It’s Not Going Away…

… so Christian pastors who oppose equality will just have to learn how to deal (with their shrinking congregations, loss of power, having to bear the cross of “bigot,” fighting a losing battle, etc.):

(via nakedpastor)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Aspieguy

    They lost this issue long ago. People are leaving churches like fleas from a dead dog.

    • njew84

      With all due respect, the churches that are changing the message in attempt to keep bodies in the pews are just as bad as the sinners. In today’s day and age there are many churches that preach false gospels. Many than tell their congregations that it is okay to be who you are and do what you do as long as you love Jesus. That is correct only when you understand and realize what you are doing is wrong. You must repent and allow God to change your mind and your worldview to see things in a new way. A righteous way.

      No offense intended. The message of God should not an will not change to fit the sinner. The sinner should change to fit the word of God.

      • Valancy Jane

        That’s twaddle, “with all due respect,” borne of not understanding your own holy book and listening too much to people whose livelihood depends upon successfully selling you something. The “message of God” changes markedly depending on who is reading it, what culture the reader is from, what morality the reader believes is best, and what verse the reader is desperately cherry-picking from to bolster his or her particular idea. There are some 30,000 different denominations of Christianity, all with their own quirky little take on its sourcebook–and every one of them thinks the other 29,999 are flat-out wrong and “false gospels.” How lucky you are, njew84, to have happened to have picked the correct one out of all of those teeming thousands! What remarkable discernment you must have! It must be a miracle. It simply must.

      • Artor

        Yes! Absolutely! You should forgo all modern society and live exactly as the Bible tells you to. Stone your disobedient children to death, Treat people who wear blended fabrics or eat at Red Lobster exactly the way you treat gays. Are you doing this already? If not, then how can you, such an unclean man, dare to speak to us of how we should live? Fuck off troll.

      • Roger Peritone

        Got news for you: If that was how society actually ran, then slavery would still be legal. So would witch-killing, etc.

        It’s a damn good thing that the bible’s “message” is being changed. It’d be better if it was ignored.

  • GodlessPoutine

    In ten years similar Christian pastors will start talking about how the LGBT movement was born and supported in the churches and how Christianity was instrumental in bringing about equality. Mark my words. It’ll be just like the claims we hear now about the abolition slavery.

    After being forced, kicking and screaming, to evolve ethically, they’ll “embrace” it and claim it was the Christian belief all along.

    • observer

      Not only that, but I’ll bet you that those same pastors will say that it was the liberals, atheists, etc. who tried to prevent the LGBTs from having equal rights.

      As I’ve said before, a religious bigot’s biggest fear is to be labeled the bad guy. As humans rights evolve, the religious extremists must evolve as well (albeit reluctantly) so they can continue being the “heroes” of humanity.

      Then they’ll find another group to scapegoat their problems to — i.e. the “bad guys” Satan has influenced to over throw humanity — and the whole cycle starts all over again. With one difference: some naive homosexuals will fight along side the Christian bigots to dehumanize the next group, not too unlike how Christians dehumanized their now homosexual allies.

    • SecularPatriot

      Whenever a Southern Baptist makes the claim that Christians ended slavery, I die a little inside.

      • Artor

        Please don’t die. In the next breath, that same Baptists is going to say something like, “Slavery wasn’t that bad anyway. They all got room & board and a nice ocean cruise provided for free, what’s the harm?”

    • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

      Unfortunately for them, the internet is forever. They have accumulated a permanent, rich, documented history of their vicious, ignorant bigotry, and it will remain available at click.

      • Valancy Jane

        Books, too. I watched a Rachel Maddow vid today in which she destroyed an “ex-gay” guy with quotes from his very own book. He tried hard to say that he certainly had NEVER said gays are pedophiles or more likely to abuse children, and she gave him half a page’s worth of quotes in which he said precisely that. Oopsie!

    • jay

      Uhm…..no

      • coyotenose

        Um, yes. Complain all you want, we have plenty of data from previous major events in civil rights progress to suggest that you’ll do this again. Only this time, you won’t get away with it, because the new generations have the info at their fingertips.

      • Valancy Jane

        History is not on your side on this one, Jay.

      • Artor

        He’s not making up that scenario. It’s exactly what has happened over the ending of slavery & the modern civil rights effort. The harshest opponents of change were the strident & vocal churches, who claimed they were doing Gawd’s will. Within 10 years, their tune had changed to claiming they were on the right side the whole time, and were instrumental to defeating the horrible injustices.

  • Shocked

    Not sure where to post this, but it was such a nice and RARE event today, I felt the need to tell everyone here about it.

    I have a cafe where I come to get quite a bit of work done when I am not at the studio. Because I am a regular (think “Cheers” with coffee) there are a few folks I have gotten to know.

    Okay, so, this morning with the advent (hah! word play) of Easter coming up this Sunday, the Christian nuts are out in full. One of the regulars was in line behind me and she happens to be a Christian, but she also knows I am an atheist (she is a very nice woman and she even bought a copy of my book when she found out I was a published author). So, there is a new barrister/latte schlepper at the cafe this morning, and she has this huge cross chain around her neck and is obviously a crazy christian.

    So, I order my coffee and the barrista starts in on Easter this Sunday and asks me what church I am going to attend services etc….(not appropriate for the cafe, but that is another issue entirely)….The nice lady – the one who bought my book – speaks in a gentle voice to the barrista and says, “He is an atheist and you need to learn that, and then respect that and not preach to him”!!!

    My jaw dropped! First time I have ever seen a Christian chastise another for trying to preach as well as explain how the atheist (me) views must be respected!!!

    Anyway, I thought it was something out of the ordinary, and it was a nice change of pace.

    If this is out of place here, apologies, but every now and then some good news needs to be reported.

    • Lori F – MN

      May there be more like her.

    • Miss_Beara

      What a nice lady! Thanks for sharing your story. :)

    • Artor

      Wow! Did you actually find one of the rare Real Xtians? Amazing!

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      Oh my gods, CAN WE CLONE HER?!

    • Valancy Jane

      The real question is, what wingnut downvoted that?

  • njew84

    Christian here. Just would like to share my thoughts and just to be clear I’m not here to offend anyone as I know none of you hold the same world view as I.

    I would like to say, even though I do not support gay marriage, I do believe that a person should have the right to choose whether or not he/she wants to, in my opinion, live in sin. As far as I am concerned as long as it isn’t hurting anyone else or affecting anyone else’s “free will” go for it. As a Christian, I do not agree with it but I realize others hold different views and I am done trying to push my views on others.

    Thanks.

    • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

      Welcome, njew84, and thank you for sharing your views. Just to be clear, would your conviction to permit people to follow their own free will under the harmless conditions that you have described bring you to vote for an initiative that would legalize same sex marriage? Would it bring you to vote against an initiative banning same sex marriage?

      Giving lip service to the principle of freedom for all is one thing. Actually supporting it even when you disagree with how that freedom is practiced is quite another.

      • njew84

        I will definitely take some careful consideration toward voting in favor of gay marriage. All the talk in the media and recent conversations I have had with different people with opposing views has really opened my eyes to a whole new perspective. It’s definitely a matter of me judging people or God judging people. Jesus would have hung out with the homosexuals and loved on them not held up signs saying ‘God hates fags’. I’m on the fence currently but I’m slowly coming around.

        • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

          I deeply appreciate the integrity and willingness it takes to think as openly as you do. Thank you.

          • njew84

            While I will never understand the secular world view and will never accept it as true, I do think it is extremely important to respect opposing world views. Unfortunately the world isn’t perfect and the large majority cannot and will not think this way and the war is far from over.

            • Valancy Jane

              Actually, the war for equal rights is pretty much over. The majority of people in America now accept that gay people should get the full range of rights straight people enjoy. The younger a person is, the more likely she or he is to want equality for all people, indicating that as older Christians die, the percentage of equality-affirming people will only rise. Face it: there’s just not any way that Christians are going to stuff the Equality Genie back into its fabulously-decorated bottle. You can’t roll back civil rights. We’ve gotten a taste for it. We’ve already seen several states legalize equal marriage and nothing bad happened–no death camps for Christians, no major natural disasters from a vindictive god with shitty aim, no ministers thrown in jail for refusing to marry gay couples. All that happened was that one more segment of oppressed and marginalized people got a little closer to equality. If you genuinely believe “the war is far from over,” you just haven’t been paying attention.

              The war’s done. Right-wingers lost. All that remains now is getting the losers to stop being such petulant children about it. There’ll be a bit more foot-stomping and lip-protruding left, might be a couple more skirmishes lost here and there, but I just don’t see a way for this thing to reverse. And I’m happy about that!

              • njew84

                I think you took what I wrote wrong based on my world view. I am all for equal rights for all human beings, gay or straight. I don’t think it is morally correct but that besides the point I’m trying to make.

                What I meant was the battle between theistic and atheistic world views is far from over because we see things in such a different perspective. This isn’t just a battle of civil rights, it’s a battle of religious and non-religious freedom.

                • Valancy Jane

                  I’ll make my answer my first comment back to you. Yes, I am certain that the war for equal rights is about over. As I’ve said, the writing’s on the wall for anybody with eyes to read. That doesn’t mean we just fall back and don’t bother anymore; indeed, the reason the war is over is because enough people have finally stood up to religious hatemongerers and are refusing to back down. Enough of us are standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our gay brothers and sisters that religious bigotry just doesn’t stand a chance anymore. That’s what I mean when I say the war is over. Even Christian leaders are on record as saying they’re starting to abandon that horse race in favor of the next big (losing) cause (see next paragraph). I just don’t see any way for Christians to generate enough support to override that wave.

                  There is still at least one more fight. My right to consent over each and every use of my own physical body are still in great danger, and though that battle, too, seems like it’s cresting in favor of morality and civilized progress, there’s a long way to go before Christians let that one go. Women’s rights in general are going to be the last big bastion, I think. Christian panderers are still having a lot of trouble with the idea that they don’t get to enslave or own other people. After that, I’m not sure what else there is. I’m sure they’ll find something; imaginary persecution, fear-mongering, xenophobia, and false outrage are pretty much how Christian leaders keep their coffers full and their followers yapping from one drama to the next.

                  If you have nothing but a religious opinion about how something should go, and no actual evidence for that opinion or any sort of proof that that opinion is how the real world should work, then your utterly-unsubstantiated opinion certainly shouldn’t be allowed to tell other people how to live their lives. Your *OPINION* is that there is an objective morality and that god is its author. That opinion is not only unsupported in the real world, it is not supported in your very own Bible. Your ignorance doesn’t make an imperative for me. I prefer to live my life in the real world where evidence is how we build facts and a worldview. That’s how I build my opinions but also clearly not how you build yours. It is sad that you allow your opinions to be shaped by stuff that has no basis in fact. That’s why I value a secular society and work to keep it that way. That way there’s no “my standard vs yours” or “his against hers”: there’s “what’s true and works?” vs “oh dear fucking god not that fundie shit AGAIN”.

                • njew84

                  You win.

                • Valancy Jane

                  Well, you did ask. Thank you for at least responding.

    • jay

      Hypothetical situation: I hold the view that LOVE my daughter and that I want to marry her. She’s only 18 but she’s mature for her age.

      Should I be allowed to marry her too?

      • GodlessPoutine

        Would your own answer be any different if it were your son? If not then I guess this hypothetical may not be all that relevant to this question.

      • coyotenose

        Quick look at your previous posts…

        Yep, conspiracy theories, science-related claims that can be debunked with just one Google search, and too ignorant to know the definition of “consenting adult” and how it relates to gay marriage. And too desperately bigoted to bother to try to learn (again, it only takes one search) in your race to hate gay people even more.

        So much for scientific credibility. Your posts aren’t worth anyone’s time if you can’t be bothered to even learn the basics.

    • Valancy Jane

      I don’t care what you believe. I care what that belief makes you do. If it makes you do things that are oppressive to others, that removes their rights, that demonizes them or makes them less than human, or otherwise hurts people, then we’ve got a problem.

      It’s always baffled me why Christians care what other people do with their genitals, I admit. Even as a Christian–a fundamentalist no less–I thought that it hardly mattered what they did in bed if they weren’t saved. Trying to limit others’ sexual freedom or deny them their essential rights isn’t exactly going to make people more sympathetic toward the religion of their oppressors.

  • CDP

    Of course it won’t go away. Which hardly means anything to thinking people of course. Many things that should have gone away didn’t, and for that matter haven’t. But piss poor arguments are a hallmark of the gay rights movement anyway, so there you go.

    • coyotenose

      Do you have an actual argument, or are you just fapping to your own pissy, bitter pseudo-righteousness?

      Rhetorical question there. Enjoy rolling in the ashheap of history along with the Segregationists.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      “Many things that should have gone away didn’t, and for that matter haven’t.”

      Yeah, like disco, Christianity, and Uggs…

      • Guesty von Guestheim

        That is horribly insulting. Disco may not be a decent genre of music, but it’s in no way such an insult to fashion and sanity as the other two.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

          Here’s one more thing that ought to have stayed dead: super-duper-blinding-bright NEON colors!

          • Valancy Jane

            Hey, I LOVE super-duper-blinding-bright neon colors! If it’s so bright it needs batteries or jingles, it’s probably in my closet.

            • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

              I’m highly sensory and get overstimulated quite easily. If you can handle that kind of cacophony of colour, have at — just give me enough warning to grab my shades.

    • Valancy Jane

      Would you please cite an argument against equal rights that is not piss-poor? Because I haven’t heard one yet, and I’ve been looking. Perhaps you’re judging others by your own flaws.


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