When Will ‘Progressive’ Christians Say It’s Not a Sin to be in a Gay Relationship?

I’m not a fan of Christians who say they’re allies of the LGBT community while refusing to admit homosexuality (acting on it) isn’t a sin or, more importantly, that they would support same-sex marriage.

So it’s good to see a real Christian LGBT ally, John Shore, call one of the more-well-known middle-grounders out on it (emphasis his):

Like so many of today’s “progressive” Christian “leaders” who have mastered the fine art of making Happy Christian Sounds whilst never actually articulating — let alone committing to — anything that might in any way alienate anyone, Andrew Marin makes his living dancing around in the middle ground between pretending to say and actually saying that it’s okay to be gay… Marin trades in the fuzzy, non-committal language that allows Christians to feel better about maintaining their conviction that homosexuality is a sin.

They had a conversation on Twitter (hence, the shorthand) that I’m posting here only because I love how Shore ends it:

John Shore: Tell me homosexuality isn’t a sin, and we’ve got ourselves chat. Don’t, and we don’t–cuz then I already know who u r.

Andrew Marin: Tell me when 2 grown men must hv a prerequisite agreement before they can hv a simple convo? U nervous to talk instead of type?

John Shore: Why would I be “nervous” about talking to you? You play the middle for your own gain. Hardly intimidating.

Andrew Marin: All I want to do is have a real life conversation. Too much scapegoating online w/140 characters; not sufficient.

John Shore: “It’s no sin to be gay.” That was 21 characters. See how easy?

It’s that easy. Marin’s argument is that by taking a “side” on the issue, he risks alienating the other side. There may be some strategic value to that, but when the sides are bigotry and tolerance, why should we keep supporting anyone who thinks the middle ground is an acceptance place to be? Why is he trying to appease the bigots?

Actually, I see one problem with Shore’s suggestion. There are Christians who believe that being gay isn’t a problem… but acting on it is. So let me make a revision to his Tweet:

It’s no sin to be in a homosexual relationship. I support same-sex marriage.

64 characters. Enough for the Tweet plus the hashtags of your choice. Let’s see Christians spread that around.

Just to be clear, I don’t really care if Marin believes homosexuality is a sin. He would be wrong, of course, but his personal beliefs don’t bother me as much as his public stance on whether or not LGBT individuals deserve equal rights when it comes to adoption, marriage, etc. Would he support same-sex marriage if it were on a ballot? That answer means more to me than what his imaginary god believes about the imaginary afterlife of gay people.

Dialogue and conversation is fine to a point, but not when it gets in the way of saying something that actually has substance to it. The more Christians who avoid voicing their support for LGBT rights, the longer it’s going to take for the bigotry to fade.

It’s no longer ok to just sit on the sideline. If you’re not openly supporting same-sex rights, then you’re part of the problem, not the solution.

So if you see gay people “apologizing” to the gay community during your local Gay Pride parade, don’t thank them without first getting them to state (on record) their own beliefs about homosexuality.

Don’t support people who can’t publicly state the obvious: gay relationships are not sinful and gay couples deserve the same rights as straight ones.

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.

  • Gaby A.

    That’s the problem…even the most liberal Christians have to admit, no matter how many times they want to reinterpret the Bible (including the New Testament), that at best, homosexuality is a condition to be avoided like mixed fibers and shellfish (old testament Leviticus), and at worst, is condemned to fire and brimstone like in Sodom and Gommorah (OT again) or from Paul to the Romans (Romans 1:26-27).  To avoid these teachings means essentially to abandon your religious texts.  Any further dancing around these issues, and these liberals may as well become Unitarians. :-P

    • Patterrssonn

      Like the

    • PJB863

      And so many of us have abandoned religious texts and christianity altogether.  Some of us became Unitarians (the proper term is Unitarian-Universalist), or just don’t give a crap anymore what these texts have to say because they’re all a bunch of crap.  Yes, bible-believing christians have created far more non-believers than they’d care to admit.  So much for “evangelism,” which is also a load of crap.

    • http://twitter.com/KevinSagui Kevin Sagui

      It’s not re-interpreting anything to realize that Leviticus is talking about a pretty specific situation (it refers to Ba’alic male temple prostitutes dressing as women) and Sodom/Gommorah is about hospitality, not homosexuality.  Romans pretty much had to be ignored if you’re going to claim a benevolent god and free will anyway, so that’s not a very big deal.  And in all cases, I believe that lesbians aren’t restricted at all.  There’s a lot of awful, awful stuff in the Bible, but let’s not allow the fundies to use it to justify their anti-gay bigotry when their biblical support is tenuous at best.

    • Claire Robson24

      You seem to have a very limited view of what it means to be a Christian.

  • John_Shore

    Hemant: thanks for the support; I certainly appreciate it. Gaby: you’re mistaken: http://johnshore.com/2012/04/02/the-best-case-for-the-bible-not-condemning-homosexuality/

    • Gaby A.

      Thanks for the discussion John.  In the blog post you wrote, the link to non-consensual sex is tenuous (referring to Romans 1:26-27 for purposes of this argument).  Putting aside the fact there was no moral issue at the time with purchasing slaves for purposes of “consensual” homosexual acts (according to Oxford Classical Dictionary), there seems to be a cause and affect in the verse itself: “..In the same way the men also abandoned
      natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men
      committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due
      penalty for their error”

      Men abandoned NATURAL relations with women for UNNATURAL (implied) with one another.  I do not see the link where “one another” and “other men” indicates anyone other than men the same age as the women they abandoned.  There are too many leaps being made in this verse to say that Paul viewed homosexuality, among adults, with anything other than disdain at best and disgust at worst.

      • Gaby A.

        And Paul probably viewed the non-Christians as sinners as well, and even if the pagan homosexual acts were a non-issue, Paul as a Christian probably felt otherwise.

  • Taxihorn

    “Sin” is such a loaded word–loaded with nonsense. I don’t believe in “sin”, so nothing is a “sin”, and therefore saying something isn’t a “sin” is hardly a useful statement. Sure, there may be personal, social, or political repercussions for saying or acting in a certain way, but do we really have to constantly use language which implies fire and brimstone? Couldn’t we instead discuss morality and ethics when confronting bigotry? (Or is that asking too much?)

    • Sindigo

      I couldn’t agree more but in the context of this conversation I think the use of the word is appropriate; as it is the term they use to justify their bigotry. If X’tians (amongst others, of course) can divorce homosexuality from the concept of sin they have one less reason for their prejudice. Even if that reason is bollocks in the first place.

  • Stev84

    I remember when Marin came here and answered questions in the comments. It was very infuriating

    • Andrew B.

      Yes, being a “progressive Christian” simply means saying extremely stupid, insulting bullshit with a smile on your face.

      • Claire Robson

        No.  That’s not what it means.  I am a progressive Catholic.  Homosexuality is not a sin.  There are priests who say it, nuns who say it and plenty of Christians who will say it.  Clearly, definitively, and we won’t even smile if you don’t want us to.

        • The Other Weirdo

           They may say it, they may even believe it wholeheartedly, but is it a Christian thing to say? The bible either means the things that it says, or it doesn’t. You can try and justify it as progress, but if you start abandoning fundamental parts of the faith, if you start calling into question the meaning of clear-cut passages, in both the OT and the NT, why stop with just the gay-related issues? Why not go all the way and question the entirety of it, including Jesus himself, who is on biblical record as saying that nothing in the Old Law shall ever pass away?

          What makes the progressive Christian’s interpretation of scripture in regards to witches and sorcerers better and more accurate than that of the Inquisition?

          It’s all Seinfeld in the end, much ado about absolutely nothing. 2,00 years of discourse, brutality and wars, and Christians still can’t agree on what their books actually says and means.

          • Claire Robson24

            Why is that so horrible? More than 2,000 years of science (which I of course also believe) and scientist are constantly changing their minds. There are DIFFERENT KINDS of Christianity. They believe different things. Most Progressive Christians realize the Bible is full of contradictions, metaphors, and dictums for the specific time and place.
            Also, I have no idea what you are talking about with regards to witches and sorcerers. Do you mean specifically Wiccan’s? What does that have to do with homosexuality? It seems a little off topic.

            • Edmond

              Even within ONE “kind” of Christianity, there are Christians who disagree with each other.  Why should this be?  Why should there be “different kinds” of Christianity?  There’s only one playbook, so you should all play the same game.  How can you all work from the same source material, and then come away from it with such disparate interpretations?

              And more importantly, how are the REST of us supposed to take you seriously?  If “Christian A” disagrees with “Christian B”, which one is correct?  Which one do we recognize as the “proper” spokesperson for their religion (or denomination)?  How do THEY sort that out between them?

              No offense intended, but until ALL Christians start getting their stories straightened out, many of us aren’t going to be inclined to listen to ANY of you.  Not when EACH of you sounds like you’re just making your own religion up.

              Scientists DON’T CLAIM to all be working from the same book, so they don’t HAVE to all agree.  They work from physical evidence presented to them by the planet (or through telescopes pointed at the stars).  This evidence doesn’t come with a manual, it offers a broken chain of specimens at best, and may sometimes result in contradictory conclusions.  That’s when the processes of science come in handy, the Scientific Method which allows for deeper review and comparison of findings.

              Relgions and bibles offer no such process to weed out false information.  This is their failure.  It wouldn’t be an issue if the adherents of religion could admit that they don’t know everything and might be wrong, like science does, but instead they all claim to have Absolute Truth.

              But there can only be ONE “truth”.  There can’t be one for every religion, or one for every demonination, or one for every person.  If you all have a differing opinion on what is truth, which even differs from others within your religion, then the greater likelihood is that NONE of you actually have any truth.

              I think the “off topic” reference to witches and sorcerors comes from the similar issue of disagreeing Christians, where some uphold what the bible says and oppose works like Harry Potter, while some Christians recognize (like the rest of us do) that witches and sorcerors never existed in the first place.  This is another Christian schism, one between fantasy and reality, that helps to illustrate the problem.

              • Claire Robson

                I don’t want to offend you, but you clearly know very little about Christianity. It makes it hard to debate you when you seem to have a lot of misconceptions. Where to start? We Chriistains are not one faith, and we don’t claim to be. We don’t all take the Bible literally, and Catholics, at least, havn’t claimed to have the one true religion for some time. And there is nothing in the Bible about Harry Potter, but I am guessing you know that and I am misreading your statement.
                It’s okay though. I get this a lot.. Atheists go around telling me that I am a sheep, and a bigot and revealing that they are working from a very judgemental and ignorant view of Christianity. Goes to show that predjudice and ignorance are an issue of humanity, not of merely religion.

                • Edmond

                  Sorry for my ignorance, but you must understand that these misconceptions come FROM other Christians.  It’s rare to find a Christian who isn’t SURE that their interpretation is the “right” one.

                  But my question is, when Christians disagree, who should be listened to?  If one Christian says god has no problem with homosexuality, but another says god hates homosexuality, which is right?

                  Obviously, as an atheist, I don’t think EITHER is right, but can you see the problems this creates?  Can you see how non-theists may find this disagreement absurd?  It only becomes clear that NEITHER of them really KNOW what they are talking about.  It becomes very simple to extend this to all Christians, and then to all theists world wide.  They all play a guessing game, and then don’t understand why they aren’t taken seriously.

        • Andrew B.

          Yes, that’s precisely what it means.  The whole notion of sin is stupid and insulting.  Vicarious redemption is stupid and insulting.  A belief in souls, magic, monsters, ghosts and invisible realms is stupid and insulting.

          If homosexuality (the act) were unambigiously a sin, would you oppose it?  Even if it caused absolutely NO HARM whatsoever?  If not, you’d be admitting that sin doesn’t really matter; if so, you’re basing your ethics merely on obedience to the alleged word of an imaginary dictator.  That’s why the whole notion of sin is crap.

          • Claire Robson24

            Seriously, what are you talking about. Hoomsexuality is NOT a sin…so….
            It’s rather unfortunate that you are perfectly comfortable saying my faith, which you clearly know nothing about, is stupid and insulting, but, despite the fact that I agree with you regarding homosexual love (finding it inoffensive at least), you think that in some hypothetical situation I am a terrible person.
            You know NOTHING about me or my faith. How can you say I am wrong for hypothetically beliveing something about someone?

            • matt

               Except the bible DOES kinda say that homosexuality is an abomination and anyone who engages in it should be put to death (Lev 20:13). 

              I’m glad bible-believers are coming around to realizing that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality but the book that they’re supposed to follow DOES say it’s punishable by death…this is supposed to be divinely inspired right?  So after you dismiss that part of it, do you begin to question other parts?  Hmm,  I wonder what other mistakes we’ll find in there….

              • Claire Robson24

                You know that most Christians do not agree with everything in the Bible, right? Because it also says speaking out against your parents is punishable by death. And that eating shellfish is a sin. So…maybe you need a little more information on what Christians belive before you strt condeming us all as stupid.

        • Parse

          Claire, I appreciate you saying these things, and I believe you when you say them.  That being said, there’s two problems that some of us nonbelievers see when progressive Catholics say this.
          First, some of your fellow progressive Catholics only ever say this when nonbelievers complain about it – we don’t ever hear them speaking against fellow Christians who say ‘homosexuality is a sin’.  I’m not accusing you specifically of doing this, but I’m sure you’d admit that there are some of your fellow Christians who do.   
          Second, even though you say homosexuality’s not a sin, priests say it, and nuns say it; there’s a man in Rome who says homosexuality *is* a sin, *and* he claims to speak for all of you.  This is part of the reason why I officially left my church, before I considered myself an atheist.  I was tired of church leadership saying things that I disagreed with, and using their church’s membership counts (and thus my own membership) as a way to give their own bigotry extra weight.  

          • Claire Robson24

            It is not true the progressive Catholics only speak up when asked. I have replied to this article, as have others, Christian leaders and organizations that speak out. As for the Pope, leaders do things people don’t agree with; do you agree with everything the president (or your government head) does? Should we judge entire countries by their leaders if there are loud voices amongst membership speaking out against them?

            • Parse

              Claire, I’m sorry, I wasn’t clear in my original comment.  
              What I was trying to say, was that most of the time, we see some progressive Christians (again, not all, not most, but *some* progressive Christians) of all flavors do what you’ve done in this reply: you respond to the accusations of Christian homophobia/anti-gay marriage activism by saying, “we’re not all like that.”  It’s less common to see progressive Christians call out their peers when they equivocate on these matters, as John Shore has done here. 
              It’s great that you say this to us atheists; what we’re (well, I’m) hoping for is that you join us in calling out bigotry among your fellow progressive Christians.  
              Please note, that I’m NOT trying to say that YOU SPECIFICALLY don’t do this.  I’m saying that there  exists a (non-trivial) number of progressive Christians that DO.

              As far as comparing ‘the Pope speaks for me’ to ‘the government speaks for me,’ well, please let me know when it’s as easy to change or leave a country (without any major changes in your life) as it is to change or leave a church.   

  • ortcutt

    I’m always amazed at the level of mental gymnastics that is required for Christians to justify still being Christians but having half-way decent attitudes to gay people.  It varies somewhere between “Love the sinner, hate the sin” to “We are all sinners” to what I call the Reverend Lovejoy Defense, “Marge, just about everything is a sin. [holds up a Bible] Y’ever sat down and read this thing? Technically we’re not supposed to go to the bathroom.”

    http://imgur.com/ed9qt

    The advantage the atheist has is that we can say with no contortions that being in gay relationships just isn’t a sin and it isn’t wrong either.  It isn’t a sin because nothing is a sin.  It isn’t wrong because it’s absurd to think that something as wonderful as two consenting adults loving each other and sharing sexual intimacy is wrong.  We atheists don’t need to care whether Paul said that it’s a sin and wrong, because it doesn’t matter what Paul said.  The Christian has to worry that if Paul’s statements on sexuality are called into question that the rest of the Bible is up for dispute as well.  That’s why you see so much Christian opposition to stating unequivocally what any decent person should be able to say, that gay relationships aren’t a sin.

  • Gaby A.

    Having gone to missionary school in Africa for 12 years (run by evangelical christians), having once been born-again, and finally having abandoned my faith in university (thank you biology classes), I have no qualms debating Christians on their own terms.  As I’ve posted before, if there’s only one thing I can teach a fundamentalist, one simple concept, it would be doubt.

    • http://www.facebook.com/MySQLGeek Justin Swanhart

      I really wish you could teach “doubt”, but doubt is a function of rational thought.  People who think rationally may choose to apply Occam’s razor to the universe.  Either the universe (galaxies, planets, our brains, etc) exist because there are a few simple mathematically sound laws that make everything work, or there is a omnipresent, omniscient being that controls everything with little knobs and dials, and can change the universe substantially, at will, just for you, because he can hear what you are thinking.

  • Fsq

    Calling homosexuality a sin is like saying “Mick Jagger has ornages over airplanes”. It is jibberish. Pure nonsense and nonsense, because SIN is an arbitrary measure assigned by religious idiots.

    I commend Shore for his words and actions.

    Leave your myths and beliefs at the door when assigning laws, actions and politics vis-a-vis gay rights.

  • TheAnalogKid

    When are “Progressive Christians” not going to give a fuck what that fucked up book says about anything?

    • Sindigo

      Most of them don’t even seem to have read it….

    • Claire Robson24

      Well, they wouldn’t be very good Christians if they disregarded EVERYTHING the Bible said.

      • TheAnalogKid

        No. If they did that they would be better human beings.

  • Erp

    Oddly enough I was in a discussion today with an Episcopal priest who has worked at an university chapel (non-denominational) for the last 12 years.  She mentioned when she and her partner (also female)  were introduced  to the congregation for the first time (2000) they were fully accepted (the church has performed blessing ceremonies for same-sex couples  since 1993 on the same terms [other than no state license] as marriages).     There are progressive Christians who don’t consider consensual homosexual acts to necessarily be a sin (some might frown on it outside a committed relationship just as they would frown on heterosexual acts outside a committed relationship).

    • allein

      I know a female Presbyterian minister whose girlfriend is also a minister (different denomination). Her congregation is fine with it.

      • MariaO

        The church of Sweden bishop of Stockholm is a woman married to another woman…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=628665833 Bill Santagata

    The Supreme Court of the United States said clearly and distinctly in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez that “Our decisions have declined to distinguish between status and conduct in this context,” referring to sexual orientation. There is no such thing as “hating the sin but loving the sinner,” and fortunately our law is starting to reflect this.

    Christian Legal Society v. Martinez involved a Christian legal group at a public university that was denied funding because it did not allow gay people into the club. The club’s defense was that they would allow gay people so long as they did not have gay sex, and thus were discriminating not against any status but only against certain conduct. The Supreme Court, in a 5–4 majority decision, disagreed.

  • Pseudonym

    “Progressive” Christians will say that when you actually ask a Progressive Christian, as opposed to a merely non-fundamentalist Christian. Hell, you interviewed Candace Chelew-Hodge on this very blog a few years ago. Don’t tell me she doesn’t exist.Nonetheless, since you asked no nicely…It’s no sin to be in a homosexual relationship. I support same-sex marriage.Happy now?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

      I am happy! Thanks! More of this from other Christians, please.

      • Claire Robson

        It is not a sin to be a homosexual.  I support homosexual marriage.

      • http://philgroom.wordpress.com/ Phil Groom

        Hemant, I’ve been saying this for ages: find me at http://philgroom.wordpress.com :)

    • Stev84

      Andrew Marin goes to greeeat lengths to not say anything definite. And he categorically doesn’t support same-sex marriage. All he does is play both sides against each other for his own self-aggrandizement. The fact that he treats both sides equally is really the core of the problem, because they clearly aren’t on the same moral footing

  • Claire Robson

    There are actually a lot of Progressive Christians that openly support gay marriage.  First and foremost, I am sure there are a lot of progressive Christian homosexuals that support gay marriage, but beyond that there are lots of organizations (Dignity USA) and individuals that support it.  Try for starters Joe Biden a Catholic, and Barack Obama, a Christian.  Or the pastor of St. James Cathedral in Seattle.  Do your homework before you start shouting proclamations based on what one guy didn’t say.

  • mkb

    Hemant, your basic point is correct, but your headline is worrisome unless you are distinguishing between “progressive” Christians and “liberal”  Christians because a lot of liberal Christians, and I would guess most of them, do not believe homosexuality is a sin and support marriage equality.  The UCC has for awhile  stood up for its GLBQ members, I believe that the Presbyterians are on board and the Episcopalians too.  And just as an example, here’s a news story about a Lutheran group: 
    http://www.proudparenting.com/node/16729  It’s time to stop bashing liberal Christians on this issue.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=743899867 Patrick Barrett

    A lot of progressive Christians are willing to say what Andrew Marin won’t, however it’s a big problem among them. The best-known Christian ‘progressive’ group, Sojourners, won’t even go as far as Marin.

  • Lindsay Cullen

    Is this a weird US sort of thing? Here in Australia I don’t know any progressive Christians who WOULDN’T say what you want.

    It’s no sin to be in a homosexual relationship. I support same-sex marriage.

    Cheers
    Lindsay Cullen (Rev.)

  • http://twitter.com/BrookLaa Andy Laa

    I’d lean towards disagreement with what you’re saying – I don’t believe it’s a positive that some Christians are “in favour of” (or “not against” at least) gay relationships.

    If they have a strong stand which says, “No, gay is wrong, we condemn it” then you will have much less people joining (or staying with) the Christian ranks.

    If they stick to the fiction they believe – for lack of a better word – dogmatically, then their numbers will be weened out as progressively-minded people increase year by year. If they adapt to appeal to more people, they’re going to take a long time to die out due to this broad appeal.

    I mean I don’t really have a say in this though, I have to admit: I’m not gay, I haven’t been persecuted by the majority and therefore my opinion really shouldn’t matter (much like Christians shouldn’t about abortion and gay marriage etc), but I think I’m taking logical steps there.

  • N__8
  • Hanson05

    Many who post on this site need to look up the definition of bigot, because many of the posters on this site are as bigoted as you charge christians to be. The Bible does say that homosexuality is a sin, any christian who believes that the bible is the inerrant word of God will believe that as well. I am at a bit of a loss though as to why you persist in asking christians to deny their beliefs when you believe they are only fairytales and myths, that only complete idiots would believe. Obedience to the teachings of the bible is expected from those who profess to be christians. If a christian tells you to conform to the teachings of the bible when you don’t believe, you have every right to be angry…give em both barrells. Most christians I know don’t discriminate against gays or atheists or anyone, and they don’t expect them to change their beliefs to gain acceptance. So, for me homosexuality is a sin because the fairytale book I believe says it is. My beliefs will not change in this area.  Honestly though, the area where I am trying to apply my beliefs correctly is in the area of gay marriage. Jesus states clearly do not judge.  He showed this clearly by example in the story of the woman caught in adultery (Matt 8) “He who has never sinned cast the first stone”. On the surface most christians (I think) would say it would be wrong to support gay marriage because the bible calls homosexuality a sin. But if you study the teachings of Christ, there may be room for acceptance, based on not  being judgemental, loving your neighbour etc. If anyone has any constructive thoughts on this I’d be interested in hearing them.

    • http://www.facebook.com/MySQLGeek Justin Swanhart

      Just so we’re clear, the bible says you can’t do these things (paraphrased from Leviticus):

      * Mix fabrics in a piece of clothing (it doesn’t say anything about synthetics though, so not sure how you feel about rayon)

      * eat shellfish

      * cut your hair (or shave)

      * curse your parents (that one is the death penalty btw)

      * the blind, those with flat noses and others can’t visit ‘the alter of god’.  So you exclude those folks from your congregation right?

      * cursing God or blaspheming gets you the death penalty

      Deuteronomy has some restrictions you might want to pay attention to to, if you haven’t reviewed it in awhile:
       
      * You are obligated to kill people who worship other gods.

      * You are obligated to kill people who try to convince you the bible is not the literal word of god.  You must stone them to death, even if they are your family.  

      Btw, the “cast the first stone bit” doesn’t have anything to do with judging, since Jesus would be the judge and as God, he is allowed to make judgments and forgive sin.   The old testament says that adulterers (both the man and woman) will be put to death, but ONLY if there are at least three witnesses who will testify to the crime.  Jesus gets all the witnesses to walk away with the “cast the first stone” bit, and thus there are no witnesses left and the woman can’t be stoned.  The whole stoning thing was a setup anyway, to put jesus in a tough spot and discredit his message by contradicting it with the old testament.  

      It seems that Jesus was one clever mofo.  Of course, you can choose to interpret the story as “don’t judge other people” if you want, as that message is important.

  • http://twitter.com/humanmichael mike corsillo


    So if you see gay people “apologizing” to the gay community during your local Gay Pride parade…”
    should this read “So if you see Christians…” ? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/MySQLGeek Justin Swanhart

    If God didn’t want us to sin, he wouldn’t have created us with the ability to sin.  You might argue that he gave us free will, and thus the we are free to choose to sin, but the bible says that angels don’t have free will, but they still sinned against god and were cast out.  So I guess God just simply can’t prevent sin.  But if God can’t prevent something, is he really God?

  • Gaby A.

    Coming from an evangelical background, I guess I have wired into me that the Bible will always condemn homosexuality.  I have a great sympathy to the most compassionate Christians wrestling with how they were taught with how best to treat their fellow human beings.  I really wish more of them would be in positions of power.

    Nonetheless, the basic foundations of their faith, especially if they come from a fundamentalist tradition, are being ravaged.  I would hope that at some point they channel their compassion and charity through the lens of humanism…treating each other with respect and making the most of their time on earth, without the needless complication of divine direction.

  • http://philgroom.wordpress.com/ Phil Groom

    Spot on, Alise: “It’s no longer ok to just sit on the sideline. If you’re not openly supporting same-sex rights, then you’re part of the problem, not the solution.”

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    I’ve posted something on this on my blog, linking here and interacting with your post as well as numerous others.  http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2012/06/picking-and-choosing-loving-your-lgbt-neighbor-and-the-76-things-banned-in-leviticus.html 

    I suppose I should apologize for not simply tweeting the phrase, but as a progressive/liberal Christian who supports marriage equality, I thought I could do more good by explaining and justifying my stance at greater length. But thank you for issuing a challenge for us to be clear and unambiguous in our stance on this – even if we prefer to do so when possible in a way that is less likely to be dismissed as evidence that we simply aren’t Christians, we do need to take a clear and public stand on this matter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dwightwelch Dwight Welch

    I have to admit, I’m boggled..when think of a term like progressive Christianity I think of the Center for Progressive Christianity http://progressivechristianity.org/ or the opn and affirming programs of the United Church of Christ http://www.ucccoalition.org/ or I think of individuals like John Shelby Spong or Marcus Borg…all take it as a given (though they certainly argue for it too) that glbt folks ought to be welcomed into the full life and ministry of the church, that our sexuality is a gift of God to be celebrated, not just put up with. I don’t know how folks could use the term progressive and argue the latter, but given that some folks apparently are and given that I don’t tweet I thought I’d say here that I believe as a clergy person that sexual orientation and in particular gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, questioning folks area gift to the chuch precisely because of who they are, not in spite of it.

  • Claire Robson24
  • Digger

    Something doesn’t jive here. Good progressives are supposed to be open and accepting of diverse opinions, yet this man seems to reject and take umbrage with anyone who calls themself a Christian and fails to parrot his exact stance on homosexuality.

  • Anna

    I think this is a problem for progressive evangelicals, not progressive Christians in general. The evangelicals seem to be lagging behind other groups.

  • Bible believer

    I absolutely believe it is a sin. I believe in God’s holy word. Even if you don’t believe the bible it’s logical that a penis goes in a vagina NOT an anus. Lets teach the truth. Homosexuality is not normal and NOT healthy. You can not deny that the average life expectancy of a gay man is 42yo, that 2/3 of homosexuals have Aids. Look up the statistics for sexually transmitted disease for lesbians and gays the likelihood is astronomical. And the fact you can not produce is just another common sense reason this is not right.


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