‘Day of Monologue’ Response Card

Today is the Christian “Day of Dialogue” in which participants can tell their LGBT classmates why they’re going to hell.

This is the card (PDF) they will be handing out:

As I posted before, Zach Moore created this hilarious parody (PDF) of that card:

So cut those out and spread the word! If you have any interesting encounters today, I’d love to hear about them…

And, by the way, if you click on DayOfMonologue.com, it redirects to this site :)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • DG

    Funny, I missed the ‘they’re going to hell’ part. 

    • Acid

      The “they’re going to hell” part comes after this card is employed to ostensibly “open dialogue.”

      Anyone who has ever had a conversation with a christian about any choices they made that the christian does not agree with knows all about the “going to hell” part.

      Don’t be naive.

    • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

      If you take the “and you’re going to hell” out of the Christian message then Christianity loses its punch. Now I am all for Christianity losing its punch. That would be a good thing. If Christianity morphs in to a non-denominational Deistic humanism, the world would be a much better place. I don’t really think, though, the people participating in this Day of Monologue have that in mind. It is just a stealth way to proselytize and not look like an asshole doing it.

    • http://www.zazzle.com/godless_monsters The Godless Monster

      Are you making the claim that the overwhelming majority of Christians do NOT believe homosexuality is a sin deserving of eternal damnation?

      • Kevin S.

        Actually, yes. 75% of this country is Christian. 52% of this country supports SSM. Even if every single non-Christian in America fell into the 52%, that would still leave 70+ million Christians in America supporting marriage equality. Since we know other religions also oppose it, I’m guessing the number is closer to 90-100 million. I find it unlikely that Chrisitans would support people’s right to do something they feel consigns them to eternal damnation, but even if they did, it doesn’t really matter. How you treat people is far more important than what you think your divinty will do to them after they die.

        • Kevin S.

          This isn’t a commentary on the Day of Dialogue people, btw. If they were actually interested in dialogue, they’d have listened to what every accredited psychological and mental health organization of the past forty years has had to say on the matter. Of course to them, “dialogue” means getting to ignore the mountains of evidence contradicting them and spouting off about various conflated Bronze Age traditions and morals (see evolution/creationism, abstinence-only/comprehensive sex education, etc.).

          • http://www.zazzle.com/godless_monsters The Godless Monster

             Agreed, well said.

            • http://www.socialconservatives.ca/ Ted

              Wow!  That’s quite a claim.  Do you really know what “every accredited psychological and mental health organization of the past forty years” has said, and who accredited them?  And in addition you have an accurate knowledge of an often pre-literate Bronze Age traditions and morals, and can identify them somehow with Christian traditions?  

              • Kevin S.

                How about you name just one that isn’t a religious front?

                And much of this attitude is justified in the Pentateuch, which is a collection of traditions that originated in… the Bronze Age.  Although if you want to stipulate that Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus aren’t the inerrant word of god and that much of the original meanings of the oral traditions were lost over the centuries, I will gladly retract my claim that the traditions and morals backing the Day of Dialogue crowd came from the Bronze Age.

        • http://www.zazzle.com/godless_monsters The Godless Monster

           75% claim to be or identify as Christian.  I can identify as an Eskimo, but it does not change the fact that I’m Lebanese. To have a meaningful exchange we’d have to agree on what it means to be Christian. Methinks we have differing viewpoints…

          • Kevin S.

            Isn’t identification for religion (which is not an innate characteristic, like race, ethnicity or orientation) what matters? We often rip Christians for going all No True Scotsman on other Christians who do generally shitty things. I don’t think we can do the reverse here. The *only* universally-defining characteristic of a Christian is the belief that Jesus died on the cross for their sins. The rest varies, and each denomination has every right to call themselves Christian, even if they don’t agree with the majority of Chrisitans on various issues.

          • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

            You’re a Christian if you consider yourself a Christian. What other criteria can there be? It doesn’t matter how much a person understands about the history of Christianity, it doesn’t matter how much they understand about the different philosophies that people have associated with the religion. When it comes to religion, all that matters is how you self-identify. To tell a Christian they aren’t “real” is no less insulting than having somebody  tell you that you aren’t a “real” atheist.

            I see or hear about Christians all the time that I think are really missing the fundamental concepts of their religion… but I’m not going to say they aren’t Christians.

            • http://www.zazzle.com/godless_monsters The Godless Monster

               You and Kevin S are missing my point. I don’t CARE what somebody labels themselves as. For purposes of having  meaningful discourse, it is best to understand what WE mean when WE use the term “Christian”. When we discuss cladistics, we are likely to be on the same page when we refer to cats, for example. We know what a cat is and what defines a cat.
              Defining terms like Christian and Muslim get tossed about so as to almost have no useful meaning whatsoever to many of us.

              • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

                Well, I don’t know how WE define Christians. I define a Christian as anybody who calls themselves that. Nothing more, nothing less. I don’t think any other definition is useful in most contexts.

                • Piet Puk

                   So Fred Phelps, the KKK, all real cristians. Right?

                • Kevin S.

                  Yes. They don’t get to exclude the ones they don’t like, we don’t get to cull out the ones we think are ‘too good’ for Christianity.

                • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

                  I don’t know what makes a Christian “real”. Fred Phelps is a Christian. I suppose most KKK members are, as well, but probably not all.

                • Piet Puk

                   “”I don’t know what makes a Christian “real”
                  This is indeed something to think about.

  • efg

    Other than the “accepting the whole premise of a supreme being” part that seems kind of silly, I think this is great.

  • Ted

    “That’s why as a Christian—someone who follows Jesus—I will stand up for students
    around me being teased, bullied or harmed for any reason.”  The “friendly” atheist does not seem to appreciate this sentiment, even though the “Day of Silence” is ostensibly about protesting bullying.  The so-called parody is not a parody of the actual “Day of Dialogue” card but of what the “friendly” atheist imagins the Christian might intend to say. 

    • jdm8

      The problem is the “Day of Dialogue” is it is just a tool to proselytize and push heterosexuality as if one can just “pray the gay away”.

      The first half of the Day of Dialogue card doesn’t excuse the second half. The second half is what is parodied and why it merits a parody.

    • http://twitter.com/luciferadi Adi Rule

      “Because God cares so much about us, I also believe that He designed the best plan for our sexuality and relationships.”

      While many Christians are interested in standing up for LGBT students, the person who chooses to distribute this card is not.

      • http://www.socialconservatives.ca/ Ted

        I wonder how you know that.  Mind-reader? Or do you assume that because the distributors do not condone homosexual behaviour they hate homosexuals–the “You disagree with me; therefore you hate me” line.

        • Stev84

          Ah, the typical “hate the sinner, love the sinner bullshit”. Homosexuality simply is not behavior. People have feelings for someone of the same gender – often very early on before they even fully realize it. Whatever they do is only a result of those feelings. Just as straight people only engage in sexual behavior based on feelings they have for other people.

          • Sware

            Agreed.  One need only to consider the death toll of kids committing suicide because people can’t mind their own business and leave them alone for being *gasp* “different”.  It is insulting at minimum to the recipient and passive aggressive bullying at worst.

        • http://twitter.com/luciferadi Adi Rule

          I’m not sure where you got the word “hate” from, and in what context, so I can’t really address that.

          But if I were, say, a Brewers fan, and was being bullied because of it, and then someone came along and wanted to “stand up” for me by turning me into a Yankees fan, I wouldn’t really consider that any kind of meaningful interaction.

          • Kevin S.

            But if you just became a Yankee fan, you’re life would be so much better!

            • http://www.socialconservatives.ca/ Ted

              A totally invalid comparison.  Whether you are a Brewers fan or a Yankee fan will not make any substantive difference in your life.

              • http://twitter.com/FelyxLeiter Felyx Leiter

                You clearly don’t live in the Northeast.

                • Onamission5

                  Or anywhere else where fans get beaten up for liking the wrong team. Soccer hooligans, anyone?

                • Kevin S.

                  Bryan Stow says ‘hi.’

                • Onamission5

                  Exactly. Given enough mob mentality and rabid fanaticism, anything can be dangerous. Even liking a sports team.

        • Onamission5

          It’s not just disagreement. It’s denying of basic consitutional rights. If I deny you your rights, does that mean I love you?

        • AnonymousSam

          The problem with “hate the sin, love the sinner” mentality is when it turns into “hate the sin, so prevent the sinner from having the freedoms which would allow them to have a long and happy life while repeatedly harassing them about what horrible people they are for having urges they can neither control nor change.”

          “I forgive you as a person, but I cannot allow you to live happily” is no consolation at all.

    • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

      This all boils down to the “hate the sin, love the sinner” concept, which is just as harmful as mindless bigotry. It’s basically saying, “What you’re doing is evil, but you shouldn’t be bullied for it.” Well, congratulations, that’s halfway there.

      The belief that homosexuality is evil, harmful, or wrong is a harmful belief, one that needs to be eradicated… just like the belief that blacks/hispanics/any race is inferior to another… and the belief that women are inferior to men. It’s as silly, to us, as believing that redheads are somehow inferior and are living evil lives with red hair.

      We can only be “friendly” to a point, Ted. Being friendly doesn’t mean being complacent push-overs for the more vocal religious bigots to run roughshod over the rest of us.

      Just like Christians often do with the Bible, you seem to be cherry-picking only the parts of the DoD card above that you find nice and good, while ignoring the rest.

      • DG

        So let me get this straight.  You’re
        saying that their beliefs that homosexuality is evil and wrong and harmful are,
        themselves, evil or wrong or harmful and need to be eradicated?   

        • Onamission5

          Replace the word “homosexuality” with just about anything else that’s harmless, legal, and has been hounded upon by the religious right, and you might see how silly you sound.

          • DG

            That’s not really an answer.  Either you’re saying beliefs you believe to be evil, wrong and harmful need to be eradicated, or you’re not saying it.  It’s a fair question. And one I want to make sure I understand correctly.

            • Onamission5

              The entire point is that other people’s legal and harmless private relationships are none of your or anyone else’s business.

              • DG

                It became my
                business when the 2000 moral tradition upon which our society understood human
                relations was called upon to be changed. 
                And furthermore, when it was linked to a call to stifle opposing
                viewpoints in the name of tolerance, then it became my business.  You can’t expect to thrust upon people your
                own values and moral absolutes all the while insisting the topic is none of
                their business.  Only the worst fool
                would accept those parameters for debate. 
                By the way, FWIW, I’ve seen gay rights activists on Huffington Post and
                other sources say that it’s time to discard the tired old ‘it’s nobody’s business.’  They see the obvious issues there.

                • Onamission5

                  So, you don’t believe that tax-paying, law abiding citizens should all have the same rights. This is what you’re been dancing around, using language designed to make *us* seem like tyrants for wanting equality, and I am glad you finally came along to say it outright: you think that your particular brand of your particular religion should get to define marriage for everybody, even though the US, last I checked, was a constitutional republic and not a christian theocracy.

                   Problem identified.

                • DG

                  I said it
                  became public business when the laws and traditions of society were called upon
                  to change. You can’t say change the nation it’s none of your business. It just
                  doesn’t work.

                  Oh, and paying taxes has nothing to do with defining marriage. A
                  brother and sister who pay taxes and want to be married – I’ll still oppose, as will most. A
                  man who pays taxes and wants seven wives – I’ll still oppose.

                  You see, I’m not
                  saying I’m for marriage equality. I’m saying it’s based on a set of beliefs,
                  both of which vie for control of our country and which demand the discussion
                  happen, thus making it everyone’s business. I’m not for marriage equality. Nor
                  is anyone, unless they literally believe anyone should be able to marry anyone
                  for any reason – then, yeah, they’re at least consistent.

                • Onamission5

                  You can run circles around it all you want. Your anti-gay bigotry is still morally indefensible.

                • DG

                  As understood by your value system and moral absolutes by which you live, I’m sure it appears that way.

                • Onamission5

                  By standards of common decency, equity, and caring for the rights of others.

                • http://twitter.com/FelyxLeiter Felyx Leiter

                  “It became my business when the 2000 moral tradition upon which our society understood humanrelations was called upon to be changed.”
                  Yeah, and people said the same thing when women wanted to vote and black people got fed up with sitting at the back of the bus.  Unexamined tradition is a piss-poor reason to continue doing anything.  Unless you can actually present a compelling argument as to why and how a practice is 1) harmful and 2) legislating against it is not in violation of people’s rights, then you have no leg to stand on.  There have been many decades-long studies involving LGBT families and relationships, and I have yet to come across a scientifically accurate one that proves either of the above points.  Your personal morality has no place in a discussion about the basic rights of other people.  In fact, there’s a word that neatly wraps up the idea of exhibiting intolerance without examination or evidence of wrongdoing: bigotry.

                • Siamang

                   In other words, you’re exactly the kind of stereotypical Christian you were complaining we were lumping you in with.  Got it.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

                   Did you react this strongly when wife-beating became illegal and the Civil Rights Act was passed?  You realize that some “traditions” are meant to go into the dust bin, right?

                  “You can’t expect to thrust upon people your own values and moral absolutes all the while insisting the topic is none of
                  their business.”

                  Yet that’s what Christians do every day of their lives.  Then they whine “persecution” whenever they meet the slightest resistance to their efforts.  Wake up and realize that you don’t have the right to demand everyone live according to your chosen religious lifestyle.

        • Sagrav

          Yes, their belief that homosexuality is evil, wrong, and harmful is evil, wrong, and harmful.  That is why we oppose them on this subject.  Many of us have LBGT friends and family have lived their entire lives being bullied by a group of people who base their moral thinking on a collection of ancient mythology.  We are tired of the bullshit.  

          If religious people want to revel in their disgust and hatred towards a specific subset of the population, they can do so in the privacy of their own homes.  If their churches don’t want to perform marriage ceremonies for two LGBT adults, then they won’t have to.  If your god wants to take issue with where human beings put their genitals, then he/she/it can materialize in physical form (in the modern day world) to discuss it with us.

          • DG

            “they can do so in the privacy of their own homes”

            I think you mean, in the closet.

            • Onamission5

              Sheesh, need negative attention much?

              • DG

                Heh, no not really. 
                Just talking.  Or the blog equivalent.  Just trying to get folks to take a look at
                things from a different POV.  After all,
                it’s not much fun to just sit around with people who all think the same way and
                believe the same way. 

            • Stev84

              You aren’t the one being oppressed here, so get off your damn cross. Claiming oppression does not get you closer to your zombie lord.

              If you think being gay is wrong, don’t be gay. Don’t marry someone of the same gender. Suppress your sexuality if you really want. But you have absolutely no right to force your religion’s rules on other people – either by passing laws against them or waging public campaigns like in this case

    • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

      If that’s what they really believe, then all they needed on the card was that one sentence. In which case, there wouldn’t be any criticism of their actions.

      But they couldn’t leave it at just that, could they?

      • http://www.socialconservatives.ca/ Ted

        So the problem, apparently, is that instead of just agreeing to the point you agree with, these Christians are expressing an additional viewpoint of their own, which you don’t agree with.

        • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

          A point which detracts from the anti-bullying message, and verges on bullying in its own right.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

       Actually, the parody card is just dumping the double-speak of the original.  The original claims it’s against bullying of any kind as it seeks to bully anybody who isn’t a heterosexual Christian.  The essential message is “God’s plan is for you to follow him and be straight, and if you refuse you’re a reprobate moral degenerate”.    

  • Lex

    “Because God cares so much about us, I also believe that He designed the best plan for our sexuality and relationships.  And that He created every one of us, male and female, so that we could enjoy an intimate relationship with Him.” So the Christian God is a bisexual, eh?

    • Jen

      Or into threesomes?

  • Reginald Selkirk

    “And that He created every one of us, male and female, so that we could enjoy an intimate relationship with Him.”

    Did they actually read that before they had it printed? They make it sound like God is a profligately promiscuous bisexual.

  • http://twitter.com/FelyxLeiter Felyx Leiter

    File under “God’s Perfect Plan™”: all the schools in my area are on break this week.  Guess the LGBT students will have to be saved next year.

  • george.w

    Was there a whole book of the Bible lost somewhere? The one where Jesus said the big focus should be homosexuality?

    • Kevin S.

      They were on the third tablet Moses dropped.

  • Onamission5

    Gee, I never knew that god-as-son-of-self liked virginal, bisexual three ways with couples on their honeymoon nights. You learn something new every day.

  • DG

    Wow, more fun with atheists. 
    Love the responses.  It’s like a
    bizarre cross between Fred Phelps and Glenn Beck, but without the same degree
    of serious research.  The whole thing
    seems to be ‘of course all 2 billion Christians are alike, since their religion that I
    obviously know nothing about is so stupid, they have to be!’  It’s not easy living up to stereotypes, but I
    notice modern atheists pull it off quite nicely. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/maik.both Maik Both

      So – you accuse all atheists of generalising and living up to stereotypes? Don’t let the door with the ‘unintentional irony’ sign on it hit your arse on the way out….

      • DG

        No, just those who seem to have a gift for it.

        • http://www.facebook.com/maik.both Maik Both

          Are, so you are revising what you were saying originally? Good stuff.

          • DG

            If it was taken that I was saying all atheists everywhere are the same in
            that regard, then yeah, I wrote in haste and wouldn’t wish for that to be seen
            as what I was saying and certainly apologize if I said it that way.  My barbs were aimed at that particular group within
            the non-religious world that seems to take great pleasure in behaving in ways
            that they ironically condemn when those behaviors are done in the name of religion.  Not all atheists, I’m the first to say, fall
            into that category.

    • Onamission5

      Feel free to disabuse us of our ill conceived notions, and also to join us in standing up against your less enlightened brethren.

      The vast majority of us realize that not all christians are alike, because we used to be christian ourselves, or have christians in our families and social circles. Our vast experience with christians and christianity is what we draw from when criticizing silly doctrine and spurious claims. If you don’t like what the mirror reflects, change the way you’re perceived.

      • DG

        The same is true wherever you look.  As a former agnostic, I began to notice that
        those around me who spurned religion were, as often as not, typically not that
        deep, not that moral, not that kind, not that intelligent, not that reflective,
        and not that charitable.  I also noticed
        that, despite popular narratives to the contrary, only a handful seemed capable
        of discussing their rejection of religion in any coherent manner. It was, in part,
        looking around that caused me to start allowing for the fact that non-religious
        believers weren’t typically any better than religious believers.   There were other reasons, of course.  But realizing the narrative of my culture:
        non-religious = good and smart, religious = dumb and mean, was about as baseless
        as saying all rock stars understand physics, helped kick me along a new path
        regarding the topic of religion. 

        • Reginald

          ” As a former agnostic, I began to notice that those around me who spurned religion were, as often as not, typically not that deep, not that moral, not that kind, not that intelligent, not that reflective, and not that charitable. “

          You can tell a lot about a person by the friends they choose. That doesn’t sound anything like the people I hang out with.

          • DG

            That’s fair enough, but the things I’m seeing people say here about religious folks doesn’t sound like the type of people I hang around with now.  Point is, there’s not a simple dividing line called religion between those who are really good and those who are really bad.

            • http://www.facebook.com/maik.both Maik Both

              Unfortunately for even the ‘good religious’ people, their beliefs are based on lies.

              • DG

                That being, of course, a belief.

                • TheExpatriate700

                  Since you evidently do not like what is being said here, why not just leave? I don’t think you and your Christian friends would enjoy all the people here showing up on your favorite Christian forum and making snide comments.

                • DG

                  Who said I don’t like it here?  On the whole, most folks haven’t been
                  terribly rude.  It’s just that overall
                  too much of it was based on group think stereotypes, not clear and honest
                  discussion, at least IMHO.  That’s why I
                  popped by.  It’s too easy to sit around
                  and pat each other on the back when everyone thinks the same things.  Most religious blogs I know have their share
                  of atheists stop by.  No problem.  Keeps everyone  honest. 
                  That’s all I was doing. No harm, no foul.   

                • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_L5PF6WMFXGASKYLLCJID2NKSFI Mary Ellen

                  Thank you…

                • http://www.facebook.com/maik.both Maik Both

                  There’s not enough evidence for me to think otherwise. If that is a ‘belief’, then I guess I also ‘believe’ fairies don’t exist … not to mention all the other theoretical things for which there’s no evidence for (orbiting teapots, dragons in garages and so on).

                • Stev84

                  Belief isn’t necessarily evidence free. There are good reasons to believe in some things.

                  Faith however…that is just belief without – and often in spite of – evidence

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_L5PF6WMFXGASKYLLCJID2NKSFI Mary Ellen

            I have found atheists and agnostics to be very moral, charitable, kind, intelligent , reflective, charitable, and deep…after walking away from a megachurch that treated me like I was worth less than what I scrubbed out of their toilets for the better part of a decade. I will forgive, but I will not go back for more abuse. (this superior moron will try to lecture me on forgiveness, watch…)Atheists and agnostics are among the ones that are fighting to save the social safety net that the “good christians” are trying to pull out from under everybody. They really could care less if I live or die; it was a rude awakening, and if it wasn’t for all the people, including gay people – especially gay people – that the christians demonize and hate, I wouldn’t be alive today. I have yet to run into fundamentalist types like this guy we’re dealing with here who aren’t up on their pedestal of moral and spiritual superiority and pronouncing judgement on the rest of us. Remember that song by the Dixie Chicks? It describes how I feel about people like DG. “I’m not ready to make nice”, and I won’t till they stop harassing the good people here, and trying to kill me by politicking from their churches to pull the SSDI and Medicare out from under me and punching me a ticket to the cemetery, forcing my elderly parents to bury me before they die. I will not respond to anything DG posts; I don’t debate, number one, and I don’t have the amazing intellects the rest of you have. I just want to thank the rest of you good people, and Hemant, for what you do here. I wish the fundies didn’t feel like they had to invade other peoples’ space the way they do…besides, people like DG are always right, even when they’re not…

    • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

      It’s not easy coming up with straw-man arguments, but you pull it off quite nicely.

      • DG

        Not an argument, an observation.  There’s a difference. 

        • Sam Capener

          I’m sorry if it seems like that to you, but I can assure you we’re reffering to the stupid ones, and if that doesn’t apply to you, then jolly good your on our side.

          • DG

            A few qualifying terms can usually help clear up such things.

            • Onamission5

              I utterly fail to see why we should feel compelled to cater to you by altering our language, when you could just decide that you understand where we’re coming from and to not be offended by things which don’t apply to you.

              • DG

                Because not all of it is language, but is wrong.  The idea that religious individuals are
                somehow this or that is no different than saying atheists are this or
                that.  It’s simply not true.  If it’s been said incorrectly, then clarification
                is fine.  But if it continues to be
                insisted upon, then it is simply wrong and there’s nothing wrong with me
                pointing that out.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZQJQB3SSNRSJZSQ3KABB7MQLJI rx7ward

       Anyone who seriously believes that Fred Phelps and Glenn Beck do serious research on anything is too deluded to have a rational conversation with anyone.

      • DG

        You missed the
        little zing there. My point is that far too many atheists nowadays seem almost
        proud of the fact that they have spent little to no time actually studying the
        beliefs and behaviors they so proudly mock and dismiss. Just the other day I
        had a discussion with an atheist that insisted the entire Bible was wrong. Case
        in point: There’s no evidence that the Jews ever built the pyramids!

        The problem?
        The Bible never said anywhere that they did. A one time reading would show
        that. So clearly this enlightened fellow had failed to even once actually read
        the book he was so quick to dismiss.

        I have no
        problem with informed criticisms or critiques – goodness knows there’s much
        there to respond to. But those who seem to think not being religious is all the
        credentials you need to have and intelligent retort against religion need to
        know that sort of reasoning appeals to the peanut gallery, and that’s about it.

        • http://www.facebook.com/chrisalgoo Chris Algoo
          • DG

            Ah yes, the legendary survey.  Two
            things.  First, I find atheists are often
            quite adept at learning religious information. 
            They often, however, don’t get how it comes together.  They don’t grasp it as anything beyond an
            academic project – if that. Second, while it would be nice for more religious
            believers to improve their knowledge (as with anything) of their own faith,
            much less others, religion is more than merely a cognitive exercise.  A person who has never had sex but can
            describe the process scientifically is at a disadvantage when compared to the
            individual who may not know all the medical processes, but has experienced
            it.  The very fact that so many seem to
            equate knowing ‘about’ religion with actually understanding and experiencing it,
            speaks volumes. 

            With that said, let me repeat, it would be nice for people of faith to
            realize that it’s not just all emotion and spirit and experience either.  That, especially in our current age, having a
            cognitive understanding of their own faith and others couldn’t do anything but
            help.

            • Salty

              So you are basically saying, good for atheists and their general knowledge, but since they don’t believe in religion, they cannot have the superior understanding that believers do…… ?    We can’t really ‘get it’ because darn these critical thinking skills….

              When one person suffers from delusion, it’s a mental disorder.     When many people suffer delusion, it’s religion.  Mass delusion does not equal superior understanding of the universe.   Now, studying religious belief in human cultures from a scientific perspective, and understanding the cognitive, emotional, and spiritual needs fulfilled by faith is very helpful, and great strides have been made in these areas.   

              Sexual orientation is another good example of how scientific understanding of a subject can alleviate suffering and improve quality of life.   The point in calling out this BS Day of Dialogue is to acknowledge that there is a large and powerful group of religious people who make it their business to judge, harass, and belittle others based on perceived immorality, and to push back against it.   

              If you think you are different, and are some unicorn breed of kind-hearted, nonjudgmental, 100% pure love Christian, then please try to be louder in condemning your hateful brethren.   

              • DG

                So you’re saying I need to judge and subsequently condemn those who don’t
                accept the truths to which you adhere? 
                Your personal beliefs about religion aside, but isn’t that what you’re
                condemning them for doing?

                • Salty

                  I think perhaps you are confused about, or are intentionally conflating, notions of ‘truth’ and ‘belief’.     Everyone has different opinions and beliefs, but facts and evidence are not up for vote.   Know your audience; most of us are skeptics and have decent critical thinking skills.   You seem to be whining that atheists are painting all believers with a wide brush, when really all Hemant did in this post was to point out the harmful influence of the most vocal religious views on sexual orientation.   Those views influence the larger society, even though they may not represent all believers.    I’m saying if you identify as a follower of Jesus, with all the love -thy-neighbor stuff that entails, you have  no good excuse for defending religious bigotry.   And it’s very clear to me that this Day of Dialogue is pure bigotry, cloaked in righteousness.

                • Stev84

                  His statements above clearly show that he isn’t one of those elusive “good Christians”.

                • DG

                  I can understand your view, but understand many don’t believe that to be the case, who simply hold to traditional understandings of human sexuality. 

                • Salty

                  traditional = coming from religious authority, vs. evidence-based reasoning.  Yes, I understand quite well that many people just believe whatever they are spoon-fed without any questions.   Hence the problem. 

                • DG

                  Of course they do. 
                  Thank goodness being religious doesn’t mean believing things without
                  questions.  For that matter, neither does
                  holding varying stances on the issue of non-heterosexual normality.  Funny how things are typically more
                  complicated than we care to admit.

                • Onamission5

                  Understand that that which may seem traditional to you is not traditional to everyone.

                  Also understand that tradition is not a valid reason to continue to oppress others, or treat them like second class citizens.

                • DG

                  Of course it isn’t. 
                  But just because it’s tradition is no reason to assume it has nothing
                  valid to say either.  History is filled
                  with the study of the latest, hippest research of the day that is often the
                  dismissed and rejected as a dead end ideal of tomorrow.  Unless you have a crystal ball that works,
                  you have no way of knowing just what such ‘research’ will say. Remember, it was
                  in my own lifetime that homosexuality was said to be a disease, not by
                  religion, but by the very sources you cite. Question: Is it because of clear
                  evidence they changed their minds? Or is it because they already changed them
                  and then worked backwards? It wouldn’t be the first time that happened. 
                  Tough thing about history, you have to wait for it to happen before you can
                  figure out who was right and who wasn’t. 

                • Salty

                  You are just stuck in conventional moral reasoning, my troll friend.

                • http://twitter.com/FelyxLeiter Felyx Leiter

                  People who wish to cling to “traditional understandings of human sexuality” instead of accepting the scientific truth that homosexuality is exhibited in many higher mammals, and hasn’t been proven to be detrimental in any way, are free to believe whatever they please.  They don’t have the right to impose their morality on others and affect other citizens’ basic rights without being able to prove there’s anything wrong with being LGBT, aside from their holy book condemning it and the hollow excuse of “tradition.”

                • ruth

                  The topic is Christians and their attitudes towards gays.  What is your attitude?  

        • http://twitter.com/butterflyfish_ Heidi McClure

          Could it be possible that you misunderstood the atheist’s point? There’s no evidence that the Jews were ever in Egypt at all. There’s no evidence that they spent 40 years in the desert. Not one shard of pottery, nothing.

          As for not reading the book, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to tell “Christians” about things that are actually in there. Jepthah comes to mind. I had to explain to someone who had never heard of him, that yes, he did indeed sacrifice his daughter.

          But the most important point, which you’re apparently unwilling to consider, is that there is no need to study a religion in depth before summarily dismissing it as extremely improbable. Have you done in depth studies on every religion you dismiss? Wicca? Jainism? Asatru? Cao Dai? Zoroastrianism? If you haven’t, how do you know they’re not true? What if you die and end up standing in front of Ba’al, trying to explain why Elijah wiped out his followers?

          tl;dr: your argument is invalid

          • DG

            There’s no need
            to study in depth every possible religious alternative.  But then, I’m not spending my time saying how
            ridiculous it is that people believe in Jainism.  I don’t, since my basic survey of various
            religious traditions suggested it didn’t have the answers that my own faith
            possesses.  And the paper trail and
            philosophical underpinnings of my faith have, at this point, satisfied.  I can appreciate those who disagree.  But in his case, that is exactly what he was
            focusing on, that the book of Exodus had not one piece of evidence to support
            it (that’s actually a broad statement that doesn’t cover the complexity of the
            issue, but that’s for a different post). 
            But that he would make such a glaring mistake that shows he hasn’t read
            a book he is trying to disprove, that was the point. 

            I don’t mean a
            person has to be an expert on every conceivable alternative to any topic before
            he can have an informed opinion.  That
            would be ludicrous.  But I am saying that
            if I’m going to sally forth and declare that it is ridiculous that people
            believe in the book of Exodus since the Jews never built the pyramids, you can
            bet your bottom dollar I’ll do my research lest I expose my ignorance of the
            text I’m trying to insist is stupid to believe in.

            I don’t mean a
            person has to be an expert on every conceivable alternative to any topic before
            he can have an informed opinion.  That
            would be ludicrous.  But I am saying that
            if I’m going to sally forth and declare that it is ridiculous that people
            believe in the book of Exodus since the Jews never built the pyramids, you can
            bet your bottom dollar I’ll do my research lest I expose my ignorance of the
            text I’m trying to insist is stupid to believe in.

  • Vad

    I cannot even. :/

    As an anti-bullying conversation, this is entirely inappropriate. (Of course, I think anyone who looks over the site will see that it is obviously NOT a genuine anti-bullying campaign, but an evangelism campagain.) An anti-bullying campaign should be about stopping bullying, not about changing people from targets of bullying into non-targets (i.e. from being gay to straight). Whether you have the ‘right’ sexual morality doesn’t change the fact that people are continuing to bully others. Maybe they should talk to bullies about converting to Christianity and displaying Christian love towards all… they would get to evangelize AND actually support anti-bullying…

    The real problem (one of many) is that they don’t even take bullying that seriously to begin with. (So again, they are being very dishonest – and damaging, imo – presenting this as anti-bullying.) On the “Whose Voices Are You Listening To?” page, they suggest that bullying can actually have a good impact on your life. (“Whether that impact [of bullying] is for good or for bad ultimately depends on what do you with the pain.” In the story they have, the author also suggests that the bullying occurred in part because of her own bad views about herself – she was making herself a target. The problem is “solved” when she gains a better self-perspective (through a Christian spiritual experience), after which the bullies just don’t want to harass her anymore.

    I can only understand this as saying that the real reason bullying happens is because there is something wrong with you, and that the only way to stop bullying is to change yourself. Which again, IS NOT ANTI-BULLYING. Anti-bullying should mean “stopping people (and perhaps yourself) from bullying others.” It should mean addressing what makes bullies into bullies. 

    I think it profoundly misunderstands the problem of bullying and does perpetuate it as a problem by placing the responsibility for ‘ending’ bullying onto the victims. And this isn’t even getting into the specific LGBTQ focus.

    • Onamission5

      I have nothing more to add but applause.

    • Vad

      From an article about it (here - http://www.phillytrib.com/religionarticles/item/3532-%E2%80%98day-of-dialogue,%E2%80%99-tackles-homosexuality,-gender-identity.html)

      “Day of Dialogue stands against politically or socially motivated bullying that victimizes or punishes Christians (and others) for their beliefs.”

      I really think that says it all. 

  • Siamang

    Great response to Christians saying “we’re not all like that.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=IrEsHtSSWfs#!

    (Of course, DG downthread showed he is *actually* like that.)

  • hoverFrog

    Is it just me or is anyone getting a mildly threatening vibe from “He knows your name…”?  I wonder if any of those “loving” Christians will use these cards to “out” gay people or to bully people with accusations that they are gay?  All the while masking their own bullying as “caring” and “Christian” behaviour.

    It’s probably just me, right?  

    • Kevin S.

      I’m sure it happens. I mean, why bother handing them to people who fit into heteronormative stereotypes? I’m sure they all have their gaydar tuned up to the highest sensitivity…


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