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Trump’s move to protect LGBT workers unsettles religious conservatives

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds up a rainbow flag with "LGBTs for TRUMP" written on it at a campaign rally in Greeley, Colo., on Oct. 30, 2016. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Carlo Allegri

(RNS) Lost amid the ongoing furor over President Trump’s travel ban and the ecstasy (and agony) over his first pick for the Supreme Court was another move on Tuesday (Jan. 31) that is starting to give social conservatives pause: Trump’s continuance of the executive order by President Obama’s policy that protects gay and transgender employees from discrimination while working for federal contractors.

And not only did Trump extend the protections, but he did so in powerful language that used the community’s own “LGBTQ” identifier while vowing that Trump would be “respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights.”

The statement added that Trump was “proud to have been the first ever GOP nominee to mention the LGBTQ community in his nomination acceptance speech, pledging then to protect the community from violence and oppression.”

Initially, perhaps because there was so much else going on, there seemed to be few objections. But by Wednesday the critiques began rolling in.

Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson in 2011. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons/Gage Skidmore

In an early-morning column, Erick Erickson, editor of The Resurgent and a leading Christian conservative, said keeping that executive order violated a “core commitment” that Trump as a candidate had made to the evangelicals whose support was key to his victory.

“He should not be allowed to hang his hat on one Supreme Court nominee when there are so many other areas in which the Obama administration wreaked havoc,” Erickson wrote in the Wednesday (Feb. 1) post titled, “A Big Promise Kept. Another Promise Broken.”

“This executive order treats the faithful adherents of major religions as second-class citizens when it comes to competing for government contracts,” he said.

Then later Wednesday two prelates who lead the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ religious freedom and family life committees issued a statement calling Trump’s decision not to rescind Obama’s 2014 executive order “troubling and disappointing.”

The workplace discrimination protection order is “deeply flawed,” said Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia and Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore. It “creates problems rather than solves them,” they said. “In seeking to remedy instances of discrimination, it creates new forms of discrimination against people of faith.”

The belated response to Trump’s order may also have been due to the fact that in the days leading up to the president’s move it was widely rumored that Trump would either overturn Obama’s executive order or that he would issue broad exemptions from the order for religious groups who reject homosexuality.

But if there was a sense of betrayal – eased by his choice of Neil Gorsuch, a favorite of religious conservatives to fill the high court vacancy left by Antonin Scalia – Trump’s move was also a reminder to social conservatives that he is far more supportive of gay rights than any other Republican president, and more so than his base.

As conservative commentator Matt Lewis tweeted, “Trump is arguably more ‘pro-gay’ than Obama was when first elected.”

Indeed, not only did Trump give a shoutout to gays and lesbians in his acceptance speech at the Republican convention, but a few days after his win in November he told CBS’ “60 Minutes” that the question of gay marriage is “settled” and “I’m fine with that.”

For religious conservatives, the priority going forward may be about religious exemptions to protect their rights of conscience rather than overturning gay marriage or having Trump reverse an executive order.

Ryan Anderson, a senior research and fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, said he hoped Trump would have both overturned Obama’s LGBT executive order and issued one providing for religious exemptions.

Ryan Anderson has become one of the leading millennials debating gay marriage. Photo by Benjamin Myers

Ryan Anderson has become one of the leading millennials debating gay marriage. Photo by Benjamin Myers

But he said simply focusing on exemptions for religious groups and believers could be the best way forward because it would resolve many tensions and would make sense to a wide range of Americans.

“There’s a rhetorical stance President Trump could take where he says, ‘I may not agree with what the evangelicals and the Catholics think about these issues but I think they should be free to live them out,’” said Anderson, author of “Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Liberty.”

Anderson compared such an approach to the so-called “Church Amendment” enacted by Congress in 1973 after the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion. That amendment (named for its sponsor, Democratic Sen. Frank Church of Idaho) allowed medical professionals and hospitals with religious and ethical objections to opt out of performing abortions.

“That strikes me as best for where we are in this political but also cultural moment,” Anderson said.

About the author

David Gibson

David Gibson is a national reporter for RNS and an award-winning religion journalist, author and filmmaker. He has written several books on Catholic topics. His latest book is on biblical artifacts: "Finding Jesus: Faith. Fact. Forgery," which was also the basis of a popular CNN series.

186 Comments

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  • There is no need for any Christians to be “unsettled” or worried about Trump, regarding gay issues. Trump didn’t promise us Christians ANY help or rescue at all, regarding the Gay Goliath. He merely promised a little dollop of possible, generalized relief in regards to “religious liberty.”

    (Which is 1000 times better than what Hillary Clinton intended to do to us. That’s for sure.)

    As the RNS article pointed out, Trump actually promised on national TV to keep Goliath’s unprecedented, evil, and corrosive “Obergefell” court decision firmly in place. Moreover, Trump never specifically promised to eliminate any of Obama’s “LGBTQ” executive orders.

    Trump did not even specify exactly how he would “protect religious liberty” if elected. Nor do we even know for sure whether his efforts will succeed, especially in light of his support for Obergefell.

    So there’s no need for any Christians to complain about President Trump in this area. Ya just better be glad it ain’t President Hillary. Those Christians who want to fight the Gay Goliath, (and yes that’s the right thing for Christians to do), must do it themselves!!

  • These comments are parroting the usual right-wing BS but procedurally they’re more or less accurate, Bottom line, this anigay nonsense is losing bigly.

  • So, pull on your bigboy pants and commence fightin’.
    Oh, yes. you’ve been doing that for decades, centuries, millennia. And you’re losing.

  • Don’t worry. Trumpee will issue an executive order essentially legalizing antigay discrimination by religious bigots, excuse me, people with sincere religious beliefs about gender, marriage and the conservative Christian god’s message to the world. It will then go to court, and probably meet the same fate as their attempts ot make gay people second class pariahs. And for the same reasons.
    It’s going to come up right against the Civil Rights act of 1964. Either they will say they support religious discrimination for everyone, or they will lose.

  • Exactly. Trump is getting ready to do a religious freedom order that should make Christians extremely happy. I guess most of them don’t read a lot of news….

  • “Winning” and “losing” doesn’t matter numerically or even politically. Christians must rely on something other than politics and poll numbers. Do you remember what gay activist and author Andrew Sullivan said?
    “One mind, one heart, one life at a time.”
    That’s how you ultimately fight back and win against Gay Goliath.

    But since you mentioned the term “millennia”, it’s worth noting that in NO nation was gay marriage officially legalized until 2001 (the Netherlands), according to the Washington Post.

    So for any score-keepers out there, that’s two millennia to none, (more like six millennia to none if you accept the Bible’s timeline), in favor of those who recognize legitimate marriage as exclusively between a man & a woman (exclusive gender complementarity, which is how the first two humans on Earth got married, according to Genesis and Jesus).

    But that’s just a side note. It’s time for Christians to agree with their own Bibles, agree with their own John 3:16, 1 Cor 6:9-11 and 1 Cor. 10:13. And to do so privately and publicly, relying on God, seeking to reach “one mind, one heart, one life at a time.”

  • Do tell! Please don’t leave your readers in suspense; take a few minutes to explain and substantiate the specific claim you are making here.

    Also feel free to, umm, refute the specific points I offered, if you are comfortable doing so.

  • And of course, I respectfully extend the same invitation to you that I have offered to Marge. Do you have time to offer an (ahem) rational refutation?

  • If government agencies and people contracting with the government NOT discriminating in the workplace gets you upset, you are a terrible person.

  • But not people who actually know what religious freedom means. To those discriminatory christian types who want to lay claim to the phrase “religious freedom”, get bent. Just call it something more honest. “Religious based segregation”.

  • Same-sex couples and marriage are not abortion. First of all, same-sex marriage is very public. People have weddings, family members attend those weddings, and same-sex couples build their own families that extend their original families, just as opposite-sex couples do. Second, same-sex marriage isn’t a multifaceted argument the way abortion is. Should abortion be illegal no matter what, or after X weeks, or in case of rape, or if it is a natural miscarriage? Same-sex marriage has no such arguments, you either get married or you don’t. There’s no way to partially ban same-sex marriage.

    This is likely why Trump has abandoned this issue, and why many Republicans are turning on it. Plus, it’s not like you’d ever vote for anyone other than a Republican, no matter how LGBTQ friendly they were. After all, what are you going to do, vote for the Democrat?

    The individual, for whom passing anti-LGBTQ legislation is the #1 issue, has no party.

  • “When a person (who is gay) arrives before Jesus, Jesus certainly will not say, ‘Go away because you are homosexual'”

  • Let’s be honest about this: Nothing the Groper-in-Chief says can be trusted. Sure, at the moment it looks as though he may have betrayed evangelicals by embracing LGBTQs. But just wait a bit. He might very well turn on LGBTQs and embrace evangelicals again — almost any any moment. The GiC is mercurial and inconsistent, and has been for decades. Anyone who’s surprised by his inability to stay on track with anything, hasn’t been paying attention to his career. He’s a panderer par excellence, not to mention exceedingly thin-skinned, so trying to figure him out is a fool’s errand.

  • “Trumpee will issue an executive order essentially legalizing antigay discrimination by…”

    Uhhh. Why would he?? Obama’s original executive order ALREADY makes exceptions for that.

  • Re: “So for any score-keepers out there, that’s two millennia to none, (more like six millennia to none if you accept the Bible’s timeline), in favor of those who recognize legitimate marriage as exclusively between a man & a woman (exclusive gender complementarity, which is how the first two humans on Earth got married, according to Genesis and Jesus).” 

    This is a type of argument known as argumentum ad antiquitatem, or an “appeal to tradition,” “appeal to history,” “appeal to past practice,” etc. As such, it’s fallacious. That people have done something — even for a very long time — doesn’t mean it must be done forevermore. That something has been accepted — even for a very long time — doesn’t grant it veracity. 

    If you need examples, I can think of three. One is slavery. It was practiced from the dawn of history (and in all likelihood predated it immensely) until just a couple centuries ago. As an institution, it had nearly as much human history backing it as you claim monogamous heterosexual marriage does. Yet, humanity figured out it was wrong, and dispensed with it — in spite of all the history behind it. 

    Second is cosmology. As with slavery, it was believed, from the dawn of history and probably long before, that the sun, moon, and everything else revolved around a stationary earth, and the universe centered by earth was only a few thousand miles in diameter. But once the telescope was invented, and people began using them to view the cosmos, we figured out differently. Eventually the terracentric universe was disposed of — in spite of all the history behind it. 

    Third, is Christianity itself. At the time it appeared in the Roman Empire, an open form of paganism had been the prevailing religious tradition for most of civilization. People worshiped, and acted out rites for, many gods. sometimes from more than one pantheon of them. They also sometimes worshiped their rulers as deities. There was a Roman state religion in addition to various cults, some of the “mystery” sort, others devoted to particular aspects of life. For the most part they all coincided and people navigated them freely — and they had so since the dawn of history and even prior. 

    But then, along came Christianity, whose followers rejected anything and everything else, following a deity who demanded exclusivity and would not tolerate other faiths. Initially this meant simply that Christians themselves could not participate in any other religious practice or cult, but eventually Christians collectively decided they couldn’t allow any of those other faiths to continue existing. Nevertheless, in spite of the long history behind those other religions — many of which overlapped — they wiped them all out. 

    In other words, Christians themselves refused to extend to the followers of other faiths the respect for long-standing tradition that you demand of everyone else, now. I’d call that “hypocrisy,” and would point out that the founder of your own religion himself clearly and unambiguously ordered you never to be hypocritical. But hey, it’s your mortal soul on the line; if you think it’s important for you to endanger it by being hypocritical, well, you just go right ahead and do that. 

    In any event, your appeal to tradition is noted, but dismissed as fallacious and therefore illogical. 

  • Because he doesn’t care about gay people,, and the fundelibangelists are just itching to be able to behave maliciously, as they have for centuries, under color of law. He’s got a debt to pay, and Grabby McPussy always pays his debts, except when he doesn’t because it might cost him something.

  • Goshes, doc.

    As a black man, in this country, for a long time you were considered property, and then you were considered better than property, but not quite a full human.

    It’s always funny to hear black people finding someone else to be above, and claiming it’s all about the Bible. WHen you were property, and legally less than, it certainly was about the Bible.

    But gay people are not Goliath. You’re certainly not DAvid. It’s just more of your megalomania and your gay obsession.

  • Even if Jesus himself came down, and told you were wrong– and believe me, he already did– you would t care.

  • So Jesus himself already came down and told me I was wrong, you say? Well, okay, that’s certainly an interesting thought.

    What you’re actually claiming, of course, is that Jesus came down here and personally repealed Gen 1:27, Gen 2:24, 1 Cor. 6:9-11, Rom. 1:26-27, and even His own words in Matt. 19:4-6 (in which he directly quotes from the Genesis verses.)

    Not to mention repealing Ezekiel 16:50 and a few other texts.

    So permit me to ask: Specifically where and how did Jesus actually repeal all these particular texts?

  • Gay Goliath doesn’t exist? Tell it to 70-year-old florist Baronelle Stutzman. See if she agrees with you.

  • When he told you not to revile and slander. When he told you not to lie. When he told you to stop obsessing about other people’s sins and focus on your own. When he told you not to judge. When he told you to treat other people like you would prefer to be treated.

  • An interesting explanation of things. However, I only offered the facts relating to marriage and millenia, as a historical response to what Ben said. Just a historical note to help keep score.

    But I did not offer that history to rationally prove that straight marriage is right and gay marriage is wrong. Doesn’t work that way, precisely because of the “antiquitatem” fallacy you mentioned.

    One merely brings up the planetary history for its own sake, to show that the biblical gender-complementary definition of marriage has been THE definition of marriage across all cultures, religions, and nations of humanity for millenia.

    (And it’s still true for 98 percent of the nations of the world today.)

  • LOL! The bishops and other whining homophobes have no one but themselves to blame for this one. You knew the cannon was unsecured when you lit the fuse. Nice to see a shot hitting the conservatives instead of just legal immigrants, Chicago, Australia and the separation of powers. Trump’s got enough misery to spread around for everyone!

  • No, he most definitely did not, and the assertion otherwise is a bearing of false witness against him for which you should be sorely ashamed.

  • Maybe, but then we will all have to stand before Christ one day also. Don’t forget about that.

  • Believe me when I say anything that annoys Archbishop Charles Chaput sends me into paroxysms of hitherto unplumbed joy.

    Long may Charlie boy be troubled and disappointed!

  • Scripture tells us that Jesus was tempted just like us. Therefore it is not inconceivable that he was ‘bi’. Yes?

    Swinging both ways would make Jesus more understanding, more compassionate, wouldn’t it?

    Careful, Sandi: it may be you who is in for one huge surprise on that eschatological time of supreme drama (and anti-climax?): JUDGEMENT DAY! (Cue ominous-sounding, atmospheric drum-roll)

  • No, he didn’t say that: Paul said it. But then, Paul said also that “drunkards” would not inherit the kingdom either. Er, “drunkards” here would include alcoholics, people we accept today as ill through addiction. Would God send to Hell a sick person? No, he wouldn’t.

    Paul clearly had no understanding of such human weakness. His words, therefore, should not always be taken as “God-breathed”. Yes?

  • lol….God, who condemned homosexuality…came in the flesh….is not going to be a homosexual who likes it straight once in a while. I’d drop those hopes.
    You’re right about me though. He may not be happy about how I wasted my talents and ignored that which I shouldn’t have but, He also knows my heart is for Him, not trying to wilfully defy Him. What about you?

  • We all make choices. Are you suggesting that homosexuality is illness?

    I see you know nothing about Paul either. Are you interested in overcoming your errors?

  • Not at all (on homosexuality). I was trying to educate you on the moral fallibility of dear old, well-meaning (but not the sharpest knife in the drawer) Paul.

    Er, interested in overcoming your errors? There’s no charge.

  • from the book of Genesis to the book of Revelation.
    From declaring none of the homosexuals in Sodom righteous – right standing with God.
    To declaring their sin to be immoral and perversion.
    To declaring they will not go to Heaven.
    Christ also said that He will heal and cleanse us of our sin if we repent. The solution is easier than the outcome.

  • Sorry, if you are believing that homosexuality is good, and worthy, you are following an idol – idolatry. The real God, knows everything. He taught Paul (no charge)

  • No: he wanted to teach Paul…but in Jesus’ own time. Paul, alas, like so many ecclesial figures in history, jumped the moral and intellectual gun.

    Because God teaches through reason and knowledge (Natural Law) as well as through Revelation, moral certainty evolves, that is, it unfolds over time.

    Paul clearly did not know of (never mind about) alcohol addiction. Had he done so, he could never, justly, have made his claim that alcoholics would not inherit the kingdom.

    All of this points up the importance of not setting too much store by what the ancients wrote, especially when it comes to morality and to their arbitrary predictions of anyone’s eschatological destiny.

  • But how do you know, Sandi, that God himself wrote those scriptural so-called moral condemnations and not the more fancifully minded among his would-be followers?

  • So this is how you deceive yourself, eh? You separate Paul’s teachings from Christ (who taught that homosexuality is a sin long before Paul). Then when you have convinced your self of that, you then deny Paul. Sad really.

  • Ah! No, I’m not the one complaining: you are, about homosexuality, etc. It’s all you ever do on here. And yet you cannot produce one reliable piece of evidence that God himself, rather than his would-be followers, condemns loving, committed and monogamous gay relationships.

  • This is all public fussing to make it appear as if Trump’s LGBT support is real. The leaked “Religious Freedom EO” shows that he means to undermine the Obama order while leaving it on the books. Trump is the master of re-tasking existing contracts to do exactly what they were not designed to do and then get what he wants while the lawsuits pile up. Trump never minds “losing” in court after he wins whatever he was really after in the first place. That’s what really makes him dangerous as President, the willingness to break the rules to get what he wants now, and let the devil collect his due later.

  • You are being evasive, which, I have to say, is a common trait among homophobic Christians whose arguments stall at the slightest challenge. So I’ll try with you again: was Paul correct to judge alcoholics (people who are ill) unworthy of the kingdom?

  • There are none so blind as those who choose to be. Take your blinders off Chriz and learn the truth. blessings

  • Of course, you realize that the gay employees “that evil woman” happily employed, likewise **lost their jobs** when the Gay Goliath shut down her business.

    How do you feel about Gay Goliath running roughshod over gay employees?

  • Re: “But I did not offer that history to rationally prove that straight marriage is right and gay marriage is wrong.” 

    So you’re aware your position is irrational and fallacious, but are clinging to it anyway? I’m not sure that’s any better than merely being ignorant of its illogic. 

    Re: “One merely brings up the planetary history for its own sake, to show that the biblical gender-complementary definition of marriage has been THE definition of marriage across all cultures, religions, and nations of humanity for millenia.” 

    So what? As I said, that things have been the way they are “for millennia” does not mean we are logically compelled to continue them the same way forever. Apparently you weren’t paying attention when I explained the illogic of this claim. But no matter. You’re not going to get me to take my eyes off the ball of logic, no matter how insistent you are that I not pay attention to it. 

    Re: “(And it’s still true for 98 percent of the nations of the world today.)” 

    Also irrelevant. That many people believe something does not, and will never, magically make it come true. To think so is a different fallacy, that being argumentum ad populum, also known as “appeal to the masses,” “the democratic fallacy,” “appeal to consensus,” “fallacy of the many,” “appeal to the majority,” etc. 

  • Oh okay, THAT’s when Jesus actually came down and personally repealed all those Scripture texts that oppose acceptance of legalized gay marriage, practicing gay clergy, gay-self-identity, etc. I get it now.

    Meanwhile, let’s just be honest Ben. We are both self-admitted activists, advocating for two opposing religions (the “LGBT” movement versus biblical Christianity). We both hang out here at RNS because it constantly churns out the latest gay-related, religion-involved articles. We both think, reflect, post & reply here prolifically. It’s what we do.

    You think I tell lies; I think you tell lies. You think I judge; I think you judge. You say I revile and slander; I say you revile and slander. You think my exhortations put people at risk; I think your exhortations put people at risk. It’s a serious situation, but our debating is actually much more civil & thoughtful than what you see in many forums.

    One more thing: You and the Bible are clearly at odds in terms of what statements on these gay topics constitute lying, judging, reviling, and slandering. So we’re naturally going to disagree on that aspect as well !

  • Good. She deserved to lose her business for being more malicious than intelligent. If you can’t pay the penalty don’t do the act.

    People who discriminate in open commerce are scum. People who defend such actions are lower than that.

  • Please understand something here. As long as I don’t attempt to offer the aforementioned historical facts (and they ARE facts, as you’ve effectively conceded), as an all-by-itself rational PROOF of straight-marriage’s rightness & gay-marriage’s wrongness, I have NOT committed any fallacies of either antiquitatum or populum.

    I only presented the facts of planetary history for their own sake, merely presented “the score” (the historical facts) as an interesting reminder to any score keepers out there.

    If you are looking for rational warrants as to WHY all the diverse nations of the world should continue or return to exclusive gender-complementary marriage, I can happily offer you some..

  • She actually could legally refuse to serve a same-sex couple for their wedding. I believe the Washington AG even told her how to legally get out of serving same-sex couples for their wedding.

    Same way Masterpiece Cakes in CO doesn’t have to serve same-sex couples a wedding cake. If a same-sex couple asks Masterpiece Cakes for a wedding cake, Masterpiece Cakes will refuse to make it and it will be perfectly legal.

    Of course you gotta lie because your anti-gay hated is the real Goliath.

  • Actually Paul was a man of razor sharp intellect, anyone who studies his writings must give him that. I believe some have criticized him for his command of Greek, but this is a matter of nuance not substance.

  • The premises of your argument are not iron clad. As to moral certainty evolving over time, I think not. If God in His Word provided an objective standard of morality and a code for rewarding or punishing based on that standard and then reframed it through the Office of His Son, that is not an evolution; it was that a moral code no matter how objective, could not on it’s own bring us to the proper state of obedience. That was a primary point made by Paul. Therefore, the framework of that code remains true, the power to effectively live by it comes through Jesus.

  • I genuinely believe LGBT’s have nothing to fear from this President, he is neither a fundamentalist or an evangelical. He is a worldly and pragmatic man whose concerns do not involve rolling back anyone’s employment rights with respect to their sexual preferences.

  • I was speaking primarily of his moral intelligence, while thinking of his lack of wisdom and knowledge on human nature and behaviours.

    I know that Paul studied under Gamaliel, one of ancient Judaism’s most liberal, rabbinical scholars. But, by the standard of the time, Paul wasn’t notably well educated, since we have no evidence that he qualified officially as a rabbi. On the contrary, what we do know of him (that he was a tent maker by trade) suggests no such qualification.

    Paul, having been a Pharisee by tradition, shared the arrogance and dogmatism of it: the doctrinaire moral mindset that would admit no dissension. This comes across, again and again, in his writings. It is an attitude that made Paul, on occasion, morally ignorant and unreliable. I’ve already, in another post, given one example of this: his teaching that ‘drunkards’ (which, obviously, would include alcoholics) cannot enter heaven. This, based on what we now know of alcohol addiction, was arrant nonsense. Another example is his teaching, in Romans, on the origin and nature of homosexuality: Paul envisioned it not as an orientation, but as a choice ‘straight’ people made, which leads him to declare it, according to modern translations, ‘unnatural’ (a better translation here is ‘uncustomary’).

    So if (as you said) Paul had ‘razor Sharp intelligence’, he was hiding it, here at least, under a bushel of ignorance.

  • In what way ‘not iron clad’?

    As for moral certitude, yes the generalities (like love of God, of neighbour) are absolute, universal and timeless. But the particulars of moral behaviour? Practical moral teaching (as opposed to general abstractions) can be reliable only in so far as our understanding of nature is reliable. I’ve already given one example of this: Paul’s teaching that ‘drunkards’ will not enter heaven. This moral teaching, both in general and in particular, is unreliable, since Paul clearly had no knowledge of the pathology of substance addiction.

    This kind of knowledge was not generally available in Paul’s time (if at all). Therefore moral certitude in this matter could only evolve. So no: your rejection of evolutionary morality is unsound and disproved.

  • Re: “… I have NOT committed any fallacies of either antiquitatum or populum.” 

    You absolutely did! Why are you denying it? 

    Re: “I only presented the facts of planetary history for their own sake …” 

    Actually, I was the one who brought up cosmology, as an example of why it can actually be correct, sometimes, to actively reject long-standing tradition. I have no idea why you’re taking credit for it. 

    Re: “If you are looking for rational warrants as to WHY all the diverse nations of the world should continue or return to exclusive gender-complementary marriage, I can happily offer you some.” 

    To be honest, I’m not looking for any such thing. All I’m doing is pointing out that foes of gay marriage keep spewing illogic in the name of trying to get rid of it. They present themselves as having (supposedly) good reasons to oppose gay marriage, but in reality, their “reasons” are irrational and idiotic. 

    For me, the bottom line of gay marriage is this: It’s not for me, but it’s also not for me to tell someone else s/he can’t be part of one. Really, it’s none of my business. Other grown adults’ relationships are theirs to decide. They have no bearing on me, and I have no rational reason to get in their way. That gays now can marry doesn’t affect me, and doesn’t change my life in any conceivable way. 

    You see, I’m in favor of this teeny tiny little thing known as freedom. Yes, “freedom.” Gays should be free to live their private lives in private, just as the rest of us are entitled to do so. It’s obscene to assume the authority to tell them they’re not allowed to have the relationships they want. 

    As a result, even the well-worn question of whether gays are born that way (which is the case, as far as can be told) or become gay later in life, doesn’t matter. It just doesn’t. People should be able to do what they want in private, and that’s the end of it. So even trying to convince me that there’s no biological component to being gay, isn’t even going to work — because as far as I’m concerned, it’s completely irrelevant. 

    As for believers like yourself who’re clearly incensed at the existence of gays, I have to ask why your faith is so weak that you’d be so horrifically offended by them? I mean that as a sincere question: Why do they bother you so much? If you were both secure in your faith, and mature in it, other people’s actions wouldn’t have any effect on you. You’d have total confidence in your beliefs and wouldn’t be fazed by them in any way. You’d be able to live your life, let them live theirs, and that would be it. Ultimately, Christianists’ agitation against gays actually undermines the credibility of their belief system. 

  • “Nothing the Groper-in-Chief says can be trusted.”

    Why should it matter? Bill Clinton has been out of office for 16 years…

  • ” Paul clearly did not know of (never mind about) alcohol addiction. Had he done so, he could never, justly, have made his claim that alcoholics would not inherit the kingdom. ”
    Intelligently said.

    ” All of this points up the importance of not setting too much store by what the ancients wrote, especially when it comes to morality… ”
    Yes, appropriately said.

  • The Pharisees were not opposed to dissent. The entire venture was based on arguing with each other. For example the disputes between the houses of Hillel and Shammai, something the NT gives a peek at in Jesus’s discussions of divorce with his disciples and the Pharisees.
    As for Paul’s intellect, he was clever as a fox.

  • Sure I lie. I lie all the time. But somehow, you never seem to be able to come up with any of the lies I tell. The few times I didn’t state the truth. It was a misstatement, not a lie.

    You, on the other hand….

    Slandering and reviling? No that’s all you.

  • I think you misunderstood me. I never mentioned either of the Clintons. I did, however, refer to someone who admitted openly to having groped women and having gotten away with it because he’s wealthy … and how great it was to be able to do so.

  • Or not. But it does make YOU feel special to be among those whom gods as chosen as his best friends forever.
    But such a strange triumph is this. 2000 years, and 2/3 of the world could frankly care less. And as I noted earlier, half of those left are busily consigning the other half to hell. Quoting Shrub– hell of a job, there.
    so to speak.
    Or, you could be right, the world did lose. A friend of mine who was a former catholic priest declared that he felt Christianity was one of the worst things that ever happened to the human race. But then, he also hates the Sound of Music, so go figure.

  • The Pharisees were not opposed to dissent? Really? You haven’t read , for example, Matthew 12: 9 through 14. Jesus healed, on the Sabbath, a man whose hand was withered. Did the Pharisees say “live and let live” (or some other expression of tolerating dissent)? Well, not exactly: verse 14 tells us they were so incensed at this synagogical show of individualism that “…the Pharisees went out and took counsel against him, how to destroy him”.

    If Paul was “clever as a fox” (isn’t the simile “crazy as a fox”?), then why did he arbitrarily condemn alcoholics (sick people) to Hell. That doesn’t sound fair, or clever, to me.

  • The NT caricatures the Pharisees for its own purposes. The truth is a lot more complex. Good-faith disagreements — mekholet l’shem shamayim (controversy for the sake of Heaven) — have always been a part of rabbinic Judaism.
    You may be right about the expression. “Crazy as a fox” means acting crazy as a ruse but I don’t think that’s what Paul was doing. What I meant by clever was Paul’s clever citations to the OT — often incomplete, erroneous or misleading — to support his own theology.

  • Sarcasm. And let’s face it while Trump is supposed to have groped a woman that’s not the same is having sex with an intern in the Oval Office like Clinton did…oh wait!!…BJ’s aren’t sex according Bill…powerful men do this stuff all the time and it’s not just Clinton and Trump it’s a lot of them…. it’s in their nature as alpha males.

  • Why do you want to limit Christ to the gospels? He spoke all over the Bible. On relationships and homosexuality:

    – Read John 1:1 and Genesis 1:26 to provide the understanding that the Bible is the inspired Word of God.

    Deuteronomy 29: 22 And the next generation, your children who rise up after you, and the foreigner who comes from a far land, will say, when they see the afflictions of that land and the sicknesses with which the Lord has made it sick— 23 the whole land burned out with brimstone and salt, nothing sown and nothing growing, where no plant can sprout, an overthrow like that of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, which the Lord overthrew in his anger and wrath— 24 all the nations will say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land? What caused the heat of this great anger?’ 25 Then people will say, ‘It is because they abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them out of the land of Egypt,

    Ephesians 5:5 – For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

    Ephesians 5:5For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7Therefore do not become partners with them; 8for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9(for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret.

    Matthew 5:17New King James Version (NKJV)

    17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.

    Genesis 2:24 – Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. –

    Deuteronomy 25:5 “If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the dead man shall not be married outside the family to a stranger. Her husband’s brother shall go in to her and take her as his wife and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her. 6 And the first son whom she bears shall succeed to the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel. (It is always male and female)

    Leviticus 18:22 – 22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.

    Leviticus 20:13 – If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.

    Matthew 19:4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

    Acts 15:19-20New International Version (NIV)

    19 Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, 20 but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood.

    1 Kings 14:24 New International Version (NIV)

    24 There were even male shrine prostitutes in the land; the people engaged in all the detestable practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites. – what do male prostitutes do? Abominations.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11English Standard Version (ESV)

    9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. 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.

    1 Corinthians 6:18

    New International Version

    Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.

    1 Corinthians 7: 2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband.

    1 Corinthians 10:8English Standard Version (ESV)

    8 We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day.

    Jude 1:7 – In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire

    1 Timothy 1: 9-11 “ …. understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.”

    1 Corinthians 7 – Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.” But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband.”

    Romans 1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. 26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts.Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

    1 Corinthians 11:9 -neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.

    1 Thessalonians 4:3-8New International Version (NIV)

    3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control your own body[a] in a way that is holy and honorable, 5 not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; 6 and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister.[b] The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. 7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8 Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.

    Galatians 5:19-21

    New International Version (NIV)

    19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    Ephesians 5:31

    New Living Translation (NLT)

    31 As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”

    Colossians 3:5

    New Living Translation (NLT)

    5 So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires.

    2 Peter 2:6 if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7 and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked 8 (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard);

    Ephesians 5:24-25 New International Version (NIV)

    24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

    25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

    Ephesians 5:3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.

    Matthew 15:19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.20 These are what defile you.

    Revelation 2:20 International Standard Version (ISV)

    20 But I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet and who teaches and leads my servants to practice immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols.

    Revelation 21:8 ESV

    But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

    Revelation 22: 14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.

    My favourite: 1 Corinthians 11:11New King James Version (NKJV) 11 Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord.

    BIBLICAL SUMMARY OF HOMOSEXUALITY

    • A wicked act (Gen 19:7; Judges 19:23)

    • An abomination (Lev 18:22; Lev. 18:26; Lev. 18:27; Lev. 18:29; Lev. 18:30; Lev. 20:13)

    • Folly (Judges 19:23)

    • A vile act (Judges 19:24)

    • A vile affection (Rom 1:26)

    • An act against nature (Rom 1:26)

    • An abusive act (1 Cor 6:9)

    • A sin against one’s own body (1 Cor 6:18)

    • An act that defiles (Lev. 18:24; Lev. 18:25; Lev. 18:27; Lev. 18:28; Lev. 18:30; 1 Tim 1:9)

    • Those that practice it shall not inherit the Kingdom of God (I Cor 6:9-10; Jude 1:7; Jude 1:13; Rev. 21:8; Rev. 21:27)

    (many thanks to Adam in Christ for this excellent summary)

  • I don’t believe that Jesus caricatured the Pharisees. Do you? Did he caricature this group when he excoriated them as people who “cleanse the outside of the dish, but inside you are full of extortion and wickedness. You fools!” . (Luke 11: 39 through 40)

    The Pharisees may have tolerated disagreement on minor points of law among themselves, but this was hardly acceptance of dissent.

    You still haven’t addressed my criticism of Paul’s teaching on “drunkards”.

  • The authors of the NT are the ones I’m saying caricature the Pharisees, not Jesus. He did excoriate them, as you say. But to say that they only disagreed about minor points of law invites asking what minor means. What about permissible reasons for divorce? Hillel said it could be anything, even your wife being a bad cook. Shammai said only adultery would suffice. This is not minor.
    I agree with you about Paul and the “drunkards.”

  • Let’s face it, Edward…if he rolled back employment rights, they’d all be on welfare and the government would be supporting them financially. Cannot have that. This is the lessor of two evils; I think.

  • You are right, of course: the Pharisees did disagree about such things as grounds for divorce. These are some of the minor points I had in mind. However, they did not disagree about the permissability of divorce itself. In this sense, the Pharisees were united. And it was this more fundamental unity that maintained doctrinal cohesion among them. In practical terms, their disagreements weren’t life-threatening, so the Pharisees could appear liberal and tolerant. But hey! Tell this to Jesus. He challenged first principles, like the permissibility of divorce itself. Only Matthew’s gospel has Jesus accepting divorce on a single ground: ‘unchastity’.

    It was Jesus’ repeated challenging of such first principles that raised the Pharisees’ hackles, showed them up as intolerant, and which would eventually cost Jesus his life.

  • Re: “And let’s face it while Trump is supposed to have groped a woman …”

    Actually, what he said made it clear he’d done it more than once.

    Re: “… that’s not the same is having sex with an intern in the Oval Office like Clinton did.”

    Bill Clinton is no longer in office. The Apricot Wonder is. He’s the Groper-in-Chief. Your attempt at “two wrongs make a right” thinking is noted, but dismissed as irrelevant and fallacious.

    Re: “… powerful men do this stuff all the time and it’s not just Clinton and Trump it’s a lot of them…. it’s in their nature as alpha males.”

    If they’re mature adults, then they’re capable of controlling themselves. If they aren’t, they should be disciplined until they grow up sufficiently to be able to do so. Granting them permission to act out however they wish, with the excuse that they’re “alpha males,” is lame.

  • So in other word, homobigots would take the first opportunity to fire gay people, if only they thought they could get away with it.
    so much for love and charity, so much for no malice behind this alleged religious belief.
    It certainly does not say much for your brand of Christianity. but then, neither do you..

  • One of your many, many lies again. The state pursued the action against Stutzman, because of state laws.

  • I didn’t say that Ben. BTW, more than just Christians disapprove of the immorality of homosexuality.

  • None of that was by Christ. Why do you care so much about what the Bible says so little and so little about what the Bible says so much?

  • Sure you did. But of course you would say you didn’t, because that is how you get to be sandimonious,

    So in other words, other religionists are no better than you are.

  • Gay Goliath has brought his private bedroom into the public courtroom, and thereby changed our entire nation for the worse. So any attempt to revive the old “do what they want in private” line of argument is long gone.

    In fact it’s even surprising to see you try to dig that argument up out of the graveyard, it’s been buried so long.

  • Re: “Gay Goliath has brought his private bedroom into the public courtroom, and thereby changed our entire nation for the worse.”

    Again, I’m not sure why other people’s gayness has you so riled up. So what if other people are gay? Why does it matter to you? Are you being forced to have gay sex against your will? If not, then who really freaking cares what gays do?

    Re: “In fact it’s even surprising to see you try to dig that argument up out of the graveyard, it’s been buried so long.”

    The “do what they want in private” argument is FAR from “buried.” You, of course, dislike it, but I don’t freaking care what you do or don’t like, your feelings are of no account to anyone but yourself. If you’d grow up for once, and get over your Christofascist impulses, you’d understand that. But you’re too sanctimonious to do that. More’s the pity.

  • Maybe not; maybe they are….you can feel self pity and hate them all, or, you can grow up, be a man, and acknowledge that people will not always agree with you – particularly if you are committing sin – or further yet, renounce your sin and help yourself.

  • “But such a strange triumph is this. 2000 years, and 2/3 of the world could frankly care less.” And even less will care as we near the end of the line. No matter. The condemned sign remains on the door.

    But your resentment is quite interesting, Ben. If Beggar #1 suggests to Beggar#2 where they might find some food, does #2 resent #1 for “feeling special” in knowing where the food might be?

  • It’s not resentment. But once again, you show that you are the special one who will be with god, and all of the rest of us will not be.

    According to you.

    Which leads us right to your question: it all depends on whether beggar 1 is a actually a beggar or a con man, or whether he actually knows some thing about food, or has other purposes in mind for beggar 2.

  • Sorry PsiCop, ad-hominems seriously don’t bother me. Please employ as many as you like. (Heh!)
    Meanwhile, you are unable to refute THIS answer to your questions:

    Straight or gay, when you put your private boudoir business in a public courtroom and, as a result, change a nation’s entire marital standard from the millennia-strong “gender complementarity” to the potentially fatal “anything goes”,
    then you no longer get to dig up old stale dead arguments like “do what they want in private.” Way too late for that “privacy” sales-pitch, PsiCop.

    That’s the specific issue you refuse to face. But that’s okay, ’cause I am comfortable with facing it AND explaining it to others. Gay Goliath has ripped a huge hole in our nation’s underlying moral, family and community fabric, and now America is slowly but surely bleeding. Gotta deal with it.

  • Well, in the US, most employers are not going to “discriminate” against LGBT’s in any case. The religious employers caught in the middle will bear the greatest cost, in terms of lost contracts and service opportunities. Sadly, we do not have a choice between two evils in this country, but a multiple choice list that does not include “none of the above.”

  • Not so. We live in a fallen world, the nature of the affliction is not germane to the argument. Though one may have a genetic predilection to alcohol abuse, upon discovering that effect, one is not freed from the stricture against drunkenness, but rather more implicitly bound by it. Choice and Will become imperative factors even in the absence of specific medical knowledge.

  • I find your argument fallacious. I replied to you on drunkenness above. I will not address Paul on the question of homosexuality because I’ve covered that argument too many times to happily repeat it here. But, I ask you this; Do you identify yourself as a Christian, and if so, how do you justify treating the biblical text as a theological buffet wherein you can pick and choose those doctrines and strictures to which you will adhere and those you will reject?

  • Re: “Sorry PsiCop, ad-hominems seriously don’t bother me.”

    Which “ad-hominems” would those be, exactly? Do you even know what that means? I never advanced an ad hominem argument against you. I did call you a Christofascist, but that’s not an argument, that’s labelling, and it’s accurate, so there’s nothing illogical or inappropriate about it.

    Oh, and your snivelling about someone you keep calling “gay goliath” doesn’t bother me. I have no idea who or what that is, so you just go right ahead and bellyache like a baby about him, if it makes you happy. After all, your personal happiness is the single most important thing in the universe, right?

    Re: “Straight or gay, when you put your private boudoir business in a public courtroom …”

    Duh, hetero couples have brought their “private boudoir business in a public courtroom” all the time. It’s called “divorce court.” You may have heard of it.

    Re: “… change a nation’s entire marital standard from the millennia-strong ‘gender complementarity’ to the potentially fatal ‘anything goes’ …”

    You say “fatal ‘anything goes'” as if you’d be spitting it out while you’re speaking … and as though it’s a bad thing. But au contraire, mon amie! That, as I said previously, is what the rest of us call “freedom.” You know, that horrific thing that oppresses and terrorizes poor little you. Or something. But the rest of us prize it. Especially since we live in an otherwise “free country.”

    Re: “Waaaay too late for that ‘privacy’ sales-pitch, folks.”

    No it’s not. You may say it is, but freedom is always important, and is always relevant. Except to Christianists like yourself who dislike it and want to control everyone else. But too bad, you don’t get to do that any more. Waaah wah waah, little baby.

    Re: “That’s the specific issue you refuse to face.”

    The issue YOU refuse to face is that you disapprove of freedom and demand the power to control everyone else’s lives in the name of your Jesus.

    Re: “Gay Goliath has ripped a huge hole in our nation’s underlying moral, family and community fabric, and now America is slowly but surely bleeding.”

    Christofascists like yourself are trying to seize the “nation’s moral, family and community fabric,” and wring it it out so it suits their subjective wishes … then they intend to wrap it around the throat of the rest of the country and choke the life out of it because they despise it and can’t tolerate the existence of anything they disapprove of.

    Time for you and your ilk to just freaking grow up already and start acting like grown adults, for the first time in your sniveling little lives.

  • The nature of the affliction is not germane to the argument? I can’t believe you posted that comment. Of course it’s germane to the argument. Isn’t this why Christ came into the world? Because we humans were so afflicted (with moral weakness) that, no matter our will to redemption, we simply couldn’t save ourselves? Affliction is not only germane to the argument, but absolutely pivotal to it. Without affliction there is no need for compassion and mercy; there is no need for God’s redemptive strength

    Do you understand anything at all about addiction? It undermines the will to self-help as sin undermines (and destroys) the will to redemption. Your attitude to such affliction is actually worse than Paul’s. He at least had some excuse: his lack of medical knowledge. You, however, have none, since this knowledge is available to you.

  • Whether or not I identify as Christian is irrelevant to this discussion. Some of the greatest biblical scholars have not been Christian, but this hasn’t prevented their providing excellent hermeneutics. Besides, I’ve already answered you this in another thread.

    To describe someone’s argument as ‘fallacious’ without stating why makes for poor and unconvincing counter-argument. You’ll have to do much better than this to impress me.

    I’m not surprised you don’t want to debate me on Paul’s thoughts about homosexuality , since you didn’t fare too well in our debate on his thoughts about ‘drunkards’.

    Just because I disagree with you in our understanding of certain biblical texts does not mean that I am treating them ‘ as a theological buffet’, something over which I may pick and choose. What (or who) gave you the right to make this accusation? Must every one agree with YOUR understanding of Scripture? I could make the same accusation of you, since you disagreed with me. But I didn’t. I guess I just lack your arrogant self-assurance.

  • The “religious employers” are not necessarily anti-homosexual. Some need to be discriminating, while others would hire them hoping to help them, so that was kind of unfair, Edward.
    As far as contracts, this world is so lost in the delusion that homosexuality is good, that if the company doesn’t choose to hire homosexuals, it may hurt them.
    I have worked with homosexuals. I just don’t want them preaching ay my church.

  • No one is actually saying that homosexuality is good: they’re saying that LOVE is good regardless of the type of relationship.

    You won’t win any one over by misrepresenting his point of view.

  • Now, Sandi, you should know better than this. How can LOVE send any one to his death? Love is affirming and redemptive. Love saves.

  • I used your term, “love”, very loosely. I was going to use “lust” but decided you would not understand. “Love” does not kill the recipient of it’s attention

  • Oh, Sandi. You do wear your homophobia on your sleeve. So homosexuals can only lust, not love. How would you know? Have you carried out some gargantuan survey, worldwide, of gay couples? Or have you been that proverbial fly on so very many bedroom walls?

  • You cannot overcome my argument and need to resort to insults?
    I just read what the One who created us taught – the One who knows us best.

  • And, I suppose, you weren’t insulting gays by saying that they cannot love, only lust.

    Log and mote, Sandi. The ‘ One who created us’ taught that, too. Why don’t you spend some time reading that?

  • So, your only defence is to attack and not refute? Must mean I spoke some truth. If you have difficulty with what Christ taught take it up with Him. I’m here to help homosexuals find life.

  • I did refute…by telling you that gays can indeed love. But you don’t listen…like so many homophobic, know-it-all Christians.

  • ” I know what Jesus can do for people. ”
    Then you must also know what Jesus does ‘not do’ for people.

  • And yet, you need to resort to insults again Chriz.
    Romans 1 – 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, ”
    Romans 1:26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men ”
    Romans 1:28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.”

    That is what the One who loves them says. He loves them enough that He also died for them should they accept His offer of forgiveness and life more abundantly. Otherwise like any other sinner, they will reap death.
    Why do you want them to die?

  • That’s a good answer too. But it wasn’t what I was thinking. I’m thinking of the multitudes that could be saved from various sorrows by the mere stroke of his ‘spirit’. By grace you’re saved it is written. I wonder why that grace isn’t more active in the world.

  • Paul is speaking of fornication here, lust. And I condemn that as strongly as Paul does. But he is NOT speaking of homosexual orientation; he’s speaking of ‘straight’ people who experiment. And I condemn that, too, as strongly as Paul does.

  • His grace is everywhere, from the fact that we have air to breathe, to the fact that we should all be in Hell, except for His graciousness in dying for those who will receive it. He gives us more and more grace – causing plants and animals to grow for food. I could go on and on.

  • No. He is discussing homosexuality – was quite prevalent in Rome at the time.
    “Orientation” is a term coined to normalize sin. They use it for pedophiles now.
    Also, Chriz, as marriage is only a man and a woman, any sex homosexuals have is fornication.

  • ” His grace is everywhere… ”
    A true observation, especially to include the air we breath and the plants and animals for food. Agreed.

  • Sandi, read the passage again, but with greater care than you’re accustomed to. Homosexuals are not ‘straight’ people who take time off now and then to become gay for a day. Paul is speaking of ‘straight’ people who lust so much they crave more adventurous and, for them, less customary sex. In fact, this is what the word ‘unnatural ‘ means in this context: sex that is uncustomary for heterosexuals. In further fact, this is how the ancients (Paul among them), along with the Church Fathers, explained homosexuality…as an excess of lust among ‘straight’ people. But ‘straight’ people cannot turn gay any more than gay people can turn straight. This is yet another example of how the ancients lacked knowledge of human nature…and proceeded to offer dubious moral advice on the basis of their ignorance. Thank heaven we’ve evolved.

    Try to see things without those customary homophobic blinkers.

  • No he isn’t. That is wishful thinking on your part. What you don’t understand, or, are misunderstanding, is that Christ taught that homosexuality is abnormal, and all people who participate are choosing to defy Christ. You have nothing to support your hopes, Chriz
    Homosexuality is a sin that Christ called “unrighteousness”

  • Oh, but I have support…and its that very passage from Romans. So I don’t need to hope when I have this categorical assurance.

    Why are you having such difficulty accepting that Paul is writing about ‘straight’ people who experiment sexually, in uncustomary ways? He actually makes this clear. Why won’t you accept what is written on the page instead of what you’d prefer to see there. Don’t you know that you are being disobedient and twisting Scripture to your own ends?

  • But, Sandi, you’ve already provided this support, in your comment above, where you posted that passage from Romans. Don’t you bother to read what you post?

    By the way, Paul was not ‘reiterating Leviticus’. Leviticus makes no mention of heterosexuals ‘exchanging natural relations for unatural’. But Paul does. Incidentally, Sandi, even in the very passage I’ve just quoted there is all the evidence you need to accept that Paul was writing about heterosexuals experimenting sexually, in uncustomary ways. Homosexuals don’t engage in heterosexual intercourse. So, clearly, Paul wasn’t writing about homosexuals. Unless you believe that homosexuals are really heterosexuals. Do you?

  • Do you mean: ” For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature?”
    or: “and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men”

    because homosexuality is unnatural and a perversion……No where does it state: “unless you have this “orientation”. If you think so, where does it state that?

    Jude 1:7 – In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire”

    Anything else?

  • As I’ve already explained to you, ‘unnatural’ here means ‘uncustomary ‘. So ‘natural’ means ‘customary’.

    Yes, it would not be customary for a heterosexual to engage in homosexual intercourse. This is what Paul is saying here. And he is right. But he is saying nothing whatever about homosexuals. Homosexuals do not, as a rule, exchange ‘straight’ sex for gay sex, do they? Paul is speaking here of people who do. So he cannot, logically, be speaking of homosexuals.

    The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was inhospitality, not homosexuality. Ezekiel actually states this of Sodom (Ezekiel 16: 48 through 50). Besides, the intended action against the two angels was gang rape to teach them a lesson. Among the would-be rapists were the men engaged to Lot’s two daughters. Are you telling me that these men were gay?

    In ancient times (and later) anal rape was used as a means of punishing and subjugating enemies; the Vikings, for example, used this terrible practice. But it was committed by heterosexual men, not by homosexuals.

    Besides, if God was in vengeful mood at the time, why didn’t he punish Lot’s daughters for having incestuous sex with their father? If you manage to read beyond your homophobic interpretation of the story, you’ll find this out.

  • no..read further – contrary to nature.
    Where does Paul make your assertion: “it would not be customary for a heterosexual to engage in homosexual intercourse.” Where is that? He spoke about the homosexual act as being “dishonourable passions”, and sexual immorality and perversion.
    Where does the Bible endorse homosexual relations?
    He did discuss people engaging in shameless acts.
    “Homosexuals do not, as a rule, exchange ‘straight’ sex for gay sex, do they? ” Bi-sexuals.
    Really, if Sodom and Gomorrah was only “inhospitality”, why were the homosexuals there declared unrighteous and rained on with burning sulphur?
    They attempted rape after inviting them to a orgy.

  • Sandi, will you please try to understand that homosexual men and women are not interested in heterosexual sex? This is why they are called ‘homosexual’. So how on Earth could they exchange ‘natural’ for ‘unnatural’ sex? They were never interested in ‘natural’ sex in the first place. Paul was speaking of people who were. Therefore he could not have been referring to homosexuals. (Sigh)

  • I’m still waiting for scripture supporting homosexuals Chriz.
    We know that the Lord says homosexual sex is “unnatural”, a “shameless act”, “perversion”.
    We know that the homosexuals in Sodom and Gomorrah were considered unrighteous – so much so that God destroyed them for the sin.
    Christ even tells us that they exchanged “natural” for “unnatural” – the sin.
    We also know that Christ does not create anyone to be a homosexual, that the sin is a choice: James 1:13 New International Version
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;”

    So, where does the Lord encourage, or approve of homosexuality?

  • Sandi, I love you like a sister, but you are darned hard work. ‘Contrary to nature’ means, of course, contrary to heterosexuals’ nature. How do I know this? Homosexuals aren’t interested in ‘straight’ sex. Paul makes clear that the people in his story ARE interested in such sex, because he tells us that they exchanged ‘natural’ for ‘unnatural’ relations. Homosexuals could make no such exchange since, by nature, they are not attracted to ‘natural’ relations. (Sigh again)

    Sandi, you need to buy a good dictionary…and dip into it from time to time. Bisexuals are not homosexuals. (The clue to this is in the different spellings and meanings of the words.) Besides, a genuine bisexual doe not exchange one set of relations for another, but enjoys both. (If they’re lucky.)

    Who says homosexuals were in Sodom and Gomorrah?

  • Where does it specify: ” ‘Contrary to nature’ means, of course, contrary to heterosexuals’ nature. ” ? seems Christ was talking about everyone.
    I’ll post the scripture again…perhaps you may want to read all of the verse:
    Do you mean: ” For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature?”
    or: “and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men”
    Bi sexuals are homosexuals who like it straight once in a while.
    You mean homosexuals are 3% of the population now, and just emerged after S&G? I’m talking about the guys that invited Lot’s guests to have sex before they tried to rape them.
    God found none of them to be righteous. Not one righteous homosexual in Sodom, or Gomorrah.
    Where is your scripture, Chriz?

    1 Corinthians 7 – Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.” But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband.”

  • Where does it specify this? Sandi, have I been with you this long and still you lack understanding? The context, Sandi. The context makes clear that the phrase ‘contrary to nature’ refers to heterosexuals ‘ sexual proclivities since Paul could not have been referencing homosexuals: yet again (SIGH!), homosexuals are not interested in heterosexual sex, so could not exchange ‘natural’ for ‘unnatural’ relations.

  • And again…..where is your scripture?
    I’ve supplied you with these scripture – same ones – several times. Try reading my comments.
    And again, read the entire scripture and it will explain it to you:

    Do you mean: ” For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature?”

    or: “and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men”

    Also, why does Christ tell only men and women to marry?

  • Sandi, In his book “Sexual Morality in a Christ-less World”, Matthew Rueger makes the observation – based on data – that pederasty has been on earth for a millennium. I

  • My scripture is the one you keep referring to, from Romans. Paul was clearly addressing heterosexuals who mess around sexually. There is NO condemnation here of homosexuality.

    Wherever else in the New Testament Paul appears to reference homosexual acts, he is, in fact, referencing heterosexuals who engage in acts that are contrary to THEIR nature.

  • I am not writing that all homosexuals are pederasts, of course, but it does offer some insight into the world that Romans was written to.

  • look up. You really don’t read my comments; do you?
    While we’re at it, where does He say anyone but a man and woman can marry?

  • I was not disparaging the religious organizations, merely pointing that they are likely going to be the employers most adversely affected by the policy in question. What is most clear is that the imbroglio between Christians who adhere to orthodox bible teaching, “Christians” who don’t, and the rest of society will continue, doubtless to the end. Blessings.

  • It is entirely relevant, few if any of the best biblical scholars act as skeptics, their unpacking of scripture is typically badly flawed, Bart Ehrman chief among them, despite his putatively high scholarly character.

  • It is not germane in the sense that you mean. Addiction is one of many consequences in a fallen world, it may be compelling but it is not without recourse, and that is indeed why Christ came into the world. I understand also that all addiction is not a function of genetics, it is often a function of patterned neural pathways formed not by genetics, but a specific and repeated pattern of thinking. As the bible puts it, “as man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Nothing Paul taught can be remotely construed as contravening either the teachings or Spirit of Christ. I don’t like a compassionate heart towards anyone bound by a condition, spiritual, physical, or otherwise, but I believe the Power of Christ can provide the means to subdue addiction if not eliminate it. Life brings us many crosses to bear, Christ makes bearing them possible.

  • Homosexuality can be repented of, as it isn’t the “unforgivable sin” I researched that scripture, and I will share some of what I found:

    Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

    All unrighteousness is sin … – This seems to be thrown in to guard what he had just said, and there is “one” great and enormous sin, a sin which could not be forgiven. But he says also that there are many other forms and degrees of sin, sin for which prayer may be made. Everything, he says, which is unrighteous – ἀδικία adikia – everything which does not conform to the holy law of God, and which is not right in the view of that law, is to be regarded as sin; but we are not to suppose that all sin of that kind is of such a character that it cannot possibly be forgiven. There are many who commit sin who we may hope will be recovered, and for them it is proper to pray. Deeply affected as we may be in view of the fact that there is a sin which can never be pardoned, and much as we may pity one who has been guilty of such a sin, yet we should not hastily conclude in any case that it has been committed, and should bear constantly in mind that while there is one such sin, there are multitudes that may be pardoned, and that for them it is our duty unceasingly to pray.

    Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

    17. “Every unrighteousness (even that of believers, compare 1Jo 1:9; 3:4. Every coming short of right) is sin”; (but) not every sin is the sin unto death.

    and there is a sin not unto death—in the case of which, therefore, believers may intercede. Death and life stand in correlative opposition (1Jo 5:11-13). The sin unto death must be one tending “towards” (so the Greek), and so resulting in, death. Alford makes it to be an appreciable ACT of sin, namely, the denying Jesus to be the Christ, the Son of God (in contrast to confess this truth, 1Jo 5:1, 5), 1Jo 2:19, 22; 4:2, 3; 5:10. Such wilful deniers of Christ are not to be received into one’s house, or wished “God speed.” Still, I think with Bengel, not merely the act, but also the state of apostasy accompanying the act, is included—a “state of soul in which faith, love, and hope, in short, the new life, is extinguished. The chief commandment is faith and love. Therefore, the chief sin is that by which faith and love are destroyed. In the former case is life; in the latter, death. As long as it is not evident (see on [2652]1Jo 5:16, on ‘see’) that it is a sin unto death, it is lawful to pray. But when it is deliberate rejection of grace, and the man puts from him life thereby, how can others procure for him life?” Contrast Jas 5:14-18. Compare Mt 12:31, 32 as to the wilful rejection of Christ, and resistance to the Holy Ghost’s plain testimony to Him as the divine Messiah. Jesus, on the cross, pleaded only for those who KNEW NOT what they were doing in crucifying Him, not for those wilfully resisting grace and knowledge. If we pray for the impenitent, it must be with humble reference of the matter to God’s will, not with the intercessory request which we should offer for a brother when erring.

    Matthew Poole’s Commentary

    He intimates they should be cautious of all sin, especially more deliberate, (which the word adikia seems to import), but would not have them account that every sin would make their case so hopeless, as such sin, which he called sinning unto death, would do.

  • Chrismart, One of the “potholes in the road” that you can steer around is that I’ve, sometimes, judged an ancient text by modern standards. An example is the controversy over the alleged mistranslation in the KJV of 1 Corinthians 6:9, as if modern-day knowledge applied in the 1600s.

  • Sandi, My wife just got home – it’s 5 PM here in Denver. I will resume this conversation in several dozen hours.

  • ‘Christ makes bearing them (“crosses”) possible.’ Really? So why do so many Christians commit suicide?

  • Edward, you are probably one of the most smug, Catholic Christians it has ever been my misfortune to encounter. You are also one of Christianity’s least-compelling advocates. Sadly, someone of your self-vindicating mindset will take my reproach as a compliment. God help you.

  • Oh, Sandi! You arch-hypocrite. And you’ve done nothing except insult gays by claiming that they cannot love, only lust.

  • Again insults? Praise God. Maybe you will learn the truth now. It’s all there for you hon. blessings.

  • ‘Blessings’? There you go again, Sandi. Concluding, in your formulaic way, a debate you know you have lost. Reminds me of what is really at the heart of Christianity : not love, but cowardice.

  • sure Chriz. I resorted to insults because there was nothing left to discuss and then got insulted because the person was nice to me. blessing Chriz. (edit) Also Chriz…Jesus arms are always open for you.

  • How can I fall into the arms of someone who, when things get difficult for him, always runs away? Ah well, there’s always Buddha: he’s too fat to hightail it like Jesus.

  • Funny how your “god” is absent at the switch for 2000 years plus. Well, actually, absent for all time.

  • You can only go on and on with selective presentation. The reality you are ignoring is that your “god” would actually also be responsible for all the horrid suffering of our disease-laden world, if your god existed -fortunately, your Christian tales are pure myth, and on their way out, and your sky fairy doesn’t exist.

  • Pfft. It took longer than 2000 years for the first promise of Messiah’s coming to be fulfilled. It may take that long or longer for the second. From an eternal perspective it’s nothing.

  • Chrizmart, My point was to re-establish, or make it intellectually acceptable, to quote from the KJV again.

  • Tom, I agree with you, which is why each generation, with its different degrees and sweeps of knowledge, must look afresh at Scripture.

  • Sputtering is the state you are in, indeed, because your skydaddy Messiah story is utter nonsense. You’ve fallen for the ultimate fraud, since your religion never has to deliver on its promises.

    On a brighter note, Christianity is finally on its way out. Good riddance to that god fraud!

  • No, despite your vehement denial and sputtering, reports even on this religion blog show the rise of “Nones” and the decline of your mind bacterium known as Christianity. You are too badly infected yourself to be cured of it but the trend is now clear and Christianity is increasingly being exposed as the fraud that never delivers on its promises. Christianity has been a very profitable pyramid scheme that those at the top have done well from, but the gig is up.

  • Ah, the dreaded “Nones.” Know what the percentage of the completely unaffiliated “Nones” was around the time of the American Revolution? About 83%. Only 17% affiliated. By 1850, 34% and rising. Fell again after the Civil War, shot up again around the turn of the century. These things are cyclical, not linear. Even the lukewarm attendance rates of today are beyond the wildest dreams of 18th and 19th century pastors. Sorry, not impressed. Run along and play, now.

  • No, your Christian gig is up. Church attendance and support is steadily plunging and further, you can present no evidence to show that your chocolate sky bunny will ever save you from anything. Your whole religion is a giant sham and pyramid scheme, and you fell for it hook, line, and stinker. Run along and learn now, for a change, and get over your god fraud already.

  • Because the world is an evil place, and even Christians on occasion can be overcome by despair. Though Christian theology teaches that suicide is a sin, it is not defined as the “unforgivable sin.” Therefore the power of Christ’s Grace is sufficient to cover suicide by those of His followers so overcome.

  • “…Christians on occasion can be overcome by despair. Though Christian theology teaches that suicide is a sin.” My goodness! What a contradiction. If Christians can be overcome in this way, then suicide should NEVER be counted as sinful, since your thesis points up the fact that no one has absolute control over his or her life.

  • ” Love is affirming and redemptive. Love saves. ”
    Of course.

    Christianity ‘without’ good, quality works and deeds and with all kinds of loving attitudes expressed towards everybody, won’t amount to a hill of beans in the future…….James 2:26

  • Here’s a bit of valuable prophecy to keep in mind. It’s a simple way of saying important things.

    The Kingdom of God is not in “word” or scripture verse, but “power” which is the ‘Spirit’ working in all of us especially those that believe……1 Cor 4:20

    The Kingdom of God is not food and drink but “righteousness” which is simply doing good works and deeds, showing loving attitudes, and living with peace and joy in the Holy Spirit………..Rom 14:17

    If you serve God with this attitude, you will please him, and others will approve of you, too…….Rom 14:18.

  • As a matter of fact I’ve been working a lot of overtime which tends to drain me both physically and mentally and I haven’t been up for the challenge.

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