Members of the LGBT community elevate a balloon during a vigil in memory of the victims of the Orlando Pulse gay nightclub shooting and hate crimes in San Salvador, El Salvador, on June 18, 2016. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Jose Cabezas *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-LUPFER-OPED, originally transmitted on Aug. 24, 2016.

Religious traditionalists and LGBT activists should check their passions and compromise

(RNS) Lawyers, philosophers and all those who have seen the 2001 movie “Legally Blonde” know Aristotle’s famous saying: “Law is reason free from passion.”

In the legal clashes over LGBT rights and religious liberty, passions run high, what’s “reasonable” is hotly contested, and the law is unsettled. A proposed bill in the California Legislature shows how contentious and contradictory our most cherished rights and liberties can be.

It also reveals that compromise between LGBT rights advocates and religious traditionalists is possible.

The bill would require colleges that request an exemption from nondiscrimination statutes to notify all students, employees and the state Student Aid Commission of the basis of the schools' claims. More controversially, the proposal as written would have made it easier for LGBT students to sue private colleges for discrimination.

The pending bill became an instant flashpoint in the ongoing battle over LGBT rights and religious liberty. Most religious colleges in California and elsewhere could not exist without students who rely on state-run grant and loan programs to finance their educations. In spite of church-state separation issues, the spirit of the law is that private institutions should not be discriminated against because they are religious.

Students can and do use state financial aid at religious colleges. With few exceptions, the courts have ruled that this is appropriate. Many religious colleges have thus evolved to rely on government loan or scholarship money for a significant portion of their revenue stream.

LGBT activists protest, claiming the letter of the law is on their side. The California schools, after all, want to receive money from government-run programs despite demanding exemptions to nondiscrimination statutes that have recently been expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

As usual, professional activists and partisans on both sides are talking past each other, impugning the others’ integrity and casting their opponents as dangerous extremists. As these conflicts proliferate, the activist corps is increasingly unreliable. Religious traditionalists too often accept and champion even the most questionable religious liberty claims. LGBT activists would seemingly be thrilled if every conservative religious institution closed its doors tomorrow.

The sponsor of the California bill, state Sen. Ricardo Lara, a Los Angeles Democrat, took up the issue “to shed light on the appalling and unacceptable discrimination against LGBT students at these private religious institutions.” But he withdrew its most controversial provisions after religious colleges protested.

“I don’t want to just rush a bill that’s going to have unintended consequences so I want to take a break to really study this issue further,” Lara said.

It’s a commendable response.

We need a better way forward. Or, in Aristotle’s parlance, we need the law to free reason from passion. Our political culture honors majority rule and minority rights. It is not a total war. Neither side will achieve anything like total victory. I have sided with wedding vendors’ conscience claims but also opposed civil magistrates who refuse to sign same-sex couples’ marriage licenses. I see why the California law is so controversial.

LGBT people of course have a right to every kind of protection the law provides them. At the same time, private institutions should be free to operate in accordance with their belief that marriage is the union of a man and a woman and that sexual relations are properly reserved for such unions.

I attended a conservative evangelical college. And though I received a fine education there, I have publicly challenged my alma mater on administrative and academic freedom issues. I also know that many of my classmates depended on government grants and loans. Without those programs, they might not have accessed an evangelical higher education. The college might not even be able to operate.

For years, I have been very open about my concerns. Conservative evangelicalism has problems. But denying campus housing to married gay students is not one of them. LGBT activists are right to point out that the California proposal would not have automatically cut off funds to these institutions. But any honest reading of the bill points to the near certainty that, if passed, it would begin a sequence of events that ends with religious colleges choosing between abiding by their beliefs or closing their doors.

LGBT rights do not depend on religious colleges facing a choice to either change their beliefs or shut down. Market forces and generational change will do more to adjust conservative attitudes than the state’s coercive power ever could. Free from passion, reasonable laws uphold a robust civic pluralism. We look to courts and legislatures to protect rights and liberties, not to change hearts and minds. Change comes through debate, relationships, evidence and experience.

I may be an occasional critic of evangelicals, but Aristotle has me convinced that despisers of traditional Christian sexual morality should find a more efficacious venue than the law through which to express their passions.

(Jacob Lupfer is a contributing editor at RNS and a doctoral candidate in political science at Georgetown University)


  1. Private institutions aren’t entitled to taxpayer money. Such money always comes with strings attached. Private institutions should always have to jump through hoops to get such money. I’m more economically/fiscally responsible than most people as well as more socially/culturally accepting than most people. It’s not coercion to deny taxpayer money to a private institution as private institutions should be based on private funding. No one actually says that the government should forcefully shutdown anything, just leaving such institutions to their own devices and private funding.

  2. When conservative Christians were on the attack and winning, there was no talk of compromise. ,

    Now that they are losing, there is a sudden call to compromise. Let’s look at this through the lens of the cake baker. The baker doesn’t want to have to make a gay Cake for a gay wedding, be used that would appear to be endorsing sin. Despite that it’s a cake, and it is for the reception, which is a party, let’s go with that,

    Believe it or not, I’m fine with that, even to allow the baker to evade non discrimination laws for religion or sexual orientation. provided that the baker posts a sign in his window, by his cash register, on his promotional materials, and his website, declaring “We decline to make a cake for homosexual weddings because of our religious beliefs about homosexuality.” That way, no one even has to go into their store.

    But they don’t want to do that, because although they don’t mind being religious bigots, they don’t want to actually say so.

    How does this apply to your conservative college example? “They could state quite baldly, “we believe that homosexual students should not enroll In our college becuSe we believe homosexuality is a sin. we will treat them accordingly.” And of course, post this everywhere.

    But they won’t do that either. Not that baldly, becuase it makes them look like the bakers. And they are not really churches, but colleges that perhaps depend on public funding, or on students who get public loans, and money comes first.

    But really, MR. LUpfer, here’s the real problem. Your last paragraph. “Despisers of traditional Christian sexual morality.” Your bias is obvious, as are your blinders. Every time a male student looks at a femal student with any kind of sexual interest, he is committing adultery in his heart. So saith Jesus. Every time he lays with her, he is in a state of sin. I wonder how much energy they put into policing their heterosexual students?

    My guess is, as with so many Christians who obsess about homosexuality…

    Not much.

    So, one more time, these schools want public money, but they don’t wish to abide by the rules that apply to everyone else. Your religious beliefs, as religious beliefs, don’t entitle you to evade the civil law that governs all of us.

  3. Compromise ?…on basic human rights?…is this guy serious?

  4. President (or alleged President) Barack Obama and others, have proven that gay activists and their allies intend to win the war, not via “compromise” or any “robust civic pluralism” as Lupfer suggested, but instead simply by imposing their corrosive will through biased courts and raw judicial activism, and in some cases, even through raw economic blackmail from Big Business.

    Pro-gay forces are not paying attention to Lupfer’s argument. To gay activists, the only people who need to “compromise” (i.e. capitulate), are people of faith who oppose the deep wrongness of gay marriage.

    The fascist California bill wasn’t put on hold (for now) as any act of “compromise” by pro-gay forces. They were FORCED to back down, by multiple representatives of different religions, who formed a united front and fought back in the media. That’s why Calif. Rep. Richard Lara suddenly became interested in “further study”. The Gay Goliath backs off only when “David” does NOT compromise.

  5. LGBT rights should be treated the same way we treat the rights of women and racial minorities. I doubt the author of this article would argue religious institutions should have a right to deny housing to women or racial minorities just because they believe God told them they should. Why are LGBT students somehow different from women’s rights or racial minority rights to higher education? The author also seems shockingly ignorant of the harassment and violence LGBT young people face throughout the country and that for many young LGBT people who grow up in conservative households, they are forced to attend religious schools as a way to isolate them from secular culture and indoctrinate them in a rigid fundamentalist worldview. I’m not sure why conservative Christians think religious freedom means having the right to kick someone out of their school for being gay or why discrimination is apparently inherent to their school’s existence. If your school can’t exist without discriminating against others, you are not a school at all but an indoctrination cult.

  6. What the private colleges are asking is for the government to fund their discrimination. There was no compromise on racial discrimination for private colleges (see the US Supreme Court ruling on Bob Jones University), and there should be no compromise on LGBT discrimination either. We can do better than that as a nation, particularly in our educational institutions.

  7. The law is not unsettled. It is settled! Religious people can do want they want with their lives but if they discriminate against LGBT people, then they are going to pay for it!

    These types of Christians, including this author, are sick and I have nothing but hatred for them. They’re no different to Islamic State terrorists in their mentality. Disgusting!!

  8. In many respects legislation is nothing more than somebody’s idea of morality. To accept Aristotle’s observation as in all cases true is shortsighted at best. I’ve never been quite convinced that those Greek philosophers were quite so sharp on the uptake as they are commonly given credit for. Regardless, these culture wars will continue, painful as they are, with no ideal resolution for anyone, and the pendulum will continue to oscillate politically, ad nauseum. We all, in some fashion or context, will be guilty in the deconstruction of our society no matter how manifested.

  9. “LGBT people of course have a right to every kind of protection the law provides them. At the same time, private institutions should be free to operate in accordance with their belief that marriage is the union of a man and a woman and that sexual relations are properly reserved for such unions”

    Institutions do not have belief(s). The people who control them have belief(s). Pretending that the imposed ethos of an organisation is comparable to the personal position of a human being is risibly wrong.

    Before a compromise can be reached (and I see no reason why one should be) the competing positions need to be clearly understood. If they are not no accommodation is going to work for long.

    Surely, until agreement is reached on whether it is morally acceptable for the opinions of those who control a specific academic environment to trump those of the institutions tax-payer funded students (the past seeking to control the future?) any long-term resolution is impossible.

  10. I think you misunderstand “truth” – it doesn’t mean whatever you want to be real despite any attempt at providing evidence.

    I think you misunderstand “know” – it doesn’t mean “guess”, it doesn’t mean “wish for”, it doesn’t even mean “are convinced of” – it means awareness through observation and demonstration – which excludes god(s), demons, heaven, hell etc. You may yearn for them to meet your emotional needs, you may fear their imagined powers, you may have no doubt that they exist – but you do not “know” that they are real (and, of course, logic refutes their reality).

    I think you misunderstand “education” – it doesn’t mean the promotion of your irrational belief(s).

    I think you misunderstand “evil” – it can’t “do” anything. People do “evil” – often in the name of a psychopath-like fictional being who melds with their own personality.

  11. Doing it again aren’t you?

    Please look up (in a standard dictionary) the following
    “compromise” and “capitulate” (you even admit to mis-equating the two)!

    Oh – and in my Bible Goliath (who no more existed than David) was the big guy and David the under-dog.

  12. Hey Johnson, my tax dollars don’t have to go towards subsidizing your need to treat people like garbage. You want to hate, do it on your own dime.

  13. So why should I subsidize discrimination? If the school was racially segregated, would you want it to receive Federal and state aid money? Of course not. It is morally wrong to make taxpayers fund such behavior.

    These schools are not entitled to government money if they won’t follow the rules attached to it. Take Caesar’s coin, follow Caesar’s rules. But don’t whine that you are not getting his money, if you don’t want to follow him.

  14. So how are you harmed by gay marriage? Sorry, no false equivalency for you. Discrimination is a deliberate harm to others. Marriage rights are not.

  15. With a little tweaking, this sentence could have been accurate:

    ” To gay activists, the only people who need to “compromise” (i.e.
    capitulate), are people of faith fantasy who oppose the deep wrongness of gay
    as if it were a “deep wrongness” even though that view is not supported by evidence of harm to anyone.

  16. You say that I am going to burn in hell for eternity just because I am Gay, and you are saved because you are heterosexual. I believe in Jesus. Are we justified by faith, or are we justified by being Heterosexual? Does God punish people eternally for innate, immutable characteristics?

  17. The law says otherwise. It makes no difference about your personal feelings or religious beliefs. It exists. You can’t wish it away.

    “And eventually they’ll get what they deserve”

    Wow, you feel the Christian love there!

  18. Yeah, Hitler made laws, too. How did it end for him? Oh yeah… just like Tyler Clementi and Joshua Alcorn. And why? Because they were made of the same stuff.

  19. Compromise … on basic civil rights … are you serious?

  20. Expanding civil liberties is just like Hitler. (Facepalm). I can’t even pretend you have a sane point to make. Also, as someone who doesn’t speak wingnut, you ate going to have to be more specific in your reference to those individuals named in your prior post.

  21. Tyler Clementi was a gay university student who committed suicide after his homophobic roommate used a webcam to watch him hooking up with another man, then spread the news to the rest of the dorm. Leelah Alcorn was a transgender teenager who committed suicide after family rejection. He’s comparing them to Hitler.

  22. Hitler had positive-sounding terminology for his plans, too. Of course, you can’t see the parallel. That’s not surprising, since you can’t see how the reproductive organs should (and shouldn’t) be used.

    As for those names, try Google. Or perhaps you expect everyone to do your research for you – as in the case of your so-called scientists?

  23. The LGBT issue is not like a race issue, it is a choice of life style, the Bible makes that clear. To compromise on this issue is to compromise with sin!

  24. Hitler didn’t like gays and loved churches and to extol procreation for its own sake. Just like you!

    You made the reference. I am not going to pretend there was a cogent developed argument around it.

  25. Slandering and reviling. I’m not so sure you will be entering the kingdom of heaven. Why is it that a certain class of so called Christian can never see it when what they say applies to themselves?

  26. Paying the salaries of people whom You call dirty pervs so that they can defend the rights of people like you who call them dirty pervs.

    You might want to look up the word irony.

  27. Yes, your Bible’s description is correct….
    Umm, in case it needs to be spelled out for anybody, “the Gay Goliath” are the pro-gay forces, and “David” are the people of faith.

  28. Well, sometimes even the bad guys get one thing right.

  29. “It is morally wrong to…”
    Well, if you’re going to start talking about what’s **morally wrong**, if you want to talk about what behaviors are injurious to the fabric of the society that you and I live in, you’ve left the door wide open for all ethical and morally-based people (even you atheists) to REPUDIATE gay marriage and the pro-gay forces !!

    On another issue, who says that you and I can’t publicly call for Mr. Caesar to change his “attached rules” whenever Mr. Caesar gets it wrong?

  30. They are already there, defending your right to wish them dead.
    Thank you for doing so much to show what your type of Christianity is made of. I’m sure it will help to accelerate the departure of thinking, caring people from your church.

  31. Sorry Floydlee, but “because I think scripture says so” is not the same thing as what is or is not moral.

  32. You keep saying that Christian institutions refuse to state their beliefs up-front. Do you have any evidence at all of this? Nobody — nobody — has offered to Christian bakers (for example) the option to post a sign stating that they will not make gay wedding cakes. As for Christian colleges, many do in fact state their policies re homosexual activity up-front in their materials and on their websites. You’re making up a false issue because you’re evading the real one.

    And Christians don’t obsess about homosexuality. They have always opposed sexuality outside of marriage, and recognize marriage as heterosexual. No colleges have anti-homosexuality policies. They have anti-extramarital-sex policies. Again, you are either unaware of the actual issues or are making stuff up.

  33. I want to know precisely how “Religious traditionalists too often accept and champion even the most questionable religious liberty claims.” The author tosses off this claim with no back-up at all.

  34. Funny, we say the same about conservative Christians.

  35. Hatred gets you nowhere. As incensed as I can get about fundamentalist demonization of gay people, I don’t hate them.

  36. As offensive as it was, this comment should not have been deleted. One would almost think that there is someone out there who does not want the hard heart of conservative Christianity to be exposed for what it is.

    Why is that? Because it completely undermines Mr. Lupfer’s entire argument.

  37. As offensive as it was, this comment should and every one like it should not have been deleted. It implies– well,. indicates clearly– that there is someone out there who does not want the hardened heart of conservative Christianity– fake love– to be exposed for what it is.

    it completely undermines Mr. Lupfer’s entire argument.

  38. Have oyu ever had sex for pleasure? That’s not how the sexual organs should be used.

  39. Actually, you are quite wrong. when the Oklahoma religious freedom legislation was being considered, a legislator offered an amendment just to that effect. The legislation died in toto.

    And Christians don’t obsess about homosexuality.? Just read the posts here. And then consider that not one single political campaign in the past 40 years has addressed the issues of fornication, adultery, divorce, or out of wedlock births. Not one that I am aware of. Yet there have been literally hundreds of campaigns, promulgated by, paid for, and manned by so called christians, whenever the legal subject of treating gay people has come up– jobs, housing, freedom of religion, marriage, adoption.
    Try again.

  40. No. ” I don’t see how religious colleges can “compromise” with the people who want them dead.”

  41. As private schools, they can raise money from private sources or show some fiscal responsibility one expects from a for-profit organization.

    The only reason a private school is so dependent on student loan money is that it has overspent in light of tuition inflation. As it became easier to obtain student loan money, the more they charged students, the more their budgets increased.

    ” Yes, in a few blue states they really hate Christians.”

    I would love to see your examples of this. In most cases “they really hate Christians” really means they rebuke people who violate notions of separation of church and state and people who use religion as a pretext to act badly in public.

  42. “Yes, in a few blue states they really hate Christians. But not every state in California.”
    And you were doing SO well until that statement.

  43. Not quite agreement. I have been listening for my entire life to good Christians who want me dead or imprisoned, my life and my family harmed. I was merely pointing out the obvious,

  44. Calling gay people a threat to morality, faith, freedom, children, family, and western civilization seems hateful.
    Claiming you have a religious exemption from obeying laws that forbid discrimination on the basis of religious belief– IN THIS ONE CASE AND IN THIS ONE CASE ONLY– seems hateful.
    Calling for the death and imprisonment of gay people– Ted shoebat, Steven Anderson, Charles owrley, Curtis knapp, dennis leatherman (gotta love the irony of that name), andy Gipson.
    that seems hateful.

  45. Congrats; there’s one more thing you’re ignorant about.

  46. Yes, they’re SOOOO brave… with their lawsuits, and their picketing, and their media manipulation. How courageous these warriors are!

  47. Its not trying to close the schools down. Its making Christian schools follow the same rules as everyone else. They are not automatically entitled to federal and state funding. They are private institutions. To qualify for such money, you have to follow rules set by the government. If you can’t then you don’t get the money.

    BTW the bakers, florists and pizza makers who suffered because they publicly felt the need to discriminate in open commerce can go f–k themselves. As are people who want to make excuses for such behavior. If they refused to serve people for any other form of prejudice you would not be so sympathetic. But somehow your bigotry against gays should be treated differently? Not a chance.
    If they didn’t want to serve the general public in its entirety, they
    had no business being open to the general public.

    They suffered because
    of their own malicious behavior. It gets no sympathy from me.

  48. Well it wasn’t a civil rights issue until the Bible thumpers got it in their head that discrimination against gays deserves to have the color of law behind it. They forced the issue.

  49. My only regret is that your comment can only be upvoted once. Your comment is the most sane one given here.

  50. Your willful ignorance is duly noted.

    Where to start? How about Scott Lively and his efforts to have gays murdered under color of law in various African countries and Russia. We can go on from there.

  51. Look up the efforts of “Liberty Counsel” and “Alliance Defending Freedom” for great examples of truly batsh-t questionable religious liberty claims being championed by Christian conservatives.

  52. Perhaps you can show me the exact citation where the bible calls being gay a threat to faith and children.

  53. You haven’t denied that they are actively encouraging such pogroms. Of course they are doing so. It just is too embarrassing to own up to such things.

  54. Nope. Just people who lack the courage to own their own hate. Those who want to use religion to shield themselves from harsh warranted criticism. There is plenty from Christianity which does not support your bigotry. But its not like you would acknowledge their existence.

  55. Every institution is inherently demonic.
    -Paul Tillich-

  56. On the rare occasions when TrueChristians are willing to “compromise,” it seems to work something like this:

    The Christian bully declares his god-given right to punch a gay guy ten times, but as a result of extreme social pressure, the bully reluctantly accepts a compromise: He agrees to punch the gay guy only five times, and the gay guy is expected to graciously accept the compromise, and thank the bully profusely for his kindness.

  57. The entire religious Right movement in the US began when Bob Jones University was denied its religious ‘right’ to ban interracial dating and interracial married couples. Racism is the moral equivalent of gaycism, so here we go again. The article writer is as prejudiced as they come in spite of trying to sound free from passion and prejudice.

  58. If some business was refusing to serve Christians, you would see the problem with your argument. PS there are way more death threats against LGBT people by Christians than the other way around. You are a bigot. You don’t see it, but your grandkids will.

  59. The buy bull is hateful. It advocated genocide many times, and always advocated for slavery, i.e. a man can sell his own daughter into slavery and she can never be freed (Ex 21:7). see www (dot) evilbible (dot) com to understand the bible is as evil as the Quran.

  60. The bible was written thousands of years before sexual orientation was understood. You bigots read your own prejudices back into ancient texts to suit your agenda. You are evil every bit as much as slave owners, Natalie.

  61. Gay marriage isn’t wrong at all, let along “deeply wrong.” God approved it when he denied the prayers of nasty christians to turn the Supreme Court against gay marriage and granted the prayers in favor of gay marriage. Easy peasy. Now, if you want to continue to defy God notwithstanding his clear slap to the hands for the nasty Christians on the gay marriage issue, that’s risky. When God elects Hillary, I assume there will be screaming a-plenty from nasty christians. Weird how God never does anything nasty christians want. It seems they could get a clue at some point.

  62. Bigots always claim to be Christians, using bible verses to justify slavery, segregation, opposition to women’s rights, voting rights, LGBT equality and every civil rights advance since Abolition. You can’t see your ugly prejudice, but your grandkids will have no part of it.

  63. If anyone were offended at the prospect of participating in my wedding, I would be most grateful for their candor about it so I could procure a more enthusiastic vendor. Certainly the thought of suing over it would never occur to me. But then, I would far rather be inconvenienced than force anyone to violate his conscience. Nathaniel Hawthorne characterized such a thing, “the violation, in cold blood, of the sanctity of the human heart.” Jesus was far more blunt about it — He said it would be better to be thrown into the sea tied to a rock than to be guilty of it.

  64. PS Jesus was a mythical godman, not a real person.

  65. You live in a fantasy universe, Natalie. It sounds like you created a scary land of paranoia for yourself.

  66. The Big Gay lobby is seeking to destroy Christianity in the USA, with a top focus on the Catholic church. Freedom of religion, a founding tenet of our Republic, is absolutely in the balance now.

    Regardless of who forced the issue, read your history books to look at how things end up when the left tries to bully the Church.

  67. Be that as it may be, it isn’t the issue. You’re patently wrong that we would want to sue over having a wedding declined because of conscience objections. In actuality, we would WANT them declined honestly and forthrightly.

  68. The church (lower case c, because this isn’t specifically about the Catholic Church, but all religious institutions) loses? Bob Jones University vs The United States (1983).

  69. Don’t throw rocks in glass houses Natalie. When “Christian’s” stop attacking LGBT rights, then we can talk about a detante. Your side started this war… not ours.

  70. I believe the Bible is no more hateful then the Talmud or the Koran, but that’s to be expected given they are written based on bronze age morality. That having been said, what I do believe is that people who point to the Bible’s punishment/condemnation of homosexuality are usually hypocrites. I haven’t seen a very many (the Westboro Baptists being the most obvious example) who actually follow all of the Bible’s moral guidance in terms of condemnation. I mean when was the last time you heard an anti-LGBT Christian call for stoning adulters or burning witches?

  71. Yes, we do intend to win the war your side started.

  72. I was more thinking of earlier examples like pre-Civil War Spain …

  73. I’m not sure there is much relevance there… Spain is not the United States and 2016 is not 1936. There are earlier examples then the Bob Jones case in the United States though, e.g., Reynolds vs the United States (1878) being a good one where the Court held that religious duty is not a defense against a criminal indictment. In context, this is the basic argument being made with the Oregon Baker’s case, the owners religious duty (not to bake the cake) is not a defense against the municipality/state’s legal holding that such behavior is illegal discrimination.

  74. Some people might be new to these tactics but it’s really the same stuff the left has been doing (or trying to do) to gun owners for decades. Any sort of compromise it’s grudging and only temporary and each new proposed regulation demands more and more control and restrictions. The goal is *never* “common sense” or “equality”. The goal is and always will be complete destruction of whatever it is the left disagrees with or dislikes. It’s totally unacceptable for you to disagree with any of the lifestyle choices the left have and it’s totally unacceptable for you to have any lifestyle choices they disagree with. You *must* conform or they will tar and feather you, or digitally stone you. Just watch a movie star try and support conservative Christianity, the 2nd admendment or a Republican presidential candidate. They suddenly have far fewer job offers. Or watch what happens if someone says they believe homosexuality is a sin. They come out of the woodwork screaming and frothing about how they must lose their job and apologize on TV, etc etc.

    Why would you even want a cake from a place that obviously thinks your living your life wrong? And does this only go one direction? If I go into a gay bakery and say I won’t buy any bagels because the owners gay should I be sued too?

    Like I said above, the goal isn’t simple equality or libertarian idealism of “I leave you alone you leave me alone”. No unfortunately the left won’t be happy until any vocal disagreement against the LBGT moment is crushed through legislation and fear. The goal is to change the churches stated viewpoint on homosexuality and for the church to declare it as perfectly ok and biblical.

    Just like the left and the 2nd admendment. The goal isn’t to reduce crime or murders (that’s already way way down while gun ownership is way way up). No the goal is complete prohibition and eventual confiscation. The major lobbies have said as much multiple times. To them there is no middle ground. Your wrong and must be reprogrammed, forcefully if needed.

  75. The argument I am attempting to make is that attacking the Church can result in some very unwanted outcomes, like Spain experienced with the rise of Franco. It is likely that had the left chosen to leave the Church alone, Franco might not have happened. No matter, the Church in Spain is the same as the Church in the USA and the lessons of how the left foments revolution by attacking the Church are only not relevant if we think a leopard can change its spots. Here are the results via Wikipedia:

    Estimates of the number of religious men killed vary greatly. One estimate is that of the 30,000 priests and monks in Spain in 1936, 13% of the secular priests and 23% of the monks were killed, amounting to 6800 religious personnel altogether.[7][52] The figures break down as follows: Some 283 women religious were killed, some of them badly tortured.[53] 13 bishops were killed from the dioceses of Siguenza Lleida, Cuenca, Barbastro, Segorbe, Jaén, Ciudad Real, Almeria, Guadix, Barcelona, Teruel and the auxiliary of Tarragona.[53] Aware of the dangers, they all decided to remain in their cities. I cannot go, only here is my responsibility, whatever may happen, so said the Bishop of Cuenca.[53] In addition 4,172 diocesan priests, 2,364 monks and friars, among them 259 Claretians, 226 Franciscans, 204 Piarists, 176 Brothers of Mary, 165 Christian Brothers (also called the De La Salle Brothers), 155 Augustinians, 132 Dominicans, and 114 Jesuits were killed.[54] In some dioceses, the number of secular priests killed are overwhelming …

    But responding to your citations, racial discrimination is not at the heart of Church doctrine, but the sanctity of life and the sanctity of a marriage between one man and one woman is fundamental. The opportunity costs to the Church of cooperating to eradicate racial discrimination (which is consistent with scripture and church doctrine) internally were minimal, whereas the opportunity cost of changing church doctrine to recognize same sex marriage, polygamous marriage, permitting divorce, etc. is likely to be another worldwide schism, which Church members will lay down their lives to avoid. Again see Church history on this. So Bob Jones et al are instructive in illuminating the interests of the state, but the type of persecution re core church doctrine that we are now seeing vis-a-vis the Church is unprecedented in US history.

  76. “Racial discrimination is not at the heart of Church doctrine” in 2016. Let’s not pretend it has always been such. The opportunity costs to the Church over the last 2000 years have been the same regardless if it had to do with LGBT teachings or race teachings. The Church was quite fond of racial discrimination throughout its first 1600 years or so. We don’t really see the Church start to move away from it until Pope Pius VII in 1815.

  77. The Big Gay Lobby, LOL! Tty the big bigot lobby with their various antigay laws which required court intervention to remove. Had you guys done nothing and depended on voter apathy, gay rights would not advance one bit. But you guys had to be spiteful and malicious by forcing the issue with discriminatory laws.

    You don’t want religious freedom. You want Christian privilege. The ability of Christians to deny freedom to others.

  78. The big gay lobby with so many gay Christians in it? That big gay lobby?

  79. Gosh, that’s funny. You have no problem coexisting with the multitude of religions that reject the entirety of your religious beliefs. But let me say that I am gay, and reject the this little bit of religious belief, demanding that you stop using civil law to enforce your purely theological concerns on people who don’t share them, and suddenly, your church is under attack and you slandering lay and reviling
    Y claim that we wish to destroy the church.

    I don’t have time to destroy the church. I’m too busy destroying the family, marriage, and western civilization.

  80. You are “more economically/fiscally responsible than most people”? Really?
    Maybe you are, and if so that’s kewl, but do you REALLY think people are going to simply accept such unsubstantiated claims as true, from behind a Who-Dat-Guy computer screen?

  81. Not you, Ben. Just your chosen religion, that’s all.

  82. Gosh, THOSE particular talking points were falsified even before Stonewall. Try coming up with some new lies, yes?

  83. You are trying to pretend:
    Anti sodomy laws
    Gay marriage bans
    Mini RFRA laws

    Didn’t exist?

  84. I don’t have any interest in shutting down religious colleges. I do have an interest in not having my tax dollars spent on spreading neolithic belief systems. Your religious colleges are more than welcome to stay open… just not on my dime.

  85. I have no position on that subject. I personally don’t care about accreditation. My position on religious schools is, and always has been, that they should not receive federal dollars.

  86. No need to. His comments should be sufficient to support the statement. He is in fact making a very economically and fiscally responsible statement. Private institutions should not receive federal dollars unless those federal dollars achieve a federal purpose.

  87. I did some reading on the Spanish Civil War, sadly I didn’t have much background on it. I’m having trouble understanding your correlation between the “left” and the tragedy that was Franco’s revolution. Franco was in OPPOSITION to the leftist and democratic Republican government. The tragedy of which you speak happened under the rightist counter revolution. Facism is not generally associated with the left in political science. The left is generally associated with democracy and civil rights. In the United States for instance, the Republican Party of Lincoln was an example of a “leftist” government in that they opposed slavery and the Southern Confederacy. Another example would be the leftist leaning government of the Democratic Party under FDR, which opposed the Axis in WWII. I give these two examples because “left” and “right” are fluid terms in reference to American party politics.
    Again in general terms, because there have been exceptions, rightist politics tends to be nationalistic in nature, as was Franco and the broader European Fascist movement. Rightist politics also generally has aspects of institutionalized social stratification, e.g., Russell Kirk (a 20th century American Conservative) who said, “Men are created different; and a government that ignores this law becomes an unjust government for it sacrifices nobility to mediocrity.”

  88. “You will be outed, then punished.” To be fair, this was the position of Christians on LGBT for centuries. I’m not personally interested in retaliation politics, but I can’t say I don’t understand them. There is a definate, bed made–sleep in it aspect to all of this.

  89. I don’t personally believe that. However, centuries of bigotry and abuse does cause hard feelings. Christians could make serious in-roads on this issue by acknowledging the past and at least attempting to make amends. I think Pope Francis has certainly attempted this path.

  90. If more guns made our nation safer, we would be the safest nation on earth. But they don’t and we are not.

    The rest of your comment is similarly detached from reality and morality. Anti gay, so called Christians have been on the attack for 40 years. You have misused the democratic process, trashed and defied the first amendment, and have been using the tactics of intimidation– jails, bearings, legislative campaigns based upon fear mongering and lies– for decades. Or more accurately, centuries and millennia.

    And this is continuing with your posting. “You must conform or they will tar and feather you.” “Any vocal opposition to the LGBT movement is crushed through legislation and fear.” Let’s translate this. You used to have a majority that agreed with you about gay people. Now you don’t. You used to be able to attack us without fear of blowback. Now you can’t. More and more Christians– and by Christians, I mean decent, kind, truly moral, intelligent people, not poisoned by toxic religious belief– disagree with you and your ilk. And you don’t like it one bit.

    Here’s some news for you. If you would keep your antigay prejudices, disguised as religious belief, within your own churches, you would be surprised how little people would care. Except for those Christians in your own churches who are disgusted by virulent prejudice given the thinnest possible veneer of respectability by calling it biblical.

    Those are the people you have to watch out for,

  91. No one has asked you to repent for that.

    We’re talking about centuries of murders, jails, executions, tortures, beatings, destroyed lives, destroyed careers, destroyed families, suicides, being blamed for ever possible social ill, bad weather, The decline of empires, child molestation, heterosexual malfeasance, the decline of the family and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on with every single lie you can make up.

  92. So the centuries of abuse directed at gay people– abuse which continues to this very day, applauded and condoned by a certain class of so called Christian– is simply of no concern to you. We merit a smiley face and a moral shrug.

    Thank you for demonstrating just how wrong author Kupfer is in his calls for peace and compromise.

  93. Probably worth going back and learning more about the Spanish Civil War and in particular the Second Spanish Republic which was dominated by the left and whose anti-clerical laws and abuses led to war. The massacre of the clergy was entirely by the left.

    It would also be good to do some homework on fascism, which is more demonstrably an ideology of the left. Even Trotsky considered it a form of middle class socialism and all fascist movements, leading all the way up to Milosevic (a former communist) are at their root socialist. Hardly right wing. Obviously the USSR was aligned with the socialist Nazis (see Molotov Ribbentrop) for a period of time, but FDR (whose administration was infiltrated with communists, see Venona) ultimately aligned with the communists in the USSR in opposition to Hitler, vis-a-vis Japan, who attacked us first. And obviously, socialist regimes like fascist Italy or Nazi Germany belie the idea that nationalism is a uniquely right wing concept – it’s shared across totalitarian regimes of history almost regardless of ideology.

    And sorry, Lincoln was no leftist just because he abolished slavery! The left-wing/”progressive” Democrat party has the honor of being the party that was overwhelmingly pro-slavery, pro-Jim Crow, anti-voting rights, anti-desegregation, and gave us the founders of the KKK and other lovely stains on American history including Senate Majority Leader and former KKK Grand Cyclops Robert Byrd only just a few years ago. Oh and Woodrow Wilson loved eugenics as does the current Democrat party via the championing of unrestricted abortion on demand. Intolerance of
    “non-compliant” religions is already manifest under Obama (see Little Sisters of the Poor to start with) and persecution under the guise of enforcing conformance with SSM, polygamous marriage, transgender rights, and God knows what other policies are really only a 10 or 5 foot putt from where the Democrat party is today. Per my original post, this is how civil wars have begun in the past (European history is rife with more examples if you need them) and the left in America would do well to savor its recent political victories and let them sink in for a few years before further ratcheting up the crazy.

  94. I agree your point on the whole … lots of sin to go around in Church history …

  95. I don’t agree that we want Christian privilege, but I agree completely that anti-gay laws are/were utterly unjust and we were right to strike them down. God made all of us, gay and straight, and he loves us all.

    If I were to boil it down, think the Church just wants the freedom to evolve at its own pace and does not want a secular government effectively dictating doctrine. Telling the Church it must allow gay marriage, women priests, divorce, or whatever is tantamount to state control over the church. Either we believe in a “two-way” separation of church and state, or we don’t.

  96. Give me an example of the Church using civil law to enforce its theological concerns on non-Church members.

  97. So called Christians and Evangelicals preventing civil marriages for gay people. I’m an atheist, and therefore not a member. My friends in the UCC, reform Jews as well, which supports gay marriage as part of its theology, were not able to get married.

  98. This is not the church but the populace in general, and the results of various state referendums wasn’t even close. In California, 52% voted to block gay marriage,_the_%22Eliminates_Right_of_Same-Sex_Couples_to_Marry%22_Initiative_(2008). Yet only 45% of all Californians consider themselves “religious”

    If you accept that among those 45% there is a large percentage of liberal Democrats who are in favor of gay marriage (believe me, in the Catholic church in the Bay Area, this is the majority), then your argument is obliterated as obviously it is both Christians and non-Christians who voted in the majority to disallow gay marriage in California.

    It’s easy to scapegoat a particular religious group as the reason you have suffered such persecution- and you have – but you example is not only not an example of the Church using civil law “enforce its theological concerns” but it’s not even an example of Christians doing the same. Gay marriage in California was not popular among a broader array of groups including many traditional constituencies (e.g. African Americans) of the Democrat party.

    By the way, I hope you’ll reconsider your atheism. There are many loving members of the Church (and priests!) who are gay or who embrace gay people. You have the find the right parish and you should have plenty to pick from in the Bay Area, but it’s a great place to meet fellow sinners and have a place for prayer and meditation. The long term benefits package is likely to be much better than what the atheists have to offer …

  99. Nope. Paid for, promulgated, and manned by religious people. You don’t get to deny that responsibility.

  100. Churches already have freedom to preach what they want. What they don’t have is freedom from criticism. Too often religious belief is used to claim, “my views are beyond criticism and must be accepted at face value”. It never works that way. Your freedom of religion doesn’t circumvent the freedom of speech of others. Plus it’s not like “traditional Christians” are above slinging criticism at others sects, faiths or beliefs either.

  101. As long as you don’t deny that quite a few non-religious people voted for Prop 8 and are also anti-SSM.

  102. What pro-gay forces? – Oh, you mean those people who aren’t anti-gay. They’re not a force – they’re just people who aren’t afraid of anyone who’s a bit different.

    And, for your consideration, many people of faith are content that their iteration of God created people. Their God created people and in providing the method for procreation created the possibility of many variations between the extreme male and the extreme female.

    We know, and I mean know as in fMRI scans which you can look at if you wish, that the brains of gay people react in exactly the same way to sexual stimuli as those of straight people. It’s just that gay peoples’ brains react to pictures of people of their own sex in the same way as straights’ brains react to images of opposite sex people. If you want to blame someone for that (I don’t) perhaps you should look to the incompetent who got it wrong and allowed non-extreme reproduction.

    Since there’s neither evidence nor need for your incompetent’s existence the sensible understanding found in the scientific theory of evolution is the obvious explanation – although I do accept that, since it removes any justification for bigoted antipathy, it will be unacceptable to some.

  103. No – I suspect you are capable of thought, albeit perhaps in your own peculiar way.

  104. Absolutely I can agree to that. But the fact remains that every single anti gay initiative in the past forty years has been initiated, promulgated, manned, funded and promoted primarily by religious conservatives. ARchbishop cordileone is proud to be called “the father of prop. 8).

  105. Again, the population in general did indeed vote for prop. 8, which was initiated and promulgated and paid for by religious conservatives, most notably, Cordileone and the Mormon church. This initiative succeeded after months of lies and disinformation, but in this one case, I don’t entirely blame religious conservatives. Our side conducted a stupid, ineffective campaign.

  106. An interesting wrinkle on this lies in the fact that large swaths of evangelicals favor same-sex marriage. Moderates are often much more accepting of differences of opinion that conservatives are. Thus, the official positions of religious institutions often tilts in a direction that lies further to the conservative side than membership numbers alone would support. That’s because conservatives would jump ship the second the church took a position that lay they deemed to be insufficiently conservative. Moderates will often stay in churches, even if its beliefs are far to the right of their own.

    For example, the Pew religious landscape survey shows that only 49% of members of PCA churches oppose same-sex marriage. But you’d never know it from the church’s leadership, which uniformly claims to oppose it (although many of them are probably lying). Moreover, opposition to SSM is concentrated among older members. Thus, conservative evangelicals recognize that they are only 5-10 years away from becoming a significant minority in the very institutions that they built.

    SB 1146 will become meaningless in a few years. I suspect that we’re only a few years away from the point where most evangelical churches will come to a qualified acceptance of same-sex marriage.

  107. Christians are ready to die to defend the archbishop.

  108. Yeah, but “the church” worships an imaginary being. The LGBT community, on the other hand, contains real people. How long should superstition be allowed to stand as a grounds for discrimination? And if there really is a god, he approved gay marriage when he denied the prayers of all the christians to turn the Supreme Court against it. We all know that if the Court had ruled against gay marriage, christians would be dancing in the streets praisin’ Jebus. But when it doesn’t go the way they want, christians get really, really nasty.

  109. Please die already.

    Maybe they should live for humanity – just saying.

  110. I think perhaps there’s a question of brinksmanship going on here. In face to face conversations with Christians, I find few of them espousing a theological need to discriminate against same sex couples, blacks, Muslims, or anyone as part of their worship of Christ.

    Their leadership insists this discrimination power is however necessary and put the whole of their religious freedom on the table when arguing it in an amazing act of brinksmanship – to reject their autonomy in discriminating against gays is to reject all of their freedoms.

    What happens if we take them up on that – ok never mind religious freedom – its a club with an invisible friend you guys talk to. Why do you need special tax status? Never mind tax status, never mind free time for you to celebrate your holidays – just never mind you period. See, no one is suggesting that. They are suggesting that if you take the money you follow the rules.

    See, eventually you end up with the argument that “God’s Law” must be held , over Man’s Law. So “religious freedom” will be the will for church to overmand any civic authority. Please don’t say it doesn’t happen – it does. the whole Kim Davis hysteria shows us the christian tantrum when you get told in civic areas what the law is. (Burwelll case and Hobby Lobby and Birth Control; and the Zubic case in the Supreme court where Birth Control can not even be substituted by another supplementation plan because that would be asking catholic authorities to tolerate it even ever happening – ie a tantrum they don’t get to control a woman in civic jobs as well as theological issues – Christianist tantrums abound when they don’t get to control people. )

    The truth is you have locked down control of both houses of every legislature with prayer breakfasts and obstacles to every non christian in every walk of life. When we push back is the only time religious “freedom’ is questioned.You “freedom” is under no threat – this is all a tantrum.

    If you want a two way separation that’s fine. Once you take taxpayer money that separation of autonomy ends.

  111. “Yes, in a few blue states they really hate Christians. ”

    @ Natalie – OHHHh lady. We don’t hate the religion just the behavior. (Hate the sin, love the sinner – how’s it feel when its on YOUR foot huh?) you behave like hate filled maniacs, you stood there smiling happy in the 1980s when people with AIDS died and said they deserve it. You blocked long committed couples from seeing their lovers on a deathbed because somehow Jesus wants us to suffer. You kicked kids out of their homes for their attractions – you club has behaved badly lady – BADLY.

    DID YOU EXPECT FLOWERS AND A KISS??? you behave like animals in pastel suits! now you want the right to discriminate because you need it to be true christians? Do you have any idea how depraved you guys sound?

    I agree – don’t take the money. but PLEASE stop acting like this hate happened in a vacuum – you picked a fight and now wonder why people are in a fighting mood. Try this – don’t pick a fight you don’t plan on winning. I’m sure 7 out of 8 voices in your head will agree.

  112. 1) It’s not established that i have an eternal soul – not even a little bit 2) my creator really does not care what i do and does not count infractions or have any behaviors assigned as ” sins”, or in short, i can sin as much as my dog can 3) my soul can never be tortured by my creator after i die for any of these infractions 4) I don’t need to be saved from that torture so I don’t need a savior.

    The Bible is fiction. beyond hate or love – it’s all made up fiction. It is not a template for life, government, or war. Treat it accordingly. The people that make clubs (churches) surrounding the bible are hearing voices and behaving like hysterical crazy people.

    We non-christians have had to cater to these hysterical people and pose as though we are like them to avoid reprisals and revenge and most of our non-christian lives have been a story of Stockholm syndrome, trying to appease our captors.

    When we act out against those captors, we’re somehow hateful.

    I hope this is clear.

  113. It’s sort of appalling for you to speak as if you know the mind of your God so clearly that you can pronounce someone else sinful. you don’t know what your dog is thinking. you don’t know why your own daughter left the house today wearing that top, but you know God just fine, huh.

    The worst is that you have no clue how insulting this is.

  114. “If you want a two way separation that’s fine. Once you take taxpayer money that separation of autonomy ends.”

    Here’s where your argument falls apart. The Church and the State are constitutionally separated. There is no “taxpayer money” being given to the Church. The absence of taxation on organizations that were constitutionally never supposed to be taxed in the first place is not the same as taking taxpayer money.

    No one is forcing you to join our Churches, though we hope you do! If you don’t like Christians, that’s fine and unfortunate, but don’t force your evangelical atheist morality on us and we won’t force Christian morality on you.

  115. There was a time right after I graduated from High School. I found out that a young lady I liked was working at a T shirt shop in the local mall. I wanted a black T shirt that no words or lettering on it. I liked how they looked and fit. I asked her if they carried anything like that.

    “All black? Aren’t you afraid of being possessed?”

    This is not the dark ages. The year was 1985. She was dead serious.

    Then i find out after that, she was telling our mutual friends, based solely on that experience, that I was probably a Satanist. People stepped back from me.

    You seem to think your influence is just limited to your clean and tidy church. This seems typical of christians, they have this cute harmless fluffy look, but behind backs, savage gossips, trained on when to judge and condemn.

    In your above answer, you might be referring to your close circle or church scholars when you say, “we won’t force Christian morality on you.”

    and this one my favorite – from a conservative christian –

    YES you will force your morality on everyone you can it seems, even to the dismay of some of your best commentators.

    And in spite of that – I am SURE as light and gravity that you are NOT a person bent to atrocities or supporting them. You are not worthy of hate and reprisal. I just know that the followers of Christ are in part a fearful mob bent to instant reprisals and punishments for breakers of your faith.

    As to taxpayer money, if you have a school organized and run by your church teaching your religion and taking tax dollars YOU ARE taking tax money and you have title IX rules to follow. That in no way is an infringement of your “religious rights.” Your church should be paying taxes all along every year. Your multi trillion dollar industry of churching could end our deficit woes if you just carried your fare share of tax burdens.

    In short, i was a little stunned you are so blind to the excesses of your own people.

  116. My kids attend Catholic school in CA and I’m on the school board. Tell me what tax dollars their school receives because there is no revenue line item called “Free Money from Government”.

  117. Aside, with all sincerity, thank you for your work in making education happen. All too many people complain on how it’s going and do nothing to change things. You should be thanked and applauded.

    What mechanism is being used to force non-discrimination compliance on you?

  118. First, thank you for conceding that our Catholic school receives zero federal, state, or local tax dollars.

    The most imminent threat to Catholic schools relates to the morality clause in the contracts our teachers sign which forbids a range of activities that are contrary to Church doctrine. You will probably laugh at some of this but, Church doctrine is Church doctrine and it can only be changed by the votes of the bishops of the worldwide Church, not the Pope or unilaterally by the Archbishop in SF. Here is the cut and paste from the LA Times:

    “the handbook asks the nearly 500 school employees to “affirm and believe” that “adultery, masturbation, fornication, the viewing of pornography and homosexual relations” are “gravely evil.” Artificial-reproductive technology, contraception and abortion are described similarly.

    The “fundamental demands of justice,” it continues, “require that the civil law preserve the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”

    The second paragraph is key. Any employee who discloses that he or she is living in a SSM is liable and likely to be terminated. Sounds discriminatory to an atheist, I’m sure, but we are not a secular or atheist school, rather we are Catholics, and practicing Catholics endeavor to stay true to Catholic doctrine. Forcing the Church to employ those who openly flout Church doctrine is where the government is dangerously close to starting a skirmish. And we know what skirmishes around Charleston, SC led to prior to Ft Sumter.

  119. Eh, this is why I generally avoid political labels win discussing U.S. politics. Party identity is not a good measure of left/right idealology. Especially in the U.S., a better measure is urban versus rural.
    I will part with one last comment: If you find yourself needing to say “Democrat Party” instead of Democratic Party… you’ve already lost the argument.

  120. I think you misunderstand what I and Pope Francis are suggesting. There is no need to repent for your beliefs, one never repents for beliefs to begin with. The issue is actions not beliefs. It is possible to be devout and fair, kind, and loving at the same time. Actually, that’s what the Bible calls for.

  121. You pretend to avoid “political labels” when the facts are inconvenient and highlight the prejudice and intolerance within the history of your political party. It’s easy to punch holes in this kind of rhetoric, obviously, with the mere use of citations and verifiable facts as I have done.

    There is nothing democratic about a party that fetishizes socialism and one party rule.

  122. The “Democratic Party” is it’s name. You can make snide comments all day long, but they add nothing to the dialogue and dialogue is what this country needs not name-calling.
    As for “facts,” the Democratic Party was the party of the South until 1964-1968, Sen. Strom Thurmond was originally a Democrat. The operative word in that last sentence being “was.” Sen. Byrd was a member of the KKK in the 1930’s; again “was.” These two individuals are important examples of what the Democratic and Republican party’s “were” and what they “are” today.
    The “conservative” “State’s Right’s” Democrats of the 1960’s left the Democratic Party and joined the Republican Party. The “liberal” “Equal Right’s” Republican’s of the 1960’s left the Republican Party and joined the Democratic Party. The inflection point being the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, signed into law by a Democratic President who rather bluntly predicted that the Democratic Party would lose the South for a generation because of it. President Johnson was correct and the Republican’s would soon engage on the “Southern Strategy” of dog-whistle racism and bigotry that has been a hallmark of the Republican Party for almost 40 years now (see Willie Horton, Welfare Queens, Reagan launching his 1980 campaign from Philadelphia, MS, etc.).
    Although, again, I personally think “urban” versus “rural” better summarizes the American political landscape then “left” and “right” which can mean completely different things at different times and places.
    As for the Little Sisters of the Poor, this is a great example of how ridiculous the religious “right” has become. All the state required was a two page form requesting exemption from the contraception mandate, which is automatically granted upon request. Yet, somehow this amounts to an undue burden on their religious freedom? It’s utterly ridiculous.

  123. I do understand Gushee’s position on this issue. I also reject it. I also reject that one needs to change their mind at the risk of losing their job, church, or school. There are plenty of examples of reasonable accomodation being granted and there will continue to be so. Are there going to be rough patches? Disagreements? Of course there will be.

  124. None of these contortions erases the fact that the Democrat party, including Democrats in southern states like Minnesota and Massachusetts, is the party that gave you slavery, eugenics, Jim Crow, the KKK, and a bunch more “progressive” trophies. Say what you might about the Republican party, and there is plenty to fix there, but it has never been the party that is hostile to Christians. The Democrats, on the other hand, are the party where atheists, communists, and other lovely people are most at home. Like its sister left wing movements around the world, the Democrat party is the most likely spout from which anti-Christian persecution is likely to (continue to) flow.

  125. Eh, I’ll take the non-exsistent “anti-Christian persecution” of the Democratic Party over the very real Mexican’s are rapists and drug dealers with calves the size of cantelopes overt racism of the modern Republican Party. I’ll take the Democratic Party’s call for legal equality and rule of law over the modern Republican Party’s call for banning immigrants based on religion… you know ACTUAL religious persecution.

  126. Of course, I don’t know the inner workings of your school in particular and )trusting you to enlighten us on that regard. i do not ever consider you a liar or in any cravenly interested in defrauding the government. I also understand that you are constrained by Church Doctrine.

    Here’s an issue that concerns me. from your LA Times quote – specifically about your handbook. “the handbook asks the nearly 500 school employees to ‘affirm and believe’ that ‘adultery, masturbation, fornication, the viewing of
    pornography and homosexual relations’ are ‘gravely evil.’
    Artificial-reproductive technology, contraception and abortion are
    described similarly.”

    “The ‘fundamental demands of justice,’ it continues, “require that the civil law preserve the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”

    I understand the need to firmly state one’s position and in the heat of the moment one might say some amazing things. It seems you noticed this as well remarking that the above words might be taken by some to be laughable.

    SO in saying that acts of fornication are “Gravely evil” i would call foul and an egregious overstatement. I would call something so evil that people end up being put in the ground after to be “gravely evil.” Bombing of Alepo, The bombing of Dresden, the handling of the Albigensian Heresy in southern France ( THATs Gravely Evil.

    Such authors that hide child molester priests should be introduced to the “fundamental demands of Justice” long before a 5th grade teacher being excommunicated for saying his gay friend is not a bad person. I will admit this is a sidebar to this conversation but it bears noting that such authors of policy have disqualified themselves in this topic and have clearly demonstrated their inability to understand evil or justice.

    And of course you did not author this policy, so i see you in an hard position that I sympathize with. You are forced to uphold a policy authored by men that will not face the same judgement.

    Their definitions of terms for termination do not comply with the terms of law. Just because they think some god told them they get to ignore law doesn’t mean they should. It stops when someone holds them accountable to it. It could be you – but i doubt it. I have held a school administration position, your one lone voice would be silenced and you would be shown the door leaving us back where we were with the courts having to decide.

    In short, you are in a club that hears voices of invisible forces, run a money empire on a global scale, and will not tolerate correction. Enjoy your club and Bingo night, but honestly, how much of your reality twisting do we have to accommodate?

    What i find appalling is that decent people like you are left to make apologies for morons in Rome.

  127. Thanks for the eloquent if bigoted view of the Church. Unlike many religions, the Church has persevered through two millennia by being slow to “adapt” to the fashions of the day. Today in California for example, the Church is not only being pressured to “upgrade” and accept SSM, but also abortion/infanticide, “assisted” suicide, female clergy, married clergy, sterilization, transgender rights, divorce, and that’s just 2016. Polygamous and incestuous marriage is coming after Hillary’s coronation. If you look at the failures in non-evangelical and non-Baptist Protestant sects, where attendance at church is in free fall, their responsiveness to the latest cultural fashion is at least in part, if not mostly, the cause of their demise.

    I understand as an atheist how repellant the word of God is to you and how easy it is to mock an institution like the Church while ignoring its myriad contributions to Western Civilization, but like most atheists you offer nothing in its place that people actually want to buy, which accounts for your tiny population and its declining numbers worldwide. I won’t stop to list all the evil being done in the world by atheists (the 20th century body count probably makes you proud!) as the Church is full of sinners, too, but ultimately even an Atheist Club should have the right to discriminate against who gets to join its club and not allow a bunch of people from, say, Sarah Palin’s church to come over and try to disrupt or destroy it.

  128. Perhaps you misunderstand – i am not an atheist – immaterial “actually.

    your “contributions to western civilization’ are noted, but not sure why it gives you as ‘pass’. I mock an institution that has taken all of the teachings of Christ and reduced your crusade to 1) stopping same sex marriage 2) stopping abortion – two topics Christ never mentioned.

    I agree it may be difficult for you to ” ‘upgrade’ and accept SSM, but also abortion/infanticide, “assisted” suicide, female clergy, married clergy, sterilization, transgender rights, divorce” but this is only a challenge when you feel you have inside laws and outside laws. If you don’t like American laws, don’t live here. You don’t get to rule us as if we were an occupied nation.

    Honestly, you knew this was a world of sin. It’s not your job to lord over a city and correct all this – pray like you do and your God should handle it or get out cannon and sword and take us over and make us comply. I;m not sure why you need special laws for your employment when my company has to follow all all the rules. If it’s illegal for AT&T to discriminate against the above groups, why do you get a pass?

    AS YOU SAID – “If you look at the failures in non-evangelical and non-Baptist Protestant sects, where attendance at church is in free fall, their responsiveness to the latest cultural fashion is at least in part, if not mostly, the cause of their demise.”

    I’m sure there are many other more believable causes. Perhaps you need to look into the church of the holy Paraclete New Mexico. We live here. We know what you hide here. It’s the home of your catholic molesters of the cloth. Your church fathers have turned your whole church organization upside-down to protect these child molesters.This is one more case where you think you are above the law and deserve a pass.

    Your priests look the same and they either know about it, do it, or know nothing about it – but in the end you all look the same. Why should i take my son to a place with documented child molesters lecturing us on morality? These actions have consequences. you think you are waning in attendence because you faltered in the face of public pressure – maybe you are paying for crimes and crimes unknown?

    I promise you i will listen if you have some demonstration of your claim, but seriously, you can’t hide monsters and pay no consequences.

  129. Completely fair to be outraged at Church sexual abuse. I am, too, but you show your ignorance of the Church when you say things like “mock an institution that has taken all of the teachings of Christ and reduced your crusade to 1) stopping same sex marriage 2) stopping abortion – two topics Christ never mentioned.”

    You are parroting the caricatures of the Church you read about in Huff Post or Cosmo, but this is not the “crusade” of the Church today, particularly in the USA where Catholics are vigorously engaged in wide range of good works too numerous to cite here. Check Catholic Charities. Or St Vincent de Paul Society. Or Knights of Columbus. Or the Little Sisters of the Poor. Peruse the pages of “America” magazine, brought to you by the Jesuits who also brought you the world’s university system. Read the writings of the current Pope on issues like the family, the environment, world peace, immigration, and more. Read about the life of Mother Mary Theresa of Calcutta. Or the Seven Story Mountain by Thomas Merton. Your caricatures melt in the face of the love and mercy and good work going on with the Church, sex abuse tragedies notwithstanding.

    Oh: the Catholics are not unique in battling child sex abuse. Protestants, and here Jews, Islam,

    this doesn’t for a minute excuse the sin and tragedy of child sexual abuse, but I won’t expect you to feign outrage at those faiths because … well we both know why.

  130. “Catholics are vigorously engaged in wide range of good works too
    numerous to cite here. C
    heck Catholic Charities. Or St Vincent de Paul Society. Or Knights of
    Columbus. Or the Little Sisters of the Poor. Peruse the pages of
    “America” magazine, brought to you by the Jesuits who also brought you
    the world’s university system.”

    I WILL look into these things. I am EAGER eager eager to hear something good coming from all this. If anything came from this exchange between you and I that i call beneficial its this above paragraph alone. thank u.

    I imagine its hard for you to hear your faith has done these thing. You seem to be active in repairing the damage.

    Catholicism failed to build me. Other things succeeded. In the end i could not believe i have an eternal soul. if i have one at all it can not be tortured. It can not endure hell, and i don’t need a savior. There is no hell, it’s a notion so absurd its pointless extortion. I find scaring children into compliance appalling. i use different methods. I mean if there was something to follow, I wouldn’t need a bogyman threat. that’s me – you clearly have a different experience.

    I will look forward to hearing your words again.

  131. SIDEBAR: “Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything your American History Textbook got wrong” by James W Loewen. I this thesis, Loewen describes the sheer number of fantasy errors taught and retaught in history at a middle/high school level because of the textbook manufacturers collusion to create a “Creation Myth” about America. in this discussion he talks about how the Democrat/Republican mantles of liberal/conservative standards have morphed, switched and mutated over the last 170 years.

    This is not a partisan book. It is not a “Bash on teachers” book. it’s more of a correction in the many errors we perpetuate and almost fetishize when it comes to American History. Lincoln and slavery is often dragged in that network of legend vs fact.Woodrow Wilson, a democrat, revived the Ku Klux Klan (not directly but removed many obstacles to them) and ousted all blacks from federal government.

    With respect to all parties, please read this amazing book. This conversation could be enhances by this book. Thank you.

  132. The sex abuse scandal in the US Church is a body blow to the Church that is on par with the protestant Reformation. The evil that was allowed to seep its way into the Church (and/or priests with serious psychiatric disorders) is one that we are still recovering from and the embarrassment of cardinals and others covering for recidivist priests is a stain on our history.

    An interesting area of recent Church history that you may find worthwhile and that might help you re-think whether there is true evil in the world is that of the re-emergence of exorcists. Until JPII mandated an exorcist in each diocese about 15 years ago, even bishops scoffed at whether any of this stuff was legit but I challenge anyone to read the experiences of some of the newer exorcists like this one and not get at least a little freaked out. I think if you investigate this stuff further (recent NYT piece on a psychiatrist who participates in the discernment of whether an exorcism is required is also an excellent read) you may change your opinion on the existence of hell.

  133. I don’t agree. You have a right to discriminate within the context of a private association such as that of a college and a student who consents to enroll. You do not however have a right to discriminate using taxpayer funds to do so.

  134. You’re confusing fundamentalist sects with Christianity. that’s like saying, “Shep is a dog; Shep is a German Shepherd; therefore every dog is a German Shepherd.”

  135. You’re the confused one, sorry. I never mentioned fundamentalist sects in my original post.

  136. Yes, it is essential for the sake of the mental well being of those that espouse conservative leanings to be able to practice their faith freely. It is also essential that all LGBT people have their rights left completely intact. There is need for a certain amount of balance to this dilemma. If a conservative wants to be able to hide their bigotry behind their religious beliefs then they absolutely should allowed to do so. However, they should also be required by law to put on permanently display an advisory that they have been exempted from federal anti-discrimination laws based on their particular religious views and not be able to keep their actions a secret. That way any prospective student would have been duly warned that they might be required to give up certain rights in exchange for an education in that institution. Then, let the market decide on the fate of those colleges and universities.

  137. Even the founding fathers knew that religions have an unfortunate appetite for secular power and acted to prevent their acquisition of said power.

    “In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own. It is error alone that needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.”
    ~Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Horatio Spofford, 1814

  138. Those schools are not receiving government money. The students are borrowing government money, and spending it for an education at the schools they choose.

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