“Where can an LGBT person serve in your church?” Graphic courtesy of LifeWay Research

On LGBT equality and middle ground: Response to critics

I wrote a post on Monday describing what I see as the collapse of middle ground on the LGBT equality issue, and predicting narrowing social sympathy for conservative religious liberty claims, especially in a Hillary Clinton era.

This post elicited criticism. (Pause for shocked gasps.)

I rarely respond to criticism. I find that my mental health does better that way. And, it takes time that I don't have. Plus, most online criticism is of little value.

This time, however, with my sleep sufficiently disturbed by the specter of a new round of viral anti-Gushee posts on the World Wide Internet, I have decided to respond. You got me this time, oh ye critics of mine.

Did you notice how I described my post, up there in the first line? That was exactly what I was attempting to do in my article on Monday. In my allotted column space of about 750 words I was attempting to sketch changing realities, based on new information since I last wrote about this issue. I was describing. Not prescribing. D-E-S-C-R-I-B-I-N-G. Together with a bit of predicting, which is describing what you think will happen in the future. Lots of people describe and predict. It's fun. Everyone should try it.

What is this new information that informed my new effort to describe and predict, which my critics took as an effort to prescribe and attack?

--North Carolina's HB2 bill and its backlash. Georgia's governor vetoing his GOP legislature's anti-gay/religious liberty bill. California's proposed bill related to nondiscrimination in the state's colleges.

--The selection of Donald Trump rather than a culture warrior like Ted Cruz as the Republican nominee. The overwhelming likelihood that Hillary Clinton will be elected president. The broad use of federal regulatory power under Barack Obama, especially Title IX, to advance an LGBT equality agenda. The likelihood that it will continue under a President Clinton.

--The substantial pressure within the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship at their annual meeting this summer to reverse its national office ban on hiring "practicing" gay people, and that group's difficulty in either evading or resolving the issue. Similar pressures within the United Methodist Church.

--My own growing body of experiences in executive posts at the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Christian Ethics, where it is very clear that a core value of contemporary higher education, including in religious studies and ethics, is to reject any form of discrimination against LGBT people.

--Even more opportunities to experience the pain of LGBT people as they continue to tell me their stories of religious-rooted contempt and exclusion in home, church, and school. Those seeking me out to tell me such stories run in the thousands by now. I should also note the stories of parents who describe to me their grief at the suicide of their LGBT children. As more Americans take these kinds of stories seriously, sympathy for LGBT people grows, and sympathy for religion that makes them suffer declines.

Perhaps this is a good time to say again that my carefully written piece was intended in the descriptive mode, with a bit of prediction, not the prescriptive mode. It was aimed mainly at the timid moderates, the dialoguers and middle-grounders, to say that the space for this approach seems to be shrinking. It was only secondarily aimed at the convinced conservatives, to predict, based on current trends that I was describing, that the legal and social pressure on their position is likely to grow.

I was saying: "Watch out, I notice that volcano over there is smoking ominously, and if it erupts, hot molten lava will wash over you."

I was not saying: "I hope that the volcano erupts, and hot molten lava washes over you."

My descriptive effort was not intended as a re-litigation of the biblical interpretation questions around the phenomena of same-sex attraction, bisexuality, or transgenderism or what moral norms should pertain to their sexual expression. Been there, done that.

My descriptive piece was not an effort to prescribe a legal defense for conservative religionists or to rally to their defense. I understand that their aggrieved sensitivities are so high that if one from the Christian community addresses these issues without rallying to their side, one is assumed to be their enemy. It is not my calling to prescribe a legal defense for those who believe that their faith requires them to discriminate against LGBT people. They have very skilled lawyers working on such strategies even as we speak.

Nor was my descriptive post an effort to predict in detail exactly what I think will happen to the three main types of organizations making religious liberty claims: business owners like the cake and flower people, religious nonprofits like the schools and charities, and houses of worship.

In case anyone wants to know, I think that the claims of the first will likely be dismissed, the claims of the second will likely be the subject of arduous negotiation and litigation, and the claims of the third will likely be protected. But I am not a lawyer, and none of us know what will actually happen.

Personally, speaking only now in the strategic and prescriptive mode for a moment, I think it would be best for liberals in power to use the following approach: Let internal dissent within exclusionary religious organizations, the coming formation and split-off of alternate inclusive organizations in every religious sector, and growing social incomprehension of discrimination against 3-5% of the population in the name of God, do the social change work that you seek, so it happens organically, avoiding the use of coercive state power as far as possible. But I acknowledge that is easier for me to say this, as a heterosexual married person, than it would be for current LGBT victims of discrimination.

My piece was not an effort to dismiss the competing values that are at stake here. Religious liberty for everyone is a high constitutional and moral value. Justice, inclusion, and equality for everyone are high constitutional and moral values. Those who dismiss either value are missing something important. These are the kinds of values clashes that dominate political argument and, in our country, end up in the Supreme Court.

My post was suggesting that the religious liberty side appears to be losing ground vis-à-vis the justice, inclusion, and equality side. I believe this to be an accurate factual claim, a fair description of reality. If you don't like this as a factual claim, correct it with contrary data. If you don't like this as a reality, re-evangelize America with your version of Christianity, slip into an altered state of consciousness, or leave the reality-based community in some other way.

There is an element of the tragic here that runs very deep. Division in society is tragic. Division in the church is tragic in a different way because the church is called to unity.  Intractable differences constantly rehearsed in public view are tragic for Christian witness. And divisions that occur over the suffering bodies and souls of vulnerable people are tragic in both a personal and social dimension.

Culture warriors who criticize me believe they are defending the True Faith from compromising liberals like me. I believe I am defending the Religion of Jesus from intolerant ideologues like them. We will never, ever agree. Only God can judge.

Those Christians standing up for LGBT equality and inclusion believe we are reflecting the deepest, truest values of Christ. Those standing against it believe the same thing. We will never, ever agree. Only God can judge.

Those digging in their heels against any rethinking of the LGBT issue believe they are standing with the saints and martyrs of the ages and facing persecution for doing so. As they set their faces like flint and narrow their steely eyes to peer into a hostile future, they feel brave, strong, and courageous, and they maybe look brave, strong, and courageous to the constituencies they are trying to please. Suffering for Jesus has its rewards.

But only God can judge who is suffering for him and who is instead causing suffering in his name. That sorting out will happen on Judgment Day, when every life is reviewed. Till then, I guess we will keep arguing.

Comments

  1. As the storm clouds gathered just before WWII, the Archbishop of Canterbury, William Temple, wrote: “Our present time is indeed a criticizing and critical time, hovering between the wish, and the inability to believe. Our complaints are like arrows shot up into the air at no target: and with no purpose they only fall back upon our own heads and destroy ourselves.” Nevertheless he did not despair but instead soldiered on in faith.

  2. Dr. Gushee says:
    “I was saying: ‘Watch out, I notice that volcano over there is smoking ominously, and if it erupts, hot molten lava will wash over you.'”

    As for me, that’s exactly the way I interpreted his previous column. All my comments pre-supposed that Gushee was speaking in this (“descriptive”) manner.

    Alas, some of us are simply not scared of ominous smoking volcanoes. We’re not going to jettison the clear teachings of the Bible merely to avoid a lava bath. When Jesus did what He did for the homosexuals of ancient Corinth (1 Cor. 6:9-11), when He saved, healed, cleansed and delivered them, He didn’t ask for permission from the Corinthian government or culture first. Go figure.

    Yes, there may (likely will) be yet more reprisals (judicial, economic, etc) for Christians who stand on the Bible and refuse to shut up and kowtow to the Gay Religion. There may be volcanoes. Accepted.

  3. Hey Natalie, may I steal that Rod Dreher paragraph from you? That’s the first time I’ve seen it and I have to admit, it cuts right to the chase. Good find.

    No jive, no junk, just the straight-up truth of the current situation. Can’t miss it.

    (However, fans of David Gushee need not worry — I’ll just delete Gushee’s name and insert Hillary Clinton’s name instead. Certainly it’ll be the truth !! )

  4. I wish Dr. Gushee had made it a bit clearer in his original article that he was being descriptive and not prescriptive. I would probably have spared him some of the sharper criticism.

  5. sorry I meant It would probably have spared him some of the sharper criticism.

  6. David Gushee was not merely “describing,” but also clearly approving of such developments, as he is here.

    One of the benefits of our present moment is the opportunity it has provided to those, such as Gushee, to clarify what they think and believe. In advancing a parochial American perspective of limited historical and global understanding, Gushee seems to think he’s only standing against those mean old white “conservative,” “culture warriors” stubbornly “organizing” and “digging in their heels.” He’s actually standing with affluent and privileged Western cultural, social and political powers and authorities who condemn all human cultures globally and historically, intent on imposing their will not only on their own citizens, and thus establishing a state religion, but across the world. And he is especially standing with the affluent, powerful and privileged against the Church across time and space, which bears the name and wounds of Jesus.

  7. Thank you, David Gushee. The UMC is alienating young people, it is not saying anything, from the pulpit that makes a grain of sense to them. This includes many of the annual conferences that discriminated against those who are LBGTQAI. If you add to that, their insistence upon taking the Bible literally, at least those passages that they choose to take literally.
    Again, thank you, David!

  8. Perhaps, you should have read what he wrote with more care, and you would have been able to discern the difference.

  9. He was being DESCRIPTIVE. The “molten lava” is the loss of young people, and the more intellectual members of the more conservative churches to more progressive churches. They may become members of the “Christian Alumnae.” “Christian Alumnae” is a phrase used by former Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong, to describe people who are fed up with Christianity that does not reflect Christ’s acceptance of the formerly unacceptable. .

  10. He advocates pluralism. It is the conservatives who wish to have “religious freedom” and many seem to feel, that they have the “freedom to discriminate.” Case in point, the “Hobby Lobby Fiasco.”

  11. Dr. Gushee, I have a strong feeling that you, like my husband and I, have read several, if not all of the books by John Shelby Spong. The first book, by Spong, that I read, was “Why Christianity Must Change or Die.” It gave me the freedom to realize that I was not a “heathen.” 🙂 The book was easy to read for a non theologian, like I am. However, it is powerful so that a theologian/engineer, such as my husband could readily relate to his work. His latest book, “Biblical Literaism,” was just published and was written when he was 85. He still gives vibrant talks that can be accessed on the Internet.

  12. Brilliant, Mr. Gushee. You told the truth. But some people just cant handle the truth.

  13. and exactly where did he say any of this? He’s a Christian, and does not want Christians to be divided.
    but you proved his point exactly.

  14. Do not stop writing, what you have to say is vital if Christianity is to survive, otherwise it will wither on the vine. Look at the number of church closings, not just Roman Catholic Churches, but Protestant Churches. Those that do not close are struggling.
    The mega-churches do abound, especially in the south, but what do they offer? They offer entertainment, large choirs, orchestras, and “glitz” but from the pulpit all the congregations hear is proof texting from the Bible.

  15. That there is no middle ground. That moderation or even silence is unacceptable. That you will root out the bigots. That if we won’t change voluntarily, you will change us involuntarily.”

    He said NOTHING like that. NOTHING. But htanks for slandering him. Jesus would be proud.

    if the middle ground is disappearing, it is disappearing because of the detachment form reality that hyper conservative churches so proudly demonstrate.

    There is a world of difference between believing “homosexuality is a sin”…

    and calling our very existence a threat to children, faith, family, marriage, heterosexuality, and western civilization.

    and falsely claiming that we molest children– a deliberate conflation that his been going on for millennia.

    and that we have special rings to cut people and give them AIDS.

    demanding the right to fire us from our jobs because of your religious beliefs.

    demanding the right to deny us housing because of your religious beliefs.

    kicking us out of the military because of your religious beliefs. How many American soldiers died because Farsi and Arabic translators were kicked out of the military for being gay, causing a shortage

    and that we are diseased pariahs.

    supporting sodomy laws, don’t ask don’t tell, anti adoption laws.

    calling for our deaths,

    that we hate Christians and Christianity.

    that our relationships don’t last, despite the obvious.

    that we are all promiscuous.

    And your best: that we are fascists who will tolerate no dissent, who are going send the forces of the law to arrest you and imprison you. Because, of course, you are being persecuted.

    and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on.

    If you really want to understand what Mr. Gushee is saying, look no further than the nearest mirror.

  16. Which really tells you how truly silly the response to Gushee really is.

    Alan Jacobs labors under the delusion that Christians have a privilege to treat others badly without suffering any recourse or repercussions for their actions. That they are somehow beyond criticism by just bleating out ‘The Bible says I don’t have to consider you a human being”.

    They forget some basics from their own scripture
    “That which is hateful unto you do not do to your neighbor. This is the whole of the Torah”
    -Rabbi Hillel the Elder (paraphrasing Leviticus 19:18)

    ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

    Matthew 22:39-40

  17. ” I’m confused on how that’s discrimination.”

    Suddenly employees are forced to give up their privacy rights with their insurer in service of their employer’s religious beliefs. Forcing people to follow your religious beliefs is discriminatory.

    If you believed in pluralism you would not be supporting coercive efforts to enforce your religious beliefs on others. You would respect beliefs in others. You would not support attacks on others in the name of your faith.

  18. “or else” they will be taken to task by those who don’t like being attacked by Christians like yourself. Especially since the undue privilege Christian bigots have exerted on culture is waning.

    You seem to want to be able to attack others with impunity and whine when it is returned in kind. That is a kind of wimpy bully’s logic. Someone who is all for dishing it out, but can’t take it.

    Why is it so difficult for you to account for the results of your own actions?
    Why are you so spineless?

  19. I think you did quite well to bother, mr. gushee.

    There is indeed a war going on, and I think that your description of the disappearing middle ground is important. There are still a lot of people in the middle, or so I believe, who are trying to reconcile their faiths, their prejudices, their humanity, and the never ending, fact free rhetoric of hate that flows so freely from so many antigay people– especially when they try to pass this hate off as “sincere religious belief.”

    If anti-gay Christians left it at “I believe homosexuality is a sin”, I suspect that the middle ground would be quite broad. But they rarely do. Just look at the comments on your other column– as much as it pains you to do so. Every single lie, distortion, and half truth that could be repeated– was. Every bit of fear mongering– “they’re a comin’ to get us and put us in prison”– was repeated as if it were documented by ABC news.

    The culture has changed and the laws have changed. Of course they are afraid– they could always count on social support before, but more and more, decent, kind, informed, intelligent, compassionate people see exactly how much hate is behind the “homosexuality is a sin” rhetoric. The same thing happened with racial bigotry. They want no part of this, regardless of how they might feel about homosexuality. But that has changed, too, as more and more gay people come out, and the lies and hatred become obvious. “They want to close our churches. They want us to lose our jobs.” Hysterical and detached from reality.

    I’ve been in this fight for 45 years, and the only thing I have seen change in these anti-gay campaigns is the number of people doing the talking. Blame the internet for that. The lies, distortions and half truths have not changed in the slightest. and that’s because it isn’t about religious belief, not for those who just can’t leave it at “I believe homosexuality is a sin.” It’s about power, money, and dominion. And I am increasingly convinced that it is also about all of the homosexual-hating homosexuals who hide behind their religious beliefs, who exercise their own real demons under the pretense of exorcising my entirely imaginary ones. Ted Haggard was no mere aberration, and the list of people just like him grows longer weekly.

    I write for a specific reason. I am also convinced that there is still a large middle ground of people, trying to make sense of all of this. hose are the people I write for. They can see what I have to say, what these antigay bigots hiding behind religion have to say, and are quite capable of making the correct judgment about who is actually harmful to society.

    I admire that despite all of the pain this obviously causes you, that you stay in the fight anyway. Even though I am an atheist, I hope all of this virulence doesn’t drive you from your faith. your faith and the battle have obviously made you a better person.

  20. They will continue to burn witches, hang heretics, commit genocide and destroy Jewish communities every Easter? Somehow Christian practice of their religion has become synonymous with attacking others in the name of your faith. So much so that you have now defined your faith by your bigotry. Sects which do not share it are somehow, “not really Christians”.

    “If you’re gay and sexually active, maybe a Christian college isn’t the place for you.”

    Christian colleges should advertise in big bold letters on their applicants, “No gays allowed”. Just hang out that bigotry for all to see. Why bother hiding it? Oh right, they want all the benefits which institutions which don’t discriminate get, but don’t want to make the effort.

  21. Dr. Gushee, I would ask you to consider some of the words of our Lord:

    “Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.” Luke 6:26.

    “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” John 15:19.

    Some haters of our Lord and His teachings, lovers of the world and its corrupt ways, are praising you, defending you on multiple threads, and upvoting your comments.

    If I were you, that would give me more than a slight pause — and a chill.

    Food for thought. Consider well. Peace.

  22. Haters of our lord and his teachings…

    Including an awful lot of Christians like Mr. Gushee.

    I suspect, Shawnie that maybe he really doesn’t want to be in the company of those sanctimonious enough to declare that they are the only true Christians, and everyone else is a fake. Or those who refer to other Christians as gullible, uninformed, and easily led.

    But that’s just me. For myself, I can see the company that you keep and that you support– the gullible, the hysterical, the easily led, the paranoid, the excluding, the dishonest, the liars, the slanderers and revilers, the ones that take his very clear words and claim claim completely the opposite to what he says: that he will be leading the police forces to arrest and imprison them.

    As always, when these people slander and revile others, you have no issue with it. You wouldn’t, of course, do something as crass as that yourself. That would spoil your image. But it is clear where you stand when it comes to some sins.

  23. Go lie down, Ben. You didn’t address a thing. But Dr. G knows exactly what I’m talking about.

  24. As always, you dismiss it when others don’t agree with you. Absolutely your privilege.

    But as I said, I am absolutely sure that Dr. Gushee knows what you’re talking about.

  25. It is almost as if you literally do not understand the English language. But I don’t think that is the case. Instead, you are choosing to ignore what DG says and repeat what your personally adopted victim-hood wishes he had said.

  26. You can’t take half of someone’s sentence and pretend that it has a different meaning that you have graciously provided. Do you realize that we can all see that is what you are trying to do? It would be silly (as in “you are acting like a 3rd grader, silly”) if it wasn’t so evil.

  27. The Methodists have fully proven that there is NO middle ground. There never was anyway.

    PS for all Methodists and non-Methodists alike: You don’t HAVE to be gay if you don’t WANT to be gay. See 1 Cor 6:9-11 and 1 Cor 10-13 for details.

  28. Apparently it wasn’t, since you’ve managed to invert every important idea in the column. The only thing that’s clear here is your inability to understand written English–or to see beyond your own biases to truly understand an alternative point of view.

  29. Weird how the Christian god doesn’t just straighten all this out. Oh wait – he did when he denied the prayers of nasty Christians to turn the Supreme Court against gay marriage, and granted the prayers of non-nasty Christians to leave the Supreme Court alone. Ditto when he scuttled nasty Christian/rethuglican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. Weird how the god of the nasty Christians never does anything they want. Kind of puts them in a bind.

  30. Not “everyone”, just the ones, like you, who (a) can’t get beyond their own prejudices, (b) have only a tenuous grasp of what words actually mean, and (c) are intellectually lazy enough to substitute your own flawed understanding for what the author actually wrote.

    Your own statements prove as much. For example, “everyone” means “every one”–every person, with no exceptions. Since you haven’t surveyed “everyone” who read Gushee’s column (for instance, you didn’t survey me), you can’t possibly know how “everyone” “read” (i.e., interpreted, understood) it. Yet instead of admitting this, your hubris leads you to proclaim that “everyone” interpreted it exactly as you did. This is classic projection, and shows a lack of critical thinking skills, in addition to your demonstrated general lack of knowledge about the meaning of English words.

    Here’s a suggestion: jettison your pre-conceived ideas about the subject, get yourself a dictionary to look up the meanings of the words longer than one syllable, and actually read what Gushee wrote, not what you thought/expected/hoped/feared he wrote. And then stop ascribing words and ideas to him that he did not write (like these: “Gushee believes in the exact opposite of pluralism. Every church in America must vocally support gay marriage. They can’t be against it, they can’t be neutral, and they can’t be silent.”)

  31. Prejudice and/or discrimination against gays is not a religious belief, and anti-gay Christians need to confront this hypocrisy lest they be viewed by history the same way as those who chanted “2, 4, 6, 8, we don’t want to integrate” 60 years ago. If it were purely about religion, the same people opposing gay marriage would oppose second marriages. Jesus was very clear that divorce is adultery. The same people who want to refuse to bake cakes or take photos for gay weddings would refuse to do so for second weddings, and the same people who defend such behavior would be defending the rights of businesses to discriminate against divorced people. The same people who don’t want gays serving in their churches would oppose letting divorced people serve in their churches.

    The reality is this isn’t about religion. No one is crusading to make second marriages illegal because even if you don’t like divorce, you understand and empathize with those who go through it. You are unable to similarly empathize with those who are attracted to the same sex. You don’t understand them or their identity, so it is easy for you to “other” them and maintain prejudiced views against them. You may also be “icked out” by it, similarly contributing to your lack of empathy.

    Confront your own moral failings and leave others to similarly examine their behavior.

  32. You’re right, Natalie. The article’s subtext was crystal clear, even if the text left the door open for Dr. Gushee to say, after the fact, that he was only being descriptive (“D-E-S-C-R-I-P-T-I-V-E”). Sure, the first column didn’t declare “I’m going to be one of the inquisitors.” But the author plainly regarded the coming inquisition with, if not exactly Jacobin glee, something like indifference: “I did my best to bring the stupid bigots along voluntarily, but they wouldn’t see reason. What’s coming to them could get pretty rough, but hey, I warned them. I wash my hands of the business; they deserve whatever they get.”

  33. “Prejudice and/or discrimination against gays is not a religious belief,”

    Yes it frequently is. It is not a Christian belief though, since it contradicts Christ’s teaching.

    ” If it were purely about religion, the same people opposing gay marriage would oppose second marriages.”

    You are presuming a false level of consistency.

  34. “You don’t HAVE to be gay if you don’t WANT to be gay. See 1 Cor 6:9-11 and 1 Cor 10-13 for details.”

    Those passages have nothing to do with the matter. And the reality is that there is no affirmed evidence at all that anyone has changed from gay to straight. There are, however, thousands and thousands of people who have tried, often at great expense and even greater suffering, without any success at all.

    Now, bear in mind, it is now medically possible, and has been for several years, to test the claim that someone can change from gay to straight. The process is non-invasive and painless, and there are people who have volunteered to pay all of the costs, on the condition that the results be published no matter what. As of today, no one in the ‘ex-gay’ movement has come forward this scientific evidence. When they are invited to do so, they excuse themselves.

    The process would be simply. A scan of blood flow in the brain measures activity in the brain, and would reveal how much, or how little, someone responded to hetero-erotic, and homo-erotic imagery, providing a way to quantify sexual orientation in a scientific and repeatable manner. So, “Joe” could take such a text, and provide a data set showing how much he responds to homo-erotic images, and how little he responds to hetero-erotic images. Nice quantifiable data. Reproducible. It can be compared to people who identify as gay, bi, straight.

    Then Joe could enter into any ex-gay or reparative therapy he wished, for as long as he wished, and when he felt that he had become heterosexual, take the same test, under the same conditions, and provide a new set of data for comparison against his first test.

    If he changed from gay to straight, there would be marked response to hetero-erotic imagery where there’d been none before, and a lack of response to homo-erotic imagery where there’d been a strong response before.

    Simple proof. And it would make any “ex-gay” who provided it an instant star with conservatives. They would pay enormous amounts of money to hear him or her, his or her autobiography would be sell millions of copies.

    Yet to this day, no one has done this. And the reason is simple: no one changes from gay to straight, or for that matter, from straight to gay.

  35. “If you’re gay and sexually active, maybe a Christian college isn’t the place for you.”

    Such a college would not be Christian in the truest sense of the word.

  36. “Yes, there may (likely will) be yet more reprisals (judicial, economic,
    etc) for Christians who stand on the Bible and refuse to shut up and
    kowtow to the Gay Religion.”

    Nice fantasy, it really takes the reality of anti-gay oppression of GLBTQ people, including the murder, rape, torture of GLBTQ people who do not kowtow to you and your peers, and turns it upside down.

  37. “They want to close our schools. They want to close our churches. They want us to lose our jobs.”

    Nice lies, Natalie. They are lies, of course.

    ” All for bearing witness to the Bible and historic Christianity.”

    That is a lie as well. In fact, you are not bearing witness to the Bible or historic Christianity, the Bible literally forbids you, as a woman, to teach or instruct men, or to speak up in public assemblies, yet here you are doing so anyways.

  38. “Some haters of our Lord and His teachings, lovers of the world and its
    corrupt ways, are praising you, defending you on multiple threads, and
    upvoting your comments.”

    Nice slander there, shawnie. As for those words you invite Mr. Gushee to consider, you might consider them yourself.

    You see, one of the functions of anti-gay theology is to feed the pride of heterosexuals, it becomes a way for you and your peers to congratulate each other, to speak well of each other, to belong to the world.

  39. Your dismissive attitude is the sin of pride, and your claim about Ben’s post is the sin of bearing false witness.

  40. While I would not deny the transitory trends you describe, nevertheless your article seems to lack the attitude of “mourning” as described in God’s word:

    “It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife. You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst.”
    ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭5:1-2‬ ‭NASB‬‬

  41. ” That if we won’t change voluntarily, you will change us involuntarily.”

    That of course, is what your side of this issue has forced onto GLBTQ people for some seventeen centuries. Your fear, then, is that we will behave as badly to you, as you have behaved toward us.

    Your side, Natalie, murders, rapes, tortures people. It makes homosexual sex a criminal offensive punishable by death, as was the case in the U.S. early in its history, as some conservative Christians wish to make it the law now.

    “There is a zero percent chance traditional protestant churches will accept gay marriage.”

    Many do. Of course, you used the subjective term ‘traditional’ – but that term is so subjective, any progressive protestant church counts as well.

  42. I don’t know of a religion whose teachings single out homosexuality as so much worse than any other immoral behavior that it requires the sort of special prejudice or discrimination that we are talking about. Some religions obviously teach that it is sinful or immoral, but they say the same thing about a multitude of other behaviors which followers do not single out as worthy of special prejudice.

    I’m also not presuming a false level of consistency. I’m saying without consistency, the religious justification for prejudice and discrimination is invalid. There is no ambiguity that adultery is against God’s law according to the Bible. Christ clearly condemned divorce as adulterous. Were the vitriol against homosexuality purely because of the teachings of the Bible, as most of those who spew it claim, there would be at least the same level of venom regarding adulterous behavior that is analogous in type and arguably more destructive to families and more common within the church than homosexuality. If the only reason someone opposes gay marriage or wants to discriminate against gays is because they think the Bible says it is sinful, they would behave similarly in regards to adultery. If that consistency is missing, then the claim of religious belief justifying the behavior is also false. That’s the point.

  43. If Evangelicals had remembered the Golden Rule, they might not find themselves facing almost certain defeat on this matter. If they had extended mercy to GLBT people they might not be facing a hostile future. They forgot that their own holy book says “blessed are the merciful for they will receive mercy”. Many of us warned Evangelicals that someday the tables would turn, and it would be their turn on the rack, but they ignored us and kept on mistreating GLBT people. Maybe their God is going to use GLBT people to teach them the lesson they did not learn. I just call it karma.

  44. “homosexuality as so much worse than any other immoral behavior”

    Homosexuality is not an immoral behavior. Anyone who thinks that it is, has no moral sense. Morality has, at its foundation, the concepts of harm and consent. Homosexuality does not intrinsically violate either.

    “I don’t know of a religion”

    Your lack of knowledge is of no value.

    “I’m also not presuming a false level of equivalency.”

    Actually, you are, that is why you raised the subject, why you defended yourself an accusation I did not make. You know you are making a false equivalency.

    “Were the vitriol against homosexuality purely because of the teachings of the Bible,”
    Well, there’s another mistake on your part. You are concluding that if there is more than one operant in a situation, then you can exclude the relevance of others. All prejudices begin with the same psycho-social mechanism – the need to feel superior to others, and proceed to draw justifications, excuses, reasons, from elements in society that are respected and valued. So homophobia, like atheism, racism, sexism, begins with egotism, conceit, the need to feel superior. For most of its expression, it then draws in religions to produce the cover-story, the excuse, the justification. Those things are needed, because if any class of bigots were honest, if they admitted that they were simply harming others to make themselves look good, they’d be very unpopular very quickly, and their emotional ponzi scheme would collapse.

  45. ” because they think the Bible says it is sinful, they would behave similarly in regards to adultery.”

    You are missing the key component. The majority of homophobes don’t want to have gay sex, they can easily demonize it with no impact on their lives. But they don’t want to eliminate divorce, for example, they might or do want one. Nor will they go after adultery with the same vigor, they might, or will or do, want to commit adultery. They need something that they won’t be tempted to do to demonize, that way they can have the illusion of righteousness, of superiority, of being better than someone else.

    Now, there are homophobes who’ve been caught having gay sex, or seeking it. They demonstrate two things: 1) they seek the superiority of being anti-gay, and 2) they seek a level of societal pressure that will keep them from giving in to their homo-erotic desires, so they can stay ‘pure’. In other words, they’re folks who are not strong enough, in terms of self-control and integrity, to refrain from something, anything, that they believe is wrong, so they create a society that will force them, and everyone else of course, to obey.

  46. I didn’t say it was immoral. I was evaluating the opinion of others who claim it is immoral.

    “Your lack of knowledge is of no value.”

    The insinuation here is that you want me to prove a negative. I’ve read extensively about the core beliefs of most of the major world religions, none of which conform to the description I gave. If you are aware of such a religion, please cite it. Otherwise, stop being needlessly confrontational and condescending.

    Regarding false equivalency, I mistyped the word and corrected it before you even posted your response. Again, if you think I’m making a false equivalency, please explain. Otherwise, knock of the condescension. I do not think homosexuality is equivalent to adultery. Those who would discriminate against gays out of claimed Christian belief do consider homosexuality a sin comparable to adultery. Yet they treat those who engage in the two behaviors quite differently. That lack of consistency invalidates their claim that the treatment of gay people is based on their religion. If you think homosexuality is a sin and you also recognize adultery as a sin (as evangelicals do), then consistency is required in your reaction towards those who engage in those two behaviors else your religious claims are invalid.

    We essentially agree on the last part of your comment. I’m not sure why you are being confrontational. The conclusion to my argument is that those who claim they want to discriminate against gays are not motivated to do so by their religion. They are motivated to do so out of their lack of empathy and understanding of a group they see as an other. Religion is just a way to avoid the cognitive dissonance that would come from admitting this.

    It’s also important to note that this behavior is mostly subconscious. It’s not like people sit around thinking, “I really hate gays. How do I get away with that while not coming off as a bigot?” It’s an unconscious coping strategy. The same is true of most racism today. Many people who would acknowledge that the KKK is racist and abhorrent nevertheless maintain their own milder racist opinions but find ways to convince themselves such opinions aren’t actually racist.

  47. “You are missing the key component. The majority of homophobes don’t want to have gay sex, they can easily demonize it with no impact on their lives. But they don’t want to eliminate divorce, for example, they might or do want one. Nor will they go after adultery with the same vigor, they might, or will or do, want to commit adultery. They need something that they won’t be tempted to do to demonize, that way they can have the illusion of righteousness, of superiority, of being better than someone else.”

    I did not miss this component. This is my entire point. Lack of empathy. They may not directly condone divorce, but they understand and can empathize with those who have gone through it. They can see themselves in such a situation. They don’t feel that way about homosexuality, except for the subset of over compensators who are closeted gays. That is a different pathology.

  48. Hello, Darr! Long time no see. Don’t go on, let me guess:

    1. Bearing false witness…please repent.
    2. Homosexuality-as-sin is evil fruit.
    3. Please repent.
    4. There is no ‘mishkap ishshah’ in the lives of gay men
    5. Nice slander.
    6. Nice hypocrisy.
    7. Nice lie.
    8. Please repent.
    9. Paul was talking about Cybele.
    10. The church used to bless same sex unions.
    11. Please repent.
    12. Oh, and I almost forgot…please repent.

    Did I get them all? Or are there some new replies floating around in the magic 8 ball since you last bombed the comment threads at HuffPo?

  49. LOL Shrimp … That delicious delicacy smothered in cocktail sauce, is referred to as an abomination 4 times more than two men/women.

  50. My stance is still that LGBT students at religious schools should be treated the same as women and racial minority students. If a religious school would treat LGBT students in a way they wouldn’t be allowed to treat women and racial minority students, then clearly what they are doing is discrimination. We don’t allow religious schools to discriminate against women and racial minorities in the name of “freedom of religion.” I don’t understand why so many people seem to think LGBT students should somehow be treated differently than other minorities.

  51. Brooks, no group (even women) has been treated exactly the same under the 14th Amendment as racial minorities.

  52. “No one is crusading to make second marriages illegal” A number of years ago Louisiana, Arizona and Arkansas tried a step toward exactly that by instituting something called “covenant marriage” which is more difficult to get out of than ordinary marriage. And of course those who typically bring up your kind of objection did nothing in response but complain about Christians wanting to “set women back a hundred years” or somesuch. Not impressed. But in any case, scripture DOES at least allow some narrow justification for divorce but none for same sex behavior. Not equivalent.

    “The same people who want to refuse to bake cakes or take photos for gay weddings would refuse to do so for second weddings” I’ve known at least one photographer who refused to do second weddings. I doubt he is the only one in existence. But of course divorcees don’t think about suing — they simply shrug and spend their money elsewhere.

    “Jesus was very clear that divorce is adultery.” Clear? I agree. But there are as many BS arguments meant to muddy scriptures’ teachings on divorce as there are to excuse homosexuality. The solution is not to approve ever-increasing departure from God’s word but to repent and recommit to holiness.

  53. Covenant marriage doesn’t discriminate against regular marriage or divorced people. It did not give anyone special privileges. None of those states sought to make it illegal for divorced people to remarry. Where is the outrage and passion against this sin that indisputably causes all kinds of social problems? If your only objection to homosexuality is scriptural, you would be consistent in treating it like other sinful sexual behavior. When I see you crusading against letting divorced people remarry, I will entertain the idea that your objections to homosexuality are religious. Until then, it’s just bigotry.

  54. If these states had sought to make covenant marriage the only form of marriage, I would think there would have been more of an outcry. It doesn’t seem either like it’s had many takers. Also noteworthy is the fact that the legislatures found it necessary to broaden the grounds for covenant divorce from those prescribed in the Christian Bible.
    Here’s the thing about your photographer friend/acquaintance: has he actually refused any second-marriage couples? Certainly, it’s easier to recognize same-sex couples. If an older couple walked into his shop, perhaps he could make an assumption. But if he got to the wedding and found a whole bunch of children and grandchildren to photograph, he’d already have signed the contract and would have to perform.

  55. You’re not going to get too far with him. For a progay Christian, he has a remarkable level of anger that pretty much negates the good he does.

    Your point was clear and obvious, and a point I have made multiple times.

  56. Darr? I thought so, but didn’t wish to presume

  57. Hobby Lobby was a lot more than just the one case. It set a precedent that is having repercussions everywhere, from allowing a fundamentalist Mormon sect to avoid testifying in a child labor investigation about its organizational structure, to allowing a Christian-operated funeral home to fire a transgender employee (transgender rights under federal law are a separate issue). “Fiasco” is apt. Personally, I suspect that many district courts are giving favorable rulings to parties arguing Hobby Lobby should be applied, in the hope or expectation that appellate courts will restrict the case’s application.

  58. I’ve always wondered why Jesus Christ, being surrounded by so many skeptics and opponents during his time on Earth, ran around healing tons of people without keeping lots and lots of scientific documentation (with a replicable naturalistic lab methodology of course) of each and every healing and miracle.

    But He didn’t. He simply healed tons of people, even disabled people who were literally “born that way.” And of course, he healed the Corinthian homosexuals too. Guess Jesus wasn’t all that concerned about becoming an “instant star” with a “million-selling” bio. Making “enormous amounts of money” just wasn’t where He was at. Sorry dude.

    “Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.” (Matt. 9:35) He’s still doing that, by the way. For some reason, He just doesn’t care what the skeptics think.

  59. If evangelicals don’t step back from the trees and take a hard look at the forest, all of this will be pointless in the end. In my lifetime I have witnessed evangelicals in church endorse racism, sexism, homophobia, discrimination against the handicapped, domestic violence, child abuse and abandonment, and the enabling of child sexual assault. Focusing on just one of these issues is a handy way to avoid the underlying issue, namely, how come evangelicals have never met a form of bullying and intimidation they didn’t like? If that impulse is not addressed and dealt with, evangelicals will just careen like drunks from one abuse victim to another. In the 70s I saw it go from “we’re not supposed to pick on blacks anymore, let’s go after gays”. Now I’m seeing, “we’re not supposed to pick on gays anymore, let’s go after trans”. Who will it be next? What do we have to do to make the scapegoating just stop?

  60. Two words for you: “Marriage Encounter.” Just one of many notable and diverse Christian efforts to “eliminate divorce” as you phrased it. So Christians DO want to eliminate divorce, contrary to what you said, and they’ve proved it.

    Your attempted example has now been vaporized, falsified, and elimina-tized. But thanks for playing!!

  61. Apropos of the topic, yet another virulently antigay pastor was arrested for guess what? Child molestation. Where is the outrage form our regular posters here?

    A Georgia pastor and conservative political activist was arrested Friday morning on charges of child molestation and aggravated child molestation. Ken Adkins, 56, of St. Simons Island turned himself into police at about 9 a.m., according to officials with Georgia Bureau of Investigation. GBI was requested on Aug. 12 to assist officials with the accusations against Adkins. Adkins is currently in the Glynn County Jail. The investigation is ongoing. Adkins has one church with locations in Brunswick, Jacksonville and Atlanta, according to his website. Adkins recently came under fire when he tweeted “homosexuals got what they deserved” after the deadly mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub.

    for the record, this nice man molested a boy under 16 in 2010. Funny, though I am gay, I’ve never had the slightest desire to molest anyone. Yet posters here routinely slander and revile gay men with this. The fundamentalist response to this is deafeningly silent, though they will indeed double down on the garbage they spew about gay people.

    This is part and parcel why there is no middle ground any more on this subject. For centuries, we gay men have been subjected to this vile slander. As I have noted below, I am increasingly convinced that it is homosexual-hating homosexuals and homosexual-hating child molesters who form so much of the bulk of our opposition among religious people. They “deal” with their own issues by constantly attacking gay people, blaming us for their malfeasance. Never forget Ted Haggard, among a host of these vile creatures. Constantly attack gay people for not being holy, while he was pursuing his meth-laden orgies with a male prostitute.

  62. Try visiting the online Restored Hope Network, listen to what the people are actually saying, and please let go of your clearly mistaken statements.

  63. Whether it’s via Gay Priests or via Georgia Pastors, child molestation is ALWAYS wrong, always a manifestation of evil.

  64. And yet you make no mention of the great evil of hypocrisy and slandering. Oh, wait! Why would you?

  65. Speaking of gay priests, the Catholic Church is now apparently spying on their priests’ phones to make sure the Grindr app isn’t on them, which goes to expose the fraud of the celibacy requirement.

  66. I’m not sure what your point is? Religious schools would not be allowed to ban women students or racial minority students because their religious belief tells them to. Why are LGBT students different?

  67. Descriptive…predictive…judgement…justifying their actions…I’ve read this before.
    Where was that? Gospels I think. Matthew? Yep there it is, Matthew chapter 25 verses 14 to 30.
    I predict if this writing gig doesn’t work out this guy can get a job as a political speech writer. I hear Mrs Trump is hiring.

  68. Well then, manifestations of evil are so prevalent in white conservative churches as to render any pronouncements they make on their ability to discern good from evil highly suspect.

  69. because Jesus.
    The new testament is for me. The old testament is for you.,
    The new testament is for me. The old testament is for you.,

  70. But no political campaigns, no denunciations in congress, no jim crow for heterosexuals. Just “y’all come down for some nice cookies.”
    Very telling, doc.

  71. You misunderstand. Anger is part of the process of mourning. Those who are not mourning the loss of true Christianity do not feel anger at these stories of homophobia. They merely feel disgust.

  72. What does the phrase “extend mercy” mean to you? What does it mean to you specifically in the context of this discussion? Just asking.

    Does it mean that Christians have to shut up, bow and kowtow to the Gay Marriage Religion upon request? Does it mean that Christians aren’t supposed to speak up against LGBT behavior or gay marriage within the public marketplace of ideas ? Does it mean we’re not supposed to publicly oppose the standard gay talking points?

    Does it mean we Christians aren’t supposed to tell people that Jesus can heal, save and deliver people from homosexual addictions?

    Please tell me exactly how you are attempting to apply — or misapply — Jesus’ words concerning mercy.

  73. Actually, the new testament is “for you” too. Jesus is “for everybody.”
    (Which is why you hate the new testament.)

  74. FYI, the precise verse where Pork and Shrimp are referred to as “toevah” or “abomination” is Deuteronomy 14:3. This is the exact word used in reference to anal (not oral) sex between men. Leviticus 11 is another chapter on unclean foods, where they are referred to as “loathsome” or “sheqets.” This chapter also commands that we “loathe” unclean foods.

  75. An effort to “eliminate divorce” is not the same as an effort to discriminate against divorced people. Neither is this effort as loud or as well funded as the efforts to legalize discrimination against gays. Not by a long shot. When Christian groups start advocating to take rights away from divorced people with the same volume and passion and funding level as they do gay people, my example will cease to be applicable. Right now, it is a massive hypocrisy that shows religion is merely a mask for animus.

  76. Where does Jesus show more concern for so called sexual sins than he does hypocrisy and lack of concern for the poor and oppressed? Anyway, what Leviticus states about anal sex is a ritual purity law that Jesus clearly wasn’t into. For instance, he said that we defiled by what comes out of our heart than that which goes into us. Touching lepers also rendered a person unclean, but Jesus still touched them. A woman with a flow of blood was also unclean. Jesus placed far more emphasis on purity of heart than on ritual purity. Anal sex as well as sex when a woman was menstruating were ritual, not moral infractions in Leviticus.

  77. If my statements are mistaken, please point out my factual errors or errors in logic. Otherwise, you aren’t making any sort of argument that can actually be engaged. I grew up in a Southern Baptist church that approved of conversion therapy, so I’ve heard all the justifications. I find them to be as I described: a hypocritical fixation on homosexuality over more common and destructive forms of “sin” that are consciously ignored, driven by prejudice and a lack of empathy.

  78. ” So Christians DO want to eliminate divorce, contrary to what you said, and they’ve proved it.”

    Nonsense, and rather pathetic nonsense at that.

    “Your attempted example has now been vaporized, falsified, and elimina-tized. But thanks for playing!!”

    Nice fantasy. Divorce is legal in the U.S., and neither the Republicans, nor the religious conservatives, are seeking to make it illegal.

  79. By dodging everything I wrote, you are conceding that I am correct, that you know I am correct, and that you are too arrogant to admit that you are wrong.

  80. What? You don’t have any evildoers in the LIBERAL churches as well?

  81. “It’s also important to note that this behavior is mostly subconscious.”

    Not really.

    “Otherwise, knock of the condescension.”

    Nice projection.

  82. What hypocrisy? What slandering? I don’t bring up gay priests nearly as much as YOU do, but you know good and well that the grown men who mess with the altar boys — whether or not they are priests or clergy — are by definition homosexual. They’re gay. They ain’t straight. Why not admit to that?

    That doesn’t mean all gay men are pedophiles. We all get it.

    It simply means it’s time to **tell the truth already** and stop trying to whitewash those Gay Priests who choose to molest the altar boys !!

  83. Your dismissiveness is evidence of the sin of pride. It also indicates that while you are troubled in some way by the message, you cannot actually refute what the contents of this article, and perhaps, did not even really understand much of it.

  84. “Whether it’s via Gay Priests”

    Nice distortion. That is a manifestation of evil.

  85. Did you have something coherent to say, and, can you back it up with actual evidence?

  86. “This is the exact word used in reference to anal (not oral) sex between men.”

    No. It is the word used to describe a husband lying with a priest in his wife’s bed.

    And it is the word used to describe behaviors that all people who teach ‘homosexuality is sin’ engage in:
    Proverbs 6
    16 There are six things the Lord hates,
    seven that are detestable to him:
    17 haughty eyes,
    a lying tongue,
    hands that shed innocent blood,
    18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
    feet that are quick to rush into evil,
    19 a false witness who pours out lies
    and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

    Those who teach ‘homosexuality is sin’ commit all seven of these to’ebah, detestable things, abominations, as and by teaching ‘homosexuality is sin’.

  87. “Does it mean we Christians aren’t supposed to tell people that Jesus can
    heal, save and deliver people from homosexual addictions?”

    Since doing so would be multiple sins on your part – slander and deceit, no. You are not supposed to slander the innate gift of sexuality God gives to GLBTQ people by calling it an addiction. Not only is that slander, not only are slanderers barred from the Kingdom of Heaven, it shows that you cannot tell the difference between things that cause harm, like addiction, and things that do not, like homosexuality. Because the concept of harm escapes your understanding, no one can trust you. You could do anything, no matter how destructive, with no concern for the harm you cause others.

    And because homosexuality is not an addiction, and because it is immutable, claiming that Jesus can heal, save and deliver them is a lie. Lying about Jesus is sin.

  88. The Leviticus prohibitions against homosexual behavior are NOT “ritual purity laws.” The Holiness Code also prohibits adultery and bestiality, but you NEVER see anybody attempting to argue that those prohibitions are nothing more than “ritual purity” violations. Not even slightly. It’s just a straight sweeping “Thou shalt Not” and that’s it.

    If you want “ritual purity law”, then see the Levitical prohibition against guys getting it on with menstruating women. You do that, you be unclean for seven days plus your bed is unclean too. But on Day 8, you automatically back in business.

    But you mess around with another guy in Leviticus — NOPE, no mere Seven Day Timeout for you — instead, God said “Death Penalty.” That punishment only applied to Old Testament Israel, of course, but it clearly disproves the “ritual purity law” sales-pitch!!

  89. Nice slanders, but then that’s to be expected from someone who mocks and ridicules Christians.

  90. “Anal sex as well as sex when a woman was menstruating were ritual, not moral infractions in Leviticus.”

    Where exactly does Leviticus refer to anal sex?

  91. As I said. “You’re not going to get too far with him. For a progay Christian, he has a remarkable level of anger that pretty much negates the good he does.”

    Your point was clear and obvious, and a point I have made multiple times.

  92. I know, I know, every single homosexual priest done kept their lusts in check; they’ve done kept their hands off the altar boys outta the purity of their hearts. So goes the standard gay sales-pitch.

    But it’s time to get real, Mark. Gay priests have done their dirt also, and we all know it.

  93. Reread Leviticus 20. The actual penalty for sex when a woman was menstruating is being completely cut off from one’s people FOREVER. It was NOT a mere seven days. Touching the Mountain of the Lord was also a purity violation and it carried the death penalty. Gathering sticks on the Sabbath also carried the death penalty. Jesus himself was guilty of something like this. So it is ludicrous as well as dishonest to claim that ritual infractions never carried the death penalty. Also eating unclean foods was called an abomination in Deuteronomy 14:3- same exact word as in Leviticus 20:13.

  94. So 1 Cor 6:9-11 is a lie about Jesus, according to you?

  95. Leviticus 15:19-24, King James Version (KJV)

    19 And if a woman have an issue, and her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be put apart seven days: and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until the even.

    20 And every thing that she lieth upon in her separation shall be unclean: every thing also that she sitteth upon shall be unclean.

    21 And whosoever toucheth her bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.

    22 And whosoever toucheth any thing that she sat upon shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.

    23 And if it be on her bed, or on any thing whereon she sitteth, when he toucheth it, he shall be unclean until the even.

    24 And if any man lie with her at all, and her flowers be upon him, he shall be unclean **seven days**, and all the bed whereon he lieth shall be unclean.

    *****

    Just FYI, of course. But be real clear on this: You cannot classify the Levitical prohibitions against **homosexual behavior** as “ritual purity law” based on MENSTRUATION laws. Find us some actual textual evidence, please.

    Also keep in mind that the designated sinfulness of homosexual behavior, just like that of adultery, ***clearly carried over from the Old Testament to the New Testament***. That’s additional proof that you aren’t dealing with mere OT “ritual purity law.”

  96. Apparently there aren’t any “Divorce Activists” or “Divorce Pride Parades” that are hell-bent on creating societal acceptance of divorce at all levels. Obama is a fanatical fascist mess regarding gay marriage, but clearly NOT one on divorce.

    In fact, everybody — even the LGBT folks — still see that divorce hurts people instead of helping them. So even you gay activists don’t try to promote divorces.
    Hence there’s no need for “political campaigns” or “congressional denunciations”.

    Besides, as I showed, we Christians have ALREADY put forth notable efforts (which you gay activists have not!) to help people preserve their marriages.

  97. “So 1 Cor 6:9-11 is a lie about Jesus, according to you?”

    Nothing in my post indicates any such thing, Floyd. 1 Cor 6:9-11 says nothing about people changing from gay to straight. Neither of the two words Paul used, that liars render ‘homosexual’ or ‘men who have sex with men’, actually mean anything like that.

    In fact, Greek in Paul’s day had seventeen words for homosexuality and related concepts, Paul did not use any of them:

    http://www.gaychristian101.com/what-words-could-paul-have-used-if-he-intended-to-condemn-homosexuality.html

    “There is not a shred of objective historical evidence to support the belief that anyone in the first century AD understood arsenokoitai to refer to male and female homosexuality in general or used arsenokoitai with that meaning.”

    “When objective facts are honestly considered, not a shred of evidence
    exists to support the view that the arsenokoit stem means gay or
    lesbian.

    Ancient Greek and Latin words
    Paul could have used

    arrenomanes – meaning mad after men or boy crazy

    dihetaristriai – a synonym referencing lesbian sexuality, meaning essentially the same thing as hetairistriai, tribad, tribades, from: Love Between Women: Early Christian Responses to Female Homoeroticism, Brooton, Bernadette, p. 23.

    erastes – a sometimes older man who loves a sometimes younger male

    eromenos – a sometimes younger male who loves an older male

    euryproktoi – men who dress as women, also a vulgar reference to anal penetration

    frictrix
    – Latin word referring to a lewd woman and sometimes used to refer to a
    lesbian. Tertullian, 160-220 AD, translated tribas (a masculine woman)
    as frictrix.

    hetairistriai – women who are attracted to other women, used by Plato’s character Aristophanes, in The Symposium. May also refer to hyper-masculine women, from Lucian’s Dialogue of the Courtesans, cited by Brooten, p. 52.

    kinaidos
    – a word for effeminate, κίναιδος or kínaidoi (cinaedus in its
    Latinized form), a man “whose most salient feature was a supposedly feminine love of being sexually penetrated by other men.” Winkler, John J., 1990, The Constraints of Desire: The Anthropology of Sex and Gender in Ancient Greece, New York: Routledge.

    Although
    some scholars, like Dr. Robert Gagnon, understand kinaidoi to mean the
    passive partner in a male couple, Davidson argues that kinaidoi refers
    to a man insatiable and unrestrained in his sexual appetites instead of
    merely effeminate or passive. Davidson, J. 1997. Courtesans & Fishcakes: The Consuming Passions of Classical Athens, New York, p. 167-182.

    lakkoproktoi – a lewd and vulgar reference to anal penetration

    lesbiai
    – a synonym referencing lesbian sexuality, meaning essentially the same
    thing as dihetaristriai, hetairistriai, tribad, tribades, from: Love Between Women: Early Christian Responses to Female Homoeroticism, Brooton, Bernadette, p. 23.

    paiderasste – sexual behavior between males

    paiderastes or paiderastïs – παιδεραστής derived from the Greek word pais, παῖς a boy, meaning lover of boys

    paidomanes – a male mad for boys or boy crazy

    paidophthoros – a Greek word meaning corrupter of boys

    pathikos – the passive penetrated partner in a male couple

    tribades
    – an ancient Latin word indicating the active female partner of a
    lesbian pair, sometimes interpreted to mean a pseudo-male, referencing
    genital contact between women. Rashi defines it as “rubbing in a sexual manner.”

    tribas – the active partner in a lesbian relationship, who takes the male role
    If
    Paul had used one of these words in Romans 1:26-27 or 1 Corinthians 6:9
    or 1 Timothy 1:10, we could be reasonably certain of his meaning.
    However, Paul did not use any of these words, suggesting he had some-
    thing else in mind, like rape, interspecies sex or shrine prostitution,
    when he coined his interesting new Greek word, arsenokoitai.

    Paul intended to remind his readers of the real meaning of arsenokoitai,
    based on the way first century Jews understood Leviticus 20:13.
    Therefore modern readers need to remind themselves that in the first
    century, Jewish religious leaders understood arsenos-koiten as used in
    Leviticus 20:13, as condemning shrine prostitutes and the sex rituals which accompanied their worship of false gods.

    There is not a shred of objective historical evidence
    that anyone in the first century AD understood arsenokoitai to refer to
    male and female homosexuality in general or used arsenokoitai with that
    meaning.”

  98. They don’t need to. The acceptance is already there. Banning divorce would seriously inconvenience heterosexuals.

    Fantastical fascist mess? Reviling and slandering come so easily to you.

    As for the rest of it: keep talking, doc. Please.

  99. “The Leviticus prohibitions against homosexual behavior are” a fraud perpetuated by sinful people.

  100. That is Leviticus 15, not Leviticus 20, I believe verse 18, where the penalty is greater. Paul spoke of homosexual practice as it was combined with idol worship (Romans 1) Absolutely no relationship was acceptable if it was combined with idol worship. (Numbers 25 and 1 Kings 16:31.)

  101. Again, your hatred of GLBTQ people and the snark you resort to, does not erase your evil.

  102. 1 Cor 6-11 says that Jesus did some things. Do you agree that Jesus did the things specified in verse 6:11 ?

  103. To the same extent, no. In liberal churches people speak up when they see something going down instead of looking the other way. I have never seen the widespread tacit approval of violence that I saw growing up in conservative churches in a liberal church.

  104. Dr Gushee writes about this subject as well as anybody. I have tremendous respect for his views and his courage to speak out on the topics he chooses to write about. I compare what he writes about here to the parable of the talents. I try to understand his thoughts the same way I try to understand the meaning of the parable. Does the parable refute or support what Mr Gushee writes about? I believe the parable concures with Me Gushees conclusions. Whether we are right, or whether we are wrong on issues concerning the kingdom can be judged by be yield they produce and sustain.
    Your dismissiveness of my humor leads me to believe you did not understand my comment. Either that or evidence of the sin of no since of humor.?

  105. And for the Greek aficionados among us: are you aware that, back in the 1980’s, NT scholar D.F. Wright traced “arsenokoiten” all the way back to the LXX version of the Levitical prohibitions?

    So in fact the OT and the NT are **united** that homosexual behavior is wrong. And read the text yourself — neither the OT nor NT puts any limits on the wrongness. So inside a pagan temple or inside your own bedroom, it’s STILL wrong.

  106. No, in Romans 1, Paul makes clear that people who do gay sex AT ALL are indeed practicing idolatry. Plus they are even rejecting the natural gender-based functions that God gave to them. Paul did not offer any escape hatches on that one.

  107. Your post was supposed to be funny? Will wonders never cease.

  108. “the 1980’s, NT scholar D.F. Wright traced “arsenokoiten” all the way back to the LXX version of the Levitical prohibitions”

    And I cited scholarship that argues against the fraudulent interpretation of those prohibitions.

    “So in fact the OT and the NT are **united** that homosexual behavior is wrong.”

    So you are wrong. Bear in mind, you are relying on a modern translators abuse of Paul’s writings to justify ignoring Christ’s teaching

    ‘So inside a pagan temple or inside your own bedroom, it’s STILL wrong.”

    So by your reasoning, if a sexual activity is condemned in one situation, it is condemned in all. Therefore, the three hundred plus passages that condemn, explicitly, heterosexual sex in situations, create a universal condemnation of heterosexual sex.

    No wonder Paul said: “It is well for a man not to touch a woman.” I Cor 7: 1

  109. “1 Cor 6-11” covers three chapters of Paul’s letter. So that’s a problem for you.

    “verse 6:11”

    “11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

    None of which is relevant to your claim: ” Jesus can
    heal, save and deliver people from homosexual addictions?”

    I do wonder if Jesus has done those things for you, though. You sin against GLBTQ people with such determination.

  110. LOL! False witness is a sin, Darr. Please repent. Have a nice day.

  111. Oh baloney. When you see Christians crusading against divorce and remarriage you will do all the same “war-on-women” caterwauling that was heard in Louisiana at the time covenant marriage was introduced — and that feminists still do whenever anyone mentions the harm that divorce causes children. In the meantime, it is of vanishingly small moment to me whether you “entertain” my objections as religious or not.

    “If your only objection to homosexuality is scriptural, you would be consistent in treating it like other sinful sexual behavior.” I’m consistent about it, thanks just the same. Although there are certain limited circumstances in which it is scripturally justified, in general I oppose it and do nothing to condone or participate in it — just like all instances of same-sex behavior.

  112. Why not? You “presumed” to thank your admirer Paul, the cyber-stalker, for his “information” about Sandi. Yuck.

  113. Nobody is banning LGBT students, either. But Christian schools generally have a lifestyle covenant that they expect their students and employees to agree to up front, and it generally precludes all forms of sexual immorality.

    But anyway, my point up above is that the courts apply strict scrutiny to wrt race under the 14th but not wrt gender. The SCOTUS of the generation that ratified the 14th held that it did not apply to gender at all. And even though later SCs have illegitimately shoe-horned gender into the 14th, they have never agreed upon what kind of scrutiny it merits and certainly have not treated it as equal to race.

  114. “But you mess around with another guy in Leviticus — NOPE, no mere Seven
    Day Timeout for you — instead, God said “Death Penalty.””

    So, through your interpretation, you are a mass murderer. You have just declared that your god wants seven hundred million people to be sacrificed as blood offerings, and you are ok with that.

    The really tragic thing, Floyd, is that you don’t see how, by calling for the execution of hundreds of millions of people as you do, you prove how deeply evil and immoral your theology on this matter is.

    But, because of people like you, who claim that Leviticus 20:13 is about homosexuals – when it is not – real humans are murdered, raped, tortured, brutalized. And the way you’ve expressed yourself in that last paragraph comes across as rejoicing in the slaughter of GLBTQ people, of gloating in it.

  115. He’s retired now, but sure, he refused some second-marriage couples, one of them his nephew’s good friend who was marrying a divorced woman (his nephew also declined to be the best man for the same reason). He would ask up front, and of course people were generally honest about it — they weren’t trying to mean-spiritedly trap him into something objectionable, and there are lots of photographers out there. If some were deceptive about it, then that’s on them, as of course we’re only responsible for what we know about. But this kind of bullying is something entirely new — one would think you’d want an artist to do his/her best and most enthusiastic work for you, and I’ve never before seen people actually trying to force their money on unwilling artists for the purpose of violating others’ consciences. I know two gay men who are steadfastly against that sort of thing — my cousin the floral designer, and my old friend from grade school who is a successful photographer. Every dollar forced into an unwilling pocket is one that could go in theirs instead.

  116. “No, in Romans 1, Paul makes clear that people who do gay sex AT ALL are indeed practicing idolatry.”

    Wrong. Nothing in Paul’s text indicates any such thing. Instead, he talks about heterosexuals, participating in a known fertility religion, abandoning their innate sexual use of the opposite sex. Since homosexuals do not have an innate sexual use of the opposite sex, Paul cannot be talking about homosexuals.

    And no, prohibiting heterosexuals from engaging in homosexual sex within the context of abusive and exploitative fertility religions does not create a universal condemnation of homosexual sex, any more than the three hundred plus passages that condemn explicit and specific instances of heterosexual sex create a universal condemnation of heterosexual sex.

    Now, the fact that the people who, according to metaphor, introduced sin into the world, were heterosexual, as much as their behavior can tell, could be a reason for condemning all heterosexual sex.

    ” Plus they are even rejecting the natural gender-based functions that God gave to them.”

    Wrong again. You and your peers demand, under threat of death, floyd, because you threatened all GLBTQ people with death when you paraphrased Lev 20:13, that GLBTQ people abandon the natural gender based sexual orientation God gave us.

    Homosexuality is natural, it occurs in nature. Computers are not natural, floyd, nor are printing presses. So before you even think about going on any more about natural and unnatural to accuse people of sin – much of your life involves things that are not found in nature.

  117. The immorality that the author is mourning is the immorality of systemic injustice, deliberate slander, the cavalier and selfish obliviousness to the real violence inflicted on GLBTQ people, demonstrated by those who believe ‘homosexual sex is sin’.

    They are guilty of a horrific immorality, one that has not only cost the lives of many GLBTQ people, but driven many heterosexuals away from God completely.

  118. False accusations are a sin, Darr. Please repent. 😀

  119. ” I’m consistent about it, thanks just the same.”

    Baloney. Since anti-gay theology is contingent on a literalist approach to the Bible, and the Bible literally forbids women from teaching or instructing men, or from speaking up in public assemblies, you are disobedient. Not the only deliberate sin in your posts, but a good example.

    ‘ in general I oppose it and do nothing to condone or participate in it — just like all instances of same-sex behavior.”

    And thus, by your actions, you reject Jesus Christ. For his own words show us that people like you are false teachers because you bear evil fruit. People are murdered, raped, tortured, because of the evil belief ‘homosexual sex is sin’, yet you clearly don’t care. In fact, you treat discussions of it as a joke, a game to feed your ego.

    Here’s just one example of the fruit produced by your condemnation of ‘same-sex behavior’ – a fraudulent term as well: http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/news/world/553328/corrective-rape-first-person.html

    “I was raped seven years ago, aged 19, after being lured off a
    lesbian chat room by a girl who acted as a honey trap. There are few, if
    any places for LGBT people to meet or socialise in Jamaica, which is a
    deeply homophobic country. Social media is the only way, and even then
    everyone uses monikers to protect themselves from reprisals.

    This
    is the Jamaica tourists don’t see – where popular culture and
    institutions are imbued with the messages of the fundamentalist
    Christian movement, and one of 79 countries in the world where
    homosexuality is still prohibited. In Jamaica, raping a lesbian is seen
    
as ‘corrective rape’, inferring that it is a cure, which might ‘turn’
    them straight. People may be shocked to hear that here, even parents
    have been known to hire men to rape their daughters to ‘cure’ them.

    When I arrived at the agreed meeting place near her home, the
    woman didn’t show. Instead, there was a man, who said he was her brother
    and told me he would take us to her house. It was when he suggested
    taking a short cut through a park that I panicked.

    Suddenly, we
    were approached by another man wearing a bandana and beanie cap, who had
    a gun. He blocked our path, and when we begged him to let us go, he
    held the gun to the back of my neck and marched us to a secluded area.
    There, he violently forced us to perform oral sex on him and the other
    man, before ejaculating on us. At one point, he paused to ask if I was
    Christian. ‘Yes,’ I answered. ‘Then pray for me,’ he said smiling, as
    both men grabbed my friend and vaginally raped her in front of me. I was
    screaming and shaking, but they wouldn’t stop.

    Afterwards, the
    guy with the bandana robbed us and left us to find our own way out of
    the bush and home. I flagged down a bus and begged the driver, telling
    him we had been mugged. But from the look on his face, I’m sure he could
    tell that more had gone on. ”

    This is what you and your peers condone, encourage, incite.

  120. And you regularly presume to not call out the revilers and slanderers who post regularly here on the threads you are posting on. Equally yuck, doncha think?

  121. The case can be made, pretty well I think, that throughout human history, God has worked to teach humans to recognize and reject injustice. Slowly, very slowly, humanity is learning to be humane.

  122. “on accepting LGBT orthodoxy or facing the wrath of the State.”

    When you lie about something from the very start, it sends a message to everyone else that your entire argument, and your position, cannot be defended with truth or accuracy.

  123. Whatever you think you are trying to do, you might want to remember that your homophobia is against the rules here:

    “Also not permitted are ethnic
    slurs, religious intolerance, homophobia, and personal attacks.”

  124. When you lie about something from the very start, it sends a message to everyone else that your entire argument, and your position, cannot be defended with truth or accuracy. Please repent, Darr.

  125. Nope, I don’t express gratitude to anyone for any “slander” like you did for stalking. While you cheer it and upvote it as long as it comes from your pals. But seldom do I bother to whine about that, for everyone here is presumably an adult and able defend his own position.

  126. “Since anti-gay theology is contingent on a literalist approach to the Bible, and the Bible literally forbids women from teaching or instructing men, or from speaking up in public assemblies, you are disobedient”

    Nice lie.
    Nice fantasy.
    This is not a church but an online forum overrun with atheists. If we meet in church one day I’ll consider your objection.
    For now, bearing false witness is a sin.
    Please repent.

  127. “When you lie about something from the very start, it sends a message to everyone else that your entire argument, and your position, cannot be defended with truth or accurate.”

    Which is why you are sinning, Shawnie. Your false accusation that I have lied, is sin on your part.

    And of course, this is all diversion from the fact that you, and your peers, incite violence against GLBTQ people. Another of your peers:
    http://www.rawstory.com/2016/06/kill-the-gays-pastor-has-a-pulpit-stomping-meltdown-after-hes-booted-from-online-fundraising/

    “Pastor Steven Anderson, who heads the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Phoenix, Arizona, lashed out this week at activists who successfully petitioned businesses like PayPal and Apple to shut down his accounts after his hate speech. While Anderson posted his June 22 sermon on a website called Archive, the Friendly Atheist uploaded a sampling to YouTube.

    After the June 12 massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Anderson posted a video in which he said there are “50 less pedophiles” in the world. Forty-nine people were killed in the mass shooting at the gay nightclub.

    Anderson has been reaping the consequences of his words, and he is not happy about it.”

    This is the truth you are trying to cover up with distractions.

  128. I was clear the first time, your pretense that I was not, is further dishonesty on your part. You falsely characterized Mr. Gushee’s articles.

  129. Jesus taught that the closer we draw to the end of the age the more sin and apostasy and deception there would be. No surprises here.

  130. Which is why you are sinning, Darr. Your false accusation that I have lied, is sin on your part.

    Darn, almost forgot…please repent.

  131. “Nice lie.
    Nice fantasy.”

    No lie, no fantasy.

    ‘This is not a church but an online forum overrun with atheists.”

    Ekklesia does not mean church, it’s mean includes any
    public gathering. Your characterization ‘overrun with atheists’ is less than accurate as well.

    “For now, bearing false witness is a sin.
    Please repent.”

    The burden is yours. Murder is also a sin, and you and your peers, when you invoke Leviticus 20:13 to falsely condemn homosexuals, commit murder in thought and word, and all to often, in deed as well.

    Another of your peers that you seek to cover-up:
    http://www.thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/davidbadash/christian_pastor_says_gays_worthy_of_death_at_conference_with_3_gop_presidential_candidates

    So today, Pastor Swanson took to the stage and told attendees once again that gays should be killed. Twice, according to Right Wing Watch.

    “There are instances in which both the Old and New Testament speak to
    the matter with unbelievable clarity,” Swanson told his audience of
    evangelical Christians, as Joe.My.God. reports. “There’s not to be any debate about it. You know what that sin is – it’s the sin of homosexuality.”
    “In fact in Romans 1 Paul affirms that this particular sin is worthy of death,” Swanson says.”

    Your peers, calling for some seven hundred million people to be slaughtered.

    http://cw33.com/2016/06/16/that-same-pastor-says-the-government-should-kill-gays/

    “SACRAMENTO — “There’s no tragedy. I wish the government would round them all up, put them up against a wall, put a firing squad in front of them and blow their brains out.”

    That was one Sacramento pastor’s response to the massacre in an Orlando nightclub. The “them” Pastor Roger Jimenez is referring to is gay men. “The tragedy is that more of them didn’t die,” he said during a 45-minute sermon the morning after 49 people were killed inside Pulse nightclub.

    On Tuesday, Jimenez was doubling down on his stance that the horrific murders were justified, even cause for celebration. “What about the component of Christianity that says we should love everyone equally?” FOX40 asked Jimenez in an interview at his home.

    Jimenez referred us to a passage from the story of David in the Old Testament. “The Bible doesn’t teach that,” he said. “The Bible tells us to hate the enemy of God.”

    Jimenez’s message of hate has gone viral.”

    But you want to avoid discussing that.

  132. You are sinning, Shawnie. When you proclaim that homosexual sex is sin, you incite violence against hundreds of millions of people. That is sin.
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/06/orlando-nightclub-shooting-lgbt-gay-hate-crimes-history/
    “Harvey Milk in 1978. Brandon Teena in 1993. Matthew Shepard in 1998.

    The list of well-publicized murders of gay, lesbian, bisexual and
    transgender people now includes victims of the worst mass shooting in
    U.S. history, which saw 49 people gunned down this weekend at a gay
    nightclub in Orlando, Florida.”

    “More than 20 percent of U.S. hate crimes in 2014 (the most recent year available) targeted people because of sexual orientation or gender, according to FBI statistics cited by the
    activist group Human Rights Campaign. And while countless people have been the victims of individual attacks, large groups at nightclubs and other settings worldwide have also been subject to violence.”

  133. “Your false accusation that I have lied,”

    I made no false accusation. My name is not Darr, nor is my Disqus id. You might want to consider the possibility that more than one person in the world condemns your sin against GLBTQ people.

    Further, Shawnie, you did lie about Ben’s post, when you wrote: ” You didn’t address a thing.” Ben covered a great deal of material.

    By the way, when you ignore the evidence, the violence that your belief produces, the murders and rapes, you indicate that you have no empathy or compassion.

    A real Christian, Shawnie, would be so overcome by the brutality of anti-gay violence, that no matter how strongly they believed ‘homosexuality is sin’, they would never, ever dare mention it in public, rather than risk inciting even one more act of violence.

  134. I almost forgot, more of your peers at work in the world:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/06/world/americas/brazil-anti-gay-violence.html?_r=0

    “RIO DE JANEIRO — The assailant struck as Gabriel Figueira Lima,
    21, stood on a street two weeks ago in a city in the Amazon, plunging a knife into his neck and speeding off on the back of a motorcycle, leaving him to die.

    A few days earlier, in the coastal state of Bahia, two beloved teachers, Edivaldo Silva de Oliveira and Jeovan Bandeira, were killed as well, their charred remains found in the trunk of a burning car.

    Late last month, it was Wellington Júlio de Castro Mendonça, a shy, 24-year-old retail clerk, who was bludgeoned and stoned to death near a highway in a city northwest of Rio.

    In a nation seemingly inured to crime, the brutal killings stood out: The victims were not robbed, the police have yet to identify any suspects, and all of the dead were either gay or transgender.

    While Americans have fiercely debated how to respond to the massacre last month at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Brazilians have been confronting their own epidemic of anti-gay violence — one that, by some counts, has earned Brazil the ignominious ranking of the world’s deadliest place for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people.

    Nearly 1,600 people have died in hate-motivated attacks in the past four and half years, according to Grupo Gay da Bahia,which tracks the deaths through news articles. By its tally, a gay or
    transgender person is killed almost every day in this nation of 200
    million.

    “And these numbers represent only the tip of the iceberg of violence and bloodshed,” said Eduardo Michels, the group’s data manager, adding that the Brazilian police often omit anti-gay animus when compiling homicide reports.”

    Your belief ‘homosexual sex is sin’ at work in the world, Shawnie. Trust me, every time you post at me, I can provide another example of the evil fruit produced by the belief, ‘homosexual sex is sin’ that you defend.

  135. “I made no false accusation. My name is not Darr” Bearing false witness is sin, Darr. Please repent.

    “Ben covered a great deal of material.” Ben didn’t even know whom I was referring to. And my post was addressed to one person only, who was not Ben. So you have slandered me. Please repent.

  136. ” So homophobia, like atheism, racism, sexism, begins with egotism, conceit, the need to feel superior.”

    Atheism does not belong in that sentence. But, “Fundamentalist Christianism” would be appropriate, though.

  137. “When you proclaim that homosexual sex is sin, you incite violence against hundreds of millions of people. ” Proclaiming the sinfulness of slavery incited violence the world over. The proclamation of the Gospel itself, and of sin and repentance, has incited two-thousand years worth of murder, violence, hatred, and division, beginning with the murder of Christ Himself. And so He said it would be, because He was bringing not peace but a sword. Proclaiming the truth of scripture will never be evil. So you have again borne false witness. Please repent.

  138. Actually, you didn’t cite ANY scholarly refutation for the historic Bible confirmation that D.F. Wright offered, so let’s repeat it. To save time, let’s offer a quickie snip by “Bill” (from the Defending Contending websitsite). Bill explains in simple language what Wright said. Readers, please think about it:

    ****

    In the LXX, Leviticus 20:13 reads: “hos an koimethe meta **arsenos koiten** gunaikos.”

    In English, Leviticus 20:13 says, “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”

    There is **no ambiguity** in Leviticus 20:13. It calls homosexuality a sin, **regardless** of whether it is in a monogamous, loving relationship or not.

    The word “arsenokoites” is simply a contraction of “arsenos” and “koiten.” “Arsenos” means man, and “koiten” means intercourse or to lie with sexually. When Paul uses the word “arsenokoites,” he is referring to men who lie together sexually, or homosexuals. He is referencing the passages in Leviticus that clearly condemn homosexuality.

    That is especially clear in 1 Timothy 1:8–10 as it is a discussion of the proper use of the law. What law could Paul be referring to other than the Old Testament law? The proper use of the law was to convict homosexuals of their sin in the hope that they would be humbled and prepared to hear the gospel.

  139. I haven’t called for any executions at all (though I do admit that Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, got what he deserved).

    In fact, in my previous post, I specifically said, “That punishment only applied to Old Testament Israel.”

    So now you are proven to be speaking lies, aren’t you?

    Not just your usual inaccuracies and smoke, but actual falsehoods. Therefore I have obtained some fresh paper bags from the grocery store, bags that are free and available for you, since you **obviously** need to place one of them over your head in shame.

  140. “What does Rom. 1:26-27 say? Hmm?”

    I just answered that. But what does Romans 2 1-6 say?

    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? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

    5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are
    storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”

    What you and your peers have done, floyd, is threaten the lives of hundreds of millions of people, inciting violence against them, murdering them in your thoughts and words.

  141. “I haven’t called for any executions at all”

    Nice lie. But you did indeed call for GLBTQ people to be executed, unless, you now want to argue that people should not obey your god.

    ‘In fact, in my previous post, I specifically said, “That punishment only applied to Old Testament Israel.””

    And that is fraud.

    “So now you are proven to be speaking lies, aren’t you?”

    Nope.

    “Not just your usual inaccuracies and smoke, but actual falsehoods.”

    Still wrong. And still avoiding the actual point.

  142. “Actually, you didn’t cite ANY scholarly refutation”

    Actually, I did. Here is the first one, again:http://www.gaychristian101.com/what-words-could-paul-have-used-if-he-intended-to-condemn-homosexuality.html

    “If Paul intended to condemn homosexuality, he could have used a word from the following list to make his point. Yet instead of using these words, Paul coined a new Greek word, arsenokoitai or arsenokoites, from the arsenokoit stem. Thanks for taking time to educate yourself by exploring the textual links.

    Some people believe that Paul coined the Greek word arsenokoitai, from the words arsenos koiten, found in Lev 20:13 in the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Old Testament, where the biblical, cultural, historical and religious context is temple prostitution.

    There is not a shred of objective historical evidence to support the belief that anyone in the first century AD understood arsenokoitai to refer to male and female homosexuality in general or used arsenokoitai with that meaning.”

    Here’s another: http://www.jeramyt.org/gay.html#Add3
    “One method of interpreting the word is to try to discern some meaning from the use of arsenokoites in the lists. Martin notes that “sin lists” tend to congregate words of similar type together. For example, “first are listed, say, vices of sex, then those of violence, then others related to economics, or injustice” (pg. 120). In most of the TLG listings, the order is fairly standard (but not universal): , pornoi, moixoi, malakoi, arsenokoitai, kleptai, pleonektai, methusoi, loidoroi, with some substitution of andrapodistais kai epiorkrois followingarsenokoites. Translated, the pattern is as follows: templeprostitution, adultery, moral weakness (malakos),arsenokoites, thief, greedy, drunks, foul-mouthed; orarsenokoites, slave-trader, perjurer. In the TLG lists, the division is not very clear, other than the first half of the list seems to be sexual, then arsenokoites is listed, then economic/injustice sins, sometimes followed by moral sins. If this were all we had, then we
    would not know on which side to classify arsenokoites–whether purely sexual, purely economic, or some mixture of the two. However, there are two non-TLG texts, both of which are early usages of arsenokoites, the first of which is from the Sibylline Oracle 2

    “Do not steal seeds. Whoever takes for himself is accursed (to
    generations of generations, to the scattering of life. Do not
    arsenokoites, do not betray information, do not murder.) Give one
    who has labored his wage. Do not oppress a poor man.” (Martin, pg.
    120)

    Similarly, the second text, from the Acts of John 36:

    “And let the murderer know that the punishment he has earned awaits him in
    double measure after he leaves this (world). So also the poisoner,
    sorcerer, robber, swindler, and arsenokoites, the thief, and all
    of this band…” (Martin, pg. 121)

    In neither of these texts do we find them in the context of purely sexual
    sins. In fact, we see no hint of sexuality at all in these lists. We do
    know, however, that arsenokoites is some type of sexual sin.
    However, if we put in the English translation “homosexual” in place of
    arsenokoites in these lists, it makes no sense. It doesn’t fit
    with the categories. What makes much more sense, is if the placing of
    arsenokoites in the TLG texts in between the sexual sins and
    economic/injustice sins is not an accident. What makes sense is that
    arsenokoites is a term referring somehow to sexual injustice. For
    example, when arsenokoites is placed just before slave-trader,
    this seems particularly appropriate, since homosexual slaves were
    normative in both Greek and Roman societies. The interpretation of
    arsenokoitai therefore, as one of homosexual subjugation and/or
    exploitation, rather than referring to all homosexual behavior, seems most
    appropriate as we see from these contexts.

    This type of connotation to arsenokoites fits well within two
    other TLG texts, both of which are early uses of the word. The
    first is out of the Apology of Aristides, chapters 9 and 13. It is
    relays the myth of Zeus, and his relationship with the mortal Ganymede.
    In the story, we are told that the myth is evidence that Greek gods act
    with moixeia (adultery) and arsenokoites. Similarly, in
    Hippolytus’
    Refutatio chapter 5, we are told the story of the evil angel Naas,
    and how he committed adultery with Adam in the Garden, which is how
    arsenokoites came into the world. Hippolytus relates Naas and Adam
    back to Zeus and Ganymede (Petersen, pg. 284). In neither of these
    instances do we find a mutually consenting, equal relationship–we find an
    aggressor forcibly taking advantage of a weaker individual. In fact,
    Dover, when describing Greek art depicting Zeus and Ganymede, says that

    Zeus in B186 and R348* commands Ganymede in a manner that
    will not accept refusal . . ., and in R405, R829*, R833* he simply
    grasps Ganymede, who struggles violently. (p. 93)
    Dover later mentions two texts, one by Ibykos fr. 289, and the other,
    The Hymn of Aphrodite 202-206, which puts the Zeus and Ganymede
    story in the specific context of rape by drawing the parallel between it
    and the story of Dawn and Tithonos (p. 197). The human rights violations
    that are clear in the above uses of arsenokoites gives us a
    fairly clear indication of the meaning of the word, a meaning which
    matches the attributed meaning we surmised about arsenokoites as
    it was found in the few contexts/lists that we have. It seems clear that
    arsenokoites does not refer to mutually respecting gay
    relationships, but to a powerful aggressor subjugating/exploiting the
    weak, whether in the context of rape, or slave trading.”

    There are more.

  143. In other words, you’ve never met an actual ex-gay or ex-lesbian who got healed and freed of homosexual addiction/bondage by Jesus Himself. You know that actual personal testimonies exist (and if you didn’t, that’s why I supplied the RHN website), but, well, you just don’t accept them. Okay, got it.
    As for “arguments”, arguments are fine. I try to employ them often..
    But arguments aren’t really enough. Actual divine healing, actual Jesus salvation and cleansing from all sins, actual divine deliverance from the chains of sin (and that INCLUDES cleansing and freedom from homosexual addiction), is what really makes the difference in people’s lives.
    I do indeed wish that the Southern Baptist “justifications” had met with your approval, but there’s no time for me to worry about that. The fact is that Homosexual People are STILL LOOKING for Christian Workers that actually agree with 1 Cor. 9-11 and 10:13.

  144. ” To save time, let’s offer a quickie snip by “Bill””

    Because a quickie snip from an anonymous source is sufficient for you, since you are not the one being threatened with death, rape, torture.

    “There is **no ambiguity** in Leviticus 20:13. ”

    Bill is wrong. There’s quite a bit of ambiguity in the Hebrew. For example, the Hebrew uses two different words, that are rendered in English as man. The first Hebrew word used is “ish”, meaning husband, forming a conceptual pair with ishshah, wife, a pairing found in verses 11, 14, and 21, and in each of those cases, rendered with the specific wife and indicating husband. The other word that is used, and rendered dishonestly as the general ‘man’ or ‘mankind’, is zakar, which means a male, of any species actually, set aside for high or holy office. Yet this nuance, husband and priest, is missing from the English translations, an act of fraud.

    Then there’s mishkap ishshah, bed wife. There certainly is no ‘wife’s bed’ intrinsic to male-male sexuality, especially for homosexuals who are not being coerced into heterosexual marriages under pain of death.

    ” in Leviticus 20:13. It calls homosexuality a sin, **regardless** of whether it is in a monogamous, loving relationship or not.”

    No, it does not. The whole ‘regardless . . .’ set of concepts is not in the Hebrew at all, but then, frankly, neither is homosexuality. Even in the English, rational people understand that gay men have sex with men as with a man, not ‘as with a woman’, or in a wife’s bed as the text literally states.

    “The word “arsenokoites” is simply a contraction of “arsenos” and “koiten”

    Gotta love simple minds that rely on simple explanation. The word ‘driveway’ is simply composed of the word ‘drive’ and the word ‘way’, and yet, we park our cars in the driveway, but we drive on a parkway, a word simply composed of the word ‘park’ and the word ‘way.

    Nor is a greenhouse necessarily painted green, many are white to limit the amount of sunlight so they don’t overheat. Paperboys are not, as one might deduce from the construction of the term, made of paper. A butterfly is not a bit of flying dairy.

    “That is especially clear in 1 Timothy 1:8–10”

    That leads to the other huge problem with these fraudulent and irrational translations, one I and others call the ‘one of these things is not like the others’ issue. You see, between the two versions, there is a list that includes stealing, murder, adultery, matricide and patricide, slave traders, liars and perjurers: all acts that produce harm and violate consent. And then there’s the supposed, alleged inclusion of homosexuals. One of these things is not like the others.

    Moral people, Floyd, recognize the intrinsic difference between murder and homosexuality. Moral people recognize that two men engaged in consensual sex in accordance with their innate sexual attraction is nothing at all like murdering your mother or father, or stealing, or adultery, or even idolatry. Yet you and your peers do not, apparently, grasp this.

    Equating homosexuals with murderers and thieves, and people who kill their parents or cheat on their spouses – is slander. So by embracing the translation you use, you are a slanderer, floyd. You slander, revile, demonize the loving relationships of hundreds of millions of people. And according to both versions, slanderers are condemned.

    In fact, if Paul had meant what you claim he meant, then Paul was a slanderer as well, barred from the KIngdom of Heaven, and his letter has correspondingly far less authority.

    “The proper use of the law was to convict homosexuals of their sin in the
    hope that they would be humbled and prepared to hear the gospel.”

    So the truth is, the text simply does not support that claim at all. But let’s dig into it a little more. By claiming, as you do, that these texts include homosexuals, you accomplish at least two heresies:

    1) if you perceive it as a matter of sexual acts, then you make salvation contingent on having the right kind of sex – because of the phrase “will inherit the kingdom of God.” You are specifically making it contingent on having heterosexual sex. That is not only a form of works righteousness, which Paul rejected, it is the basis for the fertility religions that Paul, and many other writers in the Bible, railed against.

    2) if you perceive it as a rebuke of the innate sexual orientation, then you tell hundreds of millions of people not to bother with God at all, they are born damned, and you make salvation contingent on being born heterosexual. Not only does that violate what the Bible states about God, and what Jesus and Paul said regarding gender, it contracts what Christ said about coming for the redemption of all people.

    Most problematic of all, though, is that fact that you are leaning on your guesses about Paul’s writing to ignore what Jesus taught, which includes not only a command to treat everyone as your equal (love your neighbor as yourself) and the test for false teachers, (recognize them by their fruit, evil trees bear evil fruit), and his teaching regarding those who are oppressed (whatever you did not do for the least of these among you, you did no do for me).

  145. ” Proclaiming the sinfulness of slavery incited violence the world over.”

    Not exactly. What happened is what you and your peers are doing, slavers and those who profited from slavery used violence to protect their industry. But do you even realize what you are doing? Jesus said ‘evil trees bear evil fruit’ and you are trying to prove Jesus wrong.

    “The proclamation of the Gospel itself, and of sin and repentance, has
    incited two-thousand years worth of murder, violence, hatred, and
    division, beginning with the murder of Christ Himself. ”

    Wrong again. The violence you describes is not produced by the Gospel teachings, but by sinful people’s rebellion, like yours, against those teachings. Once again, though, you are attempting to discredit Jesus, not me.

    ” Proclaiming the truth of scripture will never be evil.”

    But ‘homosexuality is sin’ is not a truth of Scripture, much less ‘the’ truth of Scripture. It is evil, it bears evil fruit.

    “So you have again borne false witness.”

    No, I have not. Once again, you are sinning by making false accusations.

  146. “Atheism does not belong in that sentence.”

    Yes, it does.

  147. “”I made no false accusation. My name is not Darr” Bearing false witness is sin, Darr. Please repent.”

    You are the one bearing false witness, Shawnie. My name is not Darr. Where you got that idea, only you can explain.

    “Ben didn’t even know whom I was referring to.”

    Irrelevant to the issue at hand. You made the intentionally false statement “” You didn’t address a thing.” to someone who had addressed many things in the post you were replying to.

    “So you have slandered me”

    No, I have not.

    And before I forget, more of the evil fruit you and your peers produce: http://www.advocate.com/crime/2015/01/06/15-brutal-attacks-show-anti-lgbt-hate-still-very-real

    Zachary Hesse and Andrew Haught: September 2014
    Zachary Hesse and Andrew Haught were attacked in Philadelphia September 11 by a group of people. The two men, a couple, were walking to a frozen yogurt shop in the Center City area when one man in the group reportedly began to verbally harass them. Hesse confronted the individual about what he said, which led to a fight. Haught was hospitalized, requiring surgery and having his jaw wired shut. Twitter users tracked down the attackers via a picture posted and tagged of the group at a restaurant in the area before the attack. Three people, Philip Williams, Kevin Harrigan, and Kathryn Knott, were arrested in connection with the attack and will face trial on felony aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, and criminal conspiracy charges.

    Knott became the face of the alleged attackers after the investigation revealed that Knott is the daughter of Karl Knott, chief of police in Chalfont Borough, in neighboring Bucks County. It was also reported that Kathryn Knott’s Twitter account contained homophobic and racist tweets, and she was fired from her job as an emergency room technician at Lansdale Hospital because she had tweeted photos that could violate patient privacy. She further tweeted that she received special treatment because of her father’s position on the police force, leading to an investigation of Karl Knott.

    The attack prompted a call to change hate-crimes law in Pennsylvania, which does not cover attacks motivated by the victim’s real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

    Jean Claude “Jo” Manseau and Jake Heaton: November 2014
    Jean Claude “Jo” Manseau and Jake Heaton were attacked by a group of men in Manchester, England, after singing songs from the musical Wicked on a public transit vehicle. The group, reportedly consisting of at least 15 people, began yelling antigay slurs at the two friends and followed them when they got off the tram and surrounded them. Manseau was knocked unconscious during the attack. Heaton was able to escape and call for help at a nearby store. In the weeks following, two people were arrested in connection with the attack, and supporters of Manseau and Heaton held a mass sing-along in the victims’ honor.”

    Your peers, your condemnation of homosexuals, at work in the world. This is what you and your peers produce, but you haven’t the compassion or empathy, apparently, to care.

  148. The only thing you are accomplishing is this: you are telling me, and moderators, that there exists in the world someone you strongly dislike so strongly, you harass people you mistake for that person.

    As a substitute for any sort of coherent or cogent position, it is troubling.

    In the meantime, more of your peers at work in the world:
    http://www.politicususa.com/2016/06/28/anti-gay-pastor-disgustingly-praises-orlando-massacre-died.html
    “According to a New York Times report out on Monday, extreme Christian pastors across the country have been disgustingly celebrating the deaths of 49 Americans who were killed at a gay nightclub in Orlando earlier this month.

    “The tragedy is that more of them didn’t die,” Sacramento preacher Roger Jimenez told his congregants on the very day of the assault, the Times reported. “The tragedy is — I’m kind of
    upset that he didn’t finish the job! Because these people are predators!
    They are abusers!” ”

    Hey, I’d better look beyond just the first page of google references, from the 2.3 million hits produced by ‘anti-gay pastor’, lest you pretend that this is a new phenomena.

    First though, this is interesting: http://reverbpress.com/justice/anti-gay-pastor-who-praised-orlando-shootings-charged-with-child-molestation-video/

    “Controversial anti-gay Florida pastor Ken Adkins is now
    in a Georgia jail after being arrested Friday and charged with two
    counts of alleged child molestation. One of the charges against Adkins,
    56, is aggravated child molestation, said special agent Stacy Carson of
    the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.”

    There is a reason why people like you revile homosexuals, Ken Adkins, and Josh Duggar, demonstrate it quite well. You, they, revile homosexuals to draw attention away from the wrongs you, they, commit in your own lives. And the nastier someone is in their hatred of homosexuals, the uglier the secrets they are hiding tend to be.

    As you sit there anonymously calling yourself Shawnie5, what secrets are you hiding that drive you to persecute GLBTQ people and those who defend them?

  149. Stalking? Hyperbole much? And of course, one more time, you excuse the reviling and slandering forbidden by Paul in the very same passage which allegedly condemns gay people. That’s really the issue, isn’t it? You very nicely call Dr. Gushee an apostate separated form Christ, according to your reading of your bible, and excuse those others.
    I also notice you didn’t call Paul to task for stating anything untrue.

  150. I don’t think you are right. Paul starts out saying these persons did not acknowledge God, and therefore God gave them up to many sorts of evils. He didn’t start out by saying that BECAUSE they were gay, they were idol worshipers. Numbers 25 talks about how 24,000 persons were killed because they combined worshiping the Baal of Peor along with having sex with Moabite women. Is THIS saying that their sex acts were idolatrous, or was it that they were worshiping Baal, and that this idol worship was what was condemned? 1 Kings 16:31 states that “It was not enough for him (Ahab) to imitate the sins of Jeroboam, son of Nebat. He even married Jezebel, daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians, and went over to the veneration and worship of Baal.” Is this passage saying the actual heterosexual marriage is idolatry, or is it the actual worship of Baal? However, Paul didn’t really say that heterosexual marriage was the norm, but rather that we should be true to God and to the community in all our relationships. For instance, in 1 Corinthians 6:17, Paul states that the antidote to sexual immorality was “to cleave to the Lord in the Spirit.” He DIDN’T say “remember heterosexual marriage is the norm.” Paul placed far more emphasis on being the Body of Christ over that of heterosexual marriage. Cleaving to the Lord partly means cleaving to the community. Deuteronomy 13:7-12 speaks about even killing one’s heterosexual spouse if they lead them “astray” from the true God. When it states in Romans 1:27 that they received the due recompense of their “error” or πλανη (planee or a “wandering about, straying about, being led astray, to err, be deceived) this error refers back to verse 25 where it states, “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the Creator.” The lie was not their homosexual orientation, but rather their idol worship. The idolatrous homosexual practice by otherwise heterosexual men was just used illustratively of this “exchange” of the truth of God for a lie- it doesn’t mean homosexual orientation IS that lie. Prostitution is also often used illustratively of idolatry. The word used for prostitution (πορνεια or porneia) can actually mean idol worship, such as in Revelation 17:1-2 where it states illustratively that the Kings of the earth had intercourse with the harlot. The harlot could mean Rome in this case. But this really means the harlot led them into worshiping idols, rather than they actually had sex with her. However, Rahab was an ordinary (not cult) prostitute and was not considered to be an idol worshiper, but rather an example of faith (Hebrews 11:31 and James 2:25).

  151. I see an Orthodox Rabbi as a counselor and he told me that Mishkeve Ishah or lying the lyings of a woman in Leviticus 20:13 meant only anal sex, not oral sex. The word Paul uses or αρσενοκοιτης (arsenokoitis) in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10 means sexual intercourse between males. Oral sex is NOT sexual intercourse. Only vaginal sex and by extension anal sex is. Coitus come from koite or κοιτη and this means mainly vaginal sex. My own personal opinion is that banning Anal Sex did make SOME sense when there were no condoms or lubricants to use. It is an easy way to spread diseases. However, oral sex spreads diseases far less than Vaginal sex does, although Vaginal is a bit safer than Anal. So, today, a person could do anal, but they should not do it without the use of condoms, virtually ever.

  152. “The violence you describes is not produced by the Gospel teachings, but by sinful people’s rebellion, like yours, against those teachings.”

    2000 years ago Tacitus attributed the violence committed against Christians to the Christians’ “hatred of humanity.” 2000 years later, not much has changed.

    “But ‘homosexuality is sin’ is not a truth of Scripture, much less ‘the’ truth of Scripture. It is evil, it bears evil fruit.” As I demonstrated to you long ago at HuffPo, it is quite frankly the truth of scripture attested by the plain meaning of scripture plus every ancient Jewish commentary thereon. Evil trees bearing evil fruit are those who profess the name of Christ and yet do not evidence obedience to scripture nor victory over fleshly desires in their own lives — those who “practice LAWlessness.” And you are trying to prove Jesus wrong.

    Once again, you are sinning by making false accusations. Please repent.

  153. “You are the one bearing false witness, Shawnie. My name is not Darr. Where you got that idea, only you can explain.”

    Darr, you couldn’t fool a blind deaf-mute. I was at HuffPo. So was Ben. Everyone who was knows who you are. Why would you think we wouldn’t? Why do you continue to lie about it? Did you get in some trouble for online harassment? But even if you did, bearing false witness is a sin. Please repent.

  154. “The only thing you are accomplishing is this: you are telling me, and moderators, that there exists in the world someone you strongly dislike so strongly, you harass people you mistake for that person.”

    I don’t dislike you — I think you’re rather a good poster child for the emptiness of your camp’s arguments. We used to have another one named Carrotcakeman whose position was also Lies-Lies-Lies but at least he didn’t drone on for page after page to say the exact same thing. As for harassment — you addressed me, not the reverse. The only person I came here to address was the author. Feel free to block me, particularly since I intend to block you very soon anyway having already played the magic 8 ball to the point of boredom at HuffPo.

    Oh, and please repent of your continued false witness.

  155. So now you’re excusing Paul for going and searching a complete stranger online and spreading insults about her on a public forum — not to mention yourself for ever so graciously congratulating him for it. No, I don’t know whether it was true or not because I don’t go and follow such leads, much less thank anyone for them. True or untrue, it was inappropriate and creepy. THAT’S really the issue.

    I’m feeling the same urge to go and shower that I felt with Paul. Ugh.

  156. But sandi put her name up there for everyone to see. Don’t be surprised if people do. That’s why you and I don’t use our real names, isn’t it? We’re smarter than that. People are free to check my comment pages all they wish. I stand by what I say. But the only place my name will ever appear in a public forum is in a letter to the editor. And even that invited a few nasty calls from good Christians.

    It’s like those vendors you were defending a year or so ago who were just too stupid to say “I’m sorry, I’m booked. Call so and so.” And any of at least five other perfectly legal means to avoid working for their moral and spiritual inferiors.

    But one more time, you are showing an inordinate amount of sympathy for sandi, who repeated slander after reviling slander, without a comment from you, really! homosexual men rape women as a matter of course! Of course.

    Someone who could say something like that and believe it is just the type to use her real name when posting it. Being an atheist, I don’t believe there are cosmic rewards and punishments, just consequences.

  157. “Ekklesia does not mean church, it’s mean includes any
    public gathering.” Nope. The bride of Christ is not “any public gathering” but the Church (ekklesian) of Eph.5:32. He is not the Head of “any public gathering” but of the Church (Eph.1:22-23). So you have borne false witness again, this time against the scriptures. Please repent.

    “Your characterization ‘overrun with atheists’ is less than accurate as well.” You’re a newbie here. I’m not. There are probably more atheists here than theists and definitely more than Christians.

    So much false witness, Darr. Please repent.

  158. I’m sorry but I don’t understand what the private sex lives of LGBT students has to do with freedom of religion or an education.

  159. Of course, that isn’t what’s going on and you know it. People walk into a store expecting service, not a religious type going all holier than thou on them. Especially when gay people are the only people they feel entitled to treat that way,

    I agree with you. I wouldn’t want such an a-hole coming anywhere near my wedding. If they are stupid enough to insult their customers, turn away potential business, and not care how they appear to other people in a very sentiment-cautious industry, God knows what else they would do. They are certainly stupid enough to flout anti discrimination laws and think that being that type of Christian, they are entitled to get away with it. Trying to make themselves exceptions to those Caesar like laws certainly underlines why we have them on the first place.

    But THAT isn’t the point. They have plenty of ways, both legal and honest, to make sure their lily white religion is never contaminated by a connection to those people and their God mocking parodies of true religious faith, as one of the more charming posters here put out in a fit of Uncorrected and unchastised reviling and slandering.

    You want to pretend it’s about faith. It’s not and never has been, and Melissa sweetycakes is one of the best examples of it,

  160. Once again, Dr. Gushee meets a crises by weeping. What hubris to declare that, “online criticism has little value.” Pray tell, what sort of criticism does, good doctor? I appreciate Dr. Gushee’s sincere effort to ameliorate the circumstances of the ongoing culture wars which so distress him and us all, but certain basic questions, particularly as the apply to the Church of Christ, are non-negotiable within the context of the Church. No one in two thousand years, until recently, has suggested that the sexual issues in question were negotiable with respect to Church fellowship. Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. Public policy is outside the immediate purview of the Church, but what happens within the church is another matter. I fully expect the “Church” to be overwhelmed in this matter, but I expect the Church, as in God’s appointed vehicle for the people of repentant and obedient faith to be triumphant.

  161. Why don’t you quit quoting 1 Corinthians 6:9 as proof of a change in sexual orientation? You are being quite dishonest in your interpretation of the word αρσενοκοιτης which does NOT mean homosexual attractions AT ALL. You also know that no one has changed their sexual orientation (outward behaviors can be changed), which the demise of Exodus International proves, so why do you continue to lie? Every thinking person would agree this Greek word only refers to outward behaviors, not feelings. We might not all agree on which behavior, but there is widespread consensus that this does NOT mean homosexual orientation. It also does not mean loving someone of the same gender, nor same sex marriage, nor oral sex, nor Lesbian sex. At most it might mean anal sex, but probably only when it is combined with idol worship as in Romans 1 and 1 Corinthians 6:9 or the sexual taking advantage of slaves as in 1 Timothy 1:10 where αρσενοκοιτης is followed by ανδραποδισταις (andrapodistais) which means man stealer. The root andra of course means a male, so the man was probably stolen in order to sexually take advantage of him. It has nothing to do with sexual orientation, but rather abusive behaviors that everyone would oppose.

  162. And you completely ignore those who post here who spread insults, defamation, reviling, slander, and lies about a whole group of historically persecuted people on a public forum, ignoring your own religious strictures on the subject and the clear command of your lord!!!

    Inappropriate and creepy seems to apply here as well. Pot, meet kettle.

  163. The unspoken subtext here relates to the fact that substantial numbers of evangelicals have no problem with same-sex marriage. The Pew religious landscape survey reports that 49% of members of the very-conservative Presbyterian Church in America actually FAVOR same-sex marriage (SSM). Moreover, the opposition to SSM is concentrated among the very old.

    Evangelicalism has always represented a mix of conservatives and moderates. Moderates have probably held a numerical advantage for a decade or more. Even so, conservatives have managed to retain power within most evangelical organizations. That’s because conservatives will bolt if an organization trucks any view that lies even slightly to their left. By contrast, moderates are generally tolerant of views that lie both to the left and right of their own. In this sense, conservatives engage in a legal form of extortion.

    But time is not on conservatives’ side. With every passing year, their numbers decline and they become increasingly disposable. Once evangelicals become convinced that they can get along without their conservative members, they will come to embrace the views that the majority of their members already hold. That means we’re probably only a few years away from a time when most evangelical organizations will jettison things like inerrancy, complementarianism, and creationism, and will come to a qualified acceptance of things like same-sex marriage and pre-marital sex. It’s just going to happen.

    So, I don’t see any big calamity on the horizon for evangelical institutions. If anything, the pressure will give moderates a bit more of a reason to rise up and call out conservatives’ disingenuous extortion game and to take ownership of their churches. Even now, there is no fellowship between conservative evangelicals and moderate evangelicals: Conservatives made that clear long ago. In a PCA church I attended in the early 2000s, conservatives and moderates even had their own parallel Sunday school programs. because the conservatives didn’t want to be exposed to opinions that differed from their own. It’s time for moderate evangelicals to make explicit what has been implicit for a long time. It’s time for moderates to take control of their churches and to let conservatives recede back into fundamentalism.

  164. Do “gay people” really exist, or are these categories an invention of gay identity politics?

    Lesbian psychologist Dr. Lisa Diamond has done much research and has received awards from the American Psychological Association and other organizations. According to Dr. Diamond sexual fluidity
    (the ability to love and be sexually attracted to both sexes) is not rare. Her research and other large-scale scientific studies demonstrate that everyone is capable of sexual fluidity. Here is a transcript of part of her Cornell video.

    (37:30) “So what are the implications of all this? I’ve started to now come to see fluidity, not as something that’s just specific to women, but as a general feature of human sexuality. [If] you read anthropological reports, you find plenty of evidence of fluidity… FLUIDITY IS A GENERAL FEATURE OF HUMAN SEXUALITY.”

    (39:05)…The truth is that, at a political level, we have advocated for the civil rights of LGBT people, on the basis of them being LGBT, right? We’ve used categories as a part of our strategy for social policy and for acceptance. THAT IS REALLY, REALLY, TRICKY, NOW THAT WE KNOW IT’S NOT TRUE.”

    http://www.cornell.edu/video/lisa-diamond-on-sexual-fluidity-of-men-and-women

  165. If all you had done was ignore Paul’s stalking, it would not have been worth my time to remark upon it. It’s the mods’ job to deal with such misconduct after all — if they’re worth their salt. But you expressed appreciation for it and continued gossiping with him about his “findings.” And instead of apologizing to Sandi like you should have, you’re here trying to deflect blame off your own mess with more droning on about “reviling and slandering”, while no one has a clue what exactly you’re talking about and no one cares anymore because by now it has become only so much white noise to be simply scrolled through, much like Darr and his endless “false-witness-please-repent” and Karla’s “gettin-drunk-is-wrong-too.”

    But it’s not terribly surprising that people who spent literally all day on line keeping a sharp eye out for an opportunity to make a dig at people of faith are also good with cyber-stalking. How sad to have such a limited life — no wonder you’re such grumps.

  166. Fluidity means some people, probably a large plurality or even a majority, are bisexual. The extent to which they are Bisexual is also very fluid. I had sex with two women when I was young, mostly out of curiosity. On no way does it make me remotely fluid, let alone bisexual.

    A lot of people are strictly heterosexual. A small minority are exclusively homosexual. I’m one of those.

    All you are really saying is that there is actually no rational basis whatsoever for legal and social sanctions for people being gay, or bisexual, or heterosexual. So we’re right back to the crux of the argument, which from the Antigay side is “what you are doing is wrong. I don’t like it. I’ll make you stop.

    Now let’s talk about religion. Why do we protect religion? It’s a choice, and is obviously quite fluid. Obviously, someone has to be right, and everyone else wrong. So why do we protect all of them.

  167. It’s what I’ve said to a number of Methodists. What they need is a good old fashioned schism. That way, both sides can listen to the the voice of their version of God tells them

  168. Here is the number from various religious groups.

    94 Unitarian Universalists
    84 Buddhists
    77 Jews, Unaffiliated
    75 Other Religions
    68 White Congregationalists/UCC, White Episcopalians
    69 White Mainline Presbyterians
    67 White Mainline Methodists
    64 White Mainline Lutherans
    62 White Mainline Protestants
    61 White Catholics
    60 Catholics, Hispanic Catholics, Other Non White Catholics
    56 Orthodox Christians
    55 Hindus
    54 All Americans
    53 White Mainline Baptists
    50 White Mainline Church of Christ/DOC
    45 White Evangelical Lutherans
    42 Muslims
    41 Other Non White Protestants
    39 White Evangelical Presbyterians
    38 Black Protestants
    35 Hispanic Protestants
    31 White Evangelical Methodists
    28 White Evangelical Protestants
    27 Mormons
    26 White Evangelical Church of Christ/DOC
    23 White Evangelical Baptists
    12 Jehovah’s Witnesses

  169. Yes and, sadly we must not lose sight of the judicial basis of widespread sexual disorientation among a people who “even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭1:21‬ ‭Like compassionate doctors and nurses attempting to help a patient suffering from a contagious disease, we must not fail to observe precautionary measures. We must, “Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.” Jude 1:23

  170. I have found it useless to argue or debate those who doesn’t see the human dignity or worth of gay people. Until we can establish a base line that every person is to be treated with mercy, kindness, justice, and equality, there is no basis for discussion.

  171. “Nope. The bride of Christ”

    Nice fraud, conflating very different passages.

    “So you have borne false witness again, this time against the scriptures. Please repent.”

    So you have used fraud to falsely accuse me, as a form of harassment. Nice sin.

    “You’re a newbie here. I’m not.”

    And you’ve proven that you do not tell the truth. Your claim does not match the evidence.

    ‘So much false witness, Darr.”

    Again, my name is not Darr. Your persistence in that false claim again demonstrates that you make false statements to suit yourself. It is false witness on your part.

    The sin here is yours.

  172. “I don’t dislike you — I think you’re rather a good poster child for the emptiness of your camp’s arguments.”

    Yet since the second half of your statement is disparaging and false, the first half is proven to be false as well.

    ” As for harassment — you addressed me, not the reverse.”

    Not true.

    ” Feel free to block me, particularly since I intend to block you very
    soon”

    That will be helpful for me. Not only does it show that you cannot defend your claims, any of them, it frees me to rebuke your posts without rebuttal from you. Now of course, you’ll have to live up to your promise, or show that your word has no value.

    “anyway having already played the magic 8 ball to the point of
    boredom at HuffPo.”

    Nice fantasy.

    “Oh, and please repent of your continued false witness.”

    There has been none on my part.

    Now, returning to the fruit of your theology, though you refuse to even acknowledge the harm you do to real human beings:
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Parents-use-corrective-rape-to-straighten-their-gay-kids/articleshow/47489958.cms

    “Imagine your parents getting you raped to bring you on to the right path! That’s a reality that several homosexuals in India are facing. According to statistics with the Crisis intervention team of LGBT Collective in Telangana, there have been 15 instances of ‘corrective rapes’ that have been reported in the group in the last five years. “We are sure there are many more cases, but they go unreported, says Vyjayanti Mogli, a member of crisis intervention. “We came across such cases not because they reported the rape, but because they sought help to flee their homes.”

    In most cases of corrective rape, the perpetrators are family members because of which the victims refrain from seeking legal recourse. “Victims find it traumatising to speak of their brothers/ cousins turning rapists and prefer to delete the incident from their memories and cut off ties with their families. Which is why such cases almost never get reported,” Vyjayanti says.

    Shockingly, it’s all in the family — the parents are in the know, the rapist is usually a relative that is handpicked by them, and it’s like a ‘disciplining project’ designed to ‘cure’ and ‘correct’ the homosexual.”

    This is the fruit of ‘homosexual sex is sin’, the belief you teach, the fruit you and your peers produce, Shawnie5. No wonder you have to block me, you cannot defend the fruit of your belief.

  173. “Darr, you couldn’t fool a blind deaf-mute. I was at HuffPo. So was Ben. Everyone who was knows who you are.”

    Again, my name is not Darr. And your word, and Ben’s frankly, is not worth anything.

    “Why do you continue to lie about it? ”

    How conceited of you to think you know the truth of my life better than I do. I am not lying, you are simply wrong. Does that astound you so much, is that so inconceivable to you?

    “Did you get in some trouble for online harassment? ”
    Nice projection. How many Shawnie id’s have you gone through, Shawnie5? Your guess about me reveals only your nature, not mine.

    After all, your attempts to mis-name me, and subsequent harassment insisting that I am lying about something I know for fact, and you don’t, is abusive.

    “? But even if you did, bearing false witness is a sin.”

    And again, the only one bearing false witness in this is you and now Ben. Aren’t you proud of yourself, leading that poor atheist into sin.

  174. “a blind deaf-mute”

    Oh, and nice prejudice there against disabled people. It creates the impression that you think you are superior to everyone.

  175. “2000 years ago Tacitus attributed the violence committed against
    Christians to the Christians’ “hatred of humanity.” 2000 years later,
    not much has changed.”

    Again, Shawnie, you are attempting to discredit Jesus. Tacitus’s argument is of course based on a lie about Christians.

    “As I demonstrated to you long ago at HuffPo,”

    Nice fantasy. I doubt you ever demonstrated anything to anyone, anywhere, and certainly, you can not provide any evidence to back up that claim. Go on though.

    ‘ it is quite frankly the truth of scripture attested by the plain
    meaning of scripture plus every ancient Jewish commentary thereon”

    And “homosexuality is sin’ is not the truth of Scripture – a body of knowledge you clearly do not respect. Nor it is supported by “very ancient Jewish commentary thereon”.

    ” Evil trees bearing evil fruit are those who profess the name of Christ
    and yet do not evidence obedience to scripture nor victory over fleshly
    desires in their own live”

    That is a good description for you and your peers. You disobey Scripture, which commands you to treat everyone as your equal, and show no victory of your fleshly desire to be superior to others, to harm others, to brutalize and harass other people.

    “those who “practice LAWlessness.””

    Such as you and your peers. Your characterization of homosexual sex as ‘lawlessness’ is itself lawlessness, slander, reviling, an expression of hatred for hundreds of millions of people that you spew so you can pretend that you are superior.

    “And you are trying to prove Jesus wrong.”

    Nice false accusation and sin, but quite the opposite. Of course, you provide no evidence for your claim, any of them. Out of conceit, you appear to believe that your word alone is sufficient.

    The truth Shawnie, is that I, not you, have upheld Christ’s teachings. You have attempted several times to prove that Christ’s teaching ‘good trees bear good fruit, evil trees bear evil fruit’ is wrong.

    You did so to justify being heartlessly oblivious to the destruction you and your peers inflict on other people. So, here’s another reminder of the damage you and your peers do:

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/man-attacked-taunted-anti-gay-slurs-harlem-article-1.2741341

    A 28-year-old man suffered a puncture wound to his chest after he was
    taunted with an anti-gay slur in a possible bias attack on a northbound
    No. 1 train in Harlem Saturday night, police said.

    The man was on the train with his sister and his partner around 7 p.m. when the attacker approached him, cops said.

    The assailant called him a “f—-t” and said, “we’ll see what happens over the next few stops,” cops said.

    When the train pulled into the W. 110 St. station, the suspect hit the
    man with an unknown object, leaving the victim with puncture wounds to
    his chest and torso, police said. The man was in stable condition
    Saturday night at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital

    The suspect, described as a Hispanic male in khaki shorts and a white
    shirt, fled the scene and remained at large late Saturday.

    The incident was being investigated as a possible bias crime, police said.”

    You can deny it all you like, as much as your ego demands. But the violence against GLBTQ people has convinced an ever growing body of people that ‘homosexual sex is sin’ is an evil and depraved belief.

  176. “I see an Orthodox Rabbi as a counselor and he told me that Mishkeve
    Ishah or lying the lyings of a woman in Leviticus 20:13 meant only anal
    sex, not oral sex.”

    I’ve listened to several Orthodox Rabbis lecture on the subject, saying the passage was explicitly about temple prostitution. Certainly, the text itself does not contain the concept ‘anal sex’.

    ‘ The word Paul uses or αρσενοκοιτης (arsenokoitis) in 1 Corinthians 6:9
    and 1 Timothy 1:10 means sexual intercourse between males.”

    Well, some people today think that is what he used it for. Not very rational, though.
    http://www.gaychristian101.com/what-words-could-paul-have-used-if-he-intended-to-condemn-homosexuality.html

    If Paul intended to condemn homosexuality, he could have used a word
    from the following list to make his point. Yet instead of using these
    words, Paul coined a new Greek word, arsenokoitai or arsenokoites, from the arsenokoit stem. Thanks for taking time to educate yourself by exploring the textual links.

    Some people believe that Paul coined the Greek word arsenokoitai, from the words arsenos koiten, found in Lev 20:13 in the Septuagint,
    a Greek translation of the Old Testament, where the biblical, cultural,
    historical and religious context is temple prostitution.

    There is not a shred of objective historical evidence to support the belief that anyone in the first century AD understood arsenokoitai to refer to male and female homosexuality in general or used arsenokoitai with that meaning.”

    The link goes on to provide 17 greek words with established meanings communicating homosexuality in some form. Yet Paul did not use any of these terms, through their meaning would have been clear.

    Instead, according to you, he coined a word on the spot, writing to a church that was a mix of Jews and Gentiles, that might be a reference to the very Law Paul consistently taught Christians were free from.

    That is not effective communication, not a rational choice on Paul’s part. Returning to the citation:

    “Therefore modern readers need to remind themselves that in the first
    century, Jewish religious leaders understood arsenos-koiten as used in
    Leviticus 20:13, as condemning shrine prostitutes and the sex rituals which accompanied their worship of false gods.

    There is not a shred of objective historical evidence
    that anyone in the first century AD understood arsenokoitai to refer to
    male and female homosexuality in general or used arsenokoitai with that
    meaning.”

  177. I was clear, and I was specific. Your dismissal accomplishes nothing.

  178. David, remember the maxim, “Mean people suck”? That’s all that’s in play here. These people love oppressing our LGBT Brothers and Sisters so they give you guilt by association. If anyone actually thinks evangelical grifters like Franklin Graham, James Dobson, the nepotistic Wildmon clan, et al are deep down decent people they are mistaken and I’d like their contact information so I could sell them some beachfront land in Las Vegas.

  179. My.point is that anal sex was NOT considered immoral, but rather ritually impure, similar to having sex with a woman during her menstrual cycle. Part of ritual purity laws is the thought that bodily fluids, such as blood or semen are ritually defiling. Having sex with a woman during her menstrual cycle is like mixing two defiling substances together- blood and semen. Anal sex might considered mixing semen and excrement together. It also is a ludicrous argument to say ritual infractions never carried the death penalty- gathering sticks on the Sabbath certainly was a capital offense. I think the cult prostitution was ALSO a backdrop to this. Even heterosexual marriages were strongly condemned if they were combined with idol worship. Christians are NOT bound by ritual purity laws, so Leviticus would be less binding on us. I do think Paul is most of all talking about cult prostitutes in Romans 1 and 1 Corinthians 6:9 and that he wasn’t concerned about ritual purity, except of the heart. I also deny that Paul emphasized the so called “sanctity of the family.”

  180. “My.point is that anal sex was NOT considered immoral,”

    More importantly, the text does not even communicate the concept ‘anal sex’. Look saying that it was only ‘ritually impure’ doesn’t dissuade those who teach ‘homosexual sex is sin’. Neither does the fact that many gay men, and even more lesbians, don’t engage in anal sex, and many heterosexuals do.

    “Christians are NOT bound by ritual purity laws, so Leviticus would be less binding on us.”

    The distinction ‘ritual purity laws’ is a fabrication created by evangelical Christians, and is at odds with how Jewish Rabbis still see the Law, as a whole. Further, by Christ’s own words in Matthew 7:2, people who used Levitical Law to judge others are bound to it. And that makes any claim that Paul was referring to Leviticus 20:13 to create arsenokoite rather odd, given that Paul argues against such legalism.

  181. Evangelicals seem to say it was a sin, rather than a ritual purity infraction.

  182. It also speaks about even Vaginal sex brought some ritual impurity in Leviticus 15, but doing while a woman was menstruating was even more ritually pure. Ejaculating semen renders a person unclean even in heterosexual sex, as does menstruation. Oral sex didn’t involve impurity. Eating unclean foods was an “abomination” in Deuteronomy 14:3. Christians don’t usually think eating unclean meats is a sin. It also seems like using a condom would considerably lessen the ritual defilement, since it would keep semen off the other person. Evangelicals would usually acknowledge that ritual defilements are not sin.

  183. **checks in**

    **finds broken record still playing**

    **gets on with real life**

  184. First, I make no judgement of someone’s salvational status, that is above my paygrade and rightly belongs to God alone. Your salvational status does not permit me to treat you as anything less than a human being for any reason. I am a tolerant person (under the classic meaning of tolerance, I won’t kill, torture, imprison, exile, or fine you for your beliefs and I expect the same in return), but I do not have to embrace your sin to not judge you or to tolerate you. I don’t expect you to embrace mine. So where does that leave us? It still leaves us with that ominously smoking volcano,”…. and growing social incomprehension of discrimination against 3-5% of the population in the name of God…..” Acts 5:29 “We must obey God rather than men.”
    If you do not accept the Bible as the inerrant and infallible Word of God spoken to Mankind for all time, in all places, then we have nothing to discuss as your perception of reality is different from my knowledge of reality. If you do accept the Bible as the inerrant and infallible Word of God, then unless I am convinced of error by the testimony of Scripture or (since I put no trust in the unsupported authority of people or society, since it is plain that they have often erred and often contradicted themselves) by manifest
    reasoning, I stand convinced by the Scriptures to which I have appealed, and my conscience is taken captive by God’s word, I cannot and will not recant anything, for to act against our conscience is neither safe for us, nor open to us. On this I take my stand. I can do no other. God help me. (Hattip to Martin Luther) I think I will take my chances with the volcano rather than the eternal fires of hell. YMMV. Doc

  185. The great irony here is that many of those who openly oppose sexual perversion are as vile in their own right as Mr. Gushee and those who approve sexual perversion (take the Pope for example and the Televangelists for another). The Lord’s kingdom is not of this world. There is really no way to discuss spiritual matters from a political perspective with any degree of rationality.

    That aside, the Lord has already judged as to the wrongness of sexual perversion, along with adultery, fornication and everything else He names as sin. Thankfully, he has not yet executed judgment and is granting space to repent to all living.

    Nothing about my Christianity depends one iota on how society views sexual perversion or any other sin. My Christianity depends totally on my faithfulness to God. No matter what happens in this country, faithful Christians will continue to bear witness against sin and bear witness to the blood of Christ which delivers from the bondage of sin.

  186. P.S. Watch out, Mr. Gushee, there is a volcano over there smoking ominously. It will erupt. None will escape it. Only those who repent will survive it.

  187. Jesus taught that the Kingdom of God would come within the lifetime of those then standing, the Son of Man would come on a white horse, etc. WRONG. Then Paul, the true founder of the worship of a man as a god, said that Jesus would be back immediately. WRONG. Then some guy pretending to be Peter came up with the silly gibberish about a day being a thousand years in the eyes of the Christian god. In short, given that they’ve been burned for 2100 years with predictions about the “end times,” I’d think that Christians would be really, really careful with throwing that malarkey around. But of course, it’s the only explanation Christians have when their god doesn’t do anything the Christians want.

  188. “Jesus taught that the Kingdom of God would come within the lifetime of those then standing.”

    And so it did, on Palm Sunday AD 32. Probably two years or less after He spoke those words.

    As for the end of the age, no, He didn’t say it would come in His listeners’ lifetimes. He said it would only come after the gospel had been preached to the entire world. A task which obviously couldn’t be completed in one lifetime and has not even been completed yet. But 2000 years is not surprising…after all, it took even longer than that for the promise of His FIRST coming to be fulfilled.

  189. What you are really saying is that the volcano will erupt, lava will flow over you, and you DESERVE it! Meanwhile I’ll be safe on the other side of the mountain, safe in my self-righteous moral posturing, tut-tut-ing while pouring gasoline on the lava, along with my new found, inclusive and oh-so-tolerant friends.

  190. It’s not so much your D-E-S-C-R-I-B-I-N-G rather your F-R-A-M-I-N-G of both of your articles and elsewhere that had a decidedly prescriptive rather than a descriptive tone to it. He tries to come off as a friendly voice to evangelicals but I have to doubt his veracity.

  191. There is no middle ground when it comes to discriminating between sexual acts that respect the inherent Dignity of the human person as a beloved son or daughter, and acts that demean our Dignity as human persons.

  192. Jesus predicted this, and for them that cannot read, homosexuality is condemned by the scriptures. I will not cave. Take my job, take my life, take my rights, I do not care. I will stand before God, and that’s what matters to me. Any other opinion is simply background noise. This man says he didn’t “prescribe” anything, only described. Drowning victims aren’t helped by describing the water. You enjoy it Mr Gushee, and you will answer to God for what you have done!

  193. Will not cave? Oh, you poor, persecuted man!

    Do you take the same stand against non Christians? Not believing in Jesus is a sin, too.

  194. What “stand”do you think I am taking and against whom am I supposedly taking it?? According to you….

  195. No response?? Let me clue you into this conversation; this is an internal discussion within the Church. The only thing any homosexual ever suffered from a real Christian is to be told the truth about what the Bible says about their choices.

    THIS is the stand I will take and will not cave. It is sin, and it is to be repented of just like every other sin.

    This is what Mr Gushee is requiring Christians stop doing, and it is what I will not, cannot do.

    So yes, I take the same stand with non-Christians because I love people and am willing to suffer whatever it takes to tell them the truth.

    Now, politically, I should have that right, but sadly, thanks to people like Mr Gushee, that right is being threatened.

    So the answer to your question is yes, I take tha same stand with, rather than “against”, non-Christians..

  196. I had no question that your article was intended to be an observation of existing factors effecting both Church and society.

    However, to those who “Those digging in their heels against any rethinking of the LGBT issue believe they are standing with the saints and martyrs of the ages and facing persecution for doing so.” I can only say as a Trans-Female I am the most likely to face a violent death because of who i am in the this country. Most of all are the Trans-female of color. If you want to experience genuine persecution get a make over as a woman and go to the most Rightwing Fundamentalist church in town. Be sure to claim the truth that you are a Christian saved by the blood of Jesus. Say, “God did not make a mistake he made me this way for his glory.” I’d recommend “The Potter’s House” if one is close by, but wear a vest. Then go to a local shopping center and contrast the difference.

  197. I want to believe and pray it will be so that this will be the last issue we face. The key to resolution is personal contact one on one.

  198. It mean we are in the world not of the world. It means don’t let your religion get in the way of the most important thing, following Christ’s example.

  199. The biggest reason “progressives” still look pathetic?
    Everyone who’s even slightly aware among gays/lesbians knows that one of the biggest reasons “Progressive” churches were ahead of the curve on gay rights is that there is a grossly disproportionate number of gays/lesbians in the clergy of “mainline” churches.
    The rest of it is pretty much lemmings not wanting to not look “cool” in front of the upper middle classes and their cultural gatekeepers.
    But doubtless many “progressives” in the “mainline” churches will continue to pat themselves on the back for being “on the margins”.
    Pathetic.

  200. Is “karma” the Hindi for “passive-aggressive payback”?
    Because you and the Fundiegelicals deserve each other.

  201. Fear based, militant theology has permeated the American Protestant church. With their belief in the fortress church being raptured before the great tribulation, the persecution of LGBT people, persecution of Muslims or other religions, pro-life stance and open support of war, it’s difficult to see a people of Christ. Much more they are like the Pharisees who they often condemn.

  202. …brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

    We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written:

    “What no eye has seen,
    what no ear has heard,
    and what no human mind has conceived”—
    the things God has prepared for those who love him—

    these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

    The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.

    This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.

    The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for,

    “Who has known the mind of the Lord
    so as to instruct him?”

    But we have the mind of Christ.

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