News

Employees quit American Bible Society over sex and marriage rules

The American Bible Society, left, is headquartered in Philadelphia, along the Independence National Historical Park. Image courtesy of Google Maps

(RNS) — One of the oldest nonprofit organizations dedicated to distributing Bibles around the world will soon require all employees to adhere to orthodox Christian beliefs and heed a conservative code of sexual ethics.

Employees are resigning in protest of the new policy, which will effectively prohibit sexually active LGBT people and couples in cohabitating relationships from working for the American Bible Society. But the organization stands by it as a measure intended to bring “unity and clarity.”

In a statement issued in response to RNS questions, President and CEO Roy Peterson wrote: “We did this because we believe a staff made up of people with a deep and personal connection to the Bible will bring unity and clarity as we continue our third century of ministry.”

He added: “We understand there are differing views on these matters.” He also said: “This decision does not signal intent to advocate or champion any cause other than increased engagement with the Bible.”

The American Bible Society, founded 202 years ago to publish, distribute and translate the Bible, presented its “Affirmation of Biblical Community” to employees in December. It requires employees to “refrain from sexual contact outside the marriage covenant,” which it defined as man and wife.

American Bible Society – The Affirmation of Biblical Community by RNS on Scribd

The document also requires employees to be “involved in a local Christian church” and to “resist temptations of deception, malicious speech, stealing, cheating others, and dishonoring my body through substance abuse.” It opens with an “I believe” section  similar to the Nicene Creed.

Beginning in January 2019, all employees will be required to sign the document. Those who don’t will be asked to tender their resignation.

Already, at least nine of the organization’s 200 or so employees have quit. More told RNS they are looking for jobs elsewhere and will likely take another job on or before January.

Some suspect a man hired as a help desk manager last year was the impetus for the change. He had introduced his husband to employees shortly after being hired at the society’s Philadelphia headquarters.

The affirmation is just the latest sign that the organization has shifted away from its ecumenical roots toward a more narrow evangelical identity. That shift began in the 1990s when the American Bible Society changed its constitution to make it a ministry that undertakes “Scripture engagement.” Previously it published Bibles “without note or comment.”

“This is a clear manifestation, or a logical conclusion, of the evangelical takeover in the 1990s,” said John Fea, a historian at Messiah College and author of the book “The Bible Cause: A History of the American Bible Society.”

“In many ways they are creating boundaries here for the organization that are new, that have limited their scope beyond what has happened in the past,” Fea added.

Jeremy Gimbel, a 34-year-old gay man who had worked for the American Bible Society for 10 years, recently quit after it adopted a policy excluding gays. Photo courtesy Jeremy Gimbel

Jeremy Gimbel, a 34-year-old gay man who had worked for the organization for 10 years as a web services manager, said he felt no choice but to quit a few months ago.

“I was very happy where I was,” said Gimbel, who now works for a web agency in New York. “I loved the team I worked with. I loved what I was doing. It was hard to come to terms with the fact that I was being forced out after nearly 10 years of my life.”

In a letter he sent to the board of directors before he left, he wrote: “I am hurt because this Affirmation specifically excludes me from the community it is supposed to foster.  … The Affirmation will, like much (of) the political climate we live in today, build walls along the lines of difference, pushing away diversity and leaving no room for unity. I truly believe the organization will suffer. … ”

This is not the first time the American Bible Society has faced criticism for adopting a religious policy. Earlier this year, a group of academics protested the organization’s recently acquired .bible domain name for excluding any group with a scholarly or secular orientation from using the internet network address.

The American Bible Society relented to allow Jewish groups to use the .bible domain name, but its internet dispute panel still requires members who “believe that the Bible is the Word of God which brings salvation through Christ,” a statement Jews could not adhere to.

The new affirmation has led several employees to quit on principle.

They said they didn’t want to work for an organization that so tightly circumscribes its workforce and its message to evangelicals only.

“Everything that was on that affirmation was stuff I could pretty much sign in good faith and say ‘yes,’ I can comply with these things,” said Doug Black, a web developer who quit in February.

But Black, who is also an ordained minister in the Assemblies of God, said he couldn’t abide the change in direction.

“The American Bible Society wasn’t an organization that was primarily white evangelical up until that affirmation,” Black said.

Some employees pointed to the apparent contradiction between the new policy and the marketing materials the society was pushing, such as a video called “The Apology,” in which a group of people apologize for the ways the Bible has been used to hurt others.

“Some of us have used this book of love for hateful things,” among them “oppressing women, defending slavery, treating others with disgust and revulsion,” the people on the video proclaim.

“This book is all about doing just the opposite.”

About the author

Yonat Shimron

Yonat Shimron is an RNS National Reporter and Senior Editor.

348 Comments

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  • Employees are resigning in protest of the new policy, which will effectively prohibit sexually active LGBT people and couples in cohabitating relationships from working for the American Bible Society.

    Smart move on the part of those employees. By advertising themselves in this manner, American Bible College is doing a favor to self-respecting gay people, who will now know for sure to stay far, far away if they value their health, their safety, or their sanity.

  • It’s a publishing organization, not a college.

    Jeremy Gimbel’s health and safety did not seem to be adversely affected by his ten years there. He was happy there and would have preferred to stay.

  • Imagine that. A major Bible publisher requiring its employees to live the product, not just sell the product. Who’da thunk it?

  • You are quite correct. But they probably never before said before, “we don’t your kind around here, lest you contaminate our biblical purity” either.

  • “We did this because we believe a staff made up of people with a deep and personal connection to the Bible will bring unity and clarity as we continue our third century of ministry.” So yo didn’t have unity or clarity before, or you decided a little purification was necessary to make sure that clarity came to the fore? So clear, I. Fact, that a number of your employees have left.

    He added: “We understand there are differing views on these matters.” He also said: “This decision does not signal intent to advocate or champion any cause other than increased engagement with the Bible.” And yet you just told people he only “engagement with the Bible” that matters to you is if you approve of it. Of course you understand there are differing views on these matters. That’s why you effectively told anyone who didn’t accept your authority in the matter, or wasn’t willing to lie, to leave. Differing views will not be tolerated by The Only True Christians.

  • The more people you can exclude, the more godly you are. That is in the Bible somewhere. If it isn’t, it should be.

  • Oh, I’m sure that Jesus meant to say that. You know, it’s what all of His teachings boil down do….., don’t they?

  • There is that “Do unto others …” thing. But what Jesus actually meant was “Do unto others …, only if they are among the godly.” It is very important to read in to Jesus’ message what He forgot to include. Fortunately, we have many godly leaders among the Evangelicals and the Roman Catholics who are very happy to do that for us. And fortunately, they are also very happy to tell us who we should exclude, so that we can be more godly like them.

  • “This decision does not signal intent to advocate or champion any cause other than increased engagement with the Bible.” And this is apparently how you engage the Bible.

    Fundamentalism has taken over Evangelicalism like the Galactic Empire took over the senate; “liberty dies…with thunderous applause”

  • “The American Bible Society wasn’t an organization that was primarily white evangelical up until that affirmation.”

    Because only White Evangelicals still hold to true standards when it comes to marriage and sexual morality? Sorry, but a lot more than that still stand by Christian principles in those areas. And a lot of them (a higher percentage, possibly) are Black.

  • It’s pretty simple, Ben. Even on the TV sales network QVC, when they sell watches, they first put the watches on their OWN wrists for everybody to see. How much more necessary, for those who sell Bibles?

    If ABS is nothing more than a money-making gig, if ABS is just another Wal-Mart, selling Bibles & toothpaste & “Extenze” at random, then you’re right: there’s NO need for biblical clarity, biblical unity, or biblical anything, among its associates.

    But if — just if — ABS happens to be a genuine Christian ministry, if reaching the world with the Bible is their true gig, then you’re flat wrong. ABS is doing the right thing.

  • Yes, but they’re not endorsing Ben and his shtick, which is his primary complaint.

  • No, what they said was “we cannot endorse your behavior”.

    Your constant use of “your kind” is a falsification, and since you’ve been corrected on it many many times, it’s a conscious falsification.

  • Resignation or remediation were the only two choices.

    Every religious organization faces the same problem, and they continually get hammered by those who disagree with them.

    As a matter of law the religious organizations are 100% within it.

  • Matthew 18:15

    1 Corinthians 5:1-8

    2 Corinthians 2:5-11

    Romans 16:17

    2 John 1:10-11

    and so on.

    Apparently Jesus failed to consult with you personally.

  • Indeed.

    The letter by over two dozen leading African-American religious leaders to Hillary Clinton on the eve of the 2016 election made that crystal clear.

  • They are also internet squatters who use a domain tag to create a tramp stamp for online Christian fundamentalism

  • White Evangelicals use “Christian principles” as a criticism and attack on blacks and their families.

  • “since you’ve been corrected on it many many times, it’s a conscious falsification.”

    Do you have your mitre on when you make the corrections? If your mitre is not on, it is not an official correction, is it? If you have lost your mitre, perhaps you could borrow Rihanna’s.

  • Agree with that. Evangelicalism used to be a big tent that included Fundamentalists as well as moderates like Tony Campolo. But the tent just gets smaller and smaller.

  • If the tent appears to be getting smaller, it’s because the offenses have become broader and more prolific.

  • Can you read?

    Has he been corrected many times?

    Have you actually read what any of these churches teach?

    do you know anything at all beyond what you happen to like and dislike?

  • “Ooo-Wee!” said the old black church mothers.

    (It’s their way of up-voting your post.)

  • If only there were one kind of Christian, instead of so many varieties of Christianity.

  • One of the things that has long troubled me is the plethora of translations. Translating is an art, not a science, so we should expect variations. Unfortunately, this allows translator the opportunity to shape the text to fit their preexisting point of view, or denominational stance. So we have a variety of versions of the text: Catholic and Protestant, Evangelical and Mainline, patriarchal and feminist, etc. So the student is left to ask, “Which one is correct?”

    It seemed to me that the ABS usually tried to resist that trend, remaining non-partisan, if conservative. That stance has been less and less in evidence since the 90’s. They are in danger of being seen as the publishing house of just one brand of Christianity whose translations may be questionable.

  • So now Hillary Clinton will have to give up her job at ABS. I’m sure she will find other work.

  • Good move by the American Bible Society. Makes sense given that the Bible condemns homosexuality.

  • If only there was one kind of lgbt. Not only do we have to put up with the perversion of marriage but guys who think they are girls so they can use the girls bathrooms and locker rooms.

  • It sounds like you were reading my mind! It’s so good that we both have such a keen understanding of Scripture that we can read so much into the words of Jesus. 😀

  • “they continually get hammered by those who disagree with them.” The ABS was originally an intentionally non-denominational organization with just one purpose: get a Bible into the hand of every American. Non-denominational, in this case, means not taking a stand in any one direction or the other in any of the various doctrinal arguments. You hope that by taking a neutral stance all Christian denominations will support your efforts at making Bibles available for everyone. Unfortunately, they are loosing the perceived neutrality they once had and consequently that will cost them support. One wonders if they have forgotten their avowed purpose.

  • You are quite correct – their little video suggests this intent and reinforced by others also quoted. As of 2016, it did not even have a statement of faith – appropriate in that it produces Bibles – a tool for ministry, not actually engaged in ministry combined with being non-denominational.

    My cynical self wonders if this was in reality a cost-cutting strategy in an entity that has had significant problems in managing itself financially and is on shaky financial ground. Alsp wonder if forced resignations qualify for severance packages? And wonder for the remaining employees whether Church attendance as a job requirement becomes compensate.

  • Cost cutting is certainly a possibility, and one I hadn’t thought of. But ideological purification seems far more likely, with cost cutting as a side benefit.

  • When I investigated the program, “Faith Comes By Hearing” many years ago (cassette bibles) I noticed all of the sample sermons designed to promote the program were, in my mind, extrememly conservative. This growing trend does not surprise me.

  • Yes, the ABS is an evangelical but non-denominational Christian body.

    The items they announced are only doctrinal arguments in the non-evangelical fringe of Christianity.

    Yes, they will lose members of the Episcopal Church and the United Church of Christ.

    No, members of those two churches have not been significant players in the ABS in several years.

  • Finally some good news from the ABS. Any organization that presents itself as a Christian group, and especially one that promotes and distributes the Word of God, should make every effort to adhere to the Way of God in all things.
    This affirmation does not single out homosexuals but addresses many of the sinful lifestyles that our secular society has embraced. But the sin seekers and their friends will conveniently ignore that and attempt to portray this as a homophobic act directed specifically against only them, which of course and obviously will be a lie.

  • Oh please. The current translation scene is a blessing, not a curse.

    Every time you click on Bible Gateway or Bible Hub, you not only get to instantly see your favorite translation of John 3:16, but if you can compare it to many other good translations too, and do it for free.

    I do it all the time at this forum, and it works fine. Don’t let skeptics, atheists, and hooly-magoo’s use this issue as a wedge.

    If a person has any real doubts about a particular wording, one can just click on blueletterbible.com and use their easy, friendly tools to check things out quickly. Plus you can read about the strengths & weaknesses of various translations online. So things are OK.

  • If only it was Adam and Steve in that Garden.
    I wouldn’t have to live in this Orwellian Nightmare.

  • “unrepentant sinners”

    So…divorced people, right? Especially those who remarry someone else. And any women who violate the biblical gender rules? And anyone who does any work on the Sabbath?

    ABS isn’t promoting the bible so much as they are promoting a particular interpretation of it.

  • Yes, I have heard about that. A bit of a turf war between the ABS and another Bible Society, the Society of Biblical Literature.

    Although since the ABS also promotes reading guides, etc., for the books of the “Apocrypha” -which are in Orthodox and Catholic Bibles, but are anathema to Fundamentalists – I don’t think the ABS is truly a Fundamentalist organization. At, least, not yet.

  • I understand the ABS’s reasons for this decision, and I support their right to make it. The problem is, this decision will cost them some dedicated and talented single employees of both sexes, and persons representing all sexual orientations. It could also cost them the support of mainline Protestant churches, who for a long time now, have supported LGBTQ people and their right to work wherever they want without discrimination, so long as they don’t spend the organization’s time campaigning for the LGBTQ cause.

    That’s a big stretch for this fine organization, and they aren’t likely to make this decision for several decades .

  • They certianly don’t play nice with others, given their rather small minded hostility to Jewish groups looking to use the .bible tag.

    Then again, small minded hostility seems to be the theme of the article here as well.

  • I am not sure what “So…divorced people, right?” means.

    It sounds remarkably like the mantra of same sex sex relations advocates when immorality comes up.

    So, explain before we proceed what sins might be involved in “divorced people”, “biblical gender rules”, and “work on the Sabbath” so I understand what we’re talking about and that you’re not just jerking my chain with some mantras you scribbled down while reading some at a place like JoeMyGod.

    Also, while you’re at it, point me in the direction of any biblical interpretation of a Christian sect or denomination prior to 1900 and the rise of German “higher criticism” which entertained the notion that same sex sex relations were moral.

  • Compiled documents often contain traces of their sources. The Christian Bible as an historical document was compiled from known and unknown sources. There are also many locations where it is obvious that pieces of the sources were struck as time went by in order to fit a political or social narrative.

    Given the holes in the Gospels when it comes to Jesus & his relationship to John, what I wouldn’t give to see an actual Bible from before The Church went anti-gay to fight it’s taxation war with England. May as well ask for the moon: Saint Anselm of Canterbury’s Bible or personal notes.

  • The lovely thing about religions like Christianity is that each sect gets to decide for themselves what is real and what isn’t. It’s completely, 100% arbitrary & relative since there is no proof either way. Thus groups can be selfish Capitalists hell bent on hating everyone not-them and call themselves Christian, as can completely inclusive, generous, loving ascetic monks. And best of all, each can assert with 100% surety – and accuracy – that the other is wrong and committing sins with their stance.

  • Mark only has 16 chapters. If you’re waiting for a sequel, you’re going to be disappointed.

  • I understand ABS’s dilemma. It’s all about not being seen as endorsing lifestyles that the organization views as in open defiance of biblical principles.

    The problem is people in lifestyles that aren’t open. The weekend adulterer, the child abuser, the embezzler — they get to keep their jobs because what they do is in secret.

    So what this really amounts to is a new ‘don’t ask/don’t tell’ morality policy. I’m at a loss to think of a time when that’s ever worked out well.

  • This why I wrote what I wrote about. The “you” refers to ABS.From my comment…

    “That’s why you effectively told anyone who didn’t accept your authority in the matter, or wasn’t willing to lie, to leave. Differing views will not be tolerated by The Only True Christians.

  • By their fruit shall ye know them.

    Their words say they want to distribute the bible.

    Their actions say “There is nothing more important than hating on gays, even if it means driving out an enployee who was with the organization for 10 years.”

    Their priorities are clear.

  • Sure it makes sense – so long as they follow all the other rules of the same or greater severity.

    Such as making sure they kill any children who curse their parents.
    Also, no eating seafood other than fish.
    No cheeseburgers, pork or food fried in fat.
    Really, all food must be Kosher.
    None of them mixed fiber clothes.
    No cutting their hair or beards on the sides.
    No working on Saturday.
    Touching pork meat.
    Being a false prophet (that’s a tough one for them).
    Living in a city that failed to surrender to the Israelites

  • Each insists theirs is the only real one and all others are false.
    Therefore all translations, just as all interpretations, are equally valid.
    Or equally invalid, depending on point of view.
    That’s the joy of religion; nothing can be proven true or false.

  • Pretty much anyone who isn’t Hebrew if they’re going to follow the OT.

    and if they’re going NT, to be consistent they need to start giving away all their personal worldly goods & work toward free food, shelter & health care for all.

  • Ms. Clinton is a Christian who remained loyal to her husband and did not get a divorce even after her spouse cheated very publicly. Forgiveness and faithfulness. Isn’t that what expected of christians?

    Yet “christians” villify her and praise a thrice divorced congenital liar. Go figure.

  • A nearly 900 million USD per year money-making gig, according to their filings.

    If they were genuine Christians they’d follow the NT, not sow hatred and pain by cherry picking from the OT when it suits them.

  • It looks like their only avowed purpose is to hate on gays and drive away loyal employees.

  • Not sure what you are trying to say. But I know one thing — If it was Adam and Steve…..we wouldn’t be talking.
    Translation — homosexuality is not of nature. Homosexuality is mental degeneracy.

  • Then you haven’t met very many, I’ve met any number that hold themselves to the same standard as others if not higher. After all, it’s easier to forgive others than ourselves (others may have reasons, or at least excuses, while we KNOW what selfish bastards we can be and committed Christians are supposed to know better).

  • I have no idea where you got your information on who Christians praise and who they despise.

    I assume it’s part of the “evangelicals did it!” mantra we’ve been hearing since November, 2016.

    I am happy to provide the source for my comment.

  • C’mon. That’s just too easy to defeat. “not of nature”? Really?

    (ponders whether it’s worth the trouble of posting a sampling of the countless examples of The Gay throughout Creation)

  • Ah, but then they’d also have to actually follow things like,

    1 Cor 7:27 (don’t get married)
    James 5:14 (faith healing only, no doctors)
    Matthew 5:29 (if you lust, pluck out your eye)
    Matthew 5:34 (no oath swearing, incl Pledge of Allegiance)
    Matthew 5:39 (if attacked don’t fight back)
    Matthew 5:42 & Luke 14:33 (give away everything you own)
    Matthew 6:19) (including your money)
    Matthew 6:6 (don’t pray in public)
    1 Peter 3:3 (women must not dress up, wear jewelry, etc)
    Matthew 6:28-29 (men can’t dress up either, only rags)
    Luke 14:26 (hate your family)

  • But christianity has a 1000+ page book, out for 3,000 years, that defines christianity and what god wants from you. There is no universal lgbt guide. Apples and oranges.

  • They at least allow biblical marriage where a man can have several wives and concubines right? They also don’t allow investments in companies that take interest from loans? What about silencing women in church, or making them wear head coverings when they pray? Better start adding some rules to that list.

  • Why would they “allow biblical marriage where a man can have several wives and concubines”?

    They’re Christians, not Israelites.

    You’re also apparently unfamiliar with what constitutes usury as a sin.

    Better start reading up on things before making yourself look silly.

  • It’s worked for presidents of the United States.

    The alternative in the ABS situation is setting up a moral secret police.

    I’m at a loss to think of a time when a secret police worked out well in the long run.

  • Just like the competing atheists, political parties, and posters right in this very discussion.

  • Well, if you’re going to be distributing Bibles, one might expect conservatism.

    Otherwise they’d be handing out copies of “Situation Ethics”.

  • Apparently you missed the part where the Old Testament was joined by the New Testament and bound between the same covers.

    Or are you confused and think these Christians are Israelites who keep kosher and sacrifice at the Temple?

  • Specifically?

    You do realize, one hopes, that the ABS is Christian and does not keep kosher.

  • Well, English-speaking Orthodox for the most part use the King James version. Since their liturgical languages and liturgies include Greek, that seems like an endorsement.

    Given the wide variety of translations and copious footnotes and commentaries available on-line

    https://www.biblegateway.com/versions/

    any passage can be quickly compared and variations noted and studied.

  • Of course there is a “universal lgbt guide.” If it has to do with sexual perversions then it must be good.

  • I totally agree.

    With the plethora of translations, the availability of Greek and Latin, for free on-line the student has never had it this good.

  • Insisting on compliance with Christian morality is not the same as “to hate on gays”.

  • Thanks Roy. I think the same thing is true of homobigotry. And I have far more evidence.

  • Isn’t fun to copy cr-p like that from the usual anti-religionist and anti-Christian websites, and then show up on a religion website and post it?

    As you grow older you’ll always remember this fun you had when you were in high school.

  • And it will certainly increase donations to ABS from actual Christians who support the Bible at the same time, a two-fer.

  • “…an actual Bible from before The Church went anti-gay to fight it’s taxation war with England.”

    What does that even mean?

    When do you think The Church “went anti-gay”? What “taxation war”? And how would allegedly going “anti-gay” impact a “taxation war”?

  • We’re both at a loss. I suppose that makes this a lose-lose situation. Sigh.

    The other alternative is to give people credit for being able to separate the organization and it’s values from those who work for it.

  • Matt 19:9 for divorce and remarriage.
    1 Tim 2:12 for women in authority over men
    Num 15:32-36 for violating the sabbath

    A little church I know has a divorced-and-remarried pastor and half the church board is women. They are trying to decide if gay people (who nobody else in the church knows are gay) are allowed to volunteer to serve the poor.

    I’m not interested in defending same-sex relationships. My point is the hypocrisy of people who forget that, were it not for the modern church having forgotten about so many other sins, they themselves would be found unworthy.

    Jesus talked about removing the beam before seeking the splinter. Too many christians forget they need the grace of God just as much as the people they condemn. A little humility wouldn’t be out of place here.

    As for the ABS, maybe they should looking at how they can show God’s grace to the LGBQ community, rather than God’s wrath. Cuz God will be using that same yardstick when they themselves are called to judgement.

  • I understand the scripture references. That is not what I asked.

    Btw, the last one is OT. These are Christians, not Israelites.

    Yes, Jesus talked about removing the beam before seeking the splinter.

    Jesus also advised excommunication.

  • We Orthodox now have The Orthodox Study Bible; its Old Testament reflects the Septuagint text. Other Orthodox translations are now in the works.

  • What are you Bob, the accountant for ABS? I AM a MEMBER of one of those mainline Protestant churches, and they support BOTH the ABS and the LBBTQ community!

    “No generalization is worth a (darn), including this one!” (I was once a debate coach!)

  • Oh, Bob. Isn’t it fun to make arrogant assumptions online that are chock full of hubris?

    I was born & raised conservative Christian & was schooled through college at Christian schools. Studied the Bible & outside documents with visiting Vatican scholars (granted, I only did “grunt work” on translations, but learned so much from working with them). I’ve seen & worked with more actual, physical source & historical documents than most people. I am confident I’ve debated far more qualified people than yourself about the Bible either as an historical document or as the Word/Will of God.

    Which reminds me; Do you have any actual argument to what I said or are you going to remain wallowing in argumentum ad hominem like a swine on a hot summer day in a pool of fetid mud?

  • “Isn’t it fun to make arrogant assumptions online that are chock full of hubris?”

    You tell me – you’re the expert.

    “I was born and raised …” is only of interest to you.

    There is nothing to argue with. You are not here to argue, discuss, or otherwise participate.

    You’re just another garden variety gadfly flitting about on the internet hither and yon to annoy people.

  • Of course since you hold that opposing what you want to do is “bigotry”, and the three largest religions in the world oppose what you want to do.

  • Christians don’t display God’s grace, or His love, or His power, or His anything-else, when they give consent (either overtly or tacitly) to a gay marriage situation. God has some yardsticks in that area too.

    That’s exactly what ABS was faced with. An employee was doing — IS still doing, apparently — a gay marriage gig, and he advertised it, while simultaneously identifying as an ABS employee.

    Just like the Methodists, ABS was openly forced to either surrender or fight. No choice. Obey God or obey Goliath, and choose quickly. ABS chose God.

  • https://www.americanbible.org/about/financial-reports

    Hmm, they are a 501 (c) 3 corporation, the most common type of the 29 types of 501(c) nonprofit organizations.

    Scratch “money-making gig”.

    Their total revenue was $56,531,393 according to their audited financial reports.

    Scratch “nearly 900 million USD”.

    Matthew 18:15-17, 1 Corinthians 5:1-8, 2 Corinthians 2:5-11, Romans 16:17, and 2 John 1:10-11 – all in the “NT” – advise Christians to admonish sinners and then shun them if they will not listen.

    Scratch “they’d follow the NT”.

    Gosh, three strikes and you’re out.

  • Honestly? I love these clearance-rack skeptic gigs. (I really do.) But I have to ask you something.

    Did you, umm, check the actual context and wording of the listed Bible texts before offering this Boo-Boo Oatmeal Mess?

    Let’s do the first one. 1 Cor 7:28 says “But if you do marry, you have not sinned.” So why try to claim that 1 Cor. 7:27 says “don’t get married”? (Especially when it merely tells men not to go chasing for a wife?)

    P.S. Where in James 5:14 does it say “No Doctors”? It never prohibits doctors!!

  • “You’re just another garden variety gadfly flitting about on the internet hither and yon to annoy people.”

    Oh, the incredible irony from “Bob Arnzen”, our local gadfly and fool.

  • Honestly, floyd, your stale defense of your disgusting holy book fails as usual. If your god was real, it would be able to clear up such matters of context on the spot, and actually also would not need such a book of horrors as your buybull to get its (sordid) message out in the first place.

  • No, Bob. It’s sadly not hard to meet evangelicals. They seem to breed (and act) like rats in certain parts of the US.

  • Funny that your “god” (heavy quotes) isn’t capable enough to translate for us.

  • No, all the translations are basically the same old fiction, rehashed ad nauseum.

  • “Neutrality” as applied to scripture is not the answer, Iron sharpens iron; we are called to both challenge and contend for the proper scriptural point of view. Those who object to the ABS’s stance are free to adhere to or reject the change in policy. Employees’ by definition are a marketable commodity, if they don’t like a policy they are free to leave and allow others who are more amenable to fill their places. There are certainly other faith based organizations who will gladly allow them their personal freedoms with respect to their sexual mores…they will doubtless not be out in the cold for very long.

  • floyd simply pointed out what those Scriptural passages ACTUALLY said, not what Majorana FALSELY claimed they said. Hardly a “fail”.

    It was Majorana’s easily demonstrable lies that failed.

  • I’m referring of course to England and the Holy Roman Church circa 1100. It resulted in Anselm of Canterbury fighting with Rome when they tried for the first time to prohibit gay priests in order to save on taxes in England. Later efforts were successful but by then Anselm had long been deceased.

  • “several wives and concubines”

    There is a long and rich tradition of religious leaders who have availed themselves of this sort of biblical marriage, mostly the concubines part. Pope Alexander VI set the high bar in this regard.

  • I have read a great deal about Anselm, have read his writings (with which I do not agree!), and am familiar with his times. I do not know where you are getting your information from.

    His conflicts were with Kings William Rufus and Henry I, not with Rome. It was about investiture, not gay clergy. Where did you ever get that idea?

  • Yes. It is. Christians promote a religion that considers the LGBT community to be wrong for being who they are. That’s hate.

  • The Catholic position is probably the most fully fleshed out, represents the most common Christian position, and therefore has the most accessible literature, so I’ll use it.

    Speaking of homosexual acts only, it says that “Under no circumstances can they be approved.”

    That is the position of the vast majority of Christian denominations.

    On the other hand it demands of its adherents that they keep in mind that the church “refuses to consider the person as a ‘heterosexual’ or
    a ‘homosexual’ and insists that every person has a fundamental
    Identity: the creature of God, and by grace, his child and heir to eternal life.”

    That is, having an inclination itself cannot be condemned.

    That fails to meet the definition of “hate”.

  • Yes, very mainline Protestant. Also very lgbt affirming and same sex marriage supportive. Given those factors, do you think this recent anti-lgbt/ssm policy could make continued ELCA support of the ABS problematic?

  • I find absolutely no evidence of ELCA support of the American Bible Society.

    The Missouri Synod specifically mentions supporting it on their website. Of course as you already know that synod is very confessional and would be disinclined to lock hands with the Episcopal Church and march off into the Brave New World together.

    I do find that the the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania works with the ABS, providing a New Testament in the Datooga language.

    Of course that church is not the ELCA and does not support same sex relations as normative.

    I am sure individual congregations use the ABS and its materials.

  • Leaving aside the problematic allegation of “the countless examples of The Gay throughout Creation”, your line of argument is flawed on two counts:

    1. Nature has been deeply corrupted by man’s fall into sin, “The whole creation has been groaning together in travail” and is in “bondage to corruption” (Romans 8). In this fallen creation some females kill and devour their mates after mating, some males kill their own offspring; no prescriptive value can necessarily be attributed to actions we find in nature, given that it is fallen, distorted, and corrupted.

    2. Mankind is called to a higher destiny and way of life than the beasts. He is called to rise above -not only the animal creation – but even to surpass his own nature and become fully divinized. This is the whole point of the Incarnation. “God has become man so that man might become god”, as St. Athanasius, way back in the 4th Century, put it.

  • Have you ever seen the Where’s Waldo children’s book? There are drawings of hundreds of nearly identical people and the goal is to find the one that matches Waldo on the title page.

    Wrong hat? Not Waldo!
    No scarf? Not Waldo!
    Stripes too wide? Not Waldo!

    For 2000 years, Christianity has been nothing but “Who’s Christian?”

    Wrong about the trinity? Not Christian!
    Wrong about the pope? Not Christian!
    Wrong about baptism? Not Christian!
    Wrong about hell? Not Christian!

    150 years ago, temperance and women’s suffrage were the big thing, so …

    Wrong about alcohol? Not Christian!
    Wrong about women voting? Not Christian!

    Today, we have other priorities, so …

    Wrong about gays? Not Christian!

    Every christian has there very own version of Who’s Christian with their very own picture on the title page.

    Back in my Jesus days I memorized John 3:16, which I was told contained the one requirement for being a christian. Let’s see if I remember it correctly.

    For god so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever treats gays like shit shall not perish but have everlasting life.

    Mrs. Clinton is a Christian because she says she is. She also tends to obey the greatest commandment by caring for the poor and less powerful in her policies.

    Me, I’m not a Christian. The thousands upon thousands of mutually exclusive versions of TRUE CHRISTIAN ™ only serve to prove it is all man made. The contempt christians show to each other with phrases like “Mrs. Clinton a Christian?” remind me of how glad I am to be free of it.

  • Their bible condemns all sorts of behavior yet there is never any mention of who is the enforcer of these dictates. We still can’t figure out Ken Ham policed his Ark and museum employees after they agreed to this. Private fundamentalist schools check church sign in logs for all enrolled students. Will ABS do the same? Ham has since “relaxed” or tamed the wording of his mandate during a 20 minute recruitment chasing younger seasonal hires.

  • This atheist and former Jehovah Witness cringes when fellow atheists who don’t know their bible try to use in arguments with christians. Context!

    Also, sorry but the OT and NT clearly condemn homosexual sex acts – no more so than other acts (lying, stealing, etc.) but it’s plain to see. Yes, christianity is homophobic and misogynist.

  • “The thousands upon thousands of mutually exclusive versions of TRUE CHRISTIAN ™ only serve to prove it is all man made.)

    Your conclusion does not logically follow from the premise. Sloppy thinking.

  • Jesus said the unity if his followers is proof he is who he says he it. Take it up with Jesus.

  • Polygamy is biblical for christians, too.

    It wasn’t banned by the church fathers until the 4th century, and then only because christianity had become the state religion of Rome. Rome banned polygamy, and the church fathers felt they had to ‘render unto Caesar’ obedience to the law of the land.

    And that is the only biblical objection to christians practicing plural marriage today, and why the focus in the christian poly movement is on decriminalizing it.

  • You don’t understand.

    OT rules that are inconvenient to Christians in modern life are clearly no longer applicable (eg touching pigskin, eating bacon, weird haitcuts, cotton polyester blends, etc.)

    OT rules that inconvenience other people while making christians look holy are still in force (eg gays are yucky).

    Honor the Sabbath is a special case that falls in both categories – you can go to a restaurant after church, but you have to undertip your waitress and leave Jesus tracts to get your holier-than-thou bonus points.

  • 1. Nice attempt to deflect attention from your illogical and unsustainable “proof”.

    2. Jesus warned that many false teachers would come in His name and try to draw people away Matthew 24, Luke 21, etc.). Those drawn away have departed from and stand outside of the unity of His Church, which remains unimpaired.

  • I expect most christians are normal and kind, because most people are normal and kind.

    Lots of christians accept gay marriage.

    Some gay people are christians.

    When a christian or christian organization goes all “my way or the highway” on an issue as tangential to following Christ as someone else’s gay marriage, they have declared themselves to be hateful bigots, and there is a reasonably good possibility that that the following applies: “Yet “christians” villify her and praise a thrice divorced congenital liar. Go figure.”

  • That is nonsense. The Church Fathers condemned polygamy well before the 4th Century, which would also be well before Christianity became the state religion of Rome. See, for example, Justin Martyr (AD 100 -165), as well as Athenagoras, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, Methodius of Olympus, and others.

  • The non-applicability of the OT laws to Chirstians has nothing to do with whether they are “inconvenient…in modern life”, as you allege. That decision was made by the Apostles at the First Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15), nearly 2000 years ago. Hardly modern!

  • Which explains why slavery was A-ok biblical until the South was decimated by the Civil War 150 years ago.

    Substance over form.

    Regardless of the spin, the determination of whether any specific OT command still applies depends entirely in whether christians find it more comfortable to keep it or discard it.

  • You’re really fixated on “thrice divorced congenital liar”.

    My impression is that, as usual, folks voted their own best interests and picked what they believed to be the lesser of two evils.

    That more or less places comments in the context of sour grapes from someone who still has not come to grips with why Hillary Clinton and her party were unacceptable to a large number of Americans.

    That bodes well for the Republicans going forward, but it doesn’t contribute much to understanding what happened and is happening.

  • I doubt it. They’re focused on “the main thing,” like getting Bibles in people’s hands and presenting the Gospel of Christ. Any political considerations are secondary. Several gays and lesbians are members here, but we don’t make a big deal of it.

  • Let me take a wild guess here.

    Your version of christianity is the unimpaired true version. The other 33,829* versions of Christianity are all the result of “false teachers” who have departed from your pure version. How freakin convenient.

    *as of 2001, now the number of versions of christianity is estimated at about 51,000. But relax, I’m sure your version is still the pure one. /snark.

  • Unfortunately you continue to use as source material individuals who have one or more axes to grind with Christianity.

    As to “It wasn’t banned by the church fathers until the 4th century”, in a word “no”.

    While polygamy was not forbidden in the Old Testament, it was discouraged, and by the time of the rise of Christianity was basically extinct.

    Christian theologians took Jesus command in Matthew 19:3-9 in interpretation of Genesis 2:24 as a definitive negation of any “slack” that the Old Testament left.

    It was only various heretical and “reform” sects arose that one encounters statements like this of Luther to the Saxon Chancellor Gregor Brück: “(I could not) forbid a person to marry several wives, for it does not contradict Scripture.”

    The Catholic Church reiterates the normative Christian view in its teachings. For example it condemns polygamy in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, listing it in 2387 under”Other offenses against the dignity of marriage”. In 1645 under the head “The Goods and Requirements of Conjugal Love” it states “The unity of marriage, distinctly recognized by our Lord, is made clear in the equal personal dignity which must be accorded to husband and wife in mutual and unreserved affection. Polygamy is contrary to conjugal love which is undivided and exclusive.”

    Saint Augustine argued that the polygamy of the Fathers, which was tolerated by the Creator because of fertility, was a diversion from His original plan for human marriage, just as Christ had taught. Augustine wrote: “That the good purpose of marriage, however, is better promoted by one husband with one wife, than by a husband with several wives, is shown plainly enough by the very first union of a married pair, which was made by the Divine Being Himself.”

  • There’s a reason it’s called “Orthodox Christianity”. Instead of hurling snark, do some research. It is the only “version” that has preserved the Apostolic/Patristic witness of the ancient Church. All the others came along later. But I really don’t expect you to do the spade work of ecclesiastical history; snark is easier and so much more satisfying!

    Still deflecting attention from your earlier failed attempt at logic “proof”, no?

  • Says the psycho Christian who thinks that 3,000-year-old superstitions are still relevant. Go thump your bible elsewhere.

  • Roy Peterson is no Christian. His faith is a lie, a sham, a ruse. He, like all Trump supporting evangelicals, pervert Christianity to justify the hate in their hearts.

  • Excuse me, apparently your version of christianity is right and every other sincere follower of Jesus is wrong. How nice for you.

    If Jesus were who he said he was, his followers – all of them – would be unified. That’s what he said. He would have the power to make that happen and draw people to him.

    So apparently the “false teachers” are more powerful than your god. Oops.

    When something is true, people gradually become more and more in agreement. When there is no basis for concluding something is true, the number of opinions keeps growing and consensus gets less and less likely. I wonder which if those bests describes ChristianInanity?

    I stand by my statement. The fact is that interpretations of christianity keep expanding, this indicates to me that Christianity is not grounded on fact. YMMV

  • I tossed my bible years ago. A bunch of fables designed by the wealthy to do a real number on the minds of the poor to give them hope and keep them in line. utter nonsense

  • 1. We are unified; the fact that heretics depart from the Church, and draw others with them, does not detract from the unity of the Church.The Church is one; they are not of the Church.

    2. “He would have the power to make that happen.” And He has. See (1) above. What He does not have the power to do is to prevent people from following their own misguided inclinations into heresies which separate them from Christ and His Church. He has made man in His own image, with free will, not a marionette on strings.

    3. “The fact is that interpretations of christianity keep expanding…” This is certainly true of the pseudo-christianity of the West, but the Orthodox Church remains one and undivided, the “One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church” of the Nicene Creed, for the past 2000 preserving the one Orthodox Christian faith. One Church. One Christianity. (ANI (Accept No Imitations)

    All just as Jesus said.

  • What a silly statement. Why would God need to do something for us (translate) that we are perfectly capable of doing themselves? News flash: people translate things EVERY DAY. Many can even translate things into SEVERAL LANGUAGES. And from the fact that God doesn’t translate things for us, you conclude that He isn’t capable of doing so? I suppose I could likewise conclude that because you don’t tie my shoelaces, you are not capable of doing so! LOL.

  • “In a statement issued in response to RNS questions, President and CEO Roy Peterson wrote:…”

    No relation, I hope.

  • I’ve been same-sex married longer than most straight couples stay married. 50% divorce rate is the real perversion.

  • It’s not only hateful, it’s an expression of self-loathing on the part of the fckd-up closet cases who invented Christianity.

  • It’s certainly not what you believe.

    It is the Judeo-Christian tradition and belief for about 3,000 years with a minority adopting other positions only in the last 20 to 30 years.

  • No one cares how people did things 3,000 years ago. Wake up and join us in the 21st century.

  • You don’t have a marriage. To have a marriage you have to have a husband and wife. Only man can be a husband and a woman a wife.

  • Maybe someone should ask the ABS why they sell so many bibles to the Church of Latter Day Saints.

  • “Homosexuality” is a much abused Modern-Era social construct with a lot of long discredited scientific and theological baggage, and a word mostly used by self righteous, greedy, sexist bigots these days.

  • First, it is not a “Modern-Era social construct”.

    That particular pile of horse pucky arises from the fact that the word itself was a late-19th century coinage of a German author which quickly was anglicized and popularized.

    Ancient authors described it in detail pro, con, and descriptively depending on the society and the time.

    Nor is there any “discredited scientific and theological baggage” except in the minds of those trying to palm it off in new trappings as enlightenment.

    Individuals of that stripe tend to call the rest of the world “self righteous, greedy, sexist bigots”.

  • No, “homosexuality” is a scientistic social construct, an attempt at a sort of sexual taxonomy,. The ancients had their own much abused social constructs and don’t need ours.

    Not to mention that the proslavery Evangelicals back when my great grandparents were growing up used that argument from history…and that was exposed as morally and intellectually bankrupt by the Civil War.

  • Same sex marriage is the law of the land. Our marriage is protected under the law and supported by these people in our lives who matter, friends and family. You don’t matter.

  • A couple of points.

    I see nowhere in the OT where polygamy was discouraged. It was regulated, but that isn’t the same thing.

    I don’t think it was extinct in the NT. Evidence for this is secular (the Romans passed stronger anti-polygamy laws for Palestine, which wouldn’t have been necessary if the practice was extinct), circumstantial (why would the early church fathers have bothered debating whether an extinct practice was allowed), and cultural (the jews didn’t start banning the practice until around 1000 AD; jews in Yeman still haven’t given it up).

    The only reason this is even being discussed today is because polygamy is making a comeback, not just among the usual suspects, but also among christians and jews and others. A 2017 poll put public support for plural marriage at 17%. This may sound low, but that means it had more than tripled since 2006. Polygamists have tried several times to get a case before the US Supreme Court, where they believe they will prevail with arguments similar to those for same-sex and interracial marriage.

    If they do, the christian church will be in a bind. Unlike same-sex supporters, who have difficulty making a scriptural case for church recognition, polygamists have a much better case for inclusion.

  • Why is it so important to you what others “do”? You’re a closet case, that’s why.

  • What’s fallen, distorted and corrupted is this very sick, depressing theology of yours, which has no basis in reality. Who are you to say that self-respecting gay people cannot “become fully divinized”, whatever the hell that means?

  • You are not going to find it in the Old Testament.

    A Jew did not run around with a copy of the Old Testament under his or her arm like a Haynes Automobile Service Manual.

    The rabbis interpreted the scriptures, developing a body of commentary and laws.

    The Mosaic law, imposed on people who were already practcing polygamy, confined it to narrower limits and lessened the abuses.

    In later Talmudic times, of all the rabbis named in the Talmud, not one is mentioned as living in polygamy. The institution of the Ketubah discouraged polygamy as did subsequent enactments of the Geonim.

    By the time of Jesus polygamy, like divorce, was recognized as an accommodation to the “hardness of heart” of the Mosaic era’s Jews.

    http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/12260-polygamy

    The early church fathers debated whether the practice was allowed because like Moses, and like missionaries in Africa, they were encountering pagans who practiced polygamy and would not convert without being allowed their wives.

    Polygamists, as a result of Obergefell v. Hodges, as well as incest advocates, probably have their best shot in the Supreme Court since the founding of the Republic.

    This, of course, does not leave the christian church in a bind of any kind.

    The United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church, and so on will say “Welcome aboard!” and the traditional Christians will just keep on trucking as they have been.

  • I have not suggested to you personally that you “do” anything.

    I doubt seriously that anyone outside your family has, either.

    If you were at peace with yourself and your decisions in life, I wouldn’t reading your abrasive little missives.

    Speaking, of course, of closet cases.

  • Being faithful to their religious beliefs, which you hate because it makes your fun out to be naughty. Period.

  • Attachment to sin impedes the process of divinization/theosis (a process the very existence of which you are apparently ignorant of – “whatever the hell that means” – and yet vainly imagine you can venture an opinion on).

    “Who are you to say…”
    It is not I who say it; it is the universal teaching of the Holy Fathers over the past 2000 years. And “Who are you to say” they are wrong, on a topic you know nothing about and have just now learned of?

  • Of all organizations, one one would expect to see and experience an adherence to the truths of scripture. Even those that are socially and culturally in conflict–especially those.

    The ABS will endure all the same accusations of bigotry and hatred as the rest of the Christian world who chooses to side with the bible on belief and practice. So be it.

    Much of the church today is trying to be the sugar bowl to and for the world, (please like us) and thus abandoning our role as salt and light.

    Thank you ABS for leading the church in how she must be and do as the bride of Christ, lest we further lose our way.

  • The Bible says that a man shouldn’t not spill his seed. So, is masturbation also grounds for dismissal? And does the society send out spies to see if you are doing anything wrong?

  • Your hatred against people who are different from you is naughty. Period. Your “religious beliefs” are nothing but an excuse to bash other people, to make yourself feel better. I guess this is the only way you can get your rocks off.

  • Do you really believe that humans were magically hatched by Gawd in the Garden of Eden?

  • Sorry, your nonsensical words are pure divine BS, “Father”. You and the perverted “Holy Fathers” are full of shite. I think you should try being humanized before you seek to be “divinized”. You could stand some reality.

  • Do you really believe you are a result of a Big Bang? And that somehow, someway, the intelligence of a human being somehow ‘evolved’ from ………………. who even knows!?
    The Garden of Eden story is allegory. Did it happen that way exactly? Of course not. Did God create the races of man and place them “separately” throughout the Earth? Yes.

  • You’re a child, Bob. Unlike you, I choose not to be dependent on others’ ignorant definitions to live my life freely. You’re a slave and a disturbed closet case.

  • Your condescension is duly noted. You think you’re better than me. You aren’t.

  • That’s hilarious. Unlike the science of evolution and cosmology, you have zero evidence for your views. ZERO.

  • No. Christ taught that homosexuality is a sin, and these people are helping the homosexuals to know what they need to do to be right with God.

  • “You have it within you to pray temptations away” You have it wrong. Christ is the only One, within people, when they invite Him to be their Lord and Saviour – that can fight the temptation of homosexuality.

  • And you are in total denial; or you are one large Hypocrite if you believe you have it.

  • Denial of WHAT? Unlike you, I’m confortable with uncertainty. I’m not willing to sacrifice my intelligence to your religious fantasies.

  • You won’t hear this from other “Christians” but I am “comfortable with uncertainty” as well. It’s called “faith”. You have it…..I have it.
    Question — how is my life ‘hindered’ by my beliefs? Why do you care about what I believe.

  • Wait, the Jews of the 1st century CE decided to no longer practice polygamy? That’s “incompatible with the history of Judaism”!
    In reality, polygamy only truly disappeared from Judaism by the modern era. If it was as extinct as you say, Rabbeinu Gershom would not have found it necessary to issue an edict c. 1000 CE prohibiting it for Ashkenazim. (Once again, the “Orthodox” changed the law to accord with the practice of the wider world.) It is not prohibited by the Shulchan Aruch [the 16th century code of Jewish law], and as for Mizrahi Jews, it can be still be found in practice. The Sefardi Chief Rabbinate has ruled it halachically permissible, although it advises the custom of placing a no-polygyny clause in ketubot [wedding contracts].

  • Only when man is conformed to the image of Christ (the One who said “Repent!”) does he become truly human, and thus potentially capable of dvinization.

    So you claim to know spiritual reality better than the Holy Neptic Fathers -you who the other day never even heard of divinization/theosis – would lecture others on humility? Precious.

  • I don’t need any help to “fight the temptation”, because it is my nature and my orientation, not a “temptation”. It is how I experience love and intimate connection with another human, as heterosexual people take for granted. Humanity and human relationships cannot be boiled down to anatomy, as if the world is nothing more than a stud farm.

  • It is a blessing, but it also allows one to see how the translations can be tinkered with to promote an agenda. I always find Blue Letter Bible confusing to use. Once I figure it out it’s pretty good.

  • Nice try, but I never said I was better than you. I am a great sinner, who needs to repent. Just like you.

  • Thank you for the heads-up. It is truly both unfortunate, and an invention!

  • Perhaps it one publicly advocated it as praiseworthy, rather than as a sin deserving of repentance, it would be grounds for dismissal.

    There is no indication in the article that the society sent out “spies”. Those mentioned themselves came forward and quit as a result of the new policy, not as a result of “spies”, which would seem to be your own fantasy.

  • Blah blah blah. Here comes the false humility. I don’t have to repent for being gay. I’m not even Christian.

  • No. Christ taught that homosexuality is not natural.
    ” Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves” Romans 1:24
    “26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men…” Romans 1:26

    Christ taught that He will be faithful and just to forgive and cleanse us of our sin should we turn to Him, repent and follow Him. No one has to die in their sin.

  • You’re a bigot, Roy. A particularly mean-spirited, ugly one. I’ve seen the trash you choose to post. It is completely in violation of Christian principles and your alleged “beliefs”. Bigotry is what you believe.

  • Unless you are able to read people’s hearts (like Jesus did), you are unable to truthfully discern whether someone’s humility is false or not. I doubt very much you rise to that level.

    Whether or not one should repent is not a question of one’s religion, but on whether or not one has sinned.

  • That is a lie. That is not the teaching of Christ. Paul wrote that. Get your facts straight. JESUS NEVER MENTIONED HOMOSEXUALITY. And Paul was wrong. I didn’t give up anything; I knew as a child I had a homosexual orientation. For me, behaving as a heterosexual man would be unnatural. 🙂

  • Jesus is the Christ. Christ is God. God spoke it and taught it to Paul to speak to the Gentile Churches.
    “I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 1:11)

  • Well, for your information, my conscience is clear in this regard. Not that it’s any of your business. Your very ideas about what is sinful are your ideas, not mine. As for your false humility, I don’t have to read your heart, only what you post here.

  • The document ABS is requiring its employees to sign doesn’t say anything about publicly advocating it as praiseworthy. It just says, in pertinent part, that employees will refrain from “sexual activity” outside the “marriage covenant.”

  • “This is the way of an adulterous woman: She eats and wipes her mouth and says “I have done nothing wrong'”. Proverbs 30:20

  • My reply was to Tatoo’s example of masturbation, which I assume would not be known by others unless publicly acknowledged.

    Of course, if someone refuses to approve a document saying that employees will refrain from sexual activity outside the marriage covenant, that action in itself would indicate that they do not agree with that prohibition, and therefore approve of sexual activity outside the marriage covenant.

  • It was inconvenient in the first century for the Jewish Christians to convince Gentiles to join if they had to keep kosher and get circumcised.

  • I see you’ve moved the goalposts to “publicly acknowledged” from “publicly advocating as praiseworthy.” Someone in a same-sex marriage could refrain from publicly advocating it as praiseworthy.
    The hypothetical involves employees that sign the document and get caught, not those that refuse to sign it to begin with.

  • Bigotry — intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.

    Intolerance — unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behavior that differ from one’s own.

    You don’t tolerate my beliefs. You — CanisPulchrae – are a Hypocritical Bigot.

  • If someone enters into a same-sex marriage, surely that is a public acknowledgement and advocation that they believe it to be praiseworthy.

  • Did you read what I posted?

    “While polygamy was not forbidden in the Old Testament, it was discouraged, and by the time of the rise of Christianity was basically
    extinct.”

    These proofs by edicts issued later, as with celibacy in Christianity, only prove what the documents contain, nothing more.

    Read this:

    http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/12260-polygamy

    which was part of the post.

    For those trying to follow this:

    http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/10894-mizrahi

  • That’s why you’re here hammering nonsense like “ignorant definitions”, “slave”, and “disturbed closet case”, while I just keep posting facts.

  • I know it’s uncomfortable for you. Someday maybe you’ll be able to breach that stanky closet you’re in.

  • You clearly missed the “modern life” context of of Lark’s and my comments.

    If, as you say, Christians got rid of kosher and circumcision because they were inconvenient for convincing Gentiles to join, surely by the same reasoning Christians should today get rid of their ban on homosexual acts, as it makes it inconvenient for convincing many moderns to join. But since that is largely not happening, that calls into question the validity of your interpretation as to why Christians got rid of kosher and circumcision.

  • Why should I tolerate your hateful bigotry? What’s in it for me? You think your precious Lord would tolerate your crap? Your hypocrisy is rank and loud.

  • If it was uncomfortable for me, I wouldn’t be posting here.

    Someday you, too, will grow up.

  • That could no doubt be said about most Christians as well.The only fully realized human being was Jesus Christ, insofar as He had no sin.

    But your comment was such an adorable attempt at twisting my words! Beyond precious!

  • I could not care less if you personally repent.

    You know the score, you make your choice, you pay whatever the consequences are.

  • Aren’t you the one who said “my conscience is clear”? Your words, not mine.

  • Nope, try again.

    I said only those conformed to the image of Christ are fully human (human as they were intended to be, images truly reflecting the glory of God).

    Most Christians are not that way, myself included.

    So what I said could be summarized as: Most people (including Christians), are not yet fully human.

    By restricting it to non-Christians you willfully distorted what I said, as if what I said only applied to non-Christians, whereas it applies to ALL people (myself included), Christians and non-Christians, who are not conformed to the image of Christ, are not yet fully human in the way God intended. The only fully human man to walk the earth was Jesus Christ, because He was without sin.

  • Well, that didn’t stop you from judging, did it? How do people like you become “ministers”? Jesus would slap you silly.

  • Seems to me they no longer qualify for non-profit. Once they crossed the line between church and state with trying to control paid employees personal lives behind their bedroom doors. These type of cases need a supreme court case to stop this behavior in its tracks.

  • Actually Christ never spoke on Sexual activity. Christians would do better to follow the teachings of Christ than to follow the teachings of the church who never knew Christ and were enmeshed in politics rather than their religious relationship with God.

  • I imagine the Egyptian stone mason guild had a similar prohibition where non Ra worshipers were forbidden chisel scripture onto the side of monuments. Same crap, different epoch. Will mankind ever grow up from this fantasy sky god nonsense?

  • Sorry but how is that a good thing? And how is this policy uncalled for? The groundwork of the organization is to indoctrinate as many Americans as possible. There’s now an ethical dilemma of not embracing those who do not uphold the tenets of that indoctrination?

  • Hate on gays. Don’t you know what they do to each other? how could a normal person stand to be around one? It wouldn’t be so bad if the old adage ” don’t ask, don’t tell” was still in effect. But just look at what those two qu$$r athletes did. They called a press conference, gave a big slobbering kiss to each other, then cried like a baby when Vice President Pence didn’t invite them to sit with him.

  • I see you have no answer to my debunking of your fantasy sketch about polygamy not being “banned by the church fathers until the 4th century, and then only because Christianity had become the state religion of Rome…”. etc.

    Real history beats pseudo-history hands down, doesn’t it?

  • Seems like it played a huge role. I am always cognizant of “revelations” that just happen to coincide with the zeitgeist, like the LDS retractions of polygamy and barring blacks from the priesthood. Judaism, for its part, is replete with such accommodations.

  • It is happening in many Christian denominations, that’s kind of my point. And there are Christians today, and there were Christians in the first century, that disagreed with the majority opinion and insisted on kashrut and circumcision.

  • I didn’t say you characterized all Christians as being fully human, I said you excluded non-Christians from this possibility. And don’t think you get to be snarky toward others here without getting it thrown back at you.

  • So silly. Just a reminder. All this “GOD” stuff is fine if you want to have an Imaginary Friend and think some “Book” from ancient times is somehow relevant to you. That’s Cool. However, in a FREE SOCIETY as it concerns legal questions, No Religious Book is superior to the Constitution. And, the word “GOD”, or other names given to supernatural entities isn’t even in the Law of The Land, The Constitution, and the two times that “Religion” is mentioned, the word or words “no or not” are appended. And, as we also “know” there are Many “Gods” to choose from if someone wants to have a favorite, as I said.. They are ALL equal and exist only in the minds of those who choose a favorite one to follow. But, I can assure you that when someone DOES choose a favorite, they just “know” that THEIR favorite supernatural entity is the REAL one and the rest aren’t. That never changes regardless of WHICH “God” they choose. Sorry to interrupt with reality. My bad. The Devil made me do it. Whew. Not my fault. Carry on.

  • The author of this rant is obviously a Jew. Need we say more?

    Kudos to ABS for standing up for CHRISTIAN principles.

  • Christ is not God, that is a protestant fallacy. Jesus is Christ, Christ is the SON of God, not God himself.

  • Jesus was a Capricorn. He ate Organic Food. Sounds like a Hippie or something. Right? I would just like to add that all of this silly stuff about “God” (I am assuming most are referring to the Christian one) is rather annoying to those of us who know the REAL Story of LIFE. The only REAL made up “God” is my favorite, The Flying Spaghetti Monster. SHE is really nice and just laughs that so many humans think that it took some Guy “God” 6 days to create everything and then HE needed a day off to rest. Really? The Flying Spaghetti Monster created everything you can think of on a Tuesday afternoon while getting HER nails done. If you want things done quickly and efficiently, call a Girl “God”, OK? Become a Pastafarian. Join us! Pastafari!! rAMEN

  • Historical ignorance is not pretty. With the exceptions of Jefferson (the hypocritical atheist who slept with his slave) or the “dirty old man” Franklin, ALL the founding fathers were committed Christains. To a man. God’s Natural Laws make up the Declaration and form the basis of the Constitution. See Pastor Chuck Baldwin at Liberty Fellowship if you wish to be properly informed. ALL of the colonists were Christian. Pilgrims and Puritans settled this land. Christians founded it. I suggest Sweden as an alternative to the country you obviously hate so much.

    Trump was a false start, it is true, but real Christians will indeed make this country great again.

  • Yes, please say more. Jews are just as credible and honorable as anyone else who joins a certain Imaginary Friend Worship Society “Club”. You are all equal in the eyes of the only REAL made up “God” I mentioned previously, The Flying Spaghetti Monster. Relax. Love your Brothers and Sisters. Pastafari!! rAMEN

  • “18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” John 5:18

  • Actually, Christ is the Word of God. Everything said by God is through Jesus.
    “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God[b] may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16

  • As I said. The word “GOD” is not even in the Law of The Land, and it doesn’t matter what the Founding Fathers “believed” in. It isn’t in the Constitution. Will you folks EVER just learn to enjoy YOUR Favorite supernatural entity BUT keep ALL of the associated, ANTI-Freedom/Equality baloney that Churches often try to institute as Societal “Law” (the kind made by humans who were elected to do so). It isn’t. IF Religious Folks EVER learn to just enjoy their favorite “God”, but keep it out of the personal and private AND public business of others, even an Atheist will holler “Hallelujah” to the Heavens. You have certainly bought into the Christian version of Sky Pilots, but, as I said, The Constitution doesn’t even have the word “God” in it, and The Constitution is the “LAW” of the land, not a certain religious doctrine. Thank God. Pray all day. Go away. God thanks you.

  • Think what you want, but someone else’s personal life choices that are “legal” ain’t some made up “God’s” business or that of those who choose to follow an Imaginary Friend. MYOB. Pray all day. Go away. End of problem. This is about Personal FREEDOM and teaching those who don’t understand how it works to MYOB. Get it yet? Not likely, I realize, but it would be cool to see.

  • Let them care about their own “soul” (whatever that is). Ain’t your business. But, if that is how you choose to spend your time, fine, but nobody cares what YOU think about someone else’s “soul”. I do like Soul Music though. It’s cool.

  • The idea that my grandparents might have sex grosses me out.

    Likewise coworkers.

    That doesn’t make it my business.

    The bible society decided that losing an IT employee with 10 years experience (and a significant portion of the rest of their workforce) was more important than distributing bibles. Their choice.

    It’s kind of a bummer from my point of view, since reading the bible is a significant contributor to atheism.

  • Yes, there were a number of heterodox heretical sects outside the Church in the first centuries; there are even more today.

  • Middle School let out early? Or are you typing this on your phone during detention?

  • The path to deification/theosis/salvation is open to every single person. The first step is repentance.

  • A number of conservative positions today represent changes from more traditional opinions. The history of abortion in the USA shows that it was not an issue even among Catholics until the late 1800s. Similarly the 2nd Amendment as a rights issue dates from about 1977 when the NRA by vote became a lobbying organization.

  • “Sins” are a silly little Christian “scare tactic” to make those who choose to have an Imaginary Friend do what some “God’s” followers want them to. And, the only “Laws” that realistically apply to criminal acts by humans are made by humans, not some “God”. OK? Still with me? So, unless you personally buy into a certain Religion’s “sins”, and they aren’t already illegal, who cares? So, call whatever you wish, a “sin”, but it ain’t no big deal, UNLESS you believe in supernatural entities. I don’t. Don’t care about all the “judging” of others that so many Religious Folks can’t do without. Sin is IN! Yeah! The Devil made me say that. Not my fault. Whew. Pray all day. Go away. End of problem.

  • Yep, and the same goes for alcohol issues. Jesus loved drinking Wine, apparently. Right? Obey The Lord! Have a glass of Tawny Port! Stop shutting down Bars on Sunday, too. God will thank you for not belittling his Son’s beverage choices.

  • Your claim that you don’t care is belied by your obsession with commenting on a religious news site, which borders on the manic. If you really didn’t care about God, religion, sin, etc., you wouldn’t even bother to follow a religious news site. Yet you can’t keep yourself away, can you? Sad.

  • The ancient Church rejected abortion from the earliest times right down to the present day.

  • Nice try, however, I am in my 8th decade, and have probably already forgot more than you’ll ever know about a lot of things. Why can’t you folks who DO choose to follow a favorite “God” just enjoy the heck out of it, and MYOB, as I said? Just because someone’s favorite supernatural entity (there are many to choose from) “tells” them this or that and they choose to “believe” it, fine. That’s what believing in supernatural entities is all about. The “do as I say or bad stuff will happen” mentality may work for some, but not all. Love your favorite “God”, and do what It tells you if that makes you happy, and a better person my fellow citizens, but, again……….why not just MYOB and let others, who may have different “beliefs” or none at all, do that as well, without your criticism or judgment of their personal and private life choices? Not that hard. Try it. I hope that was helpful. Middle School wasn’t around back when I was in school. Back in the 50s/60s they called it Junior High or something.

  • The Church has no problem with alcohol, only the abuse of alcohol.

    You’ve obviously never been to the feast after the blessing of the food baskets on Pascha (Orthodox Easter). The alcohol – vodka, ouzo, etc. – flows freely! We have NO problem with alcohol. Za Zdarovje!

  • I do not remember Jesus saying “do not come near me” to people who sinned, or people who were from other religions and beliefs. Jesus accepted every human being as a “child of God” and rejected nobody. Once again the “religious right” rejects the Ten Commandments”. Next, before you come into work, they will quiz you about everything that you did while you were away from work to see if you were “religious enough” to work there. This is a ready-made case for religious discrimination.

  • They have decided that their interpretation of this particular translation of the Bible is the correct one, even though every “translation” of the Bible from 200 A.D. until now can have slightly different words and interpretations of those previous words based on the “understanding” by that translator or group of translators as to the intent of the previous version. What they are saying is only their interpretation of every single thought in the Bible is correct. Yet again, the world is split apart even more by people who deem themselves to know it all about the Bible, a book that has been around for 1800 years or so, in various forms. The American Bible Society has done just the opposite of what Christ and the Second Commandment taught “Thou Shalt Love They Neighbor as Thy Self”.

  • You won’t get disagreement from me.

    I do think it is moreabout the elevation of themselves above the others they are supposed to love, on the assumption that counts extra with their particular and peculiar version of god.

  • The things you need to say more have nothing to do with the author of this piece being “a Jew”, especially since the Bible is a set of stories from the Jews in the OT, and about a JEW in the NT.

    But whatyou have said says a great deal about YOU.

  • Funny how you people make up stuff.

    The word god is not in either document. The only mention of religion are two negative ones. Christianity isn’t mentioned in either document, either.

  • Bullshit. SOME Christians are kind and loving. Plenty go out and preach hate. Just look at conversion therapy or the modern crusade against the LGBT community many fundamentalists are partaking in. Just look at the comments here. There are SO many condemning people in the LGBT community. Christianity is flawed-it preaches about a being that doesn’t exist and encourages hatred.

  • Christianity is closer to Islam and further from Judaism and the LDS in terms of revisionism.

    Their view of the nature of revelation is different, particularly the Catholic, Orthodox, and other eastern traditions which make up the vast majority of Christians, then Reform and Conservative Judaism and the LDS, who have an ongoing revelation.

  • Thanks, Bob. But Jesus doesn’t mention “excommunication” anywhere in that passage. How do you get the concept out of His words there?

  • Of course, Jesus called the prostitutes and tax collectors to repentance. But I don’t see that He refused to eat or associate with them before they did so. His harshest words weren’t for them, but for the religious (and social) elite of His own day.

  • I did not respond to you, but I did respond to a similar argument made by another poster; I assumed you would have seen that and understood it overlapped your comment. For your benefit, here is the relevant part:

    “I don’t think it was extinct in the NT. Evidence for this is secular (the Romans passed stronger anti-polygamy laws for Palestine, which wouldn’t have been necessary if the practice was extinct), circumstantial (why would the early church fathers have bothered debating whether an extinct practice was allowed), and cultural (the jews didn’t start banning the practice until around 1000 AD; jews in Yeman still haven’t given it up).”

    Particular to your argument, Augustine (who was no fan of polygamy) made it clear he did not think polygamy was banned by scripture, but rather by custom and law. Since he lived in the 4th century, I don’t think we can say the issue was settled before then.

    Regardless, my original statement was supporting context for my position that polygamy is scriptural. Instead it devolved into a debate about the church fathers, completely missing the point I was trying to make. We can continue this if you like, otherwise I’ll let you have the last word and we’ll call this done.

  • Interesting that you quote a self-referential passage, again written by Paul, proclaiming what he wrote was the word of God.

  • Bottom line: Jesus did NOT approve sin, did NOT forgive the unrepentant, did NOT come to overturn the law.

  • “Some of us have used this book of love for hateful things,” among them “oppressing women, defending slavery, treating others with disgust and revulsion,” the people on the video proclaim.

    “This book is all about doing just the opposite.”

    Actually, the Bible condones “oppressing women”, “slavery” and “treating others with disgust and revulsion”. If you don’t believe that, you haven’t read the Bible.

  • I found very instructive to watch a YouTube debate between a Biblical scholar and Richard Dawkins. The scholar said that the earliest inscription that talks about a single god, Yawheh, is from about 600BC. But there’s one of around 800BC that talks about Yawheh and his consort. Monotheism is a recent and unfortunate invention.

  • Wake up, Sand! In many Muslim countries the penalty for homosexual acts is death. Do you actually believe that men wake up one morning and think: “Jeez, I feel like sucking some dick today!”

  • That’s hilarious.

    Egypt had a period of monotheism that preceded 800 BCE.

    Richard Dawkins is a legend in his own mind.

  • The idea that all Jews, past and present, were at Sinai to receive the Torah is part of what makes it possible to rule today on halachic issues. Orthodoxy does this too, it’s just that they allegedly refuse to change any halacha prior to around the time of the Shulchan Aruch. But the decision, for example, to rule that completing or ending an electrical circuit (i.e., turning on/off a light switch) violates Shabbat is nonetheless ongoing revelation.
    LDS has someone they literally view as a Prophet, entitled to receive revelation from God. Makes it easier in a way.

  • Actually, he was referring to the Old Testament, and when his letters were incorporated into the Bible, they became scripture also.

  • “You’re just another garden variety gadfly flitting about on the internet hither and yon to annoy people.”

    Bob, that last line describes yourself in a nutshell.

  • Please read my post again: I was talking about Israel, not Egypt. And no, Bob, you are not the only one who knows about Akhenaten. Finally, who mentioned the inscriptions was not Dawkins, but a Christian Bible scholar, John Huddleston.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZd9i-XMAig

    Watch and learn.

  • LOL. Pascal’s Wager from you yet again there Sandi Luckins, and you lose. Do google it sometime.

  • No, Hermie. The passages are subject to interpretation as usual, and since your god isn’t around and isn’t capable of clearing up the disagreement, Majoran’s interpretation stands.

    Get over your silly sky fairy stories already.

  • Generally, “nothing” is the worth of anything you have to say, “Bob Arnzen”.

  • As I said to you the other day, if you are going to follow me around, I take three cream in my coffee

  • Ha, ha, ha.

    Read your own post again. What a muddled mess of incommunication.

    And, no …. Huddleston is a hack at the College of Charleston who denies the existence of Moses, Abraham, and on, and on, and on.

  • Sorry, Bobareeno, but you seem to have forgotten about the Holy Fathers and Mothers of the Church, which for the past 2000 years of unbroken tradition have witnessed to what those passages really mean.

    But, for that matter, even modern, unbelieving Biblical scholars will tell you that Majoran lacks even minimal comprehension skills concerning those passages.

    Get over your anti-religious bigotry already.

  • Do you mean that Abraham was a real person, who was willing to butcher his son because of voices in his head? Wow, your religion is more screwed up than I thought!

    Tell me, Bob, if some entity tells you to kill your son, who would you think that voice came from: God or the Devil? If you see your neighbor walking with a knife, disheveled, and he tells you that God told him to kill his son, what would your reaction be? Drop on your knees thankful that God had gifted humanity with a new Abraham? Or call 911?

  • I mean if he was, or was not, Huddleston wouldn’t know it.

    Or you for that matter.

  • Just to save us both some time, I am blocking you.

    Do enjoy making your silly your anti-religious posts, and you may find someone else silly enough to engage you on them.

  • This is quite a ridiculous statement. I guess Christian’s hate on kleptomaniacs for being who they are. They are sinners who need to repent and be saved from their sin, just like homosexuals, fornicators, and adulterers.

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