People participate in a candlelight vigil for Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi at Brower Commons on the Rutgers campus in New Brunswick, N.J., on Oct. 3, 2010. Clementi killed himself on Sept. 22, 2010, after being bullied for being gay. (AP Photo/Reena Rose Sibayan, File)

Making religious communities safe for LGBTQ kids

(RNS) — Eight years ago this Saturday, my son, Tyler Clementi, died by suicide after vicious cyberbullying at Rutgers University because of his sexual orientation. He was 18 years old.

Tyler was not the first gay youth to die after cruel attacks by peers, and sadly, he wasn’t the last. Study after study continues to find that LGBTQ youth are at a higher risk for suicide than their heterosexual peers.

And those raised in religious communities, many of which teach that being LGBTQ is a sin, are even more likely to attempt suicide.

Think about that. Religious communities are supposed to be a source of strength and love, as my church family was, providing comfort when my son died. But the fact remains that being a part of a religious community increases the risk of an early, tragic death for LGBTQ youth.

In sharp contrast, participation in a religious community decreases the risk of suicide for heterosexual people.

What is different about the treatment of LGBTQ people in religious communities that creates such tragedies?

My family once belonged to a church that taught being LGBTQ was a sin. Like so many other LGBTQ youth, Tyler must have felt rejected, unwanted and shamed. My son did not believe he could be both Christian and gay.

When theology is used to inflict harm and exert power over vulnerable people like my son, it becomes religious bullying. Church teachings are used as social and political weapons to exclude, degrade and dismiss LGBTQ people.

Supporters of LGBTQ rights in the United Methodist Church rally around the central Communion table at the close of the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Mike DuBose/UMNS


 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

The irony is that religious communities are uniquely positioned not only to end bullying in their houses of worship, but also to support LGBTQ youth who face isolation and cruelty in other aspects of their lives. By acknowledging religious bullying and working to rectify it, religious communities can support some of their most marginalized members while adhering to their own teaching to love their neighbors.

It should not take yet another LGBTQ youth suicide to end religious bullying.

When he came out to me, I had to begin reconciling the teachings of my church with my unconditional love for my son. I am grateful to worship now at a church that affirms the lives of LGBTQ people. It is a church that welcomes and accepts everyone as perfectly created in the image of God, adhering to the teachings of Jesus to love and be kind to all, where no one is excluded, marginalized or treated cruelly because of who they are or whom they love.

My husband and I founded the Tyler Clementi Foundation to prevent bullying, including what happened to my son before he died. We hope to see a world where youth like Tyler are respected and treated with kindness — not only by their peers but by their churches.

I want parents to think about how our religious communities treat people who are different. Regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, our children deserve to be taught about love and acceptance, not shame and rejection.

The choices we make about where our families worship can save lives. Don’t make those decisions lightly.

(Jane Clementi is co-founder of the Tyler Clementi Foundation. The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily represent those of Religion News Service.)

Comments

  1. I think our relationships can make it easier for us to accept others as they are, but also harder for us to gain perspective on the issues. We are never going to prevent bullying, although we should certainly try. People who bully others are compensating for their own deep-seated insecurity. The more you lecture them, the more they withdraw behind their line of defense, e.g., “God says” or “everybody knows” or “I’m bigger than you are.” They strike out against anyone who questions or challenges them, not because they know they’re right, but because they know they’re wrong, and the only defense they have is to bully and bluff.
    Most of us go through a period of adolescence when bullying comes easy. Most of us survive it and learn other behaviors. Bullies never learn. They just bully. And the more you pay attention to them, the more they tell themselves they’re smart and everyone else is stupid.

    Having said this, if anti-bullying efforts can keep one more child alive, it’s worth anything.

  2. If you read this Mrs. Clementi…let me express my heartfelt sorrow for the pain you and your family have experienced and still do. I can’t begin to imagine what you’ve been through.

  3. What the religious community needs to do in order to make life safe for LGBTQ people is find the means to edit what it calls its own “scripture”. As long as the people who are just mean can team up with those who are too weak to get rid of their despicable Sodom story, nothing gets much better. Sooner or later, we need to come to the acceptance that (like Noah’s Flood or the Tower of Babel) the Sodom story is a myth that never happened. One would think, by the way, that every woman in a church after actually reading Genesis 19:8, would stand up and say, “Either you get rid of that bit of baloney, or we are outta here.” No God prompted Lot to offer his virgin daughters to a mob of evil men. The whole story is an affront to women everywhere and a ridiculous slander on the whole purpose of a “love your neighbor” religion.

    We wonder all the time why Muslims cannot edit Muhammad’s sayings until Islamic source material does not spawn terrorism. We need to ask why Christians have to settle for junk ourselves. Net, net, we actually don’t. Christians are NOT obligated to continue spinning falsehoods as though they were true. If fact, we are actually OBLIGATED to do the opposite.

  4. The Sodom story may be a myth but its true meaning, as reputable biblical scholars attest, is about offering hospitality to the stranger. But there’s no need to edit out certain biblical passages we routinely ignore, things like eating pork, shellfish or cheeseburgers; all we have to do is adjust our attitude to admit that we’re mature enough to know what parts of the Bible provide inspiration (e.g. the Gospels) versus antiquated texts that may have been helpful to pre-Christian era Jews who were trying to survive as a group but not necessarily to people living in the 21st century.

    That was the raison d’être of all the Jewish purity laws found in Leviticus. Back then, eating pork and shellfish could kill you and spilling seed, whether through homosexual activity, masturbation, or good old-fashioned coitus interruptus would result in fewer Jews. When you’re trying to survive in a dog-eat-dog world, you can’t have that – you need to “be fruitful and multiply.” Now we live on a planet of over seven billion people with rapidly-dwindling natural resources. Seems to me Mother Earth could use some more homosexuality and less “be fruitful and multiply.”

  5. I don’t fail to appreciate that something good, useful or understandable can be found in many of the Bible stories. The fraud on humanity begins when people are told that ALL of this stuff is literally true——and they believe it. We’ve got Trouble in River City—-more than most of us born in the middle of the 20th Century can imagine having happened. The leadership we have forfeited in the world by the shift to Trumpism is a direct result of this one thing: Religious malpractice while the rest of us stood by insufficiently concerned about the coming consequences of that.

  6. Some traditionalists among us will be quick to denounce Tyler Clementi’s mom for offering gay people a false hope. They will piously insist that if you really care about gay people you will gently but firmly remind them that they are going to hell if they refuse to cease and desist with their wicked ways. While they are certainly entitled to their opinion, they are quite wrong, since ostensibly they have no real understanding of what it feels like to be gay or what the still, small voice of God that speaks to some gay people says to them – things like: it’s as okay to be gay as it is to be red-haired, left-handed, Swedish, or short. Of course, many of these traditionalists are gay themselves, they just hate themselves for it and are trying to compensate by lashing out at others. They are always the loudest voices in the room because they are trying to drown everyone else out so they can’t hear that still, small voice speaking the truth to them that they adamantly refuse to hear.

  7. Thanks. As you know from doing this, it’s whatever flies off the keyboard. I really do think that the religious vote is the one reason we are now in the mess we are in. Whether or how this reverses are open questions, but the march to human rights has really, really, really taken a serious hit.

  8. “Religious communities are supposed to be a source of strength and love, as my church family was, providing comfort when my son died.”

    That’s the most positive part of this article. This unnamed religious community was there for Clementi when this tragedy occurred. That’s no small statement. I know of other religious communities also, who have helped people.

    I am aware that there’s a LOT of trouble out there. Nobody wants to talk about it, but there is a lot of tragedy these days, straight and gay alike, just waiting to happen among teens and young adults. Your daily newspaper tells the story.

    Yes, I have a few other things to say elsewhere. But this one post is just a prayer for grace, comfort, healing.

  9. There is no need to denounce Tyler Clementi’s mother. But let’s just look elsewhere for a minute.

    A first-rate pastor & counselor (and also an ex-gay), Rev. Joe Dallas is familiar with the media claim that religion or the Bible somehow leads to gay youth suicide. Dallas gives an excellent discussion and rebuttal.
    http://www.equip.org/article/bully-pulpit-gay-teens-commit-suicide-preachers-blame/

    Focus on the Family’s just-click-on-it Resource List on suicide and bullying, is important and relevant.
    http://media.focusonthefamily.com/topicinfo/resource-list-responding-to-suicide.pdf

    And then there’s the Restored Hope Network. Excellent personal testimonies, some really good information and support, and seriously helpful resource groups you can check out online. https://www.restoredhopenetwork.org/

  10. “The Sodom story may be a myth but its true meaning, as reputable biblical scholars attest, is about offering hospitality to the stranger.”

    This zany spin on the Sodom story runs smack into 3,000 years of belief by people who both read and wrote the original language and could put into the context of an entire belief system rather than into a cut-an-paste post-Christian system which rationalizes everything inconvenient or difficult.

    The origin of this nonsensical interpretation is in the 20th century by a pro-gay “scholar” considered “reputable” by people who really wanted to rid themselves of having to deal with the moral content Abrahamic religions.

    “That was the raison d’être of all the Jewish purity laws found in Leviticus. Eating pork and shellfish could kill you and spilling seed, whether through homosexual activity, masturbation, or good ole-fashioned coitus interruptus would result in fewer Jews.”

    The purity laws’ basis was in making ratification of the Covenant part of the daily life of the Chosen People to distinguish them from the nations.

  11. United States Holocaust Museum, “Persecution of Homosexuals”:

    In 1934, a special Gestapo (Secret State Police) division on homosexuals was set up. One of its first acts was to order the police “pink lists” from all over Germany. The police had been compiling these lists of suspected homosexual men since 1900. On September 1, 1935, a harsher, amended version of Paragraph 175 of the Criminal Code, originally framed in 1871, went into effect, punishing a broad range of “lewd and lascivious” behavior between men. In 1936, Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler created a Reich Central Office for the Combating of Homosexuality and Abortion: Special Office (II S), a subdepartment of Executive Department II of the Gestapo. The linking of homosexuality and abortion reflected the Nazi regimes population policies to promote a higher birthrate of its “Aryan” population. On this subject Himmler spoke in Bad Tölz on February 18, 1937, before a group of high-ranking SS officers on the dangers both homosexuality and abortion posed to the German birthrate.

    Under the revised Paragraph 175 and the creation of Special Office IIS, the number of prosecutions increased sharply, peaking in the years 1937-1939. Half of all convictions for homosexual activity under the Nazi regime occurred during these years. The police stepped up raids on homosexual meeting places, seized address books of arrested men to find additional suspects, and created networks of informers to compile lists of names and make arrests.

    https://www.ushmm.org/learn/students/learning-materials-and-resources/homosexuals-victims-of-the-nazi-era/persecution-of-homosexuals

  12. I suppose that’s a datum supporting the conclusion that beating the Nazis 70+ years ago was a good idea.

  13. You’ve triggered the “LGBT persecution” response.

    The similarity is to the saying that black is white, and then taking draconian measures to enforce that falsehood.

    What is not similar are claims that government LGBT persecution exists in any meaningful way in the USA, or that refusal to facilitate the LGBT agenda it is like racial discrimination, or that facilitating the LGBT agenda involves granting recognition of unalienable rights.

  14. “God says He has the reserved powers”

    He told you this during the pipe or after you put it down?

  15. “This zany spin on the Sodom story” comes straight from Ancient Near East hospitality codes and from Scripture itself:

    Ezekiel 16:49 (NIV)
    “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.”

    The fact that we witness rape, violence, and abuse in the text but focus on homosexuality is a mark against us, not the text.

    Remember, Abraham’s primary virtue was hospitality to the strangers, which was immediately followed by the Sodom story as stark contrast. In a nomadic culture, hospitality is THE central virtue, something that is still true in Bedouin tribes. Cities were, and often still are, concentrations of power that often oppressed and abused those outside the walls.

  16. Ancient Middle East hospitality codes were well understood by the Jews and their rabbis. That’s the spin that was put on it, not the text itself.

    Ezekiel 16:49 tell us they were -ssholes, self-centered, all about ME, and generally not very hale fellow.

    The spin you mention showed up in the 20th century in queer exegesis by a homosexual.

    It somehow slipped right past everyone else for 3,000 years.

    Bah, humbug.

  17. Poor persecuted you. Again.

    Gay people are just like Nazis because we now stand up and fight when you behave like Nazis.

  18. Religious views, especially ones like your own, do not just contribute to violence and suicide among gay youths, it is the prime driver of such things. Seeking to treat gays as less than human and for social / legal permission to attack them with impunity.

    Focus on Family is a hate group devoted to demonizing and attacking gays.

    “Ex gay” groups are both dishonest and serve the same hateful types. To pretend gay’s can be erased from existence and that they are not a class of people with an immutable characteristic

  19. You are wasting your time on a dishonest rube looking only to justify his own prejudices.

  20. The problem with Pascal’s Wager is it posits a God who is vain, petty and open to shameless obsequious pleading rather than one worthy of worship. It also is insulting to religious believers by indicating they are not sincere in belief and only do so out of fear.

    It is a terrible argument for belief. Insulting the person and God who employs it.

    As for being persecuted for being an anti gay bigot, that is just ridiculous. It is gays who are on the receiving end of violence, bullying, threats, discrimination and ostracism.

    What you are saying is you feel annoyed that you are losing the ability to maliciously harm others without consequences. That marks you as a deeply immoral, dishonest and generally repugnant person. Out of all of the religious beliefs to choose from, you picked the one which seeks to harm others for its own sake.

  21. It is the play book , with the exception of birthing and abortion, that the LGBT is following. In their case, abortion is an ally of their LGBT population. Coincidentally, the LGBT also used the beer halls similarly. The pink list today is the Church of God.
    I am only pointing out what has been revealed to me. The LGBT, like the Nazis, expect they will prevail, but the end is the same.

  22. Beautiful appeal by this mother. I am so sorry for what you have had to deal with and appreciate that you are fighting for such a good cause. I actually hope you do not read comments here – most, as usual from right wing Christians – are simply disgusting.

  23. Why did your son need Jesus? Why not pledge your allegiance to someone like Ghandi instead.

  24. LOL! You are calling people Nazis because they oppose your efforts to attack and discriminate against others. That is some heavy duty denial, ignorance or just plain dishonesty on your part.

    BTW, the Nazis opposed abortion for their own citizens, had generous support from conservative/reactionary Christians, and wanted LGBT people treated harshly and murdered. All of which have more in common with your position than the people you described.

    Our current American conservatives have made it be known they are aligned with current successors to Nazis, white supremacists/neo-nazis. Taking up their political positions whole cloth.

  25. I don’t need any luck, thank you just the same. You keep saying that I have a position and I keep saying only what I see happening. Your mask seems to be interfering with your sight and hearing.
    Horses are subject to interfering too.

  26. A quick perusal of historical commentaries will quickly show that pride and inhospitality were seen as the sins of Sodom long before any 20th-century exegesis, queer or otherwise.

    https://biblehub.com/commentaries/ezekiel/16-49.htm

    Matthew Poole, for instance, was writing in the late 1600s [bracketed by ***]:

    “Neither did she [Sodom] strengthen the hand of the poor and needy; she refused to help strangers, ***as appeareth in the history of the angels’ entertainment, Ge 19;*** nor was she mindful of helping the poor with counsel and defence; they were unmerciful and hard-hearted toward the poor amongst them. This was a great sin to those that abounded in wealth, as the Sodomites did.”

    And if you still think this is a spin that’s not in the text, then consider the words of the LORD himself in Genesis 18:20:

    “Then the LORD said, ‘The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great. Because their sin is so grievous,”

    In other words, victims were crying out against Sodom. God was answering their call for justice and relief from Sodom’s evil. He wasn’t there just because something offended his holiness codes. It’s obvious that many people were crying out against rape, abuse, and oppression — not against homosexuality, per se. I’m not saying that the scriptures have nothing to say about homosexuality — I’m saying (along with virtually all scholars, evangelical or otherwise) that Genesis 18-19 is irrelevant to the discussion. People looking to have a serious discussion about what the Bible has to say about homosexuality will focus on Romans 1, not Genesis 19.

  27. You seem to be doing all right making ignorant and dishonest statements without help. I can see that.

    There is nothing more pathetic than the whining of evangelical bigots lamenting they cannot harm others without facing consequences.

    I can’t help it if you have to lie so obviously to defend your views but that is what you are left with to save face.

  28. You’re spinning it.

    I already noted they were not hale fellows.

    Among their depravities was homosexual rape, homosexual congress being an abomination to the Jews, which illustrated just what a bad lot they were.

    For those who are not part of the LBGT propaganda machine, or a member of the minority of “Christian” sects that have thrown the towel in on sexual morality, your argument is amusing. The purpose is to argue that (insert your favorite sin, vice, or perversion here) really is not prohibited.

    The orthodox take on it is along the lines of this from a clergyman in the world’s largest Christian denomination:

    http://blog.adw.org/2012/12/the-sin-of-sodom-and-gomorrah-is-not-about-hospitality/

    Have a nice day.

  29. Christ taught differently:
    “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11English Standard Version (ESV)
    Christ offers life, hope, cleansing and an eternity with Him to those who repent of this filthy sin

  30. homosexuality is a choice:
    “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

    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 and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.” Romans 1:24
    Endorsing the sin and lying to them that it is innate and immutable is leading them to death and no one in their right mind wants them to believe those lies.
    Christ taught that He will cleanse them of the sin, so they can have life and life more abundantly
    https://youtu.be/97TnDfI9Ov8 (edited)

  31. I’ll take that quiz now. And ace it! Watch:

    (1) TRUE OR FALSE: “Jane Clementi [is] grateful to worship now at a church that affirms the lives of LGBTQ people.”

    True, that.

    (2) TRUE OR FALSE: “Jane Clementi [isn’t] grateful to worship now at a church that [dis]affirms the lives of LGBTQ people.”

    True, that, too.

    (3) TRUE OR FALSE: “Jane Clementi [is] grateful to worship [once every] church … affirms the lives of LGBTQ people.”

    Also true.

    (4) TRUE OR FALSE: “Jane Clementi [isn’t] grateful to worship [if there’s even one] church that [dis]affirms the lives of LGBTQ people.”

    Very true, this.

    (5) TRUE OR FALSE: “Jane Clementi [just can’t] worship [as long as there’s] a church that [dis]affirms the lives of LGBTQ people.”

    Truest statement of all, this.

    (6) TRUE OR FALSE: “Jane Clementi [can’t possibly tolerate, recognize, respect and legalize] worship [in] a church that [dis]affirms the lives of LGBTQ people.”

    And that’s the truth of all truths, innit.

  32. if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7 and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked 8 (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); 2 Peter 2:6
    Homosexuality is a factor.
    If you will remember, the Lord was going to destroy the entire town before the exemplified their immorality by requesting homosexual sex and then trying to force it. He was willing to bring 10 righteous people out of S&G and no homosexuals were invited out.

  33. FYII (For Your Insult to the Intelligence):

    “Roman emperor from 218 to 222 … Elagabalus married and divorced five women, three of whom are known. His first wife was Julia Cornelia Paula; the second was the Vestal Virgin Julia Aquilia Severa. Within a year, he abandoned her and married Annia Aurelia Faustina, a descendant of Marcus Aurelius and the widow of a man he had recently had executed. He had returned to his second wife Severa by the end of the year. According to Cassius Dio, his most stable relationship seems to have been with his chariot driver, a blond slave from Caria named Hierocles, whom he referred to as his husband. The Augustan History claims that he also married a man named Zoticus, an athlete from Smyrna, in a public ceremony at Rome. Cassius Dio reported that Elagabalus would paint his eyes, depilate his body hair and wear wigs before prostituting himself in taverns, brothels, and even in the imperial palace … Herodian commented that Elagabalus enhanced his natural good looks by the regular application of cosmetics. He was described as having been ‘delighted to be called the mistress, the wife, the queen of Hierocles’ and was reported to have offered vast sums of money to any physician who could equip him with female genitalia. Elagabalus has been characterized by some modern writers as transgender or transsexual.”

    Source: Wikipedia, where else.

  34. Charles Marsh, Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (NY: Knopf, 2014), p 174:

    The theological faculties [in Berlin] offered no sanctuary either. On the evening of May 10, 1933, the first day of the summer semester, students and professors joined members of the local Sturmabteilung* around a bonfire at the Opernplatz in the shadows ot the Humboldt monument. Albert Einstein and Thomas Mann, Sigmud Freud and Walther Rathenau, Stefan Zweig, Erich Maria Remarque, and Hermann Hesse were among the authors whose names were read aloud in a litany of protest against those who defied “the national will to live.” the mob threw hundreds of volumes — seized from libraries, synagogues, and churches — on to the massive fire. Also destroyed were the workds of Heinrich Heine, a writer of Jewish descent, who a century earlier had foreshadowed the hell to come: “Where they burn books, they will ultimately also burn people.”

    It’s fascinating how in threads here, hateful homophobia is vented by “Christians” who also turn out to be, quite predictably, white supremacist racists, anti-Semites, and Nazi apologists.

    Some “Christians.”

    * The Nazi party’s original paramilitary force.

  35. When did you decide to be heterosexual? I know I never did. I was just built that way.

    You sound like someone who has never had consensual adult relations.

    Of course being a prooftexting dishonest troll you omitted the beginning part where the sin being described is idolatry

    22 “Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.”

    ” God gave them up to dishonorable passions”

    So God turned idolators gay as a punishment. Interesting. So homosexual behavior being an expression of God’s hand. You really don’t read this stuff closely.

    Of course your type doesn’t read the Bible, they just quote parts of it to make excuses for being terrible nasty people.
    https://whatever.scalzi.com/2005/05/06/what-my-jesus-would-do/

  36. Oh Sandi, does it ever give you pause about supporting the murder and suicide of gay people or are you just an entirely immoral malicious sociopath?

  37. What’s it like working for “God Hates Fags!”? they must pay you a lot to monitor this site and post your anti-gay diatribes day after day, for the last few years. You are one vile human being to denigrate and dehumanize a woman who lost her son!

  38. I think that a gay baby took your toy away when you were a tyke. Otherwise, there isn’t a logical explanation for your deep-seated hatred of LGBTQ folks and your quest to confound our simple request; to be left alone and allowed to live a happy life along with everyone else on the planet, heterotypicals included.

  39. So, from that text, you take it that the sin was that men liked men, not that a gang gathered outside Lot’s house and demanded to gang rape his guests?

    That’s like freaking out about a KKK Thanksgiving parade because they didn’t draw the proper permit first or because the were wearing white after Labor Day.

  40. You are wrong of course, and certainly I don’t mind debating about how wrong you are.
    But there are times when readers or also want to see some “Okay, so where do I go from here” resources and information. So I try to offer some. It’s important.

    Btw, the ex-lesbian Janet Boynes points out that a big concern for those wanting to escape the Gay Plantation is “the fear of being alone.” She writes, “Stepping out of a same-sex relationship will be difficult. The fears that come along with standing alone have the potential to discourage anyone.”

    So, for readers interested in that topic, please check out her article:
    https://www.charismanews.com/opinion/73243-ex-lesbian-reveals-the-no-1-fear-of-someone-who-wants-to-leave-homosexuality

  41. Umm, you forgot to refute the Scripture she cited. Try again?

  42. Hatred of LGBTQ folks would exhibit like this:

    “That $&*@!*& queer, who does he think he is comparing heterosexuals to Nazis?”

    My own position is much more moderate.

    Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its genesis remains largely unexplained. Based on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, the Christian tradition has always declared that homosexual acts are objectively disordered. They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be morally approved.

    The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. They are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

    Everyone, including homosexual persons, are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

    Despite a long and expensive propaganda campaign, LGBTQ activists encounter individuals who in good conscience do not support one or more of their demands. As a propaganda ploy they may equate such people to Nazis, and/or their demands as the fulfillment of unalienable rights, equating their condition with racial inequality. A typical ploy is to assert their target has a “deep-seated hatred of LGBTQ folks”.

    Error possesses no rights.

    Behavior and skin color are not equivalent.

    Have a good day.

  43. Whether it’s the deep seated utter hatred or the kinder, gentler version, it boils down to the same thing, you want to tell us that we are disordered, have no rights and have to spend our lives in some sort of hell on earth to fight that which is natural to us. You’re wrong, God loves us as we are and we’re happy to live our lives with one another in peace. The sooner that folks who believe such as you believe accept that or die, the better off the world will be.

  44. You are disordered. It’s a tough situation for you. You have my sympathy.

    If you were a kleptomaniac I would say the same thing.

    God loves kleptomaniacs, too, but it does not entitle them to acting on their impulses.

    I supported Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003) putting intimate consensual sexual conduct out of the reach of the government.

    You have a right to privacy.

    I opposed and still oppose Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S.(2015) creating a “fundamental right to marry” because the Constitution guarantees nobody has to be lonely.

    No it does not.

    Where the hatred shows up is here:

    “The sooner that folks who believe such as you believe accept that or die, the better off the world will be.”

    and the conversations at JoeMyGod and so on reek of the same viewpoint.

    The Catholic Church is not going away, nor is it going to change its position.

    The Southern Baptist Convention is not going away, nor is it going to change its position.

    Traditional Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are not going away.

    The right of a people to fashion the society in which they live is not going away.

  45. It’s pretty much a given that any post from Spuddie to someone or about someone he/she/it disagrees with is going to include “liar”, “nazi”, or some combination that’s equivalent.

  46. Ah, the real Christian let’s us know that everyone who does not support his position, which for decades involved a forlorn hope that the Catholic Church would endorse same sex physical congress, is guilty of “hateful homophobia” and are “white supremacist racists, anti-Semites, and Nazi apologists”.

    Uh, no.

  47. What it is like participating in “Kill the Straights” over at JoeMyGod?

    Oh, and apparently you can’t read.

  48. Yes I did. She quotemined and left off the first part, where the sin being punished by God was idolatry. Bigots always love to omit that prior paragraph from Romans 1.

  49. Not at all. Without your hateful views and cheap excuses using religion, the problem would not exist. The inability of fundies to respect the lives of others is not only well documented, it is admitted to by them.

    Your hatred of gays is already well noted. As is your support of attacks on them. You lionize hateful miscreants who are rightly punished for maliciously attacking others in service of such prejudice.

    Who are you trying to kid here?

  50. The Students burned Pornography and other degenerate literature.

  51. No. It’s simple. They wanted homosexual sex and it showed the angels why the Lord wanted to destroy the place.

  52. He doesn’t hate them Tuesday. Jesus died for them also. They need to come to the conclusion that they need Him and want to please Him

  53. Homosexuality is idolatry Spud. Christ does not condone or approve of homosexuality, so the people follow an idol that they say condones the sin. The idol can be a simple as their sex partner. The people follow that idol rather than Christ.

  54. If I may, the real hatred is what the world is showing them.
    The world is agreeing and endorsing the sin – allowing them to recruit – and lying to them that it is good, innate and immutable – thus directing them further to the world’s (satan’s) desire for them to join him in Hell. That is not love. That is not acceptance. Acceptance wants what is good for one. These “endorsers” are supporting satan and have no concern for the homosexual other than to contribute to their quota of those they drew away from Christ’s protection.

  55. On 6 May 1933, members of the German Student Union (DSt) [which had been in existence since 1919], made an organised attack on the Institute of Sex Research in Berlin’s Tiergarten area. A few days later [May 10], the institute’s library and archives were hauled out and burned in the streets of the Opernplatz. Around 20,000 books and journals, and 5,000 images, were destroyed.

    Preceding this event:

    On April 8, 1933, the Main Office for Press and Propaganda of the German Student Union proclaimed a nationwide “Action against the Un-German Spirit”. Local chapters were to supply the press with releases and commissioned articles, sponsor well-known Nazi figures to speak at public gatherings, and negotiate for radio broadcast time. On the 8th of April, the Student Union also drafted the Twelve Theses which deliberately evoked Martin Luther and the historic burning of “Un-German” books at the Wartburg festival [in 1817] on the 300th anniversary of the posting of Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses.

    It is claimed that some burnings took place at other universities, but no photographic record exists of this.

    Some were postponed a few days because of rain. Others, based on local chapter preference, took place on 21 June, the summer solstice, a traditional date of celebration.

    The only photos I have ever seen are the two from Berlin on May 10, 1933. The facts do not attest to general “Nazi book burning” under the National Socialist regime 1933-1945, but that is what is insinuated by the MSM and even by ‘historians’. It is the usual ‘fake news’ and ‘fake history.’

  56. Yup. sure sounds like Nazis burning books. But your postings usually don’t support your theses.

  57. When I was 13, my mother burned a copy of playboy she found in my room. Threw it on the grill. She is a n.azi.

  58. No it isn’t. Nice try quote miner.

    Being a fundamentalist Christian means never admitting to acting dishonestly or owning up to personal character flaws. Blame God for one’s personal bigotry and make spurious excuses when caught fibbing. 🙂

  59. So that means you are saying its not a choice. There goes your argument. Oh wait, you don’t expect to be logical or consistent here. You are just throwing out stuff in response for its own sake.

  60. The Lord said that he was responding to the outcry against Sodom, to see for himself. “It’s simple” means that you believe people were crying out to the Lord because there were homosexuals, rather than people crying out against a city that would rape strangers.

    Ezekiel says that their core sin was pride and lack of concern for the poor. “It’s simple” means that you believe that homosexuals are necessarily full of pride (in a way that heteros are not) and that homosexuals care nothing for the poor. Either that, or you seem to be saying that you are a more authoritative interpreter of Scripture than Ezekiel. Isn’t the most basic principle of biblical interpretation that “Scripture interprets Scripture?”

    I’ve been involved in numerous conferences and gatherings of pastors, leaders, and scholars across the evangelical spectrum and none of them see it the way you do, but somehow “it’s simple.” You won’t find a single book from Eerdman’s, Baker House, Zondervan, IVPress, etc. that sees Genesis 19 as relevant to the modern discussion of homosexuality. William Webb, author of the voluminous “Homosexuals, Women, and Slaves,” an exhaustive treatise on the interpretation of the relevant passages for this debate (and someone who DOES interpret Scripture as forbidding homosexuality for today), doesn’t treat Genesis 19 as relevant. Richard Hays, author of “The Moral Vision of the New Testament,” also someone who doesn’t see homosexuality as acceptable to God, doesn’t see Genesis 19 as relevant. But for you, “it’s simple.”

    You already have a clear passage that supports your ultimate views on homosexuality (Romans 1), but you insist on importing Genesis 19. Why? Yes, Genesis 19 involves homosexual sex, but it’s simply not about homosexual sex, per se, not any more than Onan’s sin was masturbation (which it was not, despite centuries of misinterpretation by people ignorant of the backdrop of Levitical law and levirate marriage). But for you, “it’s simple.”

    You put homosexuality and gang rape on the scales of justice and somehow come away with homosexuality as the weightier sin. I quite confident that the Bible says otherwise.

  61. No, she wasn’t.

    If you cannot distinguish between an organized political movement that led the entire world into a devastating war, and your mother trying to raise you right— obviously, she didn’t-x You trivialize both your mother and Nazis.

  62. Your mischaracterization of everything I’ve said is so off-base that it seems willful and malicious. My purpose is not to “argue that (insert your favorite sin, vice, or perversion here) really is not prohibited.” I’ve already said that Romans 1 obviously applies and is far more clear. My point is that Genesis 19 is irrelevant to the discussion of homosexuality. Worse, it clouds the issue by equating rape with consensual sex between adults.

    Msgr. Charles Pope’s linked blog is right that one can argue that homosexuality can’t be excluded from the sin of Sodom, but he’s wrong that it’s the central sin. Ezekiel is clear on that. And modern writers often misunderstand the centrality of hospitality codes, probably thinking of dinner parties or letting someone crash on the couch. Hospitality was life-and-death to nomads like Abraham (something that the city dwellers apparently saw little use for). When I was in Israel and Jordan in 2007, I spoke with Abu Salaam, a Bedouin patriarch. He was insistent about the centrality of hospitality and how we Westerners don’t understand. It was even Abraham’s great virtue. Hospitality is so central that if I were to kill Abu Salaam’s son and immediately ask for hospitality, he would be obligated to grant it for 3 days. He would have to host me, his son’s murderer, for 3 days! If he were to attack or kill me instead, his sin would be seen as greater than mine. That’s how central hospitality is and was in the Near East. And Scripturally, Genesis is a series of repeated contrasts between the righteous and the wicked. Cain vs. Abel/Seth, Lamech vs. Noah, Babel vs. Abraham (“we will make our name great” vs. “I will make your name great.”). This pattern of contrasts is continued with Abraham vs. the city of Sodom — Abraham who shows hospitality to the strangers vs. Sodom who wants to rape the strangers. It’s built right into the narrative pattern in order to paint a picture of what it means to follow God like Abel/Seth or to pursue self and violence like Cain.

    This is not “spin.” It is an honest attempt to wrestle through what Scripture says and does not say. Again, you have Romans 1, in which Paul is more clear than any other passage you can find. Insisting on Genesis 19 seems cruel, like an attempt to conflate homosexuality with gang rape. Jesus sought to be a friend to sinners, all the while not changing what he believed. To the woman caught in adultery, he said, “Then neither do I condemn you” and also, “Go and sin no more.” Stick to what you believe. Argue for it. Be clear about it. But please do so with compassion and mercy, like Jesus. After all, it is God’s kindness that leads to repentance (Romans 2).

  63. Peterexplains it to you.
    I don’t care what you have ben involved in – scripture is the authority.
    Homosexual sex was one of the improprieties of S&G

  64. When questioned, Christ responded with scripture. It should be no different with His followers

  65. Genesis firmly displays the difficulty with homosexuals.
    “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.”
    They were arrogant – they knocked on the door expecting strangers to have immoral sex with them. They tried to force the door expecting strangers to have immoral sex with them.
    They were unconcerned – they cared nothing for propriety and pushed their need for immoral sex to a point of attempting rape. They cared nothing for the men they were trying to rape
    They did not help the poor and needy – no one but Lot (and the angels) protected the visitors from the immorality of S&G. It wasn’t a refusal to bake cupcakes for the orgy.
    Your use of Ezekiel is accurate from that perspective.
    The verse afterward explains what you choose to miss:
    ” 50 They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.”
    detestable things – homosexuality, rape, and whatever else made Lot’s daughters think having sex with their dad was appropriate
    Homosexuality cannot be separated because of Ezekiel. It further exemplifies the sin.
    The angels escorted no homosexuals out of S&G.
    if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7 and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked 8 (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); 2 Peter 2:6 (edited)

  66. God does love you. He sent His Son to die for you also. He asks you to decide if you love your sin more than Him.

  67. led the entire world into a devastating war
    Be careful you don’t fall off a cliff following every other Lemming.

  68. Don’t forget —

    Paul, who authored most of the NT and most of the negativity about homosexuality, describes here the nature of his own knowledge and understanding —
    1. …our knowledge is partial and incomplete…
    2. …we see things imperfectly…
    3. All that I know now is partial and incomplete…
    (1 Corinthians 13:9,12)

    We all must eventually work out our own lives as we come to know and learn and see what’s best for ourselves.

  69. You totally skipped over her quotation of 1 Cor. 6:9-11 there. But you cannot afford to skip over it, because that passage not only identifies homosexual behavior as a sin, but also points out what is at stake, (and the stakes can’t get any higher!!), PLUS it clearly points out that Jesus actually freed & delivered real people (the ancient Corinthians) from this sin. That’s a totally important historical claim for people who want healing & deliverance from gay identity and homosexual behavior.

    Btw, I’m not ignoring what you said about Romans 1, Do you want me to rip up your previous post now, or just do it later?

  70. Actually ALL sin boils down to idolatry — which is putting ANYTHING ahead of the loyalty we owe to Christ alone. It just manifests in different ways. The ultimate idol is self.

  71. Of course I can skip it. Proof texting is not actually honest reading of a given book. corinthins 6:9 does not identify homosexuality but is more generalized in describing a panoply of sins. You chose to read such a meaning into it. Because you are a hateful person who seeks excuses to act badly to others and to revile and slander them.

    It’s not God making you a bigot, you are just using God to avoid owning up to it yourself. Typical fundie, never takes responsibility for their views, full of dishonest excuses when called out for their venal petty nonsense.

  72. Paul was chosen by Christ to start the Gentile church. In His omniescience, He knew what Paul would teach after spending 3 years teaching Paul by revelation on Arabia. He would not have Paul contradict what He had taught elsewhere.
    ” 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

  73. ” …the gospel I preached is not of human origin. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. ”

    It takes enormous ‘confidence’ to say something like that. It also took enormous ‘honesty’ to say ‘my knowledge is partial and incomplete and I see things imperfectly’.

  74. he was speaking about love in the quote you submit Billy.
    He was taught by Christ and approved by Him in what he taught, as Christ expected the Gentile church to be started by him. Now, unless you are teaching that the Gentiles are standing on shaky ground, perhaps you need to rethink your position. (edit)
    Christ would not leave anyone on a shaky ground when it comes to a salvation issue such as homosexuality. He taught that homosexuals would not see the Kingdom of Heaven. Period.
    Blessings

  75. Easy answer for this. Freedom of religion. If you don’t like what a particular religious group stands for then don’t go. Simple as that.

    People in churches, synogogues, mosques and other houses of worship have the constitutional right to express and define their religious beliefs. If you don’t like them go somewhere else.

    One thing I have learned from a number of chaplains who I have worked withe over the years is the importance of forgiveness. But also there is a strong force to justify various departures from traditional values with a collateral attempt to turn forgiveness into free license to do whatever you want in regard to ___________(name your poision). Of course once all things are “licensed” and there are no remaining sexual behaviors that immoral then there will be no need for forgiveness.

    Of course I would expect that some on this site are already there, that is seeing no need for forgiveness as there is no god and not accountability to god and no value to religion. What is ironic is that the same people who would demonize traditional Christian religions won’t touch Judaism with a 10 foot pole (anti-Semitic you know) and righteously defend Islam (in spite of its track record these past 50 years in various parts of the world and its role in the death of thousands upon thousands of Americans). (All you righteous defends of Islam can now pile on calling all those who observe the facts fear mongers, racists,bigots and so forth).

    The only thing that is consistent across the board in how most folks address religion is: how can it be used to serve my agenda (either with my support or my enmity). In other words is religion a useful ally or a useful enemy in the accomplishment of my own agenda which is normally to empower whatever it is that the particular person wants to do in his or her life.

    We aren’t looking for forgiveness. When we say we are looking for acceptance we are saying we are looking for license to do what “we want” and not to be held accountable to anything greater than ourselves, especially anything that would call my behavior into question as immoral or (gasp) sinful.

    So rather than trying to use religion as subterfuge for our own personal agendas, why don’t we just be honest and say we really don’t give a hill of beans about what any god/God/religious authority/holy book/holy seer/church/mosque/synogogue/etc… have to say. All we really care about is what we have to say so I can live “the good life” as I see fit.

    And the reality of it… in the US you can… You are free to be religious or not. To live accountable to an external authority (divine or other source spiritual) or not. To attend a house of worship or not. You can even try to subvert a religious tradition and change it to support your own agenda. Or you can just criticize it and try to get people to dismiss it.

    And people who hold to a spiritual disciple are free to continue to do so and see things as they are: people just trying to use religion to justify whatever it is they want. And hopefully the true adherents of a spiritual path, who believe there is something greater will rise above just turning religion into one more commercialized venue to sell us instant gratification and moral cover for whatever it is that we want to do.

    When we finally destroy all ideals, all moral codes, all things that transcend us, when all things are finally relevant and we are all a panetheon of god then we will have finally achieved the insight that in the end we are just evolved animals, nothing special, just selfish organisms struggling for pleasure and survival and nothing about us is significant, spiritual, of eternal worth. Time will pass and our sun will die and we shall be erased from existence and nothing will have mattered.

    That is unless it is true that God does exist, that we do have a greater purpose, that there is some grand design to which we are accountable, something that gives meaning and purpose, something that lasts.

    That’s the riddle… the one the presocratics wrestled with as they tried to understand change and permanence, that Plato and Aristotle wrestled with in trying to find not just the essense of being and life in reality looking for something of the human that endures. It is the riddle of existence that all religions touch. Something in us cries to endure to last to mean something.

    But maybe one day, all those who would decry religion and spirituality, who would turn meaning into nothing but the pleasure of the current moment (however one wants to experience that) will succeed in crushing the spiritual out of all humanity. Will we then be human or just a highly evolved animal?

    When there is no more shame… we as a human race shall have finally ascended. When there is no more shame we shall at last be “gods”.

  76. You’re very scholarly in analyzing situations.

    There is a tremendous simplicity about the Christian experience and that it is the work of the ‘Spirit’ in us. That spiritual work does not need to be academic, intellectual, ecclesiastical, theological or any other hard to access activity for only the few.

  77. and the Spirit will not endorse homosexuality Billy. Blessings

  78. and He knows that He doesn’t want you to participate in sex unless married to someone of the opposite sex. He asks you to love Him more than your sin.
    Concerning Married Life

    7 Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 I say this as a concession, not as a command. 7 I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.

    1 Corinthians 7 New International Version (NIV)

  79. Black people should have figured out by now that discrimination against minorities is wrong, yet for some reason they have not.

  80. There is no “Gay Plantation”, you psychopath.

  81. Discrimination against gay and trans people leads them to suicide. Black people should know better by now, yet for some reason they do not.

  82. You are a delusional homophobe and a transphobe, who lynches innocent children for money. #FakeBlackPerson

  83. What I find interesting is that your take on S&G is pretty much a purely Christian take, it isn’t at all how the rabbis approach it. They even fill in more of the story as to whose cries were calling out against S&G. It was a young beggar girl who was thrust up upon the city wall to die, due to the Sodomites craven inhospitality.

    So the ramblings of a priest in the world’s largest quasi-Christian cult don’t interest me as holding water.

  84. He’s actually worse than Evangelical bigots, he’s that and an End Times/Apocalypse nut-job rolled into one.

    Beware, I hear the sound of distant huff beats! Yahahahahahaha!!!!

  85. And your rantings are about to lead to me blocking you.

    Fair enough?

  86. Yes He does David. He just wants you to stop rebelling against Him, and leading others in rebellion against His desires for us – you are hurting yourself and possibly others. He will help you to change because He paid a lot for you to be saved – His life – and all He expects is you to respect His wishes, and serve Him – not the god of the world.
    Galatians 1:8-11 explains what the repercussion is for changing His word and teaching otherwise and it isn’t good.
    Revelation 2:14 is for those who practice a lie.
    May God bless you.

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