Christian Groups Fumble Over False Claim That Pedophilia is Now a Sexual Orientation

Christian groups practically combusted this week over a (false) claim that the American Psychiatric Association now classifies pedophilia as a sexual orientation — which it undeniably does not.

The recently-released fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the APA’s guide to classifications of mental illnesses, has not changed its classification of pedophilia as a disorder. However, in one paragraph of the DSM-V’s text discussion — not the criteria itself, Care2 points out — it is incorrectly referred to as a “sexual orientation” in a place where the text was meant to read “sexual interest.”

The anti-gay American Family Association seems to have been the first to send panicked messages throughout right-wing circles about the error, making the sweeping claim that pedophilia was now considered another run-of-the-mill “alternative” sexual orientation. The Christian publication Charisma News published an article quoting the horrifically anti-gay commentator Sandy Rios, who issued an inflammatory statement on behalf of the AFA:

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Customers Refuse to Tip Gay Waiter For Being ‘An Affront to God’

Customers at a Carrabba’s restaurant in Kansas this week said they received excellent service from their waiter — but they refused to tip him because he’s gay. And the hateful note they left him stings even worse than being stiffed:

After the 20-year-old waiter served a couple earlier this week in Overland Park, the hostess, who is also the young man’s mother, found a disturbing note on the back of the check.

“Thank you for your service, it was excellent. That being said, we cannot in good conscience tip you, for your homosexual lifestyle is an affront to GOD. [Gay slur] do not share in the wealth of GOD, and you will not share in ours,” the customer wrote. “We hope you will see the tip your [gay slur] choices made you lose out on, and plan accordingly. It is never too late for GOD’s love, but none shall be spared for [gay slur]. May GOD have mercy on you.”


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Gays Christians Shouldn’t Just Leave the Church; They Should Leave the Faith

Last week, Christianity Today‘s spinoff Leadership Journal published a joke of a piece called “Help, I’m Gay.” Unfortunately not satirical, it’s an imagined conversation between Pastor Stanton L. Jones and a fictional gay man (“Todd“) whose comments are “a composite drawn from many of Stan’s interactions” with LGBT people who are unhappy in the church.

The premise of the piece is pretty similar to lots of other “conversations” we see between conflicted LGBT Christians and their smiling-but-belittling church leaders. Lots of loving the sinner and hating the sin; lots of suggesting that being true to God should be prioritized over being true to oneself. And, as always, plenty of unanswered questions and/or vague responses:

Todd: I’m not inclined to think the Scriptures are just wrong. But why does God condemn homosexual conduct? Does he hate me? That’s what Romans 1 seems to imply.

Jones: I am not sure I have a great answer for that. The Scriptures relate the commands but do not give extensive justifications of those commands.

Oh, good. That’s helpful! Patheos’ Tony Jones (I assume there’s no relation, but I’ll refer to him as Tony for clarity’s sake) discussed the faux interview last week, taking serious issue with the pastor’s ultimate suggestion that gay people should shamefully confess their identities to a church official and ask to take on a desired leadership position, anyway. Tony writes:

I think we can all agree that this is some bad advice. If you’re gay, don’t tell your evangelical pastor, “I’m a man who feels sexual attraction to other men, but I’m staying chaste. Can I please serve as a leader in this church?”

No, don’t do that.

Instead, find another church.

There’s more bad advice at play here than simply the pastor’s suggestion to throw your livelihood away in the spirit of leading a bigoted church. In fact, pretty much every one of Pastor Jones’ responses reeks of anti-gay prejudice and homophobia — which is especially problematic when this article posits itself as the ultimate answer for struggling LGBT Christians.

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Tea Partier Suggests Class-Action Lawsuit Against Homosexuality

A former Baptist pastor has figured out the answer to ridding the world of those pesky gays once and for all: just sue ‘em.

Tea Party organizer Rick Scarborough and conservative activist Peter LaBarbera reportedly spoke last week about how to strengthen the Christian anti-gay movement (no, seriously). LaBarbera is the president of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, an organization that seeks to counter the “homosexual activist agenda” and definitely doesn’t sound like a bunch of closeted gay men trying to make themselves feel better. Nope. Not at all.

[caption id="attachment_93149" align="alignnone" width="394"]Rick Scarborough[/caption]

Their brilliant solution? A class-action lawsuit tantamount to those filed against tobacco companies, because apparently the two groups are guilty of equally heinous harms against society.

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Transgender Atheist Fights Kenyan Government (And Christian Law Firm) For Recognition

One of the biggest names in the global transgender rights movement is also an atheist, giving her home country yet another reason to target her.

Audrey Mbugua is a 29-year-old Kenyan trans woman who is suing the government of Kenya for failing to recognize her identity and name on legal documents such as her state-issued ID and her passport. She transitioned in 2001 and was diagnosed in 2008 with gender identity disorder, the medical diagnosis sometimes given to trans and gender-nonconforming individuals as a prerequisite for legal or medical gender transition procedures. But according to her governmental identification documents, she is still legally male and has a different name.

The Kenyan government has refused to update her documents accordingly, resulting in increased prejudice, discrimination, and difficulty finding a job in a country where being LGBT is illegal. (Not surprisingly, Kenyan media coverage of the case has been sloppy in using her correct name and pronouns.) In May, she sued the Attorney General and the Kenya National Examinations Council, but government officials are clearly taking their sweet time.

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