Wisconsin priest tells parishioners he’s gay, gets ovation

The Rev. Gregory Greiten. Photo courtesy of St. Bernadette Catholic Parish

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest in Milwaukee has come out as gay, writing that he will no longer live in the shadows of secrecy and plans to be authentic to his gay self.

The Rev. Gregory Greiten disclosed his sexual orientation on Sunday (Dec. 17) to the St. Bernadette Parish and was greeted with a standing ovation from his parishioners, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. He also wrote a column that was published Monday in the National Catholic Reporter.

It’s rare for a priest to come out. Greiten said he revealed his sexual orientation because he wants to be a role model for others. He said he’s helping to break the silence of gay men in the clergy so he could reclaim his own voice.

“I will embrace the person that God created me to be,” Greiten wrote. “In my priestly life and ministry, I, too, will help you, whether you are gay or straight, bisexual or transgendered, to be your authentic self — to be fully alive living in your image and likeness of God.”

Greiten wrote that has decided to stand with the “few courageous priests who have taken the risk to come out of the shadows and have chosen to live in truth and authenticity.”

The church’s silent stance on gay priests perpetuates toxic shaming and systematic secrecy, Greiten wrote. The church needs healthy role models for priests who are struggling to come to terms with their sexual orientation, he said.

Greiten met with Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki before coming out, according to an archdiocese spokeswoman.

“We support Father Greiten in his own personal journey and telling his story of coming to understand and live with his sexual orientation,” Listecki said in a statement Monday. “As the Church teaches, those with same-sex attraction must be treated with understanding and compassion.”

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  • Good for him. No one should stay in the closet. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being gay, it is a normal part of the spectrum of human sexuality.

  • Meanwhile, this guy has just wiped out his own ministry. He’s trapped. Not because he experiences gay temptations, after all those are common to humanity (1 Cor. 10:13)…

    … But instead for choosing to abandon his own Bible, choosing to deny the great power and promises of his own God and Christ (again, 1 Cor. 10:13), and publicly choosing Gay-Self-Identity as his new lord and savior and bible. Now THAT’s a trap.

    He’s even parroting the debunked lie that God “made him gay.” That’s a very long fall off the cliff. And his congregation and bishop are already comatose.

    But it’s not too late for him. Nothing’s too hard for God (Jer. 32:27). It’s not over yet, even though NOW he’s in a horrific, foggy minefield. Only Christ can extricate him.

  • I remember these sick clerics. too, from more than 60 years ago when I was age 10. Thank God for open-mindedness, i.e. a willingness to consider new information and insights, arguments, observation, friendships, etc.

  • “Debunked lie”? You are really on a roll.. And for some reason, I am finding you particularly annoying – perhaps a lack of Christmas spirit on your part and generosity on mine. Regardless, you have elevated that gay thing way beyond its significance – especially for a priest who has taken vows of celibacy. And if nothing is too hard for God, then why not Paul’s thorn in the flesh? I think the point is that because one part may be believed to be true, it doesn’t necessarily follow that God will subsequently do anything.

  • Interesting phrase there, Joseph. Perhaps if Fr. Grieten had just continued to hang in there with “Good God Almighty”, he’s still have a Jesus salvation, healing, and Bible-teaching ministry to offer his parishioners!!

  • What? You are happy & comfortable with the sobering, grim news of enslavement that has befallen Fr. Grieten’s mind & heart? No way.

    You are happy with a man of God publicly rejecting Christ’s clear identity for one’s life as described in Gal. 2:20 and choosing to worship a totally alien Gay-Self-Identity instead? No way.

    Hey, we’re both glad he chooses celibacy IF he chooses it. (Re-read the article Linda; at NO point does Grieten say anything regarding celibacy).

    But that’s only one aspect. He has already parroted the debunked lie that God made him gay. He’s walking a dark minefield — and inviting other SSA-afflicted people to miss Christ’s rescue. (P.S. Paul’s thorn is NOT a sin habit. Paul makes this totally clear in Rom. 6:1-2 and 1 Cor. 10:13.)

  • Some people are gay. There’s nothing at all wrong with being gay. You can either come to grips with those facts, or carry on as per usual. Makes no difference to me. You do your thing, floydlee. Hope you have a lovely holiday season.

  • I think you are jumping to conclusions. A person’s sexual orientation is one thing; what he or she does is another. I think the priest’s congregation gave him a standing ovation because they admired his honesty. As a result of his honesty he will be more closely watched to make sure that he does not stray from his vows.

  • Hey, you sincerely have a good holiday too!

    (And yes, I am already doing my factual thing. It’s what I do!)

  • That’s why I said to Linda that we’ll both be glad about his celibacy — IF he chooses celibacy. There’s totally no word from Fr. Grieten as to where he stands now, AND no word from the church or bishop on where they stand either.

    (And how would they insist on choosing celibacy while abandoning the Bible’s / Catechism’s teachings on homosexuality?)

    So it’s complete radio silence, except that Grieten HAS abandoned both the Bible & the Catechism on his newly chosen Gay-Self-Identity. And intends to help SSA-afflicted people to do same. Grieten HAS started down the dark road, that is for certain. Where will he lead his flock, and his SSA’s? Wolfpack ahead?

  • Thank you for your very kind holiday wishes. Wishing all the same to you and yours for health and happiness!

  • The REST of LISTECKI’S STATEMENT: “As priests who have made a promise to celibacy, we know that every week there are people in our pews who struggle with the question of homosexuality.”
    Had Greiten stated he was no long celibate, he would have been, at the very least, removed from ministry like Fr. Krzysztof Charamsa who was fired from the Vatican two years ago after announcing he had a partner.

  • I don’t think people choose to have homosexual desires, any more than people choose to have heterosexual desires. I think this priest is simply being honest about himself. Yes, this is a challenging thing for him to say, but in saying that he is gay he is not necessarily saying that he has acted on his desires. After all, he took a vow not to.

    I don’t know where the truth might lie, and to be frank, I don’t want to know. However, it’s going a bit far to say that he has become a snare and a trap for those who are same sex attracted. This might be the effect on some. On the other hand, he may help to break down prejudice against gays. Or he might have both effects.

    There is also a third possibility: that society is moving away from the old anti-homosexual prejudices of the past and simply accepting homosexuality as a normal feature of human sexuality. In this development, this priest is simply a part of a much wider social movement.

  • I am an atheist, and I am not homophobic, but it seems a little queer to be gay and belong to an organization that says homosexuality is an abomination. But I cannot call him a pure hypocrite if most priests that join the “all boys club” are also homosexual. Also, it should not matter if you are straight or gay if you have taken a vow of celibacy, as they all have to struggle with waking up with an erection. Those hormones are there for a reason and influence your thought process. Is masturbation a homosexual act?

  • These things must happen that armageddon can spread throughout the world and then the end of the planet comes. He has already converted his congregation and they will convert all that they know. This how the end comes.

  • What did Moses, Jesus, or Muhammad say about homosexuality? Please be specific! It does not even mention it in God’s Ten Moral Commandments. God was more concerned about his ego:

    1. You shall have no other gods before me. (Jealous) (Egotistic)

    2. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God. (Jealous and Egotistic)

    3. Thou shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. (Egotistic)

    4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. (Egotist) (One day a week, just for me “the Lord your God”)

    Are those your first moral commandments????

  • And if he announced that he was straight would you make sure to “more closely” watch or protect your wife and daughters behinds around him because of his sexual orientation??

  • That was excellent! I would leave out the sarcasm at the end, as it weakens your otherwise excellent statement.

  • ” God was more concerned about his ego”

    It’s fascinating to observe the similarities between God and Trump. It explains a lot about their warshipers.

  • The response of Father Greiten’s courageous announcement is an encouraging reminder that the core values of Catholic social teaching remain alive among lay Catholics. Ireland, a nation that is heavily Catholic, and Australia, a nation in which Catholics constitute the largest religious group, both strongly welcomed marriage equality and voted to make room for their LGBTQ brothers and sisters in their nations — because of the deeply traditional core value of Catholic social teaching that calls for us to reach out to those on the margins of society and bring them into social participation.

    Jesus never said a single word about homosexuality. He could not have done so. The word was coined only in the latter half of the 19th century. The concept to which it points was not in the thought world of those who wrote the scriptures.

    The bizarre fixation on condemnation of homosexuality as a central preoccupation of Jesus and the biblical writers reflects the bizarre fixation of a group of contemporary Christians who have clearly lost sight of the central thread of the Jewish and Christian scriptures, which is the call to love tenderly, do justice, and walk humbly with God.

    When Jesus speaks of how we will be judged at the end of our lives, he never once says anything about homosexuality or about sexuality at all. He says that we will be judged according to whether we recognized and responded to him in the least among us.

    It is sad commentary on many Christian leaders at present (and the Catholic bishops of the U.S., who have made common cause with right-wing evangelicals in their attack on LGBTQ human beings, belong in this group) that they have substituted for the central message of the gospels something that is not even there — a mean-spirited, hateful preoccupation with condemning people made LGBTQ by God, which is driving huge percentages of younger people out of the churches.

    As it should do, since this preoccupation represents the very opposite of the good news proclaimed by Christ.

  • Such a weird situation. You would think if these folks – the priest and his supporters – would actually think critically they would pick up their belongings and leave the church and meet outside and talk and then never enter the Church again. But they are sheep who don’t understand how their own church works. Well, I take that back, they all think that being gay is okay if and only if you never think about sex or act upon those desires. If they do not believe that is the only way to be acceptably gay and Catholic, then they are silly.

  • I agree. He should have been brave and taken the next logical step of actually leaving the organization that teaches there is nothing called a spectrum of human sexuality or that is it is acceptable to be anything but a sexually repressed celibate person with same-sex attraction disorder.

  • Is there an exclusionary clause on Jeremiah 232:27? Never said Paul’s thorn in the flesh was a sin habit

    And why would he even discuss celibacy – a given for RC priests? In the linked article though He notes his faithfulness to the role. So yes – celibacy is a given understanding.i

    And if you were objective – not a ‘totally debunked lie’. But theologically,that position is the easiest way to address people with a different sexual orientation.

  • Linda, what I hear you saying (and I applaud it):

    “Maybe I’m only dreaming and maybe I’m just a fool
    But I don’t remember learning how to hate in Sunday school.”

    ~ Joan Baez, “Jerusalem”

  • He actually did speak about sexuality— heterosexuality and immorality. Apparently, gay people need far less correction?

    It is not so much sad that the central message of Christianity—the death and resurrection of Jesus— has been lost, but entirely predictable. That’s what happens when power, money, and dominion are the goals of religion, when religion becomes a political party and a political party becomes religion, and when people work out their own issues by paying for it in the easy coin of other people’s lives.

  • You really just can’t help yourself, can you? His congregation stated they don’t care. He has not said he is celibate, but he has not admitted that he is sexually active. And since you cannot become a priest without a calling from god himself, it sounds like Jesus is just fine with him.

    You’re the one with the problem. But we knew that.

  • Good point, as these are the people that are “gleefully happy” that the biblical Jesus suffered a torturous death so that we can all be forgiven for our sins. This is his ticket into heaven and everlasting life.

  • When Jesus speaks of how we will be judged at the end of our lives, he never once says anything about homosexuality …”

    “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus

  • We have nothing of what Jesus wrote or said during his lifetime. You only have second, third accounts, and not written in Jesus language. The original Hebrew scriptures were written when Hebrew did not even have vowels, so you really do not know very much about this time and place.

  • “so you really do not know very much about this time and place.”

    Question — Do you really think that such a comment might somehow influence me in just giving up 25+ years of research; study; personal experience and self-reflection?

    You know peepsqueek, this is a “Religious” forum. You are aware of that…right?

    Easy for an atheist to judge those who hold to a spiritual or religious belief of Creation and an Afterlife. A commercial comes to mind………..maybe you can youtube it. It is a commercial for Busch Beer titled, “Indecisive”. Check it out. Should give you a chuckle.
    Merry Christmas peepsqueek! Peace to you and yours.

    Your ‘avatar’ suits you btw. 😉

  • With the toxic Christianity you promote, Jesus needs no friends like you. Like you, this cleric has already been saved. Perhaps unlike you, he needs no “healing”. Bible-teaching is fine, but how about worship as thanksgiving?

  • Roy, thanks. There IS NO commandment mentioning homosexuality in the law and the prophets. The term (and concept to which it points) was not known to the writers of the biblical texts. It came along centuries after they did.

    We can match bible verse for bible verse and play the dueling-bible-verse game till the cows come home, but nothing will alter that fact — and the fact that the constant insistence of the scriptures is that the law is summed up in the command to love.

    To love, Roy. Not to hate. You’ve gotten it all wrong.

    Good news, Roy. Not hateful, bile-laden bad news.

    You’ve somehow misread what’s there because you’re so intent on imposing what is NOT there on the text, in order to score points against your enemies.

    It’s about love, not hate, Roy.

    “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

    ~ Matthew 22:36-40

    It’s about love, Roy. The law is summed up in the command to love.

    Not to hate.

  • There IS NO commandment mentioning homosexuality in the law and the prophets.

    Lev. 18:22

    ‘You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.” (NASB)

    “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” (ESV, NKJV)

  • William……would you allow your neighbor to willingly continue to remain in an Adulteress Affair? Yes or No.
    Or would you “lovingly” rebuke him and even refuse to fellowship with him if he continued in said ‘adultery’.
    I think you would ‘rebuke’ him and even refuse your hand of friendship. Am I wrong William???

  • Except for those bacon sandwiches and shrimp cocktails and killing the unbelievers in your town and stoning adulterers and no fivorce except for adultery and and and and and and and and…

  • “Easy for an atheist to judge those who hold to a spiritual or religious belief of Creation and an Afterlife.”
    East for a THEIST to judge those who hold to a spiritual or religious belief of creation or an afterlife.”
    As you do all of the time. FIFY.

  • In regards to the word “hate”………..surely William you must understand that “hate” needs explanation/qualification.

    I don’t want to ‘duel’ Scripture either, but you also use the word ‘hate’ loosely.
    God hates Esau…………as an example. “Jacob have I loved; Esau have I hated.” God
    Psalm 139:21 and 139:22.

    A “Righteous” hatred is very real William. So………………be careful how you use ‘words’. The word “hate” needs an explanation/qualification.

    We are to judge with righteous judgment. If I were to allow my brother to continue in the sin of adultery (as an example) and try to justify my action as ‘loving’………………I would be actually hating my brother. Wouldn’t I?

  • Actually, the trio of Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad (associated with the 3 major world religions, yes?) did say some interesting things. NONE of them supported homosexual behavior & gay marriage.

    (And it wasn’t just them: back in the ’80’s, the Thai Buddhists found themselves having to fire some of their official clergy. “They were causing trouble in the temples,” was the, umm, explanation.)

    (Meanwhile, around the same time, the atheistic government of China offered an even better one-liner: “There are no homosexuals in China.”)

    Now I’m not ducking your post. It’s just that there’s so few opportunities to discuss this thing in light of comparative religion.

  • Fixed it for you. Google is your friend.

    Knock other people for their religious beliefs, of course.

  • Did they support any kind of sex outside of marriage? We could take out half the population or more for sinning, strictly speaking.

  • Not really sure about the Thai’s and the Chinese, But again Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad are clearly NOT into either premarital sex or adultery. (Come to think of it, a lotta folks don’t like adultery, not even the gays & lesbians.) As for pre-marital sex:

    Moses and Jesus = Get married first, that’s how God specifically designed you in Genesis. Don’t mess up your inner machinery.

    Mohammad = 100 whips if caught fornicating.

  • The East Asian cultures were around long before Genesis was written, which is only 3,500 years old. Please don’t bring ancient text in the mix, as this why religious people suffer with so much guilt and want everyone else to as well. How is your concept of God running the universe so far? Do you give him an A or an F? Are you happy with the world you live in, or what?

  • In the context of this discussion, it’s important to let inquirers and strugglers know that Paul’s “thorn” which God refused to remove, is NOT some sin habit like homosexual behavior.

    Gay activists are working overtime to sell the twin lies of “God made you gay” and “Once gay always gay” to SSA-afflicted people.

    Somehow they “got to” Fr. Grieten, and now he openly intends to spread the lies — and the temptations — to his flock, whether or not Grieten himself stays celibate. So people need to hear Jeremiah 32:27 and all other Bible antidotes.

    It’s been done repeatedly, but the debunkings of the lies must continue. So many people in the valley of decision.

  • I did sincerely call Fr. Grieten “a man of God”, did I not? Even you have not given such a compliment to him.

    But he is in trouble, not just as a person but as a minister. He has already publicly promised (celibacy or no celibacy, which he leaves all fuzzy), to spread the grim virus and lies that are killing his ministry, to other SSA-afflicted people. A slo-mo Train Wreck.

    So what’s the response? A standing ovation from a comatose church, an unqualified endorsement from a comatose bishop, and a totally one-sided AP Puff-Piece. A mess.

    Even as a gay atheist, you should be seeing some problems there.

  • I do see some problems there. You’d see the same problems if only you used a mirror for anything but a hammer.

  • Give God a letter grade on how well he’s running the Universe today? I can just hear God snickering a little on that one.

    Might as well ask a brainless one-cell amoeba to give NASA a letter grade on how well they executed their 2006 – 2015 mission to Pluto. (Actually that example understates the actual situation by an infinite amount.)

    But no worries. God invites us all to get with Him and “Come let us reason together,” (Isa. 1:18). God ain’t skeered to talk about grade cards, as Job found out. (Anyway, A-plus every day!)

  • Nice dodge to a simple question! How do you think God is doing in your humble opinion? “God is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” Or did you just like the part about “homophobic”?

    Don’t compare yourself to a one celled amoeba which the ancient text says that you were created in God” image.

  • You can “hear God snickering”, but you believe he sits up at nights purring over your flatteries of him in your prayers?

  • I am not sure what an “Adulteress Affair” is, to be honest, Roy.

    My job is to tend to my own sins, not to wag a self-righteous finger at my neighbor and call that a loving action.

    People who fixate on the sins of others often seem to wish to avoid looking into the mirror and examining their own souls — or so it has long seemed to me.

  • Hate needs no explanation, Roy.

    I’m sorry the word causes you to bridle.

    Many younger folks are walking away from the churches right now because the churches have too often become vehicles of toxic hate, and those walking away just cannot stomach the hate disguised as gospel message.

    Or the pretend “love” for poor “sinners” which is all about making those denouncing said “sinners” feel good about themselves in a self-righteous and unholy way . . . . Hate disguised as love is simply not good news in any shape, form, or fashion.

    And the gospel is, in its very essence, about good news centered on real love.

  • Can you please point me to the word “homosexuality” in that biblical text, Roy?

    I’m somehow not seeing it there.

    I have no doubt that you do so. But you’re seeing it there because you want to see it there.

    When you start calling for all the other imperatives of the purity codes of the Jewish scriptures to be enforced by Christians today, I might start taking you seriously: stoning unruly and disobedient children; putting witches to death; forbidding people to wear clothes containging two kinds of fibers, and on and on.

    You’re fixated on what’s not there in the message of Jesus, Roy.

    It’s about love.

    It’s about love as good news and the fulfillment of the entire law.

    When your interest in the bible is in turning it into a lethal weapon to attack and harm other human beings, you’ve spectacularly missed the entire point of the law, the prophets, and Jesus, Roy.

    When all you know of the bible is a selection of weaponized proof texts you’ve snatched out of context in order to hurl at people you wish to harm, you’ve entirely missed the point of the law, the prophets, and Jesus, Roy.

    There’s a reason young folks are walking away from the churches in droves these days. It’s on full display in your comments here.

  • Selective research is not balanced if you do not acknowledge those who legitimately question your absolutes, without getting defensive and couch it as being “judgmental”.

    Your beer commercial reference is funny, but you are being just the opposite when you are absolutely sure that you have the true spoken word of God, and every other faith must have it wrong. Takes a big ego!

  • Talk about Ego! If you really want to have this conversation, email me —
    I’ll delete my email in a few hours. Cheers.

  • Can you please point me to the word “homosexuality” in that biblical text, Roy?
    William……………are you familiar with the famous Professional Tennis Player – John McEnroe?
    He famously said, “YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!”
    See ya man.

  • Last time I did something that stupid, a mental case flooded my mailbox with more BS than ten people could handle. I am fine with having this discussion in a public forum, especially since you are already taking cheap shots at my avatar.

  • I get your point, but the statistical possibility and probability is very low. I remember a case when I was young of a man choosing castration over prison, and his violent nature allowed him to rape a woman with a coke bottle. But these are once in a life time events and I believe in the death penalty for people with this need to terrorize and victimize innocent people, especially children.

  • Still waiting for your proof that the claim ‘born this way’ has been totally debunked for every person that claims to be gay. While I can respect your belief that homosexuality is sinful, in the same way that you assert creationism over evolution,, I still understand that to be a personal belief, albeit. one shared by many Christians. However not supported by unequivocal evidence .

    Perhaps my bias towards believing some people are born gay comes from having to learn to see the image of God in the faces of profoundly physically, mentally and behaviorally handicapped individuals – some of whom represented a variety of genetic disorders but many of whom had a diagnosis of ‘unknown etiology’ in spite of repeated genetic testing.

  • And Jesus certainly had a lot to say about the (lack of) righteousness of the Pharisees. So maybe the meaning in this passage is not what. you think it is.

  • Apparently, gay people need far less correction?
    Thank you Ben. You are exactly right. Thanks for pointing this out. Too bad there are many here who won’t use logic and reason to understand that which you say. Peace Ben.

  • Umm, it’s not “purring.” Purring is for cats.
    God does other things. He will talk to you. He even laughs, smiles and sings (see the link). And whatever praises you give Him, He can back it up with His abilities — so you’re merely just telling Him the truth, no “flattery” at all. How can you possibly remain in atheism when you are getting tremendous offers like this?

    Earlier, you told me not to compare myself to a one-cell amoeba, because “the ancient text” says I’m made in God’s image. Well, “the ancient text” says YOU are made in God’s image too, and you already know you are. So why not cash in, Peep?

  • So you are talking about “the image of God” too, just like Peepsqueak? Okay. But if I were an atheist, I’d say you have NO evidence, no “unequivocal evidence”, of any “image of God” in anybody, because you’ve given no evidence that God exists.

    Except that you indeed ARE doing so. You give empirical witness that you’ve learned to see the image of God in the profoundly disabled, the profoundly inconvenient. You KNOW you are seeing it. You DO have your “unequivocal evidence” on this one issue; you will never deny what you’ve seen.

    Well, all I’m saying is, it’s time for you and me to extend that sense of real-life certainty, to all the OTHER stuff the Bible talks about. That’s why I called Fr. Greiten a man of God. Don’t know anything about him, but we both know he carries the image of God at least, and he still wants to serve Him.

    But the Gay Self Identity has Got To Go. Worship God or worship Gay. Not both. Frieten can’t be a “Man of Gay”. He gotta repent and be a “Man of God.” He gotta walk in the power and promises of the real God — the God that YOU have dealings with.

  • “That’s what happens when power, money, and dominion are the goals of religion, when religion becomes a political party and a political party becomes religion, and when people work out their own issues by paying for it in the easy coin of other people’s lives.”

    That, Ben, is the true message of the book of Revelation. It calls the church in all ages to abstain from participation in and/or resist empire’s acquisitive dominion of everything around it.

    BTW, in posts on another thread you kept hammering on the fact that Jesus called divorce and remarriage adultery if such occurred for anything but adultery. Your complaint was that now Christians have a way of “forgiving” that and allowing the divorced-remarried couple to continue living a married lifestyle, presumably with all the interpersonal activities marriage affords.

    Your implication, I don’t think you stated it directly, was that these “repentant” believers, though asking for forgiveness, are still living in adulterous lifestyle. It seemed you were trying to get the Christian posters to come out and say it themselves. I kept wondering what you were getting at. Now I think I know.

    If Christians will allow for grace in a situation which Jesus clearly named as a sin, such as divorce and remarriage, except for adultery, then why are they so legalistic concern homosexuals who claim Christ, some telling them they are “going to hell” despite their professed trust in Jesus. There is definitely an inconsistency there. Is that what you were getting at?

  • They did indeed set aside many of those commandments, often to adapt to life within the Roman empire. See Mark 7.

  • Well, I would prefer to call it blatant hypocrisy, judging others before one has reached moral perfection oneself, and not treating others as they would like to be treated…

    But yes, that is exactly what I was getting at. Except I would not say they are asking for forgiveness, they are just assuming that forgiveness has been granted, because Jesus seems to be the sock puppet of people who wish to judge others and use their faith as a weapon against them, but don’t want judgment directed at themselves. They always assume that, which allows them to get away with everything they wish to.

  • And here you are again, bringing up sex when no one else did, and claiming it is being shoved down your throat.

    Freudian slippage at its finest.

    Why don’t you just come out of your closeted hell and admit it?

  • Awwww, helll. I guess I just have to.

    Since you were not a parishioner of Father Greiten, I guess you were not on your knees in his church when he made his announcement. Therefore, no
    Huge, throbbing Truth was being shoved down your throat.

    Since no one was holding a long gun to your head, making you read this article, I would think that your claim of this hard-to-swallow image of gay sex being shoved down your throat was simply something you erected in the dark imagination of your soul.

    Thus, your claim in your posting that once again gay sex was being forced down your throat was entirely fellatious…err, phallasious…err, damn spelling correct, fallacious— there we have it— a simple matter of you sticking your junk into a place where it wasn’t required.

  • A former cathedral pastor told us occasionally of “self-righteous types” so focused on others’ perceived shortcomings, a behavior suggesting these folks had nothing better to do with their lives.

  • You’re avoiding our fellow blogger’s challenge, sir: Where is “homosexuality” in the biblical text?

  • You’ve alluded to the toxic version of Christianity: God is not Love. God is Vengeance, Hellfire, Brimstone, Punishment, Calamity, Death.

    “And Jesus wept.”

  •… guys are right. I was all wrong from the beginning.
    It should have been “Adam and Steve” in that garden.
    Then……………you and I wouldn’t be having this discussion.
    Merry Christmas Joseph. See ya. 🙂

  • Well, yeah, I apologize, hypocrisy is a better description of it. I can’t deny that all you’ve said is true. I’m also sorry it took me so long to hear what you were saying. I keep wondering why I keep coming back to these threads until someone makes statements the way you do that open my eyes a little wider. Believe it or not it increases my resolve to act with more grace toward all.

  • Note that this particular organization does NOT condemn being homosexual.

    It condemns acting on the orientation.

  • The “calling from God” in that particular denomination is only valid if accepted by the church. If he is not celibate and says so, he will be removed.

  • The “bizarre fixation on condemnation of homosexuality” appears to have at its core homosexuals who wish to engage in homosexual relations but remain Catholic or Baptist or whatever.

    The solution, of course, is to recognize that every organization has rules, and that treating homosexual behavior as sinful has been part and parcel of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam since their inceptions. Find someplace else to burn incense or whatever religious practice(s) appeal.

    As to “Jesus never said a single word about homosexuality”, he also never said a single word about fornication, genocide, or incest. That proves that the Gospels are compact indeed.

  • “There IS NO commandment mentioning homosexuality in the law and the prophets.”

    It is actually tied up with the command to “go forth and multiply”.

    Man, in the accounts of the Abrahamic faiths, is destined to share in the creative role of the Creator.

    Interestingly the same thing that makes homosexual behavior in those faiths sinful is the thing which makes birth control and abortion sinful in the traditional forms of those faiths – defeating the primary purpose of God’s will in making humans in the first place.

    Negative proof texts aren’t really arguments, as any parent knows.

  • You answered nothing! An atheist questions faiths and belief systems, i am not an organization, nor do I care what you do in your bedroom when you get hot.

  • All mammals get jealous, but I would think you would have a higher expectation for someone who controls the entire universe.

    As for Moses and Jesus, one wondered the desert until he died, and never got into the “promised land”, and the other was sent to be tortured and brutally murdered by his father to die for all of our sins. Brilliant work of this all loving fictional character.

  • And neither are you.

    I would tend to agree that there is not a physical entity that controls the universe, but the evidence that there is no entity of any kind that controls the universe is zero.

  • No, an atheist denies the existence of a deity or deities.

    Usually if I get hot I turn the fan on.

    If you join an organization that cares what you do, that’s your choice.

  • An atheist does not deny the concept of a God, I only deny that there is this one physical being that controls the entire universe. It’s like the two fish in a fish bowl and one says to the other- “there must be a God, who else changes the water”. In other words, we do not know or understand anything beyond our own limited comprehension of the universe.

  • I do not make an special claims. And since neither one of us has absolute evidence, we are only arguing over the length of the King’s beard in the ancient text.

  • Then why are you bothering folks about what they believe?

    The answer is that you make special claims – in particular you claim to know there is no deity or deities.

  • By definition an atheist denies that a deity or deity exists.

    As an agnostic, I believe that there is no proof either way, so folks can believe whatever they want.

  • [Intellectual integrity] means to hold oneself to the same rigorous standards of evidence and proof to which one holds one’s antagonists.

    Give the readers just one absolute verifiable fact in the Bible, starting with Genesis.

  • For your benefit, sexual orientation — whether homosexuality or heterosexuality — encompasses much more than two guys or two gals engaging in sexual relations.

    And a Blessed Christmas to you and your loved ones.

  • I am most seriously and respectfully serious. As I just noted a minute ago, heterosexuality and homosexuality are much more than just two persons of the same sex engaging in sexual relations. Support for same-sex civil marriage is predicated on the same considerations as support for slaves’ emancipation from bondage. We are looking at the whole person, not just one’s skin color, sexual behavior, etc. We are looking, I believe, at *divine revelation*, which necessarily manifests itself in more than just sacred scripture, as important as the latter source is in our learning what God asks of us and shares with us.

  • As it should be if he cannot keep his vows. But the calling and the celibacy issues are separate, as far as I know.

  • No, that would be an anti theist. An atheist simply believes in one less god than you believe in.

    I am an atheist, thorough going as they come. I don’t deny the existence of any god. I’m waiting for some actual evidence. The only evidence I’ve seen for any particular god or gods— Religion X— existing is contradicted by the evidence of every faith but that of religion X. And that evidence all says religion x is wrong. Of course. They aren’t providing any real evidence that their version of god or gods is correct, any more than religion x does.

    I am an atheist, as thorough going as they come. I don’t deny the existence of any god or gods. I simply don’t think the question has any relevance or matters in the slightest. But if you could provide me with evidence— not the holy book kind, but the other kind— I’ll be happy to take a look.

  • Oh, do let’s discuss this in terms of comparative religion.

    Jews, Muslims, and Christians have been slaughtering each other for many centuries, with the added Bonus of Christians killing Christians and Muslims killing Muslims, usually for being the wrong sort of Muslim or Christian. As far as I know, Jews have not had that problem.

    But if they agree that homosexuality is bad and gay people are evil sinners, well, THAT Just means they are right. Because, ya know, gays is ickeeeeeee.

    Except, of course, that they don’t agree on that at all. Many Christians disagree with other Christians on the subject, ost Jews disagree with some Jews on the subject, and most of the Muslims I have met in this country disagree with other Muslims.

  • As an agnostic I detest folks who don’t know what atheism means copping the agnostic mantel and then going around beating people over the head.

    Theist: believes there is a deity or deities.

    Atheist: denies there is a deity or deities.

    Agnostic: believes the existence or nonexistence of a deity or deities is not provable.

    Your statement “I am an atheist, as thorough going as they come. I don’t deny the existence of any god or gods.” is logical gobbledygook.

  • No, that would still be an anti theist. I am an atheist. I have no belief in a god, but would happily examine any evidence you might have. In fact, as I have stated many times, I’d give worlds to see that evidence. But I haven’t seen any evidence yet.

    “I have no belief in a god” is not the same thing as saying “I believe there is no god.” The first is an atheist. The second is an antitheist.

    Agnostic literally means “not knowing”. If an agnostic met your definition, that would not be me, because I think it is provable. I have yet to see any proof. What I see are assertions made without evidence, and assertions made without evidence that contradict all of the other assertions made without evidence.

  • Call it what ever you want, but there is zero evidence for the creation story that we were created from a lump of clay or dirt. On the other hand their are thousand of pieces of evidence to suggest evolution and natural selection. Fossils show a pattern of change over geological time, and that we have molecular evidence, DNA, to link all the diverse lineages of life on earth, which is called evolution. God did not create the universe in six days as our ignorant ancestors believed whole heartedly.

  • I am very sorry to learn that you think you are an atheist when in fact what you describe is agnosticism.

    Agnostics, however, are generally quieter about it than you are. Since – at this point – there is no proof one way or the other, beating people up over their beliefs is irrational.

    “There’s a god!” “There’s no god!” “There’s a god!” “There’s no god!” “There’s a god!” “There’s no god!” “There’s a god!” “There’s no god!” “There’s a god!” “There’s no god!”

    That’s a really worthwhile way to spend one’s time, eh?

  • I was under the impression that the existence or non-existence of a deity rather than the veracity of a particular creation story was the question.

    Ridiculing a creation story in no way addresses the existence or non-existence of a deity.

  • Your opinion, not mine. And not the opinion of every atheist I know, and every agnostic I know,

    In fact, I don’t care whether there is a god. You know what that makes me? And it-doesn’t-matterist.

    I don’t beat people up over their beliefs, no matter how IRRATIONAL they may be. I don’t care that they believe. I care about what they DO with them.

  • Ben, your atheist sales-pitch, is that there is no God.

    “Atheism is the belief that there is no God. Compare agnosticism.”
    — Collins English Dictionary

    The “a-” in “atheism” must be understood as negation instead of absence, as “not” instead of “without”. Therefore, in philosophy at least, atheism should be construed as the proposition that God does not exist (or, more broadly, the proposition that there are no gods).
    — Stanford Dictionary of Philosophy

    “Is there a God?” There are only two possible direct answers to this question: “yes”, which is theism, and “no”, which is atheism.”
    — Stanford Dictionary of Philosophy

    But you have a VERY hard time defending atheism. So you try to shift the definition of atheism, hoping to “shift the burden of proof.”

  • The definitions of “theist”, “atheist”, and “agnostic” are matters of fact, not opinion.

  • Please don’t presume to tell me what I think. You obviously don’t understand it.

    I don’t have to defend atheism. I’m not the one making the claims. That’s all you. And all you have for evidence is your belief and your book. The same evidence every other religionist has.

    I don’t have to defend atheism. It’s simly a lack of belief in any god or gods, not a statement that thee is no god. The only statement of belief I make on that subject is that it doesn’t matter what I believe or if I believe

  • Actually, you have demonstrated conclusively that they are matters of opinion. As I have said, I don’t know any atheists personally who proclaim atheism as a matter of fact. I certainly don’t.

    As I said, there is a difference between the statements I believe there is no god and I have no belief there is a god. That is the difference between an anti theist and and atheist. So, already, you,re wrong.

    Have a nice day.

  • Actually I can demonstrate conclusively they are not matters of opinion, commencing with the Oxford English Dictionary.

    If you’re telling me that you only know “atheists” who don’t know the definition of the word “atheist”, I believe you entirely.

    The term “anti theist” does not exist in any standard reference that I have been able to find.

    As you describe, it is more akin to a political belief than theism or atheism, and could be fairly described as “people who don’t know a lot about deities, but know what they like to throw in the mud and jump up and down on”.

  • “I am unable to defend don’t have to defend atheism.”

    Hm. Not a pretty picture, Ben. Meanwhile, former atheist and cold-case homicide detective J. Warner Wallace, explains the truth:

    “While atheists are sometimes unpersuaded by the arguments for God’s existence, they are still woefully unable to provide coherent and adequate answers to the most important questions of life related to the cause of the universe, the appearance of design, the origin of life, the reality of human free will and the existence of transcendent moral truth.

    Theists aren’t the only ones who have to answer these questions. If naturalism is true, naturalists have their own unique burden of proof.”

  • Absolutely The same things can actually be said of religionists. You have an explanation, but it is not tethered to any reality, just your belief. You claim transcendent moral belief, but you frequently don’t believe it yourselves. The best example of the moral relativism of religionists is murder.

    Murder and killing are bad, unless god does the murdering. In which case, murder is just ducky.

    Not according to my morals, which says that murder is absolutely wrong, not wrong some times.

  • Floyd until you can come up with unequivocal evidence that people are not born gay, I have to rely on my belief that we are all made in God’s image.That a supreme entity set things in motion. And if that includes people who cannot make eye contact, who eat their own feces, cannot feed themselves or even sit, then the fact that some people may be born with a different sexual orientation is more than possible., That is not worshiping gay.

    And I gave no evidence that God actually exists – I stated a belief, not a fact. Jesus existed and was crucified a fact, the resurrection a fact by hearsay – Joshephus. Do I believe in God and Jesus the Christ? Yes. But beliefs are something we all have, religious, or otherwise to make sense of the world we live in, and to derive meaning and purpose in our lives because otherwise it is random, arbitrary and without meaning..

    Did being a eunuch stop those people from worshiping God? In the minds of some in those times, yes (deut 23:1). What was the point of Jesus’ teaching in Matthew? Or the significance that the first baptized Christian gentile was an Ethiopian eunuch?.

  • Gregory Greiten isn’t being clear or even honest here.

    Is he saying, Yes, “I … will help you, whether you are gay or straight, bisexual or transgendered, to be your authentic self – to be fully alive living in your image and likeness of God” – but first let me help myself by “com[ing] out as gay … on Sunday (Dec. 17) to the St. Bernadette Parish”?

    Why? And why now all of a sudden? Is it because all these years he has been addressing everybody else’s, say, sexual orientation problems or issues except his very own? Being hypocritical that way?

    According to “Gregory Greiten Details”, SE™ Practitioner Directory, Somatic Experiencing® Trauma Institute:

    “Fr. Greg … a Roman Catholic Priest … is an SEP … working with people who have or are currently experiencing trauma … Fr. Greg has a special interest in addressing the areas of sexual abuse, sexual trauma, sexual addiction, sexual orientation, PTSD, emotional issues, anxiety, depression, grief, loss or other forms of being overwhelmed. … The goal … is an integrative experience that allows you to live a full, enriching life. … Specialties [include] Veterans, Active Duty Military, Motor Vehicle Collisions, Children, Adolescents, Adults, LGBT, Addiction, Victims of Sexual Abuse, Grief and Loss, Adults abused as children, Complex PTSD, Developmental Trauma”.

  • This truth of hypocrisy, though, isn’t out in the open:

    According to “Gregory Greiten Details”, SE™ Practitioner Directory, Somatic Experiencing® Trauma Institute:

    “Fr. Greg … a Roman Catholic Priest … is an SEP … working with people who have or are currently experiencing trauma … Fr. Greg has a special interest in addressing the areas of sexual abuse, sexual trauma, sexual addiction, sexual orientation, PTSD, emotional issues, anxiety, depression, grief, loss or other forms of being overwhelmed. … The goal … is an integrative experience that allows you to live a full, enriching life. … Specialties [include] Veterans, Active Duty Military, Motor Vehicle Collisions, Children, Adolescents, Adults, LGBT, Addiction, Victims of Sexual Abuse, Grief and Loss, Adults abused as children, Complex PTSD, Developmental Trauma”.

  • God is just a concept invented by men. “we are made in God’s image”– does God have a penis? Is God sexual?


    “Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki … said in a statement Monday … ‘The [Catholic] Church teaches [that] those with same-sex attraction must be treated with understanding and compassion.'”


    (1) According to Jeff Anderson & Associates, and Whyte Hirschboeck, “Timeline of Documents Regarding Daniel Budzynski”:

    “1/21/94 … Sexual abuse intake report alleging four incidents of abuse by Budzynski of a girl in 1970-1971 at St. Bernadette. Two of the three incidents involve an older woman bringing the victim to Budzynski. (35740)”

    (2) According to Peter Isely and Jim Smith, “The Sexual Abuse of Children in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee”, February 10, 2004:

    “Milwaukee priest Dan Buzinski … had a history of reports of child sexual abuse and was placed into retirement in the 1990’s. Father Buzinksi was assigned to St. Bernadette’s Parish in Milwaukee when he began assaulting an eight-year-old from the parish school. In December of 1994, the victim, now an adult, called Project Benjamin to report the abuse and get help. The project director, Liz Piasecki, told her that the matter would be investigated ‘but if you become adversarial with the church, the church will become adversarial with you.’ The victim never made the report.”

  • I know there is no evidence proving there is a deity.

    I know there is no evidence proving there is no deity.

    I don’t think either position bothers anyone.

    What bothers folks is when we get caught between “There IS a God!” “There IS NO deity!” “There IS a God!” “There IS NO deity!” “There IS a God!” “There IS NO deity!”

    in every forum and discussion, without end to no point.

    As I said, why are you bothering folks about what they believe?

  • Because the god botherers insist on bothering everyone else about what they believe, when they are not bothering the other believers who don’t believe what they believe.

  • In the beginning God “created” the heavens and the earth, and everything in it, in just six [earth] days!!! Give the readers you best example of the existence of real entity that controls the world. Please do not dodge this question. I am always looking for new answers.

  • You’re still fixated on creation stories.

    There are a host of deities who created something out of nothing in the world’s religions.

    Why the fixation?

  • In historical discussions of theism/atheism, the former says there is a God (or gods) and the latter denies there is a god. Theos (a god) is the root of theism; a-theos – not a god is a rejection of the existence of a god. Agnosticism (a- gnosis), means not having a knowledge of whether or not there is a god or gods. gnosis is the root of the word knowledge. It often connotes secret knowledge, but the point is that an agnostic is neutral on the question of whether or not there is whatever the issue is, which seems to be your position. a gnostic is literally someone who does not have the knowledge of whether or not X exists.

    If you were a theist; you would be convinced that there is one or more gods. An atheist is someone who is convinced there are no gods. An agnostic is someone who does take either position,because one doesn’t have the data to prove either position. From your posts; I see you as taking the third position.

    Pr Chris

  • Ben, the terms theism, atheism and agnosticism are words used in philosophical study. As such, they have an agreed meaning. You may not read philosophy and you may not care about the agreed on definitions, but you’ll find a more receptive audience if you use these three terms in the commonly defined manner. (And these three meanings are based on the Greek meanings of these words.)

    Pr Chris

  • An anti-theist, according to the Greek definitions of anti and theist is against any possibility of a god. (I haven’t run across anti-theist before, but anti- means against; theist means a god, so the meanings of the two parts of the word says that someone is against the possibility that there is a god.) To me, an antitheist is more negative than an a-theist. One can be passively rejecting of the possibility of a god, while an anti-theist is more militantly against the possibility of a god.

    PR Chris

  • There are many religious people who would agree with you: That Genesis 1,2 does not require a belief in an instantaneous formation of a human from a lump of clay. Many of us who are Christians read Genesis 1-11 as explaining the big questions of life: Who are we?, why are we here? etc. I have no problem with understanding Gen 1-11 the way I do, and reading and enjoying the scientific stories of how we got here. I can affirm I am the result of a long process of evolution, and still believe that I am a child of God, that I am here to worship and trust him. There are millions like me

    Pr Chris

    There was a trial in Pennsylvania about the believability of evolution. The issue was over a book called “The Panda’s Thumb” (I think) over the teaching of evolution vs creationism in public schools. It is well doing some research on. The issue for me is whether the God in which I believe is trustworthy in every respect. How can someone believe the planet is only 6000 years old when all the evidence around me tells me the earth is billions of years old. How do I reconcile my religious faith with the scientific evidence? I choose to believe in a God in whom I can trust him to not throw false “evidence” into the world around me.

    Pr Chirs

  • To believe or not believe in Genesis 1-11 has nothing to do with whether or not God exists. The Hebrew verb can be translated as “made” So the text would say: In the beginning God made the heaven and earth. Or, you can say, in the beginning of God’s making, he made the heavens and earth and all that is upon it in 6 days.

    Whether or not you believe in an instantaneous 6 day creation about 6000 years ago, or a long period of evolution, one can still affirm that there is a God at work in the world.

    The issue is the manner of creation; not whether or not there is a God.

    PR Chris

  • We are talking about the Old and New Testament and how much of it is relevant to this article, starting with the creation forward, everything is made up by men and much later interpreted by men, and numerous re-writes in other languages and cultures, based on their own concepts.

  • The point is that it is that all the stories in the ancient texts are basically fantasy and fiction relating to the concept of God and “God’s Miracles”. This is why we have separation of Church and State, and gays should not be denied equal civll and social rights based on man’s religious interpretations. And if there is a physical entity that controls the world, you have to admit he must be a little incompetent in some areas, unless everything bad is owned by the concept of a “devil”.

  • The creation story allows us to shut down the absolutists at the beginning. But you can move on to any of God’s miracles and they can be shut down by objective logic and reasoning. You cannot get into heaven unless you accept the Hebrew laws, starting withTen Commandments, and you cannot get into heaven unless you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord an Savior, and you cannot get into heaven/paradise unless you accept Islam—- Which one of them right? Please do not dodge the question.

    The article mentions the perpetuation of toxic shaming and systematic secrecy in the Church. How would you propose to deal with this based on ancient texts?

  • The use of the word “absolutists”, I take it, is supposed to convey something along the lines of “I am part of the ‘in crowd’”. It certainly does not convey any meaning.

    Unless you were there you cannot “shut down by objective logic and reasoning” “God’s miracles”. There is simply too much evidence of inexplicable and unexplainable things to not conclude that the jury is still out.

    The question you appear to be dodging is why my position as an agnostic – the existence or nonexistence of a deity or deities cannot be proven – doesn’t trump your personal impression that a deity or deities do not exist. Your position is a matter of taste rather than fact. Some people like chocolate, some do not.

    Your time could be better spent on something more useful than bashing people whose beliefs do not appeal to you.

  • I am not arguing about the Old and New Testaments and how much of it is relevant to this article.

    My entrance into the discussion was the question of whether or not there is a deity or deities.

    The Old and New Testaments aren’t relevant until that question is resolved, which it cannot be.

  • The article mentions the perpetuation of toxic shaming and systematic secrecy of Church regarding sexual orientation. When science and ancient texts are in constant conflict, where do you draw the line? If some one had turned up with a radio or television a few hundred years ago, that would have been considered witch craft.

    New York Times–ROME, Oct. 30, 1992— More than 350 years after the Roman Catholic Church condemned Galileo, Pope John Paul II is poised to rectify one of the Church’s most infamous wrongs — the persecution of the Italian astronomer and physicist for proving the Earth moves around the Sun.

    “I choose to believe in a God in whom I can trust him to not throw false “evidence” into the world around me.” —- The problem is with religious clerics and academics that still teach children that you cannot get into heaven unless you follow Hebrew scripture, or accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, or to submit to Islam and God’s messenger Muhammad, and then they all come up with this religious dogma and repetition until a young minds are affected one way or another. What religious dogma do you teach your children and why? Please do not dodge that question.

  • How about those who are “against” the method of pushing religious dogma down the the throats of young people before their minds have fully matured.

  • You don’t want to deal with the provability of the existence or non-existence of a deity or deities and are trying to change the subject back to your particular preferences.

  • Wikipedia with sources: “Whether the earliest Church Fathers believed in the Trinity or not is a subject for debate. Some of the evidence used to support an early belief in the Trinity are triadic statements (referring to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) from the New Testament and the Church Fathers. The view that the Son was ‘of the essence of the Father, God of God…very God of very God’ was formally ratified at the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. The Holy Spirit was included at the First Council of Constantinople (381 AD), where the relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as one substance (ousia) and three co-equal persons (hypostaseis) was formally ratified.” — This fantasy was fabricated nearly 400 years after the death of Jesus, in the Roman Empire. The main Church of Constantinople was taken over during the Islamic invasions and has been a Mosque for 1500 years.

    Coptic News: 
”Since Christianity came to Egypt in 57 A.D., we, the Christians of Egypt, have not had conflict with the Jewish people. Copts have been a marginal population held in captivity for sixteen centuries. We constitute the largest non-Arab, non-Moslem minority in the Middle East. The Church of Alexandria, is one of the oldest organizations in the Middle East. Despite this distinguished history, it is a church that has been under siege since the Islamic invasion.”

    How do you reconcile that the Holy Land/the West Bank– biblical birthplace of David, Solomon, an Jesus– has the banner of Islam flying over it? Is that all part of God’s divine plan? Palestinian Arabs have applied for Statehood, and want Jerusalem to be their their holiest City and Capital. Is that also part of God’s divine plan, while you argue over a priest’s sexual orientation?

  • So I would say. But according to our Resident Authority and Reader of Minds on What People Think, I should just curl up and die right now.

    Thanks. ???

  • But what change would he promote? I ask seriously. I was Catholic (very serious Catholic) for 20 years. There is nothing that the Church can change on this topic. It is already at the point where it will always be.

  • Since you are being polite and not dismissive, I’ll take the time to explain what I mean, and why.

    You are getting much closer now. I haven’t seen any convincing evidence of any particular god, and according to all of the evidence of Every other religion but religion X, the evidence of X is wrong. Neither X nor NOT-X proves anything, other than both X and NOT-X are wrong. So you’ll need some kind of evidence independent of both. That’s how science works.

    I think I’m actually being pretty precise, myself. You cannot prove this negative: THERE IS NO GOD. That is a logical impossibility and fallacy. I cannot prove the negative— the sky is not green— but I can prove the positive— the sky is blue. There is a difference between the two. If you could prove there is a god, you would have something. But then, if you are a Christian, you would still have to prove that Three-in one is the One True god, and not, let us say, Allah, who is only one, with no son.

    Atheist— no evidence there is a god, apart from ancient books of unknown authorship, editorship, and provenance, many of which have been discarded despite their once being as True as True Can Be. Therefore I have no belief in a god, any more than I believe in Santa Claus, Zeus, or hobbits. Not the same thing as saying I believe there is no god, though that is the practical upshot of it. Show me some evidence, and we’ll see. I’m still waiting. I’m still waiting.

    Antitheist— believes there is no god. Not the same thing as “I have no belief in a god.” Not philosophy, but semantics and grammar. I look at what people actually say and do, being a sociologist, not what THEY SAY they say, believe, and do, though that is important to a psychologist and and to a sociologist.

    Agnostic— I don’t know if there is a god. Subtle difference between an atheist and agnostic. Maybe. Maybe.

    Theist— I know there is a god. Or, more accurately, I have faith there is a god, and that that god is MY god. Though in other contexts, I will say that faith is a terrible way to know anything. If I am That Kind of Theist, I will deride evolution in particular and science in general as being faith based. The evidence of all of the other faiths that my god is not a true god doesn’t matter to me, because I have evidence that my god is the true god and all of those gods are false gods.

    It doesn’t matterist. Well. There I am. It doesn’t matter what I believe about god, any more than it matters what I believe about gravity or the Easter bunny. It has no bearing on whether said god, force, or bunny exists, or way its purpose may be. And the existence of an all powerful, all knowing, all present god is entirely irrelevant, because nothing would be any different than it is. It doesn’t matter.

    If you want me to claim that I know there is no god, I can’t do that. But I can say it is highly likely, from everything I have seen, that there is no god, and certainly, not the three in one christian god. Just as I can say without faith that it is highly likely the sun will come up tomorrow. So I will just live my life as if that were true— just as so many people who claim to be bible believing Christians live theirs, by ignoring their book— and if you can show me some irrefutable evidence, apart from an ancient book of unknown provenance and questionable authorship, I will be happy to listen to it. That doesn’t make me an agnostic, either. I just makes me honest.

    Now, just for you, in politeness and kindness. I am a philosopher, highly educated, very well read. I know how some people use these words, and it seems to me that they are confused, not me. I’m being far more precise than the rude dismissive people who claim I am making it up as I go along. But they are theists, and thus dismissive of any truth but their own…

    Which is why I don’t take lectures from people like that very kindly. They are imprecise, they are dogmatic. Not I. I’m a scientist. Show me some evidence of your assertion, and I will consider it. I’m not dogmatic about it, and in the loosest definition of an atheist, I suppose you can include me. I often do myself, because it is easier to say that than to write what I have here.

    I do know people who call themselves atheists, but they are more precisely antitheists. I’m not an agnostic, though it is possible to place me there, because although I admit I don’t know, what I do know tells me that there is little question of what is or isn’t true. What is presented without good evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

    I hope that clarifies my position. I have 67 years and some thousands and thousands of books behind me, including more books on philosophy and religion than you could shake a crucifix at.

    That’s going to have to do it for today. I have to cook a fab Christmas dinner to not celebrate what I have no belief in, but to celebrate what I can prove: that I have a wonderful circle of friends and am a pretty good cook.

  • The Church, like everything else, changes slowing over time. You remember the inquisitions. And all the ships coming to the New World, flying the flags of Catholic Kings, who had all power over life and death.

    New York Times–ROME, Oct. 30, 1992— More than 350 years after the Roman Catholic Church condemned Galileo, Pope John Paul II is poised to rectify one of the Church’s most infamous wrongs — the persecution of the Italian astronomer and physicist for proving the Earth moves around the Sun.

  • Oh yeah, the Church changes practices over time. It will never change doctrine related to same-sex relationships and identity. It has never changed dogma, for instance. If it accepts same-sex couples (like other Christians) it will have to change dogma on marriage and sex.

  • Like I have said before, I am not completely comfortable with homosexual activity or much of hetro-sexual activity, but I had two gay soldiers in my combat unit, and a gay doctor that helped to save my life in the hospital, so many people like myself would stand up for their equal civil and social rights.

    These holier than thou religious people can kiss my behind. Then we would have another issue

  • Ben: I think what you are expressing is very much what thoughtful scholars have been coming to for centuries. The classical agnostic is someone who recognizes that you cannot prove a negative (which makes atheism an intellectually impossible position to take. After all, there just might be a god somewhere that I haven’t heard of/experienced.) And you have had no personal confirmation of the philosopher’s discussions about the rationality of the position that God exists.

    The result is what is typically defined as agnosticism. That position is a range of assertions from those who are PRETTY sure there is probably a god, but don’t find the arguments completely persuasive. It also includes the reverse of that: from those who think the anti-god discussion is probably correct, but–you can’t prove a negative, after all. And that leaves the agnostics; those who haven’t found either end of the debate persuasive, so you’re left in the muddy middle. Welcome to agnosticism.

    It’s is actually an intellectually honest position to take. So, I’d encourage you to accept the label and wear it in good faith!

    Pr Chris

  • Well, in my years as a parish pastor, I have run across the people who say “our children can choose their religion when they grow up.” The problem with this is you have given them no criteria on which to choose anything other than non-observance of any religion.

    In the Lutheran tradition, we normally have confirmation classes for 7th and 8th graders, with the practice of Confirmation at the end of the process. The first year kids usually end about two months before Confirmation, as the last part of the year is a discussion of that confirmation means, and to prepare for it.

    I have made it a practice to let my confirmation students understand that I appreciate their presence in the classes, and that no one is compelled to participate in Confirmation. Confirmation is the self affirmation of the beliefs in which they have been received into the community as infants. I tell them that participation in Confirmation is THEIR choice. If they determine they are not ready to be confirmed, I will go with them to explain to their parents why they don’t want to be confirmed, and, they are welcome to reconsider at any time. I can tell you that I have had a few teens over the years who have declined to participate. A couple came back in later years, but two or three never did.

    It is not fair to compel people to make statements of faith they do not believe in. It is also not fair to kids to make sure they have NO exposure to any sort of religious experience. If all they know is atheism, how will they make any other choice? Why not explore religion together then give them the opportunity to continue, or leave?

    PR Chris

  • The story in Genesis IS, indeed similar to several other creation accounts from that part of the world. But the existence of God is not the purpose of these articles. They are to answer the major questions people have asked over millennia, and over many parts of the world. Whether you are listening to stories of the North American First Nations, or the Israelites, or the Epic of Gilgamesh, the point is the same: To answer questions about our identity, who we are, why we are here, where we came from.

    Pr Chris

  • Perhaps it is possible that every human goes on to what getting into heaven means, or maybe no one, or it is irrelevant, because death is the end. You can choose whatever you wish. But for me, the story of Jesus, and the relationship between those of us who believe in this version of the story of redemption which is the center of most religions, is the most believable for myself. Benedict XVI has said that the gospel gives us the hope that all may be saved.

    Pr Chris

  • I believe that science and the God who saves us is not in conflict. The same God that created the world according to the physical laws is the same one who has given us the intellect to explore the world. When a guy once said that he believed fossils were false data put into the world to confuse us. What kind of God is that, who would do that??? I believe that the scriptures are human witnesses to the good news of God. Whether every sentence is scientifically true from documents written in an age before there WAS the concept of science is an unreasonable demand. I find nowhere in scripture where we must believe in what was not knowable by the writers. The Bible is a true witness to the Christ; that is different than saying every word is scientifically true when “science” was not a concept understood by the writers.

    PR Chris

  • “You have an explanation, but it is not tethered to any reality, just your belief.”

    Wrong. I have appealed to the sciences of human biology and human linguistics in this forum several times. With no refutations from you, I might add.

    “You claim transcendent moral belief, but you frequently don’t believe it yourselves.”

    I have not offered you a single transcendant moral belief, in all our time in this forum, that I do not myself believe 100 percent. (I’m a fundie, remember?)

    “The best example of the moral relativism of religionists is murder.”

    I never support murder (Gen. 9:6), I never do murder, I have equally opposed the act of murder by both gays and straights, within this forum. By the way, God The Judge doesn’t murder anybody, just like earthly judges and juries don’t murder anybody when they legally sentence mass shooters or bombers to a death penalty.

  • Ben is likely a good cook, but a VERY poor philosopher. Thinking he can make truth claims and statements of fact that he doesn’t have to answer any rational questions to support or defend. That stance is debunked, and it helps explain why most Americans aren’t atheists.

    Atheist: “There is no God.” (Yes, that’s Ben’s position; the Stanford Dictionary of Philosophy and other sources say it is. That’s the published scholarly definition of the label “atheist”, which Ben always uses to describe himself.)

    Moreover, Ben specifically claimed in his post, there is “no evidence there is a god”, so he would have to rationally support and defend THAT specific claim **no matter what** he claimed his personal label to be. So the theist asks:

    Theist: You ARE making a specific truth claim there, so you need to own it. “There is no God”, “No evidence there is a God”, so you ARE making a statement of fact there either way. So how do you KNOW whether your specific statement of fact, your truth claim, is rationally true or false?

    (1) Have you actually explored every available avenue of knowledge that has a rational bearing on your statement of fact?

    (2) Did you explore each available avenue of knowledge and CONFIRM that “There Is No God” within each avenue? Have you rationally ruled out the existence of God from biology, for example? Especially modern human biology and psychology? Why have you not told us in this forum how you rationally ruled God out from these specific scientific fields?

    So that’s what Ben is up against. Doesn’t stop anybody from enjoying Christmas dinner, of course, and that’s good. But his claimed atheism, is already dead.

  • Don’t curl up and die. Just get a Pell Grant and enroll in Philosophy 101 already. (Or at least surf a philosophy dictionary or two at the local library.)

  • You already know what the Hebrew Bible says, Ben.
    AND the Christian New Testament too.
    AND yes, even some Koran texts have been posted in this RNS forum.
    You know what those Koran texts say as well.

    However, the great invitation of Isaiah 1:18 can be found in the Hebrew Bible. A repentant homosexual could cash in on what God is offering.

    The great promises of 1 Cor.9-11, 1 Cor. 10:13, and 1 John 1:9 are found in the Christian New Testament. You could receive what Christ is offering.

    But I don’t know about the Koran. There isn’t any equivalency there when it comes to God’s healing and deliverance and grace and restoration. You either cash in on the Bible — or you may never cash in at all.

  • Umm, the “born gay” thing is separate from “We are all made in God’s image.” We both already know that the latter is true.

    But all you have to go on for the first claim is modern science, and we HAVE hashed that out before in this forum. Modern Science ain’t havin’ it. Ain’t no “born gay”, IF you are relying on modern science to confirm the claim.

    Here’s the one-shot knockout version:

    And here’s the total knockout 2016 book version (yes it’s free, each chapter is a PDF, you need only click on each PDF link and read it all for free. Or you may still purchase if you really need to spend money.)

  • And just to spice up the pot a little, let’s listen to three gay professionals. You see what they say, Linda?

    Actress Cynthia Nixon: “I understand that for many people it’s not, but for me it’s a choice, and you don’t get to define my gayness for me.”

    Atlantic writer Lindsey Miller: “In direct opposition to both the mainstream gay movement and Lady Gaga, I would like to state for the record that I was not born this way. I have dated both men and women in the past, and when I’ve been with men, I never had to lie back and think of Megan Fox. I still notice attractive men on the street and on television.”

    Freelance journalist Brandon Ambrosino, BBC “in Depth” story:

    “When I first said I chose to be gay, a queer American journalist challenged me to name the time and date of my choice. But this is an absurd way to look at desire. You might as well ask someone to name the exact moment they began liking Chaucer or disliking Hemingway. When did I begin to prefer lilies to roses? What time did the clock read at the exact moment I fell in love with my partner? All of our desires are continually being shaped throughout our lives, in the very specific contexts in which we discover and rehearse them.

    “Thinking back to my college romances with women and men, I can begin to understand how my own experiences might have helped me to ‘cultivate’ my desire for homosexuality….

    “….I’m claiming that at some point during college, my sexual and romantic desires became reoriented toward men. These desires suggested to me a queer identity, which I at first reluctantly accepted and then passionately embraced. This new identity in turn helped reinforce and grow new gay desires within me.
    Granted, none of this means that there were no genetic or prenatal factors that went into the construction of my or any other sexual orientation. It just means that even if those factors exist, many more factors do too. So why not encourage conversations about those other things?

  • I agree, they are great stories. It is not like I don’t appreciate a good story, and I am grateful to spend a rich and fulfilled Christmas with abundance for my family, whether we deserve it or not, while a good portion of world’s children go to bed hungry every night, that is if they have a bed. There are children around the world who must wonder why God does not seek them out from their poverty, ignorance, disease, violence, floods, droughts, famines, etc– day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, decade and decade…… and some go on praying despite the daily defeats. There is something almost fine about!

  • “The problem with this is you have given them no criteria on which to choose anything other than non-observance of any religion.” — The problem with that is that you have given them no alternative but to “choose a religion”. I agree that some cultural traditions are good and others have to be changed or altered to fit the the known and factual world that we live in.

    I, as an atheist, am humbled to spend a rich and fulfilled Christmas holiday with abundance for my family, whether we deserve it or not, while a good portion of world’s children go to bed hungry every night, that is, if they have a bed. There are children around the world who must wonder why God does not seek them out from their poverty, ignorance, disease, violence, floods, droughts, famines, etc– day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, decade and decade…… and some go on praying despite the daily defeats. This is why people pickup the gun instead of some ancient text to get something to eat, while others starve or cannot afford medicine for their sick children. In my perfect world, your prayers could actually fix this imbalance.

  • You sound like a person who feels guilty for having abundance of food and fresh water, and access to medicine and medical technology when your children get sick or injured. You think Jesus has answered your prayer, while much of the world’s children have do without, year after year, whether they pray or not, whether you say a prayer for them or not. Millions of children die every year from everyone known malady that is easily remedied today, because there is no Jesus looking out form them. Please give an honest response and not one already prepared for you.

  • As usual, you managed to miss the point spectacularly. Again. So you have been killing each other for centuries, but at doesn’t matter as long as you can eat the gays.

    It’s a sickness you have.

    Meanwhile The Hebrew Bible says to kill all of the unbelievers. The Christian Bible says no divorce except for adultery, and no remarriage after divorce, and no reviling and slandering.

    But those apply to you, and so, don’t apply to you.

  • Let me repeat one more time.

    “I have no belief in a god” is NOT the same thing as “I believe there is no god.” A definition of atheist which assumes that the two statements mean the same thing is flawed from the get go.

    As I explained, I cannot call myself an agnostic, except in the limited sense that I don’t know. Like most atheists I know, I’d be happy to see whatever evidence you have. That doesn’t make me an agnostic either.

    You would say for yourself “I have no belief in Zeus” and “I believe there is no Zeus” are equaivalent statements. And for you, they are equivalent, because Zeus is not one of the current gods of men. For me, I would say “I have no belief in Zeus, but sure, show me your evidence.” But that evidence isn’t any more forthcoming than any evidence regarding the current gods of men.

  • except the greek is “atheist.” In greek, the prefix “a” does not mean “anti.” Rather, it means “not” or “away from.”
    If a theist is someone who has a specific conceptualization of what some divine being is–such as an entity who possesses attributes specified in particular verses of specific holy books–then one has taken the concept of G-D, which most people would admit transcends anything that we can possibly imagine, and created a god that is limited and finite. In that case, being an a-theist is perhaps the ideal mindset for everyone to have.

    If one make G-D conform to whatever fits one’s preferred holy text, then G-D has become something concrete, something that can be completely described or contained by our intellect. In that case, have we created a god out of our own image? our own limited, fallible understanding?

    If G-D really is G-D then G-D is bigger than whatever can be written about G-D or conceptualized about G-D: Theos rather than Theism.

    Granted, not how atheists would self identify but maybe something for pompous theists to think about.

  • Ben:

    Now that I’ve had time to do more reading and thinking, including re-reading the post you sent. I, too have spent 70 year life time primarily reading philosophy and theology, with my emphasis more on scripture than straight philosophy. My library at home is about 8,000 books, and I need more shelves…and I put shelves on almost every wall as it is.

    My day yesterday was spent the same way yours was, cooking a feast for friends.

    But I’m going to make only one closing post, and I’m not calling it an argument….The discussion, to me, that you’ve put forward is very much within what I would (and have, perhaps too energetically on this series) call agnosticism. The theists and atheists, in my experience, tend to be pretty vocal when their position is challenged, and they get heated.

    I don’t know where your word anti-theist comes from. To me, it means anti — opposed to –belief in god. I would translate that as an atheist, probably a pretty strong one. The agnostic position is the most rational for someone for whom the argument that there is a God hasn’t been corroborated. It accepts that there isn’t an argument that is persuasive and yet has the humbleness that knows the argument isn’t conclusive, and allows for the possibility that you don’t know everything, and therefore there may exist a god somewhere.

    Ben: Have a good holiday, no matter what meaning it has for you. See you around the posts. Are you still posting on the Mormon threads?

    Pr Chris

  • I am everywhere. 🙂
    For the record, I have known very few atheists who are strident about it, vocally anti god, or vocally anti religion.
    Thanks for the good wishes.

  • Ben…I thought I was done, but this post caught my attention… You say:

    “I have no belief in a god” is NOT the same thing as “I believe there is no god.” I would agree with that. The first is a statement of your position…and possibly could change if you got more evidence. The last is an absolutist position that disavows all possibilities.

    The whole honesty of the agnostic position is centered in the understanding that you do not know. An agnostic is a skeptic; but even skeptics change their position if evidence shows up. An agnostic position is one of questioning, not absolutes. As I’ve re-read your posts again, I think that the theist and atheist position are pretty dogmatic that god exists or god does not exist. Period. The only other position I find is the agnostic one that is the default for those who are in neither school of thought. I’m getting so confused by the terms as the posts have become pretty repetitious.

    I think part of the issue is that we are dealing with both fact and faith. That old saw is still true: “For those who believe, no proof is necessary, and for those who do no believe, no proof is possible” What constitutes fact, faith and belief, are read and understood differently between debaters and that makes it hard, as well.

    So, I know where I stand, and I believe my position is honest and logical. I think your position is well thought out, even if I am confused about the differences we have in definition. So, on this Second Day of Christmas, enjoy and I’ll hopefully see you around.

    Pr Chris

    PS: One of the deepest philosophical debates I’ve ever had was on Easter Sunday. Every week we had a “children’s homily” before the main homily, for a 5 minute period. The homily got derailed when a very bright 5 year old told me about seeing the “Easter Bunny” as roadkill that morning. No matter what anyone said, we got back to that roadkill every 15 seconds….I gave up after about the 4th time…

    Pr Chris

  • What is the point of all the pre-occupation with death and being saved? Live the best life that you can, and if there is this real physical entity called God, he will seek you out, instead of you purring flattering of him every day, hoping that that will gain you access into heaven.

  • Here I go to someone else who makes up definitions as he goes along.

    In this article he makes up a word: “anti-theist”.

    Austin Cline is a self-promoting self-appointed “expert” on secular humanism who apparently coined “anti–theism” early in his career to take the curse off being “atheist”, which is well-identified with regimes the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia, and other hell holes where it did not work out particularly well so he could peddle more books.

    That article contains more gobbledygook than a politician’s campaign speech.

  • First, you are using the research of someone who is a biochemist and statistician, not a geneticist. In other words, you or I could equally come up with the same sort of psuedoscience nonsense. And then we could get it published in a quasi-journal serving a specific agenda.

    Secondly, he based his conclusion that it wasn’t a 100% correlation. Apparently his knowledge of genetics was not at a level to know that there are other differences between identical twins as well. Identical twins do not have identical fingerprints. Or there is this demonstrating a gene mutation occurring after the fertilized egg split. So identical is not always 100% identical. Nor did he consider the tole of epigenetics nor that of intra-uterine influences .

    So how about providing unequivocal evidence to assert that no one is born gay?