Focus on the Family Against Killing Gays

by Jesse Galef -

Baby steps, people, baby steps.  Truth Wins Out reports that Focus on the Family president Jim Daly is opposed to the proposed Uganda law which would require killing homosexuals.  He’s also against the way the legislation would incite violence against them:

“As a Christian organization, Focus on the Family Action encourages pro-family policies. As such, we respect the desire of the Ugandan people to shield their nation from the promotion of homosexuality as morally equivalent to one-man, one-woman marriage. That said, the purpose of laws is to make societies safer, and there is legitimate concern that the legislation being debated in Uganda will incite violence against homosexuals. That is morally unacceptable, as is enacting the death penalty for homosexuals, which some versions of this bill are reported to require.”

– Jim Daly, President of Focus on the Family

I know, it’s a low bar. And yes, it’s absurd and offensive to imply that being pro-family means “respecting the desire… to shield their nation from the promotion of homosexuality as morally equivalent to one-man, one-woman marriage.” I, too, am in favor of happy, successful families – which is exactly why I support the right for homosexuals to get married.

But let’s take a moment and be glad that our crazies aren’t as extreme as they could be – or are, in other countries. None of our politicians are calling for the death penalty for homosexuals, and even leaders on the other side of our issues are willing to speak out against inciting violence. Small victory, but an important one to keep in mind: we could have it a lot worse.

I have no particular love for Focus on the Family, but I’m glad they’re making a public statement against the proposed Ugandan legislation.

(via Andrew Sullivan)

About Dr. Denise Cooper-Clarke

I am a graduate of medicine and theology with a Ph.D in medical ethics. I tutor in medical ethics at the University of Melbourne, am an (occasional) adjunct Lecturer in Ethics at Ridley Melbourne, and a voluntary researcher with Ethos. I am also a Fellow of ISCAST and a past chair of the Melbourne Chapter of Christians for Biblical Equality. I have special interests in professional ethics, sexual ethics and the ethics of virtue.

  • Hughes

    Given that Leviticus mandates the death penalty, this is a clear,albeit tacit, admission that the old testament god is immoral.

    I’m sure all will agree that this is truly remarkable.

  • http://atheistcamel.blogspot.com/ Dromedary Hump

    Maybe I’m jaded — call me a cynic, but if every homosexual died tomorrow I doubt Jim Daly and his ilk would shed a tear. In fact, they would proclaim it as God’s Will, retribution for their sinful ways.

    Daly is likely more concerned with FotF’s image than with human lives. I see this simply as a PR ploy, a way of saying “See, we are aren’t hateful like the Klan or Fred Phelps. We’re better than the Muslims. We are the new face of Evangelical fundamentalism. We don’t hate gays and kill them, we’re more than happy to wait until God does it for us.”

    That’s my opinion, I could be wrong. I doubt it though.

  • muggle

    But let’s take a moment and be glad that our crazies aren’t as extreme as they could be – or are, in other countries.

    I am.

    Sadly I agree with Dromedary Hump above. 100%.

    However, I’m still glad they’ll stop short of murder — even if it for all the wrong reasons. Let’s hope they are never willing to cross this line. (That’s where I find myself holding my breath.)

  • http://agalandherblog.blogspot.com/ Andrea

    I think they’re full of shit and I don’t trust them. If the Ugandan government was passing out free emergency contraception to its female citizens, I’m sure FotF would’ve been all over that, but pardon me if I don’t throw them a parade for this halfhearted, offensive press release that’s clearly meant to save face.

  • http://www.Dead-Logic.com Bud

    What I find interesting is that FotF actually felt the need to state that they are against killing homosexuals. What does that say about how people view FotF (and how FotF views how other people view them)?

  • Richard Wade

    None of our politicians are calling for the death penalty for homosexuals, and even leaders on the other side of our issues are willing to speak out against inciting violence.

    As reported by Rachel Maddow, several U.S. Congressmen, members of “The Foundation,” aka the “The Family,” aka “The C Street Gang” Have been meddling in Uganda for years, promoting their ultra conservative, right wing brand of Christo-fascism for years. Only now, when they see they’ve helped to create a Frankenstein’s monster, are they sheepishly trying to distance themselves from what their Ugandan friends are trying to do.

    They and FotF are foreseeing a blood bath, and they don’t want to have that smeared on them, because up until now, they have been champions of hatred against gays.

    It’s all just to protect themselves, and it’s too little too late for both them and the gays who will die.

  • littlejohn

    You know perfectly damn well that FoF favors death for homosexuals. They’ve got just enough instinct for public relations to lie and say they’re against it. After all, the Bible is clear on this. I’d respect them more if they’d just be honest – and consistent.

  • QrazyQat

    I notice that it took weeks, and a firestorm of protest aginst these religious groups (Warren, and FOF), before they issued their statements. Color me unimpressed.

  • The Other Tom

    After a lifetime of watching the things Focus has to say about gay people, I don’t believe they ACTUALLY oppose the Uganda bill, or killing gay people. I think they’d be delighted to see us all put in a concentration camp and tortured to death. I think this is just a PR move, so they can turn around later and point to it and say “see? We don’t hate gay people. There’s proof. They’re just evil pawns of satan whose rights should be taken away, and we mean that in the most loving, christian way.”

  • TheChristian

    Sigh …

    I wonder why you bother calling this site “Friendly Atheist” when the atheists here “debating religion” are just as fiery as the atheists on Dawkins and Hitchens’ sites. In fact, if you were really as friendly as you claim to be, you should not even be linking to “Ask Richard”. (Just how is Richard Dawkins qualified to advise on a subject he has hardly even read about, because he does not think it worth reading?)

    But anyway, here is my response as a theist/Christian:-

    (1) Mehta, it is equally absurd and offensive to make the Fallacy of Equivocation you are doing here. “Happy and Successful” is no indicator of moral rightness. After all, there are many “happy and successsful” political leaders who oppress their own citizens. And before you jump at my throat, this is meant to be an ad absurdum argument, not an argument from analogy.

    (2) Hughes, and which quote in Leviticus says so, specifically targeted at homosexuals?

    (3) Dromedary Hump and muggle, don’t you people think that you are dangerously on the brink of slippery-road fallacy?

    (4) Andrea and Bud, Beware of the Ad Hominem.

    (5) Richard Wade, I am not American and so I have no idea what American Congressmen are up to, but do you not think that you are too hasty in tying up FoTF with your “Christo-Fascists”. Perhaps they are too conservative for your liking, but conservatism is in no way identical to fascism. (Or perhaps this is the usual Atheist prejudice against religion at play.)

    FoTF have been champions of the conservative view of homosexuality (condition), but it is an instance of Turning-the-tables fallacy to conflate this with hatred of gays (persons).

    (6)Littlejohn, hasty generalization much? Been reading too mujch propaganda by Dennett and Hitchens? (At least Dawkins writes proper science into his books; his other contemporaries simply rant against religion.)

    (7) Qazyqat, Well perhaps the religious groups were hoping that people would exercise more sensibility and stop the “firestorm” of protests.

  • Erp

    Just as multiple people might consider themselves ‘TheChristian’, multiple people are called ‘Richard’ (probably tens of thousands in the US alone).

    I would point out that most US Christians including the conservatives are against the death penalty in the Uganda bill, most are also against the other parts of the bill such as criminalizing support of homosexuals including not turning in homosexuals once you find out some one is one (and you are in a position of some authority such as teacher, minister, government official, possibly parent). Most Ugandan Christians are for the bill though some (Catholic hierarchy possibly the Anglican hierarchy) are against the death penalty provision. I suspect the death penalty is probably going to get dropped partly as a sop to the opponents (the Catholic church is the largest single religion in the country and the Anglicans the second largest) and partly because though Uganda has the death penalty for a wide range of crimes no one has apparently been executed since 2003. The rest of bill is still extremely nasty and needs to be fought also even if the death penalty is dropped.

    BTW see the reaction of some Ugandan ministers to Rick Warren’s coming out against the bill.

  • TheChristian

    Erp (no pun intended),

    I appreciate your quick reply:

    (1) Okay, I admit that I mis-identified Richard Wade as Richard Dawkins. But I think that my comment applies to him just as well.

    (2) Well, technically this bill will be just a bill for show. My country has a penal code provision of a similar nature – though perhaps not to extent – but it has hardly been exercised, since such a law really cannot be exercised unless you want to have a Big Brother State, which I suspect even the most evangelical of Ugandans will oppose. Except for the same-sex marriage bit. Still, if they criminalise same-sex marriage, there will be no same-sex marriage occurring in Uganda in the first place, and the authorities will have a problem applying that ban equally to foreign couples (meaning homosexual couples who come to work/live in Uganda from other countries). And no doubt extradition will be dealt with in existing international law, and the new law cannot deal with that unless it permits Uganda to retroactively reject treaty obligations, which would probably be rejected by the treaty itself. Thus, such a law is really practical.

    That having been said, I don’t really support the criminalization of gay/lesbian sex, much less the forced outing, but nonetheless I see the perspective the evangelicals are coming from. In each of the countries that have liberalized same-sex marriage, there has been pressure to amend the definition of marriage to suit the new political reality. Even Hemant implies that he would like it to be changed. And the corollary of achieving this extra aim has been the denigration of religious freedom, since religious freedom means the right to speak one’s moral and spiritual beliefs, including those on same-sex marriage. In the UK, a LGBT activist group in one university incited the student union to de-register a Christian group simply on the grounds that it held a campus talk on the traditional view of Christians on marriage, which naturally came out against same-sex marriage. In their case, the student union deemed a criticism of same-sex marriage as a hate crime against homosexuals based on its reading of the 2004 Equality Act.

    And pardon me, but I see the same attitude among many of the posters here. For instance, a Critical Reading is not identical to merely proceeding from a point of criticism of the text being read. Then, of course, there are the “if it doesn’t agree with my moral standards, it is wrong” people. What makes you people think that your moral standards are superior to everyone else’s?

    Anyhow, the ministers in the link you provided are neither Catholic nor Anglican. Also, there appears to be an Anglican clergyman who disapproves of the law, but still disapproves of homosexuality (i.e. is conservative). See here:-

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/katine/2009/dec/04/gideon-byamugisha-homosexuality-bill

  • Zar

    Christian, the fact that you see opposition to bigotry as equivalent to anti-gay beliefs shows that you have no perspective, even though you’re pretending you do. The difference between the atheists you’re arguing with and anti-gay ministers is that we aren’t trying to illegalize your lifestyle. There are no laws proposed against Christianity; merely against bigotry. You are not defending Christianity. You are defending bigots. The example of UK ministers you bring up aren’t being persectued for their religion. They are being treated a certain way because they teach bigotry. If you do think this is anti-Christian, then you are basically saying that hatred is an integral tenet of your religion.

    If you seriously think that laws opposing gay marriage are even remotely like a couple of people on a web site complaining about a nasty thing that some Christians are doing, then you desperately need to get some perspective. You remind me of Scarlet O’Hara whining about the unfairness of having to let her slaves go.

  • Vene

    Christian, the owner of this blog may be friendly, but I don’t claim to be. Shut the fuck up.

    Especially since this post wasn’t written by Hemant. He’ll let a bunch of different people post on his blog, even people he doesn’t necessarily agree with. Because he’s just that nice of a guy.

    And with you proudly proclaiming that Richard Wade is Richard Dawkins, that says you have no idea what you are talking about. Which, I already knew, simply from your name.

    Just, go back to reading your Bible. Maybe you’ll learn something from it. I suggest looking up the monetary value of a slave to start with (Exodus 21:32) or what to do with Babies (Psalms 137:9).

  • Twin-Skies

    @TheChristian

    Leviticus 20:13

    “If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.”

  • Richard Wade

    Hello TheChristian, happy new year. I sincerely hope that the rest of the year goes better for you than the first few minutes have.

    Please come back some time and talk with us again. If you come wanting to understand rather than simply wanting to disagree, I think that while we may not agree, we will be able to understand each other. That, for me, is the essential thing about the “friendly” at Friendly Atheist. Perhaps we can build something even better upon that foundation.

  • Stephen P

    @TheChristian: congratulations; in your first comment you manage, by my count, nine statements which are silly, ignorant or just plain wrong. (One example that hasn’t been mentioned yet: if you are going to lecture people on fallacies you really ought to know what ad hominem means. It is not the same thing as a personal attack.) Nonetheless, you will probably receive a less hostile response here than at many places.

    The one remark you make which deserves consideration is your complaint about the term “Christo-fascists”. While I agree that the term “fascist” is over-used, in this case it isn’t too far off. AIUI the term is properly applied to movements which are nationalist, militaristic, authoritarian and corporatist. The american far-right is certainly nationalist and militaristic, and given their desire to subjugate society to their religious views they are also authoritarian and arguably corporatist.

    For the rest: please re-read Zar’s comment a few times and try to understand it.

  • littlejohn

    @Christian:
    We appreciate your useful comments and suggestions. Your call is very important to us. We will get back to you when we can. Thank you for your patience. Beeeeep.

  • TheChristian

    Hmm Zar,

    well hmm, the problem is that Christianity is both a philosophy and a lifestyle, so when you ban the philosophy under the guise of banning “bigotry” – which incidentally shows that you do not understand the meaning of “bigotry” which is more than simple criticism or offering a dissenting view – you are effectively violating freedom of thought and speech in religious matters. And incidentally, it is not UK ministers whom I mentioned; it is UK uni students. Talk about academic freedom!

    If you read my post correctly, you would realize that I am against anti-gay laws, with a caveat regarding Constitutional provisions, because Constitutions – at least currently – serve as both moral and legal documents. What I was trying to explain is why these people favour these anti-gay laws, and I empathise with them even though I don’t agree with them.

    Wow Zene,

    (1) You are the kind of atheist that the real fundies will love.

    (2) Well, Richard Dawkins does hold his own agony-aunt page for atheists, so it is an honest mistake, which I already apologized for.

    (3) That is because the slaves referred to are debt-slaves, who are working for their masters to repay their previous debts. As for Psalm 137, it is poetry; so take it metaphorically, not literally. Incidentally, the psalms also represent the poets’ own personal feelings, not real-life history that happens.

    The Bible is divinely-inspired, not divinely-written.

  • TheChristian

    Twin-skies and Hughes,

    I wonder: have any of you bothered to think of why the death penalty is “mandated” by Leviticus? Perhaps, you can look at the Israelites’ level of cultural development to begin with: they were slaves in Egypt without rights at all. God institutes the death penalty in Leviticus because that is the only thing that the Israelites would understand at their level of knowledge and experience with regards to moral law. (They might have had some glimpses of property law, because they would have been subject to part of it under Egyptian rule, or observed it as it applied to Egyptians anyhow.)

    Richard,

    well, I didn’t expect any much more. It seems that rationality fades when atheists start discoursing on religion. Perhaps it is already because you start from the presumption that religion is all wrong, based on shallow readings of Doctrine and Scripture.

    People like Zene certainly are not friendly.

    But if you are really interested in discussing, you can email me, and we can continue from there. I am interested in conversing with any atheist who will give a believer the same respect he demands from the believer, which is something I have found to be totally lacking on many atheist sites. It is not a surprise, then, that even religious moderates would have a distaste for participating in discussions dominated by atheists. Providing reasoned critique is very different from throwing tomatoes at the speaker, which seems to happen alot on atheist sites towards believers.

    Anyway, Happy New Year to you too!

    Stephen P,

    (1) Justify how these are plain wrong. (I did expect someone to make such a comment anyway.) And I know that an ad Hominem is a personal attack used to support an argument. Since I infer that the implicit argument of Andrea and bud is an argument against the invalidity of same-sex marriage, attacking FoTF’s alleged character – which is actually only an atheist stereotype – is an ad hominem argument against the argument that they put forth.

    As a side note, labelling a philosophy that you don’t like as “bigotry” or “phobia” is an instance of the Turning-the-Tables Fallacy.

    (2) Well, I agree that the American Far-Right is all that you describe. But I disagree that FoTF should be classified on the Far-Right. At most, it should be placed on the Right. (As a corollary, I would argue that many LGBT and atheist movements are on the Far Left as well.)

    littlejohn,

    if you don’t intend to contribute anything to the discussion, just keep quiet.

  • http://atheistcamel.blogspot.com/ Dromedary Hump

    The Christian said:

    Dromedary Hump and muggle, don’t you people think that you are dangerously on the brink of slippery-road fallacy?

    Christian… don’t you think you are in denial of what you know to be fact? Isn’t that what theists do best?

    And what “slippery slope” am I on the brink of, since offering my opinion that FotF leadership dispise homosexuas and their deaths would resolve all their concerns?
    I doubt you know what “slippery slope” means.

    And if you could read and absorb without spinning your own interpretations of reality… you’d see it isn’t Richard Dawkins offering advise here. But hey, why should we expect more than delusion and misinfo from a theist?

    And do I understand you to now agree that Levit. demands the death of homosexuals? Is that a reveral of your original denial?
    Are you also going to proffer that the bible doesn’t tell you to not “suffer a witch to live.” ?

    The scope of error, denial, and platitudious statements in your apologist post is astounding.

  • http://atheistcamel.blogspot.com/ Dromedary Hump

    Author: Vene
    Comment:
    Christian, the owner of this blog may be friendly, but I don’t claim to be. Shut the fuck up.

    ROFLMAO… that was my first out loud laugh of 2010. Thanks for that.

  • http://atheistcamel.blogspot.com/ Dromedary Hump

    The Christian said: it is poetry; so take it metaphorically, not literally.

    Oh, Really? And we should accept YOUR interpretation of metaphor vs literalism versus the Dispensationalist literal interpretation because why? God spoke to YOU and told you some of the writing is just for color and is open to a preferred interpretaion?

    Incidentally, the psalms also represent the poets’ own personal feelings, not real-life history that happens.

    And the same could be said for every other chapter and verse to purports to be real-life history, including resurrections, water walking, “TRinity” et al. Its really about what any given sect wants to accept or disgard depending on where it fits “in or outside” of their preferred interpretation and doctrine. Thats why there are 2800+ Xtian sects.

    The Bible is divinely-inspired, not divinely-written.

    There are a number of sects, cults denominations of Xtianity which claim:
    ” We believe this Bible is God’s word, and like God it is eternal and will never change.” verseinthebible.org/index.html

    So.. your particular delusion and interpretation of “inspired vs godly dictated” is worthy of no more weight than theirs. Who the fuck appointed YOU the definitive source of Xtian biblical interpretaion?

    Can we get a Xtian here who isn’t totally vapid, please?

  • Twin-Skies

    @The Christian

    I credit you for taking the time to understand the biblical text in its proper context. Thank you – it’s a relief to see, but how well you interpret Leviticus is not the point.

    My point, and probably the point of most of the readers here, is that religious text like this has been used by fundamentalists as a means of adding legitimacy for their homophobia.

    And you said it yourself – it was meant for a different time than ours. So why are fundies still asserting Leviticus as laws that should still be followed?

  • BlueRidgeLady

    I think it is funny when Christians argue their supposed right to unchallenged hate against a group of people.

  • http://redheadedskeptic.com Laura

    If you dig deeply, you find that FotF has no problem executing minors. I totally agree that they are more worried about pr.


    http://www.citizenlink.org/focusaction/fofafeatures/A000006869.cfm

  • http://agalandherblog.blogspot.com/ Andrea

    Wanna mention me again, “Christian?” :) Glad I got under your skin. I’m a former Christian and I know the apologetics. They’re not worth the paper they’re printed on.

    But gee thanks for supporting my right to not be killed for something I cannot change.

  • Stephen P

    TheChristian:

    Justify how these are plain wrong.

    I think most of them have been dealt with now, by various commentators.

    And I know that an ad Hominem is a personal attack used to support an argument. Since I infer that the implicit argument of Andrea and bud is an argument against the invalidity of same-sex marriage, attacking FoTF’s alleged character – which is actually only an atheist stereotype – is an ad hominem argument against the argument that they put forth.

    No. An ad hominem is a logical fallacy whereby one argues that an argument is unsound because its proponent has a (purported or actual) character flaw. Had Andrea and Bud been making use of an ad hominem, their argument would have run approximately as follows: FotF says that the death penalty for homosexuals is morally unacceptable. However FotF is a deeply flawed organisation whose opinions cannot be trusted. Therefore the death penalty for homosexuals is acceptable.

    Which is of course the exact opposite of what they were actually saying.

    As a side note, labelling a philosophy that you don’t like as “bigotry” or “phobia” is an instance of the Turning-the-Tables Fallacy.

    Labelling every idea one doesn’t like as bigotry would indeed be wrong, though not a logical fallacy as such. However it is perfectly acceptable to label an idea (“philosophy” is in this case an excessively grandiose term) as bigotry when one can give reasons for considering it to be so.

  • TheChristian

    Sigh…

    Dromedary Hump,

    (1) Because you have yet to provide evidence that all of FoTF, or at least all of its leaders, despise homosexuals. The most you could prove is that its leaders dislike homosexuality.

    (2) Wow, a personal attack against a theist again. I am trying to be as optimistic as possible with atheists, but it seems that most are as rude as you are.

    (3) Yes, I agree that Leviticus calls for the death of homosexuals, more accurately the death of people who do homosexual acts. But no, the Bible does not say “thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”. That is exclusively a King James Version mistranslation.

    (4) Well, the book of psalms is one book on which all the Christian denominations agree is to be interpreted metaphorically. Dispensationalist or not, my conclusion applies. Incidentally, do you truly understand what a dispensationalist is?

    (5) No you cannot say the same for the other parts of the Bible, because the Psalms is poetry, but the other books are in prose. And the Trinitarian Doctrine is far more complicated than any of your atheist stereotypes. I recommend you read at least some of Plato and Aristotle before making judgements on the Trinitarian Doctrine.

    (6) Err yes, in case you were wondering, I believe in that statement that you just wrote as well. But I think that you are misunderstanding what the statement is saying. God’s Word is Eternal because the meanings of the Word are applicable to all situations.

    (7) This is not my opinion only; this is the opinion of the two oldest denominations of Christianity, and even of the first three Protestant Denominations: Lutheran, Anglican, Methodist.

    Twin-Skies,

    I think I answered your question in my last post. The fundies feel threatened by the advance of a culture that does not allow them to participate properly, and that the issue of gay rights is the only issue where people – even atheists – are still willing to listen to them. Not all atheists support LGBT rights.

    And so they re fighting back. They would not be fighting back if the religious moderates have the chance to explain properly the doctrine regarding homosexuality and have the space to reject the negative attitude of the fundies outright. But thanks to people like Dawkins and Hitchens and Harris (and Vene and Dromedary Hump), they are not being given the chance to do so.

    Therefore, you atheists are partially responsible for the rise of fundamentalism.

    BlueRidgeLady,

    It is not hate. It is critical love, but a love that is not permitted by the current anti-religious political climate to be expounded fully.

    Laura,

    honestly … what does Euthanasia have to do with executing minors, especially since it is FoTF that is against euthanasia?

    Andrea,

    I won’t deny that you know the apologetics. But do you really know all the apologetics, or just the apologetics that you learnt at your previous Church, which I suppose was an Evangelical Church. Have you read the Discourses of St Anselm, The Dialogues of Justin Martyr, The City of God, The Hexameron, The Summa Theologica or any of the other classical Christian works? If you haven’t read any of these works, don’t claim that you know apologetics at all.

    And when I say “read”, I mean “study”, that is to bother to look up the other texts by Greek Philosophers that these texts refer to, to understand (without bias) the philosopical frameworks these writers worked in, and see what the meaning of the text is in those frameworks.

    If Ex-Christians could dialogue with Christians the same way Justin Martyr – as an Ex-Platonist – dialogues with Platonists, you would be much more convincing to Christians.

    And of course, reading the Septugaint and the Hebrew Codices would be helpful too, before you deign to jump into biblical analysis. The Word of God after all is directly the original codices, and not their translations.

    And about the “something I cannot change”, I am inclined to disagree if you mean it in the essential sense. I agree with you if you mean it in the contingent sense, that is “something I cannot change now”. But I urge you to read Pope John Paul II’s lectures on the Theology of the Body, and try and understand them properly. And perhaps you might have a different opinion afterwards. The originals are available on the Vatican’s websites. Oh yes, and I challenge you to identify any parts of the lectures that sound like the Protestant apologetics that you are used to.

  • BlueRidgeLady

    BlueRidgeLady,

    It is not hate. It is critical love, but a love that is not permitted by the current anti-religious political climate to be expounded fully.

    HAHAHAHAHA

  • TheChristian

    Stephen P,

    (1) Actually only Dromedrary Hump has dealt – and most unsatisfactorily – with my comments besides you, so that leaves 7 out of 9 statements to justify.

    (2) Well, the (implicit) argument I see is:-

    FoTF argues that homosexuality is immoral. FoTF is a cruel organization that supports the homophobic Ugandan Bill in secret. Therefore, homosexuality is moral.

    That is an ad hominem argument quite plainly.

    In fact, I can even see a more explicit argument:-

    (preliminary)

    FoTF is blatantly immoral, so its opinions cannot be trusted.
    FoTF says that killing homosexuals is morally unacceptable.
    Therefore, FoTF believes that killing homosexuals is morally acceptable. (or: FoTF saying that the death penalty for homosexuals is immoral is mere PR.)

    (main argument)

    FoTF believes that the death penalty for homosexuals is morally acceptable.
    FoTF is an unreasonable, hate-mongering institution, thus it cannot be trusted.
    Therefore, the death penalty for homosexuals is morally unacceptable.

    Still an ad hominem. And not contrary to their views. (The preliminary is a formally valid argument; the main argument is the Ad Hominem.)

    (2) The logical fallacy lies in using that wrong label to justify your view that the argument is unsound. I call it a philosophy because there is a theological rationale that unfortunately the theists do not get a chance to explain properly because they are shouted down by people lie Hitchens, Vene and Dromedrary Hump. I pointed Andrea to The Theology of the Body for that reason. The Theology of the Body is the only full explanation of the Christian beliefs on sexuality.

  • Vene

    Blah, blah, blah.

    Oh, and it’s Vene, not Zene.

    You’re really a twit, you know that? I mean, you come in here and try to lecture people who know the Bible better than you on it. I mean, you claimed that Leviticus doesn’t claim homosexuals should be killed. Oh, so it was for the act, that’s not really any better. So instead of killing ‘teh gheys’ you seem to think that it’s so much better for them to live a lie and deny a core aspect of their humanity.

    You’re a member of a fucking cult. And none of this discussion means anything because not a single Christian, not a one, can offer a rational reason to believe in the Bible and their cult.

  • http://atheistcamel.blogspot.com/ Dromedary Hump

    The Christian said:

    1) Because you have yet to provide evidence that all of FoTF, or at least all of its leaders, despise homosexuals. The most you could prove is that its leaders dislike homosexuality.

    LOL.. “Prove”???
    Actions define a groups perspective, dislike and dispise is a matter of degree and in this case semantics.

    (2) Wow, a personal attack against a theist again. I am trying to be as optimistic as possible with atheists, but it seems that most are as rude as you are.

    I don’t give a fiddlers fuck about your optimism. My rudness toward theists is in direct proportion to their sanctemoneous, condescending, 1/2 assed idiocy and their intellectual dishonesty.

    (3) Yes, I agree that Leviticus calls for the death of homosexuals, more accurately the death of people who do homosexual acts. But no, the Bible does not say “thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”. That is exclusively a King James Version mistranslation.

    Now, heres the perfect example of two things
    a) you originally challenged a poster here implying that the Bible

    did not

    require the death of homosexuals. You were shown to be wrong and havn’t admitted it, yet you have no problem setting yourself up as some 1/2 assed biblical scholar. And you want respect for that? Asshat.

    b) Right witches in KJV, as well as five or six other versions; sorceresses in all the others.
    http://bible.cc/exodus/22-18.htm

    So now you want to split hairs?
    Does this mean you believe in sorceresses, and support their killing…but you’re not ok with killing witches?

    See, in your drive, your pride, to demonstrate your Biblical familiarity you end up stepping into shit even deeper. The sign of a truly miserable self appointed and under educated apologist.

    (4) Well, the book of psalms is one book on which all the Christian denominations agree is to be interpreted metaphorically. Dispensationalist or not, my conclusion applies. Incidentally, do you truly understand what a dispensationalist is?

    Your conclusion is a matter of your sect’s interpretation. Yes, I do… do YOU know what Dispensationalist is? If not, go to Google.

    The question isn’t Psalms as metaphor or literal meaning, the point is that anything that runs counter to religionist agenda and is difficulat to defend becomes metaphor to certain Xtians. To literalists, nothing is metaphor..and there are pleanty of them in the US.
    This invoking metaphor is quite a convenient and widely used tact with apologists. Your proving that here.

    (5) No you cannot say the same for the other parts of the Bible, because the Psalms is poetry, but the other books are in prose. And the Trinitarian Doctrine is far more complicated than any of your atheist stereotypes. I recommend you read at least some of Plato and Aristotle before making judgements on the Trinitarian Doctrine.

    There is alot of prose in the Bible that some / many theists will define as metaphor. How many examples do you need?
    I know all about trinity, and about the triune in various pre-Xtian religions and greek philosophy.
    My judgement on the Trinity is it’s as inane and absurd as resurrection of dead tissue and virgin man-god births.

    May I suggest you read some biology books before you pass judegment on reality.

    (7) This is not my opinion only; this is the opinion of the two oldest denominations of Christianity, and even of the first three Protestant Denominations: Lutheran, Anglican, Methodist.

    So lets see… the other 2800 sects have no vote? This perspective is evidence of truth by what.. popularity among like minded deluded superstionalists? Sort of like the Council of Nicea.. you decide what you believe by a raise of the hand? Do the dissenters get bannished? LOL.
    Can you be any more insipid?

    THE CHRISTIAN SAID; “— theists do not get a chance to explain properly because they are shouted down by people lie Hitchens, Vene and Dromedrary Hump. ”

    That’s the nicest compliment a religionist could possibly give me. I am honored., thank you :)

  • TheChristian

    Vene,

    well, at least you are 1-up from BlueRidgeLady.

    (1) Yes, I got your name.

    (2) Well, the point is that we don’t want them to deny a core aspect of their humanity. We agree that sexuality is a core aspect of humanity, but sexual orientation is a red-herring concept constructed to hide what sexuality actually is. The Christian argument is that by living a “homosexual life”, a person is denying himself or herself a core aspect of his or her humanity, which is the sexual(ity) aspect. Sexuality is far more than simply bodily attraction, even bodily attraction tinged with emotional feeling.

    (3) A cult? FYI, I am a member of the largest Christian denomination in the World (and perhaps the largest religious groups too), the Roman Catholic Church. You really need to open your dictionary if you think that the RCC is a cult.

    (A note: I didn’t mention this before because I want a debate on philosophy and theology, not a red-herring Kangaroo trial on paedophile priests and the Inquisition, which seem to be the only things that critics of the Church know how to talk about.)

  • http://atheistcamel.blogspot.com/ Dromedary Hump

    cult?
    –noun 1. a particular system of religious worship, esp. with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
    2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, esp. as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult.
    3. the object of such devotion.
    4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/cult

    Yeah… RCC fits the description of a cult. The only difference between a cult and a religion is the size of its financial holdings. So RCC, having sucked as much money as it could from its mindless sheep, is big enough to qualify as “religion.”

    Now that I know you’re RCC, you’re in luck!I have Jesus’ foreskin and the original diaper from the crucifixion. I know how you people love relics. Let me know if you’re interested before it goes up on ebay.

  • TheChristian

    Dromedrary Hump,

    (1) Hmmm, and what actions has FoTF committed, besides in your conspiracy theories?

    (2) I have been none of these; when I make a mistake, I do not deny it.

    (3) Hmm, Leviticus requires the death of homosexuals, but it is but one book out of the entire Bible, and the Bible must be seen as an organic whole, more than a mere anthology.

    I don’t support the killing of random people as witches or sorceresses, but where there is a real sorceress or witch, yes, I support the killing, unless you can say that we can keep ourselves safe by imprisoning them for life.

    Since, by the definition in the Bible, witches and sorceresses are people who invoke supernatural powers actively to wreak havoc on others, for the sake of enforcing their own power. So yes, I will prescribe the death penalty for a genuine witch or sorceress. I think you would too.

    But – in case you are trying to snare me – no, I do not support witch hunts, or conviction of child witches. Witches and sorceresses, by definition, need to have wide knowledge of arcane arts, and a child can’t possibly acquire those within a short time.

    Do I believe that such sorceresses and witches exist? Not currently, no, although there are mediums who come dangerously close to that. But in the past there certainly were, and they had positions of political power, which made them all the more dangerous.

    (4) Even the literalists accept that Psalms is meant to be read metaphorically, so with regards to the passage you quoted, my argument still stands.

    I am not “invoking metaphor”, and I am not from the USA. In fact, I am not even from a Western Country. I am simply recognizing the literary genre of psalms.

    (5) Yes, but you gave the specific example of Psalms.

    Hmm, yes, I know bout the Triune in Pre-Christian religions. But these concepts of the Triune differ radically from the Christian concept of the Trinity, if you stop seeing them with your stereotyped atheist vision.

    Resurrection can’t be disproven unless you can find the body of Christ and prove that it dates from 33 AD. Until that day, the Resurrection still demands the acceptance of the possibility that it is a historical fact. Anyhow, the Ahmaddiyah Sect of the Muslims argue that the Death and Resurrection might have been a Near-Death-Experience, albeit a prolonged one. And NDEs exist even today among many different people following many different religions. So, the historicity of a NDE need not be thrown into any doubt.

    As for the virgin birth, virgin-birth phenomena do occur in science, where they are given the name parthenogenesis. Who is to say that the various virgin births are not human parthenogenesis?

    And once again, read more theology before condemning the Trinitarian Doctrine. I suggest Hans Kung “On Being a Christian” for a start. Kung is an ecumenist, so he writes in a tone that is friendly without being patronizing, and certainly is a far cry from any evangelical author you might have had read before.

    (6) Well, it is the opinion that has existed for the longest, so it is most likely to be the opinion handed down from Christ Himself through the apostles, with the other opinions made up for political reasons.

    Hmmm … the Council of Nicaea was more complicated than your caricature of it; please read history books before making commentary. Whether dissenters get banished is not relevant to the issue of whether the final resolution is the correct one; your argument here is an Ad Hominem.

    (7) That shows how twisted you are.

  • TheChristian

    Dromedrary Hump,

    (1) ah … so you are using the academic definition of a cult. Okay, I agree with you then. But I won’t agree with you if you are trying to imply a similarity between the Mormons – a cult in the lay sense – and the Catholics.

    (2) You are a bit hasty in calling all Catholics “mindless sheep”. After all, there is such a thing called an ex-atheist as well. And I mean a genuine atheist who has totally converted to Christianity.

    (3) I doubt that you really have Jesus’ foreskin, because that would contradict the Bible, and also if you really did have Jesus’ foreskin, you would be on every news channel in the world right now. And the people in Jesus’ time did not wear diapers, so you cannot possibly possess something that is an anachronism.

    And on your general characterization of Catholics and Relics, I find that prejudicial and totally inaccurate. We revere the power of God shown in the relics, not the relics themselves, and certainly we don’t go around collecting relics like say I go round collecting trading cards.

    So no, I am not interested in your offers.

  • http://atheistcamel.blogspot.com/ Dromedary Hump

    Classic!!! Acedemic version?? Its the fuckin dictionary version!!!!LOL
    invoking parthenogenesis!! Yeah, and starfish regrow limbs… haven’t seen many humans with that particular genetic trait. Go figure.

    So.. , believing in sorcery in the 21st century? still failing to admit you didn’t know about the death penalty for homosexuals? ignoring the pre-xtian triune theme as a basis for trinity just like ignoring virgin birth man-gods prior to Jebus as the basis for jesus, or not realizing that the NT is Prophesy Historicized instead of History Prophesized? All the typical mindnumbing foolishness we’ve seen time and again from the religiously infected.

    Nope, Resurrection can’t be disproven. Nor can you prove that your Mom isn’t the love child of a space alien. Thus, you take the former on faith, and I’ll accept the latter.

    I’m only going to give you one day to make me an offer on those relics.
    Come the Feast of the Circumcision (or the newer, less sexually provoctive name for it the Church opted for), you’d be the hit of the party. Think it over.
    All sales final.

  • http://atheistcamel.blogspot.com/ Dromedary Hump

    I doubt that you really have Jesus’ foreskin, because that would contradict the Bible,

    and on it goes… more personal interpretations at odds with the RCC. tsk tsk. You may have to look up the word “prepuce.” I know how anything related to human sex organs is really out of your area of expertise.

    the established Holy Prepuce of Calcata, which had been officially venerated by the Church for hundreds of years;

    The foreskin given to Pope Leo III by Charlemagne was looted during the Sack of Rome in 1527. The German soldier who stole it was captured in the village of Calcata later the same year. Thrown into prison, he hid the jeweled reliquary in his cell, where it remained until its rediscovery in 1557. Many miracles (freak storms and perfumed fog overwhelming the village) followed.[5] Housed in Calcata, it was venerated from that time onwards, with the Church approving the authenticity by offering a ten-year indulgence to pilgrims.[3] Pilgrims, nuns and monks flocked to the church. “Calcata was a must-see destination on the pilgrimage map.”[5]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_Prepuce

    Those fuckin Popes..and here we thought they were infallible in matters of the Church. All along they were wrong..it’s YOU who knows best.

    You’ve been dismissed, Buffoon.

  • http://atheistcamel.blogspot.com/ Dromedary Hump

    contradict the bible…

    Luke 2:21 (Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition) And after eight days were accomplished, that the child should be circumcised, his name was called JESUS, which was called by the angel, before he was conceived in the womb.

    So… now, all we need to know is how having possession of the lost foreskin of jesus would contradict the Bible.

    No where in the bible does it suggest the foreskin never existed, nor that it was destroyed, or that it miraculously reattached itself to jebus, or that it beamed up to heaven with Jesus, or that it was accidently eaten with dip during the post bris celebration… or during the Feast of the Circumcision.

    Please…tell us all how having discovered and being in possession of Jesus’ missing holy foreskin would “contradict the Bible.”

    And if you can’t, can you summon the intellectual honesty to retract your statement (again) and this time apologize for your error & for your insipid habit of portraying yourself as a Biblical scholar, which you are not.

  • Erp

    TheChristian wrote:

    (7) This is not my opinion only; this is the opinion of the two oldest denominations of Christianity, and even of the first three Protestant Denominations: Lutheran, Anglican, Methodist.

    The first three Protestant Denominations are not Lutheran, Anglican, Methodist. Lutheran and Anglican are quite old and date from the 16th century; however, Methodist is from the 18th century and groups like the Baptists, Quakers, Presbyterians are far older.

    I think I answered your question in my last post. The fundies feel threatened by the advance of a culture that does not allow them to participate properly, and that the issue of gay rights is the only issue where people – even atheists – are still willing to listen to them. Not all atheists support LGBT rights.

    And so they re fighting back. They would not be fighting back if the religious moderates have the chance to explain properly the doctrine regarding homosexuality and have the space to reject the negative attitude of the fundies outright. But thanks to people like Dawkins and Hitchens and Harris (and Vene and Dromedary Hump), they are not being given the chance to do so.

    Therefore, you atheists are partially responsible for the rise of fundamentalism.

    Unfortunately the fundamentalists predate the atheists you mention and were at first reacting to the religious liberals (e.g., “Essays and Reviews” published in 1860 to much greater furor than “Origin of Species”). Atheists just make a convenient scapegoat.

  • http://agalandherblog.blogspot.com/ Andrea

    Assume much? You’ve more than proven yourself unwilling of civil conversation with us rude atheists, and regarding this steaming pile –
    “And about the “something I cannot change”, I am inclined to disagree if you mean it in the essential sense. I agree with you if you mean it in the contingent sense, that is “something I cannot change now”. But I urge you to read Pope John Paul II’s lectures on the Theology of the Body, and try and understand them properly. And perhaps you might have a different opinion afterwards. The originals are available on the Vatican’s websites. Oh yes, and I challenge you to identify any parts of the lectures that sound like the Protestant apologetics that you are used to.” –

    ~~fuck you very much~~

  • TheChristian

    Dromedrary Hump,

    (1) That doesn’t mean that no human can exist who has that genetic trait.

    (2) Au contraire, I said that I already permitted, but only want you to see it in context.

    (3) Well, it does seem to exist in tribal regions … so I will not write it off just yet. I honestly see that you re committing Fallacy of Equivocation by lumping the Trinity with other Triune concepts, which share only the number and nothing else.

    As for Jesus, I believe that he is a historical figure, that is that there was a real person called Jesus. And that person is not a fiction. So of course, the New Testament is Prophecy Historicized, because Jesus is the fulfillment of the OT.

    (4) Don’t twist my words. I said that Resurrection can’t be disproven until someone manages to find the corpse of Jesus and is able to determine that he died in 33 AD, not anytime later. I didn’t say that the Resurrection cannot be proven per se.

    (5) The Church chooses a different name because it chooses to emphasize the meaning of the ceremony, rather than the form, as you do.

    (6 & 7) Sorry, I am tired now, and forgot that Jesus was a Jew. I thought that you were creating a mock relic to disprove the Resurrection. (The Diaper certainly is a mock relic.) Okay, so the foreskin might be genuine.

    (8) Popes are *only* infallible in terms of defining faith and moral doctrine. They are not infallible in identifying sacred relics, or in any other matters of the church. That is not part of the charism of Infallibility. Criteria for identifying relics is not part of religious doctrine.

    Anyway, I am humble enough to admit that I have too little information to verify or disprove whether the Holy Prepuce is genuine. There are, after all, many cases of fake relics. That is not to mean, though, that all relics are fake. And if the Church attributed miracles to it, then I don’t think it is fake. But anyway, the Church doesn’t require Catholics to believe in the authenticity of sacred relics; Belief in Sacred Relics is not a doctrine – major or minor – of the Catholic Faith.

    (9) I have not claimed to be a Biblical scholar. All I have claimed is that I know about Biblical Scholarship better than the atheists on this thread.

  • http://atheistcamel.blogspot.com/ Dromedary Hump

    Sorry, I am tired now, and forgot that Jesus was a Jew. I thought that you were creating a mock relic to disprove the Resurrection. (The Diaper certainly is a mock relic.) Okay, so the foreskin might be genuine.


    You forgot Jesus was a Jew??? LOL!!

    You absurd little man. Go away.

  • http://atheistcamel.blogspot.com/ Dromedary Hump

    So of course, the New Testament is Prophecy Historicized, because Jesus is the fulfillment of the OT.

    Heheh… you don’t even realize what you said above.
    If Jesus was the fulfillment of OT prophecy instead of the NT gospel just being a sequel to that known prophesy, the NT would be “History Prophesized”. By saying “the NT is Prophecy Historicized” you are agreeing we me that they made the prophesy come true by writing the gospel specifically to meet the OT prophesy.

    Once again you’ve tripped over your own foreskin you self righteous poser :) Look up “History Prophecized and Prophesy Historicized” before you shoot your mouth off;.

    Don’t twist my words. I said that Resurrection can’t be disproven until someone manages to find the corpse of Jesus and is able to determine that he died in 33 AD, not anytime later. I didn’t say that the Resurrection cannot be proven per se.

    I know exactly what you said..I twisted nothing. It can’t be disproven until someone finds the body..just like I can’t disprove your Mom isn’t the issue of an alien liason with your grandmother…unless we find the body of that alien and can do a dna test.

    as for your last sentence there “I didn’t say the Resureection cannot be proven per se.”
    OK, then please prove the resurrection, or demonstrate how it can be proven with objective evidence.

    or did you make ANOTHER mis-statement???
    You should really shut the fuck up..you look more idiotic with each posting.

  • http://atheistcamel.blogspot.com/ Dromedary Hump

    Well, it [sorcery] does seem to exist in tribal regions … so I will not write it off just yet.

    Please show us how magic / casting of spells/conjuring of spirits/ the effacacy of curses / alchemy or other indications of “sorcery” “exist in tribal regions” with objective evidence.

    What testable and observable objective evidence do you have acces tothat confirms such a thing exists in reality in tribal regions, or anywhere?

    What you have is pre-scientific 3rd world people who have clung to their ancient tribal ignorance and are killing albinos, murdering women because their cattle contracted anthrax, using scapegoats to cleanse and satisfytheir superstious bent, and generally doing exactly what the witch hunters of europe and america did in the 15th to 17th century.

    Do you have a modicum of verifiable evidence for sorcery being real in tribal regions, other than the fact that people are being murdered by superstitious uneducated maniacs at the behest of their shaman? Or is this just another thing you take on faith?

    The Christian..seriously, your ignorance is appalling and reinforces the stereotype of the theist intellect. And believe me, it isn’t the stuff of MENSA.

    I’ll not waste my time and typing on you any further. I’d say it would be like my casting pearls before swine, but I don’t want to insult the swine.

  • Erp

    It’s actually somewhat amusing that TheChristian forgot Jesus was a Jew today since today (Jan 1) is traditionally when the Catholic church (until around 1960) and a a few others (some Anglican churches still do) celebrates his circumcision.

  • QrazyQat

    (7) Qazyqat, Well perhaps the religious groups were hoping that people would exercise more sensibility and stop the “firestorm” of protests.

    I’m sure you’re right that FoF and Warren were hoping that people would stop protesting and instead support the killing of gay people because they are gay, but no decent person would do that. So eventually, to keep up the pretext that they are decent human beings they had to offer some belatedly remarks contradicting what they’ve supported for years.

  • Angie

    :: clears throat ::

    Back to the matter at hand, when Focus on the Family rejects their misguided homophobia altogether, I’ll cheer. The above statement is a positive sign, but they need to go much father than this.

  • Twin-Skies

    1. I never claimed to be an atheist. I identify myself as a deist. Minor detail though.

    2. Atheists are at FAULT for creating fundamentalists?

    I was a Catholic moderate for a good part of my life before I finally left the faith, and let me tell you – fundamentalists will disagree with just about anybody who does not sit well with their world view.

    I was receiving flak well before I lost all my belief, from so-called moral superiors and pastors who said that I was being deceived by the critical thinking being taught in my college.

    I have seen Catholic moderates being accused of being non-genuine believers by the priests in their own parishes just because they supported a reproductive health bill here in the Philippines.

    In short, I have seen firsthand that your assertion is rubbish – fundamentalists create their own demons, when they decided to antagonize not only nonbelievers, but the more moderate people within the faith they belong to.

  • Vene

    Dromedary Hump, I salute you. That was awesome and most amusing.

    Oh, and Christian, homosexuality if sexuality isn’t sexual and emotional attraction, what the fuck is it?

    I know, let’s use the dictionary again
    http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/sexuality?view=uk

    • noun (pl. sexualities) 1 capacity for sexual feelings. 2 a person’s sexual orientation or preference.

    Oh, it seems to be about attraction, huh, sounds like it exactly like it is what you’re claiming it’s not. Then again, considering you failed in your knowledge of Leviticus, the definition of “cult,” fallibility of the popes, and even your messiah’s religion, this is far from surprising.

    Seriously, go read your own holy book. Many, many of us have read yours and clearly know it better than you do. Sunday sermons really don’t grant a good understanding of the thing, that’s just choice passages.


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