Learning from gay activists

Homosexuals have pulled what may be the greatest public relations revolution in history, going from reviled to celebrated in the twinkling of an eye.  Illegal immigrants have also scored a public relations coup, as their cause is now ascendant.  Immigration activist Frank Sharry says that the success of his movement has been consciously modeled after the tactics of gay rights activists.

I’ll quote him after the jump, but Christians would do well to study these turnarounds.  Societies tend to project some of its members as “others,” scapegoating, marginalizing, and looking down on them as a way to achieve social solidarity, an “ingroup”  played off against an “outgroup.”  Christians should never play that game, but we have.   I wonder if  Christians will someday be put into that role.  Already, significant parts of the population regard conservative Christians with revulsion and fear, seeing Christians’ sexual ethics as unnatural and scaring themselves at the prospect of Christians taking over the country.  I can see a time when people will mirror the Calvinist/Arminian debates in discussing whether a person chooses to be a Christian (in which case there is no excuse) or is born that way (in which case there is a pathology that needs to be eradicated).  But maybe enough Christians will be bold enough to “out themselves” to their families and friends so as to present a human face to the movement.

From Frank Sharry:

To get to this point, we learned three crucial lessons from LGBT activists: We had to build a movement. We couldn’t be afraid to challenge our friends in power. And we had to give our cause a human face.

LGBT advocates showed us that the way to build power is by leveraging your competitive advantage. If money and votes are the currency of politics, their strength was in the former. Snarkily referred to by donors and beneficiaries alike as the “Gay ATM,” LGBT contributors gave generously to political candidates and won themselves a seat at the table.

Our strength lies in the other form of political currency: voters. After the devastating defeat of the McCain-Kennedy immigration reform bill in 2007, we made it our top priority to mobilize new Latino voters, who see immigration reform as a defining issue. .  . .

We learned something else from the LGBT community. Early in Obama’s first term, when most progressives were swooning about the new president and the new era his election had ushered in, LGBT activists had a different take. Dismissing the Washington-insider notion that access means influence, they made it clear that they were not going to go along to get along. Led by bloggers such as John Aravosis, Joe Sudbay and Pam Spaulding, the LGBT community developed an outside strategy that openly challenged the White House.

Their first battle was over the president’s defense of DOMA. They were confrontational and fearless. LGBT advocates then upped the pressure on the White House and Congress to move on the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Unwilling to accept the line that “we’d like to help you, but those Republicans just won’t let us,” gay activists mobilized donors, got arrested at the White House, demanded action and ultimately succeeded in repealing the military policy.

On immigration, most of Obama’s first term offered encouraging reform rhetoric, but not a lot of progress on policy. While the speeches were inspiring and the early meetings friendly, advocates like me had to face facts: We weren’t getting anywhere. In fact, the Department of Homeland Security was ramping up deportations to record levels. We strongly suspected that then-White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who had famously called immigration a third-rail issue for Democrats in 2007, was saying much the same to the president.

And so, again, we applied a lesson from the LGBT activists. We even came up with a new rallying cry: “It’s time to go all LGBT on their a–.” I used it around the office and in meetings with colleagues. I meant, quite simply, that it was time to be confrontational. . . .

The final lesson our movement learned from the LGBT community may have been the most important. Gays and lesbians have created a monumental shift in American culture. They did it, first and foremost, by coming out to family and friends. They did it by infusing popular culture with popular characters, from Ellen to Will to Mitch and Cam. They did it by being brave and loud, out and proud.

We had nothing of the sort. To most Americans, undocumented immigrants were unknown and invisible. To some, they represented a menace. But then, just a few years ago, Dreamers — who take their name from the Dream Act, which would create a path to citizenship for young people who go to college or serve in the military — started to come out as “undocumented and unafraid.” They risked arrest, detention and deportation to fight for their freedom, their futures and their families. They became the heart of the movement, and their courage opened millions of minds. In 2010, four brave Dreamers walked 1,500 miles from Miami to Washington. In 2011, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargascame out as an undocumented immigrant in the New York Times Magazine.

Suddenly, the human faces and personal stories so sorely missing in our debate broke through as never before.

via How did we build an immigrant movement? We learned from gay rights advocates. – The Washington Post.

Christians have mustered votes, but they (we) haven’t pressured the politicians they elected to follow through for them, as the gay and immigration activists have done.  And Christians have not managed to project a human face.  That, perhaps, takes suffering, which can lead to compassion.  They may happen later.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Grace

    Who is Frank Sharry? Here is the short story:

    “In 2008 he left the Forum to become the founder and Executive Director of America’s Voice, an organization that serves as the communications arm of the immigration reform movement. Since its inception America’s Voice has become a visible and vocal advocate for comprehensive immigration reform, the DREAM Act (a measure that would enable young people who came without status to attend college or serve in the military as a way to earn citizenship), and administrative changes aimed at relieving the sense of siege experienced in immigrant communities throughout America as local and federal enforcement continues to be expanded.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Sharry

    Instead of using the term “without status” ……….

  • Grace

    Frank Sharry talks immigration, March 1, 2013

  • Gary in FL

    Thanks, Grace! I’m glad you and I can support bi-partisanship and agree that this Frank Sharry (of whom I was unaware until you thoughtfully provided this helpful link) is a good human being and an activist who is working earnestly for compassionate and sensible goals!

  • Trey

    Us Christians cannot use such Bolshevik tactics since it attempts to dehumanize our neighbor. We are at a decisively disadvantage because we should treat all humans with dignity. We then will suffer for upholding the moral law.

  • fjsteve

    Isn’t pandering to emotionalism and bumper-sticker logic exactly what the church growth movement was all about?

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    What Trey says. Yes, homosexual activists and pro-illegal immigration activists have won a propaganda coup, but suffice it to say that I can’t reconcile the means I’ve seen with Ephesians 4:31-2. It’s worth noting as well that a lot of the coup has to do with the media conveniently overlooking a lot of the methods used. I can’t see them doing the same for evangelical and fundamental Christians, and I don’t even know that I’d want them to. Growth in Christ for myself, my brothers, and my sisters in Christ is far more important than political influence.

    Put differently, I remember the media being fairly sympathetic to homosexuals even when almost all others were not.

  • Dr Luther in the 21st Century

    Or we can keep on chugging along Proclaiming the Gospel and working compassionately with our neighbors trusting that the Holy Spirit is going to do what they Holy Spirit does best – give people Jesus and changing them with His life. I am not saying we throw out sanctified wisdom, but let’s not get our knickers all tied up over this.

  • http://www.LutherWasNotBornAgain. Gary

    The Great Commission says nothing about imposing Christian morality on secular society.

    We are to preach the Gospel: the Good News of salvation, eternal life, through Jesus Christ. We are to love our neighbor as ourselves. Let’s focus on changing hearts and souls, not on changing sinners’ political opinions.

  • Pingback: Holy Week, Passion Week, Good Friday, Easter, Gay Rights, Marriage & the Supreme Court | Random Thoughts From a Cluttered Mind

  • http://derekjohnsonmuses.com DerekJohnsonMuses

    Very good points, and while we should always speak the truth in love, Christian advocates need to restrategize and figure out ways to defend the natural, traditional family structure and don’t back down, just because it will hurt people’s feelings. We need people to say that just opposing gay marriage doesn’t mean you hate gay people or don’t want them to have opportunities. For my own part, there’s a gay couple that I know through one of the places I volunteer, and I enjoy their company, but when I get up and support traditional marriage, I’m doing it because all children have a reasonable right to be raised by the people who brought them into this world. (This is a bit of a reversal of Kennedy’s “I’m a Catholic, but I don’t let Catholicism drive my politics”, which then led to Gov. Cuomo’s “I don’t enforce my Catholic morality in politics.”)

    The gay rights movement may have the momentum, but we have history and the family structure on our side. The pro-life movement has been able to reorganize itself over time because people cared and worked where they could to change people’s attitudes. It’s going to be tougher to reorganize against the gay rights movement, because the gay rights movement forces you to face someone who is proud of their private behavior, which isn’t the case in the abortion debate. Conservative Christians need to find the children of gay couples and start doing research, and start finding men and women whose lives were destroyed when their spouse decided that he or she was gay. Gay rights activist won the argument by focusing on personal stories, so we need to do the same.

  • http://www.princetonlutherans.com longhorn

    I don’t know. What I see here is mostly aggressive lobbying of politicians and celebrity/media influence. I think such “tactics” should be rejected by Christians. Catechizing, confessing the faith, praying, and bearing witness within the vocation are not exciting, but there really is no other way.

  • sg

    Gays and immigrants have exactly no influence. The only reason they seem to have influence is that the media champion certain policies that relate to gays and immigrants. The media are influencing us. A poll of hispanics asked whom they considered an hispanic leader which rendered the response “don’t know” as the overwhelming top response. Perhaps a similar majority of gays couldn’t name a gay activist either. Power is exactly where it always has been, with those who have control of the message. Check out a google ngram of gay marriage. It is entirely media driven. Even gays never thought of it before.

  • sg

    Conservative Christians need to find the children of gay couples and start doing research, and start finding men and women whose lives were destroyed when their spouse decided that he or she was gay. Gay rights activist won the argument by focusing on personal stories, so we need to do the same.

    It wouldn’t matter if you found a million such stories, they would get no coverage. Just like the March for Life gets almost a media blackout. They control the message. When five pro aborts show up at the Texas Capitol at the Texas Rally for life with some two or three thousand pro lifers, the media go straight to the pro aborts to give them at least equal time to state their position and they do not report how extremely few pro aborts showed up.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ the Old Adam

    The wheels are coming off and there’s not a whole lot we can do about it.

    Letting “progressives” run our public school systems for the last 50 years has insured their victory. Kids have been (and are being) taught what to think…not how to think.

  • DonS

    Christians have certainly done a lot of things wrong politically in the past. At times, various of those who identified publicly as Christian activists have offended (for the wrong reasons), fought for the wrong things, and engaged their political opponents on worldly terms, rather than with the love of God. No question about this. But, to be fair, so have homosexual activists, in even uglier ways. Ever seen a Gay Pride parade in person? Not a pretty picture of humankind. The thing is, homosexual activists are pushing in the direction of worldliness — which is the natural direction of things in this life — and have a strong media wind at their back. Their mistakes and offenses are largely covered up. Not so with Christians. The media wind is definitely in our faces, and any mistake a Christian in the public eye makes (Richard Mourdock anyone?) is magnified and ridiculed endlessly by that same media.

    We can’t play on that field. We can’t use the tactics of the world, and we have been promised that we will be reviled and persecuted in this life. All we can do is educate our children to be as eloquent as possible (thank you, Patrick Henry College, for your significant role in this effort!), live our lives in obedience to God’s calling, love our neighbors, communicate our values as clearly, cogently, and respectfully as possible, and pray for a righteous outcome.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    #9, #12; I would have to guess that if Christians and other cultural conservatives did indeed find the children of homosexuals whose lives had been damaged by this abandonment, the work would go nowhere for three reasons. The most obvious reason is that the most obvious correlation–and one that has already been made–is sexual deviance, and our culture really doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with it. Second, it’s going to be hard to differentiate, I’d guess, the effects homosexual adultery from heterosexual adultery, and finally, those who dared to dot he work would be demonized along the lines of Paul Cameron.

    Seems to me that case by case, we’re going to need to make the case for Christ, not just law.

  • Bill H

    In my humble opinion, Hollywood made the homosexual lifestyle look so normal with the movies they make and the shows that Americans watch on TV. But rarely does Hollywood show what is abnormal with these relationships. Does Hollywood reflect our culture or does our culture drive Hollywood? In either case, we are to be counter-cultural by being self-less and showing the compassion of Jesus to those in need. When Jesus healed those in the Bible, he said that their faith had made them well. He also said, go and sin no more.

    As Christians, we must honor God’s design for family, love our neighbor, teaching God’s Word (Law and Gospel) and allowing the Holy Spirit to sanctify us.

  • dust

    i’ve always thought that if christians wanted to get some attention all they have to do is boycott something, anything, even for just a day….imagine if they would not buy christmas presents one year (or just buy half! or just skip the tree!), or not go to the stupid movies for a week or so, or skip those starbuck lattes for a few days, or since it’s that time of year, skip the easter egg coloring kits and baskets?

    if they could organize and coordinate in this way, they could change things in a hurry….but it’s not their style, so things will just run their crazy course, of course :)

    cheers!

  • helen

    oldadam @ 13
    Letting “progressives” run our public school systems for the last 50 years has insured their victory. Kids have been (and are being) taught what to think…not how to think.

    Exactly! This “change of heart” did not come about in the last 10 years. SIECUS has been working in the public schools for more than 60 years, to promote homosexuality, promiscuity and abortion, under the guise of “sex education”. [If you didn't know, it's because children were advised not to tell their parents what they were learning. Other people's children told me that in Texas. It was true also in New Jersey.] The “products” of that brainwashing have become numerous enough to show up as a “majority” in polls… (although like the Texas demonstrations, the polls may well be slanted to suit the prejudices of the news rooms). :(

  • dust

    furthermore, if they want to get the attention of their church leaders, say for example to get back to basics and leave the touchy feely mush….they could just skip sundays for a month or so?

    or go but skip putting anything in the collection plate for a month or so…nothing gets attention in our culture like the almighty dollar, or the lack thereof :)

    cheers!

  • Grace

    Dangers of Same-Sex Marriage for Children

  • Grace

    Helen @ 18

    “This “change of heart” did not come about in the last 10 years. SIECUS has been working in the public schools for more than 60 years, to promote homosexuality, promiscuity and abortion, under the guise of “sex education”. [If you didn’t know, it’s because children were advised not to tell their parents what they were learning.”

    Helen has it right, read what she wrote over again.

    When individuals claim that Christians should not be involved in politics, to change laws that are against God’s Word, it is nothing but an excuse to weaken the morality of our country, in this case same sex marriage, encouraging evil to prevail. What do you think our children must think when they see their parents as cowards in the face of evil? Do you expect them to thank you when they are grown?

    Being submissive to evil is not Biblical. Instead we are to:

    11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
    12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
    13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
    14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
    15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
    16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
    17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
    Ephesians 6

    Stand tall, follow Christ, this is no time to find an excuse to hide from the truth.

  • http://www.LutherWasNotBornAgain. Gary

    I just viewed the video in the post above. Very interesting.

    Bottomline: gay marriage is coming whether we like it or not. Maybe not this year, but soon. The majority of Americans now support it.

    If you don’t want your children to learn about this issue in secular public schools..for Pete’s sake, put them in a good LCMS school! If you say you can’t afford it, talk to your local pastor. I’m sure your church will try to help you.

    Why are we surprised that sinners want to condone and legitimize sin? We do not live in a Christian nation. We live in a secular nation. We are not of this world but must live in it. Preach the Gospel. Preach against sin. And put your children in a Christian (preferrably LCMS) school.

    Pray that the State will stay out of the Church, and that the State will not take revenge on the Church for the Church pushing Christian morality onto the State and secular society for so long.

  • Grace

    Gary @ 22

    “If you don’t want your children to learn about this issue in secular public schools..for Pete’s sake, put them in a good LCMS school! If you say you can’t afford it, talk to your local pastor. I’m sure your church will try to help you.

    Gary, it’s not all about those of us who are Believers, it’s about millions of children who come from homes that have never heard, or been taught about our Savior Jesus Christ. The lost should be our concern, and if we are concerned we don’t ignore the situation, throw up our hands, and believe private school is the answer.

    We as tax payers have a right to RELIGOUS FREEDOM, homosexuality taught in public schools takes that away!

  • Grace

    Gary @ 3

    “m glad you and I can support bi-partisanship and agree that this Frank Sharry (of whom I was unaware until you thoughtfully provided this helpful link) is a good human being and an activist who is working earnestly for compassionate and sensible goals!”

    I don’t agree with Sharry – there is no “compassion” or “sensible” when someone wants to OVERIDE our Immigration Laws, for those who lie, steal and cheat.

  • Grace

    Rob Bell is part of the Emergent Church, but avoids the label. He was the founder and teaching pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, Michigan.

    Bell Calls Homosexual ‘Marriage’ a Move of God for ‘Greater Affirmation of Gay Brothers, Sisters’

    March 23, 2013 By: Heather Clark

    “Just days after word broke that Rob Bell, author of the best-selling and controversial book Love Wins, which challenges the Christian teaching of Hell, came out in support of the homosexual lifestyle, Bell has reiterated his beliefs to the media.
    This week, Odyssey Networks posted a video interview with Bell, during which he further outlined his stance, stating that he believes that the push for homosexual “marriage” is actually a move of God.

    “What we’re seeing right now in this day, I believe, [is] God pulling us ahead into greater and greater affirmation and acceptance of our gay brothers and sisters and pastors and friends and neighbors and co-workers,” Bell asserted. “And we’re realizing that God made some of us one way and some of us another.”

    READ the rest: http://christiannews.net/2013/03/23/bell-calls-homosexual-marriage-a-move-of-god-for-greater-affirmation-of-gay-brothers-sisters/

    Please don’t miss the VIDEO or the rest of the article.

  • http://www.LutherWasNotBornAgain.com Gary

    Grace @23

    If gay marriage becomes the law of the land, how can you not expect that government (public) schools will teach that gay marriage is as “normal” as every other legal marriage? Imagine if in the South, parents refused to let their children read school books that endorsed inter-racial marriages as “normal” and came to the school and conducted a sit-in to pressure the public school to abandon this practice as an infringement on their religious liberties. It wouldn’t fly. They would be defying federal law. The Federal Courts would not tolerate it.

    You are trying to make sinners think and act like Christians. Give it up. It’s a losing proposition. Concentrate on winning their hearts and souls for Christ and then let Him change their political views.

  • Grace

    Gary

    “Imagine if in the South, parents refused to let their children read school books that endorsed inter-racial marriages as “normal” and came to the school and conducted a sit-in to pressure the public school to abandon this practice as an infringement on their religious liberties. It wouldn’t fly. They would be defying federal law.”

    Mixing and matchig what you believe is a viable argument regarding “inter-racial marriages” vs. homosexual marriage, is ignorant.

    Moses married a dark Ethiopian woman.

    1 And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.

    2 And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it.

    3 (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)

    4 And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out.

    5 And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth.

    6 And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.

    7 My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.

    8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?

    9 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed.

    10 And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.

    11 And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned.

    12 Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother’s womb.

    13 And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee.

    14 And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again.

    15 And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again.

    16 And afterward the people removed from Hazeroth, and pitched in the wilderness of Paran.
    Numbers 12

    The above passages in the Word of God should serve to teach you the truth, regarding those who are black, it is not to be confused with homosexual marriage – when you do such things, you prove how little you’ve studied the Bible. Homosexuality is a sin, being black, or marrying a black individual is not a sin.

    Ethopian Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary
    the name of a son of Ham, and of his territory; also of an Israelite:–Chush, Cush, Ethiopia.
    a Cushite, or descendant of Cush:–Cushi, Cushite, Ethiopian(-s

  • Grace

    Gary,

    “You are trying to make sinners think and act like Christians. Give it up. It’s a losing proposition. Concentrate on winning their hearts and souls for Christ and then let Him change their political views.”

    Read my post @ 21 – The Scripture stated (Ephesians 6) should help you understand we are not to stand by doing nothing.

  • http://www.LutherWasNotBornAgain.com Gary

    Grace @28

    Growing up in the 60′s and 70′s as a fundamental Baptist, I was taught that it is a sin for whites and blacks to marry. The same Scriptural argument you are using against gay marriage was used to support segregation. The very same argument. These fundamentalists used the fact that Moses had some problems with his “dark” wife as evidence that Moses had sinned by marrying her.

    I have a prediction for you: in 25 years people will look back at your posts on this subject with the same level of “how could that neanderthal believe such a bigoted thing” as we they do now regarding interracial marriage.

    I agree with you that interracial marriage is not a sin. I agree with you that homosexual behavior and marriage ARE sins. But that is for the Church and the Christian home, not for a free, democratic, secular society. Once gay marriage becomes the law of the land, which it will, public schools MUST teach that gay marriage is just as normal as any other legal marriage. To do otherwise would be a violation of the law. Our laws are based on the Constitution, not the Bible. We do not have Christian Sharia law in this country. We are NOT a Christian nation. We are a secular nation that follows the rule of law under the Constitution.

    Any Christian who has his/her children in a public school should be ashamed of him/herself. If your children grow up with a secular, non-Christian out-look on life and on morality, you have no one to blame but yourself.

  • dust

    Gary…do you think there are still churches that teach that inter-racial marriages are sinful, or at least wrong? what about slavery? do you think they enjoy their tax exempt status, or do you think they should not qualify?

    am wondering because perhaps there will come a day when today’s churches will no longer teach that same sex marriages are wrong, is that a concern for you?

    it’s interesting about our nation’s founding and it’s principles….am not an expert by any means but have been reading a bit about John Locke and his letters on toleration, and it seems (if my understanding is correct) that he was all about toleration and freedom, but only for those with a strong moral foundation and sense of right and wrong, as determined by natural law. In no way would he or any of the founding fathers tolerate many of the behaviors we find in our culture today, and indeed said we are not obligated to tolerate them, let alone codify there practice.

    Well, we shall see where all of this ends up…like the old chinese proverb says, may you live in interesting times and am sure it’s going to get even more so :)

    cheers!

  • Grace

    Gary @ 29

    “Growing up in the 60′s and 70′s as a fundamental Baptist, I was taught that it is a sin for whites and blacks to marry. The same Scriptural argument you are using against gay marriage was used to support segregation.”

    That is FALSE Gary, you contradict yourself. I use Romans 1, among other passages against homosexual marriage. You have mixed and matched more than once, ….. are you for homosexual marriage, is that it? Perhaps you aren’t but it sure sounds like it, disguised as something else.

    Any Christian who has his/her children in a public school should be ashamed of him/herself. If your children grow up with a secular, non-Christian out-look on life and on morality, you have no one to blame but yourself.”

    You Gary, should be ashamed of yourself. There are thousands upon thousands of families who could never afford to send their chldren to a Christian school. You obviously have no empathy for those who are not capable of paying for such things.

    As a pastors daughter, I find your approach very strange, either you live in a bubble, or you have little experience in the real world.

  • http://www.LutherWasNotBornAgain.com Gary

    Dust @ 30

    I believe in the complete separation of Church and State.

    If a Church wants to teach that slavery is ok, that segregation is of God, and even if they banned persons of color from attending their services, I would support their right to do so. Again, keep the State out of the Church, and the Church out of the State, even if the Church has some terrible, offensive beliefs.

    The issue of tax exemption is another issue. I support tax exempt status for churches because I believe that they provide a social good. However, any Church involved in a business enterprise for profit, should be taxed. If your Church wants to buy majority stock shares in Coca Cola, that’s fine, but I would tax you just like any other for-profit business.

    By the way, I wouldn’t use the morality of the founding fathers to determine what should and should not be legal today. Many of the founding fathers owned fellow human beings as disposable property, in the same manner that they owned cattle and pigs. As long as the fellow human being was African with black skin it was perfectly legal AND moral to possess and sell them like you would your milk cow. Even the Northern founding fathers are not good examples for today’s standards of what is right and wrong. Even though a Northern founding father may have been against slavery, I seriously doubt any of them would have tolerated their daughters dating black men, let alone marry one. I would bet that the majority of Northern founding fathers would joint their Southern counterparts in support of laws that banned blacks and whites from marrying. I also doubt that that the majority of the founding fathers would have thought it a good idea to let women vote.

  • tODD

    Grace (@31): “As a pastors daughter, I…”

    Honestly, why do you keep bringing that up? Do you think it matters? You’re not a pastor yourself. Nor are you a child that you need to mention your dad to win an argument.

    Stop trying to wield your father’s experience like a club. If he was a good pastor, then he didn’t share most of what went on with you.

  • dust

    Gary…thanks for your reply. So a church that would preach slavery, and be anti-inter-racial dating and marriages is providing a social good? Or just the churches that teach things that meet your approval? Or the approval of some government official? Who will decide? Or if you just stick the label “church” on your building, that’s ok and you get a tax break? In any case, not trying to trick you, but wondered if you would clarify please?

    OK, so if the founding fathers are not good role models? Hmm, so you also do not like the founding documents from those evil doers so much either? Well, if not the FF, then who? Who floats your ideological boat?

    Thanks again :)

    cheers!

  • Grace

    tODD,

    “Stop trying to wield your father’s experience like a club. If he was a good pastor, then he didn’t share most of what went on with you.”

    No, I won’t stop. You are the one wielding a club – POOR YOU!

    Pastors children do have experience that those who are NOT, don’t have. My father didn’t have to share, we could hear my father talking to our mother late into the night, about many things most people knew nothing about. We as pastors children were warned and told not to repeat their conversations. The information they discussed was private. Pastors homes are not large, it was easy to hear my parents talking, or hear my father speaking over the phone within our home. – - to my knowledge my siblings NEVER repeated anything we overheard, nor did I.

    When I speak of my experience, I mention no names, no cities, or any other distinguishing marks.

  • http://www.LutherWasNotBornAgain. Gary

    Good questions!

    What constitutes a church or religious institution? I’m not an attorney so I can’t give you a legal definition, but if it were up to me, I would use this definition: if you are a non-profit, non-political organization that calls yourself a “church, synagogue, mosque, house of worship, etc. I would grant you tax-exempt status and allow you to set whatever rules you want for membership, even if they seem racist, bigoted or ignorant to me.

    Did I say that I didn’t like the documents written by the founding fathers???? I don’t think so, my friend. You are putting words in my mouth. I believe the US Bill of Rights is one of the greatest documents written by man. But it wasn’t without error. It allowed slavery, it disallowed the vote to women, etc. It was a good start, but it has needed frequent “updating”. If we only follow the intent of the Founding Fathers we would not have racial equality or a woman’s right to vote. Is that what you are advocating?

    However, if you engage in any sort of for-profit business, or you provide a vital community service such as housing, public safety, or are involved in interstate commerce, restaurants, hotels, bus lines, airlines, etc. , I would tax you and require that you follow non-discriminatory laws.

  • http://www.LutherWasNotBornAgain. Gary

    (Somehow the second and third paragraphs of my last comment were reversed.)

  • dust

    Gary….now you are putting words in my mouth, but that’s ok. First i did not say you did not like the docs, just asked you if you did. And then you ask am i advocating this or that because of one comment, but that’s ok, we all come short :)

    cheers!

  • dust

    Gary, you say (not putting words in your mouth, ha):

    “whatever rules you want for membership, even if they seem racist, bigoted or ignorant to me.”

    Even if they advocate the overthrow of your religion, by any means necessary?

    hope not, else there goes any hope of a church as force for social good :)

    cheers!

  • tODD

    I know you won’t stop, Grace (@35). I know because you haven’t stopped to date. You keep bringing it up, over and over. A quick search of this site turned up over a dozen instances of your mentioning that your father was a pastor — often when it was completely irrelevant and added nothing to the conversation (except, of course, a fallacious appeal to second-hand authority).

    I just wonder why you think anyone cares. Seems to me that you want to add authority to your voice — the authority that comes from being a pastor — except you aren’t one. But hey, apparently overhearing your parents talking when you’re a child makes you some kind of authority on their vocations?

    Anyhow, as the son of a human resources director, I’d like to ask you to consider why anyone should care what your father did. Why don’t you make your arguments stand on their own, instead of appealing to whatever it was you heard through the walls when you were a child?

  • Grace

    tODD @ 40

    “I just wonder why you think anyone cares.”

    LOL, you must care, or you would not concern yourself with my life, or my father as a pastor. But the point being YOU DO CONCERN YOURSELF.

    Do you have any other hobbies? If not, I suggest you try to cultivate more interests. :lol:

  • tODD

    Grace (@41), no, I don’t care what your father did, unless the topic of discussion is what it’s like to be a pastor’s kid or something like that — and it almost never has been, yet you keep mentioning that you’re a pastor’s daughter.

    I’m trying to get across to you that I don’t think anyone else cares what your father did, either. So you can stop telling us. Because it isn’t adding whatever you think it is to your arguments. Trust me, I’m the son of a human resources director.

    Anyhow, I’m not likely to take advice on filling my free time from someone who has written twelve comments in this thread to my three. FYI.

  • Timothy

    Grace @41, et. al.

    Shrill.

  • Timothy

    toDD @42 Thank you. Your comments are mutual.

  • Paul Reed

    It appears everyone understand that the media appears biased toward gay “marriage” and other perversions, like abortion. But does anybody ask why that is? Why is it not the case if you were to flip on CNN, you wouldn’t see the anchor condemning homosexual behavior and abortion? The elephant in the room is our nation’s schools and universities. Parents send their kids to these places, and they wonder why their children come out not serving God. It’s because they fed their children into the devil’s mouth. And the statistics will back this up. For every educational degree higher you attain, the more likely you are to support things like sodomite “marriage”.

  • Richard

    All someone has to do is read the comments in this article to understand why you’re losing your battle. One comment that stands out is someone saying they should find kids of gay parents whose life has been negatively affected by gay parents. Have you not ever seen news reports of regular people hurting, killing, sexually abusing their own children? Why would gay people be any different? You will find bad behavior in anyone if you look for it. Look at the whole Priest abusing children issue, pretty sure not all priest are pedophiles but if you look for it it’s there. Someone also made a comment about a gay parade and how horrible they are but have you ever been to a straight party? Mardi Gras? Rio, all of Europe, ever been to a college campus with straight students? Ever been to a bar to celebrate St. Patric’s Day? You are losing the fight because most normal people think of you as obstructionist, as bullies who cannot be reasoned with because you can’t reason with anyone that uses beliefs and not facts to make arguments. I can believe cats will come down from the sky to take away all good people and that chickens will eat all sinners and no one can argue that because it’s my belief and I can believe whatever I want but it doesn’t mean it’s fact or true. In the end it’s science that will win. Not gays, not straights but actual facts that cannot be negated by belief.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    tODD, so you’re the son of an HR director? Now it all makes sense….. :^)

    (sorry, I just couldn’t resist….have a wonderful Resurrection Day!)

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    Richard, with all due respect,I’ve been around this great big world–Europe, Vegas, and the like–and I’ve yet to see–in person or in pictures–any public event that compares with the debauchery of a big city “Pride” parade or the Folsom Street Fair. Not even Rio’s Carnival comes close.

    Now maybe people don’t care, but let’s not pretend there’s not a qualitative difference here.

    That said, I would agree that increasing debauchery among “breeders” probably makes this argument a lot harder to win; when a third of children are born out of wedlock, you can bet that it’s hard to persuade their parents (and sometimes grandparents) on the virtues of traditional/Biblical morality.

  • Grace

    Richard @ 46

    @ 46 – “Someone also made a comment about a gay parade and how horrible they are but have you ever been to a straight party? Mardi Gras? Rio, all of Europe, ever been to a college campus with straight students? Ever been to a bar to celebrate St. Patric’s Day?”

    You must have missed San Francisco, include West Hollywood, and other areas.

    Bike @ 48

    @ 48 ” I’ve yet to see–in person or in pictures–any public event that compares with the debauchery of a big city “Pride” parade or the Folsom Street Fair.

    Bike has it right! San Francisco’s “Pride” affair, is pure foul. We lived near San Francisco, even without the parade, during the rest of the year, the city banners the “debauchery” which those who gloat over their behavior, flaunt for all to see. If you don’t believe it, take a look at the photos from the parade, pure filth. Better yet, don’t!

  • tODD

    “The debauchery of the group with which I affiliate is of a purer nature than the debauchery of the group I wish to decry”.

    Yeah, good luck with that line of argumentation. All it tells me is that you’re unaware of your own bias, even as you cling to it.

    I mean, come on. The reason you’re not familiar with heterosexual debauchery is because you intentionally avoid it. You find it distasteful. And bully for you. But the reason you’re familiar with homosexual debauchery isn’t because you personally seek out these experiences (I assume), but because they are brought to your attention by people who wish to emphasize them. For instance, the people who talk about gay pride parades are not the gay people I know, but almost exclusively right-wing (Evangelical) Christians.

    Anyhow, Bubba, you clearly haven’t been to Amsterdam if you think heterosexual debauchery is the clear-cut winner in this ridiculous contest. Heck, I’m pretty sure you haven’t even been to Portland (strip club capital of the USA, where full nudity is A-okay — heck, it’s legal outside of the strip clubs, too). I’m pretty certain most of the men stuffing singles into ladies’ G-strings are straight.

  • tODD

    Also, for your further edification, you might want to look up pictures from Burning Man and Berlin’s Love Parades. Probably not at work, though.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    tODD; note that I noted “public” debauchery. So unless the strip clubs of Portland are in open view–and I certainly didn’t see that when I visited in 2001–that doesn’t count. And yes, I was right by the Convention Center, and took the trolley around. I had the chance to see Portland “at its best.”

    Love parades? Look it up; if it were a truly heterosexual exhibitionist event, and the three love parades in San Francisco cast that idea in doubt, then it would have to be about thirty times bigger than it was for it to be equivalent in scope to Folsom alone.

    Sorry, but when you run the stats, it appears that at least a subset of homosexual culture is very distinct in this regard.

  • tODD

    Again, Bubba (@52), you seem intent on cherry-picking. You completely skipped over Amsterdam, where public heterosexual debauchery is certainly in no short supply. And while you discuss “the three love parades in San Francisco”, you ignore for some reason that I actually referred you to “Berlin’s Love Parades” (as well as Burning Man, which you again ignored). If you want, you could also look up Berlin’s F***parade.

    But I’m more interested in what you’re intent on proving here. Again, it seems important to you to prove that heterosexual debauchery is better than homosexual debauchery. Why is that important to you? What larger point does that (foregone) conclusion serve? Does the participation of some subset of the homosexual community in the Folsom Street Fair prove the superiority of heterosexuality in general? Is that it?

  • Grace

    @ 53

    Interesting, that it’s “important” to post the last word, in paragraph one of post 53. I don’t think I have ever observed that done on Dr. Veith’s blog. Sad, that a disagreement is so intense, that someone needs to use such language, but then there are those, who would do anything to make a point! :(

  • tODD

    Hi Grace (@54). You’re allowed to say my name. It’s called conversation.

    Anyhow, first, I didn’t say it was “important” to use that word. You’re just moving words from my comment around.

    Secondly, it’s a thing, I didn’t name it. And yet it exists. If it offends you so, then chalk one up for the superiority of heterosexual debauchery, I guess. I did star out the naughty bits so that your precious eyeballs wouldn’t be scarred, but you seem to have found a way to act offended at my merely mentioning it, regardless. Congratulations.

    But, much as I appreciate your inserting yourself into a discussion that didn’t involve you and trying to act as moral referee, there’s not a lot of “intensity” here. I disagree with Bubba, obviously, but my pointing him to the existence of that event is not out of anger, but merely noting a fact.

    But then, there are some who would get up on their prissy high horse to try to make a point, I guess, huh? ;-)

  • dust

    tODD@50…at the risk of “offending” anyone’s sensibilities would appreciate if you could clarify a few things?

    just wondering if it’s from personal experience, but just how do those men (and women, according to my understanding, but not experience, alas) stuff that cash into a ladies G-$tring, in those clubs with full nudity? Don’t pretend you don’t know!

    also you said,

    “I’m pretty certain most of the men stuffing singles into ladies’ G-strings are straight.”

    no pun intended, right…or is this your way to sneak in some dirty talk?

    Thanks and please forgive me if have offended anyone :)

    cheers!

  • tODD

    Dust (@56), of course you live here, too; you have just as much a chance of finding out as I do. My understanding is that some clubs are “all nude” (as is the one a few blocks from my office, as its marquee makes clear), and others maybe not so much. I don’t get your other question, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t matter, anyhow.

    Point being: Yay, heterosexuals! So much better than the gays!

  • dust

    tODD@57….ok, thanks, our neighbor bar tends at one of the clubs, maybe near you, so will ask and get back to you….maybe show her your pic too and see if she can ID you? ha, just kiddin!

    but seriously folks, you should be careful with your last comment…it could be used to make you look bad, too straight perhaps, if arch enemies take it out of context :)

    cheers!

  • Grace
  • Grace
  • Grace

     ‏

    Oh no, I misspelled “straight” :::::::

     ‏

  • dust

    Grace…yes, like in a staight of Grace :)

    cheers!

  • Paul Reed

    +1 Nice artwork!

    It’s interesting how no one seems to think that what the Bible has to say on the subject is in anyway important. Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. It’s not hard, people.

  • Grace

    Dust,

    I look forward to tomorrow, and through to Resurrection Sunday, it’s the most wonderful time. I think of my childhood, the Biblical education my parents gave me, but most of all the Sacrifice Christ Jesus made, by giving HIMSELF for those who would Believe, and follow HIM.

    It’s amazing and wonderful.

    God Bless you my friend.

  • Grace

    Paul,

    One day the entire population from the beginning, will know who HE is. They will have either Believed the Word of God by faith, and followed HIM, or they will have made up their OWN RULES, to replace what was given in HOLY Scripture.

    Adam and Eve, found out how dreadful it was to ignore God’s warning about the tree. In the same way, man today, ignores what is straightfoward and direct towards sin, and in the case of this particular blog, homosexuality, and the deliberate misuse of Scripture, meaning Romans 1.

    God Bless you Paul

  • tODD

    Grace, oh thank goodness; you’ve learned yet another way to pointlessly decorate your comments here. I was worried for a moment that you’d put that excess energy into more insightful analysis. But no, now we get pictures of bunnies and … pictures of people whose heads are falling off? One of whom might be naked? Anyhow, I’m sure we will all benefit from the fact that you’ve discovered ASCII art.

    Paul said (@63):

    It’s interesting how no one seems to think that what the Bible has to say on the subject is in anyway important.

    Wow, it has been a while since anyone’s used such an obvious straw-man, hasn’t it? Thanks, Paul; that was getting monotonous.

  • Grace

    The “straw man” excuse, when all else fails, is over-used and nullified by facts, all too often – which those who use the “straw man” are unaware of. In the case of homosexuality, it’s a given, when one doesn’t understand, what the Bible states.

    straw man

    1. A person who is set up as a cover or front for a questionable enterprise.
    2. An argument or opponent set up so as to be easily refuted or defeated.
    3. A bundle of straw made into the likeness of a man and often used as a scarecrow.

    No one has to front for the Word of God, there is no way to “defeat” the truth, it’s right there for all to see (as in Romans 1) Those who bend to homosexuality, are already defeated, they have won nothing, but lost everything. A “scarecrow” is nothing but a façade, that has no muscle, which the world uses to defend themselves against God’s Word – a “scarecrow” ie; a “straw man” –

    The “straw man” in the case of homosexuality, waves about at the wind, tossed to and fro.

  • Paul Reed

    Your image and treatment of Grace is very similar to that of the way liberals and the main-stream media see us. When somebody goes on the news and takes up the cause of traditional marriage or life, they are condescending dismissed as uneducated, unenlightened, ignorant-at-best, stupid-at-worst, bible-thumping, and somebody for whom it’s impossible to appeal to with reason or logic. I’m not saying I’ve haven’t found myself disagreeing with Grace. I’m just saying the treatment and image you have of her is almost the exact same, and if you go on a non-Christian forum, you’ll get to experience it yourself.

  • tODD

    Paul (@68), not everyone is educated, informed, intelligent, and so on. We all are lacking in some way. I, for instance, am lacking in compassion when it comes to certain people, as you have observed. It is something I struggle with, and yes, I ask Grace to forgive me.

    That said, I find it curious that you had nothing to say about Grace’s behavior here, other than you have (at some unspecified point) disagreed with her. Rather than making a simple call for decorum, you appear merely to be playing favorites. Which does undermine your message. You decry me for calling out what she is lacking, even as you point out what I lack — clearly you have no problem with the action in general, you just don’t like whom I’ve aimed it at.

    Anyhow, Grace (@67), it’s clear that you don’t actually understand the accusation of the straw-man fallacy, even if you did copy and paste in a definition for us. I say that because your reply is nothing but a rearranging of words (“front”, “defeat”, “scarecrow”) from not one but all three definitions of the term — even though the three definitions are quite distinct.

    You also are once again engaging in a conversation that didn’t involve you, which might be fine if you had something to contribute to it. But all you’ve done is paste in a definition, with which I was obviously already familiar, since I was the one who used the term (second definition, by the way). And, frankly, it has become clear that whenever you paste in a definition, it is because your lack of familiarity caused you to look up the term.

    Back to the point, Paul, your claim that “no one seems to think that what the Bible has to say on the subject is in anyway important” is laughable. Who, exactly, thinks that the Bible has nothing to say here? I, for one, am not arguing for a lack of homosexual debauchery; on the contrary, I am trying to remind heterosexuals that, to put it in the vernacular, their poop stinks just as much as does the gays’. Clearly, some heterosexuals seem to think their skubala has a more God-pleasing aroma.

  • Grace

    “not everyone is educated, informed, intelligent, and so on. We all are lacking in some way”

    It’s foolish for you to bring education and intelligence into this conversation, regarding anyone who posts here. Most of us are very educated. My profession, and education, coupled with my background, speak for themselves, as do others.

    Perhaps your chickens, are coming home to roost where they belong, maybe that’s why you’re striking out at others. I suggest you give your “behavior” special attention, rather than looking for something to comment on, to pass the time of day.

    Discussions on this blog are for anyone to participate – those who discourage interchange, but believe they are having a ‘private conversation, are mistaken.

    “And, frankly, it has become clear that whenever you paste in a definition, it is because your lack of familiarity caused you to look up the term.”

    No, I find the exact definition for individuals just like you. I don’t guess at what a word means, as some do on this blog.

    “I, for one, am not arguing for a lack of homosexual debauchery; on the contrary, I am trying to remind heterosexuals that, to put it in the vernacular, their poop stinks just as much as does the gays’. “

    “Remind” ? It isn’t a matter of what stinks, as a bodily function, that’s obtuse, for any reason or analogy.

    The Word of God is direct in Romans 1 regarding homosexuality, and it’s end result. That’s why Believers in Christ use the Bible to warn those of their folly.

  • John C

    Did Jesus have anything to say about marriage, Grace?
    Jesus didn’t marry. He encouraged his disciples to abandon their household and domestic concerns.
    The Bible describes many forms of marriage and as far as I can tell not one has met with any sense of disapproval.
    There was an obligation of the rapist to marry the woman he raped. There was polygamous marriage where a man had more than on wife and might have even have been unfortunate enough to have a number of concubines…………………
    Attitude towards social mores shift over time and so does Christian doctrine. We no longer expect a widow to become the responsibility of her brother in law and if she does not have a son, he no longer has an obligation to impregnate her.
    And if a gay couple want to formalize their relationship through marriage, then you never know, God might even be delighted.
    Bronze age societies do have a lot to tell us about marriage, Grace.

  • John C

    Bugger!
    Bronze age societies do not have a lot to tell us about marriage.

  • David Jeffrey Spetch

    Heterosexuals Are Not Homosexual Guinea Pigs / Genital Mutilation

    http://youtu.be/r7vezOwTVnQ

    The bias homosexual activist agenda is coming to a close, marriage was never about honoring decay of which gay = decay, it has always been about honoring the union of the one sexual orientation to which we owe our existence = heterosexuality.

    thousands of years prove that only heterosexuals were honored with marriage despite the recent mockery gays are attempting to make of it. Even heterosexual couples who can not have children doesn’t disrespect that marriage was created for an in honor of heterosexual unions.

    I don’t have a problem with homosexuals having sex with homosexuals, no problem at all. I am “not” ok with homosexuals deceiving heterosexuals because we are not homosexual, we are no bi sexual which means also that we are not homosexual guinea pigs. And yes that this goes on makes me very angry because heterosexuals deserve to be respected for our sexual orientation instead of being discriminated against by these sick deceptions..

    / David


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