Dan Savage on Coming Out to Your Evangelical Family

Dan Savage, Savage Love columnist, is offering advice on when/how gay people should come out to their evangelical Christian families.

Reader Paul adds, “I think you’ll find the parallels to atheism to be pretty clear.”

(Thanks to Paul for the link!)

  • http://cycleninja.blogspot.com Paul Lundgren

    You’re welcome.

  • Anonymous

    Listen up IL high school students — here’s the Dan Savage approach, recommended by your public school teacher:

    Even as teenagers, you are wiser and more sophisticated than your Victorian parents and you are entitled to your own version of “integrity”…

    Simply deceive your evangelical parents until they finance four years or more at university. They’re dopey, parochial dolts; they’ll never notice what you’re up to…

    Then, having bilked them for $100K or so, unveil your treachery and demand that your parents not only tolerate, but genuinely embrace your physically, emotionally, and spiritually destructive sexual practices and your various partners.

    That newsflash may not offend your Christian family quite enough, so be sure to salt your declaration with vulgar expletives.

    Coerce their compliance by threatening your father and mother with the loss of your delightful company.

    Never mind the disrespect, dishonor, and heartbreak you are showing toward people who have loved you from conception. Concentrate on gratifying your every lust. And don’t think about explaining all this to Jehovah God at the end.

    Oh, how exciting — a promising start to a lonely, empty, hopeless lifetime of depravity (ending in eternal hell, but you can worry about that later)!

  • Anonymous

    Let us also note that if students click on the Dan Savage link above, they can read where Dan affirms a 20 yr old man’s sexual interest in a 17 yr old boy, saying: “…it would be a shame if you didn’t allow [the 17 yr old boy] to benefit from your wisdom, experience, and cock just because he wasn’t born 12 months earlier.”

    But parents, don’t worry — Mr Mehta does not influence his students in any way; he only teaches math.

  • http://cycleninja.blogspot.com Paul Lundgren

    Anonymous,

    Let’s pretend for a minute that you’re a member of the Illinois “Family” Institute. You are the kind of scum who give Christians a bad name. If you can’t handle ideas that are different than yours, go crawl back in your cave.

    Dan Savage is the kind of gay man you should fear most: reasonable, intelligent, compassionate, and who understands that the real world doesn’t fit nicely into your rigid “moral” framework (read: bigotry). In other words, he’s the kind of person you should try to emulate more. Because if you think there AREN’T 17 year olds out there dating 20 year olds, you went to a different high school in a different universe than I did.

    When it comes to influencing kids…you’re the kind of people whose abstinence-only education programs have led to higher rates of teen pregnancy and STDs than where comprehensive education programs are taught. Short version: Your influence on kids backfires spectacularly, and you’re in no position to point fingers (yeah, like THAT ever stopped you)

    Pick up a copy of “unChristian” sometime, read it cover to cover, and then go back and take notes. It beautifully explains not only why evangelicals are increasingly loathed in America, but why.

    And, do try to get out of the basement now and again. The real world isn’t as scary as you think.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    But parents, don’t worry — Mr Mehta does not influence his students in any way; he only teaches math.

    Seeing how you quoted DAN SAVAGE AND NOT HEMANT, you’re absolutely right.

    Laurie Higgins, you should know better than to think you can get away with anonymous character assassination.

  • Siamang

    Yeah, is that Higgins or a crony?

  • Anonymous

    Addressing Mr Lundgren’s remarks:

    I am not a “member” of IFI, although I am familiar with the organization. (It should be obvious from my ordinary vocabulary that I am not Mrs H, if that was your assumption.)

    No, I am merely a Bible-believing Christian who recognizes that deceiving one’s parents, engaging in homosexual practices, and telling one’s parents to “f— off” is profoundly dishonorable (to say the least).

    The fatal flaw of your own position, Mr L, is evident each time you, believing yourself tolerant and loving, are compelled by your own sinful rage against God’s authority to attack and insult your ideological opponents. I assure you that being called “scum” neither upsets me nor changes the Truth of God’s design; it simply illustrates Romans 1:21.

    PS — I don’t have a basement.

  • Anonymous

    MikeTheInfidel, Mr Mehta not only posted Dan Savage’s video, but also created a link to the advice column, and he did so without expressing disagreement with any of the content. Therefore the inference is that Mr Mehta likes the video and has no objection to the advice.

    In case you don’t comprehend the problem, let me explain it to you:

    Here we have a public school teacher, whose salary is financed by taxpayers, facilitating access to information that encourages an adult to entice a minor child and to engage in homosexual sex with a minor child.

    Mr Mehta is within his constitutional rights to publicly express his religious convictions (atheism requires more faith than Christianity!) or vigorously espouse his political views, whether I agree with it or not.

    Here, however, Mr Mehta has demonstrated himself lacking in sound judgment as well as in morals. I hope he will reflect and choose a wiser course.

  • Siamang

    atheism requires more faith than Christianity!

    Awesome! I’m better than you!

  • http://thehappyhuman.wordpress.com John

    OMG! He “created a link” to some content! He “facilitated access to information”!

    Let’s stone him! Who’s got some weed?

  • Siamang

    John, don’t you know that’s the original sin! Adam ate of the fruit of access to forbidden information!

    Mustn’t have knowledge. Knowledge is SIN!

    Also don’t link to someone unless you approve of everything he’s ever said or written. That’s a LAW OF GOD!

  • Siamang

    Hey Anonymous, watch the video above!

    What do you think about Baptist ministers breaking both the arms of their 14 year-old sons, locking them in the closet for two days then throwing them out of the house, just for being gay?

    On the record: better or worse than what Jesus has lined up for that 14 year-old kid when he dies?

  • http://cycleninja.blogspot.com Paul Lundgren

    Anonymous,

    The fatal flaw of your own position, Mr L, is evident each time you, believing yourself tolerant and loving, are compelled by your own sinful rage against God’s authority to attack and insult your ideological opponents.

    I never claimed to be tolerant or loving. I have no patience towards “Bible-believing Christians.” Or at least, not those who use Christianity as a convenient filter through which to spew their prejudice.

    Hemant Mehta’s the Friendly Atheist, not me. I’m perfectly willing to sit down and have a reasonable discussion, but not with people who can’t be reasoned with. Case in point:

    “…deceiving one’s parents, engaging in homosexual practices, and telling one’s parents to “f— off” is profoundly dishonorable (to say the least).”

    Let’s discuss your little quote mine. What Savage really said was, if your parents expect you to go through some program to pray away the gay, “Tell them to fuck off…nicely.” So you’re supposed to heap piles of shame down on the head of some poor gay kid who CAN’T CHANGE HOW HE/SHE IS, and telling them to fuck off (metaphorically or otherwise) is somehow disrespectful? No, it’s not–it’s justified. But in taking Savage’s quote out of context and distorting its intent, you have also just born false witness, which if I’m not mistaken is one of the Ten Commandments. You know, that set of rules you want to hang in courthouses and shove down our throats but only obey yourselves when it’s not inconvenient?

    And believing that homosexual practices are profoundly dishonorable is to not see the reality that your sexual attractions are something with which you are born. It’s not a choice, and your position is one at which us reality-based humans simply shake our heads in exasperation.

    And that bit about deceiving parents? Since the Bible says “Honor thy father and thy mother,” but it also says (in Proverbs) that is’ just hunky-dory for parents to beat their children (and not stop just for some silly reason like the child is crying), then that makes the deal null and void. Deuteronomy says to KILL children who talk back. Parents earn respect by their actions. But if you have a legitimate fear of retaliation for the unreasonable, antiquated, and-yes-immoral beliefs of your parents, yes, you have a right to keep your sexuality secret until they can’t hold a club over you any more.

    You point out Savage’s advice to a 20-year-old looking to date a 17-year-old. Go up to the top and watch that video again, to the end. Watch and listen to him tell the story of the man Savage used to date who, when he was 14 years old, had been beaten by his father to the point where he broke both his arms, was locked in a closet for two days without medical attention, and then was thrown out of his house. Naturally, his father was a Baptist minister. Now, would you mind explaining what is so tolerant and loving about THAT?

    Oh, and my “own sinful rage against God’s authority?” That is guaranteed to make an atheist laugh in your face. We don’t believe in God, period. Get it straight.

  • Valdyr

    What do you think about Baptist ministers breaking both the arms of their 14 year-old sons, locking them in the closet for two days then throwing them out of the house, just for being gay?

    Totally justified. Though, really, to be sure, he should’ve castrated his son in order to prevent sodomy, and also to follow Christ’s advice that we become eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake (Matthew 19:12). I’m sure our friend Anonymous will agree with my completely here.

    As for the asinine “Hemant linked to the video, therefore he agrees with it!” argument, do you also think major news networks approve of everything they report?

  • Anonymous

    To be frank, I suspect Mr Savage’s convenient tale is exaggerated or false. But let’s pretend that it’s true: The Bible does not condone a father beating a child to the point of breaking his arms, and such a man is no Christian despite whatever title he assumes for himself. “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”

  • Valdyr

    Proverbs 23:13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.

    23:14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

    Who are you, Anonymous, to decide which parts of the Bible one has to follow to be considered a True Christian(TM)? No amount of weaseling, twisting “interpretation” can get out of the fact that these verses from the “Good Book” condone beating your children… and there are several others which call for a child to be executed if he “smiteth” or “curseth” his father. Wanna see them?

  • Anonymous

    If a child disagrees with his parents’ faith, morality, or any other rules they may enforce, he is obligated to submit to their authority while in their home, or else leave their home and make his own way. He does not have any right to deceive his father and mother, or swindle them, or show them overt disrespect, or demand that they embrace his wicked behavior.

    “Children, obey your parents *in the Lord*, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ (this is the first commandment with a promise), ‘that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.’”

  • Rest

    We interrupt this trollfest with a message from Satan, Lord of Darkness:

    Keep up the great work, Christian trolls! You do more harm to the image of Christianity than a thousand atheists ever could.

    Hail Satan!

  • Anonymous

    Valdyr, the apostle Paul instructed Timothy to “rightly handle the word of Truth” and that admonition applies to Bible students today. One must study to understand which parts of the Bible were intended for Israel vs other nations vs Christians; one must understand the moral vs ceremonial vs civil laws, the precepts, etc.

    The Bible instructs a father to ***discipline*** his son using a rod — to spank him, NOT to beat him half to death.

    Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him. — Prov 22:15

    Do not withhold discipline from a child;
    if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol [the grave].
    — Proverbs 23:13-14

    Corporal discipline is not currently in fashion, but it is Biblical. Proper discipline (not angry, unreasoned “beating”) turns the heart of the son toward the Father, toward what is good and right.

    Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him. — Proverbs 13:24

  • Siamang

    Okay now anon:

    Beating up your 14 year old kid and breaking both his arms:

    Better or worse than fucking another dude?

    Also, plus, and: C’mon, be honest. That gay kid’s going to get SO much worse treatment in hell in your view. Let’s assume he dies from the abuse of his dad. He’s getting the red-hot poker up the ass courtesy your twisted religious valueset. Right? Because God loves him.

    And love means don’t love another dude. Love means beat your kid, but don’t break him. Right?

  • Valdyr

    One must study to understand which parts of the Bible were intended for Israel vs other nations vs Christians; one must understand the moral vs ceremonial vs civil laws, the precepts, etc.

    Funny how this breakdown always seems to favor things which are clearly ridiculous or immoral by modern standards as being interpreted as “for another time”, while more socially acceptable precepts are still viewed as relevant. May I assume that you reject the laws of the Old Testament as being “Israel-only”? Then why do Christians still present the “traditional” 10 Commandments, even though Jesus himself lists six in the Book of Matthew? Why do they continue to view homosexuality as an abomination when the most important mention in the New Testament is through the personal opinion of Paul? Jesus Christ himself never brings up the subject at all. Doesn’t that imply that he considered it unimportant?

    The Bible instructs a father to ***discipline*** his son using a rod — to spank him, NOT to beat him half to death.

    Violence is violence. And how do you translate “rod” into “spank”? Wouldn’t beating your child with a mattock handle or a baseball bat be a more appropriate interpretation of “rod”? One’s open palm is not notably rod- or stick-like.

    Corporal discipline is not currently in fashion, but it is Biblical. Proper discipline (not angry, unreasoned “beating”) turns the heart of the son toward the Father, toward what is good and right.

    Wow. How about no. “Proper discipline” in the form of physical attack, whether it be spanking, slapping, smacking, caning, birching, or something even more severe, has been shown again and again through actual studies (as opposed to the naked opinion of ancient mythological texts) to be harmful, both in school and in the home. Corporal punishment may sometimes increase short-term obedience, but only at the cost of a long-term increase in aggression, disobedience, and lowered self-esteem. Inflicting pain on a child does not teach them why their behavior is wrong, only that they should stop it or they’ll be hurt by their parents (whom they’re also expected to trust). That is not learning or “discipline”, only rule through fear–a theme glorified many, many times throughout the Bible. “To fear the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

    See also the American Psychological Association’s official resolution against corporal punishment, which I’m sure you’ll ignore since it disagrees with your personal opinion. The people who have made a lifetime of the scientific study of the workings of the human mind and methods of learning and punishment say that you’re wrong. I don’t know how to put it any more clearly than that.

    Read this. Or don’t. I bet you won’t. Or try to say that psychology is invalid somehow.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    In response to a story about a gay man being horribly beaten by his father because of his homosexuality:

    If a child disagrees with his parents’ faith, morality, or any other rules they may enforce, he is obligated to submit to their authority while in their home, or else leave their home and make his own way. He does not have any right to deceive his father and mother, or swindle them, or show them overt disrespect, or demand that they embrace his wicked behavior.

    Holy. Fucking. Shit.

    You just JUSTIFIED child abuse. You think kids should either sit back and take what they get or strike out on their own.

    You have utterly lost any possible moral high ground you ever could have had.

  • Siamang

    I don’t think he’s a real christian… he’s too much of a stereotype. I call Poe. Anonymous, are you an atheist troll trying to make Christians look bad?

  • http://cycleninja.blogspot.com Paul Lundgren

    @MikeTheInfidel…

    Anonymous hasn’t lost his moral high ground if you remember the basic definition of morality: “The uneasy suspicion that other people are enjoying their lives more than you are, and you need to put a stop to that by any means necessary.”

    I’ll stick to right and wrong, thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Mike, I was not addressing the issue of child abuse — I mentioned faith, morality, rules. As I said earlier, child abuse — screaming profanity, beating, breaking bones, etc — is not discipline, it’s evil.

  • Valdyr

    So you do admit that inflicting pain on children is justified if the intent is to make them more religious, as long as you do it with calm detachment and an absence of profanity.

    Well, if nothing else, this thread has answered a personal question of mine: whether a Christian could justify being against torture or other physical abuse if the intent was to save the victim from eternal hellfire, reasoning that temporal pain must be of far less importance than the destination of the immortal soul. Anonymous finds himself tossing up sod as he scrambles to avoid sliding the rest of the way down this slippery slope.

  • Valdyr

    Double-post, oops. I thought my comment got eaten.

  • Anonymous

    Valdyr, the Law given to Moses on Mount Sinai was explicitly for God’s chosen people, Israel — not for the Egyptians or the Canaanites or any other nation.

    “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery…” — Exo 20:1

    He’s talking exclusively to Israel.

    The Mosaic Law included:

    Moral law — Example: You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

    Ceremonial/religious law — Example: Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths…

    And civil law — Example: Whoever takes a human life shall surely be put to death.

    Moral law was already established, right from the beginning — the institution of marriage, the prohibition against murder, etc. Much of the moral law is reiterated in the era of Christ and the first century church (including most of the “10 Commandments”) and is, therefore, applicable to men today.

    The NT books of Galatians and Hebrews elaborate on this question of Old Law vs New.

    So then, the law was our guardian [schoolmaster] until Christ came… — Gal 3:24

    …the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities… — Heb 10:1

    The First Covenant (God’s three-fold covenant with Abraham) has been fulfilled and has therefore been made obsolete. We are under the New Covenant.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    Mike, I was not addressing the issue of child abuse — I mentioned faith, morality, rules. As I said earlier, child abuse — screaming profanity, beating, breaking bones, etc — is not discipline, it’s evil.

    Really? Let me quote you once again:

    If a child disagrees with his parents’ faith, morality, or any other rules they may enforce, he is obligated to submit to their authority while in their home, or else leave their home and make his own way. He does not have any right to deceive his father and mother, or swindle them, or show them overt disrespect, or demand that they embrace his wicked behavior.

    You left absolutely no wiggle room in there. By your standard, what is the proper response of an abused child to the abusive parent? Leave home?

    Children are human beings. Human beings ABSOLUTELY have a right to disagree with figures of authority.

  • Valdyr

    Okay, Anonymous, so the “moral law” parts remain intact, you say? You even quoted from Leviticus. Let’s take a look. To be fair, I’ll assume all the stuff about shellfish and what clothes to wear fall under civil rather than moral law. But that still leaves us with:

    -Executing both parties of an adulterous affair (Lev. 20:10)
    -Executing anyone who has sex with their father’s wife (stepmother, I guess) or daughter-in-law (Lev. 20:11-12)
    -If someone has a threesome with their wife and mother-in-law (kinky!), burn all three to death (Lev. 20:14)
    -If someone commits bestiality, kill them and the animal too (Lev. 20:15-16)

    And, of course, the very verse you quoted about homosexuality mandates that gays be killed! Is this seriously what you are suggesting?

  • Valdyr

    My bad, you actually quoted an earlier, similar passage in Leviticus (chapter 18). Chapter 20, verse 10 is the one about how homosexuals must be killed.

  • Anonymous

    What is “the rod of discipline”? The Hebrew word refers to a stick (like the shaft of an arrow or a switch cut from a tree) or a shepherd’s staff.

    Does this instruction somehow imply that it’s appropriate to beat your son senseless with a club? ***Obviously not.*** Child abuse is abhorrent. See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.

    Corporal punishment — using a wooden spoon, paddle, yardstick, switch, a strap — is ONE aspect of discipline. Discipline requires love, teaching, training (practical application), correction, encouragement, reward, and punishment. Punishment should fit the trespass and the development level of the child — a 2 yr old can’t reason. Punishment should not be meted out in anger, but with reason and purpose. Punishment might include a smack on the hand, loss of privileges, fines, or spanking.

    And no, I’m not remotely interested in the ever-changing opinion of the APA. I’m concerned with the wisdom that comes from Above.

    Do you suffer pain in this life? Why does God the Father allow that? Because he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. Hebrews 12:3-11 is a great teaching on this subject.

  • Anonymous

    Mike, once again: I did not address child abuse. I addressed parental authority. If a child is being abused, then there is recourse — go to trusted adult (a family member or neighbor or pastor/Bible school teacher or school official or policeman) who will contact legal authorities and have the child removed to a safe home. Child abuse is abhorrent.

  • Siamang

    And no, I’m not remotely interested in the ever-changing opinion of the APA. I’m concerned with the wisdom that comes from Above.

    Does the wisdom that never changed and came from above permit or not permit polygamy? Selling your daughter into slavery? How about Lot giving up his daughters to the mob so that they could be raped instead of the angels?

    Just checking.

    I’m going to quote an old chestnut, Badbadbad’s Joshua Challenge. It’s a great test of what actually IS morality, God’s law or man’s:


    I have a hypothetical for you. Let’s assume you were with Joshua’s army and you were ordered by Joshua to kill all that breathe. Unfortunately, you don’t really get the opportunity to trust in God. You’ll have to trust in Joshua and Moses. They tell you that you must kill all that breathe, and in the chaos of slaughter they come across a boy, an Amorite boy. Joshua hands you the sword.

    I know the Bible talks about the glory of killing all that breathe, but it’s not really that glorious as the blade shatters the bone. So, I think we need a real story of exactly what it’s like to slaughter babies. Let’s consider slaughter by sword in Rwanda 1994. It’s a very disturbing story, but I want you to consider it.

    Hutu with Tutsi relatives faced wrenching decisions about whether or not to desert their loved ones in order to save their own lives. At Mugonero church in Kibuye, two Hutu sisters, each married to a Tutsi husband, faced such a choice. One decided to die with her husband. The other chose to leave because she hoped to save the lives of her eleven children. The children, classed as Tutsi because their father was Tutsi, would not ordinarily have had the right to live, but assailants had said that they could be allowed to depart safely if she agreed to go with them. When she stepped out of the door of the church, she saw eight of the eleven children struck down before her eyes. The youngest, a child of three years old, begged for his life after seeing his brothers and sisters slain. “Please don’t kill me,” he said. “I’ll never be Tutsi again.” He was killed.

    So all I want to know Lee is if you who proclaim God’s justice and morality would or would not butcher this boy with Joshua’s sword soaked in the blood of his siblings, while his mother cries and he begs he’ll never be an Amorite again? In that butchering babies with Joshua is a matter of God’s vengeance, how would you determine just how brutally you should slaughter the little boy such as to satisfy God’s vengeance? Would you kill him quickly, or would you hack off an arm, and a leg, then perhaps run him through with your sword and then look back at his mother as you slit his throat to see to it that she too suffers sufficiently for God’s vengeance? How would you determine the brutality necessary to satisfy God’s vengeance?

  • Anonymous

    Moral law informs us what is right/wrong before God. The earthly penalty for wrong-doing is part of civil law.

    Adultery, incest, polygamy, bestiality, and homosexuality are all sinful. (As you noted above, I deliberately cited the moral law, not the passage prescribing civil penalty.)

    Civil government has authority to establish penalties for wrong-doing.

    No, I am not suggesting that sexual sins be subject to the death penalty, but I ask you: What should the civil law endorse, promote, incent? What should civil law prohibit?

    I submit my own answer: Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people — Prov 14:34. Liberty is not intended as freedom to do evil, but freedom to liberally practice righteousness.

    So while you and I are constitutionally free to commit adultery or homosexuality, the civil government ought not to endorse, celebrate, incent its practice and perhaps ought to discourage it.

    It’s curious that we still have civil laws penalizing bigamy, incest, and bestiality; somehow atheists, secular humanists, adulterers, and homosexuals still understand that certain sexual practices are indeed immoral. Just not the ones by which they themselves are enticed.

  • Valdyr

    Moral law informs us what is right/wrong before God. The earthly penalty for wrong-doing is part of civil law.

    Here, at least, I thought we found some common ground. Indeed, you are free to have whatever kooky views on morality you want as part of your religion, while the actual law of the land should be based on something else.

    No, I am not suggesting that sexual sins be subject to the death penalty, but I ask you: What should the civil law endorse, promote, incent? What should civil law prohibit?

    The function of law is not really to “promote” any kind of behavior, except indirectly (if you want to say a law against murder promotes “nonmurderous behavior”, for instance). It’s more about discouraging harmful behavior. As for prohibition, I don’t believe anything should be illegal unless it causes demonstrable and unwarranted physical, financial or psychological harm to a person without their consent.

    It’s curious that we still have civil laws penalizing bigamy, incest, and bestiality; somehow atheists, secular humanists, adulterers, and homosexuals still understand that certain sexual practices are indeed immoral. Just not the ones by which they themselves are enticed.

    I would make the wild guess of assuming that those laws were originally drafted by people in a former era who were very heavily influenced by conservative religious views of right and wrong, rather than by atheists, secular humanists, adulterers and homosexuals. I can’t speak for the adulterous homosexuals among us but I would think that they are with me when I say that “immoral” is a distinction that is only useful if there is an overlap with “harmful”. If I belong to a religion which teaches the color green is deeply immoral, I would have no basis to legislate based on this opinion unless I could objectively demonstrate that people who display and enjoy the color green pose an intolerable harm to others.

  • Anonymous

    Siamang, when you contribute something of substance I will gladly engage you. Conflating Israel’s conquest of Canaan with the vile Hutu-Tutsi tribal wars does not warrant serious comment.

    Perhaps this one point is worth making…

    You asked: …Does the wisdom that never changed and came from above permit or not permit polygamy?

    – God instituted marriage in Genesis: One man, one woman, for life.
    – Man perverted it with divorce and adultery and polygamy and concubines. The mere fact that behaviors happened/were recorded does not imply that they were approved. Divorce and polygamy was tolerated.
    – Moses allowed divorce because of the hardness of man’s heart (Mat 19:8).
    – God hates divorce (Mal 2:13-16).
    – Jesus affirmed the original design for marriage in Matt 19:4-6.
    – Adultery, incest, homosexuality, etc, are all discussed as sin in the NT.
    – Leaders in the NT church had to be “the husband of ONE wife” — not divorced and remarried.

    When you see “churches” and “Christians” practicing serial monogamy (divorce and remarriage), you see persistent sin and blasphemy in practice. They aren’t fooling you, so you can be sure that they’re not fooling God. But their wrong-doing does not change the Truth.

    Jesus gave one reason for divorce: if your spouse commits adultery, you may divorce (Mat 5:32). Paul also allowed that an unbelieving spouse might leave a Christian (I Cor 7:10-16). Those are the only divorces that God tolerates.

  • Anonymous

    Valdyr, thank you for a thoughtful and polite exchange of ideas.

  • Valdyr

    Sure. I have no way of knowing how sincere you are when you say you think personal morals and civil law should be separate, but if that is what you believe, I respect that. It’s really only when the devoutly religious try to govern an entire nation based on their scripture that I have a SERIOUS problem; anything else is just an amusing back-and-forth.

  • Siamang

    Siamang, when you contribute something of substance I will gladly engage you. Conflating Israel’s conquest of Canaan with the vile Hutu-Tutsi tribal wars does not warrant serious comment.

    I think it does. Meaning orders from God, if they come by way of another human being, need to be judged by man’s standards.

    Just another in the immoral and evil parade of death and destruction that we call human history. All in the name of God.

    You dare lecture us about morality.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    – God instituted marriage in Genesis: One man, one woman, for life.
    – Man perverted it with divorce and adultery and polygamy and concubines. The mere fact that behaviors happened/were recorded does not imply that they were approved. Divorce and polygamy was tolerated.

    This is complete and utter bullshit. Many prominent Biblical figures were polygamists and were blessed for the children they had under ALL their wives.

  • Siamang

    Anonymous. Back to my question about Lot. Why was Lot judged worth saving for the tremendous good act of offering his daughters up to be raped by the mob?

    Also, does the wisdom that never changed and came from above permit slavery? What about treating women as inferior to men? What about selling your daughter into slavery? What about ordering the first born of egypt to die because of something pharoh did?

    What about the billions of babies supposedly drowned in the mythic flood? What about the slaughter of the innocent Amorite children, torn from their mother’s womb?

    Is this the wonderful moral guide, the Bible?

    Hey, I’m actually amazed you’re against divorce. I can usually get Christians to wiggle on that one, mostly because they’ve been divorced. But I haven’t! HA! Score one for the atheist couple! No divorces for either of us! And we’re straight! And we don’t do drugs! And we are monogamous! And we pay taxes. But we ARE liberal! BOOO!!! We’re totally burning in hell for voting for Obama, huh? I mean, if the atheist thing didn’t do it, that would.

    So what do divorced Christians do? Continue living in sin with their second wife? Or force their first spouse to divorce their second one and rejoin up? I only ask because “turning christian” seems to be enough to wash away that lifetime choice of sin lifestyle, but not for a gay dude. Why is that? Do you let divorcees join your church? Do you let them continue to live in sin with their second spouse, even though Jesus condemns it multiple times and never condemned homosex?

    Why is there a double standard for gay folks and not for divorcees? Or is there? Do you force your members to remarry their original spouse?

    Wait! I get it! You call the second marriage of the other spouse “adultery”, then your member CAN marry their second spouse. Divorce is cool, then! AWESOME!

    Amazing how you can make a loophole big enough to get a camel through! (Totally disregard if that isn’t what you do. It seems a pretty big loophole though. Did Jesus really leave that whole backdoor loophole wide open like that?)

  • http://cycleninja.blogspot.com Paul Lundgren

    It’s curious that we still have civil laws penalizing bigamy, incest, and bestiality; somehow atheists, secular humanists, adulterers, and homosexuals still understand that certain sexual practices are indeed immoral. Just not the ones by which they themselves are enticed.

    Yup, and such noted moral figures as Bill Bennett, Jim Bakker, Ted Haggard, Mark Foley, and Larry Craig were all the paragons of virtue who never, ever, ever, EVER were led into temptation.

    See what happens when you paint with too broad of a brush?

    And on the issue of those outlawed sexual practices, let’s break them down one at a time. Bigamy is illegal because if you’re married to more than one spouse, and neither of them know about the other, neither of them has given their permission to be in such a relationship. As opposed to polyamory (sp?) which IS consensual, and in my opinion should be legal (although I would never recommend it).

    Incest and bestiality are both no-brainers. Incest is all about power and influence within the family dynamic, and the implied coercion and intimidation that goes with it (to say nothing of the potential of genetic corruption), and the reproductive urge should be directed elsewhere. Bestiality: animals cannot give their consent. End of story.

    Here’s my basic question: If two (or more) consenting adults who are not immediate family members agree to whatever arrangement suits them, why is that YOUR concern? Why do you morally superior people care in cases where nobody is being coerced and nobody is being harmed?

    What’s it to YOU? Why is it your business, and why do you need to try to impose legal restrictions against it?

  • Anonymous

    Siamang, you asked:

    So what do divorced Christians do? Continue living in sin with their second wife? Or force their first spouse to divorce their second one and rejoin up? I only ask because “turning christian” seems to be enough to wash away that lifetime choice of sin lifestyle, but not for a gay dude. Why is that? Do you let divorcees join your church? Do you let them continue to live in sin with their second spouse, even though Jesus condemns it multiple times and never condemned homosex?

    Why is there a double standard for gay folks and not for divorcees? Or is there? Do you force your members to remarry their original spouse?

    This could easily become a very long discussion, and I’m concerned about derailing HM’s post/comment too much, but here’s what the Bible teaches about divorce and remarriage (building on what I already stated above)…and notice that I said “what the Bible teaches” and not what some so-called “church” teaches.

    – First of all, Jesus affirmed the positive, which eliminates alternatives.
    – Secondly, Jesus taught against fornication, which term encompasses all sexual practices other than sex within (heterosexual) marriage.
    – Thirdly, Jesus expressed solidarity with God who has already spoken on the matter of homosexuality (and trans-sexuality), calling it an abomination.
    – And fourthly, Jesus’ apostles condemned homosexuality, saying that those who practice it will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

    So Jesus did teach against homosexuality.
    (If you’d like scripture references on those points, let me know.)

    So what about a new convert who is divorced and in a second, third, fourth,… marriage?

    Jesus taught: “whoever divorces his wife, except for fornication [lately translated "sexual immorality"], and marries another, commits adultery” — Mat 19:3-12

    Paul instructed the church at Corinth: “The wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife” — I Cor 7.

    So — unless the person divorced his first wife because she committed fornication — the second (or third…) marriage constitutes ongoing adultery.

    This teaching applied/applies to all people — Jews, Christians, and unbelievers. Evidence? John the Baptist confronted Herod, saying “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife” — Mark 6:14-20. (They were not merely having an affair; Herod’s brother had divorced this woman and in v 17 we see that Herod had *married* her.)

    So how should this predicament be rectified?

    Ezra 9-10 provides an example of true repentance for divorce/remarriage. “Now then make confession to the Lord, the God of your fathers and do his will. Separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the foreign wives.”

    So what about Newt Gingrich’s “conversion” to “Christianity” during “marriage” #3, to cite an example that liberals will appreciate? Is his current situation Biblical?

    Of course NOT. When you come to Christ in faith, you come in godly sorrow, repenting, eager to make your situation right before God, ready to renounce your sinful deeds and walk according to the Spirit rather than the Flesh.
    – If you are in an adulterous marriage, you need to separate.
    – If you are in homosexuality, you need to renounce it.
    (These two examples illustrate Jesus comment about some becoming eunuchs, celibate, for the sake of the kingdom.)
    – If you persist in gossiping and cheating on your taxes, if you don’t develop compassion and love for others, if your character doesn’t improve, you are neither converted nor transformed.

    Faithful elders would require genuine repentance and hold congregants accountable, and there are faithful congregations to be found, though rare among the many “churches” that claim to be “Christian.”

    Siamang, you seem to believe that faithful Christians disdain those guilty of sexual sins, particularly homosexuality, as especially vile. You are mistaken, perhaps because you have correctly observed false, self-righteous “Christians” (of which there are a preponderance). True Christians have reflected on their own corrupt hearts, their own shameful behaviors, and share the attitude Paul expressed when he said “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.”

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    You do realize Paul never met Jesus, right? The man never once spoke of any of the miracles Jesus performed. In fact, he basically doesn’t even speak of him as a physical being.

    Don’t you think that’s a bit odd?

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    Siamang, you seem to believe that faithful Christians disdain those guilty of sexual sins, particularly homosexuality, as especially vile. You are mistaken, perhaps because you have correctly observed false, self-righteous “Christians” (of which there are a preponderance). True Christians have reflected on their own corrupt hearts, their own shameful behaviors, and share the attitude Paul expressed when he said “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.”

    What an obnoxious bunch of nonsense.

    Preponderence means majority. You can’t say that the preponderence of Christians behave a particular way, then say that REAL Christians don’t do that. Your entire spiel was a special-pleading, No True Scotsman fallacy.

  • Anonymous

    Preponderance means plenty, an excessive number.

    There are “Christians” who sit in pews regularly, but whose hearts are not convicted or humbled. They are not genuine disciples of Christ. Those who love Christ obey him (John 14:15) and bear fruit (Gal 5:16-24).

    Good day, all.


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