utter hogwash too. Churches, or religious organizations of any kind are under no obligation to provide religious services, whether it’s a marriage or a baptism or anything at all, to anyone they don’t wish to. They never have been, nor will they ever. It’s complete nonsense.

  • Absolute, total nonsense. Pray don’t insult me if you have nothing else to say.

    Christianity is not a crime in this country, but private relationships between consenting adults have Been criminalized, and the laws for those crimes, though neutered, are still on the books in some states.

    Discrimination on the basis of religious belief is illegal in this country, and freedom of religion is guaranteed. I absolutely support that, and would be standing right next to you to fight against any governmental incursion into your freedom to worship.

    So, what were you saying about my capacity for totalitarianism?

  • Oh, please. Spare us the drama. You can hold whatever religious views you like. No one is “persecuting” you in the slightest way, and certainly absolutely no one is threatening to kill you. Don’t be ridiculous.

  • Except that they don’t. Gay bowel syndrome was a term invented some 40 years ago, but doesn’t actually exist.

    I don’t have it, whatever it may be. I have never known anyone who has it.

    The term “gay bowel syndrome” is considered obsolete and derogatory by some. The McGraw-Hill Manual of Colorectal Surgery says:

    Coined in the pre-HIV era, the term “gay bowel syndrome” comprised a rather unselective potpourri of unusual anorectal and GI symptoms experienced by homosexual males… with better understanding of the underlying causes, this term is outdated: the derogatory terminology should be abandoned and more specific entities and terms recognized and used.[5]

    A 1997 article in the Journal of Homosexuality concluded:

    It is apparent that Gay Bowel Syndrome is an essentialized category of difference that is neither gay-specific, confined to the bowel, nor a syndrome. The use and diagnosis of Gay Bowel Syndrome must be abandoned.[6]

    Gut, a well-respected, peer-reviewed journal of gastroenterology published by the BMJ, said in 1985 that:[7]

    The “gay bowel syndrome” was first used to describe not a syndrome, but a list of conditions. The term hides the problems facing the gastroenterologist. Firstly, the sexual orientation of a patient may not be easily ascertainable in the setting of a general outpatient clinic. Secondly, many infections of the gay bowel are asymptomatic and are missed without full microbiological screening. Thirdly, coinfection is common and the organism isolated may not be causing the symptoms and signs. Finally, the bowel has limited and non-specific clinical and histopathological responses to many infections.[7]

    The term “gay bowel syndrome” was withdrawn as “outdated” by the Canadian Association of Gastroenterologists in 2004,[8] and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control described the term as informal and no longer in use in 2005.[9] The gay activist and author Michael Scarce criticized the concept of “gay bowel syndrome” in his book Smearing the Queer: Medical Bias in the Health Care of Gay Men (1999), saying that “gay bowel syndrome has been, and remains today, a powerful tool for the specific surveillance, regulation, definition, medicalization, identification, and fragmentation of gay men’s bodies.”[10] Scarce’s work has been cited in the Journal of the American Medical Association with a positive review.[11]

    But continue to slander gay people. It makes you feel good, and actually does exist.

  • I’m sure you believe all of that. Meanwhile, no straw man at all. You can try to dismiss the justifications forslavery and Jim Crow, but nevertheless they were there. To claim that they misused the bible is simply to beg the question.

    As for the great religions all agreeing about homosexuality, well, all of the Great religions have also been killing each other for centuries, all in the name of God, all with complete justification as god’s word. Christians killing Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Muslims killing Muslims, Christians and Jews. Jews killing Muslims. Buddhists killing Muslims killing Hindus.

    You justified slavery and sergregation using the bible. The oppression of Women. The burning of witches and heretics as god’s word. The destruction of native cultures.

    So if you don’t mind, I don’t think I will be looking at religion for pointers on morality.

  • Wake up, sleeper. When you have doctors being fired for telling the health-truth about homosexuality (U.S.); when you’ve got law schools being denied jurisdictional approval because of their Christian commitment to traditional morality (Canada); when you’ve got business contracts that can’t be revoked for reasons of faith (U.S.); when you’ve got health practitioners that are being shuffled to other departments or demoted for not wanting to participate in abortions (U.S.); when you’ve got nurses being fired for wearing crosses (Britain); or geriatric departments being muscled into euthanasia (Canada), you’ve got a Western trend that is becoming increasingly totalitarian, and folks like yourself refuse to perceive it.

  • No, I don’t think you hold my rights in higher regard. We forbid discrimination for a lot of good reasons. One of those reasons is religious belief. Trying to find exceptions to those laws just underlines why we have them in the first place. Handling your goods and services isn’t religious belief.

  • The truth about homosexuality? Funny, I’ve been hearing the “truth”for 45 years, and it doesn’t seem to be true. Yes, some gay men have far more sexual infections than others. But that’s because they are promiscuous, not because they are gay.

    But then, I’ve also been told that I like to molest children, that my marriage is a danger to yours, that my existence causes the downfall of civilizations, that not beating up on me is inviting god’s wrath, that my service to my country is in fact a threat to the country, and on and on and on and on and on and on and on.

    If you would stop trying to assume dominion over the lives of other people, perhaps you would find that people don’t care about you at all. But what fun would that be?

    Sorry, what you call totalitarianism, I would call a rejection of that assumption of dominion.

  • Mary Stachowicz repeatedly pestered her murderer, a co-worker, about his sexuality. She was extremely critical of him. Should she have been murdered? Of course not. But she’d be alive today if she had simply left him alone to do his job, which is exactly what everyone is supposed to do with co-workers who lead lives they may not approve of, for whatever reason. His sexual orientation was none of her business. And her faith and personal views were none of his business. But she harassed him once too often and he snapped. It’s very sad. This woman wasn’t killed simply because of her personal religious views. She was killed because she harassed an unstable coworker with a capability for extreme violence. Please don’t try to suggest this was in any way “religious persecution”.

  • Oh honey. Please! Unclutch your pearls! So much drama, so little connection to reality.

    I sincerely doubt mr. Gushee has the slightest intention of killing you, though I’m sure the thought just thrills you no end. But I suspect that you are yet one more of the type of Christian that is driving him and so many good people away from Christianity.

  • He said nothing of the sort. Why must you slander and revile? Don’t you know it’s a sin?

    Mary stachowicz was killed by a very disturbed individual who happened to be homosexual. That is all there is to her story.

  • True Christians again. No not-true-Christians need apply.

    Lots of people are Christian. A growing majority no longer agree with you. Deal with it.

  • In glad to hear that you recognize that homosexual orientation is innate. It saves time.

    Now, what you are proposing is that gay people, based upon what you think you understand in a book written 2000 years ago by a people a universe in culture, language, and morals from us, should just forgo the human-ness of love, sex, romance, and family.

    No thanks. Now find something else to obsess about.

  • I didn’t justify any of that. The church of a sister denomination was firebombed in San Franciso after they fired a gay organist. A Molotov cocktail came through the window of his 9 year old daughter while she was sleeping. This was done in the name of gay rights. Do you justify that? Or was that somebody doing something under the banner of your issue? An evil act with which you disagree, and which you personally abjure?

    http://eaglerising.com/16986/remember-when-gays-firebombed-a-san-francisco-church/

  • You’ve simply believed the orientation assumptions of the American Psychological Association. I do not. I’m sorry for the rhetorical abuse you’ve experienced, but Christians face much of the same, especially if they are worth their salt.

    “What you call totalitarianism, I would call a rejection of that assumption of dominion.” And that, Sir, is the heart of the problem. You assume your own innocence, and believe the worst of your foes.

  • I have never tried to cause Christians harm because they are Christians. The same could not be said of your class of Christian regarding gay people.

    And no. I’m a gay man, active in this fight for 45 years. I have been listening to the lies, distortions and half truths that your side has been throwing t us for all of that 45 years, and continues to throw at us. Most of it is disconnected from reality, and certainly, from the reality of the lives of nearly every gay person I have known in my entire life. Sodomy laws are not rhetorical abuse. They are real abuse. Claiming that my marriage is a threat to yours isn’t rhetorical abuse. It is well funded, real abuse.

    You tell me I have done to any Christian be used they are Christian. I’m waiting.

  • By the way, those are not assumptions of the APA, but statements back by decades of research, decades of observation, and the experiences of millions of gay people– experiences which you are more than willing to discount because of your assumption of religious and moral superiority.virtually every single medical, scientific, and professional society on the planet, that have a thing to do with the subject, but excluding those infected by toxic religious belief, agree.

    I knew I was gay when I was three, but not because I read the APA DSM. I didn’t know what it was or what it meant, but I knew. And I certainly knew I shouldn’t talk about it.

    My experience was not unique, nor did it require the approval of the APA.

    Try again.

  • I’m sure the good Dr will be first in line to volunteer to hold all the mosques accountable, as well. Such a brave man. No doubt he’ll make sure those burqas are removed toot sweet.

    Men with soft hands in ivory towers graciously giving me a chance to change my views “voluntarily” make my skin crawl. Well, I’m up for it…Marquis of Queensbury rules?

  • Sorry but you claim in the comment you posted that, “They will continue to suffer quietly the same discrimination and worse
    as the LGBT community continues to push its agenda over their 1st
    amendment rights”. There is no evidence whatsoever that gay people are oppressing religious people.

    This is a common theme with certain religious groups who seem to misunderstand the 1st Amendment. The 1st Amendment protects one’s right to believe and practice their religion. This means in their personal life they can eat or not eat certain foods, pray or not pray at certain times of the day or week, It allows people to believe as they wish – if they want to believe that Jehovah created the world in 6 days; or that the earth was made out of the body of Ymir the frost giant by Bor; or that the earth is born on the back of a great turtle swimming in the cosmos – they can do so.

    But this does not allow them to go out and oppress people based upon some religious belief. A Jew or Muslim can abstain from eating pork products but they cannot go around forcing others to not eat pork roast. Likewise a Christian cannot force a Jew to uncover his head in public or force a Muslim to drink alcohol. A religious person who believes their deity forbids remarriage cannot assault a divorced person in the streets. Etc, etc, etc.

    The fact is that there are no bands of gay people going around assaulting Jehovah Witnesses simply because they are Jehovah Witnesses. Those doing that would more likely be fundamental Christians who despise Jehovah Witnesses.

    So again where is the verifiable evidence of this oppression of Christians by gay people.

  • David Gushee, you were quoted today on America’s most powerful Christian radio station, Denver’s 50,000-watt AM 670 KLTT. As the host of Bob Enyart Live, I’d like to let you know three things. We are not “hiding”. You don’t have to “find” us. And lastly, we are not “neutral”. Instead, we warn people about you and about the scourge of homosexuality.

  • In the history of humanity, the existence of gay people has never ever harmed anyone (except the gay people who have been viciously attacked and often killed by bigoted Christians and others). Thus, there is not even one legitimate reason for denying them the freedom to live openly in accordance with their innate orientation with rights equal to yours.

    Obviously, the ancient authors of the Bible were either unable or unwilling to determine prohibited behaviors based on evidence of harm caused to others. And, for that reason alone, the Bible should be tossed in the trash, (although I would want some copies kept because the Bible documents the ignorance, delusions, and bigotry that dominated the era).

    Compared to the existence of gay people, the existence of Christian people is another story, and here is just one glaring example: Since the end of World War II in 1945, Christianity has made a Herculean effort to distance itself from having any accountability in Germany’s extermination of the Jews. But the reality is that it was entirely rooted in nearly 2,000 years of Christianity’s persecution of the Jewish people. And then this culturally entrenched hatred was skillfully exploited by Hitler and others. Given the fact that reality plays only a minuscule role in religion, the belief that Christianity had no accountability is just one more myth among all the other myths that comprise their sincerely held beliefs.

  • “. . . we warn people about you and about the scourge of homosexuality.”

    If you study history, you will find that there is no such thing as a “scourge of homosexuality,” except in the small minds of bigots, but the huge scourge of Christianity has been well-documented. Just one fact is that nearly 2,000 years of Christians persecuting Jews laid the groundwork for the murder of six million Jewish people.

  • Whatever you want to call it, its a serious health issue among homosexual men. Don’t be afraid of the truth.

  • 1. If all were so accommodating we likely would not be having this conversation.
    2. Not so sure He will show up in a court of law, but that will be an interesting day.

  • I have disagreed vociferously with gay males, in debate, but cannot recall ever treating them contemptuously; in fact, I’ve generally treated folks equal to or better than what I’ve actually received. But we aren’t really talking about personal interaction, here; instead, I’m talking about more systemic, cultural dynamics. And the reality is that, in general terms (and this is well beyond mere orientation), there is no greater systemic threat to Christian faith on this continent than radical sexual progressives— heterosexual or otherwise. In my experience, they have a pronounced tendency to be proud, culturally sanctimonious, elitist, aggressive, sexually libertine exclusivists (despite their supposed reputation for ideological inclusion). Their hatred for God, and for anyone connected, runs just underneath the surface of their cosmopolitan demeanour.

    How many times have churches invaded massage parlours? And yet, in my Province, the socialist government has now forced even private Christian schools to sponsor Gay/Queer Straight Alliances against Biblical teaching, and irrespective of community intent. The fact is that sexual progressivism, which arose out of the agenda of the Political Left is now FUSED with ever-increasing Statist tendencies. And, on that level, the totalitarian connections are eerie. When Orwell talked about “4 legs better”, he could have been talking about sexual progressives.

  • No, it was not Christian mobs who attacked the Jehovah witnesses. It was not Christian mobs that killed Mormons in Missouri and jailed and attacked them for their beliefs in Utah and elsewhere. You dismiss the fact by saying nonsense.

  • Please, spare me the “research” rhetoric, Ben. Science is now so thoroughly compromised by politics, that it can barely breathe. Going way back, Dr. Alfred Kinsey was a liar, and the Rockefeller Foundation kept giving him money anyway. In other words, tell me of a moment where sexual “research” HASN’T been compromised by agendas as long as the Mississippi? The APA’s obvious response to the Stonewall Riots is a case in point.

  • You know, Biblical arguments also say it’s perfectly OK to sell your sexually-violated daughter to her rapist and of course, slavery is Just Fine with the Bible. Some Biblical arguments are absolutely appalling and deserve to hit the dustbin of history.

  • Of course it was! What a pile of revisionist BS! You just want to disavow any kind of negative actions taken by Christians. Claiming they “weren’t real Christians”. No. It doesn’t work that way. It wasn’t Hindus, Muslims, or Jews doing all that mayhem. It was church going Christians.

    You really have a problem with honest and accurate representations of facts.

  • Do you have a link to the story that isn’t a blatantly wingnut site. Like from an actual news site of some measure of objective credibility.

  • “I have disagreed vociferously with gay males, in debate, but cannot recall ever treating them contemptuously;”

    You were just doing it with Ben. You were patronizing, dishonest and making a patently ridiculous case that loss of undue privilege is like persecution.

  • I wonder how many great marriages and families and relationships got their start with fornication?

    How can there be any condemnation of such things?

  • What I find obtuse and a bit asinine is the argument that because the groups mentioned suffered at the hands of “Christians” makes their experience somehow less than that of the LGBT community. Nothing cold be further from the truth. If anything they are fellow suffers and the LGBT community turning on them a sad Witness to the vindictive intolerance of their group. Personally, as an ex-Jehovah’s Witness who personally suffered under such things in my teen years I resent the very notion that my experience is nothing.

    It was bad enough that many of my fellows took whatever outs they could get where they could. I didn’t have that option because I was a convert in a household which persecuted me at home as well.

    What those who are determined to break the will of Christians will find out is that in the end they will fail as everyone who has tried before has ever done. True, there will be some who will cow down as there always has been But there will be those who who won’t be broken. What then?

  • David Gushee is a fascist who understands nothing about God, morality or much of anything else. He is a pathetic example of what happens when the religion of leftism overtakes and destroys the ability to reason.

  • Umm, when you say that I have merely believed the orientation assumptions of the APA, you are basically treating my life, and the Iives of millions of people like me, as something we couldn’t possibly know a thing about.

    If that isn’t contempt, I don’t know what is,

    The health truth about homosexuality is another myth you tell yourselves to justify more of your bad behavior. There are reasons for that, not all of them good. But so what? I don’t suffer from those health consequences, nor do most of the people I have known in my life. Why? because I’m not promiscuous, just more contempt– calling us diseased pariahs doesn’t make you look any better.

    Sexual progressives are just like fascists? Err, umm statists? Please. You equate not being able to control the sex lives of other people with persecution. Personally, I’d call people who think sodomy laws a good idea the worst sort of statist.

    “In my experience, they have a pronounced tendency to be proud, culturally sanctimonious, elitist, aggressive, sexually libertine exclusivists (despite their supposed reputation for ideological inclusion). Their hatred for God, and for anyone connected, runs just underneath the surface of their cosmopolitan demeanor.” Way to demonize and generalize. Funny, but change libertine with repressed, and you’d be describing most of the dominionists and theocrats, obsessed with other people’s sex lives, that I have come across. And funny you say that all of those pro-gay Christians hate God. Nope. Nothing like contempt there.

    As for the rest, see what Spuddie had to say right below. Because that is what this is really about. You lose your ability to have other people agree with you when you declare yourself my superior as a Christian, as a moral person, as a heterosexual, and as a human being,

    and you really hate that.

  • I think it’s a bit inaccurate to portray compromise as something that used to be common place that’s slowly dying and partisanship is a modern invention. The culture wars have always been highly divisive and polarized. It’s just the roles have been reversed. The LGBT community tried to compromise with the Religious Right for decades, whether it was on civil unions or watering down ENDA, but the Religious Right cried foul every time. Now the Religious Right is the one on the losing side and are crying persecution when they’re treated the same way they treated us for decades.

  • Absolutely. They think we’re going to treat them the way they treated us. I’m sure some butt heads will, but the rest of us are going to be too busy enjoying our lives.

  • Honey, it’s only a scourge if you’re into S&M.

    I am an American citizen, a taxpayer, a law abiding, productive, contributing member of my community, well thought of by family, colleagues, neighbors and friends. I harm no one, I bother no one, and I am not in the remotest possible way a threat to you, your church, or OUR country,

    Apparently, you have an issue with what you imagine to be my sex life. I’m 99% certain that it is all about some stuff you believe, or just made up. But given the above statement of fact, I doubt it has much to do with me.

    Here is the thing: I don’t have sex in front of you, I don’t discuss my sex life with you, and in fact, I not only don’t know you, I don’t want to. My religion is not yours, nor your business; and I don’t care what you believe. I don’t share your religious beliefs, and I don’t have to. That’s called freedom of religion.

    Given all of these facts, I would put it to you that if whatever you think my sex life is bothers you so much…

    Perhaps you ought not to think about it as much as you clearly do.

  • Personally, I don’t give a rat’s furry butt what the LGBT…community chooses to do, that is between them, their other(s) and whomever else they may feel accountable to (God, government, etc). What I do take issue with is telling me I have to believe the same. I choose not to drink, but I don’t run around changing laws, and protesting other’s who do drink. I don’t deny anyone the right to marry, I simply say I won’t but there are many other who will. I don’t deny someone a cake or photos or a hotel room, I simply say their are many others who will provide that service for you. But…the LGBT… community and their supporters will gladly protest to the point of putting these businesses out of business and doing so proudly, as the honest, positive member of society, business owner is in financial ruin. Another issue is why all the hostility and focus on Christians? Muslim’s don’t approve, Hindu’s don’t approve, but they are never dragged through the mud, because there may be the perception of racism! What about all those ‘black’ southern baptists, you going to call them out publically, or are afraid you may end up on the wrong side of ‘Black Lives Matter’? Stop forcing people to believe the same as you and pretend that is ‘equality’. As this writer has so keenly made us aware, the majority are accepting the LGBT… community, you are more than equal, you are clearly in charge! But I get the feeling that your ‘side’ is trying to rub our noses in it saying, “Resistance is futile”.

    As a Christian I love everyone, that is my calling, but loving and agreeing or accepting is NOT the same thing. Love my wife and kids more than anything on earth, but we hardly agree on everything and I certainly don’t accept everything my children do, which is why I lovingly punish and teach them when they mess up.

    Your treatment of who you call intolerant, is now becoming intolerant itself. You have become what you seek to destroy.

  • I just finished reading the entire Book of Ruth again, granted in the English text, but given the care in which biblical texts are treated in translation I have confidence in the version before me. None of the biblical scholars I have read, nor any of the Pastors’ I’ve heard preach on the text in question would agree with your view. Which at best leaves you and I at an insurmountable impasse.

  • Rabbis are experts in Hebrew. Anyway Orthodox Jews are not normally biased in favor of homosexuality, which gives him even more credibility. No credible scholar would deny that the word dabaq is related to marriage, since it is the word used in Genesis 2:24. Paul uses the Greek equivalent to dabaq or kollao in 1 Corinthians 6:17 to refer to cleaving to the Lord. Paul would say cleaving to the Lord is more important than heterosexual marriage. The Lord includes the community or Body of Christ. Calling me a liar is NOT a good argument.

  • Hey, real church, hurry up and become just like the world. Now now now now now! You’ll have more friends that way and endure less persecution. What could go wrong in denying your master and failing to love your neighbor by telling them the truth?

  • “This is a time of testing. It will cost you to remain faithful. If you are not preparing for this now (or, if you’re a pastor, preparing your congregation for this), you are behaving foolishly. As Gushee says, “The issue will come and find you.” One of the hardest things that dissidents will face is that when the Thought Police show up at the door, church people like David Gushee will proudly say, “They’re in the basement, officer.””

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/we-have-been-warned/

  • My hope in posting comments is not really to sway persons such as yourself who have very strong views against homosexuality. My only hope is to sway the general public. Some people can be swayed. Persons like you will never accept gay people, no matter how good the argument. With the Internet, I have a good chance of reaching a large and diverse audience.

  • You want to publicly attack people without any repercussions and consequences. You object to the existence of certain people in your presence and don’t expect it to cause problems.

    I could care less what you believe. I only care how you act on those beliefs. Take some advice from your own lord and Savior, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, live by the sword die by the sword. There is nothing moral with treating people badly. You treat people badly, expect returned in kind.

    If you want sympathy for people who express their bigotry and desire to discriminate, tough luck. It’s morally repugnant.

  • One thing that occurred to me is that Levirate marriages were often half-incestuous. Read Genesis 38 of the story of Judah with his daughter in law Tamar. His fathering a child through her technically violated some of the incest laws in Leviticus, but it wasn’t wrong because it was his bounden Levirate duty to continue his dead Son Er’s bloodline.

  • The shift in the tide described by the article is accurate. We tried to tell everyone this for the last decade or so while these same people lied by saying no one would be harmed, no one would be affected, live and let live. This is how militant LGBTQ tacticians sought to win their crusade. But I am still a free conscience that remains to be stamped out. You didn’t win; and you are not going to; the one who gives themselves over to this threatening and bullying…Romans declares that it is to their own reprobation.

  • David A. Bednar of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has said that we have no homosexual members of the Church. We simply have those who are not keeping the law of chastity. It’s a sinful practice. No way around it. It’s not politically correct but it is absolutely correct.

  • Since when did religion have anything to do with the truth? It’s all a matter of opinion and “faith.”

  • Extremely venomous, Spuddie! My whole comment is about not denying people rights, not denying their existence, about loving all people, even those who disagree with you. I would deny a cake or photos or hotel to a KKK event too. I would deny services to a Nazi organization party as well. I would not deny service to a homosexual, KKK member, or a Nazi wanting a cupcake or a photo shoot or a room, only if I was asked to celebrate and recognize their values. I am reflecting Christ, who was happy to associate with with anyone, but who was not shy to tell the Samaritain Woman at the well to ,”go and sin no more.” What is morally repugnant is forcing people to act contrary to their convictions. ‘Live and let live’ is far more loving than your choice of phrasing, “live by the sword, die by the sword”. You are the one sounding hateful and because of that I will not engage beyond this post. I pray you can come to see that not all Christians hate, but choose to have a difference of opinion and dislike being told there is only one way to love, acceptance or nothing. Peace be with you.

  • Can we ask them about how much money they made on it as well? Can we ask who was arrested and charged wi making threats? Can we ask about proving they were gay?

    No, it doesn’t drive me mad. Obviously, it drives you mad.

  • Are you insane? I don’t believe you are being “pestered”. By anyone. No one is saying you have to “agree” with homosexuality. You may think whatever you like. And no, you cannot be “fired and fined” in New York for disapproving of homosexuality. But in many states you can be fired for harassing coworkers, which is what Mary Stachowicz did, and was what lead to her death. You can believe homosexuality is wrong all you want, and still manage to leave your coworkers alone. And no, your Kenyan analogy doesn’t work at all. Kenyan LGBT groups are working to secure gay rights. You can still disapprove of homosexuality and not arrest or kill people for it. (Oh and by the way, I’m straight. But of course you would assume I’m gay, because you’re great at assuming things with no evidence.)

  • This is how detached you are from reality.

    Christians had nothing to do with the holocaust? Germany was a Christian nation before the holocaust, after the holocaust, and during the holocaust. Germany is a Christian nation right now, with the Christian Democrats in charge, As was Poland, Hungary, Romania, and all of the rest of the countries where the Jewish people were murdered.

  • From the very beginning. Truth is what people seek to find so that they can believe it. Some find it, some do not, some are deceived. Truth is established by God independently of what people believe. if this were not true, error would be impossible and what everyone believed would be “true.”

  • Funny, maybe my reading comprehension is bad, but I still can’t find the word where mr. Gushee said “we are coming for you.” The quotation marks indicate this is a direct quote.

    But I can’t find the words. So you lied and bore false witness. You slandered and reviled while you did it.

    conservative Christian morality. Ya gotta love it. It’s just like regular morality, except for the moral part.

  • So we are pretty much getting to the same place, but you take issue with my tone. Not going to apologize for that.

    “and dislike being told there is only one way to love, acceptance or nothing”

    Because such talk usually comes right before someone justifies some kind of malicious action. ones which usually fall very short of live andl let live.

  • I’m glad you admit that so much of this is about money.

    But don’t forget political power and religious dominion.

  • Of course,vthere is always a conspiracy, everyone is wrong except you. All of those scientists who study the world, whose work is peer reviewed, whose work leads them To invent things like vaccines and computers, are just political shills.

    And where do you get all of your information? from people who think like you do. From your interpretation of a 2000 year old book rap that is easy enough to cherry pick so that it says what you want it to say.

    Case in point: stonewall was a bar riot inNew York. Not a national movement. There was no national movement in 1969, now was there one in 1973. But your conspiracy-paranoid complex won’t let that little fact on, because it disturbs your narrative about the all power homosexual menace, bent on destroying civilization and faith and bending all to its totalitarian will. And all of this is being accomplished by 1% of the population.

    As your hero Drumpf would say…

    Sad.

  • By the way, do you know what ever happened to Atheist Max? I used to post here as Neon Genesis before the site changed its layout but it seems Atheist Max didn’t join back up after the site changed their format. Now the comments are kind of boring without his random rants.

  • He came back briefly as Aragorn the atheist– at least I think it was Max. but some of his key rants were missing, so I wasn’t sure.’

    Welcome back, Neon.

  • And yet, there are thousands of denominations of Christianity, often disagreeing sharply as to what god said or didn’t. You used ot murder each other over whether god wanted hymn #666 sung in latin or French– when you weren’t murdering jews, muslims, heretics, atheists, and witches. There are hundreds of extant religions, are differing sharply as to god and his/her/its/their message to the world.
    It sounds to me more that truth is impossible– at least in the world of religion.

  • Was there any violence in your example? No. Was there any proof that some deranged gay people were doing it? Possibly.
    I’m glad that you don’t think anti-homosexual violence is all that bad.

  • I don’t have to go ballistic to deny it. But then, I’m reality based. And Jewish,. and an atheist. and the last I looked, I’m an American.
    The Nazis were anti Christian? No less a personage than hitler himself said no. “Our movement is Christian.” Adolph in 1928. You can google Hitler and Christianity for a wealth of quotes.
    Shall we talk about the death toll of world war I, a war fought primarily among Christians?

  • “Neutrality is not an option. Neither is polite half-acceptance. Nor is avoiding the subject.”

    Of course. Can one be neutral on “slavery is God’s will” or “Torture Jews to make them convert”?

    When the result of a belief, like “homosexuality is sin” is murder, rape, torture, brutality and injustice – there is no middle ground. You either reject the belief, or embrace the violence, the evil fruit, it produces.

  • You quoted him. no such words appeared. Some Christian’s morality, persecute and hate while denying they are doing it. Gotta love it.

  • “It’s a sinful practice. No way around it.”

    Yes, slander is a sinful practice. Jesus gave a very clear test – good trees bear good fruit, evil trees bear evil fruit, false teachers are revealed by their evil fruit.

    All of the fruit of ‘homosexuality is sin’ are evil. For those who actually follow Christ, the evil fruit produced by ‘homosexuality is sin’ is proof enough that the belief ‘homosexuality is sin’ is evil and does not come from God.

  • “How Gaystapo-like.”

    Nice hate speech, considering that the Nazi’s slaughter gays and lesbians.

  • ” We tried to tell everyone this for the last decade or so while these
    same people lied by saying no one would be harmed, no one would be
    affected, live and let live.”

    The people being harmed, Ryan, are gays and lesbians. Didn’t you learn anything from the slaughter in Orlando. It doesn’t matter that Omar, your ideological brother, was superficially Muslim, living in the U.S., he heard Christian anti-gay theology, Christian homophobia, and Islam’s version is the same.

    Here is just some of the damage you and your peers do:
    https://76crimes.com/100s-die-in-homophobic-anti-gay-attacks-statistics-updates/

    Worldwide, hate crimes against LGBTI people are a massive problem:

    Transgender Europe’s Trans Murder Monitoring project reported that at least 1,700 transgender and gender-expansive people have been killed since 2008 in Central and South America.

    The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights documented 770 killings and seriously violent attacks against LGBT persons between Jan. 1, 2013, and March 31, 2014, including 594 hate-related killings of LGBTI people in Brazil.

    In the United States, out of the almost 6,000 hate crimes committed
    in 2013, 20 percent (approximately 1,200) were based on victims’ sexual
    orientation, according to the FBI.

    In Brazil, 1,341 LGBT people were reported murdered from 2007 through 2012.

    In Peru, a reported 249 LGBT people were murdered from 2006 to 2010.

    Skye Mockabee, July 30, 2016, Cleveland, Ohio, United States
    After Skye Mockabee, 26, was found dead in a parking lot in Cleveland
    Ohio, early on July 30, police and emergency medical personnel said
    that her injuries “were suspicious.” She is the 17th
    transgender woman of color murdered in the United States this year. As
    with so many transgendered women, Skye was initially identified as a man
    and the “Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office on Monday identified
    Mockabee by her birth name.” Although authorities have not officially
    identified this as a hate crime, Skye’s death “is a reminder for the
    LGBT community of the dangers they can face.”

    Xulhaz Mannan and Tonoy Mojumdar, April 25, 2016, Dhaka, Bangladesh

    “A very brave man … a martyr.” That is how one Bangladeshi activist
    described LGBT magazine editor and activist Xulhaz Mannan, who, along
    with friend and fellow activist Tonoy Mojumdar, was murdered April 25 by
    a group of five men who hacked them to death after breaking into their
    flat in Dhaka. Witnesses said the attackers, who were apparently Islamic
    militants, shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ (‘God is greatest’) as they fled the
    scene. According to U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby at the
    U.S. Embassy in Dhaka, Manna was “a courageous advocate for LGBTI rights
    – human rights, actually.” Sources include this blog, FirstPost/Reuters, Huffington Post, Dhaka Tribune, BBC and Al Jazeera.com.

    Muhadh Ishmael, 17, Dec. 21, 2015, Malindi, Kenya

    Muhadh Ishmael died Dec. 21 in Malindi
    District Hospital of injuries resulting from a brutal attack in Kenya.
    His assailants “drove him to a remote location, stripped him and drugged
    him. Then they cut off his penis.” Muhadh was born intersex and had the
    audacity to identify as male when his family insisted he pretend to be
    female. After the death of Muhadh’s parents, his uncle arranged for four
    men to abduct, drug and mutilate the intersex youth.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_violence_against_LGBT_people_in_the_United_States

    1969–1979

    June 28, 1969 – Police, in the early morning hours, raided a gay bar, the Stonewall Inn, located in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. This event sparked the Stonewall riots, which were a series of demonstrations by members of the LGBT community.

    March 1970 – Howard Efland, a gay man who had checked into the Dover Hotel in Los Angeles, under the pseudonym J. McCann, was beaten to death by officers of the Los Angeles Police Department.[8]

    June 24, 1973 – An arsonist burned the Upstairs Lounge, a gay bar in New Orleans, killing 32 people.[9]

    June 21, 1977 – Robert Hillsborough was stabbed to death in San Francisco by a man shouting “faggot”.[10]

    July 5, 1978 – A gang of youths armed with baseball bats and tree branches assaulted several men in an area of Central Park
    in New York City that was known to be frequented by homosexuals. The
    victims were assaulted at random, but the assailants later confessed
    that they had deliberately set out to the park to attack homosexuals.
    One of those injured was former figure skater Dick Button, who was assaulted while watching a fireworks display in the park.[11][12]

    November 27, 1978 – Openly gay San Francisco city supervisor Harvey Milk, along with Mayor George Moscone, was assassinated by political rival Dan White at San Francisco City Hall. Outrage over the assassinations and the short sentence given to White (seven years) prompted the White Night riots.[13]

    January 1979 – Tennessee Williams was beaten by five teenage boys in Key West.
    He escaped serious injury. The episode was part of a spate of anti-gay
    violence inspired by an anti-gay newspaper ad run by a local Baptist minister.[14]

    June 5, 1979 – Terry Knudsen was beaten to death by three men in Loring Park in Minneapolis, Minnesota.[15]

    September 7, 1979 – Robert Allen Taylor was stabbed to death
    near Loring Park in Minneapolis. A local reporter interviewed the
    murderer from jail and was told, “I don’t like gays. Okay?”[15]

    October 7, 1979 – 17-year-old Steven Charles of Newark, New Jersey, was beaten to death in New York City by Robert DeLicio, Costabile “Gus” Farace, Farace’s cousin Mark Granato, and David Spoto. They also beat Charles’ friend, 16-year-old Thomas Moore of Brooklyn.
    Moore was critically injured but managed to get help at a nearby
    residence. Moore identified the four men via a lineup four days after
    the incident. Farace, the leader of the attack, pleaded guilty to
    first-degree manslaughter and was paroled after eight years, in 1988.
    He, himself was murdered on November 17, 1989.[16]

    And every year since, and more than a thousand years before.

  • “First, the author cheats by using terms like “full equality.” It isn’t
    unequal to say the gov’t shouldn’t recognize an oxymoronic “same-sex
    marriage” anymore than it is to say it shouldn’t recognize square
    circles.”

    First of all, you are wrong, sinfully so, and are falsely accusing the author, which is sin.

    ” and they are the most receptive when their kids have heterosexual sex out of wedlock and abortions,”

    Your false comparison, as well as your unsubstantiated accusation, is sin. Please repent.

  • Your slander is sin, and according to Paul, as a slanderer, you are barred from the Kingdom of Heaven, unless you repent.

    Further, Jesus said, regarding calling someone ‘fool’:

    Matthew 5:22

    But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be
    subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

  • “Instead, we warn people about you and about the scourge of homosexuality.”

    ‘scourge of homosexuality’ is a deceitful fantasy created to cover up the perpetual slaughter and persecution of GLBTQ people. It was one of your peers, Omar Mateen (because he was raised with the “Christian” homophobia in the U.S., and conservative Islam’s theology on the matter is the same as conservative Christianity’s), who killed 49 people and injured 53 more because he believed, as you do, that there is something wrong with homosexuality.

    People who believe as you do commit horrific atrocities.
    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/06/16/us/hate-crimes-against-lgbt.html?_r=0
    Even before the shooting rampage at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., lesbian, gay, bisexual and
    transgender people were already the most likely targets of hate crimes
    in America, according to an analysis of data collected by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. . . .
    L.G.B.T. people are twice as likely to be targeted as African-Americans,
    and the rate of hate crimes against them has surpassed that of crimes
    against Jews. . . .
    As the majority of society becomes more tolerant of L.G.B.T. people, some of those who are opposed to them become more radical, said Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern
    Poverty Law Center.
    The flip side of marriage equality is that people who strongly oppose it find the shifting culture extremely disturbing, said Gregory M. Herek, a psychology professor at the University of California, Davis, who is an expert on anti-gay violence.
    “They may feel that the way they see the world is threatened, which motivates them to strike out in some way, and for some people, that way could be in violent attacks,” Mr. Herek said.
    Last summer, less than two months after the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, a New York City man was arrested and charged with a hate crime for attacking Larry and Daniel Lennox-Choate, the first gay couple to be married at West Point Military Academy.”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_violence_against_LGBT_people_in_the_United_States
    2010–present

    January 18, 2010 – The half-naked corpse of Myra Chanel Ical, a 51-year-old trans woman of color, was found in a vacant lot in Houston, Texas.[131]

    March 30, 2010 – Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar, a 29-year-old Latina trans woman, was found dead in her Queens, New York, apartment. The autopsy found that her attacker, Rasheen Everett, had strangled her then doused her body with bleach.[132]
    In December 2013 Everett was sentenced to 29 years to life. At
    sentencing Everett’s lawyer, John Scarpa, disputed the sentence with the
    statement: “Shouldn’t that [sentence] be reserved for people who are
    guilty of killing certain classes of individuals?” The judge, Queens
    Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter responded, “This court believes
    every human life in sacred… It’s not easy living as a transgender, and
    I commend the family for supporting her.”[133]

    April 3, 2010 – Toni Alston, a black 44-year-old transgender woman, was shot in the front door of her home in western Charlotte, North Carolina.[134]

    May 7, 2010 – Dana A. “Chanel” Larkin, a 26-year-old black
    trans woman who worked as a prostitute, was shot three times in the head
    by her client, Andrew Olacirequi, after she asked him if he was okay
    with them having sex despite her male genitalia. She was found dead on
    the pavement of a Milwaukee street.[135]

    June 21, 2010 – Sandy Woulard, a 28-year-old trans woman, was shot in the chest in South Side, Chicago. A passing motorist found her lying in the street, and she was pronounced dead at the hospital.[136]

    October 3, 2010 – A 30-year-old male known as “la Reina” (the Queen), Bryan Almonte, 17, and Brian Cepeda, 17, were kidnapped in the Bronx by a homophobic group of youths calling themselves the Latin King Goonies,
    sodomized by foreign objects including a plunger and baseball bat,
    burned with cigarettes, and tortured for hours. One of the teenage
    victims had wanted to join the gang the attackers were part of, but when
    members saw him with the 30-year-old, they later picked him up and took
    him to an abandoned apartment and asked him if the two had had sex.
    When the teenager responded positively, he was beaten and sodomized. The
    gang later picked up the second teenager whom they had also seen with
    the 30-year-old and repeated the process. They then lured the
    30-year-old to the building with the promise of a party. When he arrived
    with alcohol, the gang tied him up and tortured him and made the
    17-year-old burn him with cigarettes. They then robbed the man’s
    40-year-old brother, coercing him by putting a cellphone to his ear so
    he could hear his brother beg to pay them.[137][138][139]

    September 11, 2010 – Victoria Carmen White, a 28-year-old black transgender woman, died of bullet wounds in her New Jersey apartment. It is believed she was targeted by her killer, Alrashim Chambers, for her gender identity.[140]

    October 14, 2010 – Stacey Blahnik Lee, a 31-year-old black trans woman, was found murdered in her Philadelphia home by her boyfriend.[141]

    November 17, 2010 – 18-year-old Joshua Wilkerson was found dead in a field in Pearland, Texas,
    after being beaten to death and set on fire by a friend of 5 years,
    Hermilio Moralez. This was supposedly a retaliation to unwanted sexual
    advances.[142]

    January 11, 2011 – Chrissie Bates, a 45-year-old transgender woman, was stabbed to death in her downtown Minneapolis apartment. Arnold Darwin Waukazo was sentenced to 367 months in prison for the murder.[143]

    February 19, 2011 – Tyra Trent, a black 25-year-old trans woman, was found strangled to death in a vacant house.[144]

    April 2011 – Kevin Pennington, a gay 28-year-old male, was
    kidnapped and severely beaten in a Kentucky park by two men shouting
    anti gay epithets. David Jason Jenkins and Anthony Ray Jenkins face
    possible life sentences for anti gay hate crime.[145]
    On March 15, 2012, the Kentucky State Police assisted the FBI in
    arresting David Jenkins, Anthony Jenkins, Mable Jenkins, and Alexis
    Jenkins of Partridge, KY for the beating of Kevin Pennington during a
    late-night attack in April 2011 at Kingdom Come State Park,[146][147] near Cumberland. The push came from the gay-rights group Kentucky Equality Federation, whose president, Jordan Palmer, began lobbying the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky in August 2011[148] to prosecute after stating he had no confidence in the Harlan County Commonwealth’s Attorney to act.[149] “I think the case’s notoriety may have derived in large part from the Kentucky Equality Federation efforts,” said Harvey, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky.[150] Mable Jenkins, and Alexis Jenkins plead guilty.[150]

    April 22, 2011 – Chrissy Lee Polis,[151] a 22-year-old trans woman, was beaten in a violent struggle by two African-American women for entering the women’s bathroom in Baltimore County, Maryland,
    which triggered her to have a seizure. A McDonald’s employee, who was
    later fired, filmed the encounter and released the film on the internet;
    it since went viral.
    Teonna Monae Brown, 19, pleaded guilty to first-degree assault and a
    hate crime in the beating, and was sentenced to 5 years in prison, plus
    three years of supervised probation. The other woman was charged as a
    juvenile and committed to a juvenile detention facility.[152]

    June 2011 – Rosita Hernandez, a Cuban trans woman, was stabbed to death in Miami.[153]
    In November 2011, Miguel Pavon was charged with first degree murder
    after his DNA was matched with samples found in the victim’s residence.[154]

    June 5, 2011 – CeCe McDonald, a young African American trans woman, was attacked outside a tavern shortly after midnight in Minneapolis, Minnesota.[155] CeCe fatally stabbed her attacker with a pair of scissors.[156] She was subsequently convicted of manslaughter and jailed for 19 months in a men’s prison.[157]

    July 20, 2011 – Lashai Mclean, a 23-year-old African American trans woman, was shot to death in Northeast, Washington, D.C.[158]

    August 11, 2011 – Camila Guzman, a Latina transgender woman, was found murdered in her apartment in East Harlem, Manhattan.[159]

    September 8, 2011 – Cameron Nelson, a 32-year-old gay man, was attacked at his place of employment in Utah.[160]

    October 11, 2011 – Shelley Hilliard, a black transgender teen who had been reported missing, had her burnt torso identified by police in Detroit.[161] Her killer, 30-year-old Qasim Raqib, was sentenced on March 6, 2012 to 25–40 years in jail.[162]

    November 15, 2011 – Danny Vega, a 58-year-old Asian-American gay man who worked as a hairdresser in Rainier Valley, Seattle, was beaten and robbed as he was taking a walk. The beating left Vega in a coma from which he later died.[163]

    November 17, 2011 – Cassidy Nathan Vickers, a 32-year-old
    black transgender woman, died from a fatal gunshot wound to the chest in
    Hollywood. Her killer, who is still unidentified, is suspected of also
    attempting to rob and non-fatally shoot another black transgender woman
    on the same day.[164]

    December 17, 2011 – Charlie Hernandez, a 26-year-old who was
    openly gay, was stabbed to death following a brawl that included
    anti-gay slurs that occurred with two men after he accidentally stepped
    on some sunglasses.[165]

    December 24, 2011 – Dee Dee Pearson, a 31-year-old transgender woman, died from bullet wounds in Kansas City, Missouri.
    Kenyan L. Jones was charged with second-degree murder and armed
    criminal action. Jones told police he paid to have sexual relations with
    Pearson, believing her to be a cisgender woman, but hours after having sex with her, discovered she was not.[166] Angered by what he considered to be a deception, he got a 9 mm caliber handgun, found Ms Pearson, and killed her.[167] Jones was arrested on suspicion of her murder.[168]

    December 29, 2011 – The body of Githe Goines, a black 23-year-old trans woman[169] who had been reported missing 2 weeks beforehand, was found in a scrapheap in New Orleans. An autopsy set that the time of her death as much as 2 days before her body was discovered, and that she had been strangled.[170]

    January 21, 2012 – Crain Conaway, a black 47-year-old trans woman, was found dead in her home in Oceanside, California.[171] Tyree Paschall Monday was arrested in connection with her murder.[172]

    February 2, 2012 – JaParker “Deoni” Jones, a 23-year-old black trans woman, was stabbed in the head while waiting at a Metrobus stop in Washington, D.C..[173]

    February 2012 – Cody Rogers, an 18-year-old teenager, was brutally assaulted and targeted with homophobic slurs at a party in Oklahoma after defending a female friend who was also attacked.[174]

    March 24, 2012 – Several transgender and crossdressing people were
    shot at and robbed in Florida by a man, suspected to be De Los Santos.
    23-year-old Tyrell Jackson was fatally wounded in the shooting, which also injured 20-year-old Michael Hunter.[175]

    April 3, 2012 – Coko Williams, a black trans woman, was found murdered in East Detroit, Michigan. The homicide may have been related to Coko’s involvement in sex work.[176]

    April 16, 2012 – Paige Clay, 23, a black trans woman, was found dead, with a bullet wound to her face in West Garfield Park, Chicago. The death was ruled as a homicide.[177]

    April 21, 2012 – Eric Unger, a 23-year-old gay man living in Illinois,
    was attacked by a group of men on the way home from a party, while they
    shouted anti-gay epithets at him. The investigation is ongoing.[178]

    May 2012 – Max Pelofske, a 21-year-old gay man, was beaten by
    a group of youths at a party in Minnesota. Pelofske claims it was a
    hate crime, but police disagree.[179]

    June 5, 2012 – Kardin Ulysse, a black 14-year-old boy, was attacked in the cafeteria of Roy Mann Junior High School in Brooklyn,
    New York, by another group of boys. He was called anti-gay slurs and
    sustained damage to the cornea of one of his eyes, leaving him blinded.
    Ulysse’s parents planned on suing New York City for failing to supervise its students properly.[180]

    June 23, 2012 – Mollie Olgin, 19 years old, and her girlfriend, Kristene Chapa, 18 years old, were found shot in the head near Violet Andrews Park in Portland, Texas.
    Olgin died at the scene and Chapa survived. Law enforcement has said
    there is no evidence to suggest that the incident is a hate crime.[181] The Human Rights Campaign and Equality Texas urged a thorough investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI and Portland police to find the shooter.[182]

    July 5, 2012 – Tracy Johnson, a 40-year-old black trans woman, was found dead from gunshot wounds in Baltimore, Maryland.[183]

    August 14, 2012 – Tiffany Gooden, a 19-year-old black trans
    woman, was found murdered on the second floor of an abandoned building
    in Chicago. An autopsy verified that she had been stabbed to death.
    Notably, the body of Paige Clay, another young black trans woman, was
    discovered in April 3 blocks away from where Tiffany was found. The pair
    were known as friends.[184]

    August 18, 2012 – Kendall Hampton, a 26-year-old black trans
    woman, died of gunshot wounds. Eugene Carlos Dukes was arrested in early
    September for her murder, and indicted later that month.[185]

    August 26, 2012 – Deja Jones, a 33-year-old black trans woman, was shot to death in Miami. No arrest had been made.[186]

    September 3, 2012 – The body of Kyra Cordova, a 27-year-old trans woman, was found in a wooded area in Frankford, Philadelphia.[187]

    October 15, 2012 – Janette Tovar, a 43-year-old trans woman
    was murdered by her partner, Jonathan Kenney, according to police, who
    beat her and slammed her head into concrete. He was later arrested for
    her murder.[188]

    March 1, 2013 – Sondra Scarber addressed a parent about her girlfriend’s son being bullied at Seabourn Elementary School in Mesquite, Texas, and was beaten by him when he realized that she was a lesbian.[189]

    May 17, 2013 – Mark Carson, a 32-year old black gay man,[190] was shot to death by another man who trailed and taunted him and a friend as they walked down the street in Greenwich Village, Manhattan.
    When the two friends ignored the assailant’s questions, the man began
    yelling anti-gay slurs and asked one of them, “You want to die tonight?”
    Elliot Morales, 33, was arrested briefly after the shooting and charged
    with murder and weapons charges on May 19.[191] According to police, Morales said he shot Carson because he was “acting tough”.[192] Morales pleaded not guilty, but on March 9, 2016 he was convicted by a Manhattan jury of murder as a hate crime.[193] Morales was sentenced on June 14, 2016 to 40 years to life in prison.

    November 4, 2013 – Sasha Fleischman, an agender (neither male nor female) 18-year-old, had their skirt set on fire while they were sleeping on an AC Transit
    bus in Oakland, California. Police arrested 16-year-old Richard Thomas
    and charged him with felony assault, with an enhancement of inflicting
    great bodily injury. Thomas admitted to police that he had started the
    fire and that he did it because he was “homophobic.”[194] On November 14, 2014, Thomas was sentenced to seven years in juvenile detention for his crime.[195]

    December 31, 2013 – A fire was started in the stairway of a gay
    nightclub in Seattle, which was quickly extinguished. After suspect
    Musab Mohammaed Masmari had told a friend that “homosexuals should be
    exterminated”, an informer from the Muslim community told the FBI
    Masamari may have also been planning terrorist attacks. The native of
    Benghazi, Libya was arrested on his way to Turkey. On July 13, 2014,
    Masmari was sentenced to 10 years on federal arson charges.[196]

    June 1, 2014 – Ahmed Said, 27, and Dwone Anderson-Young, 23, were killed execution-style shortly after midnight in the Leschi
    neighborhood of Seattle shortly after they left a gay nightclub. Both
    victims were gay, and Ahmed was apparently lured by being contacting on
    grindr, a social app popular with gays. Anderson-Young was receiving a
    ride home from Ahmed Said. The case was soon investigated as a possible
    hate crime. Both Said and Anderson-Young were shot multiple times;
    Anderson-Young died inside Said’s car, while Said died immediately
    outside.[197] Suspect Ali Muhammad Brown
    has confessed to killing Said, Anderson-Young, and two men in Seattle
    and New Jersey, both of whom weren’t gay. Brown had previously been
    convicted of bank fraud and is believed to be in support of Muslim
    terrorists in Somalia.
    He told investigators that he was guided strictly by his faith, and
    that the killings were “just” because they were in retaliation for
    actions by the U.S. government in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.[198]

    February 1, 2015 – Taja DeJesus, 36, a trans woman of color, was found stabbed to death in the Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco, California.[199]

    April 13, 2015 – Ron Lane was shot dead by a former student of Wayne Community College,
    identified as Kenneth M. Stancil III, who he had supervised at the
    campus print shop. His mother made unconfirmed allegations that Lane,
    who was gay, made unwanted sexual advances towards Stancil. The shooting
    was investigated as a hate crime.[200]

    June 12, 2016 – The attack on an Orlando nightclub left 49 dead and 53 wounded at the gay nightclub Pulse. The gunman, 29-year-old Omar Mateen, was an American citizen of Afghan descent who pledged allegiance to terrorist organization ISIS in a 911 call he made about the attack.[201] ISIS also claimed responsibility for the attack.[202] The incident was the deadliest mass shooting in United States history.

  • No. Mary Stachowicz and her killer both worked at the same funeral home. And she harassed him repeatedly about his sexual orientation, which was none of her business. And Brandon Eich was not “canned”, he voluntarily resigned. It was discovered that he had donated $1,000 to the notorious anti-gay Prop 8 campaign, which was later overturned as unconstitutional. This might come as a surprise to you, but the public holds people like CEOs accountable for their actions. They are responsible for the public image of the brand. If a CEO donated to a racist supremacy group, that would reflect very badly on the company and many shareholders, and the public in general, would demand resignation. The homosexuals in Kenya do not feel comfortable because there are disgraceful laws making homosexuality a crime. There are no laws in the U.S. making “disapproving of homosexuality” a crime. There are laws about harassing coworkers, for any reason. Get your facts straight, and stop making garbage up. You’re not a victim, and you can disapprove of homosexuality all you want. Look, here you are doing it in public, right now. No one’s stopping you, and there are no laws stopping you. But since you’re commenting on a public forum other people have every right to disagree with you.

  • “You are going to have to kill me”

    Yet it is people like you, who believe ‘homosexuality is sin’ who have murdered, raped, tortured, brutalized, persecuted and discriminated against homosexuals for some 17 centuries.

    ” You will not win no matter how many of us you kill. You can’t kill us all.”

    That message actually applies to you. No matter how many GLBTQ people you and your peers kill – in nightclubs like the Pulse in Orlando, or the Upstairs Lounge, by firebombing GLBTQ welcoming churches, by attacking us in our own homes
    http://www.vox.com/2016/3/19/11262470/georgia-gay-hate-crime-boiling-water
    “A man and his boyfriend in Atlanta spent 10 days and nearly one month
    in a hospital, respectively, after another man, Martin Blackwell,
    poured boiling hot water on them, allegedly because of their sexual
    orientation.

    And on Wednesday, a jury found Blackwell guilty of eight counts of aggravated battery and two counts of aggravated assault, Cleve Wootson reported for the Washington Post. Blackwell was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

    Anthony Gooden and Marquez Tolbert were sleeping in Gooden’s
    apartment on February 12 when Blackwell, the boyfriend of Gooden’s
    mother, walked in. According to Tolbert, Blackwell poured boiling water
    on the men, causing severe burns that required surgery to treat.
    Blackwell, who didn’t live in the apartment, told Tolbert, “Get out of
    my house with all that gay shit.”

    “The pain doesn’t let you sleep. It’s just, like, it’s excruciating, 24 hours a day, and it doesn’t go anywhere,” Tolbert told Atlanta’s WSB-TV. “It doesn’t dial down, anything. It’s just there.” ”

    You are not in danger, you are not a victim, you’re an oppressor.

  • Mr. Gushee was suggesting that they do it now, rather than wait until public opinion and the law are so far against them that no other position is possible. Much as like what has happened to racists and anti-semites.
    as for “gaystapo.” well, that kind of language speaks for itself. We’re 1% of the population, according to so many right wing Christians. Its absolutely amazing how much power we have with that 1%. It’s almost like you made it up.

  • “It is harming us right now.”

    No. Right now, you and your peers are harming real people:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_violence_against_LGBT_people_in_the_United_States
    Lists just a sampling of anti-gay violence over the last 50 years, and goes on for over a hundred examples.

    http://www.washingtonblade.com/2014/12/20/report-594-lgbt-people-murdered-americas-15-month-period/

    “A report the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights released on
    Wednesday indicates anti-LGBT violence claimed the lives of at least 594
    people in the Western Hemisphere between Jan. 1, 2013, and March 31 of
    this year.

    More than half of these reported deaths during this 15-month period
    took place in Brazil. These include an 8-year-old boy in the state of
    Rio de Janeiro who was allegedly killed by his father in February
    because he was “unable to accept his homosexuality.”

    The report indicates that 29 LGBT people in Honduras, which has the
    world’s highest per capita murder rate, lost their lives during the
    15-month period. The commission also notes 27 LGBT Americans were
    killed.”

    You are not being harmed by being prevented from harming others.

  • Thirty years of experience has demonstrated that homophobes rarely listen to the Biblical evidence.

    “. But true Christians have been called upon, like Noah, to condemn the
    world and there is no clearer declaration of independence than that of
    God’s Word.”

    And that is why we rebuke ‘Homosexuality is sin’. It is an evil belief that produces only evil fruit.

  • Jesus’s own words, in Matthew 7:15-23, provide a test for false teaching. That test, evil trees bear evil fruit, proves that the belief ‘homosexuality is sin’ is evil, and cannot come from God.

  • You are lying yet again. Christian morality at its finest.
    Every news article calls Gutierrez and Stachwicz co-workers.

  • Oh yes. The dreaded “scourge of homosexuality”. It might be of some interest to you that although I am a straight woman, I deliberately lived in a gay neighborhood for much of my 20s and 30s. Do you know why? Because I was not harassed. I could go to my local pub for a drink with a friend and we would not be hit on, I could walk to the shops and not be catcalled. (And the shops were great.) I could sit at my bus stop and not be groped. My neighbors were wonderful, kind people. If that’s the “scourge of homosexuality”, I say we need a lot more of it.

  • “What critics of Christianity don’t seem to understand is that there is a
    difference between behaviour and the people who engage in that
    behaviour.”

    Nice falsehood. That behavior of yours is called slanderer, and it does define you. Paul wrote that slanderers do not inherit the Kingdom of God.

    As an argument, it fails, because the people who brutalize, rape, murder, torture homosexuals in the name of ‘homosexuality is sin’ do not check to see if their victim is actually having sex.

    ‘The Bible explicitly condemns homosexual behaviour. Full stop.”

    No, it does not, and your ‘full stop’ indicates that you know full well that there is powerful and convincing, superior evidence against the traditional interpretation of the verses that evil people use to concoct ‘homosexuality is sin’.

    “here are no positive affirmations of homosexuality in scripture either.”

    Not true, but more importantly, and this damns you, there are no positive affirmations of cars, computers, the English language, the internet, and frankly, much of your life. By your own reasoning, you have made all of those things sin for you.

    “Rather, it condemns homosexual sexual acts, including lust.”

    Not exactly accurate. There are several examples of homosexual acts committed by heterosexuals that are condemned. But using those to create a universal condemnation of homosexuality is irrational and insane. It also means, though, that the more than three hundred passages that condemn heterosexual sexual acts in specific examples, must also create, for you, a universal condemnation of heterosexuality. In other words, your argument makes heterosexual sex sin for you.

    ‘That’s why this article from a bible scholar is so disingenuous. ”

    Nice false accusation, particularly since it is you who is being disingenuous.

    ‘But nowhere in any constitution does it say that we must agree that
    sexuality is an identity that forces us to accept certain behaviour. ”

    So, having rejected the Bible, and lied about it, you turn to worldly constitutions to justify your hatred.

    How many GLBTQ people have to be slaughtered by people who believe as you do, before you will see that you are wrong?

  • So when you complain about the truth I told you, you are admitting that you hate the truth.

    ‘LGBTQX lobby — with “Christian” tools like the author above fully on board — use the same tactics as the Gestapo.”

    Absolutely not. But your side does. You are doing it, smearing GLBTQ people with a reference to the Nazis, as the Nazis smeared Jews, Rom, disabled people. Your side criminalizes the very existence of people, as the Nazis did. Your side slaughters people, and most of all, the Nazis were on your side, and those who remain today, are on your side.

  • “You are as bad as the author. You say I’m wrong but can’t offer a single reason why.”

    How ironic, you make that claim with out a single reason to back it up. Further, you are lying, for I did provide more than a single reason why you are wrong.

    “The author is sinning by mocking God and his word while claiming to be a Christian.”

    Not at all. The author is criticizing you and your peers, not mocking God. You just think you are God.

    ” Guy disagrees with Jesus on human sexuality and tells me to repent. Indeed.”

    Nice false accusation against me. That is another sin you need to repent of.

    “Mark 10:6-9″

    Nice job of raping the text out of context. It really shows how much you hate God, Jesus, and the Bible.

    You left out this part:

    Mark 10 Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds of people came to him, and as was his custom, he taught them.
    2 Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”
    3 “What did Moses command you?” he replied.
    4 They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.” 5 “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied.”

    You’ve taken a passage that is explicitly and specifically a reply to a question about heterosexual divorce, and presented it as something else entirely.

    Now, conservatives don’t actually embrace principles, they are literalist and legalists instead. But the principle in 6-9 – that what God has joined together, no one should separate transcends gender. After all, Jesus said there is no gender, no marriage in Heaven, and Paul wrote that to Christians, the distinction ‘male and female’ does not exist. So the rebuke of divorce in Mark 10: 2-9, while is does not prevent same-sex marriage, does condemn you for seeking to end them, and it does require same-sex couples to avoid divorce, as it requires heterosexuals.

    Not that heterosexuals do a very good job of that.

  • No, I don’t concede it’s 1% at all. More like 4%. but that’s not my point.

    “clever marketing schemes and countless abuses.” I see. It couldn’t possibly be that decent, kind, intelligent people see hatred disguised as sincere religious belief. It all has to be conspiracies and deceptions and lies.

    “- 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).
    ” Like lot or the old man of gibeah? “Here are my daughters. rape them.”

  • That famous list of gay people assaulting and murdering and threatening Christians, trotted out all of the time, and yet, laughed out of court every time.
    Keep repeating the slanders. don’t forget to read Corinthians every time you do.

  • Wait, how did the Nazis’ attacks on Jews begin–before Kristallnacht? By declaring them evil per their ethnicity/religion (Mein Kampf), then taking their businesses and forcing them to identify themselves for exclusion in public.

    Who are losing businesses and being fired for their beliefs, without even proclaiming hatred or violence? LGBTs or Christians? Who is being forced to declare their support for the celebration of LGBT identity by signing pledges in workplaces?

  • Really? You have some ability to peer into the minds of the mobs who drove the Mormons from Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri? You are ignoring the writings of various Christian ministers justifying this persecution. They still do criticize these sects.

    The fact is that any of the groups you mention have been persecuted by Christians because of their deviations from accepted Protestant Christian dogma. Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses for example do not follow the Nicene Creed nor do they accept the triune godhead of mainstream Christianity. They also along with the Seventh Day Adventists have strongly held beliefs on baptism and other foundational doctrines of Christianity which differ from mainstream Christians.

  • Correction– the upstairs lounge fire was not fueled by anti-gay Christian “love”. Not as far as I can recall, religion had nothing to do with it.
    This time.

  • mirele’s reference appears not to have been homosexuality but slavery as in Exodus 21:7. Practices such as these which were permitted under the Old Covenant. Paul Copan’s book

    https://www.amazon.com/God-Moral-Monster-Making-Testament/dp/0801072751/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1472153548&sr=8-1&keywords=god+is+not+a+moral+monster

    is useful for explaining the advance of Old Covenant law over that of the nations. But these practices are not permitted under the New Covenant.

  • “Who are losing businesses and being fired for their beliefs, without even proclaiming hatred or violence? LGBTs or Christians?”

    GLBTQ people, actually.

    ‘By declaring them evil”

    Which is what the belief ‘homosexuality is sin’ does to GLBTQ people.

    ‘Who is being forced to declare their support for the celebration of LGBT identity by signing pledges in workplaces?”

    Nice fantasy. Who can be fired in most of the U.S. because of their innate, inborn trait?

  • “You just stated opinions with no facts.”

    That is an apt description of your posts.

    “LOL — you are the ones trying to put people out of business for not PARTICIPATING in these God-mocking ceremonies.”

    Your claim has no basis in reality.

    “Blocked for being a completely illogical time-waster. But thanks for proving my points!”

    So you are aware that you cannot refute my position, and you block me so you cannot see the truth, while of course, I remain free to refute your false claims.

  • Nice avoidance tactic, William. But Christ’s own words indicate the belief ‘homosexual sex is sin’ is evil.

  • I corrected a statement of yours with a fact. That’s not hate.

    You blamed Antigay Christianity for the Upstairs Lounge fire. To the best of my knowledge, Christianity had nothing to do with it, and I said so.

    Look in a mirror, and perhaps you will see something. recognize who your friends are. Or don’t. I don’t care.

  • How many more millions of Jewish people would have had to be murdered to justify labeling Christianity a “huge scourge?” How many more gay youth need to commit suicide due to bullying encouraged by Christians? I’m willing to compromise by simply labeling Christianity a huge scourge.

  • I am glad for the info that you copy and pasted; the same could be done for the many minority groups (many of them Christian) that have been isolated and “martyred” by jihad in the last 5 years. The jihadi are NOT in any way my stripe. It is libel and reprehensible for you to insinuate this and furthermore demonstrates your ad hominem attack as lacking the ability to reason. What you have done is amass your string of emotional appeals together to label your sense of isolation as persecution and martyrdom when it is errant behavior that has marked the large majority of victims…. singling them out for abuse … by admittedly evil and ill intended people …. which you pretend to be … for the most part … Christians. Omar from Orlando does not, in any way, represent me OR my beliefs … and again… it is your offence to make your “shaming argument” in my direction. You cannot champion the cause of the LGBTQ through what happened in Orlando by blaming or shaming Christian people in America; if you try, it only proves you have chosen to isolate and segregate yourself…making you vulnerable to the likes of Omar and his ilk – who, since you’ve done your research, you know is NOT representative of a Christian’s belief. Furthermore, you insist that the solution to the “slaughter” (as you listed) is full license and absolute normalization through all legal channels; honestly, that is debatable from ANY and All standpoints… not just religious ones. This is really where we disagree: you do NOT have the moral right to slander me or my views because your feelings are hurting. I neither caused or have any relation to the long list that you pasted to pass on pretended guilt.

  • “by jihad”

    Nice diversionary tactic.

    “It is libel and reprehensible for you to insinuate this and furthermore
    demonstrates your ad hominem attack as lacking the ability to reason.”

    Your accusations against me are false, and sin.

    ‘What you have done is amass your string of emotional appeals together to
    label your sense of isolation as persecution and martyrdom when it is
    errant behavior that has marked the large majority of victims….”

    Nice libel.

    “singling them out for abuse … by admittedly evil and ill intended
    people …. which you pretend to be … for the most part …
    Christians.”

    In the U.S., Ryan, people who claim to be Christians are the primary source of anti-gay violence. Your own post is an example of verbal violence.

    ‘Omar from Orlando does not, in any way, represent me OR my beliefs”

    Of course he does. You believe homosexuality is a sin, he believed homosexuality is a sin. Your extreme faux outrage in this post of yours affirms it.

    ” You cannot champion the cause of the LGBTQ through what happened in
    Orlando by blaming or shaming Christian people in America; ”

    Nonsense. It is the same belief found in both Christianity and Islam. Your denial of reality is sin, and it is depraved.

    “who, since you’ve done your research, you know is NOT representative of a Christian’s belief. ”

    Again, your sinful denial accomplishes nothing. Omar is a representative of both American/conservative “Christian” belief, and conservative Islamic belief. Your denial is simply willful sin.

    ‘Furthermore, you insist that the solution to the “slaughter” (as you
    listed) is full license and absolute normalization through all legal
    channels; ”

    Nice lie. But I made no claim about ‘full license’. Your lies prove your malice toward GLBTQ people, you are Omar Mateen, without a gun, so far.

    ” This is really where we disagree: you do NOT have the moral right to slander me or my views because your feelings are hurting”

    Since I have no slandered you, or your views, you have no point. Further, your ‘because your feeling are hurting’ is a sick and sinful trivialization of the matter: your beliefs produce murder, rape and torture, and I not only have the right to rebuke you for them because of that evil, I have a duty, as a Christian, to rebuke you.

    ” I neither caused or have any relation to the long list that you pasted to pass on pretended guilt.”

    Oh, you absolutely share responsibility for those crimes, there is no pretense.

  • You are dishonestly equating Christianity with antisemitism. Atheism, after all, intrinsically anti-Semitic, and Jews have been persecuted under atheist rule in countries like the U.S.S.R.

  • “I corrected a statement of yours with a fact. That’s not hate.”

    No, you did provide a fact.

    “To the best of my knowledge,”

    Is not the definition of fact.

    “Look in a mirror, and perhaps you will see something. recognize who your friends are. Or don’t. I don’t care.:

    You clearly are not my friend.

  • Do you have evidence then, or just with to conjecture, that the specific source of the homophobia because the Upstairs Lounge attack was atheist in origin?

    You’re making noise for the sake of hearing yourself.

  • “They try to destroy anyone who dares not to PARTICIPATE in their God-mocking ceremonies”

    Nice lies,1224, but your side of this issue murders people, rapes people, strips people of basic human rights.

    “The blinded men of Sodom are VERY persistent”

    Nice fraud, there, attempting to link homosexuality to Sodom. But God was quite clear, in Ezekiel 16:
    “49 “‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did detestable things before me.”

    That would be you and your peers. And no, ‘detestable things’ is not a reference to homosexuals, God makes his meaning quite clear on that in earlier verses:

    “20 “‘And you took your sons and daughters whom you bore to me and sacrificed them as food to the idols. Was your prostitution not enough? 21 You slaughtered my children and sacrificed them to the idols. 22 In all your detestable practices and your prostitution you did not remember the days of your youth,”

    This is what the Sovereign Lord
    says: Because you poured out your lust and exposed your naked body in
    your promiscuity with your lovers, and because of all your detestable
    idols, and because you gave them your children’s blood,”

    God is referring idolatry and human sacrifice when God uses the phrase ‘detestable practices’.

    And because the intentional fruit of anti-gay theology, the belief ‘homosexuality is sin’, is murder, rape, torture, violence and degradation, the reality is that you and your peers are the heirs of Sodom in this situation, you attempt to offer up GLBTQ people as blood sacrifices to your idol.

  • My actual words, Ben, are these:
    “Yet it is people like you, who believe ‘homosexuality is sin'”

    Notice, Ben who conceited attempted to correct my statement, that it does not limit the source of ‘homosexuality is sin’ to Christians, nor does is ever imply that only Christians pick up that belief.

    You read that into my post, out of your very clear prejudice against Christians.

    Of course, if you want, we can certainly discuss the homophobia demonstrated by many people who identify as atheist.

  • I have attacked fallacious reasoning, you have attacked me. Period. Jihad is the name of the doctrine which Omar said he embraced while murdering people isolated in that terrible circumstance by mutuality in behavior. And you blame me, all the way up in Pennsylvania. THAT, is what should receive the label: “Nonsense!” You conflate “those who claim to be” with those you already know “aren’t” followers of Jesus. And yet you still have the gall to assign blame. Doesn’t work with me; it doesn’t stick. You may keep typing, I might read it, but I know you’re not really listening.

  • “I have attacked fallacious reasoning, you have attacked me.”

    You’ve got that backwards. You attack hundreds of millions of people.

    “Jihad is the name of the doctrine which Omar said he embraced while
    murdering people isolated in that terrible circumstance by mutuality in
    behavior.”

    Nice set of lies and deceits there, Ryan.

    ” And you blame me, all the way up in Pennsylvania”

    I blame everyone who teaches ‘homosexuality is sin’, no matter where they live. And you are guilty, which you demonstrate through your desperate attempts to reframe the issue as anything other than what it is: someone who was taught ‘homosexuality is sin’ murdered 49 people and injured 53 more.

    “You conflate “those who claim to be” with those you already know “aren’t” followers of Jesus.”

    Wrong again. Making up lies like that is not doing you any good.

    ” And yet you still have the gall to assign blame. Doesn’t work with
    me; it doesn’t stick. You may keep typing, I might read it, but I know
    you’re not really listening.”

    Ah, but your denial shows that it does stick, not that you have the power to erase your sin. As for not listening, that would be you again. After all, I address your claims, you issue either empty denials, or deliberate frauds.

  • You aren’t going to get anywhere denying reality, Ryan. The belief you teach, ‘homosexual sex is sin’ produces evil fruit. According to Jesus, that means you are a false teacher, and the belief you teach is evil.

    Your denial doesn’t change reality, people are murdered, raped, tortured, imprisoned, brutalized around the world as the deliberate expression of the belief you teach, and yes, you share responsibility. No matter how much you burying your head in denial, whether you choose to read or not, the facts remain the same: anti-gay theology produces anti-gay violence.

    People who believe that homosexuality is wrong kill, maim, torture, brutalize, persecute, slander, discriminate against GLBTQ people. People who do not believe that homosexuality is wrong, do not do those thing to GLBTQ people. It is really that simple.

    The belief you defend and promote, ‘homosexual sex is sin’ is evil. It cannot come from God, and those who teach it, per Jesus, are false teachers.

  • “First, kudos for conceding that you are only 1% of the population, not
    the 10% or more that the media have been lying to everyone about for
    decades.”

    Actually, it is the media that has been putting forward the 1-4% number, driven by fraudulent studies funded by conservatives. The strongest studies still affirm the 10% number.

    “The Bible couldn’t be more clear”

    Of course it could. After all, it is a text originally written in three essentially dead languages. The Bible could have actually used any of the greek words from Paul’s day that actually meant homosexual, for one thing.

    “- 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior describe it as sin in the clearest and strongest possible terms.”

    An interesting math fact. 100% of 0 = 0. Now, if you mean the handful of passages that describe heterosexuals engaged in temple prostitution that may have included male-male sex – they don’t create a universal condemnation of homosexuality or homosexual sex.

    ‘- 100% of the verses referring to God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.”

    Nope.

    “- 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way”

    0% of those verses refer to the internet, computers, cars, North, South and Central America, and millions of other things in a positive or even benign way. Plus, there are at least two passages that do refer to homosexual relationships in a benign way.

    But you are judged now by God by the standard you’ve just used to judge GLBTQ people. Anything you do or have that is no explicitly affirmed in the Bible, no matter what, is sin for you. You sin by posting here. You sin by speaking, reading and writing English. You sin if you use a cellphone, a car, electric lights, if you eat chocolate, corn, squash or any other New World food. You sin if you watch television or listen to the radio, if you listen to Jazz or synth, pop or rap. None of those things are affirmed in the Bible. You sin by using that standard, for it does not appear in the Bible either.

    “I believe that Christians should support and encourage those who are fighting same-sex attraction.”

    So you sin, and encourage other people to sin by rejecting God’s gift of sexuality, in favor of a life of lies, despair, depression, suicide.

    By the way, it is was dishonest of you to present material stolen from https://1eternitymatters.wordpress.com/2016/04/22/simple-responses-to-romans-1-pro-gay-theology-errors/ and presenting it as your own. That is called plagiarism. Pretty much everything from “The Bible couldn’t be more clear.” is plagiarized from that site – and since you did not even bother to put in in quotations, you are guilty of stealing someone else’s work as presenting it as your own.

    So your theft, stealing, duly noted and of course understanding that stealing is a sin and that according to Paul, thieves do not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven:

    “2. “The Bible says it is wrong but God changed his mind and is only
    telling the theological Left.” (Only about 10 things wrong with that.)” This is a complete fantasy. I’ve been rebuking anti-gay theology across the internet, reading thousands of articles on the matter over 30 years, people who refute ‘homosexuality is sin’ do not make that argument.

    “3. “The Bible is the word of God but you are just misunderstanding it” (Uh, no, not really.)”

    That is a sinfully gross misunderstanding and misrepresentation of what progressive Christians have been stating. And yes, you are misunderstanding what the Bible actually says in the passages that homophobes use to construct their heresy “homosexuality is sin”.

    “But as a Christian I know that the real position — that of Jesus — is
    always going to be possible, it will just cost us more and more.”

    It will cost you your pride. The real position of Jesus is clear from Matthew 7:15-23:

    15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
    21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

    The fruit of the belief ‘homosexuality is sin’, the fruit of those who teach it is murder, rape, torture, lies and slander, systemic oppression, theft, blackmail, violence and brutality of every kind. By their fruit, Jesus said, you will recognize false prophets. Your fruit, the fruit of everyone who teaches ‘homosexual sex is sin’, in any variation, is evil. You bear evil fruit. It is explicitly clear.

    And that’s before we look at Christ’s commands, like “Love one another” – which you cannot do when you are slandering GLBTQ people. And Christ’s teaching regarding care for the oppressed, Matthew 25:31-46. Which ends with this:

    41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I
    was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you
    did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after
    me.’

    44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a
    stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

    45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

    What you do to GLBTQ people, you do to Jesus Christ Mark1224.

  • “News flash for non-Christians: the Bible records LOTS of sinful behavior. It does not APPROVE of the sinful behavior.”

    And yet you and your peers engage in horrific sinful behavior as the direct, intentional, deliberate expression of your belief ‘homosexual sex is sin’. You stole, you plagiarized material from someone else and presented here as your own. That is sin.

    ” So yes, it notes how humans commit all sorts of sins. Such as ALL the passages addressing homosexual behavior.Example: Romans 1:26–27 For this reason”

    Nice fraud. You see, you’ve raped this out of context, and the phrase “for this reason” gives you no excuse whatsoever. Let’s look at what you left out:

    “18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For
    since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal
    power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from
    what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

    21 For
    although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave
    thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts
    were darkened. 22 Although 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.

    24 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. 26 Because of this,”

    So Paul provides an explicit description of idolatry, and archeologists and historians even know which religion he is focusing on, the worship of Cybele and her consort Attis, common in the Roman world at that time. Cybele was the Great Mother, a fertility goddess. Her priests and priestesses dressed as her, “channeled” to use modern language Cybele, and had sex with worshipers so that those worshipers would be blessed by Cybele.

    In the passage you cited out of context, Paul uses the phrase ‘physikos chresis’ in relationship to sex with someone of the opposite gender. Physikos means innate nature, not all of nature, not natural in the broad sense (which is good for Paul’s credibility) and chresis means sexual use of. So when Paul talks of a physikos chresis directed at the opposite sex, he is describing heterosexuality.

    Paul then talks about heterosexuals abandoning their innate sexual attraction to the opposite sex. He cannot, logically, be writing about homosexuals, they cannot abandon or exchange what they do not have – a physikos chresis directed at the opposite sex. Paul is using the example of temple prostitution, in which heterosexuals had sex with priests and priestesses to please a false god, to make a point about the power of idolatry. He is not, cannot rationally be talking about homosexuals.

    The terrible and tragic irony is that you and your peers attempt through coercion, slander, hate speech, laws, murder and rape and torture, to convince homosexuals to abandon their God-given physikos chresis directed at their own gender, and to have sexual relations they find unnatural, shameful, morally wrong, in order to please you and your idol, your false god of hetero-superiority.

    Which makes the way people like you, people who believe ‘homosexuality is sin’, so consistently fit the description Paul went on to write:
    “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.”

    And of course, because you use Paul’s text as a weapon to brutalize other people into obeying your false god of heterosexual superiority, you don’t bother to ever get to Paul’s actual point: Romans 2
    “You, therefore, have no excuse,
    you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge
    another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do
    the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment?”

    You are in deep need of repentance.

  • Interesting.
    Why are Christians so obsessed and fixated on what 2 consenting adults do with their genitalia in the privacy of their bedrooms? Why would anyone worry what strangers are doing with their sex organs? Kinda weird to do so.
    This obsession with the sexual behavior of other people is way too creepy and it’s the primary reason religion has gotten a bad name and is in decline. We all know someone who is gay. It’s those who don’t have any gay friends/relatives are the ones saying that say gay people are evil. This is simply false. Its these same people who believe the Earth is a whopping 6000 years old.

  • Actually, you are not quite correct. Plenty of Antigay people who post here claim they have gay relatives and friends who they “love.”

    Too may lies on 10 words to go into.

  • You get nowhere arguing with him, Richard. He shares some of the very attributes of the Antigay that he so disparages. I suspect I have come across him before. He is so angry that even people like me just prefer to keep their distance,

  • Rank nonsense! Homosexuality is indirectly condemned by Christ because marriage is heterosexual. Homosexuality is directly condemned by the Apostle Paul in Romans.

  • “Rank nonsense! Homosexuality is indirectly condemned by Christ because marriage is heterosexual”

    You are wrong. Christ does not limit marriage to heterosexuals.

    “Homosexuality is directly condemned by the Apostle Paul in Romans.”

    Wrong again. Romans 1, as I have pointed out in detail, addresses the example of heterosexuals participating in fertility temple rituals. Because it describes people abandoning or exchanging their innate sexual attraction to the opposite sex – something homosexuals do not have – it cannot be about homosexuals.

  • “homosexuality is a sinful practice.”

    Not for homosexuals, and certainly not according to the Bible. Your accusation against me is sin. Taking things out of context Brad, is what you and yours are known for.

    The belief you spew up produces evil fruit, that means you are an anti-Christ, a false teacher. People are murdered, raped, tortured because of the belief that you and your peers spew, and you are clearly too selfish, too devoid of compassion and empathy, to even care.

  • Funny you mention Jesus, who defined what a marriage is in Matthew 19. He also condemned divorce, adultery and the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes and lived a life observant to the teachings of Galilean synagogues, the Judaism of that era. To sum up your argument: Omar and a follower of Jesus in 2016 both use toothpaste, so that makes them equally culpable to the charge of murder. Perhaps both Omar and a Christian from FL own a firearm, so that must mean they both will use that weapon to murder. Ridiculous straw men! Your ad hominem vitriole is untenable – forever!

  • >”Actually, you are not quite correct”<

    You are correct in correcting me. Thank you.

    Please let me re-phrase it:

    Why is the church/religion so obsessed and fixated on what 2 consenting adults do with their genitalia in the privacy of their bedrooms?

  • “Funny you mention Jesus, who defined what a marriage is in Matthew 19.”

    Actually, he did not. Matthew 19

    3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

    4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’[a] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[b]? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

    7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

    8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

    10 The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”

    11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can
    accept this should accept it.”

    You’ve fraudulently taken a passage explicitly about heterosexual divorce, and claimed it was about something else entirely. And you’ve done so to avoid the actual points I raised.

    ” To sum up your argument: Omar and a follower of Jesus in 2016 both use toothpaste,”

    Nice fraud. You are, you realize, rejecting Christ’s own teaching, and Christ himself. Using toothpaste does not produce evil fruit, your belief does. Are you truly incapable of understanding cause and effect, or just desperate to defend your sin?

    ” Perhaps both Omar and a Christian from FL own a firearm, so that must mean they both will use that weapon to murder.”

    Wrong again, Ryan. These replies make you look really bad. Not clever, dishonest or incapable of reason.

    ” Ridiculous straw men.”

    Yes, both of your examples were ridiculous straw men. You deliberately altered the argument I made into a weak form that you thought you could refute. But in the process, you completely avoided the actual point – the relationship between cause and effect, and created the impression that you are either dishonest, or

    lack critical thinking skills.

    “Your ad hominem vitriole is untenable – forever!”

    I made none. But you and your peers routinely slander, mock, vilify and demonize GLBTQ people, and it is sin. It does condemn you.

  • “Why are Christians so obsessed and fixated”

    Why are you so obsessed that you judge all Christians by the behavior of some?

  • Your reasoning lacks a genuine effort at a simple Protestant biblical hermeneutic that Jesus’ referent has some basic meaning in order for it to have any import to the question posed. Not going to take the bait. You do realize that labeling me the sinner and the heretic only has logical merit in a Juaeo-Christian world view which you brought up? Thus, ad hominem? At the very least, categorically denying that the definition of marriage is not revealed in a text where Jesus instructs his followers on the issue of divorce is citing a “distinction without difference.”

  • My pleasure. Now please send money in small unmarked bills, but lots of them, and we’ll keep this secret.

  • >”you judge all Christians”<

    You are incorrect to assume I "judge ALL Christians. My best clients are Christians and I don't judge them by what god they chose (out of thousands) to believe in. I only judge peoples behavior.

    I'm not saying that all Christians are judgmental intolerant hateful misinformed bigots…
    What I am saying is that most judgmental intolerant hateful misinformed bigots are almost always Christians

  • >”anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”<
    I find it fascinating "Christian" wedding caterers will gladly "participate" in adulterous weddings. No problem…in direct violation of the 7th commandment.

  • Max is hanging out on the Disqus Religion boards as Aragon the Atheist. Maybe he doesn’t like us anymore. Hmph.

  • The middle ground isn’t disappearing, it has become a razor wire DMZ occupied by storm troopers. Who dares to cross?

    If we don’t get with their program, they will bankrupt our states (North Carolina), shut down our businesses (Barronelle Stutzman), force us out of our jobs (Brendan Eich), or stop us from doing good work (Catholic Charities of Boston).

    Better not openly discuss compromises or seek peaceful cultural coexistence between religion and gay rights. The middle ground is off limits, and the guards will to shoot to kill.

  • Nice avoidance tactic, it really does show that you cannot address the actual point.

    But yes, an atheist Jew would be self-hating, just as gay Republicans are self-hating, and women who vote for Donald Trump are self-hating.

    Such behavior does occur.

  • glenbo – attributing the quote from Brad to me, is dishonest.

    My point is that homosexuality is not a sinful practice. Your deception is.

  • “You are incorrect to assume I “judge ALL Christians.”

    No, I am not. Your own words are all-inclusive.

    “What I am saying is that most judgmental intolerant hateful misinformed bigots are almost always Christians”

    Nonsense. But your prejudice is showing, again.

  • “Your reasoning lacks a genuine effort at a simple Protestant biblical
    hermeneutic that Jesus’ referent has some basic meaning in order for it
    to have any import to the question posed.”

    Nice word salad there, but your claim is false. It is simply a bloviating dismissal to cover your failure.

    “You do realize that labeling me the sinner and the heretic only has
    logical merit in a Juaeo(sic)-Christian world view which you brought up?”

    Since I am a Christian, you have no point.

    ” that labeling me the sinner and the heretic ”

    Nice misrepresentation of what I wrote. Bear in mind, intrinsic to your anti-gay theology is the same criticism against hundreds of millions of people. Clearly, you are fine with pointing out what you believe to be sin in other people, but rather irate when you sin is discussed.

    “Thus, ad hominem?”

    Nope. There is no ad hominem, particularly within the Judeo-Christian worldview, which teaches that all of have sinned, and if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves.

    So, by your own words, though, your entire position on homosexuality is ad hominem, and that means you are a hypocrite.

  • So to discuss your post in a more meta fashion, what you’ve done is ignored your deliberate fraud, ignored the fact that you employed straw man arguments, ignored that your arguments create the impression that you just don’t understand cause and effect relationships, ignore the fact that you are essentially rejecting a teaching from Christ,

    and instead, lashed out with a bloviated dismissal designed to puff up your ego, and in the process, you set up a standard of judgement that condemns you, since your theology on homosexuality is ad hominem against hundreds of millions of people.

  • Catholic services shut down their own Business because the state wasn’t going to give them money to discriminate, and they were not going to spend their own dime to help The Children (TM). That’s a fact.

    The rest of your allegations are similarly truth challenged. But no need to go into them.

    When you express the same outrage over the eternal calls for boycotts by the National organization for some peole’s marriages, the American Family association, or Linda Harvey or any of the rest, do let people know.

  • Just to add a little historical perspective:
    http://www.history.com/news/study-suggests-adolf-hitler-had-jewish-and-african-ancestors

    “Writing in the Flemish-language magazine Knack, Mulders reported that
    the relatives’ most dominant haplogroup, known as E1b1b, is rare in
    Western Europeans but common among North Africans, and particularly the
    Berber tribes of Morocco, Algeria, Libya and Tunisia. It is also one of
    the major founding lineages of the Jewish population, present in 18 to
    20 percent of Ashkenazi Jews and 8.6 to 30 percent of Sephardic Jews. In
    other words, Hitler’s family tree may have included Jewish and African
    ancestors.

    The tragic irony of the discovery, of course, is that Hitler’s Nazi
    regime systematically wiped out an estimated two-thirds of Europe’s
    Jewish population between 1933 and 1945. People of African descent were
    also considered enemies of the Aryans, whose supposed racial purity and
    superiority were central to the “Mein Kampf” author’s lethal rhetoric.
    As Mulders put it in the Knack article, “One can from this postulate
    that Hitler was related to people whom he despised.”

    It does happen that people hate the ethnic group, sexual orientation, race, etc that they are members of.

  • I’m not familiar with any form of levirate marriage, Toraitic or otherwise, in which a father was expected to marry the wife of his deceased son. In fact “levir” means husband’s brother, in Latin. It is not etymologically related to the Leviim, the priests for whom Leviticus is named.

  • You had a point? I had a question. You answered it. That was my point. You think David Ben-Gurion z”l, Golda Meir z”l and Yitzhak Rabin z”l were all self-hating Jews. “Nice.”

  • “Dabak” in Gen. 2:24 certainly has a sexual connotation, at least. It’s “he shall cleave to his wife and they shall become one flesh.” Note that it is “davak b’ishto,” literally, he shall cleave “in” his wife. It can be an emotional bond as well but “become one flesh” has a frank meaning.

  • Ultimately, the word “davak” can be related to marriage but it doesn’t have to be. The Yiddish folkloric word “dybbuk” — an evil, human-possessing spirit — also comes from davak. This is not loyalty and affection. It is cleaving though. It has many meanings.

  • <"attributing the quote from Brad to me,"<
    Oops…
    My mistake. Ignore that post please. Please accept my apology.
    I will redirect.

  • >”Nonsense.”<
    Do you have data to support who or what demographic the anti-gay majority is?
    Are you saying that anti-gay rhetoric, anti-gay teaching and anti-gay legislature is NOT religion based and NOT brought into the public eye by religious organizations acting on behalf of the church?
    Why and how do you think prop 8 came into existence?
    The church!

  • >” accuse all Christians.”<
    All anti-gay based legislature and rhetoric and hatred is spread by people and groups that represent "God's morality."
    I never said all religious people hate gays.
    But those who do are predominately from a religious justification/source/teaching.

  • “Are you saying that anti-gay rhetoric, anti-gay teaching and anti-gay legislature”

    Nice dishonesty, glenbo, going from ” judgmental intolerant hateful misinformed bigot” a group that includes all prejudices, including atheism, to “anti-gay rhetoric, anti-gay teaching and anti-gay legislature”.

    Your prejudice is showing.

  • Remember Er’s brother Onan was supposed to do this, but he chickened out because he wanted the children to be counted as his. Judah never gave his remaining son Shelah to Tamar, so Tamar tricked him into becoming the father. Perhaps the father wouldn’t have the duty, but he could perform the duty, it seems. What Judah did with Tamar violated the law in Leviticus 20:12 which forbad having sex with one’s daughter in law- this also carried the death penalty. But it also must be pointed out that marrying one’s sister in law ALSO violated the incest laws. For Leviticus 20:21 states, “If a man marries his brother’s wife and thus disgraces his brother, they shall be childless because of the incest.” So I guess my point was the Levirate Marriage, even the regular ones, DID violate incest laws. Perhaps you could say they weren’t violated because the brother (or son) is dead.

  • Come down from the cross, Habitat for Humanity needs the wood.

    Your side of this issue murders and rapes people, and worked diligently for a good decade to strip millions of U.S. citizens of their religious freedom along with their right to marry. Now you basically want to deprive us of the right to even participate in our democracy.

    Your peers at work: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/sacramento-baptist-pastor-roger-jiminez-post-orlando-anti-gay-preaching/

    “A pastor at the center of a controversial video praising the massacre of 49 people in an Orlando gay nightclub is standing by his sermon.

    Baptist Pastor Roger Jimenez spoke to CBS Sacramento a day after his widely scorned remarks — which included him saying Orlando was safer because so many gay people died and that he wished “they finished the job” — drew widespread condemnation.

    Jimenez says that despite how many hateful messages are made public, he’s
    privately received messages of support from Baptists and other
    Christians that thank him for “finally” speaking out.

    The video that caused the initial controversy from the Verity Baptist Church’s
    YouTube page has since been removed by YouTube as a violation of the
    site’s policy against hate speech.

    The pastor claims he’s not trying to incite hate, or advocating for arming up and killing gay people, despite saying in the Sunday sermon hours after the Orlando
    massacre, “If we lived in a righteous government, they should round them
    all up and put them up against a firing wall, and blow their brains
    out.”

    Instead, he says the deaths shouldn’t be mourned because if
    the victims were gay, then the Bible calls them sinners, and they
    deserved to die.”

    http://www.thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/johnwright/another_gay_man_attacked_in_dallas_as_total_reaches_30_since_september

    Roughly 30 gay men have been attacked in Dallas’ heavily LGBT Oak
    Lawn neighborhood since September, but police still haven’t made a
    single arrest.

    Craig Knapp, 50, became the latest victim early Saturday when he was
    jumped and called a homophobic slur while walking his friend’s dog a
    block from the Cedar Springs strip — home to the city’s largest gay
    entertainment district.

    Knapp said two men approached him from behind and asked him the name of the dog, according to a report from KDFW-TV. When Knapp replied, “Sissy,” one of the men laughed, grabbed him by the back of the head and slammed him to the ground, before pushing his face into the pavement and kicking him. Knapp offered the two suspects his phone and cash, but they didn’t take it.

    “I wanted to get out alive, plain and simple,” Knapp told WFAA-TV.

    It marks at least the 17th reported attack in Oak Lawn since
    September, but LGBT advocates say at least a dozen others have gone
    unreported. Many of the victims were assaulted or robbed after leaving
    gay nightclubs on foot late at night, with one being stabbed repeatedly
    and another being struck with a baseball bat. But police have classified
    only two of the incidents as anti-gay hate crimes.

    The wave of anti-gay violence in Dallas made international news last week, when The Guardian linked it to backlash over the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of
    same-sex marriage, as well as anti-LGBT political rhetoric related to
    Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance and among GOP presidential candidates.”

    The evidence actually indicates that as your side loses in this issue, your side escalates the violence and frequency of its attacks on GLBTQ people.

  • >”Nice dishonesty”” Your prejudice is showing.”<

    I can say these two things to you as well because you didn’t
    honestly answer my questions. Is your prejudice towards gay people driving your disingenuousness?

  • “Is your prejudice towards gay people driving your disingenuousness?”

    Since neither appear in my posts – your question is disingenuous.

    Your accusation against me of prejudice against gay people is particularly irrational and deceitful, since the majority of my posts here have explicitly repudiated, corrected and rebuked anti-gay theology.

    So, were you just making a mistake, or being deliberately dishonest?

    ‘I can say these two things to you as well because you didn’t
    honestly answer my questions.”

    I have honestly answered your questions.

  • >”I have honestly answered your questions.”<

    Thank you for your honest answers.

    Do you agree the most of the anti-gay sentiment is driven
    and supported by religion in general?

  • I did answer you questions.

    “But yes, an atheist Jew would be self-hating, just as gay Republicans are self-hating, and women who vote for Donald Trump are self-hating.

    Such behavior does occur.”

    Whereas you have, consistently, avoided my point:
    “You are dishonestly equating Christianity with antisemitism. Atheism,
    after all, intrinsically anti-Semitic, and Jews have been persecuted
    under atheist rule in countries like the U.S.S.R.”

  • “Do you agree the most of the anti-gay sentiment is driven
    and supported by religion in general?”

    Excuse me, but you’ve lied about me, accusing me of anti-gay prejudice. Until you convince me that you recognize your error, retract it and apologize, your questions are irrelevant.

    And this last one, by the ways, shows that you are not paying attention. Now, about questions, I had one for you that you did not answer:

    Why are you so obsessed that you judge all Christians by the behavior of some?

  • “All anti-gay based legislature and rhetoric and hatred is spread by people and groups that represent “God’s morality.””

    That is not accurate. There are people who identify as atheists who support anti-gay legislation, who spread anti-gay rhetoric and hatred. There are people who do not identify as atheist, but use science, philosophy and other bodies of knowledge to justify their prejudice against GLBTQ people.

    We still have your deceit going from “judgmental intolerant hateful
    misinformed bigot” a group that includes all prejudices, including
    atheism, to “anti-gay rhetoric, anti-gay teaching and anti-gay
    legislature”.

  • >”Why are you so obsessed that you judge all Christians
    by the behavior of some?”<

    Thank you for your sincerity.

  • Just answer the question, and apologize for falsely accusing me of ” prejudice towards gay people”.

    Then we can talk about sincerity.

  • >”Just answer the question, and apologize for falsely accusing me of ” prejudice towards gay people”<
    I never accused ALL Christians of bigotry.
    I never accused you of being prejudice.

  • Your empty denials accomplish nothing. I quoted you. Even if you go back and edit your posts, the quotes remain.

  • >” I quoted you.
    Even if you go back and edit your posts, the quotes remain.”<

    Oh! Damn! You got me!

  • Yes, in the end, but I believe the deeper meaning is that to “cleave” in it’s proper sense transcends the physical and reflects a passion, loyalty, and dedication which rises above the erotic. If, as I think Daniel is suggesting in his post, that Ruth had an erotic passion for her mother-in-law, that is a bridge too far, and I think most biblical analysts would agree.

  • At no point did I suggest you were a liar, we merely have a divergence of opinion on how to interpret the text. Passion, commitment and loyalty do not necessarily translate into eroticism. Agape is greater than Eros. And from the Greek Agape makes a better equivalency than Eros for Dabaq. Yor Rabbi’s reading in this context does not gain more credibility merely because it supports your perspective.

  • I reread the first chapter in Ruth and I arrived at the very same conclusions. I would bet most of the “biblical analysts” you read are of a fundamentalist, anti gay perspective. One allusion I see to Genesis 2:24 is that Naomi begged her daughters in law to return to their parents. Ruth refused and cleaved to Naomi. This seems a lot like a man leaving his mother and father and cleaving to his wife. Ruth refused to return to her parents and cleaved to Naomi. Indeed in 2:11 Boaz states “I have had a complete account of what you have done for your mother-in-law after your husband’s death; YOU HAVE LEFT YOUR FATHER AND YOUR MOTHER and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know previously.” Also, Ruth 1:16-18 SURE sounds like a marriage vow to me. Ruth says she wants to be buried beside Naomi- is that what a mere friend would want to do? She stated that only death could separate her from Naomi- that sure sounds like spouse like love to me. Like I stated, there may NOT have been SEX, but being gay is not all about sex acts, it is about feelings, esp deep love. Like I stated before, Ruth bore this child out of love for Naomi in 4:13-17 and what person bears a child out of love for a mere friend? Usually people bear children out of love for a spouse. There may have been mutual respect between her and Boaz, but her love was for Naomi. Boaz respected the devotion she had for Naomi. I think one of your blinders is that you think heterosexuality is all about love and homosexuality is all about sex and has nothing to do with love.

  • I think in this context of Ruth 1:14 it DID mean something like a marriage, since it is immediately followed by Ruth’s vow of loyalty to Naomi in verses 1:16-18. When dabaq occurs in 2:8 and 2:23 it means more like “remain with, close to.” The context in 2:8 and 2:23 is not love per se since it was only to Boaz’ servants. Indeed the Hebrew dictionary by Francis and Brown and Driver and Briggs states that Ruth 1:14 IS analogous to Genesis 2:24 since it is a figure of loyalty and affection with idea of physical proximity retained. It is also analogous to cleaving to the Lord in Deuteronomy 11:22 where it states to Love the Lord, to keep God’s commands and to hold fast (dabaq) to God.

  • I’m mormon. I’ve never been discriminated against due to my religion, and neither has anyone I know. We like to talk about how early Mormons were persecuted, and perhaps some were. Nevertheless, those who have studied our true history more closely, understand that Mormons were not the innocent victims they liked to portray themselves as.

  • Oh, baloney. We Mormons aren’t innocent victims, and I’m tired of being portrayed as such.

  • Well, I’d say this is the best summary of what life is like in Utah that I’ve read. You’re spot on.

  • This article is pure propaganda.

    This has nothing to do with progress. It has everything to do with the masses being indoctrinated by elite government influencers, the media, and the educational system into a nihilistic Rortian worldview of atheistic and relativistic reconstruction of reality in contrast to the traditional Aristotelian and Judeo-Christian worldview that is reviled by government and academia.

    Quoting from the late Richard John Neuhaus in an Essay on First Things:

    The goal, in this way of thinking, is self-actualization, indeed self-creation. The successful life is the life lived as a novum, an autobiography that has escaped the “used vocabularies” of the past. This argument has its academic strongholds in literary criticism and sectors of philosophy, but it undergirds assumptions that are increasingly widespread in our intellectual culture. If personal and group self-actualization is the end, arguments claiming to deal with truth are but disguised stratagems for the exercise of will and the quest for power. Whether the issue is gender, sexual orientation, or race, we are told that the purpose is to change the ideational “power structure” presently controlled by oppressors who disingenuously try to protect the status quo by appeals to objective truth and intersubjective reason.

    The only truth that matters is the truth that is instrumental to self-actualization. Thus truth is in service to “identity.” If, for instance, one has the temerity to object that there is no evidence that Africans discovered the Americas before Columbus, he is promptly informed that he is the tool of hegemonic Eurocentrism. In such a view, the “social construction of reality” (to use the language of Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann) takes on ominous new dimensions as it is asserted that all of reality, without remainder, is constructed to serve the will to power and self-actualization.

    These elite influencers do not even care about truth, equality, or rights. They use these eminently Christian terms as euphemisms to further their agenda of humiliation of mankind because it works with the masses, but in reality it’s a power play that aims at deconstructing and reconstructing what it means to be human.

    When we engage in conversations with them, we cannot let them frame the debate with the fantasy that their view is progress and the Christian view is the intolerant and bigoted past. In fact, the irony is that it is they who are reverting back to the Graeco-Roman past of sexual promiscuity, homosexuality, and lack of sexual mores.

    We need to express upfront that this is utter nonsense. What the debate is really about is between two worldviews, the ra