Remembering the UpStairs Lounge: The U.S.A.’s Largest LGBT Massacre Happened 40 Years Ago Today

The 24th of June in 1973 was a Sunday. For New Orleans’ gay community, it was the last day of national Pride Weekend, as well as the fourth anniversary of 1969′s Stonewall uprising. You couldn’t really have an open celebration of those events — in ’73, anti-gay slurs, discrimination, and even violence were still as common as sin — but the revelers had few concerns. They had their own gathering spots in the sweltering city, places where people tended to leave them be, including a second-floor bar on the corner of Iberville and Chartres Street called the UpStairs Lounge.

That Sunday, dozens of members of the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), the nation’s first gay church, founded in Los Angeles in 1969, got together there for drinks and conversation. It seems to have been an amiable group. The atmosphere was welcoming enough that two gay brothers, Eddie and Jim Warren, even brought their mom, Inez, and proudly introduced her to the other patrons. Beer flowed. Laughter filled the room.

Just before 8:00p, the doorbell rang insistently. To answer it, you had to unlock a steel door that opened onto a flight of stairs leading down to the ground floor. Bartender Buddy Rasmussen, expecting a taxi driver, asked his friend Luther Boggs to let the man in. Perhaps Boggs, after he pulled the door open, had just enough time to smell the Ronsonol lighter fluid that the attacker of the UpStairs Lounge had sprayed on the steps. In the next instant, he found himself in unimaginable pain as the fireball exploded, pushing upward and into the bar.

The ensuing 15 minutes were the most horrific that any of the 65 or so customers had ever endured — full of flames, smoke, panic, breaking glass, and screams.

MCC assistant pastor George “Mitch” Mitchell escaped, but soon returned to try to rescue his boyfriend, Louis Broussard. Both died in the fire, their bodies clinging together in death, like a scene from the aftermath of Pompeii.

Metal bars on the UpStairs Lounge windows, meant to keep people from falling out, were just 14 inches apart; while some managed to squeeze through and jump, others got stuck. That’s how the MCC’s pastor, Rev. Bill Larson, died, screaming, “Oh, God, no!” as the flames charred his flesh. When police and firefighters surveyed and began clearing the scene, they left Larson fused to the window frame until the next morning.

This news photo is among the most indelible I’ve ever seen:

Thirty-two people lost their lives that Sunday 40 years ago — Luther Boggs, Inez Warren, and Warren’s sons among them.

Homophobia being what it was, several families declined to claim the bodies and one church after another refused to bury or memorialize the dead. Three victims were never identified or claimed, and were interred at the local potter’s field.

When the Rev. William Richardson, of St. George’s Episcopal Church, agreed to hold a small prayer service for the victims, about 80 people attended, but many more complained about Richardson to Iveson Noland, the Episcopalian bishop of New Orleans. Noland reportedly rebuked Richardson for his kindness, and the latter received volumes of hate mail.

The UpStairs Lounge arson was the deadliest fire in New Orleans history and the largest massacre of gay people ever in the U.S. Yet it didn’t make much of an impact news-wise. The few respectable news organizations that deigned to cover the tragedy made little of the fact that the majority of the victims had been gay, while talk-radio hosts tended to take a jocular or sneering tone: What do we bury them in? Fruit jars, sniggered one, on the air, only a day after the massacre.

Other, smaller disasters resulted in City Hall press conferences or statements of condolence from the governor, but no civil authorities publicly spoke out about the fire, other than to mumble about needed improvements to the city’s fire code.

Continuing this pattern of neglect, the New Orleans police department appeared lackluster about the investigation (the officers involved denied it). The detectives wouldn’t even acknowledge that it was an arson case, saying the cause of the fire was of “undetermined origin.” No one was ever charged with the crime, although an itinerant troublemaker with known mental problems, Rogder Dale Nunez, is said to have claimed responsibility multiple times. Nunez, a sometime visitor to the UpStairs Lounge, committed suicide in 1974.

Watch the trailer for Royd Anderson’s new documentary about the UpStairs Lounge:

For more information on the massacre, check out these sources:


About Terry Firma

Terry Firma, though born and Journalism-school-educated in Europe, has lived in the U.S. for the past 20-odd years. Stateside, his feature articles have been published in the New York Times, Reason, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Wired. Terry is the founder and Main Mischief Maker of Moral Compass, a site that pokes fun at the delusional claim by people of faith that a belief in God equips them with superior moral standards.

  • Geoff Boulton

    It certainly makes the recent claims of Christians, that they are the victims of persecution, bullying, etc., pale into a well-deserved insignificance. ‘Sick’ does not even begin to truly convey the mindset of the person who did this, those who made jokes about it or even those who chose simply to ignore it.

    • RealOnigokko

      Excuse me, but there IS persecution and bullying among Christians, you know why? Because of people like you, that think all Christians are hateful bigots, when in reality, REAL Christians are 100% supportive of the gay community. You are going off of nothing but a stereotype. My church even cut off funding with a partner church after they discover that church was contributing money to hate groups. Real Christians are VERY serious about protecting people from hatred, and YOU are sick to sit there and claim that bullying of ANY sort is insignificant. Bullying is not insignificant among ANY group of people.

      • Minifuma

        Just because your particular branch of Christianity is accepting, that doesn’t make it the REAL Christianity. It’s good that your Church is progressive, but plenty of Christians equally justify their hatred and bigotry through the Bible and their faith. While Geoff should perhaps be more careful in his language and definitions, he makes a valid point. When your religion leads changes in campaigning for sexuality equality, rather than, at best, reflecting an increasing acceptance or, at worse, actively condemning acceptance, you’ll have a better case of saying that “REAL Christians are 100% supportive of the gay community.” Until then your religion will be judged by the religious by which it is followed.

        • Tina

          No one can claim hatred in the word because it isn’t there. That is people who twist scripture into what they want it to say.

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

            This is the same book that advocates genocide, rape, and slavery we’re talking about? That advocates the death penalty for picking up sticks on the wrong day or talking back to one’s parents? That Bible?

          • John

            “Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every women that hath known man by lying with him.” Numbers 31:17 (Moses)

            Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the
            judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death.
            Such evil must be purged from Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)

            You should not let a
            sorceress live. (Exodus 22:17 NAB)

            “If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to
            death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives.”
            (Leviticus 20:13 NAB)

            A man or a woman who acts as a medium or
            fortuneteller shall be put to death by stoning; they have no one but themselves
            to blame for their death. (Leviticus 20:27 NAB)

            Whoever strikes his father or mother shall be put to
            death. (Exodus 21:15 NAB)

            They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the
            God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not
            seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or
            great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)

            Would you like me to go on? Now please explain how these self-explanatory examples are “twisted” ?

            • sprty67

              I wrote myself a bible…just like someone wrote yours.
              Mine says…’whoever follows written words as gospel is an idiot’ Greg 1:1
              ‘ignore all who follow words written 1000s of years ago’ Greg 1:2
              ‘people who claim the words of their bible condone hate, bigotry and ignorance are lost sheep and will see the error of their way in HELL’ Greg 1:3

          • Patrick Elliott

            Anyone that cannot, hasn’t actually read the bloody thing, but is merely one of many, who support the faith, but ignore its words, because the words are “inconvenient”, and don’t reflect their personal faith. The “word”, by which I presume you mean the Bible, as others have pointed out, both references some of the worst atrocities imaginable, as just, and, at the same time, leaves out some of the worst committed, still, today, in its own name, including the lie that there is such a place as hell. Hel, is a pagan god, he is found in no part of the Bible at all. What is found is – Gehenna – a place where the dead where sent, to be burned, along with other things, like spoiled food, that where ‘too dangerous’ to leave in the city. Sheol, which is the Hebrew word for “grave”, and, later on – Hades – identical in meaning to Limbo, and a place for souls to rest, before moving on, and Tarterus – a prison for Angels where sent, if **they** sinned. Which one of these, exactly, is “hell”? And yet, somehow, I suspect that even your “supportive” Christian faith actually uses the word, thinks it is real, and that, “some” people go there.

            Yeah, don’t presume, when you know nothing of your own faith, beyond the “nice” things your priest teaches, and reads about, to tell other people what is, and isn’t, in there.

            • Henry

              “Hel, is a pagan god, he is found in no part of the Bible at all.” Hel was the youngest child of Loki and his Jotun wife….. and was a daughter,.

              • Patrick Elliott

                I am well aware of that, but Hel was “god of the underworld”, and its the only thing at all close to the later “Hell” that got invented out of nothing (other than it being a sort of underworld), the point being, neither Hel, nor Hell is found in the Bible, at all, and its just one more, in a long line of things either directly, or indirectly, borrowed from other religions. Heck, if you look at the Catholics, probably 10% (I have no idea the actual number, just the names of a few, like Bridget – who was a hunter goddess) of their “saints”, which is another silly concept, with no grounds in the Bible, actually **are** pagan gods, transformed into mere mortals, who did the occasional miracle.

                Its not an historical document, at least in the sense of focusing on accuracy, over legend, its been borrowing stuff from other religions/mythologies as far back as Gilgamesh, and more than half of the stuff thought to be true by your modern Christian, isn’t actually in it at all, and half of that was tacked on to make it more convincing for various pagan groups, which it was more convenient to convert, by fudging the facts a bit, and making key parts of their faith seem to line up with the new one, than to, say, just kill all of them (though, that has been tried more than a few times during its rise too).

                There is plenty of evidence of all of that, and it makes both the cherry picking of people who want to take modern ideas about freedom, justice, etc., and give the Bible credit for them, just as absurd as the ones that cherry pick the bits they like, in order to justify undermining the same, in the name of homophobia, sex phobia, female-power phobias, liberal phobia, Islam-phobia (which is actually a joke, since the people that have it the worst tend to differ in their opinions only in that they don’t think Burqas really quite necessary, and, most of them, wouldn’t do an honor killing), and what ever other, “The world is going to hell, because people who shouldn’t are doing and saying **things!**, and we are not in charge of any of it!”

                Its a grab bag of bad justifications, mixed in with just enough vague, and often wildly inaccurate, references to history to convince a lot of people that it contains “truth”.

            • RJ

              Hel is a heathen goddess. She is the daughter of Loki and the giantess Angrboða. It is her job to reign over some of the dead, those who did not die in glorious battle. To go to Hel is to have died of old age, sickness, etc. It had nothing to do with any sin.

              • Patrick Elliott

                Oh, right.. Because the church would never borrow something from someone else, and tack it on to their faith, as means of either conversion, or to condemn the pagan faith it came from. Pan isn’t a god of horrible evil either, but they made him the devil. But, at least they left him with some sort of power. Brigid, as another example, got her godhood taken away, along with apparently her Athena like hunting skills, poetic gifts, and blacksmithing, and turned into the first catholic nun of Ireland, whose “miracle” was looking young and beautiful again, after she prayed to the Christian god.

                The only thing remotely close to the same is that she was said to have one side of her face that was ugly, and the other side comely. Which hardly makes the transformation of, “master of the unworthy dead”, into, probably, some sort of version of the devil, and from there, when a real, male devil was needed, into merely a place to send the unworthy, that big of a stretch. They where pulling this sort of thing for centuries after founding the church.

                • RJ

                  You seem to have read something into my comment that wasn’t there. I was pointing out that Hel was female, not male, and giving a little information on her and how she is viewed by followers of the Forn Siðr. I’m quite familiar with how Christianity has warped just about everything it’s touched. It took what it liked/what it could not make recent converts give up, sublimated it into its own traditions, and burned the rest. It built churches over places previously viewed to be sacred to the cultures that fell to it. It was particularly greedy about snatching up the customs of the Germanic peoples and twisting them around to suit its needs, however.

                • Patrick Elliott

                  Right, sorry. I usually post on blogs where this sort of post was a denial of the central point about it actually warping things like that. But, yeah.. Not sure “greedy” is the right word. Dishonest, deceitful, adaptive, but only in the sense of being willing to do anything it could to spread, regardless of what damage it had to do to get there, etc. You can see the same thinking in people that believe in the “old world” versions of it, or who at least claim they are literalists/evangelicals, or just, “defending the truth”, today. Like the jokers in Texas who forgot that the viewers have clocks to, so they could get by with changing the time data on their voting site, to make it look like they had legally voted on an anti-abortion bill, after it was filibustered for 13 hours.

                  Such people are, sadly, actually taught that the 4 year old logic of, “If I don’t get caught at it, or punished, it must have been OK.”, is perfectly valid, when used by an adult, to support a “faith position”, or defend/promote their religion.

        • Sam Edwards

          I just think that if someone is going to tell me I’m unnatural and deserve to be put to death, they should have something more to back it up than a cheap knockoff of Dionysus.

        • bigzach1000

          Can you tell me what is the REAL Christianity? Christianity is the most diverse religion on Earth and to attempt to lump large groups of people with differing viewpoints together is beyond irresponsible. Why can’t be people be treated as individuals?

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            RealOnigokko is the one claiming that people who don’t agree with her/him aren’t “real” Christians. Minifuma is pointing out that lots of people who don’t agree with with RealOnigokko ARE real Christians. Please read comments before replying to them.

            • bigzach1000

              Then why cannot RealOnigokkko or Minifuma respond to my statements? What is it any of your business?

      • Mike_H

        I think what Geoff was referring to is the latest ploy by rabidly anti-gay Christian extremists who claim that they are “bullied” when they aren’t allowed to discriminate without consequence. That simply protesting or disagreeing or taking them to court for their bigotry is in itself bigoted.

        Complaining that people shouldn’t be allowed to disagree with your anti-gay stances is a far cry from real bullying, and diminishes the word; but it’s the far-right Christians who are doing this.

        It’s clear, even just from this story, that Christians who were supportive of gays can be victims of anti-gay forces as well.

      • FaintCryofFreedom

        You might want to consider that you are talking TODAY & this incident occurred 40 years ago. The world has changed a bit since then, but gay people are STILL being persecuted & discriminated against. Your righteous indignation is better directed at others who perpetrate these sorts of crimes (whether claiming to be christian or not) than to those gay people commenting here.

        • Aj Pflumm

          Gay people are also still being killed.

        • JC

          Obviously you don’t live in the sanctimonious South.

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            Please reread FCoF’s comment.

      • John

        Ahhh, the old No True Scotsman argument! Such-and-such are not REAL such-and-suchs because they do this or don’t believe this, etc, etc. I’ll bet you that hatemongering bigots like the Westboro Baptist church don’t consider YOU a real Christian!

        As for persecution of Christians, you’re a paranoid delusional living with martyr complex. Pointing out hate and bigotry – as well as the SILENCE BY THE MAJORITY of supposedly “non-bigoted” Christians when other Christians spew their hate and bigotry – is NOT persecution! Pull your head out of your ass!

        • John

          Not to mention that atheists in the United States are more discriminated against every day than any Christian is.Christian persecution is almost non-existent in the U.S.

          • Geoff Boulton

            John, you beat me to it. The old ‘I’m a True Christian, you’re not!’ argument. He has a point though about Christians being bullied. I watched Protestants beating the crap out of Catholics and Catholics beating the crap out of Protestants for a couple of years in Northern Ireland. Atheists daring to criticize religious beliefs, hardly in the same ball park, is it?

            • Sam Edwards

              As Christianity is a historical fraud, “true christians” is a meaningless term.

              • TJ Wright

                Not to mention, Jesus was a Jew!

              • John

                Sam, you are so full of shit, you stink

                • CCinRI

                  LOL John…Snappy retort. Did the nuns teach you that?

                • John

                  Let it be noted that the “John” who replied to Sam Edwards is not the same John (me) who posted a bunch of messages earlier… in case there was confusion.

                • Quasi Hedron

                  You look the same. Identical twins, perhaps?

                • Sam Samson

                  Heavens forbid someone made that confusion.

                • Sam Samson

                  Haha, I’m snorting! John is an ignorant human being and we are all superior to him. He was likely indoctrinated by those evil people called nuns. What an hilarious piece of humor CCinRI, keep em’ coming!

                • Sam Edwards

                  Ok, maybe I stink, but there is still zero historical evidence for the character human Jesus who only appeared in christian literature after 70 AD.

                • KevinJ

                  Sam Edwards… Either you just decided to make that statement completely up or you took some unknown class that had no factual basis at all because not only is Jesus mentioned by multiple Jewish sources he is also Mentioned By Plutarc and Jospehus very reliable Roman historians … It is actually a given that Jesus Lived and was crucified in Jerusalem I mean that’s a historical fact… All I ask is you know what you’re talking about please…

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

                  Actually, it’s really not settled fact at all. The Josephus reference is an interpolation by a later, Christian author (ie, a forgery). Plutarch never, ever mentions Christians or Jesus- a Google search of “plutarch jesus” brings up page after page of people trying to figure out why Plutarch never said anything about Christians, Christianity, or Jesus. There are no records of anyone named Yeshua ben Yoseph existing nor being crucified. Given that the Romans kept records of a lot of things, the fact that the execution of this supposedly major cult leader doesn’t show up anywhere does at least suggest the possibility that there never was a historical Jesus.

                • Sam Edwards

                  1) Give some said jewish sources who mentioned him uniquely as opposed to dime-a-dozen massiah/magician figures who were common at the time?

                  2) Plitarc was born in 46 AD and died in 120 AD. He is not contemporaneous with the times Jesus is said to have lived and indeed would have contributed to the idea of Jesus in his adulthood, if he did at all. Please cite his mention of Jesus?

                  3) Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews was written around 93–94 AD. He definitely wrote all of his still-existing works under the patronage of the emporer Flavian after 71 A.D.

                  Check mate, friend.

              • bigzach1000

                Well, theoretical science and atheism are tools to brainwash the arrogant and stupid masses. I don’t really see what you are complaining about. You would think you would be accepting of fraud.

                • Kenny Golden

                  Umm. What exactly do you think religion is meant to do?

                • bigzach1000

                  Define religion, then we will talk.

                • Kenny Golden

                  Religion is a tool to brainwash the arrogant and stupid masses.

                • YouOldFool

                  So we arrogant and stupid masses are brainwashed, but you are above all that because you believe in sky fairies. Grow up, you titty-sucking infant.

                • mikaelfivel

                  Yes, and let’s just keep repeating to ourselves that christians are the bigoted and hateful ones…

                • Quasi Hedron

                  Yes they are, really! :D

                • Sam Edwards

                  I believe that God is a chocolate chip cookie. If you don’t respect that belief then you are bigoted and hateful.
                  Hey, this is fun!

                • mikaelfivel

                  I rather like your approach. Since when did it become a problem that each person have their own god?

                • Sam Edwards

                  Their delusions aren’t a problem, but the demand for respect for those delusions is a non-starter.

                • mikaelfivel

                  I have no problem with that concept. Each person has a god; whether it be themselves or something around them.

                • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

                  WRONG! Flying spaghetti monster!

                • mikaelfivel

                  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

                • Sam Edwards

                  So said Horus and every imitation since.

                • Sam Edwards

                  Yes, hence the old adage, “Quantum Chromodynamics is the opiate of the masses.”

            • Geekette

              Some of us were raped as children, for simply not having any beliefs. I certainly didn’t know what being an “atheist” meant at the age of seven, living in Florida — I just couldn’t find anything logical in what I was being told. It didn’t make sense to me, and that was all I ever really said on the subject.

              • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                Holy — ! I am so very sorry to hear that. Just when I think I’ve heard the worst humanity has to offer, my species shows that its capacity for cruelty is still greater than what I imagined.

                • Mike

                  Dear Jesus, please save me from your followers.

            • Robyn Ryan

              Many Europeans fled for the ‘New World’ to escape the rabid and bloody Christianity of 17th century Europe and Russia.

          • bigzach1000

            You are out of your mind. A hundred people on this page are bullying and railing against Christians as we speak. Lumping people together into one group and judging them, spewing out hatred based on a personal belief. Anyone on this page who insults anyone else for any reason but expects to be treated with care and respect is a hypocrite of the highest order. Same goes for Christian groups who speak out against gay people with hatred. They are no better.

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

              Saying “this Christian ideology sucks” is bullying now? Saying “this is wrong and hateful” is bullying now? No one says all Christians are hateful and wrong, but when the vast majority of opposition to gay rights comes from explicitly Christian churches and organizations, then yeah, Christianity as a whole has a problem. You choose to be associated with the Bible and all the other people who also claim to follow that Bible. Thus you get to see your religion impugned as hateful, because as it is practiced in the US in many places, it is. If you don’t like it, talk to the haters, not us.

              • bigzach1000

                I am not talking about a simple opinion. I am talking about insults. Calling people “stupid”, “backwards”, “racist”, “homophobic”, or “narrow-minded” because they are Christian. That is wrong. I don’t go around calling any group things like that because all people deserve to be treated with dignity. You have no right to say anything about “my religion” because you don’t know anything about “my religion.” You never asked.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  Because that’s totally comparable to people being told on facebook that they should kill themselves.

                  Cyberbullying is a thing, but what you’re describing *so* isn’t it.

                • bigzach1000

                  Who are you to decide what is bullying or not? That is in the eye of the person on the receiving end. If I wanted to call someone who was a minority or something a bad name, isn’t it up to them to decide if it is inappropriate or not? You are a hypocrite. Maybe you are biased because you have a problem with religion? I am not sure.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  BECAUSE THAT’S TOTALLY COMPARABLE TO PEOPLE BEING TOLD ON FACEBOOK THAT THEY SHOULD KILL THEMSELVES.

                • bigzach1000

                  Once again… an opinion.

                • 3lemenope

                  Do you believe that all opinions are equal, or can one opinion be more or less responsive to facts than another?

                • Quasi Hedron

                  Facts are truth. Truth prevails.

                • 3lemenope

                  I tend to think that facts are an important component of truth, but they must be united with some manner or method of interpreting and integrating them in order for them to indicate anything more than trivial sorts of truth.

                  And truth rarely prevails unless it is defended. Very often, lies are more comfortable or otherwise easier and simpler to believe, and so it takes Herculean effort to get truth into its proper venerated place.

                • Lolie

                  Of course it isn’t up to the victim to define whether something is bullying or not. Bullying is a social construction. We have various ways of defining it (as a society) including rules in schools about what constitutes bullying, laws about harassment, etc. While there may not be one standard definition, there is a general standard.

                  I think what these other folks are trying to get across to you, if you would just let yourself hear what they are saying (not that they are 100% correct about everything) is that there is a trend among US Christians to claim they are being bullied anytime their beliefs are being challenged. This allows them to do one of two things, either (1) justify their own bullying or (2) drum up sympathy for their vastly majority opinion.

                  I don’t dispute that bullying is directed at Christians. But you sound like a fool when you claim that the bullying they are subjected to is on the scale that has been directed at groups that are abhorrent to Christians, by Christians. Pointing out TRENDS in group behavior is not the same as being prejudice UNLESS one also follows that up with, “and you are one of those so you must do that too.”

                  (By the way, your argument that these folks are prejudiced because they generalize about Christians is significantly undermined when you generalize about atheists.)

                • baal

                  “Who are you to decide what is bullying or not?”

                  You need a better claim to being bullied. You ask for nuiance but then make broad statements about how “Acceptance by Christians of all people is also well-documented, over centuries.” Lot’s of folks (and especially the queer) have been on the wrong end of a shit storm from at least the politically powerful christians for quite a while. Go read some Michelle Bachmann. You also cannot write off her and other bad acts as ‘bad apples’ or ‘not true christians’.

                  Given that you’re seriously downplaying the harms done to other by christians and overplaying the harms done to christians, we’re having a hard time accepting your viewpoint as valid.

                • Kenny Golden

                  Actually, most atheists know more about the bible than any christian.

                • bigzach1000

                  If that is true, which I doubt, why would anyone waste their time reading a book about something, in their minds, that doesn’t even exist?

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  I’m currently reading the Iliad, and I don’t believe the Greek pantheon exists.

                • bigzach1000

                  OK, do you also go on message boards claiming Homer never existed?

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  If it were relevant, and if there were people claiming that people who believed Homer didn’t exist were stupid and/or immoral, then yes, I would cite the evidence calling into question the idea that Homer existed.

                • Karyn Niedetzki Newton

                  Actually, it is fairly widely accepted in the scholarly community that there was no Homer, and that the Iliad and the Odyssey were compilations of hundreds of years of oral poetic tradition.

                • Kenny Golden

                  It is read by atheists as fire power to argue with “religious” people like you.

                • bigzach1000

                  But why do you need to argue? What is it that compels someone to read a long book just to argue? That seems kind of messed up.

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

                  Have you never heard of oppositional research? How can you properly argue against a position you don’t understand? Why wouldn’t you read long books just to argue, if you want to be well-informed on the topic you are arguing about?

                  Are you really suggesting it’d make more sense to argue from ignorance, instead of knowledge?

                • bigzach1000

                  Once again, why? What is it about someone’s personal faith that is so offensive to someone that they need to argue it? Why not just let people be who they are?

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty
                • bigzach1000

                  Faith also saves. Everything is a double edged sword. As long as there are nasty people, good things will be manipulated.

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

                  [Citation Needed]

                • bigzach1000

                  About what good faith has done? Are you living in a fantasy world? How about you go into prison and see how many lives it has turned around? How about the centuries of good works that people have done under the guidance of their churches. Do you know what the Salvation Army is? Do you think that it is a bunch of retired soldiers who ring bells?

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

                  Let’s talk about the Salvation Army — they discriminate against anyone who doesn’t march in lockstep with their dogma. How much “good” does that do, if they’re only helping people they agree with?

                  Prison “conversions” are a joke. They’re usually claimed so the offender can get time off for good behavior or to convince others that they’ve “changed” — once they’re out, it’s right back to a life of crime.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  Also, wasn’t there a study recently that showed prison converts use God to rationalize their bad behavior?

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

                  I believe so.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison
                • bigzach1000

                  Oh of course! These people talked to every prisoner and got their real opinions. Look at the wonderful sample they provided! Three anonymous interviews….wow. Such strong evidence.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  I’m going to interpret that as a criticism of the paywall, which I also oppose.

                • bigzach1000

                  I have never known the Salvation Army to turn away someone who needed a meal when they were serving because they didn’t believe in anything. You are spreading falsehoods.

                  Who do you think you are if you can tell the sincerity of someone’s faith? That is outrageous. Are you some sort of mind reader?

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

                  Again, it’s all documented — the fucking LEADER of the SA straight up said that gays should be put to death. There are documented cases of the SA turning away lgbt people. They are, paws down, 100% homo-haters.

                • TCC

                  The SA has refused service to LGBT individuals, and wmdkitty was mostly right in that an Australian SA media relations official did say that gays deserve death in accordance with SA doctrine.

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

                  Thanks, I was hazy on the exact details.

                • bigzach1000

                  The evidence in that article is from one man who wouldn’t identify anyone else he was with at the time and was “somewhere in Southern Indiana.” Sounds credible to me.

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

                  Because faith is believing in something without evidence. It’s just sloppy thinking, and that spills over into other parts of people’s thoughts and lives. Sloppy thinking, wishful thinking, faith elevated above evidence; that’s just all-around bad for the person and bad for society as a whole. Why do you think the Tea Party has such awful ideas? They ignore empirical evidence in favor of ideology; they apply their religious ways of thinking to politics and policy as well.

                  So that’s one reason. Faith/religion is inherently harmful to both individuals and society. Never mind all the other harms Christianity in specific has done and is doing in our county: anti-choice, anti-education, anti-science, and purity culture are just a few of the things bad things based solely on faith that we really need to get rid of.

                • bigzach1000

                  I guess it all depends upon what you see as evidence. I guess you could be wandering in a forest and stumble upon a vacuum cleaner and assume that it just evolved over time due to some sort of natural process, right? Wouldn’t that be stupid? Well, the human body is many, many times more complex than a vacuum, but you mean to tell me that there was no design? It was all “random”? That seems pretty stupid to me. You also have an extremely narrow idea of what faith is. You obviously haven’t experienced it, so how do you know what it is? Do you want me to tell you about skydiving even though I have never done it? Can you please be more specific about the harm caused to this nation by Christianity and use specific examples?

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  Vacuum cleaners don’t have sex and give birth to baby vacuum cleaners. (You laugh, but feedback is a powerful force, and while it isn’t the sole driver of evolution, it’s an important one.)

                • bigzach1000

                  Well, in my opinion, the world has too much order and reason to have been created randomly. I think that many people have been brainwashed into thinking that we have all the answers. Well, it isn’t even close. So to state that anything is absolute, based on science, is wrong. Faith is a different matter. It is supposed to be separate from science. It is a test. If it were proven that God were real through scientific fact, what would be the point? Everyone would just believe and there would be very little value to it. The fact that you have to take that final leap beyond needing to see things to believe them is part of the beauty of religion. It is useless to explain it to a non-believer because your demands for proof are a blinder.

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

                  Other way around, dude. It’s absolutely silly to believe anything without evidence. Why don’t you believe in Zeus? Or Tinkerbell? Or Invisible Pink Unicorns? Or the Flying Spaghetti Monster? They all have exactly as much evidence as each other or as Yahweh or Jesus.

                  Even if we were to discover somehow that there was some sort of creator deity, which one should we pick?

                  And of course we don’t have all the answers. We don’t have anywhere close to all the answers, and we may never get them all. It’s still far better to say “we don’t know, let’s study that” than “Goddidit, don’t ask questions”.

                • bigzach1000

                  You are missing the point. It is your opinion that it is silly to believe in something without evidence. Do you know about Pascal’s Wager? He was much smarter than any of us. He declared it was pretty stupid to not believe in God. So have a lot of other people including Thomas of Aquinas and even Einstein. So, I guess you have some insight that these historic geniuses did not. I would hope that people would ask questions instead of just assuming that God did anything. That is the only real way to understand.

                • baal

                  Please see my comment a few lines up. It’s also pascal’s wager but argues for my favorite god, Cthulhu.

                • T. Paine

                  Those stating that “any persons of religion are stupid” or anything to that effect, are only perplexing the hypocrisy. It is a far more well-supported theory that religion is used as a sort of crutch for those with some sort of emotional void. I am no expert on the matter, but I do know that there are a multitude of ‘smarties’ on both sides – nullifying that argument entirely. I often play the devil’s advocate, trying to help all sides flaws in their hastily drafted, emotion-filled arguments. As for your reference to Pascal’s Wager, I do believe you owe it to yourself to read up on all sides’ interpretations. The very wager itself immensly contradicts widely held Christian beliefs: a.) having [true] faith b.) gambling c.) you-already-rebuked-the-first-two?

                • TCC

                  If it were proven that God were real through scientific fact, what would be the point?

                  Only someone totally blinded by the idea that faith is good would think this was an actual defense of faith (but thanks for breaking my irony meter with that last sentence). The point would be that we would know, that there would be evidence for the claim, that we would have reason to be confident in our conclusion.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  If I knew Chinese, I would be cursing in it. (Props due to Futurama and Firefly.)

                  FEEDBACK IS THE OPPOSITE OF RANDOM!

                  Also,

                  MOST SCIENTISTS ARE FULLY AWARE OF WHAT THEY DON’T KNOW! YOU ARE ATTACKING A STRAWMAN!

                  Also,

                  If you can develop an experiment to detect an omnipotent being who doesn’t seem to want to be found, I would love to know about it.

                  Also,

                  What if I ask for evidence, instead of proof? Hey, as it happens, I’m agnostic — I’m perfectly willing to accept the existence of god is possible. You still have yet to provide evidence that such a being is: good; worthy of worship; the Christian god; intelligent; not one of The Old Ones of Lovecraftian lore; I can go on.

                • bigzach1000

                  Why would I want to develop an experiment like that? I have no interest in proving something that cannot be proven. I am perfectly happen that it cannot be proven.

                  I can offer evidence of those things, but would it matter? It is all based on opinion. How can I provide evidence to support an opinion? It might make sense to me, but all you would have to say is, “that is stupid” and I couldn’t really refute that, so I would cite another opinion and, it would start the cycle over again.

                • TCC

                  Saying that a god exists (at least one that interacts meaningfully with reality) is a factual claim, not merely an opinion. Either there is sufficient evidence to justify such a belief, or there is not. The problem you’re running into is that most of us here like to have evidence to base our beliefs on, as opposed to blind faith.

                • bigzach1000

                  I don’t see it as a problem. I enjoy talking about this and I like learning about other people’s points of view. I do understand what you are saying about the factual claim bit and that really is where the mystery of religion starts. I cannot explain it other than part of me just “believes” there is a God. It truly is just an instinct based upon a feeling. I always try to make sure that I make it clear that I cannot prove that with facts. It is really hard to understand, I admit. But, that is the nature of faith.

                • TCC

                  It’s not necessarily hard to understand – some of it did believe on faith at one point, until we realized that it is an utterly illogical way to obtain and maintain beliefs. If you care about holding true beliefs, you have no way to test that belief to verify if it’s true or merely wishful thinking, and that’s dangerous.

                • baal

                  H.P. Lovecraft was an intellectual void. He couldn’t have written what he wrote. This means he is actually a prophet and not an author. I, for one, beg Cthulhu to eat me first so that I need not suffer for one instance the fate that is worse than hell.

                • baal

                  “Well, in my opinion, the world has too much order and reason to have been created randomly”

                  Ok, you’re very bad at science.

                • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

                  You’re clearly an expert of the highest order. Why do YOU care so much that other’s don’t share your beliefs? Why do YOU go on to atheist blogs to argue when you question atheists for reading the bible and arguing with Christians? Hypocritical much?

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

                  Oh please, please don’t tell me you went all “irreducible complexity” on me. Please. You almost had new arguments, and then you fell back on this stupid, taken-apart-a-million-times argument. We’ve seen evolution take place, we have fossils and cell chemistry and fused chromosomes and shared DNA and reproduction and a bajillion other pieces of evidence supporting evolution as the origin of species. We’ve even made some fascinating strides into figuring out how abiogenesis could have occurred.

                  talkorigins.org
                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution
                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_as_fact_and_theory
                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis

                  As for harm: slavery was expressly based on Biblical rules that supported it. Jim Crow laws were supported on the theory that God had separated the races and thus they weren’t supposed to live together as equals. The KKK picked a cross as their symbol for a reason. The entire history of marital coverture was based on Biblical injunctions that men were the head of women. And, uh, the anti-gay rights movement, which has led to suicide and bullying and depression on top of legal inequality. Anti-choice in the US- thanks to abortion rights being nibbled away, many women don’t actually have access to safe, affordable abortions. Oh yeah, and the clinic bombings and shootings- can’t forget those. Salem witch burnings. Genocide of Native Americans. And that’s just in the US after it became a nation!

                • bigzach1000

                  Ohh yes, the KKK picked a cross, so all Christians are bad. What about all of the people killed in the name of religion? The Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide in Turkey? These were just in the 20th century, There are more. If you want to stop negativity, you have to quit being negative. If you think you are going to improve the lives of people being bullied by being a bully yourself, you are way off base.

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

                  Hitler was a Christian. Specifically, Catholic. The Holocaust was extensively justified with — what else? — the bible.

                  Again, pointing out that Christianity has a good two-thousand years of evildoings on its hands is not bullying.

                • bigzach1000

                  Hitler may have been born Catholic, but he certainly was not practicing by the time he was in charge. He spent a good deal of time trying to outlaw Christmas. That is not a Christian. You are just plain wrong in your statements. You brought up gay people dying from bullying, yet you insult the belief systems of billions of people by claiming they are stupid. How is that not bullying?

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  Are billions of people dying from being called stupid?

                  Edit: Or even, are billions of people being suffering PTSD from being called stupid? Your comparison verges on disgusting. The saving grace is that I believe you’re saying this as a defensive reflex.

                • bigzach1000

                  Millions of people have died because of their faith. They still do. Quit your bawling. People die and suffer. Not just gay people, or straight people, or brown people, or white people. Everyone. It is part of being a human. It is all wrong, picking apart arguments trying to make it seem like one genocide is better than another is childish and way more disgusting than anything I have said.

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

                  Heh.

                  Heh heh.

                  Y’think that somehow absolves Christianity’s “sins”? Sorry, but your lot ought to be stepping up and taking responsibility for all that shit. Instead you try to justify it and hand-wave it as a product of “sin” or “free will” or “No True Christian”.

                  Fuck that.

                  ‘m done with you.

                • bigzach1000

                  My “lot”? See what I mean? You don’t listen to individual arguments or opinions. You just group everyone together and cast them to the wind. You are no better than the people you criticize.

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

                  Quick, call Whine-One-One, the special snowflake is having an emogency!

                  Seriously, dude, you need to grow a thicker skin and stop with this “you’re just as bad” shit, ‘cuz it’s a crock.

                • Tainda

                  Sorry, let me interrupt here a sec…

                  Emogency is going to be my new favorite word! HAHAHA!

                  Ok, back to your regularly scheduled argument :)

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  You’re changing the subject. But, once again, calling someone “stupid” is not the same as sending that person to the gulags. IN AMERICA, is there a risk of someone being killed for being Christian? IN AMERICA, is there a risk of someone being killed for being gay?

                • bigzach1000

                  I wasn’t trying to compare being called “stupid” to being killed. What in the heck are you even talking about? Any form of negativity is wrong and you are no better than the people you are criticizing.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  You are saying that to be called “stupid” online is a form of bullying. I am saying you don’t have any idea what being bullied is like, if that’s the worst you’ve ever experienced.

                • bigzach1000

                  I am saying that bullying is in the eye of the beholder. Should we tell our gay friends to just toughen up when they are called bad names online because it could be a lot worse, or should we try to stop all of it?

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  Being called a name wouldn’t be nearly as threatening if there weren’t cases in recent history suggesting that there’s a real possibility of follow-up physical attacks. The words aren’t spoken in a vacuum.

                • bigzach1000

                  That is not the point. If you want to make the world a better place, you need to start with yourself instead of blaming others or picking things apart with a fine-tooth comb to find some tiny flaw to exploit. If you hate Christians for their insensitivity to others, maybe you should try to be more sensitive? You are just kind of playing into their game of hated and giving them more to be angry about. That doesn’t sound like the solution.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  One: I don’t hate Christians. I hate people who use their faith as an excuse to tear down others. Two: You may well be right that my approach is self-defeating; I don’t have the best track record with people. However, the notion that my approach is a parallel to those I’m criticizing is absurd.

                • bigzach1000

                  I am just saying that if you expect people to respect you as a person, you have to try to respect them. I don’t expect that you would understand what I am trying to say about how you are about the same as bad Christian people, because it takes an almost superhuman amount of pride-swallowing to even try to see it. But you are spreading negativity by calling people’s personal belief system a “fairy tale.” You do not understand that because your brain is not wired to grasp religion like faithful people do. Is that a bad thing or a good thing? I really have no idea. It could very well be that I am dead wrong about all of this. I don’t believe that in my heart, but since I have no proof, I can’t say.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  I do not call people’s personal belief system “fairy tales.” I am simply saying that this practice is not on the level of what is known as cyberbullying, which has driven some of its victims to suicide.

                  As it happens, I probably do have a believer’s brain. I even once had an ecstatic experience, but it was focused toward mathematics as a sentient system, and I even acknowledge after the fact that this probably wasn’t reflective of reality. However, I do believe metaphors can be powerful, and can be used to express important truths which become awkward to express if we refuse to use any anthropomorphization.

                • bigzach1000

                  I would like to hear about that experience. It sounds very interesting. Thank you very much for a good discussion. It is good when people can talk about these things and not resort to a bunch of nasty swearing or name-calling, which almost no one did. So, whether you want it or not, this website has my respect.

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

                  Oh, he was a practising Catholic, all right. Just because you wish he wasn’t one of yours, you really can’t avoid it.

                  Hitler was very much Christian, it’s plain as daylight if you bother to read his speeches and writings!

                  Once again, pointing out Christianity’s evil is. not. bullying. It is documented truth.

                • bigzach1000

                  You are way wrong about Hitler. I am sorry. I have worked for a German historical organization and got paid to research this stuff. By the time of the Third Reich, he had abandoned any notions of organized religion in his speeches and policies. Catholics were sent to the concentration camps. You are not even making sense. Once again, everything has evil sides to it. In my opinion, anyone who insults the belief system of a person is a bully. Sorry.

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

                  Massive citation needed. All the evidence points to Hitler’s Christianity. Again, read his writings and his speeches.

                  YOU aren’t making any sense, and NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU SAY IT, CRITICIZING A PERSON’S BELIEFS IS NOT BULLYING.

                • bigzach1000

                  Look, what citation would be good enough? I think the article about his faith on Wikipedia is pretty good. Here is an interesting quote:

                  Speer wrote that Hitler would say: “You see it’s been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn’t we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been much more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?”

                  Goebbels thought Hitler was “deeply religious but entirely anti-Christian.” These are the people who knew him. I don’t know of better evidence than that.

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

                  Gott mit uns.

                • baal

                  Christians aren’t being sent to atheist camps or for conversion (to atheist) therapy. Said converted former christians aren’t committing suicide at above standard christian rates. Atheists are trying to get laws passed to have christian funds be sent to atheist orgs.

                  I don’t doubt some christians are made unhappy by the actions of atheists but you need to sort out what’s the loss of an unfair privilege vs actually harmful. Harms you get to complain about.

                • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

                  the “no true Scotsman” fallacy. Bullshit.

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

                  You asked for harm in the US. Thus, I confined myself to harm in the US. I’m glad you admit that religion has done great harm globally, including the two genocides you mentioned.

                  Of course the KKK picking a cross doesn’t mean all Christians are evil. Stop deliberately being obtuse. They were an explicitly Christian organization that did great harm, so it counts as harm Christians have done in the US, but by no means are all Christians (even at the time) KKK members. That would be an absurd statement and is equally an absurd conclusion to draw from what I said.

                  To say that Christianity is wrong, hurtful, and harmful is not bullying. I don’t try to stop anyone from being Christian. I don’t tell them they’re inherently gross or evil. Christians are people; people who believe an immoral set of false things, but far more importantly, people. It is not bullying to call someone factually wrong, nor to point out the great harms caused by their “all-good, necessary for morality” religion.

                • bigzach1000

                  We have also found the Cambrian Explosion, which Darwin spent pages trying to defend against in The Origin of the Species because he knew his theories were majorly flawed.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  Science marches on: http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2013/06/meyers-hopeless-2.html

                  I quote: THE “EXPLOSION” TOOK AT LEAST 30 MILLION YEARS, AND WAS NOT REALLY “INSTANTANEOUS” NOR PARTICULARLY “SUDDEN”

                • bigzach1000

                  Umm, the appearance of shelled animals out of nowhere is pretty sudden.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  That is an artifact of the process of fossilization. Or do you believe that it’s WYSIWYG with fossils, and dinosaur skeletons once roamed the earth? (In non-sarcasmese: softer bits don’t preserve as easily.)

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  The Google search string ‘fossils of soft organisms’ returned http://www.livescience.com/6448-oldest-soft-bodied-marine-fossils-discovered.html as the first hit.

                • bigzach1000

                  “Over the following 70 or 80 million years, the rate of evolution accelerated by an order of magnitude and the diversity of life began to resemble that of today.” Wikipedia.

                  Order of magnitude? There is no room for acceleration like that in Darwin’s slow, consistent notion of evolution, which was a crux of his argument.

                • baal

                  With science, you don’t get to stop at 180 years ago. If we did that, we’d complain about the axel design of buggies instead of appreciating the cars we have today. Really, there are college text books that have all this laid out. It’s on you for being ignorant of actual basic biology.

                • littlezach500

                  You mean I can’t just know everything about the THEORY of evolution by searching for 10 seconds on Wikipedia?

                • baal

                  non-sequitur

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  Or the THEORY of gravity, or germ THEORY, or atomic THEORY, or quantum THEORY. Are you trying to make some silly point with your use of capitalization?

                • baal

                  Hard parts fossilize better than soft parts (which is why we can find dino bones but not dino stomaches). So once hard parts become made, they become fossilized. It would be surprising if they didn’t.

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

                  Evolution has moved past Darwin. Perhaps you should take a gander at the last 150 years of scientific progress?

                • mikaelfivel

                  “Because faith is believing in something without evidence. It’s just sloppy thinking, and that spills over into other parts of people’s thoughts and lives. Sloppy thinking, wishful thinking, faith elevated above evidence; that’s just all-around bad for the person and bad for society as a whole.” You are way off base with that first sentence. Faith is a completely natural response of the human mind when no evidence can be found for a phenomenon. It’s just simply that most people use it as an excuse to not learn something. Scientists use faith everyday, they just hide it better than most.

                  I can’t tell you how many scientists i know that put faith in their beliefs only to watch them fail horribly in the same manner that flat-earthers did. Mt St Helens provided evidence against the generally accepted “fact” that petrified forests take millions of years to form (like those at Yellowstone), when it only took just over 20. Scientists who visited the site and studied the patterns and likenesses couldn’t believe how rapidly it could occur. Read up on Spirit Lake and USGS studies prior to that cataclysmic event with an open mind. Or let your “faith” build your resistance to new ideas.

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

                  The tragedy and sloppy thinking is when it becomes dogma that will not be shaken, no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary. See, the scientists looked at the evidence and were like, holy crap, we were wrong! We should go change our models to account for this phenomenon! Scientists are allowed to be incorrect; the entire enterprise of science assumes people will be wrong sometimes.

                  Religious people look at the evidence and go, nah, I still believe even when the evidence is directly opposed to my belief. To quote a very wise, funny man, “Science adjusts its views based on what’s observed. Faith is the denial of observation so that belief can be preserved”.

                  The problem is you are confusing fideist thinking (which all humans use) with blind faith, which reasonable humans try not to use. Scientists have faith in their models, based on the evidence supporting those models and their prior predictive power, but if the model proves to be wrong they will abandon or fix it. Religious faith is unfalsifiable and thus is believing things without evidence, thus sloppy thinking, thus problematic as previously discussed.

                • mikaelfivel

                  ” See, the scientists looked at the evidence and were like, holy crap, we were wrong! We should go change our models to account for this phenomenon!” Again, this is not the case. Otherwise, science textbooks in every school would have been corrected or at least footnoted by now (and this has not happened). As i stated, there are still swathes Scientists who do not accept the studies of Spirit Lake because they deepened themselves in the presupposition that petrified forests take millions of years to form – much like their counterparts in religion reassure themselves of whatever their religious premises have been telling them for decades.

                  Not all religious people look at evidence and go “Nah, i still believe…”, just as not all scientists look at Spirit Lake and say “wow, i was completely wrong, i think i’ll adopt this new model!” – this comes down to what you already stated, about fideist thinking, but scientists use it just the same (deny it as you might). The issue in both arenas comes down to the individuals. One simply adopts another model of thinking.
                  Getting to brass tacks; people begin to build up their own version of science – and wherever they are at in their journey of life – that forms a belief structure around them(whether they know it or not) wherein they assume that anyone who disagrees with them is “religious”, and those people are dismissed as lower intelligence; “blind faith”. This is a logical and natural phenomenon that happens when people seeking “knowledge” do not balance themselves with understanding and base level logic. This happens to people who are fervent christians just the same as enthusiastic scientists.

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

                  Yeah. We call those religious people who look at evidence and change their minds “atheists”. /snark

                  Of course people get invested in their models and what they think they know. That, too, is human. However, your example doesn’t uphold your thesis. The Spirit Lake petrified trees happened under very specific circumstances (volcanic eruption + highly mineralized water) that just don’t hold for the circumstances we find most petrified trees in. Thus, the model just needed to change a bit to account for this corner case, which is likely exactly what happened. Your argument that scientists just ignore counter-evidence is ridiculous.

                • mikaelfivel

                  “Yeah. We call those religious people who look at evidence and change their minds “atheists”. /snark”

                  This reminds me of christians who call other christians “apostate”. Same snark going there.

                  What happened in Spirit Lake was observable phenomenon not in a lab, studied scientifically – it was everything an aspiring scientist hopes for. The problem i have is the assumption by scientists who don’t accept its model, in the same method you bring up that “it’s just a corner case” – as though that should write it off, and they don’t take this model and attempt to interpret it against other petrified forests. There are plenty of scientists that ignore counter-evidence (this is why there are so many scientific counsels). Usually it goes fairly undetected because they attempt to discredit the source.

                  It’s the same problem many divisions of christianity have with each other, and yet they still fight.

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

                  Uh, they did use it against other petrified forests. There’s one out there somewhere that had the same characteristics and the Mt. St. Helens one- some vertical trees, horizontal trees aligned instead of random, and bark stripping. That one was probably a volcanic eruption too. Other petrified forests do not share these characteristics, so the millions-of-years hypothesis for them remains valid. Is it so shocking to you that scientific models can be mostly right but still wrong on outliers?

                  As for

                  here are plenty of scientists that ignore counter-evidence (this is why there are so many scientific counsels). Usually it goes fairly undetected because they attempt to discredit the source.

                  [citation needed]

                • mikaelfivel

                  I’d need another thread to list the amount of scientists who oppose global warming, and those who support it. Again, this is why publications and counsels exist.

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

                  Do you mean councils?

                • mikaelfivel

                  Yes, apologies for the spelling error. It’s a good thing i’m not an english professor.

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

                  Thanks. I was actually not sure what you meant. I was like, this is why publications and lawyers for scientists exist? That doesn’t make sense … oh wait, I bet I get it! I should double-check, though.

                • mikaelfivel

                  lawyers for scientists could totally exist – they love getting involved in everyone’s business! lol.

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

                  Considering 98% of all climate scientists agree anthropogenic global warming is real, and disagree only on the details (range of 2-7C warming, with most estimates in the 2-4C range), the scientific consensus is actually pretty overwhelming. When even some of the oil company thinktanks agree that AGW is a thing, that’s a settled issue, not a controversial one. We’re down to arguing about the details and what policies should be implemented to do something, not whether it’s happening.

                  Note, those are not easy debates either. I’m just saying the very concept is no longer scientifically controversial, and the only reason it’s politically controversial is some people elevate religion and ideology over facts (*cough*TeaParty*cough*).

                • Max Freeman

                  Perhaps because people with “personal” faith don’t actually keep it to themselves? Perhaps because most christians are incapable or unwilling to just let people be who they are? Perhaps because christians constantly argue for their beliefs to be legally enforced against everybody else’s will? Want some more?

                • YouOldFool

                  Why NOT let people be who they are? Why not let gay people marry from the government’s perspective? Or, why not remove all mention of marriage from our laws/tax codes?

                • bloodgout

                  Know thy enemy, moron.

                • bigzach1000

                  Hmmm, how am I a moron? would you care to explain yourself?

                • mikaelfivel

                  Usually it’s out of fascination, or a desire to learn more about what other people think. It’s a worldliness that usually lends itself to being more aware of other cultures and broadening understanding of other people’s behaviors.

                • Robyn Ryan

                  Know thy enemy.

                • Quasi Hedron

                  Most atheists were at one time part of the religious community, and fervent at that. It is when they saw the real light, photons as they existed, that the truth became real. There is NO evidence whatsoever that anything supernatural exists in this Universe. And then, all the real contradictions and illogical stories in the Christian Bible make themselves clear.

                  For instance, if God is omniscient, he should have known that his first attempt at creating humankind, from the incest of Adam, Eve and their 3 sons, Cain, Abel and Seth, would require him to commit genocide and kill all the people with a great Earth-covering flood. Then, Noah and his family had to commit incest to again re-populate the Earth. Now that is the epitome of NOT being omniscient … a gross contradiction … that there can be nothing supernatural.

                • Geoff Boulton

                  Many atheists were Christians originally. Sorry, I mean were trained as Christians after being born atheists. Reading the bible thoroughly was often a contributing factor in their decision to reject their programming and return to their default factory settings.

                • bloodgout

                  Oh bullshit. You’re just a member of a privileged group that is getting called on it’s centuries of shit. No sympathy, little fella.

                • bigzach1000

                  How do you know what sympathy is? You just got done insulting me and my belief system, for no reason. I didn’t even say anything to you, particularly, yet you felt the need to chime in with something nasty. Why would I feel bad about your opinion?

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

                  Homophobic is an accurate, if mean, term. I haven’t seen anyone here saying Christians are racist- racism and Jim Crow were justified using the Bible, as was slavery, but we’ve mostly moved past that now (well, the overt stuff. Institutional racism is still very much with us, and you’ll note it is conservative Christians who fight hard to keep it that way).

                  “Stupid” and “backwards” for believing in an invisible sky wizard? Gee, I don’t know whyever anyone would use those terms *rollseyes*. Yes, it’s rude and mean. I wouldn’t say that to people, generally, but I’d certainly think similar things. Stupid isn’t actually accurate- brainwashed, ignorant, or intellectually lazy would work better. But backwards? Oh hells yeah. All religion is.

                • bigzach1000

                  Well try telling that to the bishop who got defrocked up in Minnesota because he took a stand supporting gay people. Tell that to a priest that I knew who had a brother die of AIDS. He was the most strict Jesuit priest, but he wrote the most tender poems and recollections about his brother in support of his life and his sexuality. Try telling that to all of the churches who have broken away from their denominations because of this issue, There are some in my hometown. I will be glad to show you. You just don’t want to see that.

                  Just because your brain is closed to the possibilities of the universe, does not mean those who are not so encumbered are stupid. That is your own shortcoming. And if you want to be mean about it, once again, that is your own problem. It seems like you may have an agenda rather than fighting for any kind of equality, because all I have been talking about is being fair. I guess you have a problem with fairness.

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

                  Individual Christians are totally capable of being loving, independent persons. Duh. Like, that’s so obvious it goes without saying. The fact that these people are right about gay equality doesn’t make them any less wrong about religion.

                  Christianity, on the other hand, is total bullshit.

                • bigzach1000

                  Then why insult the individual? Why are you trying to defend such obvious inconsistencies?

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

                  I insulted the group, actually. Christians as-a-whole in the US are homophobic, no matter what individual Christians might think. Christians as-a-whole lead the anti-equality movement, no matter what individual Christians might think. Any one person can be anything, but Christians as-a-group are, in the main, not good people. Is my vision skewed by living in the Bible Belt? Probably. We don’t have nearly as many “nice” Christians here, though they do of course exist.

                  Don’t like it? Change your religion. Make it so the first that that pops to mind when people say “I’m a Christian” isn’t “I’m a Republican, anti-choice, homophobic misogynist”. Reclaim the term ‘Christian’ from the fundamentalist forces that have claimed it. Until you speak to them as angrily and loudly as you do to us, you got nothing.

                • bigzach1000

                  You are prejudiced. You are no better than people who say that all gay people are creepy and gross, which anyone with half a brain knows is just stupid.

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

                  No, ‘cuz Christian homo-hatred is well-documented. To point that out is not “prejudice”.

                • bigzach1000

                  Acceptance by Christians of all people is also well-documented, over centuries. Not just by your decade worth of propaganda and hate speech.

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

                  Christian hate has been going for centuries. The Crusades. The Inquisition. “Civilizing” native peoples at gunpoint. Slavery. Jim Crow. Segregation. I could go on, but my point is clear — Christianity has done more evil than good.

                • bigzach1000

                  How can you blame all of those very complicated issues on one group? How naive are you? You are acting like these people did all of these things based on religion. The Crusades was just as much about corrupt rulers pushing people to gain wealth and land as it was about anything religious. They used religion as the reason for it, yes, but it was about trying to take over territory. The Inquisition was actually a horrible event, but how many people died? 45,000? How many people died at the hands of the faithless leaders of the 20th century (Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, et al) ? About 100m? Slavery? Are you kidding me? The Northerners that played a huge role in abolishing slavery were religious folks. Segregation? Huh? Didn’t that have more to do with racist white people than anything religious? You are crazy.

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

                  Sure, but that racism was justified and backed up using Christianity. Still is, in some places.

                  Point is, your religion isn’t this squeaky-clean deal, man. It’s responsible for so much hate and suffering and death and destruction and sheer rot that any good it might do is woefully inadequate.

                • bigzach1000

                  It isn’t supposed to be squeaky clean. People have “free will” and that causes people to do a bunch of stupid and evil stuff. Everything causes death and suffering. Cars, work, love. People choke to death on gummi bears. Should we attack those, also?

                • Geoff Boulton

                  They also had the ‘free will’ to reject the ‘teachings’. Of course, they didn’t do so because ‘do what I tell you or you’ll rot in hell for all eternity’ isn’t ‘free will’.

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

                  Oh? What is my prejudice against Christians? That they’re homophobic? That often, they’re not-nice because they tell me I’m going to Hell?

                  I don’t think Christians are creepy or gross or inherently anything bad. I think they’re wrong. I think some of them are wronger than others, but they’re all terribly wrong. Is that prejudice, or is it just clear vision?

                • bigzach1000

                  EDITED: It is lumping a huge group of people into one blob (not polyglot), based solely on one aspect of their humanity. That is called being prejudiced.

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

                  I’m lumping people into a polyglot of wrongness? I’m pretty sure if someone’s a Christian, they by definition believe wrong things about the world …

                • bigzach1000

                  You are just being a prejudiced person, but what should we expect from an atheist? Why should anyone try to listen to anyone else when they already have all the answers?

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

                  Prejudiced.

                  You keep using that word.

                  I do not think it means what you think it means.

                • TCC

                  It is lumping a huge group of people into one polyglot

                  Protip: When you use big words, it is helpful to know what they mean.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  Curiously enough, apparently polyglot is also used to describe books which are collections of works from many different languages, such as the Bible. Strangely fitting.

                • bigzach1000

                  Why not debate my point? I used one word incorrectly while taking on like 5 of you at once and that is all you got? Pretty sad.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  You don’t recognize snark when you see it?

                • bigzach1000

                  Thank you for that. Keep in mind I am debating like 5 of your finest minds at one time. I am bound to make one or two mistakes. But you still didn’t debate me on my point, just my mistake.

                • 3lemenope

                  Calling people “stupid”, “backwards”, “racist”, “homophobic”, or “narrow-minded” because they are Christian.

                  Then don’t be these things. Don’t stand next to people who are these things. Don’t defend people who you’re standing next to that are these things. Stop making excuses for these actions and behaviors, and you might actually earn a bit of goodwill from the people who have been on the receiving end of Christian folks who are these things. It’s not *at all* like Christians like this are some rare species, and they are not shy. Stop pretending that they are.

                • Quasi Hedron

                  We have every right to say what we like, or what we don’t like! It is also part of the 1st Amendment … you know that one, where the religious fanatics demanded their “special rights” to worship, believe and discriminate without interference from the law. But as in any such situation, there are limits on the expression of religiosity, the same as with free speech … we cannot yell out “Fire!” in crowded theater unless there is a fire. No one is permitted to incite to riot with our speech.

              • mikaelfivel

                “Saying “this Christian ideology sucks” is bullying now? Saying “this is wrong and hateful” is bullying now? ” By today’s standards, yes. I disagree with publically flaunting any sexuality (straight, gay, doens’t matter), and i don’t agree with homosexuality as it pertains to the human race – not even on “moral” grounds. And yet i can’t tell you how many people have responded to that with calling me bigoted and hateful, or a bully.

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

                  Flaunting? Tell me, do you discuss your wife with your coworkers? Casually mention her in conversation, or talk about your vacations, or a movie you saw together? Hold her hand when you walk down the street? How dare you flaunt your heterosexuality at people? Don’t you know that’s rude? Think of the children!

                  Do you enjoy the tax breaks you get? The mutual health insurance, automatic inheritance, shared property, etc? You never have to worry about being turned away from her bedside at the hospital. Any kids you have don’t need to be adopted by one of you. Heck, even if you do adopt, you can be sure adoption agencies will accept you two as a couple. It’s not ‘flaunting’ anything to demand equal rights as everyone else. If you are against government recognition of gay marriage and gay equality, then yes, you are bigoted. If you actively work against gay marriage and gay equality, you are hateful. If you tell people to their faces that you think they’re gross, immoral, or going to Hell for being gay, you are a bully.*

                  *Note all the ifs. If you’re not married, imagine you were. Empathy, that’s the ticket! Imagine how nice it would be to have all those things, then imagine you weren’t allowed to have them while your friends and coworkers took them for granted. Also, if you don’t do/say/believe the things at the end, those labels don’t apply to you.

                • mikaelfivel

                  I can tell you’re deeply attached to this topic, and that no matter what i say, you’re going to disagree and won’t change – this is logical. Before you read the rest of my post, understand that at the core of life, we are free to disagree and we will both die regardless of what each other thinks. Better now?

                  There is a world of difference between discussing a wife at work, and dressing up like a penis in a parade to celebrate how gay a person is. This is the flaunting i refer to. I have no problem with gay people, and i work and spend time with many friends who are gay, talking about relationship issues with their boyfriends/girlfriends. If you can’t mature past a point where you realize not everyone will agree with you (as my friends realize i don’t agree with the legality and they are perfectly fine being my friend), then you have some navel gazing to do. Likewise, i am equally annoyed with teenage couples making out in movie theaters or on the bus next to me as i commute home. It is rude. There is an appropriate time and place for things.

                  I do not actually get much of anything in the way of tax breaks for being married. In fact, most people don’t realize it, and it’s referred to as a “marriage penalty” when your tax bracket is elevated due to dual income in a single household – you have to end up paying more this way. For your information, my family attempted to adopt my cousin when she was three years old – she was born to my aunt, and her boyfriend (who’s a black american), but the state told us that we couldn’t because she was half black and needed to be in a household of greater mixed race so they would better “empathize” with her condition.

                  I disagree with homosexual marriage as it refers to legality, i have no problem with gay people – i’ve spent my life around them. This is another discussion. If i were to tell them i found them disgusting, and against my religion – THAT is bigoted. I do not assume everyone agrees with me, so i do not force my beliefs on them.

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

                  Ok, yeah, a lot of gay parades are tacky. I like the spectacle, and especially the fact that people feel free and safe enough to put on the parade, but I definitely understand not liking it.

                  The rest of it though? You’re right, we’re going to disagree. I just don’t agree that we can agree to disagree- clearly I won’t change your mind, but this is more important than a mere matter of opinion that we can just shrug about. Why is a gay or lesbian couple less worthy of marriage than you are? Because the Bible said so? That’s not a reason that government can ever use to do anything. I understand that you don’t like gay marriage, and that’s fine. You don’t have to like it. What I don’t understand is why you think your religious opinion should impact government policy. I’m not being snarky here- I really don’t get it. Can you explain it?

                • mikaelfivel

                  I appreciate you asking, and being open to the discussion. It’s not a matter of not liking gay marriage. I have no problem with a concept of longterm homosexual partnerships that mirror the exact rights/benefits a traditional marriage receives – states like Washington have had domestic partnerships that work well (although they could be extended). It’s a legal matter that reaches back millenia. It has nothing to do with the bible – in fact, the bible merely records and enforces the marital norms that society has embraced throughout history, and long before christianity existed. Please understand my not agreeing is not on religious opinion. The redefinition of a societal bracket, such as a relationship is patently dangerous.

                  To date, i can think of a current society that redefined this exact relationship, with undesirable outcome: Canada. When it redefined the bracket of marriage, it proved that if you legalize gay marriage to include same sex partners, you have competing choice in the same relationship – one of which will always remain “bigoted”. It’s a logical fallacy to have one definition with two outcomes without one being ‘inferior’. They have to be distinct. What followed soon after was the acceptance of pedophilic relationships on the same grounds that gay marriage proponents railed against traditional marriage; “it’s bigoted not to”. Call it the slippery slope, but in this very case, it logically worked out exactly as predicted.

                • 3lemenope

                  It’s a logical fallacy to have one definition with two outcomes without one being ‘inferior’.

                  This makes no sense at all. Logic does not require such a result, and neither does reality.

                  What followed soon after was the acceptance of pedophilic relationships on the same grounds that gay marriage proponents railed against traditional marriage; “it’s bigoted not to”.

                  Canadian society does not accept pedophilic relationships. Where are you coming up with this stuff?

                • mikaelfivel

                  “This makes no sense at all. Logic does not require such a result, and neither does reality.”

                  I’m sorry if you don’t understand it. It doesn’t change the fact that it’s true.

                  “Canadian society does not accept pedophilic relationships. Where are you coming up with this stuff?”

                  If you’re not aware this happens, i implore you keep digging. Nambla’s a start. It’s the same thing happening with polyamorous and polygamous relationships.

                • 3lemenope

                  I’m sorry if you don’t understand it. It doesn’t change the fact that it’s true.

                  Uh, no. I understood the claim just fine, and have significant familiarity (verging on expertise) with deductive, inductive, and abductive logical approaches. When I say logic doesn’t demand what you claimed it demands, I mean just that; it’s a claim utterly without foundation. You just deflecting (it turns out very unluckily for you) onto a suggestion that I don’t know what you’re talking about gets you exactly nowhere.

                  Try again.

                  If you’re not aware this happens, i implore you keep digging. Nambla’s a start. It’s the same thing happening with polyamorous and polygamous relationships.

                  NAMBLA is defunct, and has been for nearly a decade. Try updating your talking points.

                • mikaelfivel

                  “You just deflecting (it turns out very unluckily for you) onto a suggestion that I don’t know what you’re talking about gets you exactly nowhere.”

                  Again, i challenge you to show me how you would have the legalization of gay and traditional marriages in the same definition without one being inferior or bigoted. Such has not existed. One always gets relegated. The state will be forced to prosecute on these grounds, and cases have already entered courts because of it. Gay marriage attempts to show that opposition is bigoted or hateful, yet attempts to include itself into a naturally exclusive relationship (in the same way two brothers supporting each other, raising a child is not a marriage), all the while prefixing itself to something it is not a part of. Tell me this is logical.

                  “Try again” – take your arrogance somewhere else, please.

                • 3lemenope

                  The big problem with this conversation is that all your premises are based on fact that…aren’t. Until that gets remedied, it does not matter how sound or not your thought process is; logic is a GIGO machine.

                • mikaelfivel

                  I can say you’re wrong, too, but until either of our current statements are proven, it’s just empty assertion. Until THAT gets remedied, you don’t really need to respond. Meanwhile, what i challenged you with remains addressable.

                • 3lemenope

                  “Try again” – take your arrogance somewhere else, please.

                  It is not arrogance to know what one knows and know that one knows it. Next time don’t speculate without grounds on the knowledge level of your conversation partner, and you’ll avoid embarrassment.

                  Again, i challenge you to show me how you would have the legalization of gay and traditional marriages in the same definition without one being inferior or bigoted.

                  Marriage licences shall be made available to any pair of consenting adults who can show to the satisfaction of the state they are not already entered into a marriage.

                  Ta da!

                  Tell me this is logical.

                  This is logical.

                • mikaelfivel

                  “Marriage licences shall be made available to any pair of consenting adults who can show to the satisfaction of the state they are not already entered into a marriage.

                  Ta da!”

                  What’s your legal protection against inter-family marriage? I’m asking honestly that you consider any outcomes. The issue secondly is that gay marriage, still, contends that traditional marriage is bigoted – and when the two coexist in the same definition, what protections lie for either relationship for constitutionally granted freedoms?

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

                  NAMBLA is an American (US) organization. They’re marginalized and ridiculed for a reason- children cannot consent to sex. Nice try, though.

                  As for polyamorous relationships (polygamy is a subset of polyamory, there’s no reason to list both), what’s wrong with them? As long as everyone is a consenting adult, there’s no ethical problems. Legal issues probably preclude official recognition any time soon, but why do they bother you morally?

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

                  What 3lemenope said. I was typing and it showed up in the middle of my probably-too-verbose response.

                  A marriage is a civil contract between two consenting adults to join their monetary assets and support each other. They also assume responsibility for each other’s children and/or joint children. There’s also a giant pile of privileges that goes along with being married. Why do the two people signing this civil contract have to be of opposite sexes, and why does it count as a radical redefinition of marriage to say that two same-sex people can sign this contract?

                • mikaelfivel

                  “A marriage is a civil contract between two consenting adults to join their monetary assets and support each other.” Insofar as it’s not redefined…

                  ” There’s also a giant pile of privileges that goes along with being married.”

                  Again, i have no problem with same sex relationships in a domestic partnership having every exact mirrored right/benefit.

                  “Why do the two people signing this civil contract have to be of opposite sexes, and why does it count as a radical redefinition of marriage to say that two same-sex people can sign this contract?”

                  The state has a vested interest in offspring, as does society (offspring perpetuate ongoing society). This is why, as basic as it is. Nobody said anything about “radical redefinition”, it’s just a redefinition. Why can’t a man and multiple women enter into the same contract? Why not redefine marriage for polygamy and polyarmory? When you seek to redefine a societal bracket, it has to be considered.

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

                  I see no ethical reason not to redefine marriage to include polyamory. The legal repercussions would be really hard, though, so I understand not wanting to deal with it. How would we deal with one person leaving the group? What if the group splits up entirely? What if a 4-group splits into two 2-groups? The legal complexities are mind-boggling.

                  If society’s interest is offspring, why do we allow infertile people to marry? Or old people? Or people who never intend to have children? Marriage is clearly much, much more than just a method of encouraging baby-making. Besides, gay people can have children and they can adopt. Many do. If the state truly wants to encourage offspring through marriage, it should extend it to as many people as possible.

                • mikaelfivel

                  In almost all cases, married couples don’t know they’re infertile. We have made ourselves think marriage is more than encouraging babymaking, but if we were to really get down to it, that’s always been the goal. Child rearing comes down to complementing sexes in a conjugal relationship, which is why the definition has stood up over history. Just because we have methods of working around this doesn’t invalidate it. Legal binding contracts were intended to prevent divorce and retain monogamy, since sociology has proven time and time again that the chances of children being productive members of society outside of a nuclear household are slim. We have victory cases, absolutely, but this is not majority.

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

                  The sexes are not complementary in any meaningful way. Men and women both have an amazing array of traits- the differences between just women or just men are bigger than the differences between men and women, and that’s with our society telling us what men and women “should” be like. Imagine if we didn’t have that acculturation- I bet the expression of personality traits would be nearly indistinguishable between men and women, boys and girls.

                  Cultures don’t always have monogamy or even dual-parent arrangements- polygamy was common, polyandry rare but present, serial monogamy common, encouraged but not enforced pair-bonding existent. Most often women have charge of child-raising, but cultures exist that hand children off to men as soon as they are weaned because men were seen as more nurturing. There are tons of human familial arrangements that do not involve male/female monogamous pairs, yet somehow manage to produce and raise healthy children. Children raised by gay and lesbian couples, especially, do just as well or better than children of heterosexual couples, because all children of gay couples are planned and wanted. The chance of children being productive members of society outside a nuclear family (though I’m not sure why nuclear isn’t defined as two parents + children, which includes gay and lesbian couples) is really damned high, taking socio-economic status into account. How dare you dis the children of single mothers, single fathers, widows and widowers? Do you have any idea how many people that is in the US? Hint: it’s a lot. It’s an even higher percentage of the population in some of the Nordic countries, and they’re doing just fine.

                • mikaelfivel

                  “Imagine if we didn’t have that acculturation- I bet the expression of personality traits would be nearly indistinguishable between men and women, boys and girls. ”

                  Imagining is all you can do, because any society that has taken complete gender nutrality to those extremes, including homosexual marriage has either never existed or died off. Meanwhile, societies that have defined societal norms that are adhered to still survive.

                  “There are tons of human familial arrangements that do not involve male/female monogamous pairs, yet somehow manage to produce and raise healthy children.”

                  Please give me an example.

                  “Children raised by gay and lesbian couples, especially, do just as well or better than children of heterosexual couples, because all children of gay couples are planned and wanted.”

                  That’s heavy assertion, given that there exist plenty of homosexual couples with children brought in from prior relationships that don’t accept their newer familial makeup. “All” is a really strong term.

                  “How dare you dis the children of single mothers, single fathers, widows and widowers? Do you have any idea how many people that is in the US? Hint: it’s a lot.”

                  I’m not “dis”ing anyone. Some of my best friends are children of single parents who were widowers themselves. This does not discredit anything i’ve said, though. Do you have any idea how many children are born to women and girls who aren’t even in a relationship? It’s a statistical and sociological fact that children born outside of a nuclear mother/father household fair worse than those born to nuclear wedlock families.

                  You can’t compare “homosexual marriages bringing up children just as successfully” against this just yet mostly because the sample sizes are significantly smaller and will be several years before current methods can accurately capture enough data to fairly judge the family’s upbringing. Regnerus’ study was a good start to get the fire going. Livescience attempted to discredit it but didn’t cite enough sources, yet they did agree with what i said about there not being enough data to accurate compare.

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

                  Sweden seems to be doing pretty good. Same for Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, and many other Nordic countries that are doing their damnedest to get rid of gender stereotypes. Severe gender stereotyping exists in such places as Saudi Arabia; they’re doing much less fine because they’re wasting the talents of half the population and wasting resources oppressing said people instead of using that money and time and preaching effort for anything constructive.

                  It’s a statistical and sociological fact that children born outside of a nuclear mother/father household fair worse than those born to nuclear wedlock families.

                  No, it’s a statistical fact that poor children have worse outcomes than richer ones. Children of wealthy single parents do just fine; it’s the poverty, not the single parenthood, that’s the issue. Take our pathetic safety net, shore it up, throw money at education, and children of single parents will be doing as well here as they do in Europe.

                  As for gay families- we’ve had two generations now, which is more than most sociological studies. Every major medical association in the US acknowledges that gay parents are fine parents because every single valid study confirms it. The Regnerus study has been thoroughly torn apart, to the point where a reviewer actually said Regnerus disgraced himself. From an interview between Darren Sherkat, who audited the Regnerus study, and the SPLC:

                  Isn’t a key criticism also that the study doesn’t actually address children growing up in households of self-identified LGBT parents?

                  The key measure of gay and lesbian parenting is simply a farce. The study includes a retrospective question asking if people knew if their mother or father had a “romantic” relationship with someone of the same sex when the respondent was under age 18. This measure is problematic on many levels.

                  Regnerus admits that just two of his respondents were actually raised by a same-sex couple, though I doubt that he can even know that, given his limited data. Since only two respondents were actually raised in gay or lesbian households, this study has absolutely nothing to say about gay parenting outcomes. Indeed, because it is a non-random sample, this study has nothing to say about anything. (emphasis mine)

                  Here’s just a few sources talking about Regnerus and how fucked up his study was:
                  http://www.bilerico.com/2013/05/chief_reviewer_repudiates_regnerus_study.php
                  http://chronicle.com/blogs/percolator/controversial-gay-parenting-study-is-severely-flawed-journals-audit-finds/30255
                  http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jun/13/opinion/la-oe-frank-same-sex-regnerus-family-20120613

                • baal

                  “domestic partnership having every exact mirrored right/benefit”
                  How long until separate is no longer equal? Do you think the (R) legislatures in the U.S. wouldn’t start eroding the domestic partner benefits left and right (hint they already do)?

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

                  [Citation Needed]

                  Canada does not recognise “pedophilic relationships”.

                • baal

                  “the bible merely records and enforces the marital norms that society has embraced throughout history”
                  That book is flying around doing that? Also, go wiki marriage. This nuclear family thing is fairly new to about the 1950s. The only thing the bible codifies are the beliefs of some late bronze age middle east tribes. Modern christianity hardly even looks like the worship of even 200 years ago.

            • heteroxalstalker

              I make no disclaimers. I think anybody who believes in Christianity or Santa Clause or the tooth fairy or any other silly myth is just an idiot. They have the right to believe it, but don’t tell me you are being discriminated against because people laugh at you. That isn’t discrimination it is the rest of us not being delusional.

              • bigzach1000

                Well, I think that people who believe that they have the brain capacity to understand all of the mysteries of the universe are arrogant and foolish. You have a right to believe that you have enough information to make an informed decision about this; but, you truly do not have that information. No one does. And that attitude strikes me as delusional. You can try to debate me on this. But, you will lose. Atheism is the un-winnable argument.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Funny how you had to change the subject once you saw that you were losing.

                  Don’t pretend to have magical debate powers that overcome the simple concept of “There is no more argument to believe in a god than there is to believe in Tinkerbell.” You aren’t fooling anyone by puffing up.

                • bigzach1000

                  Well, I don’t believe that Tinkerbell changed my life for the better several years ago. Back when I was an atheist and had no direction or moral compass. That was God who did that. I can’t speak about what you believe in and how Tinkerbell fits into that, but thanks for your opinion.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  If you had no direction or moral compass “back then”, that was a problem with you, not atheism. Your intended slur is based in ignorance of how morals and ethics work.

                  You’ve either completely missed the point about gods and Tinkerbell, and thus are not even within viewing range of being able to say,”You can try to debate me on this. But, you will lose,” or you’re intentionally dodging it. Given your previous evasion, I consider either possibility equally likely.

                • bigzach1000

                  I love this sort of logic. You are clearly the type of person who thinks that if they say something enough times that it will come true. I didn’t avoid anything. You just want to say that because you have nothing real to say. Ask me a question, instead of chiming in like you have something valid to say, because I haven’t read anything like that out of you.

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

                  *grooms her fur in the shiny, shiny mirror.*

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  “Back when I was an atheist and had no direction or moral compass.”

                  Okay. So you were an ass when you were an atheist. That says more about you than it says about atheism. Want to know what drives me? The knowledge that one day, I will be dead, and the desire that, on my deathbed, I can say that the world is better because I existed.

                • bigzach1000

                  No… I had no goals or no idea why I should keep trying to do things the way I had been. I didn’t say I was an ass. I was still nice to people. I am glad that you have your own belief about your purpose. More power to you.

                • ThePaladin

                  Physics PhD here.

                  Not only have you been wrong on every single scientific count so far that I have seen but you were also wrong on Hitler being an atheist (the man was as Catholic as they come) and on Pascal’s wager. Your arguments for irreducible complexity ignore that complex systems do form spontaneously, perfectly naturally and then vanish, spontaneously and perfectly naturally when certain conditions are met.

                  The history of abuses of Christianity stretches back throughout its entire existence. It has subverted pagan rituals for its festivals after sanitizing them. Half of Catholicism’s saints are just old gods and goddesses from conquered religions. If it were published in a journal it’d be taken down for plagiarism.

                  Both you and I know that there’s nothing behind it so why pretend otherwise? Why offer it any more respect than scientology. Some third of people reckon they’ve seen a ghost in Britain but do I give them the time of day? Of course not. It’s nonsense.
                  As for not having a moral compass, the moral compass I live by predates Christianity by some two thousand years. It’s called The Golden Rule and may even be the result of evolution itself.

                • bigzach1000

                  And also, I am not quite sure how I am losing the debate. That person was claiming my belief system was “delusional” and I rebutted that I thought that his or her belief system was “delusional.” I think that is a pretty fair rebuttal of a statement, not “losing.” Perhaps you would like to address the issues at hand instead of dancing around the topic and pretending that you are smart?

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  You claimed that Christians were being persecuted and bullied. You were refuted in that being called mean names for bad behavior is neither persecution nor bullying. You then changed the subject.

                  Perhaps you would like to address the issues at hand instead of dancing around the topic and pretending that you are smart?*

                  *Interesting quote. Someone’s got insecurities…

                • bigzach1000

                  Well, the person changed the subject and I wanted to address that. Would you like to talk about persecution? Christians around the world are being killed for their beliefs right now and no one ever talks about that. Yet, we get a bunch of liberals rehashing a 40 year old story about a tragedy like it is so relevant. Yeah… makes sense to me.

                • sinmantyx

                  Wait – NOBODY talks about that?

                  Trust me there are very large Christian organizations that talk about that all the time – which they should.

                  But do you know what they actually don’t talk about?

                  That gays around the world are imprisoned, tortured, killed, “raped straight”, and YOU COULD FUCKING CARE LESS.

                  Do you know how I know that – you just said what you just said completey un-fucking-ironically.

                  And that’s why this story of these men who were killed and people joked about it, only 40 years ago, is incredibly and painfully relevant.

                • bigzach1000

                  Sorry, but events that are happening now are more relevant than something that happened 40 years ago, and that is all I meant. It is just a fact. I wasn’t trying to belittle that story. It was a horrible story and no one deserved that. And for you to assume I don’t care about gay people being tortured is just in line with the giant assumptions that people just love to make. Did you ask me if I care about that stuff?

                • sinmantyx

                  So – HEY – you know what’s going on about group X – this bad thing is happening. Complain that it isn’t getting enough attention.

                  Stop trotting out something bad that happened to group Y.

                  I’m just going to ignore that the bad things happening to group X is ALSO happening to group Y – just 10 times worse.

                  Of course you are going to say, “YES – I care – fuzzy bunny kittens.” Just ignore that I accused “liberals” of daring to give a shit about dead gays, said that Christian persecution is never talked about even though it is, and ignored that fact that current persecution of gays and gender queer people is much more wide spread and much worse and only in the last ten years or so does anyone care and the persecution of gays has been absent from history books because certain Christian groups don’t want public schools to acknowledge that gay people exist.

                  If the point you just say you were trying to make is the one you wanted to make it would have been:

                  Why aren’t we talking about the anti-gay legislation gaining ground in Russia or refugee status for gays living in countries where homosexual activity is criminalized or the “corrective” camps for lesbians in Central America where they are systematically raped.

                  That’s sort of what “current events matter more” looks like.

                • baal

                  “happened 40 years ago” and yet you treat darwin (which you stil get wrong) as a current scientist.

                • bigzach1000

                  Ask me a question, or shut up.

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

                  belief in an invisible sky-daddy with anger issues is, in fact, delusional.

                • bigzach1000

                  Where did we come from?

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  It doesn’t matter how we respond to that, because you’ve already said in another post that you consider science a form of brainwashing. So first, tell us what criteria you’d want in an answer.

                • bigzach1000

                  Who cares what I said? I asked someone their opinion. Now someone’s prior statements need to be scrutinized before someone can ask questions? What kind of world do you think this is?

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  For communication to be possible, all parties involved have to agree upon the conventions. Otherwise, we’ll be talking past each other. You have indicated that you don’t seem to hold to conventions held by many atheists, so I’m trying to see if we have any common point of reference to use as a basis for communication.

                • bigzach1000

                  Well, I wanted to understand that person’s conventions. How else can I do that without asking questions?

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  Ask all the questions you want. I’m calling you out for stating that theoretical science is a form of brainwashing.

                • bigzach1000

                  Ohh goody. Where do I start? I was visiting with a physicist last month about the Higgs Bosun and he was telling me, with all seriousness, that scientists have been lying to the people about Newton’s laws because of this wonderful new data that came from the supercollider in Europe. Mind you, there is no physical evidence to back this up, other than part of a theory being justified. So, this fully trained doctor is willing to say that scientific laws, the most ironclad concept in science, are now LIES because of one theory being partially proven by a machine that is now shut down for cleaning for two years. No scientist can duplicate the experiments because it is the only machine on earth that can do that. The collider in Chicago can’t reach those speeds because it is too small. If you want to throw the cornerstones of science, observation and reproduciblity out the window to arrive at your understanding of the universe, go right ahead.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  http://chem.tufts.edu/answersinscience/relativityofwrong.htm

                  Edit: It’s an essay, written by Isaac Asimov, titled The Relativity of Wrong. I’m of the opinion that it should be made required reading in high school science.

                • bigzach1000

                  I get that. But we are talking about LAWS here. Scientific laws are supposed to be unshakable unless there is grave evidence pointing in the other direction. And even that has to be observed many, many times over years before that can be changed. My point is this: humans have gotten so arrogant in their discoveries, that some lay people and even scientists, such as my physicist friend, just believe anything they are told without even observing any of it for themselves, not to mention stopping to ask if the new information has passed the scrutiny of the Scientific Method. That is dangerous territory.

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

                  Oh FFS. Scientific laws are scientific theories++, and they do have piles of evidence behind them.

                  A lot of stuff having to do with the universe now is still very unknown. It’s far away and we have limited tools by which to view it, or it’s super tiny, or it only lasts a fraction of a second so it’s hard to get observations. However, a lot of the collider experiments are in the nature of proofing- a set of theories makes sense and has worked so far, so let’s test it under conditions we’ve never been able to test it so far! And when the tests come back as “yep, that theory seems solid still”, no one is shocked.

                • bigzach1000

                  You didn’t even make a point. I stated that laws can be changed, which makes them a theory, in a sense, but a theory that has passed tremendous rigor and should not be questioned without OBSERVATION and REPRODUCTION, neither of which is possible right now. So, for my scientist friend to say those things was quite stupid.

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

                  Um, we are observing and reproducing. Right now. In all sorts of ways. What do you think the telescopes and colliders are for? Multi-billion dollar toys?

                • bigzach1000

                  Did you not read what I said? The Large Hadron collider was shut down for two years “for cleaning” immediately after the latest series of results was announced. That is the only machine that can duplicate those results. So, now these scientists get to rest on their laurels for two years without anyone even being able to question them. Pretty nice gig!

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  The results can be tested for theoretical consistency. If an error produced consistent results, that would be quite a coincidence. There are plenty of ways to test a result; just because the machine’s down doesn’t mean the physicists’ reputations aren’t on the line.

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

                  And those results are considered preliminary results until further confirmed. That’s how science works. I’m sure the scientists would much rather be running new tests than analyzing older data, no matter how fascinating. Things they are most certainly not doing include “resting on their laurels” or assuming that their initial results were correct.

                • bigzach1000

                  In the very least, they were being sloppy and irresponsible by announcing preliminary results without allowing anyone to reproduce their findings. All I am saying is that if many, many people cannot observe it and if it cannot be reproduced many times over, by several groups, it is not a scientific law. It is a theory and theories cannot supplant scientific laws.

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

                  No one is trying to use those results to supplant any scientific laws! What are you even talking about?

                • bigzach1000

                  Once again, you didn’t read what I originally said… I was talking about a particular physicist I know who said that scientists were lying and that Newton’s laws were bullshit because of the new theories from the collider.

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

                  So because one person was wrong about things, all science is wrong forever? I’m not understanding your argument.

                • bigzach1000

                  No, I was using him as an example of how educated people believe a bunch of unproven hogwash and then spread their misinformation around like they know exactly what they are talking about, in turn, brainwashing gullible people who trust them because they have a PhD or something.

                • TCC

                  No, I was using him as an example of how uneducated people believe a bunch of unproven hogwash and then spread their misinformation around like they know exactly what they are talking about, in turn, brainwashing gullible people who trust them because they have a PhD run a ministry or something.

                  FTFY.

                • bigzach1000

                  At least religious people know that their faith cannot be proven. People who believe in the “religion of science” believe that their faith-based beliefs are based on reasoning.

                • TCC

                  Unfortunately, most religious people believe that their faith cannot be disproven, which I would venture is worse. And no, science is not religious or faith-based. Nice try.

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

                  The plural of anecdote is not data, but I will say that the most smugly certain people I’ve ever met were religious, while atheists/agnostics in general are far more comfortable with “I don’t know”. Science isn’t a religion, it’s a method, and your other posts have demonstrated that you know that. Why are you throwing around stupid catch-phrases that you know are wrong?

                • bigzach1000

                  This is all my opinion. Around 1900, the scientific community got a little cocky with some of the successes in medicine and technology that were aided by theories. Then they started putting too much weight into theories that were not yet adequately tested out. They started to get huge press about this stuff and people started believing anything they were told about science. Most people who couldn’t even tell you what a microscope was believed anything that was printed. And that mentality has built up over time. Now, a scientist can tell you that the moon is made of solid gold because he has run some numbers into a computer and half of the population will believe it, even though none of them has seen a shred of evidence to back it up. How is that any different than what you claim religion is?

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

                  People are gullible. That does not make science a poor method of understanding the world, it means people don’t understand science. Stop dissing science and start educating people, and your problem ceases to exist.

                • Lolie

                  They know their faith cannot be proven and yet that use it to devastating effect the world over.

                • baal

                  ” brainwashing gullible people who trust them because” they have a divinity degree? (hear voices in their head?)

                • sinmantyx

                  That’s really stupid.

                  (Normally I would be more diplomatic – but you sort of pissed me off earlier.)

                  Newton’s Laws are only predictive within the classical limit – they are ancient history as far as theory is concerned.

                  All the observations so far have fit the General Theory of Relativity and the Standard Model – we’re essentially just working on revising that and figuring out gravity.

                • bigzach1000

                  Wow… so you suggest that we have thrown out millennia of scientific reasoning because we arrived at a new way of thinking within the past 20 years are so? I don’t agree with that. Science did not “die” and “start over” because of the String Theory. That is just naive.

                • TCC

                  In what universe does what you wrote resemble what sinmantyx said? It’s not this one, I assure you.

                • bigzach1000

                  “Newton’s Laws are only predictive within the classical limit – they are ancient history as far as theory is concerned.” Do you want me to draw you a diagram?

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  Newton’s Laws are still used by engineers when we don’t have to worry about relativistic effects. However, they’re understood as an approximation to reality. Do I have to link you to Asimov again?

                • TCC

                  That doesn’t entail “throw[ing] out millennia of scientific reasoning”; it isn’t a conclusion that was derived “within the past 20 years”; and it doesn’t have anything to do with string (M) theory.

                • Rain

                  Yes the scientists are resting on their laurels, nobody is questioning them, and we’re all being brainwashed by them.

                • bigzach1000

                  Not all of us! Thank God! I don’t think they are totally full of crap, I just think they are irresponsible and they do end up brainwashing some people because of the weight of their degrees or titles.

                • Rain

                  I would blame sensationalist journalists more than I would blame the actual scientists, lol.

                • bigzach1000

                  I blame all of them. It is all a con game. It is exactly what atheists claim religion is. In reality, religion is the most free thing we have. No one can tell you what to think or believe. If some priest or rabbi changes your mind, more power to you, but, in my opinion, that is not true faith. I could be wrong, but I have no idea bout that.

                • Rain

                  In reality, religion is the most free thing we have. No one can tell you what to think or believe.

                  That’s a little deceptive, because really it can be a free thing. But also more commonly, religious authorities do in fact tell others what to think or believe, or indeed how to behave. But yeah since no evidence or logic is needed at all, then it can be a totally free thingy. I used to say it’s like Burger King, where you can “have it your way”, except you can even have it both ways if you want to, or if you get stuck in a contradiction. You can hold the pickles and the lettuce, plus you can have the pickles and the lettuce too.

                  EDIT: Although they do charge you for the extra cheese.

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

                  +1 for the burger analogy. Mmmmm…. hamurgers…. *aghaghagh*

                • baal

                  ” It is all a con game.” And yet it’s good enough to make that computer you’re typing on.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  There is, in physics, something known as the correspondence principle. Technically, it’s part of quantum mechanics, but I use it in a larger sense. It goes as thus: if we repeat old experiments in the new framework, the results should be such that a larger margin of error explains the old results, but a smaller margin of error rules out the old explanation. Thus, laws aren’t rejected, but transformed. In fact, a common section in any intro relativity book discusses how the Second Law changes in SR; it should be noted the first law is simply a special case of the second law.

                  However, I have heard there is no correspondence principle for quantum field theory (the synthesis of classical QM and special relativity).

                • bigzach1000

                  Thank you for some real information. I just believe that we need to be more careful about accepting new theories without being able to fully push them through the rigors of the Scientific Method and if we do not have the ability to do so right now, these theories should be placed into the category of “un-testable”, not “this sorta works for now and since this field of science is so new, let’s just sorta piece it together and claim success.” That is stupid.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  Um, physics has gotten so complicated that we *can’t* reproduce every single experiment. Also, “This sorta works for now” *is* how science works; lack of certainty is built into science by the requirement that all* results be testable.

                  Also, I don’t think you quite understand what a scientific law is.

                  * Now, we cannot ever observe, say, the so-called “virtual” photons, so why do physicists talk about them? Because they result mathematically from a framework which is testable.

                • bigzach1000

                  I think I understand a law. I have studied science. It is basically a phenomenon that has been proven many times over and over by observation, usually in daily life. Almost beyond question, but since there are no certainties in science, we cannot just assume that laws are absolute, but it is as close as we can come.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  Okay, so you do understand what a law is. However, that raises a bigger question: how someone who wrote, “but since there are no certainties in science,” can be so shocked that results in science might have to get updated.

                • bigzach1000

                  I am saying it is sloppy to replace a scientific law with a theory. That is like exchanging a car for a picture of a car.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  Ah, I see. you don’t understand what a scientific *theory* is.

                • bigzach1000

                  Nice try… it is pretty much the same thing as a law, but it has not been proven as strongly over time and has not been accepted as readily by the scientific community. There still may some serious questions that have not been answered about theories, but they have been shown to be consistent through experimentation, etc.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                  That’s a hypothesis, not a theory. A theory is a framework; a law is much more limited. So, for instance, you can have Hooke’s law, which was generalized into the ideal gas law PV = nRT, which was modified for non-ideal gases, P(V-b) = n(R-a)T, if I remember correctly. The principle used to understand why these laws work? Atomic *theory*, which is used to explain many other laws, as well. And atomic theory was modified into quantum theory, which (as I mentioned above) was modified into quantum field theory. Each step along the way, explaining more and more laws.

                • bigzach1000

                  Well, I think you are arguing semantics at this point. But you seem to know what you are talking about, so I will take your word for it.

                • baal

                  ” It is basically a phenomenon that has been proven many times over and over by observation, usually in daily life”

                  No, science is a process for knowing facts about the real world and making useful models of the real word. Very little science (well usefull stuff anyway) is done by sitting on the park bench watching the repeated daily observations.

                • baal

                  so Zach, you found an apologists website and are just ticking down the list of ‘hard questions’ for atheists? You do know that’s trolling and while you provide some entertainment, it comes across a little like you’re trying to distract folks from the OP.

                • Rain

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Large_Hadron_Collider

                  CERN originally planned that the LHC would run through to the end of 2012, with a short break at the end of 2011 to allow for an increase in beam energy from 3.5 to 4 TeV per beam.[19] At the end of 2012 the LHC would be shut down until around 2015 to allow upgrade to a planned beam energy of 7 TeV per beam.[20] In late 2012, in light of the July 2012 discovery of a new particle, the shutdown was postponed for some weeks into early 2013, to allow additional data to be obtained prior to shutdown.

                  Did your scientist friend say it was “shutdown for cleaning”? Also, what did the friend specifically say scientists are lying about? Why didn’t the scientist friend say they’ve been “lying” ever since Einstein? The friend seems a little behind the times.

                • bigzach1000

                  Yeah, that is why I was so upset about the whole thing. He has bad ideas about science.

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

                  Technically, it’s the Higgs boson. A bosun is a contraction of a boatswain, and is the disciplinarian on a ship.

                  I only know this because I’m running the a pirate-themed D&D game right now :).

                • bigzach1000

                  You are right. Thank you for correcting me.

                • Regin87

                  That is exactly the mentality that lead to Gallileo’s conviction by the Inquisition. Changing a theory based on evidence is what science is all about; and it is exactly what you refuse to do when it comes to your “beliefs”.

                • bigzach1000

                  Don’t you dare compare a real scientist like Galileo with some of these buffoons who pretend to be scientists today. He used OBSERVATION and REPRODUCIBLITY to back up his experiments, not a bunch of numbers printed off on a sheet.

                • Regin87

                  I’m not comparing Galileo to anything. I’m comparing your mentality to that of the Inquistion at the time of Galileo’s conviction.

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

                  Star-stuff.

                • bigzach1000

                  Where did the star stuff come from?

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

                  It always has been, as time started when the Universe “started” — what “pushed the button”, I don’t know, but all evidence points to 100% natural processes.

                  No gods required.

                • bigzach1000

                  I think you are right about not knowing what pushed the button. You can admit that you do not have all of the answers. So how can you say with certainty that an intelligent force didn’t create it? You can’t. You are making an enormous assumption based on faith, which is the same thing as religion.

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

                  Actually, it says that energy can be neither created nor destroyed in the universe. We don’t know what things were like before the Big Bang- nary a clue. We are bound by our universe, which granted is really freaking big.

                  How is saying “we don’t know” morally inferior to saying “Goddidit”? I’d argue it’s actually a superior intellectual position; it’s more honest and it opens up space for inquiry.

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

                  because there is no evidence of such a being.

                  Considering the evidence ≠ “assumption based on faith”.

                • Anon

                  Zach, you are so unbelievably stupid, it’s hilarious.

                • baal

                  “to understand all of the mysteries of the universe are arrogant and foolish”

                  We’ve already established you’re not educated on basic science. If you were, you’d know that the ‘god of the gaps’ (the one hiding out there in the mystery zone) is getting smaller everyday. I put ‘god of the gaps’ in quotes to remind you to google it.

              • Kenny Golden

                Even better when they try to force their delusions down our throats by banning what they are against through laws (gay marriage, abortions, etc..).

          • George Jungle

            hold on now, you’re jumping on the very same generalization wagon…

        • inrepose

          I joined this conversation because Vacum cleaners were mentioned. I am a member of the Christian Vacum cleaner trust. We are locally known as the “Dust Bunnies”. Please show some respect for the suckers (as we like to refer to OUR Vacum cleaner friends), they deserve more respect and after years of persecution we finally hoovered ourselves into mainstream society. Dyson be with you suckers. THIS SENTENCE IS WRITTEN IN UPPERCASE. Did someone mention that Vacum cleaners have a god?

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

        Real Christians are any people who call themselves Christian. That encompasses a huge variety of belief systems (30,000+ sects and growing). You’re a Real Christian, but so are the Westboro Baptists, and so are Catholics, and so are Lutherans, and so are Methodists, and so are Southern Baptists, and so are … you get the point.

        Real Christians can be very hateful, indeed. It’s not bullying to point out that Real Christians have a serious problem.

      • Geoff Boulton

        Yes, I saw how serious Christians are about protecting people from hatred in Northern Ireland. Two groups of True Christians beating the crap out of one another because the other group weren’t True Christians. If you’re going to plead bullying, look to your own house before throwing a hissy fit about atheists criticizing your beliefs and how terrible it is to be persecuted.

        • Anna

          Please don’t go eliding religion with politics. Many of us who are Irish have had plenty of that.

          • Origami_Isopod

            Religion is already elided with politics, everywhere that religion holds sway.

          • Geoff Boulton

            Ah yes, the footsteps behind you late at night and the dreaded question, ‘Are you for the reunification of Ireland or do you want to remain part of the UK?’ Except that it didn’t happen like that did it? ‘Are you Catholic or Protestant?’ now there’s a question I used to hear every day. You can’t seriously be suggesting that if everyone in the North had been Catholic then there would still have been all the bombings, murders, etc.

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

              I have come to accept the notion that, in general, religious conflicts are just political conflicts in disguise. It makes the Middle East make so much more sense to me.

      • Moribund Cadaver

        Maybe more and more “real” Christians could start standing up in public and denouncing the insanity of evangelical groups and the “American Taliban”? And right wing politicians that pander to lunatic evangelicals?

        Too many moderate Christians who flinch and turn away when hearing the latest horror another sect of their religion has perpetrated on the public stay silent. Some believe they should not judge. Others are afraid of questioning their own beliefs and assumptions. And maybe a few just don’t want to have to call out other Christians.

        • Patrick Elliott

          There is a lot of the other. Its far easier to defend, even by silence, the wrong actions of a group you imagine yourself to be part of, than to condemn them. What is merely misguided for you may be evil, for someone else. Its something deeply ingrained in human nature, and our need to be part of something. The problem being, it also fails, badly, because, while we have no bloody clue how to deal with a billion people, we have no problem dealing with one “object”, containing those billion people, as long as its got a label, and it can be sat on a shelf, and looked at, and praised for, “all the good the label does”. Actually opening the box, and looking at the objective truth of just how much of it contains “good”, and how much of it is pure dross, or worse, offal… is very hard to manage, until/unless, you have other boxes, to drop the stuff into. And then, you get the whole, “Well, all that is left in the box is the stuff I consider Christian, so all that other stuff isn’t.”, never mind that they all still have the same bloody label, and they are all still sitting on the same shelf (after all, you might have accidentally sorted a bit of the wrong stuff, into those other boxes. It doesn’t matter. The “big” lump, of uncountable, impossible to understand, people is there there, your just ignoring it, to look at the single shinny box, in the larger set, which you think sparkles a bit more.

          In fact, the very act of making it possible to ignore the rest of the shelf, keeps you from seeing the mold, growing out of some of the other boxes, on it, and infecting others.

          Yet.. We are fundamentally incapable of doing anything else. Which, frankly, makes us a rather poor creation, if we can’t deal with groups bigger than a few hundred, without putting them in one or more boxes, and just slapping, “Nice people”, or “Bad people” on the box, purely based on which one we happen to be in as well. Which is, again, why Christians defend Christians, in general, while able to, if someone makes them pay attention to a smaller box long enough, temporarily condemn something with a clearly different label, such as “West Baptist”. As soon as they stop looking at that one, it just becomes, for every other context, part of the shelf, with their “Christian” collection.

        • Justsayinhere

          Believe me, many Christians are trying. It is hard to speak when the people you’re speaking against dismiss you as non-Christian and the media often believes them. But we could do better, yes.

          • CCinRI

            Will you make that same excuse for muslims who are silenced as not being sensational? I’ll bet some would concur that they too could do better.

      • MBear

        Oh, do you use a different bible?
        The ones I’ve seen all have a line in there about killing gay people.
        If you use one of those, in my rather radical opinion, you are culpable.

        Until you remove that line, I will never accept you as ‘supportive’

        • Tina

          The new testament does not say anything about killing gay people. He is a Savior for everyone.

          • John

            I thought Xtians followed both the old and the new testicle? Don’t they? And before you say “no,” keep in mind that I know various passages from the NT that say you’re still supposed to follow the OT.

            • MBear

              Shhhh…don’t pop their fragile little bubble of ignorance and deceit. :)

              • Wayne

                As much as I’d love to be part of an online debate about Christianity, seeing as it has never been done before! I would just like to pay tribute to the poor souls that lost their lives’ in such a horrific way. I would hate to think they lost their lives’ in vein and really look to all the LGBT people before me in such an honouring way. With out the pain and suffering of these hero’s, the LGBT community would not be where they are today. So sad. Let’s not play the blame game on a day that is meant to be for honouring and remembering the lives’ of the fallen.

                • Origami_Isopod

                  You do not honor them by ignoring the forces that led to their deaths. That is playing the “civility” game at the expense of truth.

                • MBear

                  Without the violence & oppression of the christian reich and those like them, these people would most likely be alive, along with many, many others.

          • Carmelita Spats

            I truly loathe the Christian ethos of outright LYING for Jesus. Paul’s letters are part of the New Testament and were written BEFORE the invention of the Gospels. Paul had LOTS to say about homosexuality including this, Romans 1:32 “Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”

            Jesus did not have a single thing to say about homosexuality but he just couldn’t stop blathering on about divorce/remarriage. Jesus compared remarriage to adultery and the penalty for adultery was death. Now, go sell condoms to eunuchs. Praise!

          • Norman Dostal

            Jesus states kids must be put to death for cursing their parents in Mathew…thats pretty mean

            • Patrick Elliott

              And yet, also insists that you couldn’t be a disciple, unless you, basically, denied them entirely. But, I suppose that is better than “cursing” them. lol

          • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

            Uh, no. The Flying Spaghetti Monster is mankind’s creator and savior. I think you should know that, he’s pretty famous. May you be touched by his noodley appendage.

            • John

              R’amen.

          • http://www.facebook.com/cees.timmerman Cees Timmerman
      • Daniel Martinez

        Then YOU need to raise YOUR voice in forums other than these to prove that YOUR religion is not the same as THEIRS. CAPS don’t mean shit offline.

      • sl

        they’re certainly bad christians, but they are christians. you’re using the no-true-scotsman fallacy.

        • Hat Stealer

          Why do you think they’re bad Christians? They’re doing exactly what the Bible tells them to do- kill gay people.

          I could easily say and make the argument that those who follow the Bible but do not try to kill gays are being ‘bad Christians.”

          • blue

            The bible is written by man so obvious it hurts, Why would anyone be subjecting themselves to someone else will? I know most people are good, its religions that feed the weak minded their poisons. No one is better than anyone else on this planet. Believe in yourself mind body and spirit. Do not give a false god your glory.

            Now on the fact that they were gay and were attacked because of that is very alarming and so tragic words fail me here. Religion = death of your soul~~~~ If you find yourself sucked into a religious cult ~~~ Woman up and get the fu_k out of there NOW, save what’s left of your sanity…..

            • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

              Best comment on here

      • rcdcr

        It takes a lot of nerve to stand up for ‘christians’ beneath an article like this.

        Don’t you think?

        What a disappointment ‘christians’ continue to be.

        • Frugal Fashionista

          What are you talking about? this article was about the persecution of gays in the first gay Christian church – gay Christians were the victims, and the attacker is unknown.

          • John

            What are YOU talking about? They weren’t in church, nor were they killed because they were Christian.

            • Daniel Martinez

              It’s a stretch but probably this part: “That Sunday, dozens of members of the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), the nation’s first gay church, founded in Los Angeles in 1969…”

              • John

                Yes, I recognize that they were from a gay Christian church, just that the “Christian” part had nothing to do with their subsequent deaths.

                • Daniel Martinez

                  Yep…that’s why I said it was a stretch :)

                • http://www.facebook.com/cees.timmerman Cees Timmerman

                  Romans and Jude seem to disagree: http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/gay/long.htm

                • John

                  You’re misunderstanding the context of this conversation. Some of the people who died were from a gay Christian church. There were killed because they were gay, not because they were Christian.

                • Squid

                  No, that’s not the context. No one said they were killed for being Christian. rcdcr said it took “a lot of nerve to stand up for Christians beneath an article like this.” Frugal Fashionista pointed out that those who were killed were Christian. Not that they were killed because they were Christian, but saying that all this “no Christians can support gay people/all Christians are evil about homosexuality” is plainly ridiculous in an article about gay Christians. It’s stupid to say things that deny that some gay people are Christian and, you know, not anti-gay. Don’t erase part of the victims’ identities on account of some chip on your shoulder.

                  Absolutely no one thinks they were killed because they were Christian, though.

                • EllyB

                  THANK YOU. This is the most sensible comment I’ve read yet. Sad how pervasive sweeping generalizations are within the human perspective. Your comment, and your thoughtful and empathic consideration of the victims of this tragedy were like a breath of fresh, rationale, and intelligent air.

                • http://www.facebook.com/cees.timmerman Cees Timmerman

                  The Christian part of the victims could be relevant in a purity angle of the attacker’s motive, presuming the attacker cared about those bible books.

      • Ivorycrow

        Just like the original poster can’t speak for all Christians, neither can you. What defines a ‘Real’ Christian, versus the ones who call my good friends abominations? However, you are right in the statement that ‘Bullying is not insignificant among any group of people.’

        My only question is, why can’t we act like the supposed enlightened race that some report us to be?

        • Patrick Elliott

          Ok.. Lets act enlightened. What clear, obvious, and believable, evidence is there that religion, regardless of which cherry picked rules you decide on, has any objective outcome that is “better” than, say, just cherry picking rules that you like, without involving a religious text? Careful though, this isn’t about what rules some scum dictator or other “forced” on other people, but what people choose for themselves. Denial of another person’s choice (and, yes, since we are social animals, this means the choice to give up some things, to gain others, and thus *allow* some limits on our choices, because they help everyone, including ourselves) is, pretty much, step one, on failing to create a moral code (or founding a stable society).

          Remind me, also, in this grasp for enlightenment, what certain religions basically describe as the “correct” method of government. Because, I am pretty sure it includes words like, “Kings”, “Common Folk”, “Universal laws”, and, “You do this, or I am permitted to kill you.”

          Since we are being enlightening, and stuff..

      • http://bit.ly/glUAR7 Calladus

        Romans 1:18-32 – atheists, and gays, and anyone who approves of them are “worthy of death”.

        You can deny this, or tap-dance around it, but it is part of your New Testament, it is part of Christianity.

        Christians are ethical in spite of their religion, not because of it.

      • purusha

        You are going off of nothing but a stereotype.

        Yeah, the stereotypes that talk all day on FOX and talk radio.

      • Cpt_Justice

        If the only thing you can take away from his post is to rebuke HIM & still claim to be persecuted & bullied, then you have proven his point. Good job!

      • http://twitter.com/pgpfineart pgpfineart

        This goes beyond, whose religion or sexual orientation is deemed yay or nay, its about being a human being and having the rights a human being has. It’s clear, even just from this story, that Christians or anyone for that matter who were supportive of gays can be victims of anti-gay forces as well. I know kindness i know hatred, i do not have the time to determine who is a fake christian or real christian i am simply a real human who deserves the same as any other human period

      • CottonBlimp

        Could you be more sanctimoniously self-absorbed? People expressing anger at the individuals and the institutions that have harmed them isn’t fucking bullying.

        I meet “Real Christians” like you all the time, and you are NEVER 100% supportive of the gay community. You’re better than what’s typical, but only because all those other Christians have set the bar so low.

      • HonoraryOrange

        Hahahaha the “Real Christians” argument. Such bullshit.

      • The bear

        Take it easy Yoko…

      • Lucinda

        Really??? Pick up any world history book, and you’ll see ALL KINDS of atrocities perpetrated by “Christians” and the “Christian Church”… all done “In The Name Of God”.

        In 6th century pagans were declared void of all rights.

        In the early fourth century the philosopher Sopatros was executed on demand of Christian authorities.

        The world famous female philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria was torn to pieces with glass fragments by a hysterical Christian mob led by a Christian minister named Peter, in a church, in 415.

        Christian Charlemagne beheaded 4500 Saxons
        in a single morning, because they refused to convert to Christianity.

        12th century AD: the Christian Crusaders decided they wanted to have Jerusalem for themselves, slaughtering the men, women, and children there until their horses were up to their knees in blood.

        12-15th century AD, Christians had themselves an Inquisition, in which they tortured and killed other Christians (the Albigensian Heresies), Jews, Muslims, Homosexuals, literate folks, women who spoke up, and finally anybody Isabella didn’t like. They were remarkably inventive with torture methods and must have really loved the sound of agonized screams and the smell of burning human flesh.

        Christian Britain killed 30,000 witches, but Christian Germany, not to be outdone, killed 100,000.

        Vlad the Impaler was a Christian knight.

        16th century AD, Christians debated at length about whether
        or not Native Americans were actually human, descended of
        Adam and Eve, ie born guilty.

        Examples of destroyed Temples the Sanctuary of Aesculap in Aegaea, the Temple of Aphrodite in Golgatha, Aphaka in Lebanon, the Heliopolis.

        The terrorist massacre of Rosewood Florida in 1923 represents a trend of Christian Terrorism against innocent people which includes many lynchings as well as mass murders.

        Of course, all the way to more recent history, the Christian Catholics and Christian Protestants have only stopped attacking each other long enough to go after the non-Christians.

        Guess who’s quoted below:

        “I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so.”

        “Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”

        “I say: my Christian feeling tells me that my lord and savior is a warrior”

        If you guessed “Adolf Hitler”, you guessed right.

        Your arguments, AGAIN??? :(

        • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

          Damn! That’s what you call using both barrels!

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

          *slow clap*

        • Tink

          While I understand what you are getting at bringing history into the mix is a bit silly. These were things that were done in the past and we should learn from them not beat them into glue. I could also say some awful things about Marie Antoinette though her crimes were political in nature not religious. Should we then blame anyone with the name Marie for political issues that are anywhere in the ball park of the ones she committed. Or I know how about white people their ancestors owned slaves so all white people must be told how awful they are because of what their ancestors did.Either one or both of Hitler’s parents were Jewish which made Hitler at least partly Jewish.Though there are multiple theory’s on mental issues and some on syphils as the cause of his actions. Should we also go after anyone with mental issues or syphilis or for that matter anyone Jewish? Seeing as at the Salem witch trials both Pagan and Christian were targeted because of land should we also go after puritans and their descendants? Most current Christians were not around in the 16th century and yet they must pay for or answer for something their ancestors did in the 16th century or before that? I am sure that given enough time anyone can pull out a list of facts just as damming as the list you have provided for most groupings of people. What should be looked at is our own attitudes of those we come in contact with. Have you ( and by you I include myself ) attacked or belittled someone for their beliefs today even if you think they are wrong? Have you accused someone of something that you yourself are guilty of? Have you said an unkind word to someone when you could have been kind? I don’t know it is how I try and live,and no I am not perfect I doubt anyone can seriously claim they are.

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

            No one claims Marie Antoinette was awesome, white people never did anything wrong in history, or that Hitler was a wonderful person.

            People do claim Christianity is only good, has only ever done good things in the world, and is totally the awesomest thing ever. When that happens, we point to historical atrocities to remind people that Christianity is, in fact, not awesome. It is the opposite of awesome.

          • Lucinda

            You are right in part, not to blame the current members of a particular society for crimes of the past … but think about it… this is simply fallout of religious fanaticism and control at it’s worst.

            And it all stems from Christianity, and it’s historically documented determination to dictate as to how we should all live our lives according to scripture. In current applicable terms, they (DOMA supporters) are applying this historical written text (The Bible), as a written law to prosecute, hold judgement over, and prevent the current and future rights of gays.

            You can’t have it both ways… if today’s current Christians do not WANT to be judged by past actions and dictations of their predecessors, they should not be trying to enforce laws over others with a book written and/or used as a weapon of control by those very predecessors.

            And THAT is the crux of the entire situation… ONE religious sect determined to hold sway over all others, (whether for profit, gain, or spiritual belief) as well as determine what everyone’s personal rights should be using ancient outdated laws in a modern multicultural society. Religion does NOT belong in law or government over all. History has proven it to be too terrifying of a weapon.

      • Funkybrewstr

        hey yeah, remember that time that homos trapped all those christians in the building and burned them alive? me neither.

      • Miss_Beara

        Why hello there Mr. N. T. Scotsman.

        Persecution and bullying of Christians in the US. That is funny. If you want to experience real Christian persecution, go to the Middle East and proudly proclaim that you are a Christian. See what happens.

        • John

          I like the cut of your jib, Miss Beara!

      • Jakesmydawg

        Hello, Most of the people that died were Christians , stop babbling about it and do something about it.

      • Rick_K

        “REAL Christians are 100% supportive of the gay community. ”

        There are a LOT of people who are going to be surprised to learn they’re not real Christians. Will you tell them or should I?

      • heteroxalstalker

        Actually there is no such thing as a real Christian, because Christianity is based on a fairytale. It is sort of like saying you are one of the real believers in the tooth fairy.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        Feel free to link the evidence of American Christians being bullied for being Christians.

      • Ibicella Lutae

        Religion does not make you a good person. Being a Christian does not make you a good person. ALL Christians consider themselves “real” Christians. Personally, I go by what’s in the book itself: “Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” This is immoral filth no matter how you window-dress it, and I truly WONDER about anybody who calls it “holy.”

      • onamission5

        And so it begins, Christians revising history to make like they were all so supportive of LGBT rights all along, just like every other civil rights movement, um, ever. We saw this coming, you know.

      • Origami_Isopod

        “Real Christians.”

        You must feel real proud of yourself, derailing a thread about a horrific crime against GLBT people to whine about how atheists oppress you.

        Go fuck yourself.

      • Melanie

        Who the hell is bullying christians when anyone who says they aren’t one is the one getting strange looks, and comments about going to hell? Christians are the majority!

      • Anonymous

        I’m a Christian. And gay. Stop yelling at the reasonable man making a reasonable comment. No LGBT-supporting Christian thinks that claims about gay people bullying Christians are significant.

        Everyone deserves respect, and there are plenty of homophobic Christians, as well as plenty of wonderful ones. The same is true of Atheists, who manage to be homophobic, misogynistic, or just plain mean just as easily as anyone else – yet some are among the most wonderful and kind of all people.

        “Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart — and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of all hearts, there remains … an unuprooted small corner of evil.

        Since then I have come to understand the truth of all the religions of the world: They struggle with the evil inside a human being (inside every human being). It is impossible to expel evil from the world in its entirety, but it is possible to constrict it within each person.”
        ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

      • http://twitter.com/MicheleBach666 Dr. J

        When a bunch of Christians burn to death in a church and the police do a crap job of investigating while the media makes fun of all the dead Christians then you might have a case about Christians being persecuted. Otherwise shut up with your nonsense. The largest religious group in the United States is not the victims of discrimination.

      • Burzghash

        Ah yes, the mythical “real” Christians.

        Hint: those hateful, bigoted christians think they’re the ‘real’ christians, and you’re the false charlatans.

        You should look up the no true scotsman fallacy.

      • Guest

        “REAL Christians are 100% supportive of the gay community”

        You ought to lookup the “No True Scotsman Fallacy”.

      • Renee

        Are in Saudi Arabia, or another such country? NO xtian in the USA is persecuted. What a joke.

        Liberal religion has done quite a bit of good as far as stopping the hate, and I think this is awesome. I am a UU, and we are a “welcoming congregation”, and have gay, and female, ministers. But we are in NO WAY persecuted.

      • Yoni Callahan

        It’s not a stereotype, it’s the accepted values of the core christian community. In case you haven’t noticed, the christians who are continuously being excommunicated are the ones who are accepting of gays. If what you are saying were more than a hopeful ideology, then Christianity as a whole would be rejecting the bigoted members and excommunicating them instead of throwing themselves into a tizzy over silly little things like whether their neighbor has the right to marry the man he’s been in a committed relationship with for the past 40 years, even though they’ve never spoken to their neighbor a single day in his life. Food for thought. The last thing a group claiming love as it’s core value deserves is an easy way out, and maybe the core community needs to change its attitude and start forcing out the bigots, rather than the other way around, if they want people to view them differently. You have to understand: ANYONE who is gay and grew up in the Midwest or the South has had almost exclusively negative experiences with the Christian COMMUNITY, with the exception of a very select few good people who happen to be Christians, themselves. Our experiences are what lead us to be judgmental, not some textbook explanation written down in a time that is no longer relevant to anything after the advent of steam power. If Christians want us to stop judging them as a whole, then Christians as a whole need to stop giving us a reason to. Stop trying to change our minds and start trying to change our experiences.

    • anarchy45

      What do you expect from institutional hypocrisy and billions of stupid people with nothing better to do than judge their neighbors and tell other people what to do, because their own lives are pathetic and jealous and they want everyone else to be just as miserable as they are.

      • Cherry Grace

        These discussions are going way off of the fact that these people were victims of hate. Lets not all go pointing fingers at religious beliefs or who’s opinion is correct. When calling one group hypocrites and judgmental then following it w pathetic and jealous ur doing the same thing and casting judgement. Lets take their hatred n fight it w love and acceptance, your view is important as well. I’ll use this as a learning point. Take care of yourself

        • John

          And where do you think that hate comes from? Not out of thin air.

          • Sam Samson

            If there’s a will, there’s a way. Does it not sink into your head that the idea of two men having sex made heterosexuals uncomfortable? Could simply this in itself have made them despise it and rebuke it? Humans did use religion etc. as vehicles and justifications for oppression. But the key word is HUMANS. They did it. It’s human nature to single out people that you see as different, the ‘Others’. Whether it be because of their sexual orientation, them having a disease, them stuttering, them looking different etc. etc. But I guess it’s easy to pour the blame on religion. Let’s remain simplistic, one-dimensional ‘thinkers’ and leave it there shall we?

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

              If a convention of society repeatedly abuses some members of that society and provides cover for bigotry, one can and should call that convention a problematic one that should be discarded.

              Yes, people can be hateful and cruel. Anything that gives people justification for feeling good about being hateful is an abomination. Sometimes religions even add new things to the list of “reasons we can be mean to other people”, becoming divisive and inherently dangerous because of the dehumanization of the Other. Why would you ever excuse or defend something that brings out the worst in humans much more often than it brings out the best?

              • Sam Samson

                If one seeks to generalize ‘religion’ as you do, they should also be able to generalize ‘atheism’. Since, by your logic, Christians, in being Christians, are defending the actions of every single one of their counterparts. Again, your missing the point; ‘it brings out the worst in humans’. Humans already have their own motives and use religion to further justify and escalate it. You think atheism is any different? Check the internet lately? Looked at Youtube? Seen what ‘atheism brings out’ in people? Atheism is now increasingly becoming a convention of society, and many atheists you would definitely be ashamed of. The point is, your argument (that religion, particularly Christianity, is an inherently destructive ‘thing’) can work both ways. You and your belief isn’t any different.

                ‘Anything that gives people justification for feeling good about being hateful is an abomination’. Guess you just called out atheism then. In this increasingly internet-relevant age, countless atheists have made some of the most vulgar comments unprovoked towards Christians. They, like the religious extremists you point to, feel fine in their online persecution because they see it as either 1. enlightening people away from religion or 2.silencing the bigots. ‘Why would you ever excuse atheism?’

                People have committed atrocities in the name of Christianity. People have and will increasingly continue to commit atrocities in the name of enlightening bigots (atheism), all unprovoked. More importantly, generalizing helps no discussion. I’ve been using the same generalizing tone you’ve used on ‘religion’ on atheism.

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

                  Please point me to the comments you mention. I hang out mostly here, and while atheists can be rude, uncivil, and provocative, I’ve seen very little that is actively hateful. It mostly get jumped upon as well.

                  I’ll also point out that I need a lot of evidence before coming to the conclusion that atheism can be destructive. Right now, that evidence just isn’t there.

                • Sam Samson

                  I’m sorry that I haven’t saved up Youtube comments sections for you, but you’d be pressed not to find a Christian gospel video or even a cat video without someone (unprovoked, out of nowhere) saying comments demeaning Christians and other religions, with no other reason than them being Christian. While you may see no hurt in what you would perhaps agree to be ‘telling bigots the truth’, these are in fact hateful comments. Look, it’s easy to unconsciously turn a blind eye on your counterparts, but in this age of the internet, the cost for ‘enlightening the bigots’ is persecution of those ‘bigots’. The unprovoked aspect I keep bringing up is important. The idea that these atheists I speak of are looking to be constructive critiquers that want to help their fellow humans out is a façade. Many of them simply slander and ridicule; I don’t see anything good out of that. If you don’t believe in Christianity, even if you think the world would be a better place without it, their endeavors are for from a noble cause; many atheists might feel persecuted by what they see as Christian oppression from their past…but aren’t helping their case in rebounding by persecuting people they don’t even know unprovoked.

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

                  Oh, there are atheist jerks out there for sure and certain. It’s not persecution when people make fun of Christians on Youtube videos, though, or in the comments below. I’ve seen a number of really nasty comments below Christian videos, but you know why? The video was really fucking hateful and claimed to be speaking for all Christians. Or it was just inane. The commenters used the same identifiers as the video’s uploader. Again, that’s not persecution.

                  Persecution involves being, ya know, persecuted. Fear of physical violence directed at one’s person. Fear of social effects such as losing friends, being shunned by family, losing one’s job, being denied service in public establishments, being treated worse by the judicial system, etc. It’s not hateful or persecution to say, hey, when Christians say X it enables actual persecution of people or to say that Christianity is hateful. No one is trying to take rights away from Christians. They are trying to take unearned privileges away. Stop clinging to those privileges.

                • Sam Samson

                  “I’ve seen a number of really nasty comments below Christian videos, but you know why?”

                  There it is, justification and minimization of hatred. I called for you to think more critically on your counterparts and yet you justify what they do by picking and choosing ‘fucking hateful’ videos. I told you GOSPEL videos. I’m talking children’s videos. I’m talking cat videos where someone simply says ‘God bless you’ or ‘Amen’ and in response gets ‘FUCK YOU AND YOUR FAGGOT FAIRY SKY GOD’ ‘Your lord can suck my dick’ etc. etc. Stop picking and choosing just because you want to turn a blind eye. I don’t expect your sympathy for them, as I’ve mentioned, even in these cases, you find some way to sympathize with your counterparts instead of admitting that enough is enough. You have GOT to be kidding me if you’re responding to my comment by implying that all ‘Christian’ videos are hateful. Accept that some atheists attack unprovoked. Don’t bounce away from this.

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

                  So that’s totally unacceptable behavior for cat videos or a random God bless or Amen in a video. Straight up unacceptable, rude behavior.

                  Is that what you wanted? I agree with you there. It’s still not persecution; it’s general assholery, but “FUCK YOU AND YOUR FAGGOT FAIRY SKY GOD” is not persecution even when it’s completely uncalled for and gratuitous insults. It’s also homophobic, which is even more unacceptable.

                  Of course some atheists attack unprovoked. I did mention that some atheists, like all people, are total jackasses. That does not mean Christians are persecuted, it means some atheists are assholes. I do not agree with their behavior and I do not condone it.

                • Sam Samson

                  “It’s also not homophobic which is even more unacceptable”

                  It couldn’t get any more subjective than that. I guess breaching someone’s right to sexual orientation is a greater offense than breaching their right to speech. The only thing I’ve seen here is that I’ve made you admit the slightest. You respond in the smallest way to the smallest of what I talked about. Anyways, I guess you’ll continue, no matter what you’re shown, to ignore what I’ve told you. How are you being persecuted these days? Have you lost a job recently because you weren’t Christian? As much as you ridicule my examples (I made them up, since, as I said, I don’t know youtube comments pages like the back of my hand) I can ridicule yours…your lack of them. Persecution: is the systematic mistreatment of an individual or group by another group. It’s based on ill-treatment. Not simply the physical abuse etc. mentioned. I already told you how the extreme persecution of the past is no more and persecution occurs in less overt ways, but I guess that point’s beyond you. Anyways, I’m sure I’ll be shedding tears for your persecution as much as you’ll be shedding tears for mine. Christians are being ill-treated simply based on their religion, the definition of persecution. Look it up if you don’t agree. You adamantly contend that it’s not persecution. Even if it wasn’t, you still know it’s hateful and you’re throwing it to the side as small talk. You don’t condone what those atheists do? Who cares now? I don’t condone whoever initiated the Crusades. Why am I repeatedly attacked because of them then? Exactly. You’re not excused from generalization if you and yours use it yourselves.

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

                  No one’s saying you can’t say things. You just have to accept that you may be ridiculed for saying stupid things.

                  You aren’t attacked because the Crusades happened- they happened a really long time ago and there’s no way you could be at fault. Christianity, however, is totally at fault for the Crusades. You get “attacked” because some people claim Christianity is super awesome and only good for the world- people point to the Crusades as an example of how Christianity has, in fact, led to horrible outcomes. That’s not an attack, it’s a counter-example to counter an argument made. If that’s the type of example of “persecution” Christians face, I’m really not terribly sympathetic. Ridicule of bad ideas is not persecution. Death threats, rape threats, bullying- just look at what Jessica Ahlquist went through when she got an unconstitutional banner removed from her high school. She was denied service by local businesses (flower store refused to deliver flowers). A state legislator called her an “evil little thing”; he meant that in all seriousness. Her family was bullied and shunned by the good Christian folk of Cranston. That is persecution.

                  It’s not persecution to say Christianity is an immoral religion. Look at it- it has eternal torture, human sacrifice, omniscient omnipotent omnibenevolent deities that don’t actually intervene to stop bad stuff, and bloodline guilt. All of that is highly immoral by my standards, which are centered around empathy and bodily autonomy. That’s why I call myself a Secular Humanist. Atheism is merely what I don’t believe in; humanism is the philosphy I’ve adopted. Now, this is not to say that Christians are immoral. They’re not. They’re people who generally reject and cherry pick from their holy book because they’re better people than their religion is. But since they are better than it, since they’re better than original sin and human sacrifice and eternal torture, why stick with Christianity as a moral compass at all?

                • Sam Samson

                  I read an article, maybe you have to, on the 30+ Christian privileges, on how we in large part don’t face the persecution such as that of Jessica Ahlquist. In the end, when I see injustice and mistreatment, I call it out. As such I definitely sympathize for Ahlquist and her mistreatment. I’m aware that atheists have been marginalized in the past and sympathize.

                  Christians are not immoral, ‘Christianity is immoral’, as you say. But Christians (human beings, not belief systems) will increasingly be attacked. You see this as nothing compared to the persecution against non-Christians. My repeated argument about attacking unprovoked likely means nothing to you anymore as you repeatedly find a way to go around it. This time it’s the idea that the Christian had been declaring God as awesome and thus merited critique. It couldn’t be that the Christian had been expressing their belief on the internet for fellow Christians to enjoy. People critique the video, fine, ‘we all have a right to be offended’. But you can’t tell me the uploader MERITED that critique, especially critique of themselves and not the video itself, which is what happens most prevalently. You ask me for evidence as a pre-requisite for me having the pleasure to continue talking to you, implying that you’re above simply responding to ‘what I’ve told you’.

                  The times are changing, the roles seem to be switching and arguments of non-Christian persecution might dwindle in justification as people increasingly become hostile towards ‘us religious bigots’. The thing is, I believe in something, namely that Jesus died for my sins etc. I will get critiqued and increasingly marginalized for believing that. A while back and to a lesser extent today, when atheists didn’t believe in God, they got persecuted and marginalized for not believing in God. It might be hard for you to see, but the roles are switching. In the end, someone has the bottom end of the stick. And the person (and many of their associates) on the other side will be slow to empathize for the other. Maybe the online atheists I and the bulk of people my age have seen are all immature 13 year olds with nothing better to do and are thus a misrepresentation, we can only hope. I know it sounds cliché, but you need to remember that Christians, just as you are human beings. We are all navigating this world, growing, trying to find answers. Thus your latter argument that seems to be justifying Christian ridicule by saying ‘they’re better than that’ is futile…it’s coming from a human (don’t insert any anti-supernatural arguments here, I’m just pointing to the fact that we’re all human and thus biased and have limited knowledge). In the midst of so much change, there is actually so little; hatred and hostility because of past-mistreatments or bad experiences will come to overpower critical thinking and hard-to-come-by empathy. Empathy for the human beings that are believing, not for the belief system itself. Thanks for the chat and have a good day, Sam.

                • Sam Samson

                  It’s truly saddening that in this age of ‘advancement’ and ‘distancing from bigotry’, close-mindedness and bias are still prevalent. You biasedly minimize persecution to ‘general assholery’. You didn’t’ even address the bulk of what I told you. What am I doing, I’m just wasting my time. Anyways, have a good day, peace.

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

                  The bulk of what you “told me” was assertions without evidence. Bring some in, and we’ll talk more.

                • John D. Cox

                  This two-person debating reminds me of something called “reverse racism.” Reverse Christian oppression. The thing is, those who claim “reverse” are those who are in the majority and who have institutional power. Atheists, Gays, African-Americans, Wiccans, Moslems, and other minorities are oppressed by organizations that have the political power and influence to do so. One of these institutional, highly organized powers is Christianity (in American culture). American minorities lash out at institutional, organized Christianity as oppressive, condemning, anti-minority destructive. So, the argument of “reverse racism,” “reverse” anything, “reverse” this and that is invalid. Minorities do not have the power that organized, American Christianity does. That’s why minorities, to be heard and to have influence, have to find ways to attract non-minority advocates. What’s changing Americans’ opinions of anti-Gay, homophobia is watching what America’s dominant religion, Christianity, is doing to and saying about Gay Americans. The out-right lies and smearing and persecution and oppression and bullying and homophobia are what middle Americans are seeing and hearing. Americans witness every day the demonization of Gay Americans by Christian Americans. What Gay Americans do to American Christians, in return, does not equal what has happened and continues to happen to Gay Americans. It’s advocates of Gay Americans who, watching and listening, are turning the tide in favor of Gay Americans. Gay advocate Americans correctly see and hear what institutional Christianity has done and is doing to Gay Americans. It’s no wonder that organized Christianity now feels attacked and “persecuted.” Organized Christianity is bringing on the attacks and “persecution” all by itself. Organized American Christianity: Stop being the school yard bully, stop beating up Gay Americans on the playground. If you do, then perhaps advocates of Gay Americans might stop having to force you to stop being a bully. But, the thing is, Organized, American Christianity will NOT stop its bullying. Rather than taking the log out of its own eye, organized, American Christians will continue to attempt to remove the speck from all non-organized, American Christians. Oh, and since the American Supreme Court has spoken, Christians in positions of political power are now going to work at amending our Constitution so that Gay Americans are NOT equal with non-Gay Americans. For sure, this is what Jesus wants them to do!

                • Sam Samson

                  Thank you for your reply, John D. Cox. It’s a thoughtful look into ‘reverse’ arguments and I, as an African American am well aware of the silliness of ‘reverse racism’ arguments. However, you’re missing the point of my argument. Individuals, not ‘Organized Christianity’ are being attacked. You need to realize that your thinking is flawed and hypocritical. You’re arguing on the basis that I, in associating with Christianity, hate and ‘bully’ gays, hate and marginalize you etc. You’re essentially telling me ‘stop Organized Christianity from marginalizing xy and z and we’ll stop justifying slandering you unprovoked’. Where is ‘Organized Christianity’ when I’m being slandered? You’re speaking as if being the so-called majority somehow spares me of being attacked. I can’t even say ‘God’ or ‘God bless you’ amongst my peers without it being taboo. In this day and age, ‘Organized Christianity’, once a reality, has just become an excuse to slander people whose beliefs you don’t agree with.

                  In cases of reverse racism arguments, people are offended that minorities are offended. Let’s be less vague: whites call ‘racism!’ when blacks, Hispanics, etc. call for, for example forums to specifically help blacks and Hispanics progress. These whites point to the minorities being ‘segregationalist’, the say that the minorities are fighting for the opposite of equality. However, their whole basis of argument is flawed, since they’re not taking into account that blacks and other minorities ARE disproportionately marginalized compared to whites and therefore ‘justice’ would require differential actions for them. Essentially, reverse racism acts like racism and more overtly, disproportionate marginalization, don’t exist.

                  Now you’re trying to make what you see as the parallel ‘anti-Reverse Christian oppression’ argument. Namely that the reverse Christian oppression argument is invalid because Christians are privileged and in the majority. Make note that you’ve strayed from my point of discussion and that there are key differences in the two ‘reverse’ arguments you brought up.
                  Reverse racism: a.) minorities argue for xyz to help their progression, they call out racism b.) whites and others see this as segregationist and ignorantly see this as white mistreatment.
                  Reverse Christian oppression: a.) the minorities you’ve mentioned (gays, Muslims, atheists) are marginalized and call for xyz and call out religious persecution.
                  b.) Some Christians complain about unwarranted attacks on their persons by atheists.

                  See the difference? In the reverse Christian oppression case, A and B aren’t connected. Two different occurrences are happening. 1.) Sometimes atheists are fighting for more rights and equal privileges- a.)
                  2.)Other times they simply slander and ridicule Christians for the sake of slandering and ridiculing Christians. As some form of bitter revenge. These are what the Christians in part b.) are responding to.

                • fenaray

                  Thank you for your intelligent comment.

                • fenaray

                  ‘biasedly?’

                • Sam Samson

                  Guess I shouldn’t have put the word ‘faggot’ in there. Many of your fellow atheists are homophobic according to you then. But, as you said, you don’t condone what they do, so it’s all good right

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

                  Eh? That particular insult was homophobic, yes. Polls show atheists are overwhelmingly not homophobic, but I never doubted that there were some homophobic atheists out there. Finding out that you made that up does make it make more sense, though.

                • Sam Samson

                  I made it up from experience, but ok, guess we can dismiss all credibility then. Check out youtube one of these days if you’re inclined, you don’t have to and probably won’t believe me otherwise.

                • Sam Samson

                  I’m not sure how old you are, but I myself am relatively young. I sincerely call you to think more critically and look into what I said about things working both ways as times are currently changing. Each of the persecutions you speak of are increasingly happening for Christian children and ‘religious’ children alike these days. I know you don’t believe this/ignore it/ feel it is right. But after mentioning that my family’s Christian to my roommate, he later proceeds to initiate a conversation with everyone in our hall about the stupidity in believing in a God, EVERYONE else joins in. It would have been ‘social suicide’ for me to defend what I have a right to believe in. If you looked into what I said before, times are changing. Especially in the U.S. you’re not gonna see someone hang me or someone else for believing xyz. The persecution occurs in other ways, but it’s there nonetheless. It’s one thing to attack Chrisitianity and religion itself. But that’s not what’s happening. Real people are being attacked. People born into this world that haven’t committed the past atrocities that atheists always bring up, that haven’t laid the groundwork that systematically oppressed non-believers. Yet, we are being attacked. What’s the justification for our attackers then? Why aren’t they screaming to ‘our God’ instead? You’re essentially justifying hate and persecution of people…by pointing to hate and persecution by other, dead people. Stop clinging to the idea that this all is one-sided. Realize that your seeing and assessing things, as we all do, through a biased lens. I’ll keep realizing that.

                • Sam Samson

                  Gee, I wonder who disliked my comments and liked all of feminerd’s comments; possibly some kitty kat. In a perfect world, you would have read each of them in full beforehand and not been biased:(

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

                  I did read each of them in full.

                  It’s not “biased” to try and bury a pile of shit….

                • Sam Samson

                  Good to hear that I’ve been spewing shit this whole time, kitty.
                  Why don’t you actually tell me how every single one of my words was shit? Why you disliked everyone of my comments…what parts you disliked. I find it hard to believe that you weren’t biased in determining all I’ve said to be ‘a pile of shit’ just waiting to be buried.

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

                  Why don’t you post something of substance?

                • Sammy Sam

                  What do you want? Peer reviewed articles supporting my claim? Screenshots? I’m pretty sure nothing I post would be considered to be ‘of substance’ to you.

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

                  Some evidence beyond “well I saw blah blah blah on YouTube”. Maybe a link or three to back up your claims…

                  C’mon — you don’t seriously expect me to just take your statements at face value without something supporting them, do yeh?

                • fenaray

                  looks like you touched a nerve.

                • spookiewon

                  You’re gonna have to point me at evidence that xian children fear physical violence because they are xians. Because I haven’t see it. The things xians are whining about–saying “Hapy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” or telling you your beliefs are stupid? THAT IS NOT PERSECUTION.

                • fenaray

                  Religion is conceptual, atheism isn’t. I don’t even see how they can be compared since they are opposites.

            • John D. Cox

              Guns don’t kill people. Humans do!

              If religion was doing such a great job, then why do thousands of Gays hate religion? Religion is doing such a great job as evidenced by being an organized, homophobic institution just as it did/still does with being an organized institution that excludes and traumatizes those who are different. The gawd of the Old Testament goes on record through those who wrote down his words: Kill every man, woman, and child who has lived for generations on land that I, gawd, give to you.

        • anarchy45

          I don’t believe that I need to tolerate stupidity. It is a fact that 1+1 does not equal 3. It is also a fact that the earth was created more than 7000 years ago (or whatever number the crazies come up with). No amount of wishful thinking (aka “prayer”) is going to change that.
          If things improve, God answered your prayers. If things get worse, then it must be in God’s plan – right? These people believe unconditionally in wishful thinking. This is delusional and insane. Religion is delusional and insane. Hateful. More people have been killed because of which sky wizard they believe in, than any other reason, ever. What kind of asshole person needs the threat of eternal fiery damnation in order to just be a decent person?

          A hypocrite.

          • Leslie Dawson

            sounds like they took a hit.

          • MB

            Those are the attitudes that drive people to this sort of action. How long until you firebomb a church?

            And not insignificantly, do you direct your hate towards everyone that believes in any god? Or just the ones that are at odds with science? Or just the ones that persecute non-believers?

            Hatred towards stereotypes is the problem, not the solution.

            • spookiewon

              I don’t hate anyone. But I hate xianity and will fight like hell to let people know why. The bible is about as hate-filled a text as you’ll find, and many xians find a way to hate even more things not mentioned in the bible.

          • exoraluna

            6,000 Years. It never changes, It is always 6,000 years. :0)

          • Charley

            Did you miss the part where some of the victims were christian? Having faith does not make someone stupid (as my MENSA membership card will attest) and having faith does not make someone a bigot nor do all people of faith believe in the way you seem to think we do.

            Most of those of us who believe in any deity also believe that that deity gave us free will this mean’s there’s no such bloody thing as ‘god’s plan’ because as any scienctist will tell you you can’t plan for an infinite number of variables.

            My faith (and many others) doesn’t even have a concept of hell or damnation just living your life the best way that you can. If you don’t have faith that’s absolutely fine and where people are trying to force you to agree with their faith I will stand side by side with you in telling them to sod off because faith or lack of it is a personal thing and should be kept that way.

            But what kind of person calls people of faith hateful then monopolises a comments thread about a massacre at a gay bar where people of faith were amongst those killed by calling religious people stupid, delusional, insane, assholes, pathetic, jealous, miserable?

            A Hypocrite

            • SILENTSAM69

              Being a part of the Christian community does not make one a bigot. Following the bible completely does though.

              I am glad most Christians ignore large parts of that horrific book.

              • KevinJ

                I would like to know which parts you are speaking of because after taking secular history classes and religious classes on the torah, old and new testament I can tell you if that book is followed the way it was meant to be there wouldn’t be any room for hate…. Christianity is a religion of grace… which whether you know it or not is unique to Christianity

                • hdtex

                  BULLSHIT

                • SILENTSAM69

                  The story of the character Abraham is a good example. People say that he was a great example, yet in reality the story just shows a very sick man about to do something horrible.
                  The god character himself is an example of evil. His demands are outrageous and his punishments are horrific. If you actually read the Bible god kills and harms far more than Lucifer.

                • smokey307

                  Kevin, think you for your post. I absolutely agree with what you posted. I have a Master’s in Theology but I could not sate my faith as profoundly and succinctly as you did.

                • spookiewon

                  Perhaps you would like to justify the owning of people as property then. That book is a horrific.

                • spookiewon

                  Please justify the holding of people as as property. Your “no room for hate” book actually encourages the owning of people as property. If you read that book and didn’t see room for hate you need to go back and read it again. It’s absolutely horrific.

            • kevinj

              well to say God can’t have a plan because there is an infinite number of variables kind of turns any God your claiming into just a higher being and really doesn’t constitute the definition of God which would be defined as omnipotent.

              • John D. Cox

                Can gawd create a rock so heavy that s/he can’t pick it up?

            • Mimoza

              I guess you don’t have to have knowledge of grammar to be in MENSA. Other than that, your point is valid :)

              • spookiewon

                Nope. You don’t. You just need to have a measured IQ in the 98th percentile or above.

            • Lucinda

              No, actually, I did NOT miss the fact that some of the victims were proclaimed to be Christian… and were members of a Gay Accepting Christian Church. That, in itself, does not mean that those Christians were accepted by OTHER Christian sects as “True Christian”.

              Face it… For a Menza candidate/member, you missed the obvious. LOL! I too, more than qualify for MENZA… as alot of regular folk do, that choose not to carry or flaunt their membership card. ;)

              The point that was being made was that Christianity, and it’s demands of blind faith (as well as multiple warped interpretations over the centuries) in that particular religion, has been used as a catalyst as well as excuse for countless of hate crimes throughout the centuries. All piously perpetrated in “The Name Of God” This is simply one more horrendous example of how hateful and blind religion can be.

            • Mark Ross

              Its a very odd and liberal Christianity you adhere to. There’s no hell, no sin, therefore no redemption or salvation. Your God isn’t omniscient because he can’t plan for infinite variables. Why are you a Christian? What does Christianity offer you that you couldn’t get more and better elsewhere?

              Also, the fact that some of the people were Christian is beside the point. These people were murdered because they were homosexuals. At that time there were a great many people in this country who wouldn’t even consider a homosexual to be a true Christian anyway.

              The issue here is that the narrow minded Bible-belt mindset has poisoned our nation to the place that things like this can happen.

              • smokey307

                Of course this outrage happened because the victims were gay. As I stated earlier, this is about 32 folks who were murdered. 31 people who were sons and 1 who was a mother. We shouldn’t need to classify it as a hate crime as if that classification would make it any worse to the victims and their families than it already is. I support hate crimes laws because the increase the punishment for the convicted. However, I look toward a future when a crime doesn’t need to be called a hate crime, it just should be called a crime.

            • Tom Beaulieu

              while I’m (mostly) in agreement with you about the generalizations, just to play devil’s advocate here, by “removing god’s plan because you can’t plan for an infinite number of variables” you’re also removing your god’s omnipotence and omniscience in the process. Therefore, if god is not all powerful, then why worship/follow him?

            • spookiewon

              MMCs are nominally xian, but free to practice any dogma and doctrine they wish. And while believing based on faith may not make you stupid, that particular act IS STUPID. If one cares about believing true things, one bases one’s beliefs on evidence. Faith is the opposite of that.

              Not every religious person I know is homophobic, but every homophobe I’ve ever even HEARD of is religious.There really isn’t any non-religious justification for hating homosexuals.

              I understand your aversion to being grouped with these hate mongers, but moderate religion gives cover to fundamentalism when people like you fail to stand up to people who profess the same god as you but use that god to justify hating and sometimes even killing people because they are different.

              This is an atheist blog. Not sure why you think I should come here and bow down to your ignorance. I was 14 and just coming to terms with my sexual orientation when this occurred. When you have faced that kind of hatred you can lecture me about my mild assertion that your beliefs held by “faith” are harmful and dangerous. Xians are NOT an oppressed minority no matter how many times it’s asserted.

          • nathan

            Pure ignorance. Pure hatred. You are the hypocrite, you beg for sanity, then spew insanity. The gay men killed in this horrible incident were themselves Christians. Secondly, Nunez was a patron of this bar, he was gay. He burned it down according to his friend because he was kicked out earlier in that evening.

          • daddio

            Seriously??? Talk about a hater? Let’s just use rational analysis for a moment to one statement. “More people have been killed because of which sky wizard they believe in, than any other reason, ever. ” Really? Let’s look at the majority of wars in history with the most casualties. WWII Millions dead? Over religion? No. WWI …no. Korean War? No. Japanese, Chinese war. No Cambodia,7 million, Vietnam, 500 thousand? Religion? No. How about the mass murderers? Lenin 85-100 million dead. Religion, No, Mao,50 million, religious…No, Stalin…ahh why go on? Bring up the crusades will you? because that has fueled every witless atheist’s intolerant, irrational biliousness for decades, (apparently the complete lack of belief in eternal damnation has no effect in turning one into a decent person either)

            • KevinJ

              Oh and the crusades had nothing to do with religion it was completely a reflection of greedy lords in Europe trying to get there hands on land in the middle east cause there weren’t any left in Europe…. checkmate lol thank you daddio I thought I was the only one who actually knew what they were talking about

              • JoFro

                Talk about an historical numpty! The crusades were a response to a call by the Byzantine Empire to come and assist its soldiers from Muslims who were invading their empire … seriously, educate yourself!

              • smokey307

                I think crusaders were mostly second born sons of the powerful. In those days, the first born son inherited everything and the second son got nothing. Once the various civil wars were finished the second born had nothing to do but tear up the shires. The Lords pressed upon the Pope to help them out of this mess. Consequently, the call to the various crusades. Yes, there is always the rest of the story. By the way, does this sound like William and Harry? A sad note about one crusade, the crusaders were to pass through Constantinople on their way to the Holy Land. They stopped there all right and murdered, plundered, and debauched their way through the great city and did not make it to Israel.

              • spookiewon

                ALL religion is about greedy people attempting to control other people, FFS. The crusades was CHRISTIAN.

            • Dez

              You are so completely wrong. Atheism is the lack of belief. Mao, Stalin did not do those things because of atheism because atheism has no doctrines or tenets.

              • Sam Samson

                The only tenet is that ‘you can’t believe in xyz if I don’t like it’.

                • Dez

                  If you believe in a god, then you are not an atheist. Not a tenet, just a fact.

                • Sam Samson

                  And if they weren’t atheists (aka they believed in a god) they were murdered.
                  Sam Samson: the only tenet [for the atheist dictators] is that ‘you can’t believe in xyz if I don’t like it’. In this case, the ‘I don’t like it’ is a god.

                  Atheism doesn’t have a written set of strict guidelines, but its core principle is obviously the rejection of the existence of any deity. Logical flow of thought -> one of your (Mao’s, Stalin’s etc.) citizens believing in a god was therefore unacceptable. It’s going to be tough for you to convincingly push forward the substance of Atheism while simultaneously trying to dismiss its substance when convenient for you.

            • spookiewon

              Yes, lets talk about the crusades, and the burning of witches? Shall we point out that the Holocaust was a christian wiping out jews because they “killled jesus” plus killing homosexuals and the mentally ill, and handicapped, and all other “undesirables?” Apparently the belief in eternal damnation doesn’t stop them because they actually were confident god would REWARD that behavior?!?

              Get back to me about “rational analysis” when you don’t base your beliefs on “faith.”

          • KevinJ

            you realize you are attempting to stereotype over 2 billion people right?… Oh if your ignorant enough to believe that religion is the problem then you obviously don’t know anything about history or people and the fact that religion is just a convenient mechanism leaders try to corrupt or use to abuse their subjects into doing there deeds if not religion then it would be something else… Sir no offense but your ignorance and audacity astounds me you are obviously a person with little true education to really believe religion is so simplistic… understand that religion is equivocal to almost any set of rules and tradition a person lives by whether supernatural or secular as determined by the Supreme court when they ruled secular humanism a religion…. You do understand what causes hate is a lack of understanding and a narrow point of view the things you obviously posses…

            • Sam Samson

              No THIS (no sarcasm this time senor anarchy45) hit the nail on the head.

            • Lucinda

              “religion is just a convenient mechanism leaders try to corrupt or use to abuse their subjects into doing there (THEIR) deeds”

              That is pretty much what anarchy45, myself, as well as alot of other people already said. LOL!

            • fenaray

              Hate is a choice. I find it funny that you say “no offense” and then proceed to say offensive things.

            • spookiewon

              Really? When has anyone ever expressed a hatred of gays that was NOT religiously based? Religion is the problem.

          • Scott Barnes

            I dont hate anyone I do however hate organized religions…People like to say walmart is an evil corporation… They are not evil…, The major corporate religions in the United States are fucking EVIL!

            • JoFro

              You hate organised religion? So you want disorganised religion or unorgnised religion?

              • fenaray

                no religion, imagine.

                • JoFro

                  Can’t imagine that! Religion pretty much means a way of life according to an ideology and covers both theistic ways of life and atheistic ways of life! If you live by a certain creed, that is your religion!

                • fenaray

                  I disagree, religion usually involves worship of some deity or deities. I’ll pass.

                • JoFro

                  But worship does not only mean some person standing in front of some idol or stone and bowing and praying. If a man tells a woman, that he worships the ground she walks on, it doesn’t mean he is praying at her feet or at the ground. If making money is all you think about and your entire life revolves around it, that is your deity that you worship, that is your religion!

                • spookiewon

                  Atheists don’t “live by a creed.” It’s not a religion, FFS. We ALL agree on nothing except that we reject the god-claims we’ve encountered. That’s it. NOTHING else.

              • spookiewon

                We want no religion in the public square. We want you to keep your beliefs in your homes and churches and not decide you get to decide how we get to use our bodies because your silly imaginary god objects. That’s what we want.

          • smokey307

            You certainly have a right to believe what you want but you sound pretty defensive like you have been hurt by religion (or religious people) pretty badly. The venom in your post makes that pretty apparent. I believe God grants us free will in order to love Him. Unfortunately, free will also allows us to hurt each other. I will pray that you find some comfort in whatever you believe, if anything.

        • Mary Larrimore

          I agree with you that this has gone way off the facts. Also I noticed that the article stated the person who claimed responsibility had visited the lounge his self and that he ended up committing suicide. Was he also gay? Is it possible this was an act of jealousy or the act of a lover scorned rather than a hate crime? Just wondering because the article didn’t go further into the person who claimed to have done this.

          • John

            It’s not just “who” committed the crime — you could very well be right — but the shameful reaction that occured afterward. THAT can squarely be placed on the shoulders of the Christian communty, and so it’s not out of line to therefore talk about the persecution of gays (and others) by Christians.

            What seems to escaped your notice (and Cherry’s) is that this in an atheist blog. Don’t expect very much sympathy for Christians (or any other religion – though as Christians are in the majority in the US, so they’re going to get the brunt of it) who use their status as a majority to seek special rights and privileges – such as putting up Christian symbols on public property, or teaching their religion in public school, despite both being unconstitutional.

            They also want to be able to continue their discriminatory practices. Three recent examples of the latter:

            *Not selling flowers to a gay couple in Washington state who were getting married;

            *Not selling a cake to an Oregon gay couple who were getting married;

            *Not sending flowers to Jessica Ahlquist, an atheist in Rhode Island who successfully won a law suit making her public school take down a Christian prayer banner.

            Of course, you could say that this kind of behavior is from a minority of Christians, but when, I ask, are those other Christians going to speak out about these things being wrong?

            • John

              To clarify the above post (if any is needed), I’m talking about a Washington state florist, an Oregon bakery, and a Rhode Island florist that refused to do business with people that they “didn’t like” – obvious hypocrisy, as I’m sure they’ve served adulterers, divorcees, people with tattoos, people who wear mixed fabrics, people who eat shellfish, etc. It’s purely selective which religious beliefs they’re worried they’re going to have violated.

              • Guest

                Leave it to people to bring “religion” into this…. SOCIETY let these people down… PEOPLE..their FAMILIES and Yes some because of their religion.. but I didnt read anywhere in this article that ANY others ( non religious) took up the cause either.. I am horrified and sickened to read this 40 years later.. and YET dare I say should it happen again.. there would STILL be some to react exactly the same way… I Dont give a rats a$$ who you are.. what religion you are… if you are red.. yellow.. black.. or white… THIS should be disgusting to anyone who reads it..BUT instead we argue over Christianity.. **Shaking head***

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Abuse punctuation all you want, it won’t change the fact that you completely missed the point there.

                • Sam Samson

                  And what was the point again? That Christianity causes deaths? It couldn’t have been those humans, no, never them. Human nature is perfect and religion is evil.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Does Jesus love it when you make up things and attribute them to other people to fit your narrative?

                • Sam Samson

                  What am I making up here C.L. ? I know it’s the most exciting thing in the world to make Jesus jokes, but being vague and ignoring my point in no way helps your case. We all have ‘narratives’ and biases, just be aware of yours as well.

                • Renee

                  Society, which was in the thrall of religion. And not the nice, modern day, accepting, liberal religion either. But the old time, hateful type.

                • Yoni Callahan

                  That would be a wonderfully convenient cop-out for the christian community, wouldn’t it? But society never claimed equal love of everyone as its core value. Christianity did. And so the greater burden of hypocrisy falls to the Christians for acting in the shameful manner that they did. That’s not to say that all Christians behaved as such, because it would be equally ignorant of me to make that claim, but to allow the Christian community an easy way out by saying that “Christians didn’t do it, society did” is to allow them to claim core values and not hold them to those same values.

          • Patrick Elliott

            Its hardly “impossible” as well, that the one responsible, “saw the light”, or already hated themselves for being what they where, and decided to do it because of that. But, since they never properly investigated.. And, no, *usually* something as personal as being scorned leads people to do direct attacks “against” the person that did it, not setting a building on fire, with other people in it. Its not.. personal enough for that, at least not other than really really rarely, or the personal grudge was something directed at the group itself.

          • Kelsi

            The greater shame that all of society and those who helped perpetuate the discrimination (at least some of which falls at the feet of Christians who use the bible to shame gay people) is not that one person chose to attack, but the hate and cruelty that the people in authori showed after the fact. There will always be crazy people, but that it was not properly investigated and that the victims were joked about is beyond the pale.

          • Robyn Ryan

            You don’t get what it was like back then, do you?

        • Origami_Isopod

          “Turn the other cheek,” eh? It doesn’t work. It’s a recipe for being abused, followed by people who look to get rewarded “in heaven” rather than to make things better here on earth.

          • Jay

            “Turn the other cheek” was always intended to mean “look away from those who abuse you.” In other words, don’t tolerate those who would slap you.

            • Stewland

              Turn the other cheek means to demonstrate your invulnerability. All are extension of Spirit. Your physical image is not who or what you truly are. You are Spirit and as Spirit you are eternal and immortal. Jesus sought to demonstrate Spiritual truth.

              • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

                I was always fond of Walter Wink’s interpretation:

                By turning the cheek, the servant makes it impossible for the master to use the backhand: his nose is in the way… The left cheek now offers a perfect target for a blow with the right fist; but only equals fought with fists, as we know from Jewish sources, and the last thing the master wishes to do is to establish this underling’s equality. This act of defiance renders the master incapable of asserting his dominance in this relationship … By turning the cheek, then, the “inferior” is saying, “I’m a human being, just like you. I refuse to be humiliated any longer. I am your equal. I won’t take it anymore.”

                • Kevin

                  Yeah but that interpretation completely ignores the context of the passage… Jesus was very un traditional as he showed he had no problem standing against the pharisees

              • TJ

                But Christians believe we are both body and spirit. Otherwise, there would be no need for a physical resurrection, which the gospels make pains to demonstrate (the touching of wounds, the eating of fish, etc.).

                • Stewland

                  Traditional Christianity has misunderstood the teachings of Jesus. Jesus spoke in parables . Different meanings based upon the level of understanding. Jesus did say that the Kingdom was not of this world. Also remember his teaching about the Lilly. They neither toil or worry but trust the Father to provide. If you really trust God and further in your understanding you will come to,realize that there is nothing to fear. Spirit is in a state of Grace forever and you are Spirit. I am not a Christian nor do I belong to any religion. I study spirituality. Jesus is a savior in the sense that he points the way to the return of the awareness of Heaven. Heaven is the home of Spirit or God. The two states of mind are separate.

                • KevinJ

                  see no offense stewland but you are the type of guy that actually believes after taking a few classes and maybe even getting a degree that you actually can say that millions of christian and jewish scholars who have dedicated there life to Jesus’s and the Torahs teachings are all wrong…. don’t you think that’s audacious…. I remember when I thought like that but then I realized it was only because I lacked understanding to be able to perceive the bible for what it was… A very factual history book that I believe is the written word of God… dont believe me look at the cold hard facts it might astound you…

                • Jasmine

                  These books were written by men. Not God. I could wake up tomorrow and say “I’ve had a vision and God told me to write down these rules”. People need to carve out their own relationship with god and quit blaming him for the stupidity of hate mongers hiding behind “the word” I can’t imagine how angry he is over animals like westboro baptist church saying he “hates” anyone. If you believe in the book choose to follow it as a guideline for YOUR life and don’t try to shove it down everyone else’s throat. In your book god gave humans freedom of choice whether or not to come to him, and also made it very clear not to judge ANYONE. That is up to him. Who are these people who hate and judge others while claiming to be christian?? I’m a Christian, I love and care for my fellow humans and try to be a better person every day. Their life and choices are between them and God. Don’t judge means DON’T JUDGE!
                  BTW Constantine sat down with his chosen and put together the books of the bible there are dozens left out and the books that were put in, cross a time span of a thousand years. From “scholars” point of view the time lines don’t match up to any historical event. Jew and Egyptian “scholars” today say the Jews were never slaves in Egypt. The time line is impossible. Be careful what you believe so easily as fact.

                • kngsolomon

                  thank you not many times do i run across someone who understands the nuts and boltz of it :-)

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

                  Mmm, yeah. Looking at the cold hard facts is exactly how so many of us ended up atheists.

                • fenaray

                  Touche!

                • Stewland

                  You may choose to seek sources that are not biblical. Look up a Teacher of Truth named ,”Jayem.” Look into NTI by ReginaDawn Akers. Look into, “A Course in Miracles.” These are but a few sources. Christianity has Jesus all wrong.

                • fenaray

                  No one knows what Jeebus really said, we only know what people said he said to other people who eventually wrote it down.

              • fenaray

                oh jeebus, mary and joseph, it’s getting deep in here.

            • TJ

              No, that is clearly not what Jesus is saying. Look at the context of this famous quotation. He follows the “turn the other cheek remark” with the admonition, “If someone asks for your coat, give him your cloak as well. If someone presses you to walk with him one mile, walk two.” (The idea is if you are pressed into service do even more than asked.) One interpretation is that Jesus is giving us a way to help this person realize that he or she is abusing you. If someone hits you with his right hand, and you turn your other cheek to him, the person must make a decision. A) backhand you as he would a slave, or B) use his left hand, which is unclean. The person hitting you might be so angry he won’t pick up on the symbolism, but you’re trying to jolt him out of his anger and make him realize he never should have hit you in the first place. Likewise with the coat and cloak – If you want one piece of my clothing, just take it all and leave me naked. One would hope that the other person would realize that even taking the first garment is wrong and return it.

          • JoFro

            Turn the other cheek is about standing your ground! Neither fighting back nor fleeing!

        • Renee

          They were victims of hate, but a HATE that is created and nurtured by RELIGION (as well as other parts of culture).

          Thankfully, nowadays, liberal religion has turned the corner on this hatred for gays, but many faiths still KILL GAYS in the name of GOD/ALLAH. Today.

          How you could say this had nothing to do with religious beliefs I just cannot understand, when it is religion that spreads the cancer of hate.

        • Сахароз Дурдень

          These religious groups are the foundation of hate. Look at the Muslim world; i.e. Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. Now look at what happened to the Russia after the USSR fell and the Orthodox church regained its foothold; LGBT individuals went from having an equal position in society punching bags.

      • $16456334

        This. I couldn’t tell you how important what you just said is.

      • Nathan

        Again the person purported to do this was gay, and a patron of a bar. So the whole homophobia thing is invalid. Further, as you attack christians…these gay men were christians in fact this was a meeting place for their church members.

      • Sam Samson

        Hit the nail on the head there anarchy45; all Christians just have pathetic lives filled with jealousy for you and want you to be just as miserable by judging you day and night.Iit’s not like they’re trying to take heed to the Bible’s calling for them to not only save themselves, but to save others. They totally have nothing better to do.
        It’s easy to make claims based on your own perspective. It’s 10X harder to empathize and put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Whether you think it’s ‘stupidity’ is up to you, but the way you twist things for your benefit^ just makes you sound bitter.

      • smokey307

        Your post sounds like what you call others to task for and you sound perfectly miserable. ‘Nuff said.

    • enlightened

      Wow, I totally didn’t notice how this article was about Christianity. Thanks for clearing it up everybody.

    • Robert Payne

      Honestly I totally see where some Christians are coming from when they say that they’re the victims of bullying and whatnot. I don’t think that you can even begin to blame a religion on the decisions of a group of people, now I understand that a lot of Christians are homophobic, bigoted assholes in far too many situations but there was something wrong with these people. My whole family is Christian and they are very nice people who support me as a gay atheist. It’s not the bible that spreads hate it’s the people who preach it incorrectly, and the followers who are either just not educated enough or who are too close minded about things and not willing to coexist.

      • Geoff Boulton

        I doubt that many here would claim that Christians are horrible people. There are some who are and some who are not, just like any other group of people. To say though that the bible is just being preached incorrectly and doesn’t spread hatred is absurd. On what evidence do you base the assumption that one bit of the bible is true and another bit was just God having a bad day and he didn’t really mean that gays should be killed. How can you decide that any interpretation is actually correct? You can’t. Which means that interpreting that kill gays means exactly that is just as valid, if abhorrent, an interpretation as any other. It is humanity’s innate, not God-given, sense of right and wrong which determines ‘the bible can’t possibly have meant that so let’s say it means something else.’ resulting in the nice Christians you speak of.

    • mikaelfivel

      Since when did Christians commit this attack? Rogder was a frequenter of the bar, believed to be also gay, and an autopsy confirmed he had a brain tumor after it was discovered he had been going through mental health therapy. Sick perfectly defines the man responsible for killing these people. I don’t agree with it, but it’s understandable that a church wouldn’t hold a ceremony for a person who doesn’t abide by its teachings. Would an atheist pray over them for a cause they don’t believe in? Moreover, christians who actually live by the book are told not to repay evil with evil, to love your neighbor, etc – those who actually commit acts of hatred toward another person are not abiding by their own teachings, plain and simple.

      Meanwhile, i dare you to call yourself a christian (even if you’re not) in the Philippines. You will die for it. The Chinese also kill christians who profess. The Norwegians have a national pastime of church burning, and beatings are regular in the christian community.

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

        The Philippines, a majority-Catholic country that just managed to push through access to cheap family planning for the poor against the fierce objections of the RCC? That Philippines?

        • mikaelfivel

          I’m not sure you understand the gravity of what I’m talking about. Have you ever been there? Tourists alone (not even talking about religion here) are advised to stay away from pretty much any alleyway or unlit street after dusk. Most are required to travel in large groups because kidnapping is a regular occurence. It’s widely regarded as one of the unsafest places on earth. They are openly hostile to Christians. “Majority-catholic”… maybe a “poll” amongst residents, but not how the state treats its own people and foreigners.
          “cheap family planning for the poor” – you mean the same way the Chinese force abortions on families that have more than one child, especially girls? riiiiiiiiiiight – *that* family planning.

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

            No, I mean access to condoms and contraception (the pill) for women who otherwise couldn’t afford it. You know, the kind of family planning that means what the standard term means? Do some fucking research, don’t just spout off nonsense. The Philippines is a poor country and a restless one in many places; it has a large Muslim population on some islands that feels marginalized, which has organized rebels/terrorists in a small subset of those places. The elites and majority population, on the other hand, are Catholic (80%). In fact, 92.5% of the population is Christian of some sort. Hard to be hostile towards Christians with that sort of overwhelming majority, don’t you think?

            Religion in the Philippines:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_the_Philippines
            The expansion of family planning:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Responsible_Parenthood_and_Reproductive_Health_Act_of_2012
            Islamic Insurgency in the Philippines:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_insurgency_in_the_Philippines

            EDIT: Even though two of your examples are absurd, no one argues that Christians are never persecuted. China and many countries in the Middle East unquestionably persecute Christians. The point is that in the US, Christians are not bullied or persecuted for their religion.

            • mikaelfivel

              “Do some fucking research, don’t just spout off nonsense.” – Right, says the commenter who cites wikipedia. So you’re an expert now, yes? You been there? It’s not like there’s a massive problem with sexist violence, or that foreign politicians and journalists have ever been abducted and killed, right?.

              I knew people who were killed there while working for clean water charities. Tens of others arrested for the suspicion of being missionaries.

              And by the way, when the Chinese started their “family planning” program, it looked good on paper, too. Now it’s a limitation on households, with gender preferences enforced.

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

                The Philippines has a lot of problems, yes. Anti-Christian violence is not one of them. At what point have I denied the kidnappings, murders, and sexist violence that occur in the Philippines? Those are real and serious issues.

                Wikipedia is a pretty good place to start learning about a lot of things, since it pulls it sources together. I’m clearly not an expert on the country, which is why I went to Wikipedia in the first place. It’s usually right, especially when it comes to statistics (like the percentage of population of any one religion) or political infighting (such as the family planning law).

                And for your information, the Chinese program was always an abomination. It’s always included forced abortions and people have always been upset about that. It never “looked good on paper”, and your attempt at a slippery slope or false equivalence (I can’t tell if you’re saying the Philippines program will lead to a Chinese-type policy or is already like it) is straight-up false. Maybe you should read those Wikipedia articles you were dissing?

    • Nathan

      The man purported of doing this was gay. So the whole homophobia thing is an outrageous claim. He was kicked out earlier that evening.

      • Geoff Boulton

        ‘What do we bury them in? Fruit jars?’

        ‘Homophobia being what it was, several families declined to claim the bodies and one church after another refused to bury or memorialize the dead.’

    • Seth

      These weren’t Christians. Christianity states that you must love everybody, and that no sin is above any other. A real Christian, which is rather hard to find these days, does not prosecute others because of their sins. I feel the word that best describes this situation is “human” not “Christian”. Those are often confused.

      • Geoff Boulton

        ‘one church after another refused to bury or memorialize the dead.’

        Totally, nothing to do with Christians

    • KevinJ

      Just so you are educated hundreds of Christian’s are martyred each year around the world… I’m not saying its any worse but they certainly deal with persecution… Oh and its no Christian’s business to judge you for your actions or beliefs it is our obligation to show Jesus love…

      • Geoff Boulton

        Ah yes, gangs of atheists roaming the world killing Christians. Oh no, wait, it’s other groups ‘doing God’s work’ who are doing the killing. You know, just like Christians did before secularists removed their power, at least in more advanced civilizations.

    • JoFro

      http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/the_truth_of_the_magdalene_laundries_emerges

      How about educating yourself on the latest report on the laundries?

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

        So yeah, I’m just going to go with a common retort around here.

        Does Jesus love it when you lie?

      • Geoff Boulton

        Yes, why don’t you. Here’s the full report:

        http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/MagdalenRpt2013

        The nuns never hit me in [name of Laundry], I’ll give that to them. But they gave it to you in your mind”.

        “I wasn’t beaten but they’d shake you. And we were hungry – bread and dripping”.

        “very cruel, but they couldn’t hit us … physical cruelty didn’t happen, but mental cruelty did”.

        Anyone can cherry pick.

        • JoFro

          So the nuns acted like your average woman? Woah!

  • Faerie Fey

    A friend of a friend wrote a musical that just premiered this last weekend in New Orleans, about this fire. http://upstairsthemusical.wordpress.com/ All the performances have been sold out.

  • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

    That’s one of the saddest things I’ve ever heard.

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

    For years afterwards the question was posed in journalism classes: would you print the names of the victims of a fire in a gay bar in the newspaper. Being gay was so shameful and it was inconceivable in the 1970s and early 80s that more than 1 or 2 would be publicly out.

    • Stev84

      Even decades later, there could be negative consequences. The guy who bombed the Atlanta Olympics also bombed a lesbian bar a year before that. One of the victims was promptly fired (although she wasn’t even gay and just there with a friend) :

      http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0306/02/se.12.html

  • Erp

    An Unitarian Universalist church and an United Methodist church also held memorial services a bit later; the latter with the blessings of its bishop. But other than that the christians refused to get involved even to the point of refusing to bury even members of their own denomination (the Catholic church allegedly under orders from the local archbishop).

    The current archbishop, Aymond, has released a statement to Time

    ‘In retrospect, if we did not release a statement we should have to be in solidarity with the victims and their families,’ Aymond told TIME magazine.
    ‘The church does not condone violence and hatred. If we did not extend our care and condolences, I deeply apologize.’

    Note the conditionals. It does not admit anything.

    • scottrose

      The Catholic Church is the world’s single largest anti-gay hate group.

      • RealOnigokko

        That doesn’t mean all people that follow the Catholic faith are hateful. The Catholic faith worships a God. The Catholic Church is nothing but a group of humans.

        • scottrose

          I’m sick-and-tired of the fatuous, erroneous presumption that individual Catholics are not accountable for the anti-gay hate crimes of their Church’s leaders. Nobody is forcing you to remain in a Church and to give money to a Church whose leader blesses an African leader whose country proposes to wipe out all gay citizens by killing them.

          • Richard Servello

            This baffles me too. If I were a member of a social club, and found out one day that the founders and supporters of the club were raving bigots, I would leave and never come back. I wouldn’t say…well some people that run the club are bad..but plenty of us are good. NO, the leaders set the stage, if you don’t want to be associated with bigotry, don’t belong to a bigoted club!

            • Jerrad Wohlleber

              Especially since, as people keep repeating in this thread, there are 46,000 Christian denominations to choose from. There’s no good reason to stick with the one that’s done more to promote the persecution of homosexuals than any other single organization in the western world.

        • MychaelDio

          That have leaders that war red dresses and carry around smoking brass purses!!!! Silly catholics!!

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

            Well that was a non-sequitur! What does that have to do with anything?

        • MBear

          support of a doctrine, whether you follow it or not, is still acceptance

        • Origami_Isopod

          …a group of humans that follows/tithes to a misogynist, racist, homophobic, and pedophile-protecting organization.

      • FaintCryofFreedom

        Just remember this: If it wasn’t evident before, it should be that the Catholic Church is one giant homosexual organization. They may pretend to hate gays, but it belies so much evidence indicating that it’s one big homosexual organization that is trying to make itself out to be anything but.

    • AdmiralTubington

      “The church does not condone violence and hatred.”

      Ha! That’s pretty rich, right there.

  • Graham Martin-Royle

    This was so little reported that this is the first I have ever heard of it. Even though I live in the UK, I would have thought that there would be some mention of it.

    As Geoff Boulton has already said, this puts the claims of persecution made by some christians into perspective. It also makes the claims of islamophobia look weak.

    For no-one ever to have been charged with the crime makes the police look very suspect.

    • Erp

      I believe they have a fairly good idea of who committed it since a person who had been thrown out of the place earlier did say he did it but was never prosecuted. He killed himself within the year. The major crime of the people of New Orleans and elsewhere was not the fire itself but their reactions; the victims were treated as heinous criminals to be banished from society with not even their families showing compassion and those who extended a hand were also treated harshly.

    • Geoff Boulton

      Luckily, I no longer live in the UK so I don’t hear the frequent accusations of ‘islamophobia’ that I often see in the UK press. Help! Help! We’re being oppressed, and if you say it again, we’ll kill you!.

      • Origami_Isopod
        • Geoff Boulton

          phobia = irrational fear. While I unreservedly condemn the attacks against Muslims, i.e. individual people, the fear which many have of Islam, i.e. the religion, can hardly be said to be irrational given 9/11 and any number of other attacks around the world.

          • DavidMHart

            The term ‘Islamophobia’ has come to mean fear of, or bigotry against, Muslims as a whole. We probably ought to look for a different term for the justifiable fear of the violently theocratic strains of Islam. How about Jihadophobia?

            • Geoff Boulton

              I take the point, although I have to say this twisting of meaning has mainly come from Muslims. Much as questioning Christianity is seen as an attack on Christians. Several prominent atheists have clearly explained the difference but I can see how it is difficult for the ‘faithful’ to recognize the difference if they choose to define their whole life by their ‘faith’.

          • Jerrad Wohlleber

            Phobia has also come to mean irrational hatred. It’s not like homophobia is used to mean fear of gay people. We’re not ancient Greeks; their language is dead but ours is not, and we are not bound by their definition. English evolves. You’d do well to keep up, because complaining that the widely understood meaning of a word doesn’t match your preference is just silly.

            • Geoff Boulton

              Ah, good old semantics and ad-hominem, without addressing the point which was made. When something is a potential danger to your well-being, is it ‘irrational’ to fear and/or hate it?

              • Jerrad Wohlleber

                Please explain how the existence of gay people is a potential danger to anyone’s well-being. Because the word homophobia exists and has existed for quite some time now, representing a shift in the way the suffix -phobia is commonly used in English. If you don’t like it, that’s just too damn bad. Nobody made you the English police.

                As to your paranoia about Muslims, I don’t give a damn.

                • Geoff Boulton

                  The comment to which you responded, with your explanation of phobia, was itself responding to a remark regarding Islamophobia from Origami-Isopod. If you’re going to criticize something, at least know what you are criticizing. If I didn’t ‘like’ your definition then why would I have included it in my reply to you?

                • Geoff Boulton

                  ‘While I unreservedly condemn the attacks against Muslims, i.e. individual people, the fear which many have of Islam, i.e. the religion, can hardly be said to be irrational given 9/11 and any number of other attacks around the world.’

                  I’ll repeat what I said, since you accuse me of paranoia about Muslims when I quite clearly made a distinction between Muslims and Islam. I was invited to, and attended, a Muslim friend’s wedding last year so perhaps you should let Muslims who actually know me decide whether I’m a rabid anti-Muslim or not before you start throwing out ad-hominem attacks.

                  I don’t think gays are a threat to anyone that is the domain of religious fundamentalists. They believe their ‘well-being’ is under attack.

                  English police? The only person quibbling over definitions is you. I’m happy to use phobia to mean hate, as I used in my earlier reply. The difference between fear/hate was in any case irrelevant to the point being made, which was ‘irrational’. There is every reason to be fearful of Islam (not Muslims), or indeed any teaching which can be used to indoctrinate people into committing acts of violence against others.

    • pirate_froglet

      I asked my mother, who lived in Toronto at that time (and most of her life), and she said she remembered hearing about it. Then again, she was hanging out in ‘Boystown’ with her friends at the time, so my family has been a bit more liberal than even some Canadian’s are today. Or, ya know, we’re so apathetic, we just don’t give a damn what people do with themselves. It’s their lives!

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

    Thank you for making sure the broader public has access to our shared history. If we are ignorant of history we are doomed to repeat it.

  • Miss_Beara

    I never heard of this before. What a incredibly sad story this is. :(

  • Nicole Youngman

    I’m in NOLA and VERY glad to see this post. Our local paper the Times-Picayune had a couple of good articles in the paper about the fire yesterday (Sun) as well. http://search.nola.com/upstairs+lounge+fire/

  • Hudson De Witt Kelly

    this is one of the most saddest stories I have ever read i have just changed my mind the black civil rights movement does belong with both the gays lesbians but dont act as if our legacy does not affect yours it should go hand in hand people

    • diana

      civil rights also helps with women, and the disabilities.

    • Richard Servello

      Civil rights are for all humans…has nothing to do with race, religion, sex or orientation…all humans should be treated with equal respect!

    • Anonymous

      I agree. Even though all marginalized peoples have different stories, we are still fighting against the same system. Many queer people of colour marched with MLK. We’re stronger when we understand our shared histories.

    • Cherry Grace

      Hudson u are correct . But it’s everyone’s legacy, in the human rights movement. Civil rights movement is one of many steps on the way to equality. I know I try everyday to see people as fellow humans, it’s not always easy. If we could all work together not as separate groups for gay racial or religious rights and create a united front for equality we could change the world, it’s gotta start in our hearts first, change through love and respect for ourselves and others. The victims of the attack were people attacked from hate, and they also were laying the groundwork for equality and change. Take care all

      • Origami_Isopod

        We should all work together, but straight people as a whole, white people as a whole, and men as a whole don’t need people working for their rights, which are already secure. Some people are more vulnerable than others, and they should receive priority in focus.

    • Dez

      I agree. I’m a bi black woman. I see the similarities between both civil rights movement. They both just want equality for who they are.

  • Tim

    I’m in the uk and this reminds me of an horrific arson attack at a gay house party in brighton – the reaction wasn’t nearly as callous as in this case but the media coverage was quite prurient – again the cause was another gay man, again they committed suicide shortly after. All very sad.

  • Caprinions

    Definitely something to remind every single anti-LGBTQ individual of when they spout their hate and expect it to be accepted as “disagreement”.

  • Brazen

    And may you be wherever it is that it happens, since you believe “social cleansing” is so important, society could do with a lot less hate filled people like yourself.

    • AdmiralTubington

      Don’t feed the troll.

    • BambiBlue

      Let’s not wish violence on anyone period. No one deserves this.

  • Jordan Sugarman

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve honestly never even heard of the event before. I guess that’s not all that surprising, since it happened before I was born and I live on the west coast. Still, it’s a horrifying reminder of just how far we’ve come.

  • LizBert

    I read about this in Time and shared it with my younger, religious brother who believes that being gay is a choice. Why would anyone choose to be gay in the 70′s when you couldn’t tell you family and friends and you faced such violence?

    • Geoff Boulton

      You should enlighten him about the activities of Exodus International. If being gay were a choice that could be corrected by just ‘choosing right’, then how come they failed so miserably? Incidentally, if your younger brother really were in a position where choosing a man or a woman as a sexual partner would be equally rewarding for him then wouldn’t that make him bisexual? Just saying ;-)

    • CottonBlimp

      Because the beauty and the wonder inside those secret, dark gay spaces was worth so much more than the world of ugliness and stupidity that burned them down.

  • Pariah30

    I never knew this happened

  • http://www.bigseance.com/ Patrick Keller

    As a 35 year old, I was ashamed when I learned about this only a year ago… and it took a Ghost Hunters episode. So sad. People need to know!

    • Tainda

      I was just coming here to say that. I watched that episode with my hand on my mouth, not because I believed in the ghosties but because it broke my heart.

      • http://www.bigseance.com/ Patrick Keller

        I was doing the same thing.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Ghost Hunters exploited this? Those fucking assholes. Come to think of it, that’s all they ever do: promote magical thinking and exploit the dead for ratings. They’re worse than Nancy Grace.

  • Shelle Iles

    Let us all pray that with the recent coverage and fighting about our civil rights and access to marriage equality will not spawn any such events in the future. This was a dreadful event no less horrible than any during the black civil rights movement in the Sixties.Pray God we have grown as a culture beyond this.

    • John

      God doesn’t exist, and subsequently can do nothing about this. Only humans can solve their own problems. You can go ahead and pray, but the only thing you’ll be accomplishing will be to make yourself feel better.

      • Shelle Iles

        No amount of prayer will make me feel better about this kind of horror,and as for humans fixing things I’ve been around for over 60 yrs. and it seems we do a better job screwing things up than fixing them.

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

          And yet, we are our only hope. There’s no Obi-Wan Kenobi or Jesus or Superman going to swoop in and save the day. There’s just us poor, struggling, misguided, imperfect humans. And hey, to be fair, in the past 60 years a lot of progress has been made- we’re nowhere near finished, but our society (at least in the US) is better than it was in terms of dealing with race, gender, and sexual orientation. Compare today to the 1950s … *shudder*.

          • Shelle Iles

            How true I would have been institutionalized for being me back then.

        • John

          Prayer is the act of fooling yourself into thinking you’re doing something useful while you’re actually doing nothing. Hence, you’re making yourself feel better. Nothing to do with the actual horror of what happened.

    • Origami_Isopod

      LOL, because appealing to an imaginary being will do fuck-all to promote civil rights.

      • Shelle Iles

        So attacking me for my beliefs will do the trick I suppose. People like you only promote what’s wrong and aren’t usually a part of any peaceful solution

  • Marwan Jassem

    I think terrorism exists in the people who have a huge amount of hate against other people just because their religion tells them too or just simply the society who do not accept people who are different.

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

      Generally untrue. Terrorism flourishes in places with large youth populations with little education and/or chance for employment. There are always exceptions, of course (Osama bin Laden was from a very wealthy family), but they usually become the leaders and thinkers instead of the poor schlubs carrying out the attacks.

      People become terrorists in part because they have nothing to lose. They are uneducated, so easily manipulated by people trying to recruit them. They are poor, so payments to their families and/or salaries mean a lot to them. Peer pressure also plays a role- if even one person on a soccer team becomes radicalized, chances are some of hir teammates will follow. Becoming a terrorist gives people a sense of purpose and mission, something usually lacking from their lives beforehand, and the recruiters tell them that they matter. It’s a pretty toxic stew that is best alleviated by education, economic development, and political development.*

      *Hey I never said it was easy!

      • Richard Servello

        You just described the rabid followers of every religion.

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

          Any ideology, really. It doesn’t take religion to brainwash people, though it’s a very handy tool that makes it easier. “God said so” is a very persuasive argument to people who have been taught that there is a God and that it does tell people things.

          It’s also important to keep in mind that the difference between ‘terrorist’ and ‘freedom fighter’ is solely based on how we feel about the target. The above post wasn’t intended to bash religion, just attack the erroneous idea that terrorists are inherently irrational or complete monsters, rather than people driven by very understandable human desires to do very bad things.

          • Richard Servello

            An excellent point.

      • Marwan Jassem

        yes but some people are encouraged to kill because of religious purposes, or just simply hate for example the norwegian guy who boomed the parlement and killed innocent people i would definitely call him a terrorist.

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

          I don’t know that he was a religious terrorist, though. Xenophobia and nationalism seemed to be more important motivating factors to him than Christianity, though he was also unquestionably Christian. I’d think Anders Breivik is a really good example of how blind ideology and lack of empathy can cause people to become terrorists without needing religion to do it.

      • brianmacker

        “Terrorism flourishes in places with large youth populations with little education and/or chance for employment”

        Nonsense, many of the Islamic terrorists have been doctors, architects, etc. It is intimately tied to the ideology of Islam, which teaches such behavior in its religious texts. Your claim is a myth, that is not supported by the facts. The Boston bombers, Osama, the British subway bombers, etc. do not fit your beliefs.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          If you’d actually read the comment…

          • brianmacker

            If you’d actually understood the response. Osama recruited from one of the richest countries per capita in the world. There is a slew of falsifying information available for your beliefs. Try this: http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110911119848561282,00.html

            In fact, if anything there seems to be an anti-correlation between terrorism and poverty/lack of education. See here: http://money.cnn.com/2007/03/13/magazines/fortune/pluggedin_murphy_terror.fortune/

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              You either ignored or failed to read a large part of what she wrote in order to argue against her. QED.

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

          Scott Roeder. IRA and offshoots. All the bombings of abortion clinics in the US. Timothy McVeigh. The Unabomber. Basque ETA. Anders Breivik. Serbian paramilitaries. Zionists back when Israel was still part of the British Palestinian Mandate.

          You still want to argue that terrorism is inextricably linked with any one religion? You’ll also note that I pointed out that many of the educated people who join terrorist movement do so in leadership positions, which assumes that they do, indeed, sometimes join.

          • brianmacker

            I didn’t make the argument you think I did. I showed that terrorism wasn’t due to large youth population, poverty and lack of education, but ideology that drove it. Don’t make my arguments for me because you are very bad at making your own. Andre Brevik, Tim McVeigh, The Unibomber, etc. are not examples of uneducated poor people. There is nothing stopping other groups from having hateful ideologies of their own, so my point out the depravity of the Qur’an is not something you can use to deduce me into the stupid straw man position you are assuming.

            There are vast swaths of the earth large youth populations, poverty, and lack of education. Your bigotry does a disservice to the young, the poor and the uneducated. Bigotry unsupported by the facts.

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

              Those are some of the aspects of societies that tend to breed higher rates of terrorism. FFS, I can’t write a full poly-sci paper in a blog comment! There will always be outliers and people who don’t fit the narrative, but even the wealthy, educated terrorists tend to come from societies with high poverty rates, high youth unemployment, and authoritarian governments.

              There’s a reason military recruiters go after people who are young, poor, and have mediocre educations with little chance of higher education. Why wouldn’t terrorist recruiters go after that same demographic, for the same reasons?

              • brianmacker

                You haven’t even begun to support any of your original claims, and listing the unibomber, a graying loner with a PHD from Harvard University as an example of an young uneducated, poor dupe, from an country a large youth population is an epic fail, as are a bunch of your other examples.

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

                  Oh, bullshit.

                • brianmacker

                  Not surprised you think facts are bullshit.

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

                  Au contraire, you are the one confusing pure, unadulterated horse-shit for actual, proven facts.

                  I suggest you learn the difference before spewing forth your “opinion”.

                • brianmacker

                  Yeah, because it is a proven fact that Unibomber is a poor uneducated youth.

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

                  WTF. Nobody claimed that the Unibomber is/was a “poor uneducated youth.”

                  Just because you can point at a few terrorists that are rich, white, and educated, hey, it doesn’t negate the COLD HARD FACT that terrorists, for the most part, ARE poor uneducated youth!

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

                  Those examples were in response to your claim that terrorism is intimately tied to Islam, somehow, when it is clearly not. The Unabomber does not fit the trends, no. Many IRA and ETA members, Timothy McVeigh, abortion clinic bombers and shooters, and Anders Breivik do fit the narrative of poorly educated, low socio-economic status, hopeless-feeling individuals though.

                  The support comes from papers that, unfortunately, live behind paywalls at JStor. If you have access to that database, though, I encourage you to read through some of the first ones that pop up.

        • Origami_Isopod

          Oh, goddamn, you’re stupid and bigoted.

          • brianmacker

            LOL, Origami Isopod, can’t read (what I wrote), he must be a uneducated, and therefore a likely terrorist.

  • Alvin Ray Jamye Green Jr.

    I was born and raised in new orleans and I never knew this happen that’s heart breaking. I will never understand why humans would rather destroy what they dont understand instead of build communication to develop moral understand and respect for different types of ppl..

  • dats3

    I don’t think I can watch the trailer. That’s just too heartbreaking. How can anyone do such a thing?

  • Cherry Grace

    First, remember this was an attack on people. Regular everyday people who just wanted to live their lives. You should be ashamed of taking the importance away with religious agendas. This isn’t about you it’s about the people who suffered this hate filled massacre. While it was an attack on lgbt community, it was also an attack on humanity. And events like this are still continuing .if you want to debate religion vs sexuality do it somewhere else and show respect for one another. That’s all these victims wanted respect and to be viewed for who they are, human. Tragedy like this should enrage everyone .sexuality isn’t what defined them or who they were as people. Equality and love for your fellow people. Lgbt community is part of the human community. Always has been always will be, people need to realize that. Hopefully one day everyone can work together side by side without having to categorize each other. I love these people and mourn their loss as I would everyone else. And Ill honor theirs and other equal rights trailblazers memories by picking up their flag and moving forward in the fight for human rights and equality. Love and respect to you all. Love and accept one another even if its not something that you may believe to be right, give people a chance to change through your acceptance of them. We all have the power to change things we have to start with ourselves and not be judgmental towards anyone because it only leads to more conflict. Kill them w kindness you can’t fight hate with more hate. To these people and their families I say thank you for standing for the ideals of equality humanity and love.

    • Lyuba Allenivna Marchenko

      I rather beat a violent phobe’s arse than to ‘kill with kindness’. Anyone who would burn people alive and or joke about it and dehumanise the victims needs an ‘attitude adjustment’.

    • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

      I’ve read a lot of forensics textbooks and the like. I can’t find a single instance of ‘kindness’ being listed as a cause of death. I also can’t find a single instance of a people being given their rights by ‘asking nicely’.

      I’m bisexual. I don’t need to change jack shit about myself, and I don’t need to accept any asshole who thinks I do.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Can you explain how, exactly, it is promoting a “religious agenda” to criticize people who for religious reasons went so far as to refuse to bury the dead or investigate mass murder? Who did everything they could to keep this hushed up, thus helping keep anything from getting better? Your entire comment is, ironically, about being judgmental of those are bothered by such behavior, who would dare be outraged at the idea that if this had been spread around and entered the public consciousness, that more people would have demanded better and equal treatment sooner.

      There’s nothing in the article like what you describe as being in it. You’re seeing what you want to see.

    • Origami_Isopod

      You can’t “kill with kindness.” You’re spouting the usual claptrap that’s been spouted for 2,000 years to get xtians to submit to injustice on earth in order to be rewarded “in heaven.”

    • DavidMHart

      You can’t fight hate with more hate, but sometimes you have to fight it with disruptive, in-your-face activism. Being all meek and non-judgemental doesn’t have a great track record of forcing society to confront social in justice.

  • Greg_Clark

    Stunning. And I’m not easily stunned. Thank you for informing me of this history that I should have known, but didn’t.

  • Kevin Moss

    There was a memorial service in New Orleans for the victims of the fire and to honor the one priest who did honor them:

    http://www.stannanola.org/2013/06/13/pride-with-a-purpose/

  • Mitchell

    There are no words to describe the revulsion I feel knowing that the perpetrators of such a overwhelmingly heinous act are of the same species as myself. How is it possible that one human can do this to another?

  • Qanni Katifa

    It seems that evolution takes so much longer in the South!

  • http://www.zombielogic.org/ Thomas L. Vaultonburg

    Excellent work.

  • Adamo Giles

    Sad story! I hope humanity learns from this tragedy and places human compassion over radical religious dogma that threatens all of humanity.

  • Mary Larrimore

    Okay the article claims that the man who claimed responsibility for this was “a sometime visitor to the UpStairs Lounge, committed suicide in 1974″. has anyone thought that this may have been an act of vengeance, the act of jealousy, or the act of a lover scorned rather than a hate crime? Is it at all possible that the only hate crimes committed were by those that refused to bury the dead and those that were responsible for the investigation that never happened?

    • Terry Firma

      Mary:

      If Nunez was the arsonist, yes, I think that’s right, then it wouldn’t be right to classify this as a hate crime. And it’s pretty plausible that it isn’t.

      Then again, we don’t know Nunez’s sexual orientation. Not everybody at the Upstairs Lounge was gay. If he was straight, and if a gay patron said an unkind word to this mentally unstable man, and that set him off… We’ll never know. The NOPD missed several chances to pick him up for questioning, and he killed himself in November of 1974.

      I agree with you that it’s only right to reserve much of our anger for the feckless media, the lame investigators, and the cruel clergy members of the era, who thought that gay men were vile and embarrassing, and refused to treat them as they treated everyone else. Still makes my blood boil.

  • luganman

    the golden rule, it’s so obvious yet so often ignored by the selfish and non compassionate.

  • Gerry Panzica

    I never knew this! But I think the “biggest”
    massacre was that of Ronald Reagan and how he IGNORED the AIDS crisis
    and thousands of gay men died !!

    • Erp

      It wasn’t just Ronald Reagan; he just took the road his followers wanted him to take. Many ignored the AIDS crisis because so many of the victims were pariahs because they were gay or drug addicts or prostitutes. The main focus for many was making sure those pariahs didn’t spread ‘their’ disease to ‘us innocents’ and they did not care what happened to the pariahs (or felt it was God’s justice). Just as New Orleans (most of the rest of the country didn’t even hear of this fire) did not care or felt it was God’s justice that so many died in the fire.

      • brianmacker

        ” Many ignored the AIDS crisis …”

        Including the gays who didn’t bother to wear condoms.

    • brianmacker

      Funny, I remember people at the time wondering why AIDs was getting disproportionately more funding than cancer. So that would depend on perspective. A quick search undoes that myth. Here’s from just one link:

      “The real Reagan record on AIDS is different. AIDS funding skyrocketed

      in the 1980s, almost doubling each year from 1983 – when the media started blaring headlines – from $44 million to $103 million, $205 million, $508 million, $922 million, and then $1.6 billion in 1988. Reagan’s secretary of Health and Human Services in1983, Margaret Heckler, declared AIDS her department’s “number one priority.” While the House of Representatives was Democrat-dominated throughout the 1980s, which Democrats would quickly explain was the source of that skyrocketing AIDS funding, Reagan clearly signed the spending bills that funded the war on AIDS.

      It’s also wrong that Reagan didn’t utter the word “AIDS” until 1987. Any reporter who bothered to check facts would find that Reagan discussed AIDS funding in a 1985 press conference, just for starters. But let’s turn that around on the rest of Washington. Does that mean no reporter asked Reagan about AIDS in the 1984 presidential debates? And that every interview President Reagan granted to a national or local media outlet failed to solicit Reagan’s opinions on AIDS until 1985? Using this phony-baloney spin line – that federal policy hinges exclusively on the presidential bully pulpit – is an exercise in liberal hyperbole over hard data.”

      http://www.mrc.org/bozells-column/new-myths-reagans-record

      Kinda extreme accusing Reagan of a massacre he ignored (nay perpetrated according to your sentence structure) when the facts show he signed all these bills doubling funding.

      • Origami_Isopod

        LOL, Brent Bozell.

        • brianmacker

          LOL, Origami Isopod.

    • brianmacker

      Another thing that is appalling about your position is it places no responsibility of the gays of that era for not practicing safe sex. STDs are not exactly a new phenomenon and it was the prevalence of very risky behavior that made the spread of AIDS so rapid. Are gays to be considered like animals who are not responsible for their own behavior? I don’t think so.

  • Krystyne Carruthers

    I think this strand got a little off topic. It is time for everyone to stand up for fair treatment and equal rights and protections for all people regardless of age, race, religion, culture, colour, weight, sexual identity or preference! Let’s stop spreading any kind of hate and start taking care of each other!

    • Origami_Isopod

      Vehemently calling out hate is not “spreading hate.” Fuck your false equivalence.

      • brianmacker

        Vehemently making gross over generalizations that subsume the very victims in the article (Christians), is hate. It is one thing to criticize the parts of the bible that advocate violence against homosexuals, and denounce those Christians who follow such advice, and quite another to make blanket statements condemning all Christians or worse all religions. Stuff like that is going on in the thread.

  • Dez

    Another sad point I noticed was that 3 bodies were not identified. There may be families out there that never knew what happened to their family member. I just want to cry reading this article. The agony these victims went through can not be comprehended.

  • Ellen

    We must know our history, ALL of it, and never forget what prejudice and hate are capable of…..and no less deep emotional scars and rifts within our families…

  • http://atlantarofters.blogspot.com The Sanity Inspector

    Never heard of this, awful.

  • Margaret Whitestone

    Haunting, and something we should never forget.

  • David Christian

    In this crime the victims were Christians.

  • jumpinjohn

    I’m Christian, pro-life, and support Gay Unions. This was Horrible. Does that make me a hater?

    • Terri Hemker

      No, most definitely not! I am a Christian str8 LGBTQ ally and the mother of a gay trans son. I support same sex marriage as do the majority of the lay people in my denomination.

      • jumpinjohn

        The point I’m trying to make is that I have Gay and Lesbian relatives, Aunts, cousins, nobody in immediate family and also transgendered. I love them all. I believe everybody has the right to be with the one they love; make life and death decisions have them on their health plans, adopt, etc. I’m pro gay unions, yet to me; Marriage is between a man and a woman. I don’t feel this makes me a hater, yet some say I am. What are your thoughts? Thanks!

        • paulsimon

          I’d say the Constitution requires that the religious opposition to Same Sex Marriage take a backseat to Equality. I also think that no Church, Synagogue or Mosque should be forced to sanction Lesbian and Gay marriages (no legislation proposes that they should). So your beliefs can be supported by your Church, but not imposed on others. You will find that Marriage Equality is no big deal. Other countries have made the transition easily.

          So no, I don’t think you are a hater, you are like I was when I supported civil unions. I changed because I believe separate is not equal and every American should be Equal before the law.

          • Terri Hemker

            I agree! I used to only support Civil Unions but came to understand what it must feel like for LGBTQ persons. I saw a protester’s sign once that expressed it perfectly: “I don’t want to Civil Union my Beloved!”

            • oeb25

              He can stand in the garage all day and lament he’s not a car. No matter how long he stands there he’s not going to change into a car. So consummation now is also defined as two gal exchanging turkey basters?

              • Terri Hemker

                ‘Consummation’ is a spiritual thing…it’s about love. Just because some john shags a hooker doesn’t make it a ‘consummation’. Gender has nothing to do with it. We are made in God’s Image many say. Well, God is Spirit. He had no physical Body. Before Christ entered Mary’s womb, if we are going to be strictly Biblical, Jesus had no physical Body since all Eternity until He took pity on us and came into our world. We are made in God’s Image and God is Love, Spirit and Love. God had no sex until one Person of the Trinity filled Mary’s womb with Love. And that didn’t take one man and one woman having sex. And the Father and the Holy Spirit, if you are of a Trinitarian denomination still have no physical Body but are their own persons who with Christ make one God. Now, I’m not sure how much I buy all of that theological mishmash.I can look at this and understand completely why people of other religions and no religion look upon Christians as insane. But if you’re going to be a Biblical Traditionalist then you cannot claim that we are made in God’s Image PHYSICALLY as male and female. We are made in that way spiritually as God is Spirit. Now, if a male body has within it a female Spirit or vice versa, that isn’t for us to disown as an impossibility for, ‘With God all things are Possible. ” Autopsies upon gay men years ago concluded that their particular brains were wired more like female rather than male brains. My son was born intersex, that is to say, with pieces of both sets of organs from both sexes. God created him that way. And my son’s spirit is made in God’s Image. His body is not where Love is contained but in his spirit. God is Love and many many many anti gay folks spew nothing but Hate. They are not of God’s Spirit.

              • Origami_Isopod

                I didn’t even have to read your comment to know you were an asshole; the Gadsden Flag told me that. But thanks for verifying it.

                • Terri Hemker

                  Perhaps he doesn’t realize that there are over 46,000 different ‘Christian’ denominations and Jews, Hindus, Muslims, etc., all have different sects within them with varying beliefs. When one objects to same sex marriage he cannot claim that he speaks for all Christians as many disagree. Many learned scholars who know the ancient languages and have spent their lives studying the Bible do not agree with anti gay folk. So, it comes down to personal choice and personal interpretation; which denomination we personally choose. If we were to attempt to please all religious bodies or to choose just one to rule the nation rather than to keep our separation of Church and State, which denomination of Christianity, Islam, or Judaism, or etc., shall we choose and who will be the special ones who get to choose it? Why should one Christian denomination’s interpretation of the Bible be the one that all citizens in our diverse nation have to live our lives by? What about the other 45,999 plus denominations? What about non Christian citizens or agnostics and atheists who pay their taxes too?

          • jumpinjohn

            Thank You.

            • paulsimon

              You are welcome.

          • oeb25

            Then Muslims with 4 wives, here we come — because it’s none of our business, right?

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              That you aren’t bright enough to understand the logistical problems of polygamistic marriages being granted benefits, or that polygamistic marriages are often not voluntary, is a problem with your thinking.

              Wow, your post history… you certainly are obsessed with putting those Muslims and gays in their place.

        • Terri Hemker

          Not necessarily that you are a hater…I used to believe as you do until I actually became quite disabled and the members of my son’s LGBTQ community took care of me where people who are blood kin to me did not. I found that the Biblical sayings are true that say, “They will know we are Christians by our Love” and, “By their fruits shall ye know them.” At the Last Judgement the Bible paints a vivid picture of God separating the lambs from the goats. He plainly says that people will be judged by how they treated the poor and needy or neglected to do the same. Not by their perfect theology, their personal sinlessness (which no one can have) or whether or not they know how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. God is Love, and anyone who loves knows God and he that knows not Love knows not God. It is that simple I believe. God’s blessings on you! Peace!

        • glorrierose

          Doesn’t make you a hater. It does make you illogical.

          Why is it that criticism is always interpreted by folks like you as “hate”?

        • Jerrad Wohlleber

          “I just think black folks can be perfectly happy with their own schools and water fountains. Does that make me a hater?”

          The answer is that whether you are a hater or not, your beliefs work to oppress people. I really don’t care what your exact motivation is.

        • pitbullgirl1965

          I’d say yes. Really what’s it to you who marries who?
          And it’s not “pro life”. It’s forced gestation.
          You have NO business telling anyone what to do with their body. A person cannot be forced to donate their organs, even after death, yet women should donate their bodies as life support for an unwanted fetus?! GTFO

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Please take out the phrase “gay unions” from your comment, substitute in “separate but equal facilities for blacks”, and consider how it reads.

    • Origami_Isopod

      You’re not “pro-life.” You’re pro-forced-birth. Your anti-choice beliefs lead to the deaths of women.

  • S. Carter

    I find it a bit odd that a lot of folks went right into talking about how hateful and horrible Christians are (“What do you expect from institutional hypocrisy and billions of stupid people with nothing better to do than judge their neighbors and tell other people what to do, because their own lives are pathetic and jealous and they want everyone else to be just as miserable as they are.”) when a lot of the victims of this fire WERE CHRISTIANS.

    See that man burned to death in the picture? A REVEREND OF A CHRISTIAN CHURCH.

    C’mon y’all. It seems you’re intelligent enough to read and comprehend so be intelligent enough to know that millions of people, all over the world, can be under the umbrella of one religion and have many different beliefs. If the people who died in this fire were Christians, and obviously fully accepting of gay folks, then why is it so hard to acknowledge there are Christians now who feel the same way?

    I know its hard for a lot of people because they’ve been bulled by Christians. But if you were white and had been bullied by Black folks, would you feel comfortable coming on here talking so nastily about all Black folks? (I’m Black and I damn sure hope you wouldn’t.)

    • brianmacker

      Plus the article makes it sound as if the main suspect was mentally deranged. Not sure how one can the act of a crazy person at the foot of Christianity. I could understand blaming it on Christians if the person actually quoted scripture to justify the act. I don’t see that.

      • S. Carter

        I think their reaction is more towards the way some Christians behaved afterwards, but even then, there were SOME of us who did behave compassionately.

        I just think its as asinine as thinking all Muslims are terrorists, all Black folks are poor, and all Mexican Americans are illegal.

        Its sad that some folks gave my first comment a thumbs down but didn’t comment. They know that it sounds ridiculous to bash Christians as all being hateful and anti-gay when it was Christians who died in the actual fire!!! C’mon now. You can feel how you feel, but be logical about stuff.

        I don’t buy that Christians are being bullied; not in America. I agree that a lot of them just want to discriminate against other folks and have their beliefs lorded over people’s LIVES and they see that as bullying. Its not.

        • brianmacker

          I got that, but some of the comments were blaming the actual massacre itself on Christians. I don’t buy the rest of it either though. Christianity does not say to look the other way in the case of murder. Do they hate the Amish too? Hating the New Orleans police department seems more rational, and less bigoted. Not Christians because some cop might have been a Christian, or not.

  • bayhuntr

    Bad Religious people are like cancer, good religious people are like pre-cancer, people who might or might not turn into bad religious people one day. The problem is, if you have the propensity to believe religious nonsense, than you have the propensity to believe the bad religions nonsense.

    • brianmacker

      Substitute “religious” for “leftist” and see how you feel about your statement. So blatantly bigoted. Are the Jains a cancer because they believe in religious nonsense? You don’t think the non-religious suffer from non-religious nonsense? Take a look at the communists (involunary Marxists).

  • sarah

    wow. this is shocking and deplorable. and by the looks of this comment thread, we haven’t come all that far in terms of tolerance and respect. why all the venom people?? shameful.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Your attempt to equate people who laugh at the dead and people who are offended by those who laugh at the dead is noted. You’re a sick shit, Sarah.

  • Scott Larsen

    Great story except for the part – “(Episcopal Bishop) Noland reportedly rebuking Richardson for his kindness…” While it is true Bishop Noland did receive hate mail for having one of his Episcopal priest hold a memorial service for those gay and lesbian members who died in this tragic fire at St. George’s Episcopal Church, in no way was Rev. Richardson rebuked.

    Richardson wrote about talking with Bishop Noland over the telephone: “What am I to say when people call my office?” asked the Noland to Richardson. “You can say anything you wish, Bishop,” replied Richardson. ” But do you think Jesus would have kept these people out of His church?”

    Scott Larsen was spokesperson for Integrity, the GLBT ministry in the Episcopal Church of the U.S., and religion editor at the Seattle Gay News.

    • Erp

      Thanks for the pointer. An obit for Richardson who died in 2007 with the text of a letter describing why he did what he did.

  • Michael Adam Reale

    Wow, i had no idea . . .

  • Don Gwinn

    I’m glad you wrote about this today. I’d never heard of it.

  • Nessa

    Horrible. That picture….OMG! Poor man.

  • kirsten zielinski

    i have no memory of this and i was an avid news reader and watcher.. things have changed, maybe not enough but they have changed.. and will continue to change for the better..

  • youngster8

    This story is extremely sad and horrific. However, the end of the story leaves much to be debated. FTA: “No one was ever charged with the crime, although an itinerant troublemaker with known mental problems, Rogder Dale Nunez, is said to have claimed responsibility multiple times. Nunez, a sometime visitor to the UpStairs Lounge, committed suicide in 1974.”

    If I’m reading this correctly, it appears that the perpetrator was a mentally ill man, who may himself have been gay as he frequented the UpStairs Lounge. Is it possible that he was seeking revenge after being spurned by a lover? It doesn’t seem as if he was a homophobe? While the crime was horrific, I’m confused to the motive as I’m not sure it was a hate-crime as much as it may have the crime of a crazy man or a crime of passion.

    • stubbikins

      You are assuming the crazy ranting person actually did it.

      • youngster8

        I’m assuming it because the writer of this article appears to believe it was him and that the police (because they didn’t care?) refused to charge him. I’m not attempting to be callous, I’m just pointing out that the person who committed the crime may not have been anti-homosexual.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      To the best of our knowledge, it was not a hate crime. The community response, though, was religiously motivated hate so thoroughly vile that they refused to bury the dead or even to be upset that mass murder was committed.

    • Jerrad Wohlleber

      Golly, I wonder where the mentally ill man got the idea that gay people deserved to be burned alive. I suppose it had nothing to do with centuries of hatred towards them or preachers declaring them to be abominations or Leviticus or anything. I’m sure it was entirely random that he chose those targets.

      Just like a constant stream of hate radio and TV has nothing to do with it when mentally ill people decide to shoot up Democratic representatives or Unitarian churches or a leftist children’s camp. Just like hate radio had nothing to do with the Tutsi genocide. It’s all just random chance.

      • youngster8

        I’m not sure how to even respond to that rant…”like hate radio had nothing to do with the Tutsi genocide.”???? Ok…and talk radio was not around, in anything close to the format it is today, in 1969. Is it not too much to posit that a man who frequented the UpStairs Lounge who also had mental problems may have committed a crime of passion? I’ll agree that the reaction of the community was terrible and that compassion for the victims only compounded this horrific event. I’m merely asking the question of WHO committed the crime. It may well have been a completely evil anti-gay person, or it could be the guy described in the article.

        And, if you want to get into centuries of hatred and discrimination against homosexuals, I surely hope you’ll look beyond the Christian church as Islam has a horrific and continued history of brutal torture and murder of homosexuals. It continues today in the Middle East and throughout the Islamic world.

        • Jerrad Wohlleber

          Well gee whiz, I guess if we can find one religion that hates on gay people worse than Christianity it’s off the hook. Whew! For a second there it looked like you might have to exercise some introspection, but Islam comes to the rescue.

          And if you think there was no hate radio in the US back in the good old days, Google up Charles Coughlin. Or don’t bother, because there’s absolutely no question that American culture was extremely anti-homosexual when this massacre occurred. This was maintained in large part by preachers and churches, but they certainly didn’t do it alone. My point was that events like this one are practically inevitable when vicious hatred and bigotry are espoused on a large scale.

          It’s not a coincidence that the lone wolfs or mentally ill people who do perpetrate these attacks tend to choose the hated groups as their targets. When society talks about scourging abominations from the earth out of one side of its mouth while muttering about peace and love out the other, some people will take that first side seriously. It’s happened again and again. And when it happens again we can all shrug sadly and say, “Hey, it was a lone nut! What can you do?” And then it’s back to business as usual, except that the hated group lives with a bit more fear… except for the dead.

          Oh but hey, Saudi Arabia is worse, so we’re all good. Carry on then.

      • youngster8

        I feel for you because it’s obvious your hatred runs bone deep. You see hate around every corner. Oh, and Islam didn’t come to the rescue for me. It amazes me how Christians continue to be berated by the gay community, when, in reality, Christians have opened their doors and welcomed in the gay community and the real battle rages around the world, not just with Islam. . .look at MODERN day Russia, and for that matter, if you want to live in the past, look at what Communists did to homosexuals. My point is that your target seems to be Christians, which just shows me that your hatred toward Christianity runs very deep, when if you really cared about discrimination against homosexuals you’d look around and see who is, in MODERN TIMES, committing atrocities against homosexuals — or anyone in the LGBT community.

        • Jerrad Wohlleber

          You see what you want to see. If you ever feel like responding to what I actually wrote, I’ll be happy to read that. If not, don’t waste my time or yours.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          Wow, changing the subject, an obsession with Islam, and projection just completely prove your point.

          Funny how you have to keep ocean-hopping in order to try to take the focus off of the offender in the States.

  • Stephen Zeigler

    I for one never heard about this other than it was a fire. Glad I stopped in and read. Shame the hate is still with as one can read in the post below.

  • Danielle

    And based on the first few pages I have read for this article shows not much change from the way of thinking back then because everyone is still pointing fingers at the differences instead of focusing on what we have in common. Seriously, nothing is going to change unless everyone stops blaming, picking at each other, hating, discriminating, and such. When it comes to faith, who cares what others go towards for faith AS LONG AS IT DOES NOT HURT THEMSELVES OR SOMEONE ELSE. If we cannot love and accept ourselves as we are and have the following courtesy for one another; then, all the action for bridging the gaps of indifference as been for nothing.

    • Origami_Isopod

      Nice way to try to obscure the responsibility that xtianity as a whole bears for the deep-rooted homophobia in Western society. Take your moral equivalence and shove it.

  • Lisa

    After reading the comments posted here, I only have one question. How did this turn into a religious argument? These people were murdered because of the fact that they were courageous enough to be themselves during a very bigoted time in our History. They were only guilty of BEING THEMSELVES. This was not about “good Christians” and “bad Christians”. It wasn’t about religion at all. It was about a massacre that was basically ignored. Some of those that were in that room were CHRISTIANS. There was a Pastor, there was an Assistant Pastor and there were “dozens of members of the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), the nation’s first gay church, founded in Los Angeles in 1969″. Were these Christians less Christian because they were gay? It is time to put religion aside and just let people be free to be themselves

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

      The crime itself is just awful. The religious arguments were touched off by the community response at the time, which was justified on Biblical grounds. The whole American homophobia thing is based on the Bible. People are making those connections and arguing against religion based on that. We know that many, if not most, of the people who died were Christian and also that this was almost certainly not a Christian terrorist attack.

      Can the attack be directly tied to Christianity? No. Can the horrendous community response be tied directly to Christianity? Yes. And that is why things have turned to religion.

  • brianmacker

    How offensive it would be to blame this on free availability of lighter fluid instead of the perpetrator how did it. Had it been a gun the narrative would have been different.

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

      Lighter fluid has many legitimate uses, and is not manufactured and sold with the intent of killing people.

      A gun, on the other paw, is manufactured and sold (and used) for only one purpose: to kill. If it was any other consumer product, it would have been pulled and banned long ago!

      • oeb25

        Ridiculous.

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

          I’m dead serious. If any other product on the market caused tens of thousands of deaths (and many, many more injuries), it would be yanked faster than you can say “lawsuit”.

          • brianmacker

            One can be dead serious and ridiculous at the same time.

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

              One can also be ridiculous and right.

              • brianmacker

                LOL

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

                  Oh, come to think of it, several products have been recalled over far fewer injuries and deaths.

                  http://tinyurl.com/nehcgjr

                • brianmacker

                  Because they are defective at what they do. If a gun was being manufacture that had a reputation of blowing up in your hand it would soon lose it’s market, and that has happened. You are committing the “moral equivalence” fallacy. The death of a person from defective gas tank is not the same as the death of a rapist at the hands of the woman defending herself with a gun. In the one case the death is the accidental death of an innocent person, and wrong, in the other intentional and right. People go to see movies about bad guys getting killed and cheer, they don’t generally cheer at the few instances of movies showing defective products killing innocent people. I guess you were confused by this behavior.

                  In fact, you’d have to recall a gun if it misfired and didn’t kill the rapist.

      • brianmacker

        Legitimate uses of guns that do not involve killing: Self defense and defense of others (threat, warning shot, supression firing, or wounding), scaring off or wounding predators, and target practice. Legitimate uses of a gun that involve killing: Self defense, defense of others, food gathering, varmint destruction and livestock predator destruction.

        What a CATastrophe for your ridiculous claims that simple facts are.

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

          All of which can be done with other tools.

          • brianmacker

            LOL, you mean other weapons, which if guns didn’t exist you’d be complaining about in exactly the same way, because you think they are “sold with the intent to kill people” (unless you’ve abandoned that ridiculous claim, the sellers have no such intent). Good luck though defending yourself from a gun with a knife. Plus, the worst school massacre in the US was done by arson so it wouldn’t solve that problem.

    • A Magnet

      …So you see a blog post describing a period in which bigots openly cheered the burning of homosexuals, and your first thought is, ‘Man, this would be a good time to shove in a pro-gun argument!’

      There’s dedication to the cause, and there’s asshattery. Guess which category you just fell into.

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

        It’s not “asshattery”, it’s sheer, unadulterated, “I’m insecure about my manhood” whinging.

        • brianmacker

          WMD, sorry your pitiful attempts at Mau-Mauing me won’t work. I’m only swayed by actual valid argumentation.

      • brianmacker

        It wasn’t a criticism of the situation here, or the author. In fact it is supportive of the correct moral interpretation. I was pointing out what it would be offensive to do, hold an inanimate object responsible for this horrible crime, which the author did not do. The worst school massacre in US history was an arson, so banning guns isn’t going to stop this kind of behavior.

        Guns vs. X is topical because of the recent and odd comparison of guns vs. abortion on this blog. That is what brought it to mind.

        This massacre happened something like a half century ago. That too soon for you? We didn’t see any kind of “waiting period’ by Democrats after any of these other massacres to bring up the subject of gun bans. Where you there to call them assholes? You seem like a likely member of that group.

        • Brother-Captain Stern

          Stop talking about guns, or gun legislation, on this discussion forum. regardless of your views, you’re insulting the memories of the people that died, and totally derailing the point of this article.

          This was about the horrible, cruel, and compassionless way that the *community* responded after the fire. Refusing to even help bury people who had just been murdered in a fire. It’s despicable no matter what method was used to kill them.

          • brianmacker

            No, and bullshit. Lots of you here want to violate other people’s 2nd amendment rights and take the opportunity of every tragedy to make your points at the time it happens. This is not a current event and it’s impossible for the truth to insult the memory of any dead person.

            “It’s despicable no matter what method was used to kill them.”

            No, kidding, where did I argue otherwise? In fact this method is vastly more horrifying than a bullet to the head, which is why people choose guns as a superior method to commit suicide. Which is another reason that article on abortions vs guns was wrong.

            I in fact had liked several comments saying how horrible this was before I brought up this related issue.

            You guys seem to think it is just fine to use this article to do things like accuse Reagan falsely of a massacre, make bigoted statements about Christians, falsely claim terror (like this act) is caused by poverty, and a bunch of other political topics. Sorry if I don’t goose step to your ideological leanings.

            I think it actually insulting to their memories that some Christian gays are murdered and some take it as an opportunity to vilify all Christians in such a blanket way it includes the victims.

  • Dona Lynette Stewart

    Awful, for the ignorance of those who cannot comprehend the SACREDNESS of all human life. But, blame who? Ask not, for whom the bell tolls.

  • smokey307

    This massacre isn’t about religion or even about homosexuality. It’s about 32 people who were murdered 40 years ago today. We have an obligation to remember them, not to fight among ourselves or call each other out. For the record I am the gay Presiding Bishop of the Apostolic Catholic Church in America so, as they say in the South, I have a dog in this fight. It is not for any of us to judge each other or each other’s faith. If I were to boil Christianity down to its most essential nature I would say we are called to love God, ourselves, and each other. By the way, most of us don’t love ourselves and that’s where Jesus comes in. He shows us we are loveable by loving us first and He knows we’ll hate again as soon as we get off the phone. Yup, that’s Jesus again. He’s our Redeemer because God keeps forgiving us. Guess whet else we are called to do? Folks, we still get bounced around a lot by others, do we have to bounce each other around?

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

      Good on you — would you please try to convince your fellow Christians to follow your example?

    • Terri Hemker

      I agree! My lovely gay trans son posted a note on my fridge that reads, ‘We go to Heaven not because we are good, but because God is.’

    • glorrierose

      Oh yeah right. The fact that these people were gay had nothing to do with what happened to them, or the fact that the police refused to do anything about it.

      Yeah, keep that head stuck in the sand.

      • Terri Hemker

        There are over 46,000 denominations of Christianity, (and growing exponentially every day). While I agree with you that religion may have had a great deal to do with this atrocity, we must keep in mind that no one speaks for all Christians or Jews, or for all the people of any religion; in the same way that Muslim Extremists do not speak or act for all Muslims.

  • Lin

    This article isn’t about religion – it’s about a tragedy brought on by bigotry and hatred. There are people that use religion as an excuse for awful behavior – and there are others that use it to preach love, acceptance and peace. Let’s just hope this week is a great step forward to ensuring equality for all and further acceptance. And no, I’m not a Christian.

    • glorrierose

      “When the Rev. William Richardson, of St. George’s Episcopal Church, agreed to hold a small prayer service for the victims, about 80 people attended, but many more complained about Richardson to Iveson Noland, the Episcopalian bishop of New Orleans. Noland reportedly rebuked Richardson for his kindness, and the latter received volumes of hate mail.”

      Oh yeah. Not about religion. Not about religion at all. Right.

  • c sm

    the fire was as planned as church bombings.. this was an event like all the terrorism.. made for the media and covered to cause political actions.. and to cover those actions.. this was a forced false flag event.. the bars on the window show you that event was totally planned.. someone killed them by design and even invited them there, then wrote news about it… but that was written prior to the event and polished hard to make sure the public would act as the handlers wished..

    • brianmacker

      Ridiculous.

    • glorrierose

      How is life on Mars these days?

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Sadly, still not as nuts as the talking snake thing.

  • Sue

    Am I the only person who sees the hypocrisy of spewing hate toward a religion because it spews hate toward the LGBT community? Responding to hate with hate is useless and just causes more damage. For the record I am a Christian, Catholic to be exact, and I support gay rights and the gay community 100%. I have two gay family members and several gay friends and love them dearly and do not tolerate bullying or hate toward them or anyone. Period. Just because I am a Christian and believer in God does not mean I blindly accept the teachings of my church or the bible. I question things and yes, even disagree with them, to the point where I do not attend church anymore. Instead I worship quietly in my own way and don’t force my beliefs on anyone. So far God doesn’t seem to mind. I do not believe I am superior to anyone in any way because I’m not. I’m just a small person in a very big world trying to do what’s right and make it a better place by treating my fellow humans with respect and dignity always.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

      One is disgust at people for being who they are. The other is disgust at making others’ lives living hell for being who they are. You’re comparing two different levels.

      See, kids? Be careful with set theory, or else you might end up like me.

    • glorrierose

      Excuse me, where is the hate here, other than the hate embodied in the act of arson resulting in the deaths of 32 people, AND the hate embodied in the failure of police to do anything about it?

      You misconstrue criticism for hatred. Nobody said anything hateful toward you here. You cannot escape the fact that Christianity in general is anti-gay and has been for centuries. The fact that you are not does not in any way excuse or belie that hatred.

      Christianity gets the criticism it deserves. Oh, BTW, I am a christian with a small c to differentiate myself from the violence and hatred that has been embodied by multiple Christian traditions and remains active today.

    • Terri Hemker

      Just for the record, I too am Catholic, and there have been many respectable polls taken that show that the vast majority of lay Catholics in America support same sex marriage and have been instrumental in getting legislation passed in favor of same sex marriage in many states! It is our hierarchy that is very sick right now, choosing to focus on this issue while they ignore more pressing matters like the child sex scandal. It becomes a question of WWJS? or Who Would Jesus Stone? rather than who would Jesus love and spread His Mercy upon. Our hierarchy believes, and in fact has believed for ages that THEY are the Church, the ones who really matter, while the laity, who actually make up the vast majority of the Church, the Spirit speaking through them, is ignored. There is much work to be done to rid our Church of the bigotry that the hierarchy spews but I am so proud of our laity who are working so hard to combat it!

    • Jerrad Wohlleber

      I’m certainly glad you’ve taken the true lesson from this brutal massacre of gay people, which was celebrated and joked about by the Christians of the day. That lesson, of course, is that people need to stop being so mean to Christians just because they hate some people for who they are.

    • pitbullgirl1965

      Am I the only person who sees the hypocrisy of spewing hate toward a religion because it spews hate toward the LGBT community?

      Yes, you must be. People have been murdered and harassed (and still are) because of your religion. Are we supposed to be tolerant of hate and bigotry? You made a choice to be a Christian, people cannot help who they’re attracted to.

      Quit defending your religion and start calling out your right wing brethren.

      And bringing up your gay friends and family members reeks of “I have black friends”. You don’t get cookies and head pats for being a decent human being to people who don’t have your privileges. How condescending.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Yeah, how dare people be offended by bigotry sanctioned by a religion, eh?

  • Guest

    ” Rogder Dale Nunez, is said to have claimed responsibility multiple times. Nunez, a sometime visitor to the UpStairs Lounge, committed suicide in 1974.”

    So it was a gay guy who burned the building down, awkward.

  • Michael Amerine

    “Rogder Dale Nunez, is said to have claimed responsibility multiple times. Nunez, a sometime visitor to the UpStairs Lounge, committed suicide in 1974.”

    So it was a gay guy who burned it down? Awkward.

    • glorrierose

      And you know this how? Just because the man visited the place? Lots of gay bars have straight customers.

      Furthermore, gay self-loathing is the result of anti-gay culture, which is perpetrated by straights. So no, even if you could prove the man was gay (which you can’t), it’s not the least bit awkward, but rather is very telling of how anti-gay culture gets internalized. What is awkward is YOUR belief that somehow the man being gay would let the haters off the hook.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Made an account just to feel superior, did you? Pity that the account didn’t come with enough reading comprehension to catch the problem with the response to the massacre.

  • Edward Faulkner

    The conversation has derailed into bullying. How about we recognize there was a massacre here, good people of all sexual orientations coming together to celebrate their religious beliefs were murdered and nothing ever done. If any of you were Christians or even Atheists you would stop the chattering over nonsensical ideologies and start respecting the dead. May the world change for the better and vigils/prayers/heartfelt commemorates be praised upon those who lost their lives.

  • Ann R. key

    LOL @ calling the bible a ‘big book’. Compared to what? Picture books? Internet articles? The average cookbook is ‘bigger’ and meatier than this Bible you speak of, and better written i might add. -A Christian librarian

  • JudyK

    Exactly where in the article were Christians ever mentioned, as a matter of fact it was a common visitor to the ‘gay’ lounge that says he did it! Don’t start stuff that isn’t founded

  • zach

    this is horrific. thanks for posting, i’d never heard about it before

  • nimh

    In response to this part: “The UpStairs Lounge arson [..] didn’t make much of an impact news-wise. The few respectable news organizations that deigned to cover the tragedy made little of the fact that the majority of the victims had been gay, while talk-radio hosts tended to take a jocular or sneering tone”

    I think it’s only fair to the journalists of the day to quote this from one of the links you include at the bottom:

    “The fire dominated the headlines of The Times-Picayune and The States-Item for several days. [..] The carnage was captured in local newspapers. One headline read, “Scene of French Quarter fire is called Dante’s Inferno, Hitler’s Incinerators.” The States-Itemdevoted an entire page to seven photos of the victims at the scene and attending policemen and firemen. There were horrific pictures of the victims, including one of Larson, dead in the window. The fire was reported on national news broadcasts the next day.”

  • Jerrad Wohlleber

    Thank you for posting this, Terry Firma. We need to be reminded why the fight for equality is so important, and what the consequences of society’s failure to embrace it can be.

  • MarchHare

    I find it interesting that the comments are about as hateful as any I have read anywhere, singling out a particular group you feel isn’t worth air. The irony of that would be amusing if it weren’t so pitiful.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Well, the important thing is that you get your hardon going by feeling superior and lying for Jesus.

  • melissa B

    Wow. This is so horrible. I hope they are Resting in Peace.

  • Joyful1

    I think some people are missing the fact that the person who has confessed to being the culprit is someone who was a patron of the bar and part of that community. It wasn’t a christian hate crime, it was the sick and twisted act of a sick and twisted man. That having been said, the way that people responded is atrocious. Let’s say that you believe in God, creator of the Heavens and the Earth; He also created man. You cannot believe in God the Creator without acknowledging that He created ALL; all matter, all life, ALL PEOPLE. No one life holds greater value to the Creator than another. Every person is considered His child, and the loss of ANY one of your children would evoke the same sense of grief and loss. Who am I, to say that my life has greater value than another person’s? Who are you, to say the same?

    • 3lemenope

      You missed the point. It wasn’t about the perpetrator, it was about the shameful way in which the *community* responded. Christians claim, ad nauseam, that they are called to be compassionate to their fellow humans, and yet that quality was entirely absent and replaced by a slithery slimy hate, hate towards people whose way of living they didn’t agree with and felt comfortable judging that had just died in a fire.

      Given the Christian claims towards compassion, it is up to Christians to explain just why they failed so completely at being compassionate. Given the performance (and uncountable others like it) people who are not Christian can certainly be excused for doubting extravagant Christian claims about how they are morally better than others or that becoming a Christian is a good way to become a better person.

      • jchastn

        And the fact that the church would reprimand a minister for leading a small memorial for those lost.. That is the sick, disgusting part of this. He didnt lead a march. He just tried to give these victims a dignified service.

      • The Starship Maxima

        I cannot speak for all Christians (which is an important point to remember) but I certainly learned that many people can call themselves Christians and they are as much Christian as I am a Klingon. There are also people who really are Christians, but they are still so given to their pettiness and hypocrisy, they are functionally no different than they were pre-Christianity.
        And lastly, not everyone makes grandiose proclamations of the inherent superiority of Christians.

        • 3lemenope

          For any given standard of what Christianity is, there are some who call themselves Christian who are not, and some who do not call themselves Christian who are. The underlying problem is there is no extant criteria for choosing which criteria to choose. Which definition of Christian ought to guide how we judge a person’s claim of Christianity?

          This is a problem primarily for people inside a movement or group. From the outside, and I can’t stress this enough, it does not matter. I live in New England. If a guy is wearing a Yankee cap in New England, he’s a Yankee’s fan whether he really enjoys the Yankees or he just thinks that A-Rod is a red hot piece of man-meat. External signifiers, most importantly self-claims, are the only standard that people outside a movement can really use, because we have no stake in the arguments over what makes a true [whatever], true.

          So Christians can belly-ache till the cows come home about how this or that naughty person who calls themselves Christian is or is not really a Christian according to their own various standards, but from out here, it’s all the Judaean People’s Front against the People’s Front of Judaea, and you’re stuck with all of them unless you can articulate a non-trivial and non-arbitrary way for people who are not Christians to tell who belongs to the tribe and who doesn’t.

          • The Starship Maxima

            You said many spot on correct things I can’t even argue with.

      • Joyful1

        I think I might’ve been misunderstood. The behavior that I was referring to as “atrocious” is the same behavior that you are speaking of, the spiteful response to the crime that was lacking in compassion. I was agreeing that the response should have been different because Christians are supposed to love ALL people created by God, they are not supposed to pick and choose who to love, or who’s life has greater value. That is the point I was trying to make. I wasn’t trying to defend the greivous behavior of the community, rather, as a believer in the Christian faith, I was mortified to learn of their response that was so lacking in love!

      • Joyful1

        Reading about how these beautiful people died, and how all of the community responded, both Christian and non, literally made me sick to my stomach.

    • youmustbejoking

      Someone confessing to a crime does not mean they necessarily are actually guilty of the crime. The person mentioned had mental health issues and could well have confessed due to those issues. It seems the police did a very poor job of investigating the crime- since they called it “undetermined origins” instead of arson and everyone else- from public officials to the public- certainly dropped the ball for humanity.

      • Joyful1

        I agree!

  • bloodorange

    Would the “local potter’s field” be Holt Cemetery, or are there additional locations in New Orleans where they might have been interred?

  • Pamela J. Francis

    I see that you have posted about the documentary, but Wayne Self has written and produced an amazing musical about this horrific event.

    http://upstairsmusical.com/

  • The Starship Maxima

    I won’t address the oft-mentioned yet untrue myth of Christians being unilaterally responsible for the violence against gays. I’ve seen enough comments like the ones below to know that no amount of facts or logic will sway the opinion. So be it.
    I’ll just say, I’m Christian, I don’t agree with homosexuality, and I am DISGUSTED by the wanton disregard for human life displayed in New Orleans all those years ago. And that is why I march, fight, and give money to the efforts to see the dignity of LGBT people recognized.
    Because my God; your opinion of his existence or non-existence notwithstanding; told me to love my neighbor as I loved Him, as I love myself. And I will.

    • onamission5

      Well good for you that you’re not so fucked up by your religion that you’d condone murder. Lowest bar for decent human being, right there.

      • The Starship Maxima

        Thank you for proving my point about logic and facts having little sway with certain people.
        As to your other point, I didn’t say anywhere that I am a wonderful person or worthy of praise for fulfilling my duties as a Christian, as an American, and as a human being.

      • Skegeeaces

        Now who’s prejudice? He just said a WHOLE paragraph about loving your neighbor and all you heard was, “Wah wah wah…I’m a Christian…wah wah wah.” and assigned him as “not f*cked up”. I’d say YOU are the one who’s “f*cked up”.

        • onamission5

          I am not going to fall over myself showering approval upon someone who doesn’t “agree with” my basic humanity but still wants ally cookies. Nope. I have fought for my rights too long and too hard to hand out cookies that easily.

          • The Starship Maxima

            Um, some corrections. 1) I don’t need your cookies. I do what I do because my Maker demands it, the constitution mandates it, and because it’s what human beings do. 2) I’ve been fighting for your rights as well. As long and as hard as you have. I do this because….3) I DO agree with your basic humanity. My personal opinion on your sexual relationships has jack to do with your value as a human being created by God himself (if you believe that sort). And 4) while I don’t need a pat on the back from you, I do realize that we are stronger TOGETHER than apart and working together we can make sure that disgraces like what happened 40 years ago in New Orleans NEVER happen again.

            • Skegeeaces

              Here, here!

          • Skegeeaces

            Uhhh, that’s a bit extreme to say all religious people don’t agree with your basic humanity. A few idiots might think so, but many of them don’t. It doesn’t say ANYWHERE in the Christian Bible that homosexuals aren’t to be treated or regarded as human. (Can’t speak for other religious texts.) Stop generalizing.

            • onamission5

              Not generalizing, not talking about all religious people. Addressing this statement made by the person to whom I was speaking:

              “I don’t agree with homosexuality,”

              I don’t hand out cookies to people who don’t agree with my existence.

              • The Starship Maxima

                I don’t have to agree with all your decisions and/or beliefs to agree with, and be grateful for, your existence. I also don’t need to agree with all you do in order to agree with your right to make those decisions and have those views.

                • Jerrad Wohlleber

                  Being gay isn’t a decision, and saying that it is is tantamount to supporting the kind of bigotry that led to this massacre. If you’re truly grateful for the existence of gay people, stop spreading lies about them that justify their oppression.

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

                  You’re both right.

                  Yes, Starship Maxima needs to stop perpetuating the “homosexuality is a choice” meme.

                  At the same time, we should at least recognize that xe is trying to be supportive, however imperfectly.

                • The Starship Maxima

                  I replied about that “meme” that homosexuality is a choice but it seems it was redacted. I’ll leave it at, I have a different interpretation of the facts.

                • The Starship Maxima

                  I see the points you and others are making. And while I respect where you’re coming from, I don’t believe you are correct.
                  Homosexual ORIENTATION is indeed not a choice and is the result of several factors ranging from genetics, to utero, to environment. That is not in dispute.
                  However….there is no research anywhere; and I have looked; that suggests that homosexuality is different than any other innate inclination in that it cannot be controlled and or changed. We can argue as to WHY someone should resist an innate part of their nature; but the thought that someone must DO something due to their genes is a fallacy.

                • Jerrad Wohlleber

                  How about we argue why anyone should want anyone else to resist a totally harmless innate part of their nature? I’m going to go with blatant bigotry.

                  You seem to have missed my main point, which is that arguing that people should deny themselves, as you callously suggest they can do, implies that anyone who doesn’t do so deserves what they get. Sure they can “resist an innate part of their nature.” They’ll be miserable, but they can do it. It’s just that asking it of anyone is horrific. Why would you want to force people to do such a thing if not hatred? And where does hatred lead? Scroll back up to the top for the answer to that.

                  In case it’s not clear, I don’t respect where you’re coming from. I think it’s evil, just straight up evil. If you truly cared for the dignity of LGBT people you wouldn’t be coming from there.

                • The Starship Maxima

                  I understand. By now, I’ve learned to accept that not everyone will agree with or respect my views. It is an accepted part of having convictions that occassionally they’ll cause friction with others.

                  But I must correct your fallacy; that because I think someone should reject their base desires; I automatically think less of those who chose not to and that I believe they “deserve what they get” i.e. burning to death.

                  Not so. Yes, the underlying premise of Christianity, and other faiths, is reisting your innate nature. But at no point do you have the right to belittle or carry out judgment on those who refuse to follow the way.
                  I believe divorce is wrong; I’d rather burn to death myself than see harm come to a divorcee. I think atheists are wrong; I’d sooner take a bullet than see them harmed.
                  God and God alone is judge over anyone. My job is be as decent to everyone as I can. I stick to that.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Imagine instead that you had said “I don’t agree with you being black” and perhaps you might see why gay people might not think you have a high opinion of their basic humanity.

                • Dez

                  Yup.

  • Emory Poe Blocker

    It makes one wonder how an incident like this would be “handled” by today’s standards. I came out in ’74 and WE have come along way since then, just not far enough….YET.

    • The Starship Maxima

      Well, we’re done fighting….yet. Things will change. We won’t tolerate less.

  • eryn

    Left him fused to the window til morning…..good lord…..

  • The Starship Maxima

    What??

  • kaikai

    I can sign in with Google but I can’t +1 a post?!?!

  • Jessica J

    This is a story about gay people. Religion has nothing to do with gay people. Why do people talk about religion like it has something to do with sexuality. Some straight people are athiests, some gay people are muslims – At the end of the day people died and the memories and bodies of those involved were not properly cared for or spoken about. This article is to spread awareness of history so it won’t be repeated and compassion can be spread.

    • http://zexks.blogspot.com/ Zexks

      “Why do people talk about religion like it has something to do with sexuality.”

      Because the only reason people continue to have to fight against gay equality are the holy books of religion.

  • Behemothxp

    How fucking dare any religious person even comment on this. I’m goddamn sick of being called intolerate by ANY religion, how can you even get anymore intolerant than religion? Religion is the very definition of intolerant. Let me look that up for you!

    in·tol·er·ant

    /inˈtälərənt/

    Adjective

    Not tolerant of others’ views, beliefs, or behavior that differ from one’s own.

    How could any religious person call anyone else intolerant. Their religion is right, people who (in THEIR belief) commit a sin go to hell/whatever and that that behaviour is not acceptable.

    So now that we established that religious people are the single most intolerant hate group on this planet lets get one thing about this article straight. Religious people, newsgroups without religious background, police officers and the general public messed up back then BIG TIME.

    Why do people like me attack religious people though? Because they didn’t even try. Policemen at least went “we investigated”. Religious people, pastors and other officials of the church just outright condemned these people who did NOTHING wrong and were killed for it.

    So for every religious person reading this, yes, you, you are an intolerant fuck, stop believing, start accepting, sit your fucking ass down for five fucking minutes, forget every fucking thing you fucking learned in fucking church and start fucking thinking for yourself and fucking make up your own fucking moral code by which to fucking live by. If that fucking moral code is fucking close to the fucking general public of today, you’re not fucking doing well, but it’s a fucking start.

    Fuck.

    Sorry for the swear words.

    • noxcovenant

      “How fucking dare any religious person even comment on this.”

      I can smell your fedora from all the way here.

    • The Starship Maxima

      Hm, so using a ton of profanity changes the fact that not every religious person is halfway as ignorant or intolerant as you present yourself in your post?

    • Skegeeaces

      Not all religious people are intolerant.

      • Behemothxp

        yes, yes they are, how could they not be? I posted the definition of intolerance and how does that not completely and utterly apply to religion? The first basis of religion (my god is the right one) shuts out at least over 2/3rds of the entire world as being dead wrong. If you believe in Buddhism, hinduism, if you’re christian or a jew or a member of a crazy ass sect like Mormons or Scientologists, you are automatically assuming everyone else is wrong and that they will be punished.
        And if you don’t think that, you’re not religious, you’re just being nice. Or you have that goddamn stupid 1984 “Double Think” down pat, where you believe your god is the only one, assume everyone else is stupid, wrong and will go to hell/not to nirvana/purgatory/nothingness-instead-of-bliss, but somehow convince yourself you’re a very tolerant person nontheless, and be bloody good at convincing yourself too! “Yes my religion is the only right one, my god is a nice and forgiving god, he will accept other religions (EVEN IF THEY’RE WRONG AND IF THEY DON’T APPEAL TO MY ALL LOVING GOD THEY’LL BURN IN HELL)”.
        Religious people who try to be all nice and crap tend to be the second type, yay for double-think.

        And yes, I am intolerant, I am utterly aware of it, I hate religious people, I love atheist with a strong moral code, I hate atheist without a moral code, I like people who are genuinly nice, do no harm and are helping their fellow men and I hate people who don’t.

        • The Starship Maxima

          I guess by your definition, tolerance is, by it’s nature, double-think. (shrug) Your prerogative.
          But yes, you did some up the belief of many religious people, including Christians. 1) I believe I’m right. 2) I believe you’re wrong. and 3) I don’t feel my being right is sufficient reason to stifle your liberty to pursue the path you deem to be true, just as I expect you’ll honor my wish to pursue my path which I deem true.

    • blah99999

      You sound pretty intolerant

  • Doug

    ITT: People who loved the victims for being gay, but hated them for being Christians.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Does Jesus love that you’re lying for him, Doug?

  • Jennifer Hagan

    This is the thing. After this, the Episcopalian church changed its stance on homosexuality and now today there are gay clergy and women clergy. The Episcopalian church has evolved.

  • The Starship Maxima

    That shit isn’t funny dude.

  • readingyou

    The cruelty of human beings never ceases to overwhelm me and break my heart.

    I don’t understand it.

    Let people who are different just live their lives in peace, for God’s sake.

  • John Twomey

    Religion is not a reason for being a bigoted, uncaring, oppressive, bullying asshole. It is an excuse. If you blame all Christians for the acts of some, or blame the church for the acts of its members, then you are stereotyping and engaging in bigotry yourself.

    Many people are, by nature, bigoted, insecure, mean-spirited douchebags. They tend to band together. Churches are an example of where they meet, but also churches contain kind, non-judgmental people as well. Any social group is like this. Look around you at your fellow fans of your favorite team, as just a quick example. Ever seen them act like bloodthirsty savages? Sure you have, every Sunday during football season, for instance. But also, many times fans will gather together to contribute to a charity, if one of the team is sponsoring one; much the same way members of a church give of their time and resources.

    It’s a rotten part of human nature to try to make oneself feel better at the expense of others. Until we focus on the fact that people, not institutions, are the problem, all we’ll do is sling hate-bombs back and forth. After all, institutions are only gatherings of people. Sure, they magnify the problems, but they don’t create them.

    And it’s really sad people are taking a murderous tragedy created by hate such as this one, and using it as an excuse to spew their own venom. If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

    Signed,

    An agnostic. I don’t know, and neither do you, so fighting over it is stupid. Believe what you want, and I’ll do the same.

    • 3lemenope

      An agnostic. I don’t know, and neither do you, so fighting over it is stupid. Believe what you want, and I’ll do the same.

      But that’s not what the fight is over. At all. Whether or not God exists has nothing whatsoever to do with whether the actions of groups of theists, as a social matter, are destructive to the social fabric or unconscionably cruel to vulnerable people.

  • The Starship Maxima

    I did want to say this…..I can understand why so many of you loathe so many of us (Christians). And I truly am sorry for the misery that’s been wrought in the name of our faith. I truly am.
    I know that nothing anybody does or says can bring back those people who burned to death in New Orleans over 40 years ago, or Matthew Shepard, or Gwen Araujo, or any of other innocent blood that never should’ve been spilled.
    But…..we can make things better, and we will. There will come a time when gays fearing for their safety is a distant and unpleasant memory like segregated water fountains. You have my word. And the word of all other Christians who understand we’re called to love, and oppose hate, with our lives if necessary.

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

      Thank you. We need more people like you.

      • The Starship Maxima

        Thank you for the kind words Kitty. But if I may, I believe the Christians like me are the majority. Really. The hateful pricks like Fred Phelps and his distasteful ilk are VERY much a bunch of fringe lunatics. The problem is, fringe lunatics historically make the most noise and thus people think they are the majority.

  • Amy

    This makes me sick.

  • Kristy Copenhaver

    i think its important to not return the hate of others… they win if you become like them…..this is perhaps the saddest thing ive ever read someone did to a brother or sister of mine in the gay community…. but you know it makes me more determined to rise above and bring something good into this world….in there memory we must be more than the hate that took there lives….

  • Samantha Patterson

    Lovely how the police left the charred remains of a human being out all night as a reminder of the sort of protection gays could enjoy from the authorities. :(

  • Rob

    This is a sick atrocity, that is an offense to the dignity of humanity. That any person inflicts pain and suffering and death upon another person is morally reprehensible.

    YET, let me ask the atheists here, who hold to truthfulness of evolution and survival of the fittest and the lack of any design or reason for our existence, where does your outrage come from? Why do you care if a biologically evolved creature that will die at some point comes to its demise. Are you outraged when a gardener sprays pest control on an ant hill. The only difference is a few selective steps in evolution, according to Dawkins et al. Why do you care?

    I care about persons (whatever their color or creed or orientation or infirmity) because every person is made in the image of God and has dignity because of that fact. If we are all accidents of evolution, then what dignity does a human have and why should you care? Your care, your moral outrage, even your sense that hypocrisy exists (and surely it does) comes from somewhere – and for some reason you think it is not accidental or irrelevant.

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

      I know what it’s like to be hurt or I can imagine it. It sucks. I don’t like it. Thus, through empathy, I can figure out that you don’t like it either. Extrapolate that further, and we can gather that no one likes it. So we make rules and laws to try to prevent people from getting hurt. I also know that I don’t like people controlling what I do, so part of my morality is also based heavily on respect for bodily autonomy, building off empathy. Those two principles then inform my other moral, ethical, and policy choices.

      Empathy has a well-known evolutionary component- species with members that can work together and possibly even sacrifice for one another do better at surviving than purely individualist species. It’s a rather useful evolutionary trait.

      At no point was any supernatural anything involved. Based on my own personal ethics, I can say that all persons are valuable and are of equal value to all others. I don’t want to see people get hurt because I don’t want to be hurt. Every person has the inherent dignity of their consciousness and their personality. All of that comes from empathy.

      • Rob

        Feminerd, I appreciate the empathic extrapolation. Further, the rules and laws to prevent others from getting hurt makes moral sense, but ultimately it is not, in my judgment, consistent with Darwinian philosophy wherein there is no ultimate basis for good or evil. As Dawkins states in The Blind Watchmaker: “In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”

        Dawkins position, as one of the leading atheists, is difficult to square with your “all persons … are of equal value to all others” (atheist Peter Singer would definitely disagree with your “personal ethics” at this point too) and atheism does not answer nor logically espouse that: “Every person has the inherent dignity of their consciousness and their personality.” I agree with your personal ethics on this point, but morals and ethics of a person with a very different personal perspective/system also have the same dignity and value as your system? Does Peter Singer’s system, which vehemently disagrees with the equality and dignity of all persons, have the same weight and value as your personal ethic?

        The empathy you espouse is beautiful, yet my question remains, where does it come from. It could emanate from the “Selfish Gene,” but in the end, that gene has no concept of free will or choice, or responsibility, it is deterministic. So your possession of empathy is not a moral good, but just a part of how you’ve evolved and it may indeed be a weakness leading to your annihilation rather than to your perpetuation – how do you know. Who says empathy is good, or simply perpetuating weakness.

        It seems to me there is better foundation to the answer at which you arrive. Nonetheless, I affirm your empathy.

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

          There may be. I find my own reasoning convincing (obviously!), but I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. I agree with your Dawkins quote, by the way. Shit happens, there’s random chance in many things, and some people get born into much better situations than others or with more or less beneficial genetic combinations. There is no rhyme or reason or justice in it. That doesn’t mean anything about the inherent moral value of persons, though. The person born with Downs syndrome or Fragile X or sickle cell anemia got dealt a shitty genetic hand by chance, but that has nothing to do with whether or not that person has inherent moral/ethical value or not. You mistake Dawkins’s quote if you think he refers to morals, when instead he refers to the absurdity of the idea that there is objective morality inherent in a creator deity. Just by observing the universe, we can say this is not so.

          We build morals and ethics based on what works and what we’ve evolved with. Empathy is one of those traits, as are the consciousness and intelligence that tell us empathy is better than selfishness, which is another of our evolved traits.

          If empathy were a weakness leading to extinction of species, we’d likely have seen it be bred out by now. Since humans are clearly the planet’s dominant species, with many other animals also exhibiting empathy, it’s pretty safe to say that is highly unlikely. The ability to work for the good of others is a pretty useful trait for species survival- it’s taken to extremes in hive species like bees and ants, but that same willingness to sacrifice oneself for the good of many is a rather useful species survival trait. The offspring of empathetic individuals have a far higher likelihood of surviving into adulthood than the offspring of purely selfish individuals. It gets tricky when we get into small groups and families and tribes, but then it’s a matter of opening our eyes (or tricking ourselves) into seeing everyone as part of our family/tribe. Why do you think Christians talk about people as their “brothers and sisters”? They’re using evolved traits in the service of binding people closer together, only they also use it to draw a boundary of not-Us and divide people too, creating new tribal affiliations beyond blood ties. The familial language isn’t accidental.

          There is no outside moral force of Good or Evil. There is only us, figuring out what hurts us and what doesn’t, and making moral judgments from that.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

      What is the nature of human dignity? We are awesome because we are matter come aware of itself.

      Why do I care how people die? That’s a separate issue. To me, it’s a matter of how much the individual suffered — and that includes awareness of the fact that death is imminent.

      And considering the last common ancestor is believed to have lived around 500 million years ago, it’s disingenuous to claim that a human and an ant are a few evolutionary steps from each other. We’re in different phyla! Any further apart, and you’d be pretty much outside the animal kingdom!

      PS: Anyone know the date of the last known common ancestor of all chordates?

      Edit: Typed ‘made’ but meant ‘matter’

    • RobMcCune

      What does evolution have to do with the caring about the well being of conscious beings?

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Would it be too difficult for you to do a Google search and learn that your Big Gotcha questions have been well answered for many years?

      Would it?

      • Rob

        It would not and I have, but thank you for the suggestion. I am fairly we’ll aware of these theories and I simply do not have the faith to believe that human consciousness and morality is a product of an undersigned accident. All the theories of men, logical as they may seem at points, fail to speak to origin, purpose and ultimate end. They all seem to fall short of the answers to ultimate questions.

        Before Google, I was searching the pages of Scripture and believe that “in the beginning God created…” And believing that God created humans with purpose, design, dignity, morality and glorious beauty, to reflect His glory and to enjoy life, freedom, purpose and relationship is a more plausible explanation to what I observe than all the hypotheses of modernity or the ancient philosophers.

        I respect that you have a different faith, and yet it seems we agree that the lives of those at the Upstairs Lounge were valuable and such acts of violence and apathy in the face of it stand against human dignity.

    • Peter Jenkins

      Where do you get the idea that Atheists believe that there is no reason for our existence? I make my own reasons to live.

      When it comes to being upset that others are murdered even though at some point they will die anyways my answer is that we don’t believe in murder because it infringes on someones rights. I could ask you why you choose to stay alive if you know that when you die you will go to paradise, but I realize that it would be a stupid question, just as yours was.

      Also, at one point you claim that you understand the teachings of dawkins, yet just a few words later you make the claim that evolution is ‘accidental’ which dawkins is fervently opposed to.

      The simple fact is that we are alive. While we are alive we must choose what to do with our lives. If you need to believe in a god to be a moral person, then so be it, but make sure that you admit to everyone that you aren’t capable of being a good person without help.

  • eve

    Let all those who lost their lives RIP, they’re still people at the end of the day no matter what their sexual preferences are.

  • allah

    the children of abraham, oft divided between Jacob & Esau, rock throwers, children of violence, etc. I AM straight, never inquire of me, I’d rather get rid of the violent rednecks than a gaggle of fey queers.

  • Virgoman1

    The phobias are still there, just not as prevelant as previously in years. Some hearts are changed, new hearts in the young that haven’t been taught to hate, and the certain absence of those who took their hate to their graves! Much progress has been made,much more needs to be made until ALL Americans have full and equal rights under the law!

  • Marty

    I believe you are all wrong for even arguing this point, all together. This is a news story. There must be much pain in ALL of your hearts to even forget that people were brutally murdered. Let’s take all of the religious talk out of this and just feel compassion. There should be nothing more to it.

    • Marty

      and for all we know….the man who did this could have been a closeted gay christian. no one truly knows anyone.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Yes, how dare any of us be offended that the dead were treated so callously for bigoted reasons that are formalized, encouraged, and made de facto government policy. How DARE we. Obviously in Bizarroworld that means we must not be upset that they were murdered.

      Please, take your poorly-camouflaged superiority off to the Land of Sod. Maybe Jesus is waiting there to forgive you for your judgmental nature.

      • Billy Bob

        And you’re not judgemental at all, C.L. Honeycutt

  • Rnr2

    What a terrible fucked up thing to do people who never harmed you and never would have. I presume the intention was to scare other LGBT-folks back into their closets. In other words, it could be seen as an act of terror. In any case it`s a damn vile hate crime.

    And chiding a priest for having a sliver of basic compassion, that`s just low and undignified. When Christians act like that they mock the god they claim to serve,

  • Сахароз Дурдень

    In the Soviet Union, gays enjoyed equal rights to straights. Now, in Orthodox Christian Controlled Russia gays are openly abused, tortured and murdered.

  • Ryan Sullivan

    Hatred has been, and always will be, the real heart of the issue. Hatred and ignorance knows no boundaries, it crosses race, gender, religion, sexual preference, and also time. It’s been here since the beginning.

    Love doesn’t have boundaries either, it knows no race, gender, religion, or sexual preference, same as hate.

    “Why” people choose one or the other transcends all the above mentioned and is far more complex that we often choose to admit.

    It’s time we opened the gate and let the scapegoats run free and deal with this as human to human choice and place the blame squarely on those to whom it belongs, and those are the ones who chose to commit the actions.

  • Valerie

    Horribly sad I was unaware of this. Hate is such an ugly ugly thing it destroys so much. God Bless these people who lost there lives as well as their loved ones family and friends as well of the survivors.. Shame on Racists and Bigots God is the only one who has the right to judge and these shameful people will stand before him someday.But will they be ready to be judged????

  • John DeGregory

    I’m 65 and never heard of this tragedy. I expect to stand in line to see this documentary.

  • Physal

    Uhh, why all the religious hate here? The guy they are saying did this was Gay and had mental issues. But at that time being gay was considered having a mental issue so we don’t know about that either. It says he was a visitor to the gay lounge. Most likely a jilted lover or something not thousands of years of religious, institutional, intolerance, judgmental, blah, blah, blah…. Its a terrible story, that yes I had never heard of, but you sure are jumping to a lot of conclusions and judging a many groups of people and being very intolerant of people you are assuming to know their hearts.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Good job being too dumb and pissy to catch up on the actual point.

    • Shelly Liebmann

      The article does not say that the one ‘said’ to claim responsibility was gay (we cannot say he actually did it because no investigation was done and no arrest was made). It says “itinerant troublemaker with known mental problems,….a sometime visitor to the UpStairs Lounge…” I once worked at a Jewish newspaper. There was an “itinerant troublemaker” with obvious mental issues who sometimes came by to darken the doorstep. He was not Jewish. However he did have religious issues. Unfortunately, the structure of many religions with their colorful mythos and (for some types) authoritarian dogma, plenty of which does appeal to persecution and revenge ideations, along with its air of instant respect and seemingly transcendent authority, makes attractive ready fodder for certain kinds of disturbed (and disturbing) minds.

    • Shelly Liebmann

      I judge it more of the enforced social norms of the time. However, religion plays a role when it helps to enforce and justify an overly conservative set of norms that is not otherwise justifiable. When religion loses power to do this, it also loses its power to inhibit a more progressive conversation.

  • Physal

    Whoops, just looked at the top of the page and saw this is an atheist website… that explains it. Sorry, carry on in all your happiness and joy. It really does show in your comments….

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Poor wittle pissy angrums.

    • Jerrad Wohlleber

      If only we could be as joyful and loving as you…

    • Mack

      The comments section is a ‘lets complain about Christians together!’ party. Joy and happiness abound!

    • UWIR

      It is hard to imagine the worldview in which an article taking the position that burning people to death is a bad thing is something that requires an explanation.

  • Adam

    Dear bigzach1000,

    As a tenured physics professor, I can assure you (unequivocally) that theoretical science is not a tool to brainwash the masses. Even so, I highly doubt you are in any way qualified to make such a statement. If you actually could stand your own against a debate team of established scientists, you wouldn’t be posting inane and vapid comments on an internet comment thread. Congratulations on being irrelevant.

    And just to clarify, politicians and religious fanatics are the only ones who brainwash the masses with science—a certain brand of science that reasonable people call pseudo-science. Science, as it stands, doesn’t have a position on the question of God’s existence, precisely because it is a meaningless question from a scientific point of view.

    Please get an education, lest you embarrass yourself any further.

  • Susie

    How terrible! It’s hard to imagine that level of barbarism was still so virulent in 1973 and in New Orleans! Certainly a stain of shame on the city that nurtured and inspired the great Tennessee Williams, Mark Twain and others too numerous to count. I don’t recall ever hearing about it before now! It is very important for the gay community to keep memorials and such disgusting acts in the public eye.

  • TONYA

    My people die for a lack of knowledge. Looks like the gays and the person who killed them both died. And from my research gay people do not live long lives and die of horrific diseases and not of old age. But so do the people who hate them. I pray for wisdom, understanding, discernment, love, truth, honesty, integrity, compassion, intolerance, boundaries, innocence and REVELATION. Praise Yahweh!!!

    • Jerrad Wohlleber

      Where did you do your research? The 700 club?

      • Shelly Liebmann

        that wouldn’t be research, that would be ‘revealed knowledge’.

    • Shelly Liebmann

      You make less and less sense as the sands of time march on…religions arbitrarily rise and die, or become irrelevant (and die) when they fail to adjust to the reality of society. For most religions, that means a liberalization of spirituality that accepts that such has a wide expression, not necessarily one being superior to another.

      Your ‘research’ is not research-it is a repetition of old stereotypes that were more true in the past because of intensive persecution-in this case of 30 people socializing, minding their own business in their own space. The persecution is less today, and in direct proportion, so are the mental and health issues, laying the direct cause for suffering at the feet of society. Frankly today, and for the last twenty years, I have known many happy gay friends, all of whom are alive today (don’t personally know any having AIDS).

      We cannot say that the individual who claimed to be responsible in the arson massacre actually was the killer-the authorities never did an investigation, nor was there an arrest.. Mentally illness may prejudicially cast that him as the culprit, but likewise should make his claims suspect. This is why you should seek physical evidence through proper investigation. How public authority treated these people contributed to their fate-none of them that I know of suffered any worse than awkward discomfort shoved into the dark corners of mental dustbins.

      Revelation does not yield knowledge-it never has but for an illusion of knowing or predicting. It takes alot more work than mentally lazy intuitive shortcuts (the norm of how people think most of the time) to gain knowledge, including searching for valid information that may counter (falsify) your own position. The big reason we have science and more logically sound ways of thinking to correct for old prejudices and fast intuitive ways of thinking that feel right but are often wrong. Real knowledge gleaned from true research work indicates that sexuality exists along a spectrum, but for most, whether they are gay or straight is not a choice they can consciously make.

      “Praise Yahweh” may sound virtuous and spiritual to you, or it may be your way to show righteousness, but to most, it is contrary to how they innately understand such values, or sounds silly and makes no sense (and no emotional connection but to roll the eyes). Might as well praise Adonis (more attractive image) or hail Zeus. Frankly, Yahweh was a decidedly unpleasant, and for the wonders we know today, unimpressive, character in the Old Testement of the Bible (and yes, I read the whole thing).

  • Smith_90125

    You have to wonder if the fire deparment had a slow response time because of who the victims were.

    If you think that’s not possible, it was about a decade ago that a young woman was left to die on a Washington DC street because the paramedics didn’t want to touch her. They wouldn’t even take her to a hospital. Just because she was transgendered does NOT give search and rescue the right to ignore her or anyone else and leave them to die.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if the same were true of the New Orleans FD. There are plenty of other cases where “authorities” didn’t like the victims of crime and abused them further.

  • Darlene

    I gave birth to one gay son, 5 straight sons and two daughters who are straight————and you know what—they all ate oatmeal, all went to school, (some more than others ):):) To-day is easier for the gays than it was in the 50′s, 60′ etc etc—–but there should be no prosecution s, bullying etc. I had a friend that was a gay doctor and one that was a banker—you know what — EVERYONE loved and admired these two——-until they came out to be able to live a true life for them selves—–now these people were upstanding (in their 50′s) members in the community, headed up commities——held nieghbourhood BBQ’s——-took kids on fishing trips, BUT after stepping free from their bondage, many people shunned them—people from churches, cults and the “good old Boys” clubs———— yep these upright righteous people thumped their chests and spread lies of condemation——I worked in a job that had to keep information secret and believe me Many of those upright people were not , I repeat NOT good people.——they preyed on the defenceless and sometimes in groups to bully people——-

  • JoFro
  • TruthBeToldOnceMore

    The sad way which Christianity is practiced in The United States .

  • Dan

    Just another case that illustrates that being gay always has been and always will be a dangerous thing. We’re a minority like any other and therefore subject to prejudice and hate.

    • Shelly Liebmann

      But it is a damn sight better now than it was then. Bigots could get away with so much reprehensible shit with a wink wink nudge nudge of cultural encouragement to the point of murder back then and everyone would sweep it under the rug like nothing happened. That’s loads harder to do today in most places and even the average American would look at this documentary with more horror today then back then.

    • The Starship Maxima

      I challenge your assertion that being gay “always will be” a dangerous thing. We working to see that doesn’t happen.

  • mike simons

    this literally made me cry OMG thoes poor people and to joke about someting like this is just sick

  • Jesus

    DAmn, time for a good nights sleep.

  • WaffleWolfer

    Gut-wrenching, and made even more so by the fact that I’ve never heard about this. And trust me, I have one big-ass database of LGBT-related hate crimes stored on my hard drive already.

  • alternatesteve2

    Sad shit. Unfortunately, this *was* the South in the ’70s and this part of the country was notorious for *extreme* police corruption(just as the L.A.P.D. is today)…..though it can be said that the vast majority of even Southerners were in all likelihood, not nearly so prejudiced as to justify *murder* of those who are different than the perceived norm, even in 1973, I think most will agree that all it can take sometimes is a small number of truly extreme a-holes to make life unbearable for entire communities, made all the worse if corrupt cops & politicos are enabling such behavior. =(

  • radiofreerome

    No one familiar with the Upstairs Lounge fire would say that it was a hate crime. It was most likely committed by a mentally ill person. No evidence of motivation was every brought to light because no one cared enough to investigate the crime or, for that matter, to save the victims from the flames. The firemen stood by and watched and made remarks about how the victims deserved to burn to death. The reactions of many if not most New Orleanians were a testament to the banality of evil.

    Certainly, traditional religions like Roman Catholicism and Southern Baptism supported this depraved indifference to human life. Archbishop Philip M. Hannan of New Orleans infamously banned funeral masses for any of the victims. As former chaplain of the fire department he should have criticized the fireman who said in the Times Picayune that those in the bar deserved to burn to death.

    The memory of this is one of many experiences that scarred my adolescence driving me away from the Catholic Church.


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