Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a church service in Detroit on Sept. 3, 2016. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Carlo Allegri

Free pastors from the Johnson Amendment

WASHINGTON (RNS) President Trump is doing something relatively rare in American politics – he is fulfilling his campaign promises. One of the several promises made by candidate Trump was to eliminate the problems for churches and religious leaders caused by the Johnson Amendment. Exactly what is the Johnson Amendment? How has it been used? And how should it be fixed?

In essence, the Johnson Amendment prohibits tax-exempt 501(c)3 organizations from engaging or speaking on matters related to political campaigns. In 1954, then-Sen. Lyndon Johnson wanted to weaken organizations politically opposed to him — so he conditioned all such organizations’ tax-exempt status on their remaining silent in political matters. Since that time, the amendment has been used to muzzle anything remotely perceived as political speech from tax-exempt organizations, religious and nonreligious, on both sides of the aisle. This overly broad muzzling has included comments of pastors speaking from the pulpit about candidates as well as policy matters. Simply put, the Johnson Amendment has been used to censor speech — something that should never have occurred.


ANOTHER POINT OF VIEW: Politicize our charities and churches? No, thanks


To address these concerns, the Free Speech Fairness Act was introduced in the House of Representatives last year by Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La. It has been reintroduced in the 115th Congress with a companion Senate version sponsored by Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla. The bill allows speech from the pulpit even if it touches on political matters. Indeed, it allows all tax-exempt organizations to engage in speech during their ordinary activities, as long as they don’t spend money on such speech. These provisions address the problematic censoring of speech, while leaving in place the restrictions on tax-exempt organizations from using their funds for political activities.

Pastors will decide differently how and if they will engage on political issues. That is not the point of this legislation. The point is to ensure that those who wish to engage in such speech are free to do so. They would be under the Free Speech Fairness Act.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke out forcefully from the pulpit on political matters that required change, and we are all glad he did so. It benefits us all to have such change agents speak freely from the pulpit.

Since the birth of our nation, pastors and churches have been at the forefront of shaping public debate and our choice of public servants. What would America look like today had King or the Rev. Lyman Beecher, a leading abolitionist, been muzzled by the IRS?

King once wrote: “The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool.” The church should not have to gain its authority or approval to speak from the government because doing so reduces it to a servant of the state.

More free speech for advocates in the public square should be something that everyone can get behind, whether Democrat or Republican. All pastors will be able to speak more freely, regardless of the party affiliation of the policies they are backing. And nonreligious nonprofits will have more freedom to speak, whether on political solutions to an environmental problem, a health care issue or anything else of concern to them. In addition to the practical reasons for change, the current IRS guidance restricting the speech of pastors and others is very likely unconstitutional.

For all these reasons and more, we are hopeful that the Free Speech Fairness Act can find the broad and bipartisan support it deserves. All nonprofits stand to gain from this legislation. If we can find the support to pass this legislation, President Trump — who wants to eliminate the problems with the Johnson Amendment — will sign it. Please join me in supporting more free speech for all Americans and back the Free Speech Fairness Act.

Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council. Photo by Ron Walters, Light Productions Photography. Courtesy of Family Research Council.

(Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council)

Comments

  1. The idea that pastors are not “free” and have their “free speech” rights restricted by the Johnson Amendment, is a flat-out lie. It is, quite simply, not true. Not in any way! 

    Any pastor can — in fact — make political speeches and even campaign for candidates, if s/he wants to. It’s absolutely possible! All s/he needs to do is forfeit the tax exemption. That’s all. Nothing more. Easy to do, especially since some pastors are rolling in cash because they run megachurches with membership in the tens of thousands and even have broadcasting and publishing empires that provide an ample cashflow. 

    It’s just that simple, Tony: Give up that tax exemption, and you can be as political as you wish! 

    It’s long past time for Perkins and his ilk to stop misrepresenting reality and claiming persecution which doesn’t exist. (Yes, I get that a desire to be persecuted for Jesus is embedded deep within the psychopathology of their religion, and has been since its founding, but that’s no excuse for these lies.) 

  2. Perkins could save some money by consolidation of his 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 entities. In fact I am not sure that 501(c)4s have any reason to exist if the Johnson Amendment is repealed.

    The biggest problem is money. Repealing the amendment has the effect of making political contributions tax deductible. That provides incentive to increase the money flowing into politics and we already have far too much of that. Furthermore, this becomes dark money because a 501(c)3 entities are not required to disclose their donors. In fact this strips away existing campaign finance limits.

    Adjusted for inflation, the 1964 presidential election cost about $180 million. In 2016 that grew to about $5 billion. Enough already.

    By the way, Perkins’ Family Research Council is designated a hate group by the southern Poverty Law Center.

  3. Perkins shows it. The election showed it.

    Power, money, and dominion are what motivates political religion. Not faith. Not morality. Not god.

  4. I think if you read about the FBI’s investigation of the SPLC, you will realize that they are the hate group, not FRC.

  5. CHURCHES AND HOMELAND SECURITY https://shar.es/19sZbP

    “. . .people seem to purposely hurt and deceive one another. Taking ‘sweet counsel together at the house of God’ (Psalms 55:14) no longer keeps them civilized. Words from the pulpit tend to be more about fame and fortune, or health and wealth, rather than righteousness and God. This talk more easily fosters social hostility, lasciviousness, envy and avarice. Ms. Jackson says this is not the way it was meant to be, because “Jesus was not a celebrity preacher, and He “made Himself of no reputation” (Phil.2:7).

    “. . .some church pastors no longer see themselves as shepherds of their flocks. Instead, the pastors and their families use the church to engage in personal business ventures. There are also political under-the-table enticements, that appear to be to help the churches gain and maintain constituents.

    “Whereas churches used to have governing boards, now those churches are “owned and autonomously controlled by preacher & wife teams,. . .” Moreover, federal programs and grants awarded to churches for addressing social poverty, and other maladies are not intended for accomplishing “sealed” and “rigged” bidding, and “non-competitive” businesses and careers for pastors’ families. Reiteratively, federal programs and funding are not to be transformed into private, family-owned church companies. Federal procurement statutes require government funding recipients to “take affirmative steps” to give economic opportunities to individual and small businesses.

    *ENTIRE article at: http://newsblaze.com/usnews/national/churches-and-homeland-security-unite-to-re-victimize-katrina-victims_71439/

  6. It seems that Perkins is simply asking for the right for pastors and non-profit organizations to exercise first amendment rights like the rest of us do.

  7. can you explain what you mean by “the psychopathology of their religion?”

  8. No, because Perkins is a dominionist, and is happy for religious freedom to exist as long as it for him and those who think like him, and not ofr the people on the wrong side of his theology…like me.
    He is asking for the right for churches to get entangled in government by being able to accept large amounts of money which they can then use for political purposes. The donors then get a tax deduction for it. That is way too much tax free money in a system already corrupted by way too much money, and enabled by a wrong-head Supreme court who equate corporations with people and money with speech.
    The Johnson Amendment has served us well, even if it is not enforced as it should be.

  9. Bullshit. The only actions against the SPLC have been from people on the receiving end of their criticism. Do you have a link to a news source to back up your tall tale?

    Right Wing Watch also demonstrates the FRC are a hate group. They use the best evidence out there FRCs own public statements, in their entirety and in context.

    The FRC supports discrimination against various groups. They promote defamatory attacks against others. They are politically organized bigots.

  10. Thanks for the reply, Ben.
    I’m not sure what a dominionist is.
    What is the wrong side of his theology — what does that mean you believe if it’s the wrong side of Perkins’?

  11. Hi Spuddie,
    I assume Right Wing Watch is a neutral organization?

    You probably heard that In 2013, a man convicted of domestic terrorism for the shooting attack at the Family Research Council (FRC) told FBI investigators that he targeted the FRC after finding their name on the SPLC’s own “Hate Map,” where the pro-family and Christian organization is labeled as “anti-gay.”

  12. Letting bigots hang themselves by their own statements, in their entirety, in context, about as objective as one can find. Check it out for yourself. You probably won’t like it.

    So it’s not the SPLC which was the subject of the FBI action. You were full of crap. As I said before.

    The FRC lobbies to attack religious minorities and gays and promote legalized discrimination. They ARE anti gay. Calling them pro family and Christian doesn’t make them any less of a hate group. Your attempt to polish that turd is laughable.

  13. Not sure what context you are talking about. Do you have something more to the story than that the guy was convicted for trying to shoot people at FRC headquarters? I would like to see the post.

    When you say Perkins is anti-gay, do you mean he has said that he hates homosexuals? Or is he merely saying that he disagrees with the homosexual lifestyle? There is quite a difference there, you know. If you have verifiable hate quotes attributed to him, please post them, then I will agree with you.

  14. Right Wing Watch uses the most credible source possible for the positions of well funded bigots and wingnut, their own words.

    You claimed the FBI investigated the SPLC, by your admission in the next post it was a bullshit assertion.

    Perkins deliberately circulates defamatory statements about gays and uses resources to malign them in public forums. He hates gays and works to attack their civil liberties. He is anti gay by definition.

    Your use of “homosexual lifestyle” is part of the dishonest framing of the issue used by bigots. “Disapproval of the homosexual lifestyle” is nothing more than a euphemism for discriminate against gays and treat them as less than human.

    You want examples of Tony’s anti gay rhetoric, check out right wing watch’s section on him. I already left the link. Your whole spiel is just dishonest apologetic nonsense.

  15. It seems that you are simply asking for us to believe you are ignorant when you are really just dishonest like the rest of his supporters.

  16. Spuddie, you seemed to misunderstand or misinterpret my post about the man who shot up FRC headquarters. Try this report, or look it up yourself:

    The Virginia man who planned a mass shooting based on a leftwing group’s “hate map” of conservatives got sentenced to 25 years in prison today, though federal prosecutors had recommended 45 for what they call an act of terrorism.

    Floyd Lee Corkins stormed into the headquarters of the Family Research Council (FRC) last August and carried out the politically-motivated shooting based on a target list from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a nonprofit that features conservative organizations on a catalogue of “hate groups.” Corkins pleaded guilty earlier this year and admitted that he learned about the FRC from the SPLC, a civil rights group that labels conservatives who disagree with it on social issues hateful.

    In fact, the SPLC’s website features a map of the United States that helps locate what it labels as hate groups around the nation. When an area of the map is clicked, a list appears with the name and location of hate groups. There’s also a “select a state” box where you can simply write in the state and hate groups appear for that particular area.

    But you also keep repeating the same thing without any proof other than what you claim Right Wing Watch (I’m sure they are not biased) and other people say. I haven’t seen any quotes by Perkins, in context, yet. If you have proof of hatred on Perkins’ part, I’m glad to look at it. But if you are going to make claims, you need to back it up.

  17. Not sure where your comment is coming from, Eric.
    I have never heard the term dominionist in my life, so maybe I am ignorant in that regard. Nor do I know what Ben’s theology is since he didn’t explain.

  18. No I understand you fine. You are trying to pretend it reflects on SPLC itself or that it somehow undermined the validity of calling the FRC a hate group. I got you loud and clear and it’s nonsense. Nothing more than guilt by association and pretending such designations are somehow motivated by something besides SPLCs stated goals of opposing organized political bigotry. It was bullshit when you first mentioned it, it continued to be bullshit.

    As for your attempt to pretend the FRC and Tony Perkins aren’t anti gay bigots, that is not borne out by anything they have done. I have given a link in this thread already to a source detailing Tony Perkins public nastiness. Check it out yourself.

    You want to feign ignorance of what Perkins and his pro discrimination lobby group does or say do it with someone else. I have no need to continue speaking with such a liar. It is clear from your arguments and select language choices you are already familiar with them and agree with their loathsome goals and rhetoric. You are just annoyed with the honest assessment of them as a hate group. An adversary of civil liberties. Politically active bigotry. You can’t polish this turd.

  19. Christianity is a martyr’s faith, founded by a martyr (i.e. Jesus). Historically, Christians have believed that being martyred for their Jesus is the ultimate expression of what it means to be a Christian. This goes back to the earliest days of the faith, and the tradition that all the apostles were killed because they preached the message of Jesus (except John, who had been prosecuted, but was exiled instead of killed). It continued on into the era of the apostolic fathers, and was expressed in the letters of St Ignatius of Antioch. It continued to the point where some Christians, e.g. St Anthony, actually tried antagonizing the Roman state into martyring them (in Anthony’s case this obviously didn’t work). 

    And on and on and on it went. 

    The desire to be martyred for Jesus is so strong that many Christians, even 2,000 years after its founding, are looking for ways to view themselves as martyrs for their Jesus, just so they can count themselves as “ultimate Christians.” This is, of course, a recipe for delusion. It explains why they think that ending the practice of praying in public schools, for instance, was an effort to abolish Christianity and to wipe out all Christians. It explains why they think having to remove nativity scenes from town hall lawns is, likewise, an effort to destroy them utterly. 

    What sets this raging dysfunction and delusion in concrete is the fact that, in a few places, Christianity really is under attack and there are Christians who truly have been persecuted for the faith. They use these examples as fodder for their delusion. “You see!” they say, when e.g. some Christians were beheaded by Islamists in Libya, “our religion really is being wiped out!” There’s no denying this is happening … in some places — but it is NOT happening in the United States. Their delusional thinking, however, deprives them of the ability to comprehend that they aren’t, themselves, in any danger. They don’t understand that they remain free, here in the US, to worship their Jesus however they wish (so long as they don’t use government to promote it). 

    Every religion has a psychopathology, and that’s Christianity’s. It would behoove them — and us — for them to grow up already and get over it, but many of them refuse to. 

  20. Churches can be free if they want to be free. Just stop taking the tax subsidy. When you take Caesar’s money in exchange for following certain rules, you are Caesar’s employee and shouldn’t expect freedom.

  21. Anyone who uses a phrase like, “do you mean he has said that he hates homosexuals? Or is he merely saying that he disagrees with the homosexual lifestyle” knows exactly what Perkins and the the FRC stands for.

    The feigned ignorance act hadn’t fooled anyone here.

  22. You’re right that a full repeal of the Johnson Amendment would allow charities–whether religious or otherwise–to spend money on politics.

    But the Free Speech Fairness Act, which is what this article was about, does no such thing. It only allows for intervention in a political campaign through statements if such a statement “is made in the ordinary course of the organization’s regular and customary activities in carrying out its exempt purpose[.]” Moreover, it specifically bars any statements that “results in the organization incurring not more than de minimis incremental expenses.”

    This is a sensible and modest clarification of the Johnson Amendment that should be supported by both right and left.

    Here’s the full text of the Free Speech Fairness Act:

    “SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the “The Free Speech Fairness Act”.

    SEC. 2. ALLOWING 501(c)(3) ORGANIZATION TO MAKE STATEMENTS RELATING TO POLITICAL CAMPAIGN IN ORDINARY COURSE OF CARRYING OUT ITS TAX EXEMPT PURPOSE.

    (a) In General.—Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    “(s) Special Rule Relating To Political Campaign Statements Of Organization Described In Subsection (c)(3).—

    “(1) IN GENERAL.—For purposes of subsection (c)(3) and sections 170(c)(2), 2055, 2106, 2522, and 4955, an organization shall not fail to be treated as organized and operated exclusively for a purpose described in subsection (c)(3), nor shall it be deemed to have participated in, or intervened in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office, solely because of the content of any statement which—

    “(A) is made in the ordinary course of the organization’s regular and customary activities in carrying out its exempt purpose, and

    “(B) results in the organization incurring not more than de minimis incremental expenses.”.

    (b) Effective Date.—The amendments made by this section shall apply to taxable years ending after the date of the enactment of this Act.”

  23. Spuddie, you are a bit confused. I didn’t request links from a group that is biased against Tony Perkins. I asked for statements from Perkins himself, in context, that point to his bigotry. Then you have a legitimate case for your anger. I have read a lot of his stuff on his website. I agree that he is opposed to the homosexual agenda, just as I would agree that you are opposed to his agenda. There is nothing wrong with opposite viewpoints.

    But to conclude that he is bigoted and hates gay people is a non sequitur, Just like it would be if I were to accuse you of bigotry and hatred toward someone you disagreed with, unless you stated it yourself. Hopefully, you can disagree with someone and still work for your goals, politically or however, without hating the other person.

    As you know, America is divided 50-50 on a lot of issues, as the presidential election made clear once more. Our differences may never be resolved. Surely not by hatred, bigotry, or violence. If Perkins is using any of those means, then he is wrong and you are right.

  24. No Bob, you are a liar playing a very bad game of both feigning ignorance and blame shifting. You wanted proof Perkins is an anti democratic and anti gay bigot, but you don’t actually want to read it. The site I linked to uses his actual statements. If you don’t want to read it, that is your problem not mine.

    “There is nothing wrong with opposite viewpoints”

    When one viewpoint is based on bigotry, malice and seeks to attack the lives and very existence of people, it is not only wrong, it is moral to oppose it. Your defense of such things speaks poorly of you as a person. Your dishonesty in support of such positions already makes you a low character.

    “he is opposed to the homosexual agenda”

    A bullshit phrase which means he is opposed to treating gays as human beings and seeks to discriminate against them. Changing the descriptive language of acts does not change the acts themselves.

    “Just like it would be if I were to accuse you of bigotry and hatred toward someone you disagreed with”

    It would be nonsense on your part, because unlike me, Tony and his gang seek to attack civil liberties of others, engages in organized defamation and seeks discrimination under color of law. All clear examples of bigotry. Something you cannot demonstrate with me. So, it’s not just a difference of opinion, it is knowing what is right and what is wrong.

  25. If the Free Speech Fairness Act is enacted, how much of an increase are we likely to see in endorsements of politicians by clerics. Probably not much. Last September, a poll released by Lifeway Research found that nearly 80 percent of Americans thought it was inappropriate for pastors to endorse a candidate in church. Here’s the poll: http://lifewayresearch.com/2016/09/08/skip-the-endorsements-in-church-say-most-americans/

    Maybe this goes back to that old advice that it’s best not to discuss religion or politics with friends or family. These topics can of course lead to very heated discussions. Many people enjoy the sense of community that comes with being part of a congregation. Most church members and pastors don’t want to disrupt that by injecting politics into the equation. Sure, church members of Falwell Jr’s and Pat Robertson’s congregations, which are already focused on hot-button issues anyway, won’t mind if their pastors endorse conservative candidates. And there will probably be some endorsements by liberal-leaning churches. But most churches and their pastors will probably steer clear of them.

    The Free Speech Fairness Act would open the door for endorsements not only by churches but by all 501(c)(3) organizations. I’m sure a lot of these organizations are quite liberal to begin with, and disagree sharply with the Family Research Counsel on many issues. So, be careful what you wish for, Tony Perkins.

  26. please, send me the link again, Spuddie. I know you mentioned Right Wing Watch (which I’m sure is a neutral organization, right?), but what specific statements/videos are you referring to so I get the right one(s). Thanks

  27. Jesus said that His kingdom was not of this world and He does not need our help to influence His return. That day and time has already been set by God in Heaven. The Church does not need people like Mr. Perkins and President Donald Trump to further divide our country by causing chaos within our churches and attempt to further divide The Body Of Christ with dumb ideas like this. Satan, get behind us and shut up!.

  28. “is made in the ordinary course of the organization’s regular and customary activities in carrying out its exempt purpose[.]”

    Except the two things are contradictory to each other. The reason why the Johnson Amendment exists is because electioneering is clearly outside of the ordinary purpose and function of a church. If such activities are their ordinary purpose and function then It is really just an election committee. Any pretension of being a church is gone. You are simply seeking tax exemption for a political lobby group at that point.

    All you are doing is encouraging more dark money to be funneled into political campaigns and corrupt the democratic process.

  29. Thanks for the link, Spuds,
    I watched it, but didn’t catch the part where Perkins said he was in favor of the proposed Ugandan law. I did hear him correct the media’s misrepresentation of the law, and I did hear him chastise President Trump when Trump said that we should turn a blind eye towards those who intentionally spread HIV and take advantage of children. That doesn’t equate to saying he agrees with the proposed Ugandan law. That isn’t the point that he made or was trying to make.
    Your patterns of thinking may cause you to impute wrong conclusions upon people on a subject that is so close to you. Just like Right Wing Watch does with their list of foes just because the people on their foes list disagree with those who push the homosexual agenda. I suggest you get your input from a less bigoted source.
    It’s been interesting dialoguing with you even though we are far apart on our views.

  30. Your first paragraph was a good synopsis of part of Christian history, Psicop. Pretty impressive – not many people know that.
    However, I think you draw the wrong conclusions, Whereas there have been a few Christians who go out of their way to become martyrs, it is a minuscule percentage, otherwise the whole mideast, for example, would be devoid of Christians. It doesn’t take much to get killed in many Muslim dominated countries if you want to.
    I know hundreds of Christians and never once heard any of them say that they desire to be martyrs. I have heard a few say that if it ever comes to that point that they would accept it. But most of us are chickens like everyone else when it comes to losing their life willingly or unwillingly. I for one don’t relish the thought of having my head chopped off or being tortured to death.
    Also, the “ultimate Christian” isn’t the martyr. It’s the one who loves and obeys God, follows Jesus, and tries his best to love other people, even enemies. All difficult things.
    Christian reaction to the removal of nativity scenes and prayer in public schools has nothing to with a delusion or a fear that Christians or Christianity will be wiped out. It has done okay for 2000 years and is still growing. The reaction is because Christians feel they have a right to express themselves in public just like anyone else does. And they feel that prayer is a good thing for society.

  31. It was there. First page, second column, the video. As for the rest, you have a very selective reading style.

    Like any of FRC supporters you are a pretty bad liar. You are trying to pretend an out and out hate group is something more genteel. Nobody is buying that load of crap. I am sure it sounds convincing in the echo chamber of fellow dishonest bigots, but everyone else can smell that from a mile away.

    I hope you leave this conversation knowing that you are not nearly as clever in your dishonesty as you think you are. 🙂

  32. Not at all Bob. SPLC has been very beneficial to America by keeping track of hate groups all across the country. The reversal you just tried is simply a tactic by those hate groups who want to diminish SPLC’s hard-earned integrity and respect.

    The FBI, on the other hand, took a major shot to their integrity via Comey’s very curious timing in making a baseless comment just prior to the election. Shame on him and, as the director of the FBI, he brought shame on it.

  33. Did you read my reply, Spuds? Or did you just read parts of it as you apparently do other things? I said I watched it. I watched the whole thing. What I said was the part you claim is there really isn’t there. It is your selective hearing and imputing things that aren’t there because you disagree with someone.
    It’s hard to have a conversation with you when you keep calling me a liar and dishonest. Maybe you do that with anyone you disagree with.
    I’m trying to hear your viewpoint, but your anger makes it difficult.

  34. At this point I really don’t care what you have to say at this point.

    You insist on such bald faced lying and feigning of ignorance that its not worth it to carry on the conversation. It was clear from some phrases you used that you clearly support Perkins and the FRC’s brand of bigotry. You just want to pretend it is something else. The association with words such as “bigotry”, “discriminatory”, and “hate group” are not pleasant. They are not supposed to be. But disliking such labels doesn’t make them untrue.

    Well it was cute but only went so far. You are clearly a person of low character and not as clever or as intelligent as you think you are. Have a nice day. There is nothing left to discuss.

  35. Now that Jeff Sessions is Attorney General, we can expect the FBI’s credibility to drop even further.

  36. Here are the FRC’s words and statements about “homosexuality” on its own site: http://www.frc.org/homosexuality

    It says: “We oppose the vigorous efforts of homosexual activists to demand that homosexuality be accepted as equivalent to heterosexuality in law, in the media, and in schools.”

    Here are FRC’s thoughts on the transgender movement: http://www.frc.org/transgender

  37. Just walked into this snow storm. Took a bit of reading to catch up. Spuddie – Why do you quickly drop into the ad hominem and name calling schtick? Those are generally signs of a very poor quality argument and a lack of effective intellectual skill, (a point I have often made about our new president btw…). Are those really the sort of characteristics you what to be associated with your side of the discussion?

  38. Don’t honestly care.

    Are you also going to insult my intelligence and claim that Tony Perkins and the FRC are not professional bigots who put time and resources towards attacking the civil liberties of others?

  39. When someone insists that gay men pose a sexual threat to children, despite virtually every expert in the world saying NO, that’s simply not true…

    when that same person says that gay men are thirty times more likely to molest a boy than a heterosexual man, twisting the real statistics in order to twist the science in favor of an outright lie…

    when that same person calls my marriage a threat to heterosexual marriage, without the slightest shred of fact, logic, or experience to back that vicious slander…

    when that same person claims that discrimination against a vulnerable minority on the basis of religious belief is acceptable in one case, and one case only– that minority…

    Then yes, I would say that Tony Perkins hates gay people.

    And your use of the term “disagrees with the homosexual lifestyle” as if the statement means anything whatsoever– it’s not a lifestyle, it’s a LIFE– then I suspect you are no better than he is.

  40. The SPLC lists those who met its criteria for a hate group. FRC qualifies, and in spades.
    Whatever Floyd mcCorkle did, he did on his own. He is clearly a dysfunctional crazy person, not acting on the behest of anyone but himself. Every single gay organization condemned his actions. No one condoned it.

  41. Here is the FRCF statement oyu want.

    “MALE HOMOSEXUALS COMMIT A DISPROPORTIONATE NUMBER OF CHILD SEX ABUSE CASES

    Homosexual apologists admit that some homosexuals sexually molest children, but they deny that homosexuals are more likely to commit such offenses. After all, they argue, the majority of child molestation cases are heterosexual in nature. While this is correct in terms of absolute numbers, this argument ignores the fact that homosexuals comprise only a very small percentage of the population.

    The evidence indicates that homosexual men molest boys at rates grossly disproportionate to the rates at which heterosexual men molest girls. To demonstrate this it is necessary to connect several statistics related to the problem of child sex abuse: 1) men are almost always the perpetrator; 2) up to one-third or more of child sex abuse cases are committed against boys; 3) less than three percent of the population are homosexuals. Thus, a tiny percentage of the population (homosexual men), commit one-third or more of the cases of child sexual molestation.”

    Just because a boy is molested does not mean that the perpetrator is a homosexual adult male. Jerry Sandusky was known far and wide as a heterosexual. But there he was. For decades, the Boy Scouts allowed no gay people in their ranks. Yet, guess what? They had a molestation problem which they covered up for decades. Who were the molesters? Men identified by their families, themselves, their churches, and their communities as heterosexual.

    here are some quotes form Dr. Nicholas groth, one of the foremost experts on child sexual abuse in the world.

    ” (Paul) Cameron misrepresents my findings and distorts them to advance his
    homophobic views. I make a very clear distinction in my writing between
    pedophilia and homosexuality, noting that adult males who sexually victimize
    young boys are either pedophilic or heterosexual, and that in my research I
    have not found homosexual men turning away from adult partners to children.
    I consider this totally unprofessional behavior on the part of Dr. Cameron
    and I want to bring this to your attention. He disgraces his profession.” – Dr.
    A. Nicholas Groth in letter written to the Nebraska Board of Examiners of
    Psychologists on August 21, 1984

    “Reflectin­g the results of these and other studies, the mainstream view among researcher­s and profession­als who work in the area of child sexual abuse is that
    homosexual and bisexual men do not pose any special threat to children. For
    example, in one review of the scientific literature­, noted authority Dr.
    A. Nicholas Groth wrote:

    Are homosexual adults in general sexually attracted to children and are
    preadolesc­ent children at greater risk of molestatio­n from
    homosexual adults than from heterosexu­al adults? There is no reason to
    believe so. The research to date all points to there being no significan­t
    relationsh­ip between a homosexual lifestyle and child molestatio­n.
    There appears to be practicall­y no reportage of sexual molestatio­n
    of girls by lesbian adults, and the adult male who sexually molests young boys
    is not likely to be homosexual (Groth & Gary, 1982, p. 147).”

    This is commonly available information, yet Perkins continues to lie and demonize innocent gay men to advance his political, monetary, dominionist, and religious goals.

    These issues are far more complex than the gender of the individuals involved. Perkins takes advantage of that fact to spread his lies. And frankly, if you continue to support him, then you are no better than you ought ot be.

  42. Thanks, Ben. That’s a good start. You claimed a lot of things that may be true; but do you have specific quotes and studies you are referencing? Without that, they don’t mean much. I could say the same kind of things back to you, but they wouldn’t carry much weight if I didn’t have any references.

  43. Yeah. After the snacilbupeR get done bringing other parts of government down to their level, Democrats will have to clean up after them . . . again.

  44. Anyone remembers when the catholic church ruled the state and had political power? Thats why we had the Dark Age

  45. Re: “Whereas there have been a few Christians who go out of their way to become martyrs, it is a minuscule percentage …” 

    Not true. There are a ton of Christians in the US who think the removal of nativities from town hall lawns is part of an effort to destroy Christianity and wipe them out. They can’t possibly have reached such an asinine and ridiculous conclusion if they didn’t already have an inherent desire to be persecuted for Jesus. It’s simply not possible for that much paranoia to be as common as it is, otherwise.

    Re: “Christian reaction to the removal of nativity scenes and prayer in public schools has nothing to with a delusion or a fear that Christians or Christianity will be wiped out.”

    Of course it does! Many of the proponents of “the War on Christmas” trope, such as Bill O’Reilly, have openly said so.

    Re: “The reaction is because Christians feel they have a right to express themselves in public just like anyone else does.”

    They have the right to express themselves … as long as they don’t use government property to do so. Go ahead and put up nativities on your own lawns, or church lawns, or go buy some property there, clear it, and put it there. Just don’t use government to do so.

    That said, I fail to comprehend why Christians view it as necessary to express their piety in public, when their own Jesus clearly and unambiguously ordered them never to do so. It’s right there, in black and white, in the Bibles they say they revere:

    “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” (Mt 6:1-6)

    I would think, based on this teaching, that Christians wouldn’t want to make their piety a public issue. They ought, by all rights, to do the opposite … i.e. keep their faith as private as possible. But then, what could a cynical, cold-hearted, godless agnostic heathen like myself possibly know about such important and sacred matters?

  46. I like your interest in Christianity, PsiCop. Would that we all had your background and knowledge.
    However, I still think you are misinterpreting the actions of most Christians.
    Try asking any Christian you know if they enjoy being persecuted or desire to be martyrs.

    But being upset about the removal of prayer and nativity scenes is a long ways from martyrdom. Over the years, Christians have faced repeated, constant attempts to remove Christianity from the public square, and it has intensified the past eight years. Tell me why a U.S. citizen should not be able to voice or express their opinions because they are Christians. We don’t ask that of Muslims, LGBT people, climate change advocates, those at the Women’s March, etc. It seems to be reserved to Christians.

    And where in the constitution or second amendment does it say that we can’t have religious things on public property? The Founding Fathers weren’t guarding against religion; they were guarding against setting up one church as the national church (as was the case then in England). On the contrary, almost all of our Founding Fathers spoke of the necessity of religion, morals, civility if a democracy is going to work.

    You are right, though, that we shouldn’t be “practicing our righteousness before men to be noticed by them.” That’s not a very good motive. But it doesn’t mean that we can’t pray in public or express our views in public. After all, Jesus did that regularly, as did his followers. It’s important to look at the Bible as a whole when you quote it, not just pick out passages here and there.

    I feel a little bad about arguing with you PsiCop since you describe yourself as a cynical, cold-hearted, godless agnostic heathen. You seem to have more interest in important and sacred matters than 99% of people. And that’s a good thing.

  47. Thanks for sending this, Ben. Is there any way you can send, or refer me to, FRC’s complete original statements that you have issue with? You have a little bit of what they say, with no context, but the rest is what you or others are saying in reply. I want to know where to find what you say FRC is saying so that I can read it for myself. Is it somewhere on their website?

  48. It is on their website. I barely scratched the surface of what they had to say. Most of it what simply a distortion, if not an outright lie.

    The biggest one being that a man who molests boys is a homosexual, and that is the same thing as your average gay man on the street.

    No. A man molesting a boy says nothing about the sexual orientation of either, much less the intentions of all gay men. And it goes beyond a mere distortion when it seeks to blame all gay men for the actions of, say, Terry Beane.

    It’s rather amazing that a man molesting a boy is used to slander, revile, and malign all gay people. But a man molesting a girl does not impugn all heterosexual men, even though the majority of molestation in man-on-girl-child, and SHE most likely his daughter.

  49. Okay. I will look at some more of their website, maybe Monday or Tuesday. Got to take Sunday off to regain my sanity. By the way, what is a dominionist? I still haven’t figured that one out.

  50. Dominionist is someone who feels that his religious beliefs, or more accurately, his purely theological concerns, should be a part of the civil law that governs all of us, especially those who do not share his religious beliefs.

    For example, you might google seven mountains and find out all about it. Those who follow the seven mountain mandate believe that, in order for Christ to return to earth, the church must take control of the seven major spheres of influence in society for the glory of Christ.

    It is amazing how political power is sought to enforce socioare.igioaplitical beliefs on people who don’t share them.

  51. I understand now what dominionist is, Ben. It sounds like it is a step below theocracy. Neither dominionism nor theocracy is good. The only country I can think of right off hand which has a theocracy is Iran, though there may be others.

    I also checked out the seven mountain mandate. Started by a guy named Lance Wallnau, whom I have never heard of. And I have never heard of any Christian espousing his views, and I have been a Christian for 44 years. I’m sure he has followers, but not many, thank goodness.

    One thing he does say, though, I think would be true of any group. Any ideology, whether it’s Christian, Muslim, homosexual, abortion rights advocates, immigration, climate change, are all going to try to influence the areas of culture that he mentions — government, education, economics, etc. That’s only normal.
    And wouldn’t we say that that is one of the reasons for and consequences of elections? One of the reasons Trump became president is that enough people felt like they were being forced to accept Obama’s agenda for the past eight years, and they didn’t like it. The same thing will happen to Trump if he governs from an extreme position.

    Today, I was able to look at a few of the FRC statements on their website regarding homosexuality. I can’t say I agree 100% with what they say (when do we ever agree with anyone 100%?), but I didn’t see the distortions and hate, etc. that you mentioned. Of course, I am looking at it through my lens and filters, you are looking at it through yours.

    What I did see was their basis for disagreement with what you believe, and your basis for disagreement with what they believe. The two of you are miles apart and so you won’t see eye to eye on much, if anything.

    FRC did list a lot of sources for their opinions and beliefs, which was helpful, though I am sure there is debate as to whether the numerous sources are trustworthy or not. That’s a whole different argument; but at least they are trying to give facts for what they think to be true. There are probably similar sources for your sides of the arguments, though I wouldn’t be sure where to find them.

    I’m trying to look at yours, and other’s comments, on this comments page with an open mind. Not sure if I’m being successful. If I find that FRC is a hate group, I would repudiate them immediately. Disagreement is fine, and inevitable; debate is good and needed; hatred closes us to the legitimate points the other side may have.

  52. I’m not looking at the FRC lies about gay men through any filter but FACT. I told you what the facts were. Not a single reputable expert or professional organization on the subject of child sexual abuse agrees with the FRC.

    NOT ONE.

    And no decent human being would accept demonizing an entire group of people based upon the alleged behaviors and obvious distortion of research of a few members of the group.

    NOT ONE.

    Your average catholic priest is a far great threat to any child than your average gay man. The vast majority of child molestation is committed either by confirmed pedophiles, whose interest is primarily children, or by the father, step-father, or father surrogate to those children. THIS IS A FACT confirmed by virtually every expert in the field. This is not a mere difference of opinion, or a difference of interpretation, or something that one can feign indifference to. It is a deliberate slander and lie in a long line of deliberate slanders and lies intending to demonize and dehumanize other people, and to make them into a threat to children.

    But here you go. Here is a link to an article which pretty much destroys any credibility that the FRC has on this subject. Do what you like with it.

    http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/Articles/000,002.htm

  53. Thanks, Ben. Interesting article even though it is quite old. Do you have any recent ones that show more up-to-date statistics from neutral sources?

    On another note: It seems you have been gay for many years and are an ardent defender of it.? Would you encourage other men and women to check it out?

  54. Bob, these ARE neutral sources. This bit of research and analysis comports with all of the rest of the research and analysis put out by experts in the field. Nothing has changed. I did this research myself 40 years ago, and NOTHING HAS CHANGED. But there wasn’t as much information available then as there is now.If you must seek further validation, you can go to the websites of the American Psychological Assn. American Psychiatric assn., and the American Academy of pediatrics– but not the American College of Pediatricians, a sound-alike front group of hyper conservative Christians.

    As for your other question.

    “It seems you have been gay for many years ” I have ALWAYS been gay. I knew I was gay when I was THREE. I didn’t know what it was or what it meant, but I knew. The same is true for the vast majority of gay people I have known.

    “and are an ardent defender of it.?” I am an ardent defender of my right to live my life authentically, as I am made, and not according to the beliefs, lies, and myths of other people who are ignorant on the subject. I am a citizen, a taxpayer, a law-abiding, productive, contributing member of my community. I expect to be treated like that, equally before the law. I am an ardent defender of our gay children, who have the right to grow up as I have grown up, and to live their lives authentically, as THEY are made, without the crippling self hatred taught to them by homobigoted religion, which teaches them to despise themselves and live crippled lives, and which advocates destroyed lives, destroyed families, and destroyed careers. My brother, dead now 15 years by murder or suicide or both, was such a one, taught to despise the finest part of himself– his ability to love and be loved. My loss and his death are things I WILL NOT FORGIVE. Nor will I forgive the suicides of so many young people.

    ” Would you encourage other men and women to check it out?” Bob, really. You need to educate yourself, or to stop pretending that you are not educated. People are not gay because they decided to “try it out.” Now are they gay because they were molested into it, or saw to many Judy Garland movies, or are atheists, or lost their morals, or had improper parenting, or any of the other myths and stories the hyper-religious and the professionally antigay tell themselves to justify their malicious treatment of innocent people whose only crime is to exist.
    That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.

  55. Informative answer, Ben. Thank you. I don’t agree with all you said, but it’s good to know where you are coming from.
    You keep saying that your sources, the ones that you agree with and that agree with you, are neutral; and all others are biased and bigoted and in error. But doesn’t the other side say the same? We all quote sources that we like and bash ones that we don’t like. Maybe there is no way to come to agreement on whose research/reports are right.

    I’m sorry to hear about your brother. Whatever happened to him wasn’t good and shouldn’t have happened. And you have a right to be angry.
    At the same time, for your own good, try to forgive. You have probably heard the saying that hate is like someone who drinks poison and expects the other person to die. Unforgiveness kills us inside, not the other person/s.

    No, I’m not educated very well in this matter. Just like you aren’t very well educated in Christianity. But I’m learning a few things from you.
    I think, though, that you are misrepresenting most Christians, just as you say anti-gay people misrepresent homosexuals when they take one case or one bad person and generalize about all homosexuals.

    There are Christians who are bigoted against gays. I can’t say I know any personally, but I have heard. I think they are a small minority, just like those who believe in dominionism. As I said before, just because Christians or others disagree with homosexuality doesn’t mean they hate the people involved. Just because they believe that homosexuality is unhealthy in many ways doesn’t mean that they consider gay people subhuman or evil.

    When you talk about “the crippling self hatred taught to them (children) by homobigoted religion, which teaches them to despise themselves and live crippled lives, and which advocates destroyed lives, destroyed families, and destroyed careers,’ that’s foreign talk to me. I have never heard that from any religious person. If that happens, it’s wrong.

  56. Look, bob.

    I’ve tried to educate you. These are not alternative facts, these are actual facts. What do you have on the anti-gay “gays are dangerous to children” side? Anti-gay organizations. what do you have on the other side? Respected professional groups, analyses that show the fallacies of the anti gays, quotations from actual experts in the field, not minister pretending to be politicians and vice versa like Tony Perkins. If you truly think there is no possible truth to be found, then you simply don’t wish to see it.

    “I think, though, that you are misrepresenting most Christians, just as you say anti-gay people misrepresent homosexuals when they take one case or one bad generalization…” I’m not talking about MOST CHRISTIANS. Every poll– there are those pesky facts again– show that most Christians to not ascribe to antigay ideology. But antigay organizations that accrue power and money by disseminating lies and prejudice at our expense are people I AM talking about.

    “As I said before, just because Christians or others disagree with homosexuality doesn’t mean they hate the people involved. Just because they believe that homosexuality is unhealthy in many ways doesn’t mean that they consider gay people subhuman or evil.

    ” You can’t “disagree with homosexuality” anymore than you can disagree with pizza or air. It is a fact. And their “beliefs” about homosexuality and what it means to be gay have nothing actually to do with the lives of me or anyone I have ever known. I feel just fine. And it’s not their beliefs, however erroneous and fact free they may be, that are the real problem. It’s the actions they take, including insisting that their beliefs about my life have a thing to do with the reality of my life.
    Sodomy laws, don’t ask don’t tell, anti adoption laws, anti-marriage campaigns wherein we are called threats to everything good and holy, anti-anti discrimination laws permitting discrimination on the basis of religious belief in this case AND THIS CASE ONLY– this is their evil, this is their hate. And I’m not going to excuse it because they allege it is their “sincere religious belief.” It’s one thing to believe homosexuality is a sin. What they do is quite another.
    as for the rest of it, you are simply seeing what you wish to see, and not what is in front of you. Read the republican platform, heavily influenced by Perkins and his ilk. Read what perkins had to say about same-sex child molestation, and then read what actual experts in the field have to say.
    but if you are not prepared to give up your own prejudices, don’t bother. I’m not going to try an educate you any further, myself. I have my productive, happy, HEALTHY life to live.

  57. Okay, Ben. You’re right, we aren’t going to get much further in this discussion. I’m trying to look at both sides, whereas you have looked at both sides and have discounted the side that you don’t agree with.

    I know you wouldn’t like anything from NARTH, even if they quote Andrew Sullivan and some of your other friends.
    http://rossolson.org/homosexuality/causes_narth.html

    Regardless, thanks for your time and effort. I know it’s been a bit frustrating for you, but at least I do understand your position a bit more. And I do hope your life continues to be happy, productive, and healthy.

  58. Bob, let’s stop pretending.

    There are not two equally valid sides to this argument. There is a side with facts, and there is a side with prejudice, ideology, lies, and distortions.

    The very fact that you would go to NARTH is a fairly good indication that you long ago made up your mind on the subject but are pretending to be open and honest in the spirit of open and honest inquiry.

    Andrew sullivan is a political writer, and a crappy one at that. He is not one of my friends. Jeffrey satinover earns his living by attacking gay people, as does NARTH and FRC. They have no interest in facts, logic, or experience.

    In an interview with Marvin Olasky for World magazine, longtime exgay movement pundit Dr. Jeffrey Satinover argues that because:
    homosexuality is not a uniform attribute across individuals,
    sexual attraction fluctuates, and homosexuality cannot easily be measured…

    therefore sexual orientation is a fiction and it is, Satinover argues, ludicrous to allow civil rights for a group of people whose condition does not exist.

    Civil rights are ludicrous, but denying them is just being a good Christian. Religious belief is also not a uniform attribute across individuals, religious belief fluctuates, and religious belief cannot be easily measured. Are you saying that civil rights protections for religious belief are ludicrous? Would satinover say that?

    somehow, I don’t think so.

    THAT IS THE PERSON YOU ARE QUOTING. IF YOU MADE THE SAME STATEMENTS ABOUT HETEROSEXUALITY– WHICH YOU CAN BECAUSE THEY ARE EQUALLY TRUE– AND THEN ARGUED HETEROSEXUALITY DOESN’T EXIST, HE AND EVERYONE ELSE WOULD LAUGHT AT YOU.

    In short, you are not being honest, and haven’t been honest from the get-go, from the very first statement you made. Do you really think I haven’t encountered you and your type repeatedly in the 45 years I’ve been in this fight? You are no innocent, seeking for truth. You are far too well “researched”– and how I hate to pervert that word by applying it to your screeds– you know too many of the buzzwords of the Religious Reich, not to know exactly what you are saying. Your pretense is that of all propagandists– to convince the ignorant, the weak minded, the foolish, and the easily led, to quote one of my very favorite super-super Christians.

    You are not an honest person. As far as I can tell, you are not even a nice person. Just another antigay bigot, trying to harm people under the guise of your faith.

    This conversation is over.

  59. Add the World Congress of Families (WCF) to the list of anti-LGBT hate groups identified by the SPLC. Lots of Trump supporters also support that one.

  60. When people in those groups conflate CDC reports to make the big reductions in death by AIDS look like an even bigger pandemic than the one caused by social conservative inaction under Reagan, conflating those same stats to appear to be a top killer when more people died by gunfire and twice as many people die in cars every year in America, they most certainly qualify as haters, not truthseekers or anyone good or honorable. Liars who lie for the specific purpose of harming others are Biblically evil individuals and no amount of Bible-thumping can save them from themselves. They are lost souls.

  61. Absolutely. If you are not following my comments to Bob, do so now.

  62. Or will he be like Nixon’s Attorney General and have to resign under fire sometime down the road?

  63. And if oyu don’t mind, I think I’ll steal your post.

  64. The FRC operates the same way most hallelujah hypocrite hate groups do, they take research done by other people for other purposes and then issue “new” studies based on that unrelated or only tangentially related data. For example, studies done in other nations with generations of socialized medicine and longer histories of progressive attitudes toward same-sex couples have government studies on parenting that include same-sex couples as parents. In those studies, same-sex couples rank right below heterosexual couples who married before having their own biological children in overall parenting success.

    While only about 25% of either gay couples or lesbian couples have children in the home (the rate is 29% in Utah), they are generally very conscientious, dedicated parents who make a lot of personal sacrifices to be parents. The same real studies credit the shared choice to parent and often over-preparation to do right by the kids is what ultimately leads to their success as parents. The become very OCD about doing parenting right.

    Whether the children are the biological children of one of the same-sex partners, or are blends of children by both in past heterosexual relationships, are the products of surrogate mothers, or are adopted, the children appear to grow up with most of the same personal advantages of kids who grow up in stable, heterosexual two-parent families. Family stability is a greater issue than the genders of the parents.

    While some blended heterosexual families are very successful, others are not. LGBT couples statistically have better end results in terms of the adult successes of their kids than blended heterosexual couples. Both of those groups do better than single-parent families. The worst performing parents are single with a live-in lover who is not related to the children and may be a non-permanent domestic partner.

    But the FRC manipulates such data to make LGBT families look bad by conflating numbers, playing mix and match in ways never intended by the original authors of such studies, and then claim the original studies “prove” their inserted, plagiarized conclusions.

  65. Ben, I haven’t been dishonest. I have been clear about my Christianity and clear that I disagree with you. But I don’t pretend that people who are opposed to the acceptance of homosexuality have all the answers and are always right.

    You aren’t even open to considering another viewpoint than your own, that someone else may have some truth that you don’t. In fact, you don’t even think that anyone could have a different viewpoint. If they do, they are bigoted dishonest, hateful, and on and on. Any research that doesn’t support your beliefs is automatically anti-gay and bigoted. As you say, “there is a side with facts, and there is a side with prejudice, ideology, lies, and distortions.” That doesn’t show much of an openness to truth.

    And, no, I am not well researched or I would be able to counteract your arguments much more easily. I happened to come across NARTH years ago, and have read a little bit of Richard Cohen’s book “Coming Out Straight.” That’s about it.

    By the way, please don’t tell me you agree with the decision by the state of Washington to force the florist to provide flowers for a gay wedding. Then I will begin to wonder if you have any tolerance.

  66. Please bob. Spare me.

    “But I don’t pretend that people who are opposed to the acceptance of homosexuality have all the answers and are always right.” and yet, you go to the very worst of the professional antigay and keep defending what is obvious crap.

    “You aren’t even open to considering another viewpoint than your own, that someone else may have some truth that you don’t.” Let’s start with YOU: a conservative, putatively heterosexual Christian male who, by his own admission, doesn’t know much about the subject. What is it that you are going to tell me about MY life, or the lives of millions of people just like me? What truth do YOU have about me?

    And given your ignorance, ignorance which you STILL profess in the face of many challenges to its obvious invincibility, exactly how qualified are YOU to judge the “truth” proposed by professional bigots? What truths do NARTH and FRC have about my life? These are people who make their livings demonzing gay people, lying about us, calling us threats to everything good and holy, investing hundreds of millions of dollars trying their best to criminalize, pathologize, and sinnerize us out of society? Their lies are well known, have been repeated and recycled in some cases for centuries, and have been shown repeatedly to be lies, contradicted by actual experts who actually know something about the subject at hand, professional societies, and anyone with a heart mind or soul not irretrievably poisoned by hate, ignorance, stupidity, and toxic religion.

    Your silly ploy on the child molestation issue is a case in point for everything THEY DONT KNOW, -and everything they are will to pervert, twist, distort, and lie about.

    Yes, bob, I do know a great deal about my life, and a great deal about homosexuality, as well as about religion, psychology, and medicine. I have listened to these bigots for my entire life. I’m not willing to consider what they have to say not because I am an ideologue. Not because I am not open to the truth. but because these people are colossally ignorant, colossally bigoted, colossally filled with hate and despite, colossal grifters of the worst sort. and colossal LIARS?

    AND THEY EARN THEIR LIVINGS BY DOING ALL OF THAT. THEY HAVE BEEN EARNING THEIR LIVINGS BY DOING THAT. AND AS LONG AS THERE ARE STUPID, IGNORANT, BIGOTED, FEARFUL, CONFUSED, ILLOGICAL PEOPLE LIKE YOU TO SUPPORT THEM, THEY WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO.

    I know what the truth is. It is my life, and the lives of thousands of people I know, and millions of people all over the planet who are just like me.

    LEt’s go to the KKK and ask them about black people. they might know something black people dont. LEt’s go to the Nazis, and ask them about the Jews. After all, it’s an alternative opininion. Maybe we can asks Baptists about Catholics, or demon worshipping Hindus, or Jesus rejecting Muslims. The non baptisms might eat their babies. After all, it’s something to consider.

    RIchard Cohen? The guy who hits pillow with a tennis racket, screams out Mommmmmeeeeee!!!!!, holding his male clients most inappropriately, and calls it therapy? If he weren’t so pathetically, obviously disturbed, it would be even funnier than it is. Except that it isn’t funny, because people like you say, “Gee whiz! He might know something!”

    Let me put it this way. I have often said that How you read the Bible is very much dependent on the kind of person you are. The Bible doesn’t make you a bigot; the Bible just tells you it’s all right to be the bigot you are. Likewise, the kind of information you gather about people you don’t know, know nothing about, and who have done you and intend you no harm is also dependent on the kind of person you are. Your research doesn’t make you an ignorant bigot. It just justifies your preconceived ideas.

    This conversation is indeed over, Bob.

  67. Ben, you have a tremendous ability for projection. All of your inner stuff gets projected on those who disagree with you. Instead of having a civil discussion, you turn to name calling to protect and justify your position. Everyone on the other side becomes ” colossally ignorant, colossally bigoted, colossally filled with hate and despite, colossal grifters of the worst sort. and colossal LIARS”

    For some reason you are defensive and have to attack the other person to show how bad they are. I don’t know if you imagine that everyone hates you and is sitting around thinking all kinds of bad things about you.
    It’s just a fact of life that some people disagree with you, people who have honestly looked at all sides of the issue, who have done or read all kinds of research, who have had experience on both sides of the fence.
    But you automatically discount them because they don’t align with what you need to hear.

    You want everyone in the world to listen to what you have to say, but you aren’t willing to listen to others. You have to disparage them instead in order to protect yourself. My perception of you is that you seem to be a decent person.

  68. Bull bleep, Bob. Talk about projection? It’s what you are doing right now.

    I have been listening to you bigots my entire life. I know who you are and what you think. I have seen the damage you and your kind inflict on people have done nothing to deserve it. It’s not a question of disagreement, or opinions, or beliefs different than mine. It’s a question of facts, logic, and experience versus ideology, lies, and hate.
    Apparently, you prefer to embrace the latter. And that’s your choice.

    And mostly, it’s a matter of people like you, people who know absolutely nothing about my life or gay people general, telling me what I know isn’t true, what I know are lies, what I know a grifting attempts to capitalize off prejudice. You didn’t address any of that.

    Here’s a parallel example for you. If I as a muslim tried to explain to you how wrong it is, this blasphemous idea that The One true God had a son, and that ‘believing” in this son, whatever that means, was just further blasphemy of the worst sort, you would be sparing no effort to tell me just how wrong I am, and probably, I will burn in hell for not believing what you believe. And oyu would point ot your holy book as proof.

    The difference is, science is not a holy book. you are defending baseless bigotry as if it were just a matter of opinion.

    Enough.

  69. Hey, Ben. I missed you this weekend. I had to help my wife with her anti-human trafficking work, and do a few other things.
    I want to make a quick reply to a couple of your points.

    You are right that I know nothing about you, except the little that you mentioned. But I do know and have known a good number of gay people. As far as I remember, I liked them all and they liked me. That doesn’t mean we saw eye to eye on everything, but we got along well.
    I wish I knew more about you, and you knew more about me, but it’s not easy via email.

    Your Muslim parallel has potential, and I’m sure the type of conversation you imagine has happened somewhere at some time, but rarely. I am sure that you know in many Muslim countries that there are stiff penalties, if not death, for those who try to convert Muslims to another religion. Same thing if they say anything negative about the prophet Muhammed. There isn’t much freedom of religion in those countries, except for Muslims. And you also are aware that thousands of Christians have been executed solely for being Christians.

    In contrast, in this country, anyone can state their religious or other beliefs openly without fear. Though it is becoming more risky for Christians to openly state their beliefs. The risks increased many fold under our previous president.
    So your parallel breaks down in that sense.

    But, the primary reason it breaks down is that most Christians don’t look upon Muslims, atheists, homosexuals, Buddhists, you name it, as enemies. They are people with the same needs and desires as us.

    When I read the Bible, I’m not reading it to find out how bad others are so I can condemn them and hate them. When I read it, I see how my own life doesn’t measure up to what it could and should be. And, the more I let God into my life, the more I see my sins and weaknesses. Probably that’s why St. Paul, maybe the person closest to Jesus ever, could call himself “the chief os sinners.” He wasn’t judging others; he was judging himself.

  70. Our pastor is always focused on evangelism and the Gospel. Hopefully this will get him to spend more money and time on the real issues of our society – the evils of big government and our rights to own a gun. Go Trump!

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