A Baptist Church’s Panel Discussion on the Evil of Homosexuality

It’s early in the morning and you’re not pissed off yet, so let’s fix that. Check out this panel discussion on the evils of homosexuality in response to Minnesota’s recent legalizing of same-sex marriage:

The panel, which took place last Sunday at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, features Pastor Jason Meyer, John Helmberger (of the Minnesota Family Council), and Joe Rigney (professor at Bethlehem College and Seminary). It’s moderated by Minister Sam Crabtree.

You know a Baptist church put out the video because women are nowhere to be found and the comments are disabled.

I forced myself to watch the first half and the amount of bigotry and Martyr Complex-ing are at peak levels. (If you see anything worth noting, please leave the timestamps and summaries in the comments.)

Highlight for me: At the 39:00 mark, the moderator reads an email asking if the panelists would support Muslims who wanted to pass legislation stopping everyone else from drinking wine because it’s forbidden in their faith.

Two things about that:

1) Whoever wrote the email makes reference to “Muhammad-ans”… which I think is a combination of Muhammad and Ramadan. I can’t decide if it’s the most offensive or most ignorant way of referring to Muslims I’ve ever heard. (***Edit***: As many commenters have pointed out, Muhammadans is indeed an obsolete but very real term to describe Muslims.)

2) Panelist Joe Rigney responds by saying he would oppose such legislation because drinking wine isn’t forbidden in the Bible, so why should that rule apply to him? He sees no irony in his response. He then adds: “The reason that Allah can’t tell me what to do is because he’s not God. God is God.”

So it’s only okay to pass legislation if Joe Rigney’s God approves it. Glad we settled that…

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.

  • Guest

    I’ve seen Muslims referred to as “Muhammadans” (with various spelling variations) in older books. Wikipedia says it’s “an obsolete term for a follower of the Islamic prophet Muhammad”.

  • Turtle

    “Muhammadans” is a term I’ve seen in books written in the 18th or 19th century. I suspect its origin is similar to using “Papist” as an insulting term to describe Roman Catholics.

  • MG

    Actually, “Muhammad-ans” is merely a poor spelling of an obsolete term. Which proves that they speak from a place of ignorance and have little interest in changing that, but I don’t think they were intentionally trying to create a new offensive term. Why bother, when there are so many old ones they can use?

  • asonge

    I don’t think the “Muhammadans” is meant to be a racial/ethnic/religious slur here, but rather a reference to Jefferson (or other older English phrases) where church/state issues were discussed. See here:

    “Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting “Jesus Christ,” so that it would read “A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;” the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.” — Thomas Jefferson about the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom

    Update: Treaty of Tripoli:

    “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims],—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Mohammedan] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

  • A3Kr0n

    An early morning piss-off is a great way to get the blood flowing!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

    It’s early in the morning and you’re not pissed off yet, so let’s fix that.

    i love you, Hemant.

  • Rodney Barnes

    When can we finally start declaring the religious as mentally incompetent?

  • Hunter Taylor

    I must say that it is refreshing to see some early 20th Century racism on the internet.

  • Infotangent

    I love the false equivalency of banning drinking and allowing gays to marry. It’s not even remotely the same! So frustrating!

  • griffox

    You’re right. Some theist in the comments on this blog referred to them as “Moose-slime,” with that condescending “Aren’t I clever” attitude.

  • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Tanner B James

    Just another nail in the coffin of American Klan-esque religion. I guess after Stalin, Hitler, Milosevic, Tito, Franco, Vichy French and Mussolini the Europeans are pretty much done with bigotry. We’ve got the Klan, Neo-Nazies and the Baptists but none of them have attempted (yet) a wholesale slaughter of an ethnic group or religion.

  • Space Cadet

    Dang. I don’t have time to watch the whole video right now. Luckily, I’m an atheist, which means I wake up pissed off and looking for babies to eat, so that won’t affect my day too much.

  • Myrmidon

    32:35 the scholar opines on whether a Christian (of his ilk) should attend the same-sex wedding of a friend. It’s a disgusting response.

  • Carmelita Spats

    Dry counties and Defense of Marriage Acts are both idiotic, superstitious, faith-based initiatives. There’s the equivalency. Also, you tend to find them stuck together like the hind legs of destruction in Southern Baptist Screwyoulands. I get to live where both are extant. Yes, it is frustrating to drive half an hour for a good bottle of cooking sherry. Guns? You can buy them next to any donut shop and ammunition at Wal-Mart. Praise!

  • DougI

    Homosexuality is evil! Remember those times throughout history gays went to war with other gays because they weren’t the right sort of gay? Yeah, nobody does either. Can’t say the same about Christians.

  • Ajax

    “if you have to go.. no problem with that” Oh gee thanks fascist, you sweet heart giver!

    “let me pray.. He does not dwell in tents nor does he”.. oh fuck the 1st and third tense turn over is so rampant… who’s talking now?! Where’s the focus? Upon the “me” or upon the “he”? How does this person know what the creator of the universe is thinking ever? Give’me give’me prayer? No sense of fear or intimidation from a magic brain when you demand courage from it. Give it. Bitch god on a leash. Un-amazing for it is so typical of the self righteous.

  • Goatless

    Yes, I’m sure it takes courage and compassion for four straight, cis, white guys to attack minority groups. Congratulations. You’re big men.

    And I’m sure that when you ask them ‘are you homophobic’ they are going to answer with absolute objectivity. Even though they are not the ones who get to decide if they are being homophobic or not.

    As an LGBT person, heads up Mr. Panelists. You are fucking homophobes. I don’t care what your intent was. Intent is not magic. Your end result was homophobia.

  • Stev84

    No. The term is hardly unique to English, let alone America. It also exists in other languages.

  • Rain

    Panelist Joe Rigney responds by saying he would oppose such legislation because drinking wine isn’t forbidden in the Bible, so why should that rule apply to him?

    They were all preachers weren’t they? What else would we expect? Of course it’s going to be one giant self-righteous-off. One big circle-righteous-jerk. (Not sure of the technical Baptist terminology.)

  • Matt Potter

    At around the 4:25 mark the moderator began the panel with a prayer which he began by saying “Almighty god, if you don’t help us, we’re without help”. I would say that just about nails it.

  • 3lemenope

    Dry counties may be inconvenient to those who wish to partake, but they are generally the result of local democracy. There are reasons besides religion why a person might not want alcohol available in their neighborhood (I hasten to say I don’t agree with those reasons, though I don’t find many of them to be ridiculous by any means); many of the dry counties in New England and the upper Midwest, for example, don’t trace back to a religious campaign. In any case, because it’s a rather rare local choice, there is nowhere in America that isn’t a short drive or a long walk away from a wet county where you can buy to your heart’s content and bring it back. And voting with your feet or campaigning to change your local laws are always options if you find the burden of such a journey too onerous.

  • rhodent

    I have to say that these guys don’t piss me off. Why, you ask? Because with Minnesota having legalized same sex marriage, these losers are so impotent that pissing people off is about the only power they have left, and as such they simply aren’t worth my time.

  • Andrew

    Did the “Muhammad-an” guy just step out of a time machine? Did he ask about the Esquimaux as well?

    Or is this a strange Christian sect thing where they use obsolete terms to describe everything? Does anyone know?

  • j. m. green

    The term “Muhammadans” in this video was embedded in a quote from C. S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity – the book is from radio lectures he did in the 1940′s. It’s just a dated, British term for Muslims. Hemant missed the context.

  • C Peterson

    I think you’re making quite an assumption that all four of them are straight. This kind of disgust comes from somewhere, and a likely source is a totally suppressed sexual identity. If you grow up in a tradition that preaches homosexuality is a sin, you probably agree. But you don’t necessarily look on homosexuals with disgust. Thinking about homosexuality probably doesn’t dominate your life. No, people like this, people who organize panel discussions and give lectures… there’s something else going on. This is what happens when your internalized sexual identity comes into conflict with your moral teachings. Boy does that screw you up!

  • Garret Shane Brown

    I truly enjoy looking up the christian college’s catalog when a panel like this tries to impress us by putting someone in “academia” on the panel. A couple of notes from http://bethlehemcollegeandseminary.org/downloads/academicCatalog12-13.pdf

    They offer a class called “Sexual Complementarity: The Pursuit of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood” which will explain how “The complementarian view, which understands there to be distinct but equally valuable roles for men and women in the church and home, will be explained and defended as biblical and therefore good for us”

    The highest degree of math they hold is called “GENS 1610 Mathematics for Liberal Arts” and the only science class they offer is Environmental Science. However, remember everyone that the biblical stance is also a scientific one. Ignorance is bliss!

    My personal favorite: it takes 4 semesters to get a bachelor’s degree from this college and it takes about 4 years to get a master’s degree. Apparently in christian college terms, I’m a master’s student!

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    Is there a highlights reel of this somewhere? I’m gay, and I don’t have the stomach to watch 90 minutes of this.


    How enlightening. A panel of bigots, all agreeing with one another.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    And the younger they are the more likely that is to be true. In my experience almost all straight men under 30 now understand that expressing disgust at gay people will lead to everyone assuming you feel some same sex attraction yourself and are overcompensating. Besides the gay guys know all the hot women. Cliche but true.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    That’s because we give the bears, the twinks and the leather men their own bars and mobile phone aps so they can all peaceably coexist. ;-)

  • 3lemenope

    It’s a word, like “negro”, that has shifted lexically over time from being the standard neutral reference term for a person to a disparaging term, as it was replaced by preferred terms that originate from the group at issue.

  • griffox

    ehh…I don’t think that’s always accurate. I do think that the religious types put too much emphasis on the sex part of being gay (to them homosexuality is a sex act not a way of being) and this most likely stems from their own suppression/shaming of sexuality. However, it makes perfect sense for someone who is straight to think that homosexuality is gross – because they can’t imagine being sexual with someone of the same gender, or if they do, it weirds them out. I admit that I get a little yucked out when I think of sex between old people (sorry), but that doesn’t mean that I secretly want to get down with a 90 year old. Despite that, I would never dream of shaming anyone of any variety for having consensual sex.

    I think the reason these religious types are so vocal about their abhorrence of gays, is that they believe their personal disgust with gay sex comes from their god-given moral authority, rather than from their inability to concede that everyone is born with different sexual preferences/orientations and that just because “I” don’t like something doesn’t mean no one else should do it.

    I’m not saying there aren’t gay haters who are closeted, but I don’t think it helps to make sweeping generalizations about all homophobes, because the one’s who really aren’t harboring latent gay envy will just say to themselves, “Well, that’s not me, so clearly these idiots don’t have a better argument than throwing accusations at the opposition.”

  • PhiloKGB

    Dry counties are merely inconvenient… unless one wants to go to a particular restaurant in a dry county and one would like to have, say, a glass of wine or two with dinner.

  • badgerchild

    In other words, dry counties are pointless and ineffective and a hassle only to the law-abiding. Yeah, that’s been my experience.

  • C Peterson

    Of course it’s not always the case. But this kind of disgust comes from somewhere that most people don’t access. Four people together expressing it? I think the odds that at least one of them is messed up are pretty high.

    The world is full of people who oppose homosexuality on moral grounds. For most of those, however, it doesn’t dominate their way of thinking. You don’t see that same disgust for murderers or thieves!

  • revyloution

    Yay for history! I mentioned that too , before I saw your post.

  • griffox

    maybe you’re right. I’m mostly straight, but I think gay sex is hot, so I really can’t relate.

  • griffox

    That brings up a good point. Most decent people don’t need to vocalize how much they don’t relate to something.

  • griffox

    and dry counties do not deter drinking – as I can tell from the beer cans and liquor bottles I pick up off the side of the road every time I mow my yard. They probably polished them off on the way home from the liquor store on the county line. It’s a long drive and people get thristy. :-)

  • 3lemenope

    That’s pretty much the definition of inconvenience. You want something, and it would be nice to have it, but you can’t have it, and you can live without. If you want a meal with a drink, you can have it at home, or in the aforementioned next county over, where they have restaurants too if you can’t live without having it all.

    Me, I’d like to enjoy a half a joint with my meal, but the old fogeys in my community won’t let me do that at a restaurant either. It could be that they’re oppressing me and my harmless desire to get slightly and publicly toasted before I eat. Or, perhaps community standards exist for good reasons which properly weigh against my convenience and desire, and while certain agreed-upon restrictions can be inconvenient to the point of being a downright hassle, I personally prefer living in a place where the collective mien is two notches more restrained than libertopia.

  • 3lemenope

    Oddly enough, some communities don’t like the effect that a bar might have being opened up in their midst but lack tools (like control over liquor licenses) due to state law. Dry counties are often made so to prevent certain types of development, or maintain a village atmosphere by pointedly preventing watering holes and other places where people congregate to drink, and the drunk driving and brawling which necessarily accompany and are certainly exacerbated by the existence of such establishments. Teetotaling is generally not the goal, but rather private consumption.

    If you find that an unworthy goal, then fine, but don’t pretend like it’s a crazy one. People want to be comfortable in their own communities, and will use the tools available to them to attempt to maintain what they enjoy about where they live.

  • allein

    Yeah, if it’s the guy I’m thinking of, he then got all insulted because I called him a troll.

  • allein

    That reminds me, I have to go to church tomorrow for a baptism but there will be at least 2 babies there (the baptize-ee and her infant cousin). Should be good!

  • PhiloKGB

    And sometimes community standards exist for bad reasons. Like local blue laws. But, hey. Let’s just lament all the other things we can’t do in restaurants and count our blessings. Or something.

  • allein

    I took a class in college called Math for Liberal Studies which was the bare minimum I needed to graduate (English major). In hindsight I probably would take a little more math and science if I could go back and do it again.

    Just had a quick look at their catalog; their “bachelor’s degrees” (all 3 of them) are in theology and/or biblical studies. But the section on Registration and Accreditation tells me all I need to know. (italics mine)

    Registration & Accreditation. Bethlehem College and Seminary is registered as a private institution with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education pursuant to sections 136A.61 to 136A.71. Registration is not an endorsement of the institution. Credits earned at the institution may not transfer to all other institutions.

    BCS is pursuing accreditation. While securing accreditation is a longer process, our aim is to complete this within the next five years, Lord-willing. Students who graduate from BCS prior to accreditation will be earning unaccredited degrees.

    Students should, therefore, keep in mind that other colleges and universities may not initially accept BCS credit. Students who graduate or transfer from BCS prior to accreditation may have to follow an appeal process at accredited institutions to which they are applying. While BCS cannot make any guarantee regarding the success of appeals, we are committed to the highest standards of educational quality and to helping students demonstrate these standards in the academic appeals processes. Bethlehem College and Seminary is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.

  • JA

    “”“Muhammad-ans”… which I think is a combination of Muhammad and Ramadan.””
    Muhammadan (in various spellings) is actually an archaic term for Muslims. George Washington used the term when he was explaining that all religions would be welcome in the U.S.

    Otherwise, I am extremely embarrassed that this panel happened in my state.

  • 3lemenope

    You could always try to convince others who live in your community that the community standards are ill-conceived and ought to change. Surely if it is obvious that you have the better argument, it shouldn’t be too hard. Make the case, and let people who would be affected by the proposed change make the decision.

  • allein

    “I don’t want to support ‘em, but I don’t want to kill the relationship.”

    Why would these people want to be friends with you in the first place?

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    The Song of Extinction. This is a group moan. They’re not losing the “culture war,” they have lost, and they know it. I think that in as little as five years and no more than ten years, not one of those men on that stage will be speaking publicly against homosexuality. There’s a good possibility they won’t be speaking publicly about anything, because nobody will be interested in what they have to say.

  • Jody

    You know, this video didn’t piss me off much at all. There was the usual idiocy I’ve come to expect from such folks. More though, I was struck by how flabbergasted and, let’s face it, afraid these folks are. They’ve discovered that the world has shifted on them in even such a “safe” place as where they perceived themselves to be.

    What is a little disconcerting, what is eye-opening, happened about 15 minutes in, where the preachers were “rewriting” the definition of persecution. According to them, any criticism of their faith, no matter how mild, is persecution — according to the Bible — and they are therefore justified in being even further offended, afraid, and prepping for whatever disasters are set to come their way. Fascinating!

    Jeez. I sound like Spock…

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    Those were dark times indeed. So many mojitos and tastefully put together outfits were lost do to senseless conflict.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    I really want to slap someone every time I hear someone say “Allah is not god.”

  • Michael W Busch

    I was thinking 18th century.

  • Armino

    one thing they got right-allah is not god but the only the greatest of all illahs(idols)-and this is in the first pillar of islam straight from the mouth of allahs messenger…

  • http://www.danarel.com/ Dan Arel

    “The reason that Allah can’t tell me what to do is because he’s not God. God is God.”

    someone is in need of foreign language classes.

  • Alexander Hartson

    It’s astounding to see a group of men, one in their early 30′s, so utterly dumbfounded by what Minnesota legislated. I find it bizarre that now, with Minnesota being the 12th state to do this in the course of other states since 2004, they they’re suddenly in a panic over it. What rock have they been under this whole time?

  • Anna

    I find that a rather odd claim. There are no such things as “dry counties” where I am, and there are plenty of charming, quaint, peaceful places with a “village atmosphere.” Being able to get alcohol at a restaurant or a grocery store seems entirely normal to me. I can’t imagine why it would indicate anything seedy. I can count the number of times I’ve seen public drunkenness on one hand, and I’m a teetotaler, so I would certainly notice.

  • griffox

    I wish I could say that was the case where I live. My community is rampant with meth labs and drug dealers, but you can’t buy alcohol, unless you have money. Then, you can get alcohol with your meal at one of two high priced restaurants. Unfortunately, it is a mostly poor community, so it only helps outsiders.

  • writegurl

    After watching this video, I noticed these men don’t define evil as anything that harms humanity. They define evil as anything they have decided their god arbitrarily doesn’t like. (I’ll bet they’re all wearing fabrics of mixed fibers, however.)

  • Anna

    I’m sure the primary factor is socioeconomics. Poorer communities have more crime than upscale communities, whether they are “dry” or not.

    Alcohol can also be associated with wealth. You mentioned restaurants; fine dining is a prime example. I live near the Napa Valley, which is famous for its wineries and attracts many tourists. Communities that exclude alcohol are losing out on wine aficionados and people who would otherwise patronize upscale bars and other establishments.

  • griffox

    I think you’re right.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    Well over a decade ago, the religious right realized they were losing the culture wars and retreated to their fall-back position of defending against gay marriage. They are now losing that one too. I would say it’s over but they have been very effective in restricting reproductive rights (not just abortion but access to birth control in many cases).

  • Little Magpie

    I wish I could up-vote this eleventy-million times. :)

  • closetatheist

    Hemant, Muhammadians is an ancient, though once acceptable, term for Muslims. I believe I saw it in books printed in the 1930′s or 40′s. The emailer was probably just an older person who hasn’t kept themselves updated.

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

    Also, there are studies that back up the “homophobe = repressed homosexual” meme…

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

    I’m not a fan of that song — it’s too damn whiney!

    Kidding aside, I agree with your comment.

  • 3lemenope

    For what it’s worth, I think you’re right too. As I indicated at the very beginning, I don’t agree with these arguments, I just don’t think they deserve to be treated with derision as though they issued from the mouths of crazy people.

    I certainly have lived in places that degenerated after the introduction of a new bar (or other attraction) attracted a less savory element. I’ve also lived in places where that doesn’t happen, much as you have described. I tend to believe, for my part, that the factors which lead to success for one and disaster for the other are quite complicated and not easily predictable before-the-fact, and so I don’t begrudge people their caution, even if that caution leads occasionally to lost opportunities.

  • Kristina

    What I find remarkable is that you could stand to watch 39 minutes.

  • Mario Strada

    What a petty, vindictive, obtuse bunch of people. Worried about what to say if someone introduced someone else spouse. How about “Well, nice to meet you. How was the weather? Did you have a good trip?”

    Why would they want to give someone a sermon for what is in essence common courtesy. Do they act the same way versus divorced spouses? Last I checked, GOD wasn’t happy about those.

  • Paul Niland

    8:10 “a gospel birthed hatred” yes, hatred truly originates in the bible. Stopped watching at that point. Deluded fools. They need to be locked up. They are simply reinforcing their own position through the voices in their head reinforcing their existing positions. That’s clearly madness.

  • Ethan G.

    @8:00 mark to 9:30. Why not talk about YOUR sins, religious leaders? Oh, that means you have to judge yourself and won’t judge others. Also, same guy, 19-19:10 mark. Is it just me or did he throw in a blip about taxing the churches will be considered a form of persecution? Seriously?! Taxes, persecution?

  • Ibis3

    Yeah. Alcohol can be harmful to both a person’s health and safety. It heightens the risk of social violence, especially domestic violence (ETA: and sexual violence/rape). It increases the risk of industrial and traffic accidents which often result in the death of innocent bystanders. It lowers productivity, and is especially debilitating in communities that are already dealing with poverty. Two people getting married so they can more easily own joint property, obtain government benefits accorded to their hetero counterparts, and publicly announce their commitment to one another harms no one.

    So, one of those things has secular reasons to consider some kind of prohibition, the other has none.

  • Ibis3

    But there might be some such crusaders if there were social movements to normalise and legalise murder or theft. But it’s a poor comparison because murder and theft do harm to others and to society as a whole, while consensual homosexuality is fun and harmless. Still, religion breeds self-righteousness and holier-than-thou judgementalism of all stripes.

  • C Peterson

    Yes, murder and theft do harm others. And many get away with both. That was my point… not comparing it to homosexuality (which is harmless), but observing the degree to which people get all riled up about homosexuality while pretty much giving murder and theft a pass (emotionally, anyway). Not comparing, contrasting.

    And that extreme reaction to homosexuality preceded the current trend towards its normalization, which is why I think there’s something more going on.

  • Free

    I hear this illogical argument often here.

    “…expressing disgust at gay people will lead to everyone assuming you feel some same sex attraction yourself and are overcompensating.”

    Can’t you just fill in the blanks logically with this:

    “…expressing disgust at Christians will lead to everyone assuming you feel some Christian affection yourself and are overcompensating.

    It’s a bad card to play. Or frankly, I am afraid many of you are actually seekers and leads me to much hope.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    See, we don’t express disgust with Christians in the sense that Christians are inherently icky and gross. We express disgust with the ideas of Christianity and the logical outcomes thereof. Any idea that leads directly to the outcomes of Savita Halappanavar or Beatriz is a not-nice-no-good idea. Nice try, though.

  • Anna

    It’s weird because on some level they seem to understand that “my god thinks it’s icky” isn’t a valid reason. That’s why they often try to dress up their arguments in secular terms.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    Well, I can only speak of experience. They men who were the loudest in their disgust of all things gay were almost all eventually caught doing gay stuff. the list of the famous ones is quite long. As far as being a seeker, if you mean seeking truth and knowledge, then I am definitely one of those. But I expect evidence and reason to guide me in that journey. btw, my only disgust is with idiot fundamentalism, not with Christians overall. I have no disgust at Methodists and Quakers and Episcopalians overall.

  • Tim

    After the questions at 24:28, listen to the response. This is why we cannot argue with these people, so long as they are faithful and believe. They can lose an argument, and simply invoke God as the ultimate authority, point their finger at you, and say “you lose.”

  • b s

    Could you ask that instead of water they baptize the child in a nice marinade?

  • Tim

    40:35 is another good start point. He gives up their entire game at 41:40. Listen.

  • C Peterson

    The thing is, it is very rare for atheists to express disgust at Christians simply because of their Christianity. I’m not sure I recall such a thing happening. When we see personally directed disgust here, it is towards specific actions, like advocating government sponsored prayer. Because such actions are often motivated by religion, you may also see disgust directed towards the concept of religion, or against the dogma of specific religions. The disgust is justified, because it is against actions of individuals who seek to limit the rights and freedoms of others, even though the activities of those others in no way impede their own rights and freedoms.

    But disgust at Christians? Almost never. And atheists don’t in any way seek to limit the freedoms of the religious.

  • allein

    I’m sick* so I didn’t really get to play with the baby at the party (I went but kept my distance) but I saw this in my email today and it just made my morning. :)
    *On the up side, it makes for a good excuse for not joining in the hand-holding at the end of the service – yeah, it’s that kinda church.

  • Space Cadet

    Hand holding, ugh. I can keep my snarling inner Atheist in check when they ask to bow your head or some other individual ritual, but I just can’t bring myself to join in with the hand holding. Even if it’s just when a family member is saying ‘grace’ before a meal, it just feels wrong.

    Having an excuse, like being sick (hope you feel better, btw), really comes in handy in those situations. I have pretty severe allergies and I’m not above pretending that I’m sick to get out of uncomfortable scenarios like that.

  • allein

    Yeah, I hate that “greet your neighbors in the pews” thing (even in my own church when I used to go) and hold hands and all that. I’m sort of anti-social that way. Also they use contemporary praise music, and everyone was wearing yellow for “joy” this week (last week apparently it was red for love…not that I was trying to make a statement but I happened to be wearing black…). If I’m gonna be forced to sit through a church service I actually prefer more traditional music. One song included rapping (recorded, at least, not performed by one of the middle aged white guys in the choir) to the tune of OPP (“You down with G-O-D?”). Ugh. The bell choir was nice, at least.

  • Carpinions

    I’m going through it now and will watch the whole silly affair. At 19 minutes in the crazy becomes cynically, hilariously open. The speaker in the brown sport coat literally says that persecution isn’t just when the police come and take them away, it’s also when they are mocked and maligned.

    Aww, poor wittle bigot.

    And this is after Crabtree opens with a line about parenting and having to take an oppositional line with children because refusing them something is for the greater good. As if the LGBTQ community is nothing more than a collection of snot-nosed pre-pubescent children. Add to that the other power Christians claim for themselves, which is to, I dunno, mock and malign those who “commit sin”, and say that when they do it it’s OK because it’s “out of love”.

    And these are supposedly grown men speaking of tough love from the parenting perspective. They can’t take the tough love from society, they can only give it.

  • Carpinions

    Ooh, missed that line. Thanks for pointing that out as I multi-task poorly.

  • Carpinions

    You didn’t hear wrong. He DID just say that.

  • allein

    it’s also when they are mocked and maligned.

    OMG, I know how this feels! Yesterday, as I mentioned in another part of this thread, I went to my best friend’s daughter’s baptism. At the end of the party afterward, while they were cleaning up, my friend’s grandfather was walking around with the baby in her stroller, and I was talking to her. I have a cold, and I started coughing, and she looked at me and started doing this little fake cough. This 10-month-old, a Good Christian(TM) newly baptized into the Lutheran church, was mocking me!! It’s persecution I tell you!!!

    They really do start ‘em young, don’t they? ;)

    (For the record, my friend is not particularly religious; they did it more because it was important to her mother.)

  • Carpinions

    I just finished watching every last second of it. They basically commit every moral error that affects them being taken seriously in the first half. The back half of the 90 minutes is mostly them explaining the entanglements of language that their faith demands they make to tow the accept heterosexual line and encourage their congregation to be forthright in fighting the homosexual “sin”.

    Although, one of the more striking moments is at 50:00 where the brown sport coat speaker admits openly without hesitation that homosexuality is genetic. But he just bowls through it with the implicit beg that Christianity can somehow overcome genetics if it just pleads loud and long enough.

    And anyone who hasn’t seen it yet might want to review the moderator’s statement at 52:30, where he says he’s never met a homosexual who wasn’t ultimately distraught about their lot in life and lost out of anger and being abused in some way. Talk about missing the point, and what a patronizing comment. It was made in the most even-toned manner, too. I don’t need to say anything more about this because the intent behind the words is so obvious, so horrendous, and so bitterly wrong even if he sounded like a normal guy.

    I think as atheists we should watch this. Some of us may find it too hard to watch others be this stupid without concern. It’s hard to watch hate when the people speaking it are so immune to realizing their words as that. Some of us may find it amusing that people can be this way. It will likely anger many or most of us that these people are this way. But as I listened to this, the more I began to think that this hard divide over homosexuality is the ultimate tipping point for society against religion. Think about how much the religious community views homosexuality and homosexuals as “evil”, “unnatural”, “defying god”, etc. Now think of all the evidence there is that defeats those ugly labels and emotions, evidence that is based in humanist thought, borne from simple scientific observation, and the simplest efforts in empathy for a fellow human being. This is the start of the end-game for religion, because they cannot, and openly refuse to, accept this situation for what it is.

    99.9% of the force opposing recognition of homosexuals comes from religion. This goes beyond even arguments over evolution, because that can be couched by the religious as a worldview difference down to an individual. The question vis a vis homosexuals cannot be passed off so easily because this hits families right in the gut. It hits society in the gut. And society has to make a choice now, whether to keep that wound open and bleeding, or to sew it shut and let time heal until nobody even considers the question. The religious will say that it’s the choices of the individual to be this way, but the connected family structure and the proximity of loved ones to the “sinners” will cause people to have to pick sides, and I don’t think that will work for religion. They will still claim many people who refuse to accept anyone who is homosexual, but the ostracization they imposed on homosexuals for so long will now be felt in some way by them, and many of them will not be able to ignore something like that and push away those they love or once loved. And we haven’t even discussed the younger demographic yet, who don’t even see this as a problem, even increasingly in conservative circles.

    I’m open to hear dissension from my prediction here. But right now I think the homosexuality issue in our society is the locus point where religion loses the hold it has enjoyed over the populace for too long.

  • Matt D

    Clearly, if gays having sex is considered worse then divine atrocities such as genocide, tyranny and barbarism, these people aren’t in good mental health.

  • Matt D

    Frankly, I’d only watch a highlight reel of this crap if it came with a TKO.