Don’t Waste Your Time Fighting Gay Marriage

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Last January, when the federal trial to decide the legality of California’s Proposition 8 was just getting underway, I wrote, in How Will the Coming Legalization of Gay Marriage Affect Your Love For America?, that, for the exact reasons he cited, the judge of that case would rule exactly as he did last Wednesday.

“It’s inevitable that gay marriage will become legal in America,” I wrote (forgive me quoting myself!), “the same way it was inevitable that slavery would be outlawed, that women would win the vote, that interracial marriage would be deemed perfectly legal, that gay rights would be protected, that discrimination based on religion, race, gender, or sexual orientation would become illegal anywhere and everywhere in America.”

In his ruling overturning Proposition 8, Judge Vaughn  R. Walker wrote, “The evidence shows that Proposition 8 harms the state’s interest in equality, because it mandates that men and women be treated differently based only on antiquated and discredited notions of gender.”

As I say, no surprise there. A child could have seen it coming.

As surely as one day follows the next, gay marriage will become legal throughout America. “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property … nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws,” states the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. And that’ll wrap up that argument, every time.

People can fight against the legalization of gay marriage; they can organize rallies against it, win or lose ballot propositions, rail from the pulpit, gnash their teeth and rend their clothing. And all of it will be as futile as struggling against the movements of the planets. For as long as Americans choose to live in a democracy rather than a theocracy, the United States Constitution, its place in history secure as the greatest, most fair document ever conceived, will prevail in any clash which sets it against the Bible (whose ethos, let us not forget, so thoroughly informs it).

I love, love, love the Bible. But all the love for it in the world won’t change the fact that the Bible is not a political document, and so must fail as a final argument in any decision that is ultimately political.

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • Kim

    "I love, love, love the Bible. But all the love for it in the world won’t change the fact that the Bible is not a political document, and so must fail as a final argument in any decision that is ultimately political."

    John, you have such a laser-exact ability to make a great point!

    We have no right as Christians to demand that the rest of the world (of which the vast majority don't follow the Bible) follow our beliefs…when we haven't even taken the opportunity to discuss them. And even if we did, Christianity does not allow bigotry and the removal of basic rights afforded to us by our own humanity and our authorities.

    You are a well spoken lover of Christ and I for one so appreciate your posts!

    Kim

  • Bill

    ***********I love, love, love the Bible. But all the love for it in the world won’t change the fact that the Bible is not a political document, and so must fail as a final argument in any decision that is ultimately political.**********

    Brilliant !! Thank you, John. You are one of the finest thinkers on the net. Always so eloquently concise and logical but from a loving, caring perspective. I can't think who could have said it better….cept maybe Judge Walker who, owing to his profession, has to use a lot more words to say the same thing cause they have to try to cover every little nit pick (and often disingenuous) argument that might come up. (You'd never make it as a lawyer!!)

    As for the Bible, a Christian may love it all they wish, so long as they discern the difference between loving it and worshiping it. The Bible is not God. Too many Christians make that mistake and turn off their intellect every time they open it or see/hear a reference to it anywhere. You obviously are a man who knows the difference and forms your beliefs and opinions accordingly; a man deserving of great respect and surely one of God's unsung plants among us.

    • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

      Bill,

      For whatever it's worth, conversations like the ones I'm having with JMac help me understand just a fraction of what you and other gay men and women have dealt with in this country. It's exhausting, I can't imagine what you contend with on a daily basis.

      I'm sorry we've not spoken up as loudly and aggressively as we are now (or at least I am). I hope someday the gay community will forgive the christian community for the damage we've done to your relationships, your rights to parent and just be normal Americans with the same rights that everyone else gets. I'm ashamed of those of us who actively work against that, but most of all I'm ashamed of those of us who worship alongside those people, believe they are wrong, but are too passive or scared to really stand up against them. This is our problem, but we've made it the gay community's to solve.

  • http://www.whitenoisemetal.com Brian Shields

    I'm personally opposed to government sanctioned marriage not just for gays but for everyone. I don't think the government should be in the marriage business. Instead the government should issue civil unions for same-sex couples, opposite sex couples, whatever. Those unions would offer the same tax benefits, hospital visits, and other forces of law now attributed to marriage. If you want to also get a marriage ceremony at the church of your choice, that's grand. There are plenty of churches (MCC, HerChurch.org,, some UMC's, some Episcopals, plenty of Buddhists) that will "marry" gay people just like all of those more traditional churches that will "marry" only boring ole straight people. In any case, the preacher of any of those churches should only have the power to create a spiritual union. If you want the earthly benefits, you should have to go to the county clerk and get the civil union too.

    • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

      I'm starting to get behind this idea as well.

    • Old Stuff

      Exactly Brian. I think a LOT of people are actually behind this, but many want to claim the term 'marriage'. I think the etymology of the term is inconclusive. Even I would want to be 'married' (actually am via a Unitarian service). If for tradition alone, I think people would be uncomfortable being 'unionized' in lieu of married. I offer this compromise….. You can have a 'civil marriage' or a 'supernatural marriage' Though for government benefits, one would have to get the civil marriage in addition to the supernatural marriage.

    • Tim

      Hi Brian

      I totally agree with the idea that the local, state and federal governing powers should not be arbiters of what is or isn't marriage. I think the major point of this whole battle is the use of a word, so it's more a war over semantics. If everybody regardless of race, gender, and sexual orientation is given equal access to the privileges of legal civil union, that would leave the spiritual and ceremonial aspects of marriage/matrimony to each respective religion that cares to make their own distinctions based upon their own views or values.

      I don't agree, however, with labeling heterosexual marriage as boring unless you base that label on simply being the status quo and primarily incumbant for our racial progenitive advancement.

    • Robert Meek

      I never heard of this "Herchurch.org" before so I looked it up, and it led me to this You Tube video which I watched, and then I posted the following:

      http://herchurch.org/

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3DFxu2iZFk

      "Well, as an ex-ELCA/Baptist/Pentecostal (of many denominations), who has been to MCC and is gay, I consider myself quite liberal, but this is WAY beyond anything that I could overlook or stomach. I have stumbled over basic 'inclusive' language where everyone tried to say 'Parent' instead of 'Father' and so on, neutral terms, but even then no one went to 'Goddess' and all of that! Yes, they have a right to worship how they like, this is the USA. No, not as ELCA. Not as "Christian" at all. PERIOD."

      Sorry, but I just HAD to share that, since this place was mentioned.

      One gay marriage…separate comment pending.

    • Diana

      I like this. I think. I need to think about it. But yeah, I think I like it.

    • Steven Fietz

      I don’t disagree with you re government & marriage — but tend to phrase it the other way around: religious organizations should be out of the civil contract business (and that means me as a pastor) whatever we call the legal arrangement between two people

    • JB

      Brian,

      This is EXACTLY what I endorse. Basically comes down to 2 individuals entering into a civil “personal” contract.

      Opponents will argue about “where the line has to be drawn.” What’s preventing 3 or 5 people entering into that kind of contract, as well?

    • Susan

      I've often wondered why judges and priests can both "marry" a couple. The Church and State overlap seems questionalble on a various levels. Everyone has legal union and those who want a relgious cermoney can do that. Sounds like a plan, er… a solution.

      I'm in. What's the next step?

  • JAy.

    John,

    I am not debating your conclusion with regards to gay marriage becoming legal eventually. However, using the 14th Amendment as your justification is weak at best.

    The reason is that the 14th Amendment states that "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States." Marriage is not a privilege of a US citizen. It is a privilege of state citizens, as the US left the definition (and coordination) of marriage to the states.

    Further, the clause about "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws" likewise does not affect gay marriage assuming that the state has defined marriage as between a man and woman. If the definition is not specific, then gay marriage must be allowed, though. Thus, Prop 8 should not be affected by the 14th Amendment.

    All that said, marriage according to law has always been an issue that is more contractual and political than moral. As such, I do not see a justification for limiting it to a "man-woman" relationship. But the 14th Amendment only goes so far in providing protection to gay marriage.

    (I admit a conservative reading of the Constitution here, but I also admittedly have conservative political tendencies. Just ask me about Congress holding hearings on Toyota vehicle acceleration!)

    • Kass

      While marriage may be a privilege of state citizens, married couples enjoy FEDERAL tax benefits. There's conflict and inequality here.

      • JMac

        I thought there was actually a marriage penalty federal tax wise, I heard it's better to file separately as individuals. Is that wrong? I think the benefit comes into play with deductions for children, right?

        • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

          Google it.

    • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

      There Federal tax benefits those with "married" status enjoy which muddles the "this is exclusively a state's rights issue" argument quite a bit.

    • Kara

      The reason is that the 14th Amendment states that “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.” Marriage is not a privilege of a US citizen. It is a privilege of state citizens, as the US left the definition (and coordination) of marriage to the states.

      The problem is, the Supreme Court disagrees. They've held in numerous cases since Loving vs. Virginia in the '40s that marriage is "one of the ‘basic civil rights of man'." They've ruled that states cannot restrict the definition of marriage in discriminatory ways without a compelling state interest beyond perpetuating discrimination against a disfavored group.

      “The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness…"

      The SCOTUS definitely thinks that the 14th amendment bears on states' definitions of marriage. John's logic is sound, in my opinion. Under Equal Protection, nationwide gay marriage should become a reality. The will of the voters and the words of the Bible are, in this case, irrelevant.

  • Tim

    Hi John—

    You may not be surprised that I don't agree with your statement that the Bible is not a political document. While I agree that it can't stand as a basis for theocratic governance in the United States, I do strongly hold that my policies as a human being and citizen of this great nation are dictated by biblical precepts. I just don't believe under any circumstances they should be enforced by anyone but God Himself.

    • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

      He said the Bible is not to be used as a "final argument" in any decision involving politics. Not that it can't have something to say about it.

      • Tim

        I still disagree. I've used biblical precepts as final arguments in my own decisions involving politics plenty of times. John's statement comes off a bit absolute. Wasn't sure if that was his intent. If it was, nifty. He has just as much right to his opinion as silly ol' me.

        • Kara

          You're free to make the Bible your final argument all you want. I could make all my final political arguments using a Magic 8 Ball. But other people would then be well within reason to ignore my statements (and possibly point and laugh). It's not that I can't do it, it's just that nobody has any reason to give it any weight at all or take it seriously.

          • Tim

            Hi Kara.

            It wouldn’t be the first time someone pointed and laughed at me for making the Bible a prominent resource for my own personal or political decisions. To make the comparison of a Magic 8 Ball is maybe a little contemptuous, though.

            I get it if you have no reason to value the Bible as a volume of collected literature expressing the nature and desires of God, but I’d venture to say no person develops their personal or political philosophy independent of any external influence that are any less flawed or myopic. I see the diversity of authors and works written and transcribed over a millennia maybe offering a more spot-on perspective in comparison to one authored by one writer over their own lifespan. And it’s not like I don’t use my own brain. I just have more of a tendency to check my thoughts against the whole of Scripture to see if they are as reasonable or as brilliant as I previously might’ve thought.

            Have a good one, Kara.

          • Kara

            I'm certainly not trying to say that the Bible is the same as a Magic 8 Ball. I do believe that they have the same significance when it comes to making decisions for a nation's policy.

            I love the Bible. I think it's awesome. It influences my political views. It influences my interest in even having political views. But unless those same views can hold up under their own weight without the Bible, I couldn't seriously propose them. The Bible is fine as a guide for personal politics, but the "final argument" part is where my emphasis lies. If you can't win your political argument without the Bible, you can't win it at all. That's all I meant to say. I don't intend to disparage anyone for respecting the Bible or using it to inform their political or moral views. But I don't believe that you can use it to short-circuit a debate or end conversation on a topic. I think it's a cop-out. I think such arguments shouldn't be taken seriously.

            Sorry if I came off as being contemptuous. Hyperbole was all I intended.

          • Tim

            I wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt on my Magic 8 Ball Edition of the Holy Bible. That's why I interjected "maybe".

            Actually I know several Christians that DO use the Bible like a Magic 8 Ball. They play what I call, Bible Roulette and randomly open the text with eyes closed and drop a finger-tip then open their eyes and think that somehow God orchestrated their random search and the Scripture they land on is applicable. Sometimes it may seem eerily applicable, but I think that is more coincidence than any supernatural Ouija effect of Scripture. That is just runs counter to any intelligent mode of reason.

            I do agree that if a point cannot stand to reason it either isn't biblical in the first place or its biblical basis has been misconstrued or poorly interpreted.

        • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

          The key here being in your own decisions. The Bible being in any way a source documentation for our government or those who serve in government who are making legislative decisions on behalf of both Christian and non Christian constituents is completely inappropriate (in my opinion).

          I’d vote for a fellow Christian if I believed he or she would not use the Bible as a final determinant in passing or rejecting laws. I don’t mind at at if the Bible influences them- I hope it would- but I would also hope they’d have the commitment to the reality that the Christian Law as they understand it does not translate into American Law.

          • Tim

            Right there with ya' DR. I agree that the Bible is no mandate for a theocracy. I thought I made that point…maybe not as clear as I imagined. I really don't have a problem with a Christian politician using the Bible in making a conclusive decision. If this never happens, why would anyone ever say it could "influence" decisions?

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            Got it. :)

  • Sam

    This just in…

    "A case that affects gay people being decided by a gay guy? Why don't we just let cases about endangered species be decided by a manatee?" – Stephen Colbert on the Prop 8 verdict

    Personally, I'm inclined to agree with Brian due to my experience outlining who is and who isn't eligible for health insurance benefits through a major corporation.

    -Sam

    • http://Sisterfriends-together.org Anita

      Sam,

      Colbert's "humorous" comment is nothing more than what the kind folks over at NOW have been having serious hissy-fits and headspinning over. I just find it rather ironic for anyone to say that a gay judge should have been expected to recuse himself and the same argument not be made had the case been given to a married heterosexual judge.

      If the line of reason follows, that a gay judge must recuse him or herself from any cases involving marriage equality i would then suppose this means that in the future no judge of African-American descent should be allowed to render a decision in an affirmative action case. In fact, let's just make a rule that only white married heterosexual men can serve as justices at the state and federal level…..because of course they're immune from all bias.

      Any judge, whatever their race, gender or sexual orientation is expected to make their decisions on any case based on the law and not on personal considerations and prejudice…the extent to which that ideal is lived up to or compromised hinges on each judges integrity of their character and not on their race, gender, sexual orientation or shoe size.

      • http://kenreads.wordpress.com wken

        "In fact, let’s just make a rule that only white married heterosexual men can serve as justices at the state and federal level…..because of course they’re immune from all bias."

        Whoo-hooo!

        Does my 5 semesters in pre-law (before I changed majors) qualify me for a judge position, then? I mean, if we're going to have all of these openings, maybe I could sneak in?

        This just made my day!

  • Susan

    John: Excellent defense, as usual. My bigger concern overall, however, is: why is homosexuality a sin in the first place? Usually, "sin" has a compelling reason to be labeled as such. Adultery – we know why that's bad. Lying – we know why that's bad. Loving someone to whom you're attracted and wanting to express love through the intimacy of sex…don't know why that's wrong. Most homosexuals I know say they wouldn't have chosen their lifestyle, rather it chose them. And what about hermaphrodites – whom are they allowed to love, in God's eyes?

    Always seeking answers.

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore
      • Susan

        Wow. You're good.

        Don't let it go to your head, though…I still have questions…bout lotsa stuff.

        Is there anyone dedicated to keeping you humble? Should we designate someone as the JS shite-slinger to keep your ego in check?

        • Diana

          Well, he is married. Does that count?

    • Tim

      Hmmm. I guess the short answer is that any sexual expression outside of the bounds of marriage is deemed fornication, which is sin. Since homosexuals haven’t yet been granted the right or license to marry, their sexual expression remains to many people’s view as fornication…regardless of whether it’s hetero or same sex. There are plenty of practices that the Bible calls sin that most Christians don’t have a big problem with practicing. One being haughtiness. But just because we don’t see something as bad, doesn’t necessarily mean that there isn’t a repercussion we may not be aware of that only an omniscient benefactor is aware of. Precisely why faith and trust comes into play so much in regards to things we either don’t understand or particularly care for. Faith is hard to come by. Trust even more so.

      • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

        Sex foe those who have been married, divorce and then remarry is defined as adultery in the Bible. Is that still at play in the fornication/adultery discussion as you've stated above? It seems to be an ever moving point of view

        • Tim

          Not all divorced are defined as adulterers if they remarry.

          If a spouse commits an act of infidelity, the faithful spouse is free to divorce and remarry without being considered an adulterer. However, if that faithful spouse marries a mate who was unfaithful in their marriage, that faithful person has then made themselves a party to adultery by remarrying an adulterer. Does that make sense?

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            Where does Scripture explicitly lay this out? Would you please provide the Chapter and Verse?

  • Robert Meek

    I had 4 relationships. They endured as follows (1) 15 years with a 3-month breakup at about year 13. (2) Three months. (3) One month, twice, exactly one year apart, each, September to October 2001 & 2002. (4) Two weeks, apart about 2 years, then about 11 months, then gone.

    So 4 relationships, three of them got 2nd chances, that's 7 rounds. New permanent house rule: if it doesn't have whiskers, 4 legs, and a tail, it's not moving in.

    That said, what I am going to say applies to #1 duration of 15 years total.

    I thought it was forever. I thought we would grow old together. I thought only death would separate us, eventually. Obviously, I was very wrong.

    A dear friend of mine asked me some time later, after all of that, "if" gay marriage WERE legal, and "if" I REALLY did meet "Mr Right," would I marry him? I immediately said, "Hell, no!"

    She replied, "No, I mean if he were REALLY Mr. Right!" And I said more emphatically, "And I said, HELL, NO!" She was floored.

    I said, "Pam, it was hell going through it with Carl, after 15 years. Him sneaking in behind my back, at night, while I was at work (I worked night shift in those days), taking things without my supervision, and everything that happened. I can only imagine what kind of more hell it would have been if we had to go to court, and process with attorneys for divorce! If others want that, fine, let them have it, but NOT ME!"

    I meant it then, and I have never wavered since then, and no it is neither remorse (for having lived a gay man) nor bitter grudge (for what happened). It is merely self-preservation – not wanting to go through that "living" hell again, but even worse than last time, if legally married.

    NO!

    • Diana

      "New permanent house rule: if it doesn’t have whiskers, 4 legs, and a tail, it’s not moving in." I can totally empathize with this. Although my relationships with men haven't been all that bad (mostly because…um…they haven't been, period), I can definitely see reaching the point wherein one makes the "house rule" that you expressed above.

      Katharine Hepburn has been quoted as saying "I often wonder whether men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then." Maybe this is true for any romantic/sexual relationship. On the other hand, I'm sure that John and Cat would beg to differ–along with others who have made it work.

  • JMac

    This is a complicated issue, but your apathy is appalling. Anytime we stray from God's commands, we miss His best intended plan as He created it. It is vital to offer empathy and encouragement for those who deal with homosexuality just as those who habitually lie or cheat or what have you, but the reality is you're not doing these precious human beings any favors by throwing up your hands and supporting a lifetime of decisions that purposefully and willfully transgress the clear command of the Word of God. In fact, you are harming them. God's commands are not random rules, but instructions on how to run the human machine at its very best on the road toward achieving our ultimate fulfillment and greatest purpose.

    The command is clear concerning homosexuality in terms of following the letter of the law because it is repeated in the New Testament. Now, I am not naive to the plight of their problem. Science may explain the connection for why certain people feel compelled toward same-sex attractions. At the time you are in the womb, hormones play a vital role in brain development, particularly in these controlling areas. And this role of hormones is even more apparent in the effeminate gay man and the masculine gay woman.

    So inasmuch as hormones and brain development likely drive our compulsion for selection of which sex we are attracted to, and why it may not seem like a choice. Obviously, the images we entertain in our imagination and the people we take practical steps to pursue are still in fact choices. For these folks, it is clearly not a fair choice, in fact it seems unimaginably unfair, however, it is still a choice that creates moral consequences.

    And thus, if you truly love someone and want to see them succeed, as CS Lewis writes, love is not affectionate feeling but a steady wish for their ultimate good as far as it can be obtained. So I ask you, does your apathy in light of God's clear written word, do love or harm? Because when you give an account, you will find out. Luckily for us, God will wipe away our tears when we find out the truth, because His grace is that great. Even when we ride the train to popular town with another nonsense post saying "don't waste your time".

    Lastly, let's be honest about what this is. We are changing the legal definition currently codified in law (now in 42 states and on the federal level in DOMA), defining marriage as two consenting opposite-sex adults to two consenting adults. Should we draw the line there? Because, if you are truly standing for the minority simply for the minorities' sake, there are even smaller minorities (i.e. men in Utah) who would prefer a different definition and would like to move the line some more. I guess we should just throw up our hands and let people do whatever they wish in the name of "freedom". Funny how sin seems like freedom of choice, but in the end, it actually enslaves and eventually destroys.

    • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

      JMac,

      Do you offer this criticism to those who are in support of Christians who divorce and remarry? According to Scripture, doing so is adulterous. Please advise if you are obedient in exhorting our fellow Christians to abstain from this Scripturally mandated abomination, or if your correction only applies to those who are in your view, supporting homosexual sexual behavior.

      • JMac

        Criticism is certainly well deserved for Christians who divorce, it's equally appalling, divorce is a disaster, and I would write a scathing reply to any blogger who advocated on behalf of divorce.

        What churches should do is have a divorce ceremony where you both have to stand up in front of the same priest and the same people you made your vows in front of and explain yourself why you're now breaking them.

        BTW, I had to go repent for the last part of my original post, it was wrong of me to get judgmental and angry. Please forgive me.

        • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

          You dont owe me an apology, I believe John was your target.

          Thats awfully nice sentiment, but it didn't answer my question. Do you believe that Christians who divorce and then remarry are committing adultery and are subject to Gods judgement?

          Lastly if the answer is yes, what should our condemnation look like for Christians who have remarried and are actively fornicating while at the same time, going to church and living Christian lives? What should our response be? Do we allow them to claim they have been saved? How is this possible if they are fornicating without remorse?

          • JMac

            Right, I was apologizing to the blogger. I agree Christians should be held accountable, as I mentioned in my reply. The truth is being hypocritical is not a religious condition, it's a human condition. Nevertheless, divorce is devastating, as I also said, but one damaging issue does not make another any less damaging. We need to take steps forward, not another step back. And we are all subject to God's judgment.

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            Hypocrisy is not a religious condition? What does that even mean? Jesus had quite a bit to say about hypocrites.

            Again, you're just not answering my question. I'll pose it again.

            If you condemn remarriage as adulterous – a pretty grave sinful state – what are you doing about it with those in your christian community? Are you condemning them? Are you fighting against their sanctioned marriage in your church? What do you believe the christian response to those who are currently living in adulterous sin unrepentantly should be?

          • JMac

            I'm not condemning them my friend. I'm merely standing up for truth. I offered my idea for what the Christian response should be to divorce. But I'll repeat myself just for you.

            "What churches should do is have a divorce ceremony where you both have to stand up in front of the same priest and the same people you made your vows in front of and explain yourself why you’re now breaking them."

            What do you think? Good idea?

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            Honestly, I've had enough of your evasive half answers.

            I'm not your friend – not all of us will be, and that's fine. I've no desire to play nice and have some fake christian fellowship/candy-coated peace with someone who is actively working against the rights of American citizens. It's a really, really big deal, I take it very seriously. Some things are deal breakers, this is one of them.

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            As a matter of fact, I’d love to see this as a blog post John offers. Why is it that divorce – something that is actually DEVASTATING the Christian community (our divorce rate is at the national average if not higher), and yet it seems like the predominant focus on so much of the dialogue around “harmful” marriage is the potential of gay marriage becoming legalized and it hasn’t even happened yet?

            Why are our energies as a Christian community not focused on holding our own accountable to the Biblically-mandated scriptures that talk about divorce, remarriage and the adultery that occurs with remarriage according to what God has to say about it? Why do we just kind of quietly dismiss that? Why are we so quick to jump on the gay marriage bandwagon yet only say “Yes, divorce is appalling as well” when the issue is forced in front of our faces and we offer a begrudging response? Which tends to appear as though we just want to be consistent instead of having the same moral convictions, passions and intensity that we display with such proactive aggression as we do gay marriage and gay sex?

            I find our prioritization on the potential damage that we are afraid *might* happen with gay marriage over the actual damage we are causing our children and our community with divorce and remarriage – disobedience that is even more explicitly mandated in scripture – incredibly appalling. No wonder we’re met with such hostility by the gay and lesbian community for even having the audacity to talk about this issue and all if we’re so unwilling to address our own disobedience, lack of repentance and accountability within our own ranks.

          • Susan

            Amen, DR.

            Do as I say not as I do – never a good argument.

            Fundamentalists say gay marriage will raze America's family values. Um…w/ a 50% divorce rate, I'd say the hetero population has been quite successful in its demise. If legislation ought be enacted to 'enhance family values' perhaps it should be harder for anyone to get married or anyone to get divorced. But the argument, as related to 'family values,' is based on a religious premise and religious interpretation…not fact, not civil rights. Equality is equality is equality…anything by another name is discrimination.

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            I'm all over this thread, and I'm not even gay (the dangers of having a day off with nothing to do) so I'm going to shut up after this and go read a book or something.

            I'm passionate about it because I'm so tired of the lack of collective introspection we (generally) seem unwilling and perhaps even unable to experience together on our own family shortcomings. How can we be so passive about divorce? It's like we've just accepted it as something that happens and spend almost all of our public energy fighting the gays. When seriously – kids of christian marriages that fail are some of the most f**ked up kids that are out there right now.

            Each time gay marriage is raised, the christians are the ones who rush in guns blazing with all sorts of Biblical mandates. Yet there's just absolutely no zeal around holding our own accountable for how we're devastating our children through our adultery and divorce. And it's even worse because we are the ones who are supposed to have the "family values".

            This is going to be received poorly, but I don't even think I care anymore. To me, this spasm of morality around gay marriage compared to the "let's sweep it under the carpet and only talk about divorce/remarriage/adultery when someone forces us to acknowledge it so we don't look badly" reflects a profound lack of intelligence and sensitivity to our own sin. The collective agreed upon blindness around our own shortcomings and this odd refusal to deal with it as aggressively and publicly as we denounce gay marriage is so bizarre to me, it makes me suspect of the christian community in general. It's a huge reason why I've pulled away in recent years. And I think it's really damaging the witness of Christ on this earth, and to me that's nothing to mess around with.

            As a Church we better start looking at this really quickly. Our kids are beginning to figure out how hypocritical it is and they're starting to say so.

    • berkshire12

      Oy friggin vey.

      [sigh]

      • Kara

        Yeah, this. (Except I was probably going to use more profanity.)

    • Ace

      Why do I NOT find it at all surprising that you choose to refer to human beings as "the human machine"?

      You may consider yourself a compassionate person, but if you truly view people in such a light, you are so very, very much not.

      We are not a mass-produced commodity, and not everyone is going to be able to fit into the same tiny little box.

      "I guess we should just throw up our hands and let people do whatever they wish in the name of “freedom"

      For the most part, yes, we should. You CANNOT legislate morality. You can force people to act a certain way, or to dress a certain way, or to marry a certain person, but you cannot change the contents of a person's heart by passing laws. It is an absolute waste of effort and it is tyrannical and destructive to the human spirit to attempt to do so.

      You can lead a horse to water, but if you try to force it to drink, you'll either end up with a drowned dead horse or hooves in your face.

      If you want to save souls, go preach your gospel to the masses, fine, but you can't force everyone to adhere to a very specific Christian set of moral standards unless your goal is a straight-up theocracy and "Christian" version of Sharia law.

      The United States of America was founded on the philosophy that all people deserve the freedom to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" in whatever way the deem best, short of impinging on another's freedom to the same. Not just Christian people, or straight people. And we've screwed up a lot along the way, with stupid things like slavery and civil rights, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try harder. That includes letting people, even gay people, make their own choices in life, even if it you personally find it "sinful" or even just "yucky".

      • JMac

        "The human machine" is a metaphor, borrowed from CS Lewis in Mere Christianity. Perhaps I should have sourced the quote.

        Of course we have legislated morality. To steal, to murder, to defraud, all are moral choices, and we have laws against them. We do not have the "right" or "freedom" to do anything that we please, because it is in the best interest of our society that we live within moral boundaries. The only question is what source do we pull from as authoritative in defining them.

        The reason many are upset at the proposition to allow gay marriage is because some are saying to society that this moral boundary needs to change.

        • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

          How will the moral boundary changing actually damage you in the ways the other things you've stated here will damage you?

          Also looking forward to you responding to the christian response to divorce, remarriage and adultery – specifically if you condemn that state of being as sinful and if so, what you believe the christian response to those who are currently living in adulterous sin unrepentantly should be.

        • Ace

          Theft, murder and fraud are clear infringements on party's rights by another party. All are cases of one person seizing, by force or deception, something that is not theirs (belongings, life/health or money), from an unwilling party .

          Two gay people getting married infringes on nobody else's rights. Your gay neighbor marrying his or her same-sex partner in no way damages you, whatsoever (simply thinking it's gross or immoral does not constitute quantifiable damage, sorry).

          People getting upset because somebody down the street is doing something that, gosh darn it, they just don't like looking at… that is not the government's problem or rightfully its purview.

          Go give your gay neighbor all the bible verses in the world, if you think he or she should change, but using the force of the government to destroy their rights is absolutely vile and, I think, completely the opposite of loving your neighbor.

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            The irony of this is gay men and lesbian women have been living in committed partnerships for years and years. They are adopting children that frankly, christians won't bother adopting for the most part. They are serving their communities, doing everything that "good Americans" do. The gay community is well known for actually transforming poorly performing neighborhoods in urban areas and creating more property tax income and wealth for everyone who lives there.

            Yet Christians like JMac continue to point to some kind of imaginary damage that will occur if gay marriage is legalized when there is just absolutely no proof of anything reason why it will harm us as a nation. None. All the while. Christians are divorcing at an almost higher rate than most Americans while their "brothers and sisters" attend their second and third marriages and celebrate "God's grace", conveniently ignoring God's express Biblical mandate against remarriage. And dismissing the emotional and spiritual damage on the children.

            It is repulsive, we shouldn't stand for it anymore and it's time to get aggressive about holding the people like JMac in our Christian tent accountable for the damage they do to the name of Jesus for this horrific inconsistency. In my opinion, it really is time to get angry.

          • JMac

            The irony is I actually agree with you about the value of adoption there. I'm actually more liberal than I let on. haha :) Also, for the record I've never been divorced, so I'm not "doing" any damage of divorce you speak of, that we both equally deplore.

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            Nor are you gay, but you're certainly taking action against something you aren't personally. Given that, you can also take a stand against the people at your church who are – according to the same Holy Scriptures you are using to condemn homosexuality – in grave sin themselves.

            But you and I both know you won't.

            OK, I've had enough.

          • JMac

            I'm sharing a point of view on a blog bro. Relax.

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            No, you’re doing much more than that. You’re “sharing your view” that has led you to denying some major rights for a group of people who don’t happen to share your religion via your vote – and you’re here essentially defending it. That’s more than just “sharing your view”, so perhaps consider that there are real people behind these posts who actually care quite a bit about this issue. OK? Some might even be gay and lesbian who are reading this, and it’s not exactly been a picnic in the park for them. Why don’t you tell them to “relax”.

            Ugh.

          • JMac

            Joe Schmoe from all the way across the country divorcing Betty Schmetty doesn't infringe on my rights either. But obviously, divorce has devastated families, and family is the building block of society, of which I do belong. And as long as I live in America, I do believe in expressing my civil rights as a voter to seeing society succeed.

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            Listen – most reasonable people just aren't prone to this kind of manipulation anymore. You can just *talk* about the 'devastating families", but I bet you a year's salary you're not doing anything about it like you are against gay marriage (voting against it). Your actions just don't prove you give them equal time when one is in fact, doing MASSIVE damage to children as we speak.

            Your talk is frankly, useless. Start actually putting action to how "devastated" you are and start holding the Christians in your own community accountable for how they are trashing God's Holy Word about divorce, remarriage and adultery. Start telling your pastor to start talking about their disobedience on the pulpit (assuming he's not on his second marriage himself).

            If you and others did this, I'd actually listen.

          • JMac

            Yes, the pastors I've listened to often chastise the congregation for this.

            You want to talk actions? Put a proposition on the ballot to repeal no-fault divorce my friend. I'll vote for it.

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            No fault divorce? This is becoming surreal. We're not talking about the type of divorce that is *legal*. We're talking about the type of divorce and subsequent marriage that is allowed by *God*. And I'm doing so since you are making decisions about gay marriage based on God's word. Nor am I asking you what your *pastor* has done, I'm asking you what *you* have done. Have you told the people in your congregation directly who have been divorced and are now remarried that they are in fact, adulterers? You've said quite a bit about the sexual behavior of the gays and lesbians – my question is whether or not you – Jmac – have directly confronted the christians in your community with their immorality according to God's Word. Have you? If not, will you?

          • Ace

            Divorce =/= Gay marriage. The two issues are NOT the same, and do not have the same effects on those involved, at all.

            Nice straw man though.

          • JMac

            In the context of society, many as myself do see them as having the same effect, the degradation of the nuclear family. Straw man goes out in the garden to scare off the birds.

          • Ace

            Gay marriage does not degrade the nuclear family.

          • Diana

            “In the context of society, many as myself do see them as having the same effect, the degradation of the nuclear family. ”

            The nuclear family isn’t necessarily the best or most natural family model anyway. Traditionally, we have what’s called the extended family–with many generations of the same family living under the same roof, or at least on the same property.

            If what you were trying to say is that permitting marriage between gay couples would degrade the institution of marriage in general–baloney! People who change spouses more often than they change their underwear–that degrades the institution of marriage.

          • Diana

            "If you really want to know what’s destroyed families, it’s the fact that people in post-industrial societies are highly mobile, move around a lot, and break up the greater family unit (not just “nuclear” family), thus destroying the large family support network that has existed throughout most of human history."

            Exactly on the money, Ace.

          • Ace

            That’s true Diana – the “nuclear family” as the base unit of families is really an invention of the Industrial age.

            Traditional families were usually headed up usually by grandparents (or whoever was eldest) who made the important decisions for the family and household, their adult male children & male chidren’s wives, and the grandchildren (maybe even great-grandchildren, depending)

            Children were raised in the company of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, not just by mom & dad.

            If you really want to know what’s destroyed families, it’s the fact that people in post-industrial societies are highly mobile, move around a lot, and break up the greater family unit (not just “nuclear” family), thus destroying the large family support network that has existed throughout most of human history.

          • Ace

            Also, you say you have an interest in "seeing society succeed" but again you fail to realize your opinion on societal success is not the same as everyone else's.

            Frankly I would prefer a society where EVERY person is valued, ALL people are treated with dignity and respect, NO ONE is beaten down by ignorance and those who demand conformity and EVERYONE is allowed to live and let live.

            And as for your interest, as Christians we are called to be IN the world, but not OF the world. And using legislation as a blunt hammer to bash and bang other human beings into a shape you find more pleasing is very much being OF the world.

            We are not Puritans anymore in this nation. We do not burn people as witches because they stepped one toe out of the line, and persecuting people simply because they happened to form a bond with a person of the "wrong" sex is ridiculous.

          • JMac

            When you say "EVERYONE" is allowed to live and let live. Does that include Warren Jeffs?

          • Ace

            DR, this person clearly thinks we all are idiots with more teeth than brain cells.

            He clearly hasn't been around John Shore's blog for very long.

          • Ace

            Uh, child molestation and abuse is not even in the same realm as gay marriage.

            If you really think two adult people of the same sex in a committed relationship is the same as abusing and raping underage girls, our conversation is going to have to end here.

            You make entirely too much use of ridiculous hyperbole and exaggeration and then you wonder why no one here is taking you seriously. Try coming up with an argument that isn’t entirely specious and maybe we’ll have something to talk about.

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            Wow, wow, wow. You’ve essentially just equated gay marriage being legalized to a man who supported the statutory rape of underage girls. I’m speechless. And I’m rarely speechless if my participation on this blog today is any indication.

            You are One. Piece. Of. Work.

            I’m constantly amazed and kind of horrified at what some Evangelical Christians will eventually reveal about themselves after giving them enough time.

          • Ace

            As for Warren Jeffs, as I said above,

            “Theft, murder and fraud are clear infringements on party’s rights by another party. All are cases of one person seizing, by force or deception, something that is not theirs (belongings, life/health or money), from an unwilling party .”

            You can add rape and enslavement to the theft, murder and fraud if you like.

        • Diana

          “We do not have the “right” or “freedom” to do anything that we please, because it is in the best interest of our society that we live within moral boundaries. The only question is what source do we pull from as authoritative in defining them.”

          I like what Peter McWilliams says on this subject, myself. Paraphrasing–a person should be allowed to do whatever s/he wants with his/her own person and property, as long as s/he doesn’t physically harm the person or property of a non-consenting other. No, this isn’t biblical. But not everything in the Bible should become part of the legal code of the United States. The Peter McWilliams standard (as I’m calling it) is fair to all people, not just people who insist upon taking every verse of the bible literally.

      • alison

        You should look up and see what the writers of the constitution meant by "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness." It has nothing to do with this discussion.

        • http://www.aviewfromtheedge.net/blog Nicole Longstreath

          Hi Alison:

          Just curious … if you think the group is misinterpreting the Constitution, then what DID the founders mean by saying that everyone has the right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?"

          I could be wrong, but maybe the group here believes that since the founders said everyone is entitled to this, that it really should be everyone regardless of race or sexual orientation. Again, I can't speak for the original poster but maybe THAT is why they believe the verbiage in the Constitution is relevant.

          • http://www.whitenoisemetal.com Brian Shields

            Just for the record, "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" isn't in the Constitution. It's in the Declaration of Independence.

          • http://www.aviewfromtheedge.net/blog Nicole Longstreath

            Oops – hahaha. Putting on my dunce cap now …

    • Susan

      JMac,

      I respect your point of view, as we are all entitled to our have, and express, our own. However, treating homosexuals as second-class citizens who are bound by a set of faith-based rules seems to violate our nation’s “separation between church and state” principle. In terms of being a witness for Christ, the manner in which you have chosen to express your views serve only to push people away from Christ. Why can’t we let God be the judge and not take it upon ourselves to render what is sin. And, if the Bible is the authority and instruction on life for everyone…where does Jesus say how homosexuals should deal with this issue? Nowhere, b/c Jesus didn’t mention it in the New Testament. Paul mentions it along with a host of sins in his message to the people of Corinth. Now, if it is abhorent to Jesus, why would he not address it specifically?

      And, in all seriousness, what is the loving, Christ-like thing to do? So, in your mind, banning same-sex marriages is the way to be loving. That is a decree to a group of people. After that, what specifically are the steps you would take to show Christ’s love to INDIViduals of that group?

      I’m coming across as judgemental, and I apologize for that. This obviously hits a nerve for me, but your consideration is appreciated.

      • JMac

        I think it's important to recognize the reality that those who oppose gay marriage are not actively pursuing banning something. Marriage has been defined traditionally one man one woman. It is only in the past decade or so that a re-definition of marriage is being proposed. California is one of 42 states, and DOMA on the federal level, who have simply been saying this is what marriage is. And some are saying we want to change that. To simply say what something is, is no more "hateful" than describing the composition of the Sun.

        God is the judge. But moral choices have moral consequences that affect society. Just look at the effects of divorce. It is wrong. Christians are guilty, and hypocrites, and all of that. But that doesn't make the damage that divorce causes any less damaging.

        • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

          I think it’s important to recognize the reality that those who oppose gay marriage are not actively pursuing banning something.>>>

          Of course you are. Keeping marriage traditionally defined as it is now prevents certain tax breaks and social/emotional benefits that come from being "married". The rights of those who are gay are actually banned by those of you who seek to keep marriage as it is now – those of us who wish to see it changed are hoping for the rights to be unleashed as they should be.

          This is no different from women being the property of men via marriage, or any other type of restriction of equality that was lawfully suppressed via historic law. There was a "morality" attached to that decision as well.

          • JMac

            I'll see your apple and raise you an orange. You do know challenging Prop 8 is not really about tax breaks. If that were the goal, then the challenge would be focused squarely on DOMA on the federal level that has been the law of the land since 1996. Thank you Bill Clinton. =)

            The goal here by these challenges is attempting to use the law to legislate acceptance by society. Which is ironic, considering the contentions that you shouldn't legislate about how someone feels about another person. Gotta love irony.

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            So in other words, you really have no answer as to how gay marriage will hurt our society. I had hoped you might, but I'm learning not to be surprised.

            Here's what I bet. I bet you've not taken any action against those in your own church community who are as we speak, actively committing adultery based on God's Word through their remarriage. I bet you've not really even thought about it. I bet when "bad" marriage comes up, you're just focused on the imaginary damage the gays will create by being married.

            Most of what you've offered is just the same rhetoric that's losing steam as well as voting power. But this is very true of people who believe that control is the ultimate goal of faith. You're losing control. That must be scary.

            I admit to being a bit repulsed by this kind of thinking, I'm sure that's hard to hear. But more and more, the fear you must have of losing control must be pretty terrifying. I tend to almost feel sorry for you, now that it's clear the damage you and others like you are doing with this kind of approach to American citizens who are gay is going to be rendered ineffective here in the next few years.

          • JMac

            So we both agree that divorce is devastating today on society, right? Not only on a per family/individual basis, but on the aggregate for our country.

            So, many years back when the no-fault divorce was added to the law, if I were to take a position against that on a random blog like this, are you suggesting I should present you triple-sourced empirical studies to know that in the future it will be damaging to society?

            C'mon we all have the truth written on our hearts, even if our brains and emotions get in the way.

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            I honestly don't think you have the capacity for understanding the points that I and others are offering you.

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            That's demonstrated by your absolute refusal to actually answer the question that I'm asking you. You are either unwilling or unable to. And either is fine, all I care about is that the mindset you're displaying is slowly ebbing away in the ever increasing amount of Christians who are actually willing to examine their own hypocrisy and fear of losing control. I apologize, I know this is going to come across condescendingly, but I don't think you're ready to do that yet.

        • Susan

          JMac,

          You are as passionate about your views as those who have voiced differing opinions here and at some point we must all agree to disagree, vote for our cause, volunteer for that cause, do something other than give mere lip-service to promote our particular belief. The verbal tennis match could go on and on.

          I do find it interesting that you’ve not even attempted to address DR’s questions, or mine – which was- how would you show Christ’s love to someone denied the right to marry? It’s your prerogative to dismiss these, but my hope is that you will think on these. And, really, as long as the law is on your side, you ought to become familiar with how to put that love into practice, otherwise the “love of Christ” to which you refer is meaningless.

          I’m not homosexual and am a Christian. My problem lies with the certainty/closed-mindedness/quick-pat-Bible-answering/judgmental-like and oftentimes arrogance of many believers. It may not be the intent, but it’s such an automatic reflex. Reflection is always a good idea.

          Peace.

          • JMac

            Sorry for what seem like quick pat Bible answers. But I’m just a random person and this is just a tiny comment box on a random blog on the internet. It’s not like I’m a sociology professor submitting a study for peer review hoping to get published. I’ve attempted to share my views in response to DR the best I can.

          • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

            Hey! Whose blog you callin' random??

            Why, I oughta ….

          • JMac

            LOL! =)

          • Susan

            My intent was not to “point” fingers so much as to convey a hope that you will ponder the various comments others have shared. I learn from people with opposing views all the time…sometimes it strengthens my belief, other times I gain new insight.

          • JMac

            I have the same hopes.

          • Susan

            Fair is fair!

  • Gina Powers

    Hey Shore…..believe it or not, I'm behind ya all the way on this one. ;) Heading off to re-post now…..

  • Elizabeth

    @JMac: You are flat out wrong in your reading of John's post. He is not apathetic about anything that I know of, and certainly not about this. His passion for the Constitution in general, and the 14th Amendment in particular, fairly jumps off the page. And how many more times does he need to use the word 'love' about the Bible before he is sufficiently passionate for you? Six? Ten?

    Yes. We should "just throw up our hands and let people do whatever they wish in the name of 'freedom'." Just like that, so long as the parties involved are old enough and sane enough to consent. I think that fulfills God's greatest wish, that we love one another and treat others as we'd like to be treated. In the final reckoning, we all will have to answer for our sins. We are none of us perfect. If you think homosexuality is one of these sins, then don't be homosexual. I think being a judgmental, condescending homophobe is a sin. I don't try to make you conform to my moral code. Please do me the same favor.

    Hatred and ignorance is what enslaves and destroys, not love and freedom.

    • JMac

      When a believer suggests "don't waste your time" standing up for what God says, that is the very definition of apathy.

      But more importantly, I think we are far too casual with the word "love". It is so abused and overused. What is love? If your sister cuts, you know where someone with inner turmoil takes a knife and slashes their limbs for a release. Is it love to hand her another knife? To sharpen it for her? Or to help her find healing of her emotional trauma? Sure, she is free to cut, but if you "love" someone, do you want to let them keep doing whatever they want, or is it more loving to fight for their ultimate restoration. Perhaps, you think a stranger is not a brother or sister, so we should just butt out and leave them be. But I believe real love recognizes when someone is missing out on realizing their full potential and stands up for them. Even if they don't see it themselves, as they take another slice.

      • Ace

        Self-harm and cutting =/= being gay

        What IS it with you and straw man arguments today?

        Are you off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Oz, or something?

        Well, say Hi to Dorothy, Toto, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion for me, scarecrow.

        • JMac

          I believe those who appreciate analogies were able to comprehend what I was attempting to communicate there.

          Good movie.

          • Ace

            It's not a valid analogy.

          • Diana

            It’s not even close to a valid analogy.

          • JMac

            Simply saying something is not, is not a valid rebuttal.

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            Nor is inferring that the right to marry as a gay adult is equal to enabling child molestation. Which you've not addressed yet, I think it would be great for you to clarify what you meant (hoping you meant something else).

          • Tim

            I don't know if anyone can make any analogies that stand up. Standing for the idea that homosexuality is sin, is a very unpopular and virtually an un-winnable position. There will always be more people that support homosexuality than there are people who will attempt to face them with any argument.

            My sister is gay. I wouldn't love her any more or less if she weren't. Like any gay person, she believes that is how she was born. How could anyone begin to prove or disprove such a thing? Too many elements are involved to cite any strong case for genetics. Certainly she didn't choose to be attracted to women.

            It's difficult, but I continue to take the stance (as unpopular as it is) that I believe homosexuality is a sin. Are homosexuals born homosexuals? Certainly seems that way. David wrote, "Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me." What happens to those of us who cannot beat nature? We struggle with or against it for a lifetime, or give up and engage it. Each is a choice as far as I can see. I will always pray for my brothers and sisters whether they struggle or not. Sin tears all of us down and in some way, diminishes us. I don't know if that is potential in this world, or in the world to come. As offensive and unpopular as this stance is, I have to be honest with myself and try to convince those who would call me a hater and a bigot, that my only hope for gay people just like myself, is to live a life that is true to my God, my neighbor and myself. If I am disparaged for that, so be it.

          • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

            At the risk of repeating myself, here's why being gay isn't at ALL like the other kinds of sins we all get tempted by: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/2008/04/15/homosexuality-isn

          • Susan

            Always risk repeating yourself. Please.

          • Susan

            @Tim: Thank you for being honest. Hats off to you for bringing this to a place I believe is more authentic. It takes guts to say “hey, it’s what I believe, it’s my faith, end of story,” rather than try to prove the unproveable or claim that cats bark.

            I don’t agree with you, but I understand exactly from where you are coming.

          • Susan

            @Tim Then again…The genius that is John Shore, who somehow expresses my thoughts better than I do, has an amazing article far more worthy of consideration than my words. Check his link out. It’s at least food for thought.

          • Tim

            Yes Susan, I read it back in April. I understand where John is coming from and I respect his opinion. At this juncture we just disagree.

          • Tim

            Thanks Susan. I’m not perfect and I may be way out in left field on my beliefs. If they are wrong-headed I trust with time, God will re-direct. In the meantime, I will always do my very best to treat everyone with the same, caring, respect, and grace that I imagine Jesus would extend.

        • Diana

          ROTFLMAO!

          • Diana

            This is directed to Ace re: Jmac being off to see the Wizard of Oz. Good one, Ace!

      • Diana

        “When a believer suggests “don’t waste your time” standing up for what God says, that is the very definition of apathy.”

        And when a person takes one sentence out of the context of a specific work and blows it up to be the entire point of that work, that is the very definition of willful ignorance.

      • alison

        good point, JMac

  • Elizabeth

    Hatred and ignorance are what enslave and destroy, not love and freedom. Please pardon my grammar. Good grief.

  • http://kenreads.wordpress.com wken

    (Sorry … I skipped the comments. I'll get back to them later. If someone has already said what I have to say, then … ummmm … "Right on!")

    When it's all said and done, if we assume that the anti-gay position is exactly what God wants, then … ummm … do we win any souls by legislating? I didn't think so.

    All we do is make the Church look like grumpy people who are concerned more about what other people are doing in their bedrooms than anything else.

    An observation, though … A lot of our fellow Christians have no problem imposing their moral views regarding gay marriage, but balk when it comes to having moral views imposed regarding their money being spent to help the poor.

    But they don't think that the Quakers should object to their money being used to kill people.

    I ask one of my favorite questions from the health care debate:

    What if Christians used all that money being used to campaign against health care reform to help provide health care for the poor?

    • Diana

      I really love what you’ve written here.

      Yes, attempting to legislate against gay people does “make the Church look like grumpy people who are concerned more about what other people are doing in their bedrooms than anything else.” There’s a whole chapter about that in the book “UnChristian” by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons.

      And yes, too many of us “Christians” do “have no problem imposing their moral views regarding gay marriage, but balk when it comes to having moral views imposed regarding their money being spent to help the poor,” and “don’t think that the Quakers should object to their money being used to kill people.”

      Really good points. Thanks for sharing!

      • http://kenreads.wordpress.com wken

        Hey, thanks!

        That’s kind of the argument that changed much of my politics about 15 or so years ago. I was a very conservative righty back then, but I ran into this logical trap … I thought it was okay to impose my moral views on a lot of subjects, but turned around and used EXACTLY the same rebuttals that liberals used against imposing moral views on economic issues.

        Yes, there are market-based ones, too, but I know enough economics to know that most of what is said in political discourse about economics is absolute bunk.

        So, I decided that I had to decide whether I believed my arguments about imposing morals or thought that they were wrong. What I finally decided was very surprising … that there are issues which are closer and dearer to God’s heart than others, and that those involve reaching out in love.

        So, I just about flipped my positions. No one’s soul is going to be saved by a ban on gay marriage or alcohol sales on Sunday. But someone might be touched by an act of charity, even if it’s in the form of a state welfare check. My college friends don’t really recognize me anymore when it comes to politics.

        • Diana

          “My college friends don’t really recognize me anymore when it comes to politics.”

          I would imagine they don’t! Ah well. Peace!

        • http://allegro63.blogspot.com/ Sylvie Galloway

          I too have largely changes positions on several issues held near and dear to the average conservative heart. What changed it was listening, reading, researching and getting to know people on "the other side". I learned that often the argument being held so strongly has less then firm data to back it up. I've also learned the healthy art of being skeptical when I hear something being said by a political person, a television pundit or a member of a religious organization with clear "anti" stances

          I believed a certain way on things because I was ignorant on the facts. I am trying to believe a certain way based more on real evidence, as well as the basis of what I am commanded to do..love, which is so beautifully pointed, how to out in 1 Corinthians 13.

          I differ in views with many of my family members, and likely a lot of my friends. That doesn't bother me. Breaking out of that logical trap, as wken pointed out, was eye opening

        • vj

          "No one’s soul is going to be saved by a ban on gay marriage or alcohol sales on Sunday. But someone might be touched by an act of charity, even if it’s in the form of a state welfare check."

          So well said! I think we keep forgetting that 'loving thy neighbor' is about acts of kindness towards whoever our neighbor might be. It's also important to remember that allowing same-sex couples to enjoy the legal protection of marriage is not at all the same thing as requiring churches to endorse or even perform such marriages – separation of church and state, and all that….

          South Africa legalized gay marriage (and abortion) some years ago, and life really just goes on. To digress somewhat, we still don't have retail sales of alcohol on Sundays though, which still doesn't make sense to me – if people can buy the stuff on Saturday to drink on Sunday, what point is there in not letting them buy it Sunday? By all means have laws against drunk driving and alcohol-fueled public indecency, but why should anyone care about when the alcohol is actually sold?

          • Ace

            "South Africa legalized gay marriage (and abortion) some years ago, and life really just goes on"

            Yea, there's just a culture among young men of inflicting "corrective rape" on lesbian women instead.. *kof*

            Definitely hasn't lead to acceptance by society at large. I don't think we have to worry about that happening any time soon.

          • vj

            Um, sorry, Ace, but what is your point here? I only ask because I’ve found your other comments on this topic quite sane, but I’m not sure what this one means…

          • Ace

            Certain parties in this thread (JMac) are opposed to legal gay marriage on the grounds that it might cause society at large to accept homosexuality.

            My point is that it doesn’t generally have that effect.

          • vj

            Ok, thanks for the clarification – it was the reference to rape that confused me….

          • http://etaya.wordpress.com Etaya

            I never understood the whole “no selling alcohol on Sundays” thing either.I know it was imposed way back in the day before I was even a twinkle in my dad’s eye, but beyond that it makes no sense. How can the government limit sales of an item on a certain day when not everyone agrees that the day in question is any different from the other days of the week?

            I doubt that we would see an increase in alcohol related crimes, as most people do their partying on Friday and Saturday nights. And those that would drink on Sundays are just going to buy their alcohol the night before.

            We celebrate the Sabbath on Friday sundown to Saturday sundown. We do no shopping or anything like that during that time. If we have something come up and do not have any wine or beer on hand and decide on Sunday that we would like to have some with dinner on Sunday or to marinate our steaks or whatever, we are S.O.L. Even if we go to the local grocery store that carries those products, as they are required by law to refuse to sell it. Rather annoying when that happens.

            I would love to see Sellers and imbibers of alcohol fight this in the court system.

  • Kass
  • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

    The Bible – Jesus, in fact – says quite a bit about divorce as well, yet Christians seem to have no issues “interpreting” “God hates divorce” into something that’s just fine to do. I’ve never heard any response that actually doesn’t involve 87 paragraphs of justification.

    The Bible isn’t a political document, nor is it a tool to support selective morality.

    • http://www.aviewfromtheedge.net/blog Nicole Longstreath

      Excellent point, DR. As a child growing up in The Bible Belt of this country, I often wondered the same thing about so many divorced Christian adults. At this time – twenty years ago in Moore, Oklahoma – gay rights weren't even a blip on the horizon but so many self-described Christians had no problem calling it quits on a marriage despite what their Bible said about it.

      See, that's the big problem with taking this and that from the Bible to back up your own argument about your own viewpoints.

      • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

        Exactly. There are the"outs" for adultery and abuse that are given somehow (thank goodness, otherwise some who would stay in a marriage for fear of God's punishment), but even marriages where there are just irreconcilable differences are forgotten and remarriages occur. Whenever I've brought that up, I'm generally blasted with "But she was so unhappy!" or "He was young and he didn't know what he was doing, God forgives people."

        The complexities of who we are as people suddenly become part of the consideration set for Christians who divorce – the flesh and blood and all the nuances of being a "human" are offered as defense. And frankly, the Bible verses against divorce literally get thrown off the discussion table.

        Yet when it comes to gays and lesbians who want to marry? All of the sudden it's just Leviticus. But like most things where we as Christians have been behind the Civil Rights eight ball, the law will drag us to where we need to be. I suspect in ten years, Christians will have absolutely no problem with gay marriage, wondering what all of the fuss was about in the first place.

        • Ace

          Frankly I've got a lot more issues with the increasingly casual attitude toward marriage and divorce ("serial mongamy" as I believe it is called) in our culture, than with two gay people in a commited, permanent relationship wanting to get married.

          Yes, there are perfectly defensible reasons for divorce (abuse, cheating) but a lot of divorces are neither of those things.

    • JMac

      It's not that Christians think divorce is fine to do. Believe me, pastors chastise every congregation I've been in for the divorce rate that is the same as the non-believer divorce rate. What happens is that, believe it or not, Christians are people, and well, far too often, we do what we want to do, instead of what we should do. Welcome to humanity.

      • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

        I'm sorry, but this is just so far from reality that I'm speechless. Pastors are often on their second and third marriages. There is no way NEAR the public outrage against christian divorce and adultery via remarriage as there is christians publically railing against gay marriage. Please, I'm begging you to prove me wrong and point me to where Christians are blogging and protesting about the divorce rate in their communities with as much passion as they are gay marriage, I would so love to be proven wrong.

        This conversation is exhausting. I can't imagine what gays and lesbians face everyday when having to deal with this kind of mindset.

        • JMac

          Welcome to reality. Yes, I've been in church most of my life, and both pastors in both churches I've attended are happily married never divorced, and any time the topic of marriage is mentioned in a sermon, the congregation gets chastised for that statistic. Obviously, this is a small sample size, so the broader problem still exists, and your mileage may vary. But at the end of the day, free will combined with no-fault divorce equals disaster.

          • http://craigbenno1.wordpress.com Craig Benno

            I think what we believe the Bible says about marriage and divorce is not what Scripture actually says about marriage and divorce.

            Most if not all of our modern day practices of marriage and divorce stems out of medievil Roman Catholism and not early church / Jewish practices.

  • http://spritzophrenia.wordpress.com Jonathan Elliot

    While I disgree that the Bible has nothing to say about politics, I agree that gay marriage will eventually be accepted all over the US. As it already is in other civilised countries.

    I think I had another point to make, but i forgot.

    Jonathan from spritzophrenia :)

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      Not sure with whom you're disagreeing, friend Jonathan, but I know I didn't say that the Bible has nothing to say about politics. I said it fails as a FINAL argument in a political decision.

      • Diana

        Your exact words were "the Bible is not a political document." Which is true, and not the same thing as saying that the Bible has nothing to say about politics.

        Thanks for another wonderful post!

  • gooseberrybush

    Even though John is clearly a Christian, and past posts have made his theological views on homosexuality pretty clear, he wasn’t writing this post from a Christian perspective. He was writing this post as an American. He was pointing out that, thankfully, unlike the citizens of Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, we don’t live in a theocracy. You can disapprove of homosexuality all you want. What you shouldn’t be able to do is to legislate what another consenting American can do or whom he can love, as long as he isn’t hurting someone. The last time I checked we all have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as Americans. Our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution say nothing about our liberties being subject to the rules of Leviticus. Thank God they don’t. America is a free country where we believe in freedom of religion, which means we’re free to practice any faith we wish, or not. I, for one, am glad of that.

  • http://allegro63.blogspot.com/ Sylvie Galloway

    JMac did have one interesting suggestion. That couples divorcing state in front of the people who witnessed the marriage as to why they are divorcing. However there is a huge problem with that, besides the obvious impracticality with that. Divorce is very emotional traumatic process. Many who do divorce do so because of betrayal of some kind. To stand up and each state why they are ending things would only make things worse.

    And as has been said, divorce and the increasing laxity about heterosexual relationships within the church is a much larger issue then people who happen to be gay who want to marry. It is not very convincing to demand a certain moral standard about marriage when the people demanding that standard aren’t doing a very good job of holding on to those standards themselves .When I separated from my husband, My choice to divorce was on clear grounds with the law and with my faith, and it wasn’t a decision made lightly. Yes I am a sad example of the failing of the traditional institution of marriage. I ain’t alone. Whether I even decide to ever go out on a date again is not even in the realm of my near future. However I think marriage is a wonderful thing, and I know of couples who’s relationship I am so thankful to witness the beauty of…and a bit envious of as well

    I agree with John, and many others here. I attended the commitment ceremony of a dear friend and the man he is determined to spend his life with. Shortly before the ceremony, my friend discovered a health diagnosis that is long term. He offered his partner a chance to opt out of the relationship, and was told a firm, “I am sticking by you, no matter what.” I value the relationship these two have as a wonderful example of two people committed whole heartedly to each other. That they are both male is to me irrelevant. To me they are married, their ceremony was in a church with a pastor, with the reading of scripture, with prayer and with promises. Only the government and those who stand in opposition of what these two did don’t legally recognize it as marriage.

    I wish them and all couples, regardless of gender pairing, who are determined to commit their lives together love, happiness and the joy of knowing they are exceedingly blessed.

    • http://kenreads.wordpress.com wken

      “Divorce is very emotional traumatic process. Many who do divorce do so because of betrayal of some kind. To stand up and each state why they are ending things would only make things worse.”

      Ummmm … yeah.

      Here’s what my divorce pronouncement would have been like:

      “Hi, church. Ummm … yeah. So, here’s the thing. My wife has been involved in at least one adulterous relationship. I don’t know how long. And she’s been mentally and verbally abusing me for more than six years. She’s encouraged me to commit suicide, and I’ve been close.

      “Eventually, she filed for divorce against me after years of threatening to do it and having me plead with her to get into some kind of counseling. Given that she filed a restraining order against me three days before Fathers’ Day, I assume that she was trying to nudge me over the edge again.

      “She won’t be coming up here, since for the past few years she’s referred to my church as a ‘weirdo cult’. But, um, I had to come up here and be humiliated in front of the whole body, whether you knew what was going on or not. Thankfully, I still have my full prescriptions of antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds. I’ll be out in the car trying to stop hyperventilating after the service while you’re having coffee and doughnuts. Probably taking an extra dose of klonopin, maybe buspar. I may never come back, now that I’ve done this. But at least it made some of you feel better, knowing that you’re not a rotten, lousy, divorced person like I am. Enjoy that.”

      JMac’s idea is one of those things that might sound good in theory, but doesn’t work out too well when applied to real life.

      • Ace

        Ugh. That reminds me of that case where a 15 year old girl was raped by a church deacon and became pregnant as a result, and her church pastor made her get up and confess her "sin" in front of the entire congregation.

        I really don't get some people.

        • http://allegro63.blogspot.com/ Sylvie Galloway

          And her family supported that?? It's bad enough she underwent the trauma of a rape, and the discovery that the guy got her pregnant, but to be forced to confess guilt? What about the rapist? Where was he? And this occurred in the US?

          Oh stuff like that makes me rather angry

          • Ace

            I forget where it occured, but her family ultimately shipped her across country to live with another family in Colorado, apparently, where she was home-schooled and not allowed contact with anyone until she gave up the baby for adoption. Yes, in the USA. And the whole thing was a massive pile of fail and hypocrisy.

            http://abcnews.go.com/Health/MindMoodNews/alleged

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            I hate people.

          • Diana

            I am sick at heart for that girl–and so proud of her later bravery in filing charges against the person who did this to her. Also proud of the man who first brought it to the attention of the police. It's hard to break free of a cult enough to become one's own person again–and this place definitely seems to be a cult to me.

          • Ace

            That gir's church is perhaps a somewhat far end of a fairly common attitude. Plenty of girls I knew in high school mysterious disappeared for months, then returned just as mysterious. Some would admit to close friends that they had gotten pregnant, others would deny what everybody knew anyway.

            And quite often those girls received very harsh treatment from their churches (in a lot of cases, they had to quit attending), their families, and the community.

            Teen boys who fathered children, or even older men who fathered children with teenage girls (and not always with the girl's consent), never suffered much for their misdeed, on the other hand.

          • Diana A.

            “Teen boys who fathered children, or even older men who fathered children with teenage girls (and not always with the girl’s consent), never suffered much for their misdeed, on the other hand.”

            Yeah, wish I could say I was surprised by that, but I’m not. And this would be yet another reason why I am Feminist as well as Christian in my approach to life.

          • http://etaya.wordpress.com Etaya

            An interesting dichotomy. My hubby and I have had several discussions about expectations for boys and girls.

            Males are considered hot stuff and applauded if they have lots of girlfriends, get sexually active young, etc.

            Meanwhile girls are considered tramps or whores, if not to their faces then behind their backs for the same behaviours.

            I never understood it.

          • Ace

            Etaya – this has a lot to do with it.

            Macho culture, or whatever you want to call it, is not exactly healthy for women OR men.

      • http://allegro63.blogspot.com/ Sylvie Galloway

        You just demonstrated quite well what a horrible idea that is.

        Of course in some cases one side would have their say then the other party in the divorce would have their turn, it would have a chance of getting even more horrible, and people would get offended, a fight could break out, the cops called, and that church find itself as a headline on the 6 o’clock news.

        I know mine would be a letting loose of all the things I’ve kept hidden, and the pain that living with someone who too many times found himself struggling with substance abuse issues, and the completely negative behavior it brought forward, the loss of trust, of friendship, of safety. And the other party would deny most, attempt to blame me for not being a good enough wife to help..and all that stuff that does no good. It has not place in a church setting.

        We have the courts to demonstrate why we opt to end bad marriages. That is where we stand before a judge and explain why we choose to end things. And then we have our circle of family and friends who offer love, guidance and support. Lastly we have our God who’s been with us every step of the way. And isn’t it just awesome that He, who really matters most of all, in opinions about us, thinks we are still extremely worth spending love, time and energy over.

        • http://kenreads.wordpress.com wken

          Yeah … wouldn’t that be fun?

          We could get them up together in front of the congregation to have a big argument, and maybe vote on which one is right.

  • http://www.facebook.com/unholyblackdeath William Ely

    Government should not be in the marriage business in the first place. We need to separate marriage from government, they do not belong together. Then, this would never be an issue to begin with. People have the right to a private life. What the government or other people think of that life is irrelevant.

    I am so glad to hear someone write positively about the constitution for a change. Many people no longer respect liberty and the best political document ever written to protect it. Thank you.

  • Susan

    @ JMac:

    <>

    1. What, pray tell, have you done in this “vital” effort?

    2. It just hit me what has been nagging in the back of my head – your use of the word “precious” is sarcastic, which is quite telling about your Christian love for gay people. If I’m wrong, I apologize, but I don’t think I am. (But what a novel idea…me, a Christian, not acting is if I have all the answers.)

    <>

    No doubt. Especially Christian love.

    • JMac

      I was NOT being sarcastic. At all. Perhaps I should have chosen a more powerful word.

  • Susan

    @JMac. Oops this is what I meant:

    “It is vital to offer empathy and encouragement for those who deal with homosexuality just as those who habitually lie or cheat or what have you, but the reality is you’re not doing these precious human beings any favors…”

    1. What, pray tell, have you done in this “vital” effort?

    2. It just hit me what has been nagging in the back of my head – your use of the word “precious” is sarcastic, which is quite telling about your Christian love for gay people. If I’m wrong, I apologize, but I don’t think I am.

    “I think we are far too casual with the word “love”. It is so abused and overused. What is love?”

    No doubt. Especially Christian love.

    • JMac

      I wasn't being sarcastic AT ALL. I meant it. Every human being has extraordinary value. It is vital to encourage and empathize in their struggle. What have I done? My focus is elsewhere in what I do. However, it's also vital to get off fossil fuels, but just because I don't drive a hybrid doesn't make it any less vital to do.

      • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

        Except of course, the gay men and women who want to get married who you just equated to one who enabled a massive amount of child molestation. They are "precious"!!

        I feel like I'm in a Chick tract that's gone horribly wrong.

        • Ace

          "I feel like I’m in a Chick tract that’s gone horribly wrong."

          Now THAT is a valid analogy.

          • http://allegro63.blogspot.com/ Sylvie Galloway

            I so want to steal….err, I mean borrow that quote and make it my very own.

        • JMac

          Well, not to let the facts interfere with a good story, but since my reply buttons are disabled up there, the context in question was defining boundaries in reference to the suggestion of a whimsical boundless ideal to let EVERYONE do anything, when in reality by the objection to the mere mention of Jeffs, you made my point for me by acknowledging when it comes to moral consequences of sexuality, there should, in fact, be boundaries.

          Point. JMac. =)

          • http://allegro63.blogspot.com/ Sylvie Galloway

            We are keeping score? Dang. Let me guess, I got picked over for the teams again.

          • JMac

            I was trying to lighten the tone, to add some civility for the sake of civil discourse.

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            LOL!

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            (I'm laughing at the idea of you throwing a child molester into this conversation and then suggesting you're bringing us all back on track to "civil discourse". )

          • Diana

            “…by the objection to the mere mention of Jeffs, you made my point for me by acknowledging when it comes to moral consequences of sexuality, there should, in fact, be boundaries.”

            Yes, there should be, but exactly how should those boundaries be defined?

            To me, there is a huge amount of difference between two consenting adults agreeing to engage in sexual relationships with one another (regardless of the gender/s) of the parties involved and one adult forcing multiple children into marital type relationships when those children lack both the maturity and the power to give or withhold legal consent. The latter is called rape and rape is wrong.

          • Ace

            Not in JMac's world, apparently.

            Because, you know, in JMac's world, an equal romantic relationship between two consenting adults who happen to be the same sex is TOTES THE SAME as forcing young girls to marry adult men who rape them.

            Plus he's also being deliberately obtuse at the moment.

          • Diana

            "Plus he’s also being deliberately obtuse at the moment."

            Not our Jmac! Perish the thought!

            (you're probably right, Ace!)

    • alison

      I don't think Precious sounds sarcastic at all. It reminds me of the children's chorus, "… all are precious in his sight." No sarcasm there.

      • Diana A.

        Maybe sarcastic isn't the right word. I'd say "disingenuous" or "condescending," maybe both.

        At any rate, I'm disinclined to believe that Jmac finds gay people "precious." Though, of course, I could be wrong.

        • Susan

          @Diana:Thanks for expressing that you understand where I was coming from with the “precious” thing. And I think you’re choice of wording is def better. Although we could both be wrong, but I really don’t think we are.

          • Diana A.

            You’re welcome! Always happy to be of service!

  • http://Sisterfriends-together.org Anita

    “I feel like I’m in a Chick tract that’s gone terribly wrong” has now become my favorite all-time expression. I will use it often and always with humble gratitude in my heart even as I plagiarize it over and over again. Danka DR.

    • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

      That might have been some of my best work right there. Bon Appetit!

  • http://Sisterfriends-together.org Anita

    And once again John you’ve provided empirical truth that

    Christian blog + “gay” in the post title = 100 plus comments

    You the man.

  • Kara

    What would a Chick tract that hasn’t gone horribly wrong look like? Does the very concept violate all laws of physics and the known universe? These, my friends, are burning questions that demand answers.

    • http://kenreads.wordpress.com wken

      Bah! It wouldn't be a Chick tract if it hasn't gone terribly wrong. Maybe someone else's, but not Chick.

      • Ace

        At least Chick Tracts are hilarious. I used to collect the things in high school, I thought they were funny.

        • alison

          haha. I still see a lot of these tracts in Northern Ireland. Sadly.

          • Ace

            I always found them in the bathrooms of wal-marts and gas stations. :P

          • http://Sisterfriends-together.org Anita

            And I'm the one who left them in the bathrooms and gas stations :)

  • John F

    If Our Lord could see fit to give humanity a free will – the right to choose – why is it that so many people who claim to be followers of Him, are determined to deny that free will to a portion of the community. As has been said so many times – if you don’t agree with same-sex marriage – don’t have one.

    I am a born again Christian – I also happen to be gay. I CHOSE to follow Jesus – leaving aside the whole predestination argument for the time being – I “asked Jesus into my heart” long long before even knew what gay was. I never chose to be gay – just as nobody chooses to be straight.

    There is duplicity in the church when they highlight this one sin over any and every sin – even that of unbelief. According to Christian doctrine, those who do not accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour, will at the last judgement, be cast into hell.

    In every community, there are many non-believers – Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Jews who do not acknowledge Christ (There are those who believe they have a special ticket though) , Roman Catholics (who some believe to be “lost” – I’m not with that group), and atheists of course. Why aren’t Christians insisting that such people be denied human rights? Well the answer is – they believe in the Freedom of religion – which is enshrined in the constitution.

    Fact is if you believe in the FREEDOM of religion (or freedom not to be religious) you cannot with any consistency insist that people cannot marry whom they please – provided consent is mutual and competent – i.e. the people involved are both adults and neither party has learning difficulties – (p.c. term for mental disability) People should be allowed to marry according to their conscience.

    I would refer Christians to the chapters in 1 Corinthians where Paul advises on the issue of meat that has been offered to idols. I can’t remember the exact verse but it says that one Christian will partake of meat according to his conscience where another might refrain from meat according to his conscience. He, as far as I remember, warned that one should not judge the other.

    We could use similar argument in regard to the consumption of alcohol. Some Christians are T-Total, while others will drink alcohol in moderation. It is often the case that T-totallers will lambaste and condemn, and even brand as “unsaved” those who have a glass of wine with a meal.

    In a similar way, there are many Christians who believe that homosexual relations are wrong, there are some Christians (not only gays) who do not see it that way.

    All I am saying is that people understand the Scriptures differently – and that even those verses that seem to pertain to homosexuals – are interpreted differently. Accordingly one’s freedom of religion means that one is free – at the end of the day to interpret the Scriptures differently – and to live in accordance to their own conscience.

    Ultimately, each person must give an account of their own actions to the Lord. If I have interpreted Scripture wrongly, I only have myself to blame. I believe however that Jesus paid for my sins and that Salvation is purchased and “nothing can separate me from the Love of God”

    This is the Gospel, that while we were yet sinner Christ died for us. That if anyone believe in his/her heart that Jesus rose from the dead, and confess with his/her lips that Jesus is Lord, he/she shall be saved. I believe that many genuine Christians have been side-tracked into going after gays, and have not focussed on telling people about Jesus. Let the Holy Spirit do the work of conviction – that is His role.

    • Diana

      I like this. Thank you for sharing it.

    • vj

      What Diana & Sylvie said :-)

    • JMac

      I think this issue is thought of differently because Christ said to the woman he forgave for adultery, "go and sin no more." The larger issue being objected to in terms of gay marriage, is the expectation of acceptance for unabashed continued sin defying the "go and sin no more" principle at the heart of true repentance and redemption.

      • Ace

        Are we going to outlaw working on Sundays too while we are at it? That'll put a damper on Wal-Mart's bottom line, for sure. Of course the Jewish sabbath is Saturday, oops better outlaw working on that day too, since the Jews think that is a sin. And Muslims consider Friday their day of prayer and worship, can't work then too.

        Yay, law-mandated 3-day weekends! I can get behind that.

        But oops, Hindus think eating beef is a sin, guess we have to take hamburgers off the menu. And Jews and Muslims don't allow consumption of pork and shelfish, better take them off the menu too! Methinks the barbecue won't be that tasty on our 3-day weekend.

        You can't outlaw everything that you consider a "sin" just because the Bible (or other holy book) says so. The fact is, we are not a theocratic state, we are a secular democracy.

        And legalizing gay marriage isn't going to magically make everyone accept homosexuals any more than legalizing the consumption of alchol has made everyone a drunk or legalizing tobacco has made everyone a chain smoker. Or outlawing marijuana has ended its use, for that matter.

        This whole attitude of OMG THE WORLD WILL END CAUSE OF TEH GHEYS! is ridiculous.

        • http://Etaya.wordpress.com Etaya

          Jews are not the only ones who worship on Saturday. It was not until long after Jesus came, died, and was resurrected that the Church decided to worship on Sunday. There are some of us who have gone back to the way that Jesus worshiped, which was on the 7th day. Not quite on the topic of the post, but just wanted to point it out.

          • Ace

            Oh I know, there are Christian groups who worship on Saturday (7th day adventists etc) but I was trying to make a point about turning the nation into a theocratic state.

      • http://www.johnnyscfblog.blogspot.com John F

        Well, firstly I am not entering into a discussion of the interpretation of the pertinent Scriptures – I usually find such discussions futile – when people aren't actually prepared to listen. I of course have a perspective on this but that was not the point of my post.

        My point was that people do have different understanding and interpretation of all Scripture, and on the principle of FREEDOM OF RELIGION, those perspectives need to be respected.

        We cannot legislate out sin – we cannot force people to be Christians – or to live like Christians. Each person must live in accordance with their own conscience, and ultimately it will be God who judges us all. JMac – you don't agree with gay marriage – you think it's restricted to "a man and a woman" – that is your interpretation, and you are quite entitled to it, but that all it is. The Bible also says we should not be unequally yoked – believer with unbeliever – but I don't see people demonstrating against mixed faith marriages. At best, The pastor will advise against it. In fact, many pastors will still perform marriages where he knows its a mixed faith marriage.

        When Jesus lived on earth, people tried to politicise his Messiahship – make him king – he resisted that – this Prop 8 thing is another politicization of Jesus Messiahship, and I dare say, He would resist it too. He will return I know that and He will find much on this earth that displeases him. Many politicians (and others) will face the wrath of God for unrighteousness that they have imposed on others, But Jesus is the judge, not me or you or any self-appointed "Christian leader" Jesus also said, there is more rejoicing in heaven over the one sinner who repents than 99 righteous people who do not need to repent.

        What was the last instruction Jesus left us before ascending: Go into all the world and preach the Gospel. Jesus did say, I grant you, "teach them everything I have taught you" – oh how much Jesus talk about homosexuality? How much did Jesus talk about uptight religious hypocrites?

        • alison

          Jesus told us to go out and make disciples. Sometimes that means talking about sin. And even if Jesus made only a few comments about homosexuality and a lot more about the pharisees and sadducees, any and all words of Jesus are important.

          • Ace

            Jesus did not make any comments about homosexuality. None. Paul said a few things about it, but Paul is NOT Jesus.

          • Susan

            Yeppers, Ace, you are right. He doesn’t mention it. He did make comments about sexual impurity, but if you look at His life’s overall ministry, based on His words in the Bible, His focus was so NOT on this issue.

            In the Bible, He was however, very vocal about hypocrites, and phrases like “who then shall cast the first stone” and “thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye” are repeated in many forms.

            I dare say that if He came back now, he’d not be happy with the amount of energy expended on this topic and especially not the contemptuous spirit displayed by many self-proclaimed Christians.

            But, what’s religion got to do with it? It boils down to civil rights and the governing documents of our country. Boom. Done. The. End. Ta-Da!

            Peace.

          • Susan

            And b/c someone will bite me in the butt with something along the lines of… "But just like you wrote —Jesus did mention sexual impurity and therefore we must condemn, condemn, condemn." Really want to go down that road? Seriously…go ahead…cast that first stone…

          • http://www.johnnyscfblog.blogspot.com John F

            Alison, you have not read what I was saying – I am making the point that you cannot legislate about morality.

            Jesus spoke about Eunuchs in Matthew 19 – and some interpret this to be referring to homosexuals – surprisingly Jesus was not condemning of Eunuchs though in the OT it says that a Eunuch could not enter the service in the temple.

            Also look at Luke 17:34 – I have studied this verse in the Greek as well as in NIV and King James Version.

            King James Version says:

            I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.

            This is speaking about people being taken to Heaven at the end time

            Two men in one bed???

            Didn’t anyone tell Jesus that that was wrong.

            Hang on let’s go back to the Greek:

            Since most people cannot read Greek I will give the break down – the word translated “men” in KJV and “people” in the NIV actually does not exist- it says literally,

            “Two will be in ONE BED – Jesus emphasised the ONE. And ONE will be taken and the OTHER will be left behind.”

            So is the KJV wrong here – perhaps the NIV are right – but there is a problem – both the word for ONE as in One will be taken, and the word for OTHER as in Other will be left behind – are Masculine pronouns.

            At best, one can assume that the gender of those in the bed were not the issue and it could have been a man and woman, it could have been a man and man or a woman and woman.

            If this Gender thing were such an issue, do you think God would have left this so opaque. He would have said “a man would be with his wife” in bed. But it doesn’t say that.

            Apart from that Jesus did not say anything that cxan be construed as talking about homosexuality. What I don’t understand is how some people ONLY talk about that as if it is the only issue. Some people are busy demonstrating and saying “God hates Faggots” etc. while lives are not exactly a pretty picture of righteousness.

            My point is that people often know all to well about their sin – and they believe that they cannot be saved because of it. Satan has told the young homosexual man that there is no point in them coming to Jesus because he is going to reject them. Some self-righteous person rubbing their nose in it will only confirm this belief and thus far from being a bringer of good news – of release to the captive – they become a messenger of Satan.

            When did Jesus say go into all the world and talk to them about their sin. The only instances of talking to people about their sin that I know of were when God specifically told prophets to speak to the ruling class. These instances were comparitively rare.

            ALL THE WORDS OF JESUS ARE IMPORTANT – yes – so Jesus said “Judgement begins with the house of God”.

            I wasn’t angry when I started, but I am beginning to become angry. Eph 5:24 says in your anger do not sin, and so, to prevent myself crossing the line in what i say here I am not going to say any more.

          • Diana A.

            Thank you for what you've written and for your self-discipline in stopping before getting carried away by your anger. I love your insight.

          • Susan

            I second that…(what Diane said)

          • vj

            "He would have said “a man would be with his wife” in bed."

            Yes, but then He would have to pick gender-specific pronouns when talking about the one taken and the one left behind, and THEN we would have had whole doctrinal divisions in the Church about whether it was the men or the women who were destined for salvation… ;-)

            Sorry, couldn't resist – just trying to lighten the mood! I, too, appreciate both your insights and your self-discipline.

      • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

        Wrong. You have- according to the very Sciptures you are using to condemn homosexual marriage- people in your congregation as we speak who have divorced and remarried which if we were quoting as you do? Are committing adultery. It's right there in black and white, you have unrepentant adulterers who are worshipping alongside you and you have done nothing to correct them, while at the same time attempting to say gay marriage will hurt the nuclear family when it's not happened yet.

        Jesus forgave the adulterous woman because she was repentant. These people, perhaps even your pastor are "adulterers" according to how you interpret scripture. In other words, adultery is sanctioned by your pastor and by you if you are letting straight, remarried people off the hook.

        But you will never agree to that because all of the sudden, it's just " different". God "didn't mean it that way". It's "not as bad". Or my favorite, "God's grace is sufficient, i don't judge.". Right? It gets a little more complicated when it comes to your own, but if you are really going to interpret the Bible as it applies to sex in this way, be aware of all the other straight people you need to condemn in the church there are millions of them. Get busy.

    • http://allegro63.blogspot.com/ Sylvie Galloway

      Oh bravo!

    • A'isha

      "Let the Holy Spirit do the work of conviction – that is His role."

      Exactly!

  • Jeff Lindsey

    The 14th amendment has nothing to do with gay marriage. Do you really think the men who wrote it had that intention? And since when did you libs care what the constitution says? Are you also supporters of the 2nd amendment which was written so that individuals could be properly armed in order to protect themselves against governfment tyranny? What about the 10th amendment? Do you even know what that is?

    Divorce was not always accepted as it is now. It's only been since the liberal/Godless attack on the family started in the 1960s. And scripture clearly prohibits divorced men from acting as pastors so those that are should be seen as the frauds that they are. See 1 Timothy 3:2. (Not that you really care)

    But yes, gay marriage will become legal and accepted as this social decay contunues. The next step will be the attempt to legalize pedophilia. In fact that movement has already started and is supported by the same people who are pushing gay marriage. You can deny it but homosexuality and pedophilia are two sides of the same coin. Purversion is purvision.

    • http://whythulc.wordpress.com Deanna

      Two women or two men being in a loving, committed relationship is NOT the same as someone ripping the innocence from a child who cannot defend themselves, and to say it is such is dealing injustice to the children who have been the victim of such terrible crimes.

      Purversion is purvision? I thought perversion was perversion, but, you know. What do I know.

      • http://amandajustice.blogspot.com Amanda

        Well, you know how we social liberals are… can't keep up with the latest trends in spelling.

    • A'isha

      Only the ignorant could ever compare homosexuality with pedophilia. One is about love, the other about control and hurting children.

      • Ace

        This.

        Pedophiles seek relationships with children, not adults of either sex. Usually because they want an easy, innocent target to manipulate to make themselves feel big and powerful and are incapable, for whatever reason, of sustaining normal adult relationships.

        It is NOT the same, whatsoever.

        • Diana A.

          Moreover, sad to say, plenty of pedophilia has been known to take place within the sanctity of the "Good Christian Home." But I guess it doesn't count as pedophilia when it's a father doing it to his daughter–especially if that father is an upstanding member of his fundamentalist Christian church.

    • http://www.whitenoisemetal.com Brian Shields

      Progressives care more about what the constitution says than you might be willing to grant. The Second Amendment was not written so that people could take up arms against the government. That's clearly labeled as treason. It was written so that the citizenry could take up arms as part of a militia the next time the red coats came over the hill. SCOTUS has now ruled that the second amendment also includes a personal right to own weapons. I'm fine with that but it certainly doesn't mean I approve of armed treason against the duly appointed government.

      The Tenth Amendment might have meant something if it included the word "expressly" but if you like what SCOTUS says on the Second Amendment you have to also go along with the court's long stare decisis about the Commerce clause and the rights it gives the federal government to regulate the states and private behavior. See U.S. v Sprague and U.S. v Darby.

      I suspect you also find Brown v. Board of Education and Loving v. Virginia as part of the "liberal/Godless attacks on the family." I wonder if you will say so.

    • http://kenreads.wordpress.com wken

      Side note: homosexuality isn't pedophilia.

      If you can't make your argument without resorting to that lame analogy, then give it up. You're out of your league arguing against people who have actually read … well, … anything.

      Ever.

    • Matthew Tweedell

      "The next step will be the attempt to legalize pedophilia."

      No, actually, the next step is to subjugate dissenters like you under absolute state control. You really need to do a better job keeping up on the progressive agenda; it evolves quickly.

    • JohnB

      “The next step will be the attempt to legalize pedophilia”?

      Respectfully, Jeff , you should spend a couple of hours reading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy

    • Gene

      Yet another one of James Dobson’s brainwashed minions (not to mention a dickweed as well).

    • Gina Powers

      EXCUSE ME, Jeff, but you're not calling MY husband a fraud, Mr. Yeah, he had the good sense to get out of a harmful marriage that did nothing but facilitate his alcoholism and depression–and if God hadn't wanted him to be ordained, I'm pretty positive it wouldn't have happened. My husband is THE kindest man I've ever had the good fortune to be around, and one of the MOST sincere Christians I know. He is NOT perfect–but he is a GOOD man, and a true man of God. The biblical proof-texting you are employing to condemn the divorced, homosexuals, and essentially whomever isn't white, male and STRAIGHT will never, EVER validate your arguments or can ever reasonably be considered truthful. You yourself hide behind fear and the father of fear and lies (three GUESSES to whom I'm referring: hint, red, has horns)!!

      And just so's you know: not many people DO know all the constitutional amendments, so if you can claim to know EVERYsingleoneofthem…….well, my hats off to you, but you still SUCK.

    • Todd

      Right because there is no pediphilia in the straight community. Personally I like a man with hair on his chest and a nice full baritone voice and facial hair. Guess I can’t be considered perverted or homosexual following your simpleton’s logic.

  • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

    Is still trying to understand those who are OK-fine with legislating morality but have quite the cerebral vascular accident when anyone suggests legislating charity……or those two little evil words: social justice. God forbid we legislate that!

    I say you can't have your cake and eat it too. You can't quote the Leviticus passage about abominations and then say Jesus wasn't literal when he told the rich young ruler to give all his goods to the poor if he wanted to go to heaven……or that it's harder for a rich man to get into heaven than it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle…… or in Matthew 25 where Jesus talks about how we are to treat the least of these…..and what happens to us if we don't.

    I know some people think they have that wide and narrow way thing all figured out, but I have a feeling the wide way is a lot wider than they think it is and it has far more to do with how we treat each other than it does with believing the right list of things.

    • http://www.johnnyscfblog.blogspot.com John F

      Spot on Christy – like your thinking.

    • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

      THIS. COMMENT.

      is perfect.

    • http://allegro63.blogspot.com/ Sylvie Galloway

      Aw Heck. Christy discovered the Cherry Picking clause and revealed all the pits it leaves behind.

      Or in less satirical terms. GREAT COMMENT!

  • Curt Russell

    What a freak, since when is homosexuality anything like pedophilia? I was sexually abused and that person was not homosexual. They were sick and carrying on a disgusting family "tradition"

  • D. Novak

    Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive.

    —Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution (Philadelphia 1787).

    ALL laws are based on morality. It's immoral to steal, murder, speed, etc., therefore they are illegal. Regarding the rich man, Jesus was talking to one person who he knew valued his wealth more than his faith in order to show that. The statement about the camel is simply a warning-not a commandment. There is no virtue in having money taken from one person and given to another. In fact it is stealing and immoral. Scripture commands Christians to help the poor-not the government. And conservative Christians do help the poor by providing jobs and giving to charity. Liberals, according to every study done, do neither.

    Most pedophilia involves homosexual men with teenage boys. NAMBLA, according to a recent FBI undercover operation, is made up mostly of homosexuals.

    These things are very clear. I guess it's true that liberalism, like homosexuality, is a mental disorder.

    • http://blueberrypancakesfordinner.wordpress.com blueberrypancakesfor

      you are a tea bagger huh?

    • http://kenreads.wordpress.com wken

      Given that most child molesters aren't members of NAMBLA, the relevance of your comment is … what, exactly?

      • D. Novak

        He didn't say most child molesters were members of NAMBLA. He said NAMBLA, according to a recent FBI undercover operation, is made up mostly of homosexuals. The relevance is that homosexuality and pedophilia are closely related pervisions.

        http://www.us2000.org/cfmc/Pedophilia.pdf

        http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=13722

        http://www.aim.org/media-monitor/homosexuality-an

        • http://kenreads.wordpress.com wken

          No, not really.

          That's like saying that because most members of the KKK profess to be Christians, that Christianity and murderous racism are closely connected.

          It's a stupid argument, because it relies on finding a connection between two groups and then extrapolating it. Naturally, it appeals to people who already agreed with the conclusion. It just doesn't make any sense as a logical argument.

          That there is some overlap between homosexuals and child molesters in no way proves that they're "closely connected," since most child molesters are heterosexual.

          If we're going to try to use that argument, then heterosexuality is the orientation that should be scary.

          The combined credibility of World Net Daily and Accuracy in Media, by the way, is nil. Has Joe Farah given up on proving that Pres. Obama is a Kenyan-born Muslim and the Antichrist yet? If you're going to try citing sources, I'd recommend something peer-reviewed, or which at least cites sources which are peer-reviewed.

          • http://www.whitenoisemetal.com Brian Shields

            Did you know that every single child molester in history has been known to use Di-Hydrogen Monoxide (DHMO)?

          • http://allegro63.blogspot.com/ Sylvie Galloway

            Oh crap, I use that stuff!!

          • http://kenreads.wordpress.com wken

            Dang!

            I've decided that I'm never going to leave my kids with a homo sapiens, by the way. Just to be safe.

    • Todd

      Wow. You seem like you might have at least half a brain, but certainly not a whole one. Speeding is immoral? That's laughable. If you truly believe there homosexuality equates with pedophilia you really have lost all credibility and no one with more than half a brain would buy into such blatant lies. Should I equate all the horrible things that christians have done historically with you personally as a christian. I think not for I know how to reason.

    • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

      Congratulations. I just realized you got to me.

      This blog has taught me a lot of things, many good. It's been a place where I had this sane experience of Christianity. But lately, people like you who are so ignorant – and I'm sorry, I know that's unkind, particularly because I don't think you possess the capacity to understand just *how* ignorant you are, so it's going to probably enrage you – but to actually suggest that homosexual men are the majority of sexual abuse actually brings me to tears.

      And it's not because of what you believe about me or liberals or even atheists, though that it really hard. It's that so many kids need protecting in our churches (where a lot of sexual abuse is occurring), and you won't even look because you believe it's "over there". So many kids are being hurt by adults in our churches and their christian homes, and you'll never look. You'll never see them. It's too scary. And it's not just sexual abuse, it's the terror that you and others like you instill in these kids. Telling them to be afraid of the world, of science, of education. You make them think that the world is a place of which to be afraid, of suspect. You're going to take literal years away from their lives.

      And the hardest part of that is that it probably happened to you. You're just repeating this cycle of ignorance. You're using the church to be the parents that never parented you properly. You probably never got the opportunity to mature, to be in any kind of relationship with people of different faiths or who don't believe all together – you're probably terrified of them.

      You're probably terrified that the world around you is always being threatened by other people like me. You have absolutely no ability to really trust anyone who is a "liberal". And worse, you even befriending a liberal or an atheist in ways where you might actually change? That's spiritually disobedient for you.

      You live in a world where absolutely everyone – John, myself, those on this blog – are the enemy. They are coming after you and those you love. They are going to hurt God. You are probably always on the attack. And the scary thing is that you really, really believe you are helping. You are defending God.

      And you know the weird thing I'm realizing? I'm now you, but just against you. I've actually gotten *scared* of Conservative Christians. I don't want to be around you. I see you as being really dangerous. Sure, you might offer up a "wow, yes that's so horrible!" when someone likes you says something like you did above, you get called on it, feel stupid and scared that you are looking bad so apologize. But the really scary thing for me is how reptilian you are – how people like you on this blog will say "I'm sorry for being so judgmental" but not *feel* that at all.

      I know you believe that's my "spirit" that is reacting, so writing this is futile. I guess I'm writing it to myself. How, exactly, do I love you when you're hurting so much of what and who I love? When you're so dangerous? I honestly don't know, but if I don't really try, I'm going to end up just like you, just the other side of the coin. And I really don't want to be there – that's not where Jesus is.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1074487706&v=wall&story_fbid=104844562906994& Dee Robertson

        DR: don't worry, there are so many of us just like you struggling not end up like those who hate rather than love. My prayers and love are coming your way.

      • Susan

        @ DR I have read and reread your comment. I've stopped and started several replies. But I cannot find the right words to express how your post has impacted me. I've agreed with most of what you've written throughout this blog, but this comment, DR, is beautiful and tragic and deep and so damn REAL. Thank you. Thank you..

        Peace.

        • vj

          Oooh, me too! It's been just wonderful reading all your comments (DR, I mean) on this thread – it's what keeps me coming back for more.

      • Gina Powers

        AWESOME post, DR–thank you!!!

      • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

        So well said. Thanks, DR.

      • patty

        DR, thank you for eloquently stating the frustrations many of us feel with the Christian extremists of this country. Please know you are not alone in your feelings. While we may not draw huge television audiences or crowds in public places, we are here, all the same. Perhaps that is the real fear in the hearts of the Christian Conservatives.

        • Diana A.

          You're probably right.

      • http://whythulc.wordpress.com Deanna

        DR… Your post is killer. It hit me right in the stomach.

        I grew up in a place just like that, where other religions are dangerous, liberal thinking is "losing your standards", and taboos about things like sex and drinking were so much a bedrock that by the time I finally got to the rest of the world I was so naive and ignorant.

        Anything less than perfect and improper and harmful "purity" is sin. And I struggle with that every day.

        You're not alone, and because of what you said I know I'm not alone. Thank you for posting.

        • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

          It's awfully brave to be willing to walk away from that. xoxo

      • Natalie

        "I honestly don’t know, but if I don’t really try, I’m going to end up just like you, just the other side of the coin. And I really don’t want to be there – that’s not where Jesus is."

        Absolutely right. Thank you for saying so.

    • Diana A.

      "Most pedophilia involves homosexual men with teenage boys."

      Boy are you ignorant–willfully, I imagine. You realize that you lost all credibility with that statement, don't you? Not that you had that much to begin with, but….

      • http://Etaya.wordpress.com Etaya

        Just to chime in with a personal observation. I worked in a state prison that housed convicted sex offenders and got them “treatment” (don’t get me started on the ways that we knew this wasn’t working) for several years after earning a degree in Criminology (Criminal Justice). From the time that I started college through the time that I left that job, over 70% of the population of that prison was S.O.s while 0% of the state women’s prison was S.O.s.

        I do not know their orientations but can personally attest to the fact that there were straight and gay men in there for these crimes. It was terrible reading the files on each of them in one building (100 men or so) and every file said “______ against 4 year old girl” “______ against 2 year old boy”, “_____ against 7 year old female family member” and so on. I was totally sick to my stomach by the time I was done.

        Personally, I have no problem with being judgmental and condemning each and every one of these men. They totally ruin the lives of their victims and so many more. And it has nothing to do with whether they prefer men or women, especially since, when given the choice, they would unrelentingly go for a small child over either gender (based on an extensive study a classmate of mine in college did).

        But to condemn law abiding people for loving each other, that is where I am struggling. I see the spectrum of how people of faith deal with homosexuality and so many of the stances are so out there. Either the people are heavily judgmental and push others (of all orientations) away with their legalistic zealotry, or they are so open to homosexuality that they do not ever have any constructive conversations about God and faith.

        As Christians, we are supposed to love our neighbors without judging them. I would love to see more people do just that.

        • Ace

          Women are less likely to sexually abuse children but it DOES happen sometimes. Most of them that do are heterosexual.

          Parents really just need to pay close attention to what is going on with their children, and anything that seems "off" shouldn't be dismissed outhand, instead of just going "oh well they're not around any of teh gheys so they must be safe!" which is stupid.

          • Diana A.

            This is true, especially the part about parents paying attention to what's going on with their kids.

            There was a man who lived next door to our family and who had said and done some incredibly insensitive things to my mom around the time my father passed away. Somehow, all this went over my head and I became friends with him anyway. I was forbidden to go into the house with him unless his wife was at home, because my family members didn't trust him (an understandable reaction.)

            Meantime, I was also friends with a neighbor boy, a contemporary of my siblings (keep in mind that all my siblings are between 8 and 13 years older than I am.) As it happened, he was the one who molested me.

            I eventually got around to telling my mother about it (after having experienced it a few times and deciding that it was gross and that I needed to stay away from him if I didn't want it to happen again.) My mother (from what she told me later–I don't remember actually telling her about the incidents) remained calm while I was talking about it ("Oh sweetie, it's too bad that happened to you but I'm proud of you for being brave and walking away from it,"–or words to that effect, like I say, I don't remember the conversation), and then, when I went off to go play, immediately proceeded to have hysterics. My siblings were firmly convinced that it was the man next door who had done this to me and wanted to exact appropriate vengeance upon him, but my mother was firm in letting them know that it wasn't him and that she wasn't going to tell them who it was, exactly because she didn't want them exacting revenge and ruining their own lives in the process.

            The moral of the story: Chester the Molester is not who you think he is. He's typically the last one you'd ever suspect of being a molester–and might not even be a he.

            The thing that would have protected me in that instance would have been knowing that I had the right to say no. That what this "friend" was asking of me was nothing that a true friend would have asked of a 6 or 7 year old girl and that I had the right to walk away from this "friendship" rather than doing what he asked of me.

            Anyway, my two cents.

    • Mitch Trigger

      The statement that "Conservative Christians help the poor" is an interesting one – in many different areas of the country where I've served in ministry, if the poor wanted help, they came to the good old mainstream churches. Only we were willing to give assistance simply based on need – if the same person went to one of the more conservative churches, they were turned away unless they were a member. A lovely form of evangelism, but not exactly what I believe Jesus had in mind..

      • http://etaya.wordpress.com Etaya

        Mitch Trigger…you have pulled it together so clearly. Thank you! I and my family have personally experienced this in action (Yes, this is another life story from me. Sorry)

        We (Hubby and I) were very active in a large church. We volunteered nearly every week in the church, helped with fundraisers, gave often, etc. Right before our daughter was born, I lost my job and right after he lost his. We continued to be active in the church, but let it be known among our "friends" what was going on. We tried for jobs and nothing was working out for us. My husband even applied for a job as part-time, overnight security for the church. With 15+ years of experience on his resume in that area alone, he didn't even get a call back. When he finally got an appointment to meet with the Senior Pastor, an influential businessman with connections in many businesses who we were hoping could give my hubby some contacts and a reference, my hubby was told that he hadn't been doing enough and that the pastor would pray for him. The pastor had no response to why my hubby hadn't gotten an interview for the job and would not give him any tangible contacts.

        In the end, we lost our home. As soon as people found out that we were *gasp* homeless, they backed away from us like we were lepers. People did not talk to us over coffee and treats after service. We were immediately outcast from our church "family." After 2 weeks of this, we left and never returned.

        We visited the church of a friend who thought that her pastor would help us. He told us that "no church would help us unless they knew us and trusted us." When did Jesus ever say anything like that? Other pastors heard our story and while we got lots of promises of prayers, there was never one that asked if or how they could help us, or provided us with any sort of assistance.

        And so our faith in organized churches has been tarnished. We received more support and care from non-Christians than our brethren.

    • CG

      Actually, it's mostly heterosexual men (married, involved in hetero relationships and otherwise appearing as heterosexuals) that molest boys. And girls (who's numbers are the greatest as far as gender molested).

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sV5PbrTySxY

      • berkshire

        This is excellent. Thanks for posting it.

      • http://allegro63.blogspot.com/ Sylvie Galloway

        What an amazing video. What is sad is that sexual abuse of children is happening in our own neighborhoods, every single day. Pick up your local paper, find the police blotter section, and see just whom has been arrested with felony child abuse. Talk to people at local agencies who deal with this tragic issue, and they will tell you that the facts on that video are absolutely correct.

        Gay marriage is not the real problem here. It isn't even a problem. It is the horrors of sexual child abuse that is willingly allowed to remain in the closet that is a real problem that we need to seriously start addressing.

      • Diana A.

        Thank you. This video is getting posted on my Facebook page.

    • Ace

      I agree with DR, you are a really really scary person. And I say that as a Christian.

  • http://blueberrypancakesfordinner.wordpress.com blueberrypancakesfor

    damn, i meant to say is this what a TEA BAGGER looks like?

    • John Parton

      Damn, you are just the flip side of the same coin

  • JoeJack

    D. Novak, you make the wildest accusations based on no facts at all, other then your spouting off at the mouth your opinions which are steeped in sensationalism and emotionalism. please stop with the tea party, conservative american christian bull shit and learn something!

  • G. Gifford

    Yes-speeding is sin. It means violating a law that does not conflict with God's law and it puts other people in danger. Romans 13:1-7 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.”

    This passage makes it abundantly clear that we are to obey the government God places over us. God created government to establish order, punish evil, and promote justice (Genesis 9:6; 1 Corinthians 14:33; Romans 12:8). We are to obey the government in everything—paying taxes, obeying rules and laws, and showing respect. If we do not, we are ultimately showing disrespect towards God, for He is the One who placed that government over us. When the apostle Paul wrote to the Romans, he was under the government of Rome during the reign of Nero, perhaps the most evil of all the Roman emperors. Paul still recognized the Roman government’s rule over him.

    Get out of that dumbed down pseudo-church and learn some doctrine.

    • John Parton

      I think you need to rethink this statement…

    • berkshire

      The government decided genocide of native Americans was OK, used to have laws denying women the right to vote, denying women the right to hold property, blacks should be segregated, inter-racial marriage should not be permitted, and took a host of other morally bankrupt stances. The government here in the US still does, in many arenas.

      So, those of us who defy government–including civil rights protesters and the suffrage movement–were immoral by your reasoning.

      Amazing.

      Read DR's post. You sound very much the same as the fellow she was addressing. Espcially where she said, "You’re using the church to be the parents that never parented you properly." And you're superimposing church onto state, making them the interchangeable authority figures you so desperately need.

      Quite sad, really.

    • Diana A.

      I worship Jesus, not Paul.

      Paul had some good points, but he was human, a mere mortal male–and was just as capable of making a stupid remark as anybody.

      So, you think the Germans during the time of Hitler were right in obeying Hitler instead of God?

      • John Parton

        I agree with you Diana…I believe more people worship Paul than worship Yeshua. Christianity should be renamed Paulinity because people who follow Christianity are actually following Paul and not Yeshua.

        • Ace

          In a lot of cases, this is very true. Paul, and his ghostwriter, deutero-Paul, left a lot of, well, junk in Christianity.

  • G. Gifford

    "The rate of homosexual versus heterosexual child sexual abuse is staggering." " (psychologist Eugene) Abel's data of 150.2 boys abused per male homosexual offender finds no equal (yet) in heterosexual violations of 19.8 girls."

    Dr. Judith Reisman, principal investigator for an $800,000 Justice Department grant studying child pornography and violence and president of the Institute for Media Education and author of numerous authoritative books debunking sexual myths, including "Kinsey, Crimes & Consequences."

    • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

      Thank you for posting this, but people like D Novak won't listen to this – they will simply write this off as "secular thinking".

      After I posted my last comment, an odd little prayer of one of my favorite saints popped into my mind: "Pray for those who cannot see the damage they do in the name of God. For not only do they possess the ability to see their wrongdoing, they believe their wrongdoing is holy. They are in twice as much darkness."

      • berkshire

        DR, I read this person as writing in support of what Novak said, unless I'm reading it wrong. They seem to be saying that there are more homosexual abusing children than heterosexuals. This is, by most legitimate sources I've read (and I've read A LOT of them), wildly inaccurate.

        The trouble is that people erroneously identify a male perpetrator who victimizes a male child as homosexual, simply by virtue of the same sex of the parties involved. This is their fundamental error. Pedophiles are attracted to children, plain and simple. That's what turns them on, not the gender of the child. There are many pedophiles, male and female, who abuse children of both sexes. It hasn't anything to do with their sexual orientation.

  • http://blueberrypancakesfordinner.wordpress.com blueberrypancakesfor

    DR..thank you for this…i wish i could give you a hug right now…

    this is so right on!

  • Troy

    “….they want an easy, innocent target to manipulate to make themselves feel big and powerful….”

    So pedophiles are like blog-trolls…

    • Susan

      L…..O…..L!!!! Priceless.

    • Susan

      Blogophile?

  • JoeJack

    DR, which of the Saints said that? LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!!!! also DR. i LOVE your previous comment! you are one profound writer!

    • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

      I visited a place called Medjugorje and it was something Mary said (allegedly). I've never, ever forgotten it. Probably because I'm one of those people more often than not.

  • Beverly Lewis

    In 1814, Sir John David Michaelis wrote his four-volume Commentaries on the Law of Moses. In it he explains why sodomy is considered the worst of all vices in a society and that a nation which once embraces it is most likely not to escape from its powerful, consuming grasp.

    “If we reflect on the dreadful consequences of sodomy to a state, and on the extent to which this abominable vice may be secretly carried on and spread, we cannot, on the principles of sound policy, consider the punishment as too severe. For if it once begins to prevail, not only will boys be easily corrupted by adults, but also by other boys; nor will it ever cease; more especially as it must thus soon lose all its shamefulness and infamy and become fashionable and the national taste; and then . . . national weakness, for which all remedies are ineffectual, most inevitably follow; not perhaps in the very first generation, but certainly in the course of the third or fourth. . . . To these evils may be added yet another, viz. that the constitutions of those men who submit to this degradation are, if not always, yet very often, totally destroyed, though in a different way from what is the result of whoredom. Whoever, therefore, wishes to ruin a nation, has only to get this vice introduced; for it is extremely difficult to extirpate it where it has once taken root because it can be propagated with much more secrecy . . . and when we perceive that it has once got a footing in any country, however powerful and flourishing, we may venture as politicians to predict that the foundation of its future decline is laid and that after some hundred years it will no longer be the same . . . powerful country it is at present.”

    and…

    William Blackstone, an English jurist whom the Founders quoted at length, noted in his Commentaries on the English Law :

    “What has been here observed . . . [the fact that the punishment fit the crime] ought to be the more clear in proportion as the crime is the more detestable, may be applied to another offence of a still deeper malignity; the infamous crime against nature committed either with man or beast. A crime which ought to be strictly and impartially proved and then as strictly and impartially punished . . .. I will not act so disagreeable part to my readers as well as myself as to dwell any longer upon a subject the very mention of which is a disgrace to human nature [sodomy]. It will be more eligible to imitate in this respect the delicacy of our English law which treats it in its very indictments as a crime not fit to be named; ‘peccatum illud horribile, inter christianos non nominandum ‘ (that horrible crime not to be named among Christians). A taciturnity observed likewise by the edict of Constantius and Constans: ‘ ubi scelus est id, quod non proficit scire, jubemus insurgere leges, armari jura gladio ultore, ut exquisitis poenis subdantur infames, qui sunt, vel qui futuri sunt, rei ‘ (where that crime is found, which is unfit even to know, we command the law to arise armed with an avenging sword that the infamous men who are, or shall in future be guilty of it, may undergo the most severe punishments). (Quoted in David Barton, Homosexuals and the Military: An Historical Perspective , p.3, Wallbuilders, 1993, Aledo, TX,)

    and of course

    •1 Cor. 6:9-10, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

    You see, people who tell you sin is not sin are not your friends and don’t care about you. Remember the words “You shall not surely die.”

    • vj

      But it's not the job of the state to convict people of their sin – that's up to the Holy Spirit. The job of the state is to provide equal rights/protection under law to all citizens (allowing for special provisions for children and others considered not able to give informed consent to whatever). Extending the civil benefits of marriage to same-sex couples does not redefine sin…

      I'm also not sure that 200-year old commentaries should be the basis of modern legislation. Societies and cultures morph over time – what, for example, do Michaelis and Blackstone have to say about women voting and/or serving in the military?

      • George P.

        New International Version (©1984)

        A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear women's clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this.

        This is speaking about women dressing as warriors. I don't know what Michaelis and Blackstone thought about it but as you see God was not very big on it. Putting women in combat situations flys in the face of morality and common sense. It's a sign of just how sick and twisted we're become as a society. No-women are not designed for combat and they CAN'T fight as well as men. As a matter of fact, they can't fight well at all.

        • http://dianer.blogspot.com DR

          Do you believe women should wear pants?

    • Diana A.

      @ Beverly Lewis:

      I’d be interested to know which translation of the Bible you’re using. The reason is that it is apparently a somewhat “old school” translation.

      Up until oh, I think it was someplace in the last century, the word “effeminate” or a synonym thereof was used as the translation for “μαλακοι.” Then, when women started being regarded as people and just as worthy as men, that word was no longer considered appropriate and a search for alternatives was underway.

      If you pop that word into the Google translator by itself, the English translation which comes up is “common.” If you pop the entire verse in there, what you get is: ”oidate the essential injustice that kingdom of God klironomisousin not deceived neither pornography nor idolaters nor adulterers nor soft nor arsenokoitai….”

      Admittedly, not the best translation. I so need to go back to school and study Biblical Greek. But the point is that the word which comes up is “soft,” which makes sense given that a variant of the word “μαλακοι” , “μαλακοις” is used by Jesus in both Matt. 11:8 & Luke 7:25.

      Matthew 11:8 (1550 Stephanus New Testament)–”αλλα τι εξηλθετε ιδειν ανθρωπον εν μαλακοις ιματιοις ημφιεσμενον ιδου οι τα μαλακα φορουντες εν τοις οικοις των βασιλεων εισιν”

      Luke 7:25 (1550 Stephanus New Testament)–αλλα τι εξεληλυθατε ιδειν ανθρωπον εν μαλακοις ιματιοις ημφιεσμενον ιδου οι εν ιματισμω ενδοξω και τρυφη υπαρχοντες εν τοις βασιλειοις εισιν.

      So it makes sense to translate the terms “malakoi” or “malakois” as “soft,” since the word “soft” makes sense both as a character description (as used in 1 Corinthians 6:9) and as a description of clothing (its use in Matthew 11:8 & Luke 7:25.)

      Now lets turn to the other term, the word your translation of the bible shows as “homosexuals” which shows up in our Google translations as “arsenokoitai.” (1 Corinthians 6:9 [1550 Stephanus New Testament]–”η ουκ οιδατε οτι αδικοι βασιλειαν θεου ου κληρονομησουσιν μη πλανασθε ουτε πορνοι ουτε ειδωλολατραι ουτε μοιχοι ουτε μαλακοι ουτε αρσενοκοιται….”)

      From “Claiming the Promise” by Mary Jo Osterman: “William Countryman says the word arsenokoitai meant males (free or slave) who used their sexual attractiveness to ingratiate themselves with rich and elderly lovers (male or female.) The arsenokoitai’s motivation was a hope of replacing more legitimate heirs (at least, from the patriarchy’s point of view) and thus receiving a substantial economic legacy. Other scholars offer other views.”

      In other words, the term “arsenokoitai” is even less cut and dried than the terms “malakoi” or “malakois.” Moreover, it appears that “arsenokoitai” is more a form of prostitution, and not just male on male prostitution either.

      The point I’m making here is: isn’t it better to err on the side of love and mercy toward gay people, going under the assumption that God might not regard homosexuality as a sin, than to err on the side of hatred and punishment?

      • John Parton

        What is the error in translation in the account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah?

        • Diana A.

          Hi John!

          The error regarding Sodom and Gomorrah is not in the translation but in the interpretations some give to the event.

          People too often focus on the homosexual element, when in fact, the focus needs to be on the rape element. Those men who came knocking at Lot's door weren't interested in consensual sexual relations with the visitors. They were interested in raping the visitor's–more than likely for the same reason prisoners rape other prisoners, or for that matter, that rapists in general rape–not out of sexual desire but a desire to show dominance over the visitors.

          The way the ancient Hebrews saw this and the way Jesus saw this, was that it was rank inhospitality (to say the least!) (Some Biblical references, if you're interested: Deuteronomy 29:22-23; Isaiah 1:9-17; Isaiah 13:19; Jeremiah 50:39-40; Ezekiel 16:46-50; Amos 4:11; Zephaniah 2:8-11; Wisdom of Solomon 19:13-14 [not Canonical, but included because it is part of the Jewish writings even if it wasn't canonized]; Matthew 10:5-15; Luke 10:8-12; 2 Peter 2:4-10; and Jude 7) One simply does not go around raping the visitors to one's town. It's not the done thing.

          This is why Lot is considered to be the good guy in this piece. He put the welfare of his guests above his own welfare (he went outside and confronted the men of the town alone) and that of his daughters (not so cool, but not surprising either given male attitudes toward women back in the day–besides which, they got their revenge in Genesis 19:30-38.)

          Does this answer your question?

  • http://craigbenno1.wordpress.com Craig Benno

    I have blogged about my struggles as a Christian concerning the banning of gay marriage. You can read my blog post here

    http://craigbenno1.wordpress.com/2010/08/13/strug

  • George P.

    Mitch Trigger

    In 2000, households headed by a conservative gave, on average, 30 percent more money to charity than households headed by a liberal ($1,600 to $1,227). This discrepancy is not simply an artifact of income differences; on the contrary, liberal families earned an average of 6 percent more per year than conservative families, and conservative families gave more than liberal families within every income class, from poor to middle class to rich.

    If we look at party affiliation instead of ideology, the story remains largely the same. For example, registered Republicans were seven points more likely to give at least once in 2002 than registered Democrats (90 to 83 percent).

    The differences go beyond money and time. Take blood donations, for example. In 2002, conservative Americans were more likely to donate blood each year, and did so more often, than liberals. If liberals and moderates gave blood at the same rate as conservatives, the blood supply in the United States would jump by about 45 percent.

    • http://dianer.blogspot.com DR

      As a point of debate, it's important to list a citation when providing specific data like this. Just so people know where you're coming from.

      • Susan

        @DR The economist that did the research, (Arthur C. Brooks) is currently serving as president for the American Enterprise Institute, an organization that seems very conservative-oriented. I'd be interested to see if you agree with my take on it, DR. The website is: http://www.aei.org.

        • http://dianer.blogspot.com DR

          Ah. The Tea Party guy, I'm familiar. Good catch.

    • Susan

      @George P.

      The economist behind the statistics you shared, Arthur C. Brooks, is a recognized voice in the Tea Patry Movement and the president of the American Enterprise Institute, a DC-based organization that promotes Republican ideals (as indicated by a quick review of the orgs website.)

      Do you have statistics from a more objective source to back the findings you cited? They may be valid, but I'm sure you can understand why I, and others, are skeptical.

      Thanks.

      • http://dianer.blogspot.com DR

        Stats are stats and while I'd actually be open to hearing data gathered from conservative resources, once you said Arthur Brooks I dismissed it. He's a volatile, dangerous individual.

  • George P.

    "So, those of us who defy government–including civil rights protesters and the suffrage movement–were immoral by your reasoning."

    We are commanded to obey our earthly rulers in all things that don't conflict with God's laws. This is why cops often use the term "democrat" as a slang word for criminal. A common radio transmission is "Send backup-I'm pulling over a blue sedan with four democrats."

  • George P.

    And one more…

    People living in conservative states volunteer more than people in liberal states. In 2003, the residents of the top five “Bush states” were 51 percent more likely to volunteer than those of the bottom five, and they volunteered an average of 12 percent more total hours each year. Residents of these Republican-leaning states volunteered more than twice as much for religious organizations, but also far more for secular causes. For example, they were more than twice as likely to volunteer to help the poor.

    • Diana A.

      Luke, Chapter 14, New International Version

      "9To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood up and prayed about[a] himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'

      13"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'

      14"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

      • George P.

        Don't know what your point is. The only point is that, in spite of what Mitch Trigger and others wrote, it's conservatives who walk the walk-not libs. Libs are more in to taking than giving.

        And-

        “So, those of us who defy government–including civil rights protesters and the suffrage movement–were immoral by your reasoning.”

        We are commanded to obey our earthly rulers in all things that don’t conflict with God’s laws. That's what Christ meant when he said: "Then give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's." —Luke 20:25

        • Diana A.

          It's just that your laundry list of all the ways in which conservatives are superior to liberals reminded me of the Pharisee at his prayers.

    • http://dianer.blogspot.com DR

      Would you please provide a source for this? Thanks.

    • http://dianer.blogspot.com DR

      With all due respect, the money generated by private donations and volunteering certainly does something and is beneficial on a number of levels. but in comparison to the money generated by taxes? It's nothing. Who you vote for and his or her approach to taxation and where that money goes toward supporting the widows and orphans is far more impactful than voluntary giving in a macro sense.

  • Frank D.

    DR-you have no right to force other people to take care of widows and orphans. If I robbed you at gunpoint and then gave what I took to the poor, would that be ok? Stealing is wrong, even for the government. Nowhere in scripture are we instructed to confiscate other people's money and use it for charity. You libs are always saying that we should not legislate morality but you have no problem forcing others to be generous with money they earned! Nowhere in the constitution does the government have the authority to take money from one citizen and give it to another. If it does, why not just have the government take all money and distribute it as it sees fit. That's called communism. But you probably like that idea, don't you. What makes slavery so evil is not how slaves are treated. What makes it evil is that they are denied the fruits of their labor. People who live under a communist government are slaves. And it doesn't work. That's why the poor people in the US are typically overweight while all but the tiny number of elite in North Korea are starving.

    • http://dianer.blogspot.com DR

      Frank,

      That really has nothing to do with my point since paying taxes is something that in fact, Jesus said we honor. So to twist it into "confiscating" funds is a very typical response from people who want to legislate morality out of the name of Jesus, but fight tooth and nail legislating taking care of the poor, something Jesus talked about more than almost anything as being a priority.

      Funny how they are the heroic government when they are providing you loop holes as a CEO to get out of your taxes or when they pass a law that makes sure a married couple can't take care of one another at a hospital when the other might be dying, but things become a Communist system when it's suggested you might have to open up your wallet a little bit.

      It's kind of become fascinating watching those of you try to justify it (it's not justifiable, by the way). . It's always fascinating to see so many Christians do that, you're the first one out of the gate to want to prevent the gays from getting married through legislation but when it comes to your precious money? No way, all of the sudden the mandate Jesus gave us in taking care of the widows and the orphans becomes mandatory.

      I think it's hilarious that you'd suggest I "love" communism because I'm one of the 3% in this country who is in a particular income bracket that's paying the majority of taxes. Taxes impact me way way more than the average American. And I'm cool with it – I'd pay more if I knew that kids with parents on welfare were able to get dental care. That's taking care of people who are vulnerable, and when the vulnerable are cared for we benefit as a nation overall. It's so creepy to watch Christians just simply lose your sh*t over it!

      But guess what – it's not your money. None of it. Nor is it mine. It's all given to you by God. You don't earn it, you're blessed with it. Relax your grip on it a little. We all are. So relax a little, no one is taking your precious money away. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

      • http://dianer.blogspot.com DR

        That should read, "No way, all of the sudden the mandate Jesus gave us in taking care of the widows and the orphans becomes 'evil'."

      • http://kenreads.wordpress.com wken

        DR, this is a wonderful comment.

        Someday, I'd like to have someone explain to me why it's vital that the government impose anti-gay standards that Jesus never mentioned but evil for the government to take care of the poor, which He did.

        Thus far, I've never gotten that explanation, even from real-life friends.

  • Frank D.

    Just do a search. There are many sources. Here is one:

    Syracuse University professor Arthur Brooks, the author of "Who Really Cares," says that "when you look at the data, it turns out the conservatives give about 30 percent more." He adds, "And incidentally, conservative-headed families make slightly less money."

    Consider two people, Brooks suggests in his book: One goes to church every week and believes it's not the government's job to reduce the amount of inequality in America. The other doesn't attend church and believes the government must rectify economic injustice. Similar in every other way, which of these people gives more to charity?

    The churchgoer, Brooks concludes, is twice as likely to give money. What's more, she will give 100 times as much. And not just to her house of worship: She will give 50 times more to nonreligious charities, too.

    • http://dianer.blogspot.com DR

      "Do your research" tends to translate into "I'm posting statistics that are as likely to be true as me winning the lottery today."

      Frank? Nice chatting with you. You're dismissed.

    • Matthew Tweedell

      Purdue University former-student Matthew Tweedell, the author of a couple of poems back in elementary school that his parents and teachers said were pretty good, says that "when you look at the data, it turns out that the likelihood that Frank D. and George P. are secretly lovers is 30% less than the likelihood that they are one and the same person."

      • Diana A.

        I was thinking the same thing!


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