A Christian Vents Against Gays (and Me!)

This “comment,” reprinted here as written, just came in to my post, “Christians: When It Comes to Homosexuality, Man Up.”

It’s … everything it represents, in a nutcase shell. (And can someone please tell me what fundamentalist ranters have against the Return key?) [Update! Now with added-by-me, randomly placed paragraph breaks, so it won't remain the solid wall of text it came in as.]

Wow, for an author to claim that this is “logical” thinking seriously disturbs me! This article [which, again, is "Christians: When It Comes to Homosexuality, Man Up"] is completely illogical and disappointing that such idiocy would be asserted as advice for Christians!

This article enforces dangerous lies. The propostion that homosexuality is a sin to be overcome is in no way illogical, but rather, spot on with the teachings in the Bible. This proposition does not “completely ignore the crucial, absolute difference between homosexuality and the other sins!” The author has made a jump without bridging logic! Oh wait…This sin is categorically divided from the others because it “doesn’t hurt anyone!” This is laughable. Our morals are not based on relativism! Our morals are Biblically based in faith of the ONE TRUE GOD. Our morals are not subjective based on conviction.

For example, read Romans 1, which is one example of the many Biblical teaching against homosexuality. Okay, for the nonbelievers (and what appears as, those who claim to be believers that disregard truth for truth), before your roll your eyes, remember, that darkness hates the light. As you read these words, as you read Romans 1, you will probably shudder, shrug off the conviction. Regardless of what Christians today hold acceptable: materialism, superficiality IS BESIDES THE POINT, a worthless debate at that. Talk about beating a dead horse!

The real debate is this sick justification for homosexuality – sin is sin and it’s just love. Just some words of wisdom: You better check yourself, before you wreck yourself. The author claims he is a Christian, but he wants to “take the Bible out of the equation” and determine “what grounds is there for determining that homosexuality is wrong?” This is absolutely ludicrous..Who gets hurt? Really…How is this a justification? I hesitate to divulge this question for fear that I am feeding this lie, as if, there is any reason the question is valid in the first place! However, I’ll digress generally – at least one may recognize that this IS a sin. Therefore, if a Christian chooses to walk in sin, he or she will lead others to stumble.

If you’re a Christian with homosexual tendencies or wrapped up in that lifestyle, read Mark 9:42-50. Also, if you’re a Christian you are giving Satan a foothold in your life. Regardless, as Christians we must strive for holiness and purity – Hey! I didn’t say it, God did. If you’re a Christian and you’re mulling over this ridiculous blog as being true, read the Bible and find out what God says. Don’t rely on man for reason. Finally, if you’re a homosexual and you do not know Christ as your Savior, read Romans 1. The recompense for this vice is death (not in the sense that we are all going to die as mortals, but spiritual death – separation from God, and even more sugar coated, hell. This isn’t a warning for homosexuals, but ALL people who do not know Christ as Lord. I didn’t say it, God did. I stand by these truths. And if this makes you uncomfortable, c’est la vie. This author has DIMITTEDLY (made up word) redefined sin as: first, “manifestly causing harm.” Then, drawing the conclusion from thin air, without evidentiary support that homosexuality “shoulldn’t be classified as sin. He claims to be a Christian, but outrightly disregards Biblical fact. HUGE FAIL and a sorry attempt to justify sexual immorality.

 

This “Christian” blogger, even goes as far to discourage Christians from upholding Biblical standards down to this illogical train of thought. “it’s high time Christians were honest about the fact that asserting that homosexuals should stop acting homosexual necessarily means asserting that they should spend their lives never knowing the loving intimacy with another that straight people enjoy and know to be the best and richest experience in life. Asking a homosexual to give up homosexual love isn’t at all like asking him to give up booze, or greed, or any other such negative thing. It’s asking him to give up love.” This is a dangerous assertion for the Christian community, especially if people are such insensitive to what is holy and true. The family is ordained by God from the beginning in Genesis. And just in case, you Christians haven’t inferred this from scripture, look up what God says about the homosexual lifestyle. (Whether or not I am judgmental, is irrelevant. This is not the sin of topic. We are discussing homosexuality. This is a sad adversion people use during debate when they see their side is dwindling against the truth. Stay on topic!)

The author sadly attempts to get sympathy from the reader because, “if he listened to the advice from the Christian community – NO the Bible, he would be all alone.” This is asserting that the Bible does not offer advice on celibacy. Sometimes, it is better for him or her not to marrry! This is without sound justification. You are not alone. God is with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do right in the sight of God. This may be a self sacrifice, but homosexuals are NOT called to a life of sin! The author says, “remaining as sinless as possible would mean never knowing love of the sort that all straight people, Christian or not, understand as pretty much the best thing life has to offer.” Know the love of God before the love man (or in some cases, woman) has to offer! I almost puked, when I read “…which is that gay and lesbian men and women should spend their lives never experiencing what people most commonly mean when they use the word “love.”

When, all along, the Bible repeatedly, emphatically, and explicitly tells us that God is love.” Like, Revelation 3:16, I can’t imagine God’s reaction to this distortation and pervsion of the truth. Finally, the author takes a low blow, “no matter how many logic-challenged pastors daring to call themselves compassionate Bible lovers claim they’re not.” This blogger provides absolutely NO biblical foundation and lacks biblical criteria. Do not base your level of morality on this wacko (I’m sorry, misled blogger). Spreading lies really makes me sad :(. If I’m going to follow Biblical advice, I will uphold the institution of marriage between a man and a woman. I am thankful that truth prevailed at the polls regarding proposition 8. For those of you who think you are intellectual because you’re complicated or you’re more interested in the gray than black and white and you claim to be a Christian, the Bible upholds absolute truths. God is a not a God of confusion. Figure out what you believe and stand strong. Do not cause other men to stumble. You have the truth in you! You will be held accountable!

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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. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • http://N/A Joan Odom

    “…check yourself before you wreck yourself?” Is that a Zig Ziglar gem? Ha! Methinks the ferret has rabies…

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ sdgalloway

    Ok, that was really hard to read. Small word of advice. There is this lovely writing tool called a paragraph. It keeps all the sentences neatly organized and easier for the reader to follow.

    Second, this commenter offers no solution, no hope, not much in the way of encouragement to the many gay and Christian people out there. It is more of the same that is heard over and over, as to how they are sinners, and need to stop, and their hopes and dreams don’t matter as much as doing things the ‘traditional” way.

    The Mark reference, is rather interesting, because it makes me wonder how many anti-gay people act more as a stumbling block to our LGBT brothers and sisters instead of people willing to help pave the way to that loving relationship to God.

    I also find it interesting that the same passage in Romans 1 keeps getting quoted utterly ignoring the passage at the end of the chapter, (vs 29-31). As Paul is writing to Christians, and this passage is about Christians, it gives me pause when I see an earlier verse with the caveat that Paul is saying Christians would never do such things….uhm.. There is plenty of slander, and gossip and dissent, etc etc in the church. I don’t see anti-gossip campaigns, political action committees, referendums on state ballots to eradicate gossip or Christian arrogance. Why the fixation on the other, which may or may not be what some assume at all?

  • http://blueberrypancakesfordinner.wordpress.com/ Erika

    offs. this made baby jesus cry

  • Marcelo

    Somebody had a holy-cup-of-joe too many today. Sheesh.

  • http://williamgcook.wordpress.com William

    Friend, I ask that you set aside your bias, and really think about the position that our gay brothers and sisters are put in when we close ourselves to the idea that they just might in as much right as we believe ourselves to be in.

    Please, read what this man has to say. I think he mentions some very strong (and yes, Biblical) truths about same sex relationships, and how God may actually bless them as he does opposite sex ones.

    http://www.gaychristian.net/justins_view.php

    I understand your concern, but please make note that love is not shown by man who condemns the other and claims ‘just love’. Only God can make those calls, and ultimately, Jesus will be the one who decides such. Let’s not fall into the temptation of fear that anything outside of the literal (and often times misunderstood or mistranslated) Greek/Hebrew texts. We are learning new things about the culture of the early church and the language they used each and every day, to claim that what we know now as absolute truth when even that has changed great amounts since early translations and from each translation to the next is just as dangerous as what you claim John’s (and many of his readers’) ideas are.

  • Kara K

    There are a few gems in there: ‘whether or not I am judgmental is irrelevant’.

    The phrase ‘mislead blogger’ echoed back with ‘that’s Mister Lead Blogger to you’.

    And my absolute favorite: ‘ Figure out what you believe and stand strong. ‘ Hey, I did that! I figured out that I believe God cares about us treating each other with love and compassion a lot more than he cares about what we do behind closed doors.

  • chris

    Whatever else you might say about this post I do think the bible (Hebrew and Christian books) condemns homosexuality. This is one of many reasons I no longer regard the bible as reliable. There is too much fancy footwork required to have the bible say anything else. I think it comes from a kind of cultural conditioning in the church that requires the bible to hold an unquestioned place of authority (even if you don’t believe it is inerrant). The bible (Yes, NT too) condemns homosexuality. To say otherwise is to have a fantasy relationship with the book. It is therefore reasonable, if you consider the bible to be the basis of your faith, to make arguments like the quoted person above. I just think that having the bible as the basis of your faith is too problematic.

  • Derek

    “Darkness hates the light” indeed.

    I pray that no gay teenager ever has to endure this person as a parent.

  • Marcelo

    I agree, Chris, which is why I consider such a stance as tantamount to bibliolatry. It’s far easier to rely blindly on a book than to exercise your head and your conscience.

  • Heather Leigh

    I dont know about everyone else out there, but I cant see how a relationship with God, no matter how strong it may be, could possibly be an equivalent replacement for an intimate relationship with another person. And why would these certain people be picked out of the crowd to only be allowed to have a relationship with God, and abstain from a romantic, intimate relationship with an actual person? I’m a lesbian. I was raised christian. I have experienced some awesome spiritually filled times in my life, but NONE of those moments compare to the beauty and unspeakable happiness I feel when I am wrapped in my wife’s arms. I know for a fact that I wouldnt be the person I am if it werent for the influence she’s had in my life and what i’ve been able to achieve with her love and support. I know God’s love can do all those things too, but why should I only be allowed that and not the life-changing love I share with my wife as well? Why is the majority of the world allowed to enjoy a life filled with BOTH God’s love and the love of a spouse?

  • eydie

    “I can’t imagine God’s reaction to this distortation and pervsion (sic) of the truth.”

    No. You. Can’t.

  • RayC

    Thank God he didn’t write it all in caps!

    This guy says nothing new. He uses the Bible to put forth his own personal bias against homosexuals, just like many have done to justify their hatred of Jews, like Christians have been doing for thousands of years. He is one of many. This is a good example of the hermeneutic lassitude in the Bible. You can pretty much get anything out of it that you want to. This ranter is a ranter in a long line of ranters and a rather beige one, at that.

  • plasmaphase

    In all fairness (and debate aside) it wouldn’t hurt to make references to the bible a bit more often to back up thoughts/ideas/points.

  • Susan G.

    Why is it so hard for “Christians” to remember that the Jews who issued the fatwa against Jesus did it because they were absolutely positive they were doing exactly what God ordered them to do in the bible (OK, the Torah, but you get the drift).

    Same mistake; different issue.

  • Amy

    I agree. I think sometimes those of us who have done some research and come to certain conclusions about a different interpretation of certain scriptures can forget that those who disagree probably didn’t the memo. I know for me it was a long process of reading many different books/essays on the subject.

    It can all sound a bit “I just believe it ’cause I do”. I accept that someone who disagrees may want some more info into how I came to my understanding of scripture.

  • Amy

    I got part way through before getting dizzy from the lack of paragraphs.

  • Suz

    +1 !

    Lead the way, Mister Lead Blogger!

  • http://www.BuzzDixon.com buzz

    I’m going to be a bit contrarian & say that while the author of the above misses the main point, s/he does raise a number of side points that bear addressing.

    S/he is correct insofar that sin is not determined solely by how any given act harms someone else; I can blaspheme, dishonor my parents, worship idols and/or false gods, & covet to my heart’s content behind closed doors w/o harming anyone but that doesn’t make those activities any less of a sin.

    (In fact, if one takes the position a sin is any attitude or action that further separates the sinner from God, then all sin does indeed harm someone: The sinner hizzownsef. But that’s not what the poster seemed to be getting at…)

    As John has pointed out, the nature of homosexual orientation is that it precludes one from have an intimate emotional bonding with members of the opposite sex; it does not preclude them from being capable of expressing love & desire intimate companionship.

    To reach people like the poster (or at least to reach people who like the poster have been exposed to a specific interpretation of Biblical truths; this particular poster seems to have his/her mind made up), one needs to be able to point out why the Bible itself is not what’s standing in the way of accepting gays as fellow brothers & sisters in Christ.

    Just as God is no respecter of persons — kings & knaves, Jews & Gentiles, male & female, free & slave are all loved equally by Him — neither should we as Christians. As God does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, size, or physical infirmity, neither should we. Homosexual orientation increasingly seems to be an innate condition, not one consciously acquired (although there are pure hedonists who are not looking for emotional intimacy but just physical jollies, regardless of the partner/s gender); as such it does not seem to be a valid basis for excluding someone from Christian fellowship.

    Others — “meat eating Christians” as Paul would have put it — are able to understand what we’re getting at when we look past specific legalisms towards the underlying core truths of the Bible; the “baby food Christians” need to have that spelled out for them.

    It may seem redundant & time consuming, and in many cases it will probably have no effect, but it never hurts to include Biblical justification.

  • http://www.BuzzDixon.com buzz

    Nah, they did it because they were afraid of losing their jobs.

    Seriously.

  • Suz

    “Hey! I didn’t say it, God did. ” Really? I’ve heard that rumor too.

  • http://skerrib.blogspot.com skerrib

    I’m with Amy–I got about halfway through and then gave up.

    Awesome badger, John. I think you need to add some foam around its teeny little canines, and you’ll have it down perfectly.

  • http://www.nathantaylor.net.au Rabid_womble

    I second that. While living in denial (trying to live out the celibate life this commentator so blithely ordains on a significant minority of the population) I was a bit of a bastard (as you would be if you used most your emotional and mental energy to keep yourself in denial). It wasn’t until I had the courage to live the life God created me for that I could appreciate what love actually meant.

    Being married to my husband (we are whatever the law says) I’ve experienced love for the first time in my life. Sure, it was there in the past but I couldn’t accept it in my heart (after all, I spent so much time in denial there wasn’t the capacity to comprehend it). Now, I can and do, experience a great deal of love in my life. In fact, life is both worth living and the Christian walk makes sense.

    I’d suspect that the commentator who is the subject of this blog has not really experienced love (not the romantic sexual love but the deeper sense of connection that can exist between people). Otherwise he wouldn’t be so definitively an arsehole (in the literal sense).

  • beidir

    It always amuses me to hear someone define their ‘Christian’ life through the various words and interpretations of the many authors of the bible.

    If you want to chastise homosexuals based on Mark … chastise heterosexuals based on Paul … and, for your own sake don’t read ‘The Secret Gospel of Mark’ … You see, biblical point of view depends on which human writer was on their A Game, on a given day (who’s idea was in favor that day)

    It would be nice for everyone to seek their own place in/with God, rather than waste their spirit trying to tell others why they should be kept away.

  • Richard W. Fitch

    OK, I agree that both the Torah and the Christian Scripture “condemns homosexuality”. What we are failing to ask is on what grounds and in what context. The Lev. verses that are among favorite “clobber passages” also are part of the larger Purity Code. For the moment, let’s not bring up the food laws. They are specifically retracted for Gentile Christians. But in this same set of injunctions is a ‘law’ not to wear garments of woolen and linen yarn combined. What??!!?? Some of these commands were meant to set the Israelite tribes apparent from the pagans of the land. But also there are many which were intended to preserve order and the propagation of the tribes. If you do a careful reading, everyone of the sexual injunctions fall easily into one or the other or both of these categories. As far as “homosexuality” is concerned the whole idea did not appear until the emergence of scientific psychology in the mid-1800′s. From a pragmatic point it is difficult to propagate a unique ethnic tribe from same-gender romantic and physical pairings.

    Perhaps an equally important issue is to observe that without exception, as far as I have found in my personal study, every time same-gender physical-sexual activity is condemned is within the context of idolatrous worship practices – in Lev. it is Moloch; in Rom. is it the many fertility cults (and one of the few occasions where women are noted). Furthermore is Paul’s implication that both the men and the women “abandoned natural relations” and were filled with lusts for one another. Did the practice natural relations originally or eschew they completely from the outset. That is a continuing point of scholarly dispute. Finally we must remember that Paul was prone to condemn sexual activity in toto; the Kingdom of God was at hand; remain celebate; but rather than burn marry if you must.

  • Michael Rowe

    Someone is having a very hard with his Exodus International home study course, methinks.

  • Michael Rowe

    No, seriously. This is why I’m always truly horrified and repulsed by American Evangelicals. They’re missing whichever part of their brain chemistry would otherwise allow them to think rationally and in context, and to parse. They’re so depressing.

  • Mari

    So… is anyone else stuck on the horrible, horrible formatting of that comment? LINE BREAKS WERE INVENTED FOR A REASON, DUDE. USE THEM.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

    You know what? I’ll go put some graph breaks in there. I left it as is, because … oh, who cares. I’ll go put some breaks in there.

  • http://allmyeggsinoneblog.wordpress.com/ Monica

    Alright, first and formost, I think the poster is more like a wolverine with rabies than a ferret. A ferret at least can touch it’s own tail.

    That being said, he needs to calm down. What you said wasn’t illogical, or even attached to some absurd thought of relativism. I’m going to make some people mad(I think), but let’s be honest. A good bit of scriptures, when brought into the light of “basic morality”, fall horribly short. In the Old Testament there is stoning a girl who was raped…because she didn’t call out loud enough(seriously, wtf). In the New Testament there is Paul telling slaves in Ephesians 6 to obey their masters. Not to try and buy their freedom, but just be happy in slavery(again, wtf).

    In this place I like to call “the real world”, there is a code of ethics that we are to follow. Or should follow, I guess. We are not to attempt to push against people who are like us in everyway, but they love someone of the same sex(I love both of them so ha!). Instead we should accept them and validate them as much as we can. And when I say we, I mean humanity. But it should go without speaking that the Christian church should do the same. But sadly in the American Evangelical Chuch, it is not so by any means. SDGalloway pointed it out perfectly: there are all this “anti-gay” groups but there aren’t any anti-gossping, anti-adultery, or even anti-child diddling groups backed by the church. Which leads me to believe with all my heart that this is nothing more than a power grab. It is easy to hate or loathe something you have never done or have no intention of doing. Even easier to demonize people who “do”.But as with any group of people bordering on delusional martyrdom, it’s just easier to blame “the other”. It’s hard to look within yourself, and own up to your own junk. Because if you do that, you might actually be quiet when someone is crying because they just had their door shot down because they are gay. You might start seeing them as HUMAN. And apparently, that isn’t what folks like whatshisname wants. They want a scapegoat for why things are going wrong. They want some outside menace to draw them all together, instead of letting goodwill and compassion do the work.

    They want to be on heaven’s VIP list, but don’t want to actually do the legwork. Because it would require a relationship with “people” instead of the list of “things” that they are to say that they are against.

    And I think that is what ultimately caused me to leave the church. The refusal to own up to the true problem, and the ease that blaming the gays can rile up a group of people. And it breaks my heart. Because while they are doing this, they are only hurting more people. It is akin to an abusive sibling.

    Maybe I am totally off base here as the Token Humanist, but I think that very problem is going to lead to the ultimate destruction of Christianity, or at least another schism. Because some folks are just so freaked out by gay folks that they would probally put themselves in a hetrosexual compound just not to talk to them. But we don’t bite…unless you ask nicely.

  • Suz

    How did you figure out where to put them?

    It still doesn’t make any sense, but it does look better. ;D

  • http://www.shadsie.deviantart.com Shadsie

    Hmm.

    The Bible itself is more “gray” than a lot of people think it is.

    Black and White thinking is for toddlers.

  • http://amandajustice.blogspot.com Amanda

    Bless you for that, John. It’s still dreck, but at least one can read it and only wish to fling things due to the content rather than both that and the formatting.

  • chris

    The points you are making are part of the current christian spin on the issue. I think the concept of a “man lying with another man as a man does with a woman” is fairly clear, and I don’t think Paul was making a fundamentally different point.

  • Carolyn

    I agree with what you say, except that this problem will lead to the destruction of Christianity. As true Christianity is following the way of Christ, ie. love the Divine, love your neighbor, love yourself, I don’t think that will ever go away or be destroyed. The organized church destroying itself through this thinking, quite possibly.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

    “Current Christian spin.” That’s so condescendingly glib.

  • Carolyn

    Considering that Paul also upheld slavery and appeared to tell women to not speak in church, I think it’s very important to look at his lists in the historical context in which they were written. To take the Bible literally, it may seem unreliable. But to take it in it’s context, and take principles from it, is a totally different story.

  • http://blueberrypancakesfordinner.wordpress.com/ Erika

    BAHAAAAHAAAA

  • Suz

    AMEN.

  • Richard W. Fitch

    Chris – if you do any serious research, you will find that even Jewish scholars with intense background in ancient Hebrew and the Torah disagree on the precise meaning and intent of this passage. Sorry, it just ain’t so; it is NOT crystal clear.

  • A’isha

    You know what, I feel terribly sad for this person. She obviously found that blog post because she was looking for places that say it’s possible to be LGBT and Christian at the same time. I’d be willing to bet we could find this same rant in a number of other blogs. So my point is that she leads a miserable life if one of her main goals is to “prove” to us how wrong we are and how much we’ll all go to hell if we don’t change our ways/beliefs/etc.

    I’ve recently been coming across this so much and what I’ve concluded is this: Christians who get so caught up in laws and what they believe to be God’s laws and rules miss out on relationships…with people and with God. They’re so entrapped by calling people on what they perceive is wrong that they don’t get the chance to really know the people they’re judging. They also are getting in the way of God being, well, God. They’re trying to take over his job and that’s not cool. I feel sorry for this person. I hope that some day she’ll see the light.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

    Oh, sure, A’isha. Be mature.

    Pffft. What fun is that?

    No, wonderful comment. Good job.

  • Meredtih

    Well, my experience is that those who think it’s so easy for people to just being single and celibate all their life are middle-aged men (usually white) who have been married since they were 22 and never been truly single or have ever had to live life alone, so have no freaking clue how hard and painful it is to live alone when your God-given nature is to hunger for a life partner.

    And forgive me, John, for quoting the Bible, but one of the first things God realized after making creation was that, “It is not good that the [earth creature] should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” :D

  • http://rinmmkay.blogspot.com Mariah

    The number of invented words in this post makes it impossible for me to take the poster seriously. Okay, not entirely true. Everything about the post makes it impossible for me to take him seriously. That’s the problem, I think.

    With individuals like this it is so difficult to give their words much weight because their ignorance, hate, lack of logic (and paragraphs, and a dictionary or thesaurus, or spell check *ahem dimittedly cough distortation hack pervsion gag*), and lack of basic understanding of their own religion make it so hard to see why they are truly dangerous to those who are thoughtful, intelligent, tolerant, and patient. All the while, their bias and bile spread rapidly to others in their church community, social circle, family, and so on right under our noses.

    This isn’t true for everyone, as most of the posters in this blog and in a few other communities elsewhere do take a stand (with patience, style, grace, and gentleness, for the most part) against these individuals. But most of the world in general just laughs it off and says nothing, does nothing.

    That’s more or less why I am grateful for this blog. It’s nice to see people taking the time to spell out articulate, thoughtful arguments to those who, 99% of the time, don’t have the good sense to listen.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

    Best. Commenters. In. The. Blogosphere. NO ONE has a better group.

  • http://rinmmkay.blogspot.com Mariah

    That’s what I was just thinking going through some of your posts. I’m new here, but I already appreciate a lot of the people here and the kinds of commenters you attract.

  • http://rinmmkay.blogspot.com Mariah

    And people like my dear, dear friend Rudi. 21 years old and his idea of “logic” and “rational thinking” revolves around himself being right and treating every conversation as a debate.

  • Scott

    Meredith,

    As a (white) 47-year-old man who came out three years ago after 21 years of marriage and 3 wonderful children, let me say that you are partially correct.

    The most difficult part of the process of the last few years had been learning to live alone, but not lonely. I was blessed with a wife and children who truly love me, and supported me 100% from the moment that I came out to them. This was both a blessing and a curse; the blessing should be self-evident. The curse is that I know what a good relationship is like first-hand, but there is no guarantee that I will have a second chance.

    Even so, I would not trade the life I have now – one of integrity, authenticity and the love and peace of God – for more time pretending to be someone and something I’m not.

    It hasn’t been easy for myself, my now ex-wife or my kids, but we are all the stronger for it. They call them growing *pains* for a reason. I just had mine about 30 years behind schedule.

  • A’isha

    Sorry, John. I was feeling like a grown-up there for a minute. I’ll go back to my normal self now! :)

  • Meredtih

    Scott,

    You and your ex-wife are both amazing people who have raised some great kids – thanks be to God. You’re in my prayers for that second chance at love.

  • Matthew Tweedell

    Thought to copy here the response I gave earlier over where the original comment’s posted:

    A woman is not permitted to teach, Shannon, but should learn in quietness and full submission. I didn’t say it, God did.

    So, seeing as spreading lies really makes you sad, you can stop doing so at any time.

    As you’ve noted, we do have the truth in us. Let us know if you’d like some.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

    Har! Great one.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

    And don’t let that happen again.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

    Your comments are great, too. You’re in!

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

    Hareth!

  • http://www.shadsie.deviantart.com Shadsie

    A lot of adults are like that, sadly.

    I remember an ex-online friend who basically had to be right about everything – even when she changed her mind 180 degrees a week later. This wasn’t even over religious and morality stuff most of the time – but basically, you were poo if you disagreed with her about character-interpretation in animation/comics at any given time, even if you and her were on the same page two weeks prior. It was weird.

    Also, I’ve come to pretty much ignore anyone online who choses “rational” as part of their online handle. I see it as a sign that they are much less rational than they think they are (if they feel the need to flaunt).

  • http://www.shadsie.deviantart.com Shadsie

    In thinking about it, this person sort of reminds me of a younger me (except even the me of 10 years ago didn’t do block paragraphs. I was still staggering into the writing-thing…. I believe I was writing fan fiction for Pokemon back then. I used lots of cliche’s like “flame red hair” all the time, but at that point knew that block paragraphs were a bad thing).

    A-hem, the mindset… yeah, I had something similar. It was fostered by both my church and by non-believers (a lot of people told me that it was not possible for people to be gay or even non-bigoted and, at the same time, be a Christian. I was also told things like I had to “lose Jesus” – and my viriginity – in order to be a human being). Backlash? It happened.

    But I really thought about things, looked up things and decided to try to approach things with an open mind so now my mindset is different. (I also hold out the possibility that I could be wrong, but feel like if I air on the side of kindness, it’s a good error).

    What I’m trying to say here – there’s hope.

    After all, cognitive dissonance is hard. Encountering new ways of thinking, especially about important things like their religion, can take a while to process, let alone accept, if that happens at all.

    I’m tired, am probably making no sense.

  • http://www.shadsie.deviantart.com Shadsie

    *err not air!

    GAH!

    And here is a lesson in the importance of proofreading.

    *Headdesk*

  • Christie

    http://www.well.com/user/aquarius/thesis.htm

    From the link, paper titled “Thesis: Eunuchs are Gay Men” by Faris Malik:

    “Almost all current dictionaries define a eunuch as a man missing a crucial part of his reproductive anatomy, either due to castration or birth defect. But I will show in Section 1 of this essay that most so-called “eunuchs” in the ancient world were not anatomically deprived and were able to procreate. Moreover in Section 2, I show that one of the central defining characteristics of a eunuch in the ancient world was his lack of a sexual drive for women, something which is not true of castrated men. Men who lust after women will continue to do so even if they are genitally mutilated. Castration may prevent a straight man from impregnating a woman, but it will not change his desires. In Section 3, I show that eunuchs were stereotyped as lustful sex objects for men. “

  • scottie

    I will say only this to her post: Christ forced his teachings on NO ONE. People followed him because they wanted to. He did not try to force laws into being just to enforce his teachings with the general public. Faith and Christianity are a basis for you to improve YOU AND YOUR FAMILY’S lives. It is not meant for you to throw the bible at others.

  • Diana A.

    “Which leads me to believe with all my heart that this is nothing more than a power grab.” Yeah, I think you’re right.

  • Diana A.

    It was both.

  • Don Rappe

    “Figure out what you believe and stand strong.” This, I believe, is very good advice! Shannon, after your original comment, Matt reminded you that women should be silent in the church and submit to the instruction they hear. (Matt and I didn’t say it, God said it.) Here is what I believe. Absolute truths belong to God who is the Absolute. We, his creatures, are made of more fallible stuff. This is a stone over which many well intended arguments stumble. Now whether two events are separated by space or by time is often relative to the state of motion of the observer. Is this an absolute truth? I hesitate to say this, but, it is the best truth I know about the separation of events in spacetime. (I’m not going to use the return key because this is a rant and is not intended to be interrupted by questions!) When I think I have gotten the absolute truth into my head I have made a very serious mistake. I have confused my head with the mind of God. This is a serious form of sinful idolatry. It is the sin of Pride. I have not paid sufficient attention to God’s question: “Where were you when I hurled the shooting stars into the sky and all those sons of God sang together?” I mention what God said about women teaching in the church (that it is a shame) only to emphasize that you are capable of interpreting the scriptures. It is you who figure out what you believe. John makes plenty of mistakes, but, you have some serious planks in your own eye to remove before you peck at his. IMHO.

  • Don Rappe

    Wow! (In reply to myself,) Old and slow much? I see it is seven hours since I read this blog and formulated what I call my thoughts. I think I may have nodded off for a while too. So, if you contributed during the last seven hours, please forgive me for ignoring your thoughts.

  • Don Rappe

    And your blocking out of the comment.

  • Don Rappe

    That introduction of breaks reminds me a lot of how the Bible writings got from their original form to what we read now.

  • Don Rappe

    Very true. I look to you for depth and DR for her swift cutting logical sword. And, of course, John for his good looks and his noir hat.

  • chris

    If it isn’t crystal clear then it is meaningless. If we have to beat the snot out of the words to tease the real meaning to the surface then it seems useless. If such a straight forward entry as this is unclear then how can the book be of any real use? I mean this sincerely. All I see are warring interpretations.

  • http://rinmmkay.blogspot.com Mariah

    D’awwwwww, that makes me all happy :)

  • http://ricbooth.wordpress.com Ric Booth

    I got to the “darkness hates the light” quote and thought, “you mean like how you [the commenter] hate John’s blog post?

  • DR

    So is women wearing head covering in church, Chris. You don’t see that happening quite a bit.

    I’m exhausted and demoralized by those who come on by with their drive-by comments, having the audacity to call other peoples’ points of view “spin” and then don’t stick around, take the heat for their approach and/or continue to debate their interpretation of the Bible . And display any genuine curiosity about the counter view others hold as they do so. It’s so cowardly, I don’t get it. Let’s see if you’re someone who will surprise all of us by showing some actual respect to not just drop a bomb and then leave. I’m not holding my breath at this point but it would certainly be a pleasant surprise.

    People are angry with the consequences of those of you who hold this belief and the damage it is doing to gay children. Let’s see if you have a thick enough skin to really listen to that. I hope so, I’m looking for any Evangelical to put their hurt feelings aside and actually listen. So far? Not one person has stuck around to do that.

  • DR

    William with all due respect, I see no one throwing the literal baby out with the bathwater, here. We’re contesting the few verses that speak to homosexuality. An example of Protestants not taking God’s Word literally is when he encourages them to eat the “Bread of God”. Catholics take that literally regarding Communion, they take it symbolically.

    It’s not those of us who hold this view that are – as Evangelicals often love to suggest – adding or modifying the Bible. We are simply doing what happens in the Evangelical Church all of the time, interpreting the meaning of Scripture, adding context to the experience. That is – literally – all that’s happening here. But this isn’t about being gay, this is about power and those who hold this view losing it. It’s terrifying for them so they are going to use the “Stop adding to the Bible” argument to not have to debate their point of view.

  • DR

    I don’t disagree with you here but not going to go that route. Christians are perverting the Word of God by using it as a tool to maintain our ability to be right. We worship being “right”. I’m tired of the Bible ping-pong game, using it as a means to keep hurting people or to bow out of actually *thinking* critically. That Christians actually have to explain their position and not use the Bible means they’ve actually thought about it to me. The Bible is sacred and precious. It is alive. It’s not a tool to fuel you (or me) continuing our oppression of a group of people.

  • Tammy Lubbers

    In 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, Paul wrote: “As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church”

    Does this apply to blogging too? ;)

    PS, I confess – I eat lobster…

  • Quin

    It seems to me that, in his own time and at the height of his ministry, Jesus was executed for treason…by Rome. He’d referred to himself as a king. The pharasies wanted him condemned…they were occupied and couldn’t execute him as they might have liked to…for heresy. Jesus thought that the old ways needed revision; that people had changed and the Torah was a bit…well…outdated. Faith, he argued, was a living, breathing thing that must evolve with its people and could not be written in stone like some unchanging truth.

    Why is it, then, that so many Christians sound more like the Pharasies than like the Christ? Who spoke for the God, was it Jesus? Or shall we bind ourselves to the written words of those who came after. Jesus said, “what you do to the least of my brethren you do unto me.” Do you think he meant, oh, except gays? He said there was room at his fathers table for everyone. He didn’t say everyone except gays.

    I wonder by what authority so many interpret what Jesus meant rather than listening to what Jesus said.

  • Matthew Tweedell

    “If it isn’t crystal clear then it is meaningless.”

    While what you mean by that isn’t exactly crystal clear to me, I’m still trying to understand it as best I can in formulating this reply. Does that make sense, or did I misunderstand you? It clearly seems that DR at least has a different interpretation of your views here, just as many have different interpretations of God’s views, even if they’re basing them on the same text—which, you are right, can’t be the fundamental basis of one’s faith if ain’t all that and a cup of tea. Perhaps the powers that be in the universe caused the Bible to be exactly as it is, such as to make us actually have true *relationships*, both with our God and with others here below, if we’re going to grow spiritually, which makes sense as I see no reason to be found in anything unto itself except one, and that is love.

    Now, isn’t the interaction and even “warring” of all possible interpretations the very process that uncovers the real meaning in a given text? (Assuming, that is, that it is a true text—a product of another’s mind—and not some random fluke that we’re just trying to project significance onto, which assumption I find compelling since the highly ordered structure combined with the ability to reproduce it in structures physically very different (e.g. stone tablet with one sentence per line vs. computer monitor with paragraphs) while retaining the essence as identified by the human mind of the pattern makes the suggestion that a lack of clarity to you indicates lack of real intended meaning on the part of another preposterous.)

  • Matthew Tweedell

    I was basing it on the more general command in 1 Timothy 2.11-14 (NIV): “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.”

    Of course, this written by someone claiming to be the apostle Paul—regarding which he specifically finds it necessary to remark (2:7), “I am telling the truth, I am not lying,”—while most modern scholars agree that there’s considerable evidence that this was not the work of the same man who composed the majority of what we consider to have been authored by Paul and who lived the earthly life that the Bible attributes to him.

  • Matthew Tweedell

    While I also have not seen a literal baby getting tossed out with bathwater, I’m not sure what that has to do with anything here. Why the need for graphic literal images of irrelevant events, only to say that such events are not taking place? So I guess I’m just not following your reasoning today. What is it that you’re trying to say about what William is saying? Perhaps I’m just unfamiliar with some such rhetorical form as contrarian agreement (a rather brilliant idea actually, since it’s extremes that garner attention, silencing not dissent but assent in the modern free world, unless one spices up the message with an element of conflict, with the savor of the confrontational drama that long ago was an integral part of human survival but which we find missing from mundane modern lives).

  • Scott

    ..

  • LVZ

    “If I’m going to follow Biblical advice, I will uphold the institution of marriage between a man and a woman.”

    Really? Abraham, Jacob and David were all anointed, loved, and blessed and by God. All of them had multiple wives, as was the social norm back then. The Bible upholds the institution of marriage between one man and SEVERAL women. Much of the funding for Proposition 8 came from a church that once taught that polygamy was still sanctioned by God, even today — a doctrine that has been rejected by the overwhelming majority of Christians.

    “God is a not a God of confusion.”

    Really? In Deuteronomy 25:5, God says that if a man’s brother dies, it’s the man’s responsibility to marry his widow so his late brother’s family can continue. In Leviticus 18:16, God says a man is NOT allowed to marry his brother’s widow.

    I’m confused. What does God really want if he says one thing in Deuteronomy and another in Leviticus?

  • chris

    You may have misunderstood me. I am not anti-gay. I just think the bible is.

  • chris

    Warring over the text does not seem to lead to truth in any singular sense. It creates division often expressed in new factions and denominations. But there is no alternative since there is not a single agreed upon interpretation. That, to me, does not make it a particularly useful book for revealing truth.

  • http://www.BuzzDixon.com buzz

    Leviticus is the Levites’ (i.e., priests) rule book; Deuteronomy (literally “second reading” as it recaps Exodus) is for the rank & file Israelites

    Jesus taught that God’s desire is that humans enter into lifetime heterosexuals pairings, but that He allowed Moses to permit divorce (presumably ‘cuz on a human scale homicide is worse than adultery). We can extrapolate that in like manner He permitted polygamous marriages & concubinage, not because He thot those were good ideas but because there was at least some legal/cultural protection for the women involved.

    Jesus also taught that if one divorces (or is divorced, even if one did not wish so) for any reason other than the partner’s adultery, then one commits adultery by re-marrying. I get the feeling the admonition is more against taking the Lord’s name in vain by discarding a marriage vow than in the actual physical act.

    Additionally, since polygamous marriages & concubines were still around in the first century AD (tho those practices were no longer prevalent in Judea), it seems Christ’s concern was less on how many partners were involved in a marriage but rather on how seriously those partners took the whole promise before God/til death do we part business.

  • http://www.BuzzDixon.com buzz

    Technically, He would have had to have been a Roman to be executed for treason (and then they would have beheaded Him the way they did Paul, who was a Roman*).

    Pontius Pilate clearly didn’t believe Jesus was guilty of anything except being a pain in the tchukis; he kept looking for reasons to release Him. Herod couldn’t even whip himself up into a frenzy over His purported treason (since Herod was King of Judea, and Jesus was one of his citizens, a treason charge from him would be valid).

    There is a spiritual reason Christ had to die, but the Pharisees’ motive was purely monetary:

    The Roman governor had to approve each new High Priest appointment. While the Pharisees would make the nomination, by treaty the governor had final authority.

    The same family had a lock on that chair for most of Christ’s ministry. They were probably afraid that the Romans — who doubtlessly had heard thru spies that this radical new preacher had told people to pay taxes to Caesar, to carry a Roman’s armor an extra mile if ordered to carry it one, and to turn the other cheek and submit to authority (not to mention saying a Roman centurian had more faith than the Pharisees & healing his servant) — would look at Jesus and think, “Hmmm, y’know who might make a good High Priest…?”

    * Good thing He wasn’t — can you imagine church steeples w/Christ’s head on a pike?

  • Matthew Tweedell

    By what process then are you cognizing unto coherency the element of thought this string of symbols, or any other—be it a truth, a falsehood, something else, or some combination thereof—represents? You only find division where conflicting element remain un-subdued whilst reconciliation is refused.

  • Kara K

    I guess I agree with you in that the biblical authors wrote during a time and in a culture where the men were anti-gay, anti-women, anti-foreigners, anti-pigs, anti-shellfish and apparently anti-fashion (no mixed fabrics).

    Many read racism in Mark Twain books and allow for the effect of culture at the time it was written without letting it take away from the message.

  • LVZ

    I didn’t mean to start a theological debate… my point is that God wants us to love. Jesus pointed out that the greatest commandments are to love God, and love our neighbors. Whether a man marrying his brother’s widow is permissible or not is of secondary concern to the fact that a man must be as loving as possible to everyone, regardless of marital status or sexual orientation.

  • http://www.BuzzDixon.com buzz

    You have raised some interesting points. If, as Scripture would seem to indicate, polygamous marriage and/or concubinage is acceptable (or at least tolerable, in God’s eyes) because there is a codified system that protects the rights of all parties, then perhaps it could be argued the same acceptance now extends to codified same gender marriage.

    Certainly God has no problem with people loving one another regardless of gender (the Bibles tells us David & Jonathan loved one another w/a love that surpasses that of a man and a woman), certainly not with same gender embracing/kissing/cuddling, and seems to have been most irritated at same sex physical intimacy when it was associated with Asteroth & Ba/al worship.

  • Matthew Tweedell

    Yeah… politics. And it wasn’t that the Jews in general were against the good Rabbi—see how they greeted him when he entered Jerusalem. But those in power were: He was a serious threat to the Jewish establishment. Pontius Pilate, of course, could care less about the internal politics of the Jews. He was blind to the very nature of truth in the context of Jewish religion, which in those days was not really distinguishable from politics (not to say that we’ve actually made a lot of progress in two thousand years since). But Pilate did know a thing or two about truth in the context of jurisprudence and governance. On the one hand, he knew Jesus was an innocent man, and although we’re talking about a civil servant and army veteran of one of the most corrupt and viscous regimes we modern Americans might imagine, he and, he knew, his wife, couldn’t stomach the thought of his being responsible for this man’s crucifixion. On the other hand, it looks as if, were he not ordered to be crucified, the Jewish leaders would incite the already highly restive Jewish population to revolt (as they had just a generation before and would again just a generation later, seeing as they were under, as I’ve mentioned, one of the most corrupt and viscous of regimes); whereas, if he were executed, though Jesus’ followers surely wouldn’t like it, it didn’t seem that they were such as were disposed to respond in a bloody coup. (This, of course, turns out to be correct: they responded instead with a spiritual revolution that eventually conquered the whole empire! The coming Jewish revolt, on the other hand, failed miserably and led to the Jews’ expulsion from Jerusalem.) So the choice, basically, was this: one innocent man dies, or many innocents die. Pilate and Jesus, both, knew what would have to be done.

  • DR

    I endorse this comment.

  • DR

    I did, I’m a doofus. Sorry!

  • Matthew Tweedell

    *elements

  • Matthew Tweedell

    make that “many potential innocents will die.”

  • Panthera

    Oh, dear.

    This reminds me of the defence I mounted many years ago when I had to admit to wrecking the car to my parents.

    It was, of course, the brand new Cadillac and not the pick-up they bought back when they were expecting me.

    I argued brilliantly, I argued with the conviction of knowing I was right (the other driver got the speeding ticket and his insurance had to pay the damages). I argued from the moral high ground.

    And lost. My mom pointed out that I had been told not to drive the new car.

    My dad pointed out that my brother, who was with me, could have been killed.

    That’s the problem here for those arguing that God “tolerates” polygamy and for those trying to argue “with a love that surpasses that of a man and a woman” means anything but that they were in love in the committed, gay sense. You are trying to justify your own decisions by interpreting God’s will to fit your needs.

    Jesus was very clear about what He approved of and didn’t approve of.

    Had God objected to those polygamous marriages, He would have said so. Clearly.

    Personally, I find one husband enough, but that’s just me.

    Had God objected to the love of Jonathan for David, we wouldn’t hear one word about ‘surpassing’ that of a man and a woman. No, that statement is so clearly supportive of their romantic love for each other, had God objected, He would have inspired the writers to insert something like:

    So great was their love, that David even lent Jonathan the keys to his German built, Italian designed chariat, sometimes, but they never held hands or exchanged clothes and swords or anything, icky like that….

    Sorry. You are trying to interpret the Bible to condemn loving, committed same sex marriages. It won’t work. Had God objected, Jesus would have said so.

    Actually, Philip would never have welcomed the Eunich, had Jesus objected to homosexuality. ‘Eunich’, today, has a far more limited definition than in those days.

    Nor, come to think of it would he have healed the Centurion’s ‘slave’…which, in the original text of Luke is named using the Greek word for lover, παῖς.

    Jesus never said one single word against gay love. Not one. Surely, given His extensive fury towards the money changers, His insistence that mistreating the poor leads straight to hell and His not exactly modulated views on adultery and divorce, He would have discussed this particular “sin”. The one which exceeds all others for American Christians.

    Nice try, but just as I had to pay for the entire brand new Fleetwood (and they would have had to buy the most expensive) all by myself, so you have to confront the reality that God did not give you permission to attack two men or two women committing to a lifetime of monogamous love.

  • http://www.BuzzDixon.com buzz

    Panthera, while I’m sympathetic to your argument, you can’t cite absence of proof as proof of absence: Christ never mentioned arson, either, but I think it’s safe to assume He thot that was a big no-no.

    The pertinent verses are in Matthew 19:3-12. Here are some links to a variety of translations:

    KJV

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2019:3-12&version=KJV

    NIV

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2019:3-12&version=NIV

    NASB

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2019:3-12&version=NASB

    Young’s Literal Translation

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2019:3-12&version=YLT

    Now, in each translation Christ is making it abundantly clearly that God intended & desires for males & females to form permanent pair bonds =IF= they are unable to live w/o intimate romantic/sexual companionship (which, if you check Genesis, was the reason we were made male & female in the first place; not for reproductive purposes).

    Moses is the guy who gave the OK to divorce, God simply did not voice any objection at the time. (God did this re revenge killings, as well; He knew the human race was unable at that stage of development to foreswear revenge, but He could have Moses put a statute of limitations on accidental homicides in order to keep the body count down & prevent vengeance from being passed on generation to generation.)

    Also interesting is that in Young’s Literal Translation, Christ permits divorce only for “whoredom”, not immorality (sexual or otherwise) or adultery. It implies He made a distinction between affairs of the heart (adultery) and calculated betrayal for personal gain, an idea further reinforced by His pardoning of the woman accused of adultery. (Also, I’m sure there were neighborhood gossips who had nasty things to say about Mary, and even though Jesus knew His mom was virtuous, it doubtlessly made Him more empathetic to women accused of adultery that the average Pharisee.)

    Now, Christ speaks of those who avoid romantic/sexual entanglements as either being born eunuchs, made eunuchs by men, or choosing to become eunuchs.

    While persons born w/o a complete set of plumbing were doubtlessly included in that first group, I don’t think they were exclusively whom Christ was talking about. Christ doubtlessly was referring to asexual people, people to whom no romantic spark ever burns.

    But we can’t rule out Christ was also referring to those who have no sexual desire for the opposite sex but rather for their own. However, even they are better off focusing solely on God rather than pursue same gender romantic/sexual entanglements.

    So, if it’s better to focus our spirits on worshiping God in lieu of romantic/sexual entanglements, but if it’s a case of those who =CAN’T= devote themselves so thoroughly to be permitted to marry, then that seems to imply those who have an innate same sex preference are permitted permanent same gender bondings as well.

    A close reading of the OT shows that when God’s prophets raged against sexual immorality, it (a) was in the context of a much large social corruption (b) cut across gender/preference lines and (c) often was associated w/pagan & polytheistic tendencies in Jewish culture.

  • Matthew Tweedell

    No fair: Too reasonable!

  • Panthera

    Your argument that just because God, through Jesus did not speak out against gay marriage, He still objects because, after all, He didn’t address arson, but clearly is opposed is logically insufficient.

    We can – and Jesuits do – play this game ad infinitum, ultimately, though, there are two separate classes here. On the one hand, we have a matter of violating another person or groups of persons’ trust – if, after all, the property owner agrees to let you burn it down, it is not arson. (Here is where the fun begins – do you want to argue “but what if they are cheating the insurance…” – I am going to assume you are past that level.

    There is, however, another class – two adults, capable of exercising their free wills, to make a public, legal commitment to each other, forsaking all others. Jesus never, not once said anything about that.

    It’s a nice try and one I often hear from Christians who seek to strip me of my civil rights, but that dog just won’t fight.

    Now, as to adultery, I suspect, were you to follow your logic to the root of what you claim to be Jesus’ argument (and I am not in disagreement, if not total accord), then you clearly see a matter of violation of another person’s commitment.

    One thing which has always puzzled me about the male and female argument. I don’t see how my immutable homosexuality and marriage to another man in any way hinders heterosexual men and women from having kids. I believe the statistics are approaching Malthusian to be a bit dramatic about it…

    And that, I think is one of those false arguments which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality is not immutable, but a “lifestyle choice”. Now, we can argue that on a scientific basis, or we must leave the conversation because you reject those scientific findings you don’t like as invalid.

    It’s up to you. Personally, if my husband and I did not have family obligations which require of us that we live in the US, we would have returned to sane Europe where our marriage is legal years ago.

    Ironic, really – trapped in a country which denies our very existence because the heterosexual members of our respective families refuse to honor our parents.

  • http://www.BuzzDixon.com buzz

    Panthera, did you read all the way down to my penultimate paragraph?

  • Panthera

    buzz,

    I read your whole post before replying and checked the Biblical references.

    Certainly, you do – grudgingly – allow as to how it might not be too offensive in God’s eyes that my husband and I have built a loving, faithful, monogamous partnership – and since it became legal in my country – marriage for over 28 years.

    I should have acknowledged your statement, I do apologize.

    What puzzles me, and puzzles me deeply is why, given the facts:

    Homosexuality is just as immutable as is heterosexuality.

    Now where in the Bible does Jesus speak against us.

    Several competent translations are on strong ground that He and Luke accepted us.

    There is so much focus on making our lives hell-on-earth.

    Seriously – nobody is going to become a Christian when confronted with the hatred we are accosted with by so man Christians.

    There is virtual unanimity on the part of all serious scientists that ex-gay treatments don’t work.

    Not even the religious right, armed with limitless funding by the Catholic and Mormon churches has been able to find one single, solitary harm which gay rights and gay marriage does when on oath in federal courts.

    Several countries have no had gay marriage for quite some time. All that they have to show for it is universally lower abortion rates than the US, universally lower divorce rates (and we homosexuals, at least in the first ten years, divorce at a lower rate than do heterosexuals in general and enormously lower rates than conservative Christians.

    Our children, and study after study has shown this do just as well in life as do children raised in heterosexual homes (and it is false witness to keep bringing in single parent homes which have many problems as the “proof” that male-female parents bio-parents are the only good parents).

    I’ll stop there. Personally, I strongly suspect that the primary motivation for investing so much money and hatred into attacking us is because it is enormously easier than the hard things Christ demanded of us. Showing kindness to the power, the weak, the elderly, to children.

    Nothing in the conservative Christian agenda, not one thing fulfils any of those demands – instead it consists exclusively of supporting the Republican attack on the power and the jobless, cutting medical and educational services to the weakest children and now even trying to cut food aid to the poorest of the poor.

    This is the sole focus of American conservative Christianity and we are just useful for conservative Christians as the Jews were for the Nazis. Actually, given the testimony I heard in Colorado yesterday, I hope some conservative Christian here now tries to dispute that…the linked testimony is horrible but very, very clear.

  • Panthera

    I do apologize for the typos – smart phone keyboard are not my strength.

  • Diana A.

    “Why is it, then, that so many Christians sound more like the Pharasees than like the Christ?” Yes. I’ve often wondered this myself.

  • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

    I think we’re in agreement in all the essentials. God does not seem to be nearly as concerned w/human sexuality as we humans are.

    I can understand the cultural & historical context/s that led to the inclusion of several verses that condemn specific types of human behavior (sexual & non-sexual).

    In specific context, certain actions are wrong not because of the act itself, but because of the motivation behind the act. (F’r instance, when Paul writes on the topic in First Corinthians, the original Greek uses two terms which might best be translated as+ top” and” bottom” today, implying not a relationship of reciprocating equals but a power dominance, possibly prostitution.)

    But as I’ve said, God’s game plan for us seems to have a lot less judging & punishing one another & a lot more forgiving & loving one another.

  • Panthera

    Well, I certainly agree with you about leaving the judgement up to God.

    One of the great problems with trying to define Christianity through cut and past Biblical arguments is that there are too many languages, too many centuries of copies of copies of copies and too much variation in culture across time to justify the “God said it, the Bible wrote it, I believe it” approach.

    One of the favorite arguments of conservative Christians against civil and human rights for gays is that Jesus “freed” them of all the constraints in the OT but kept the anti-gay stuff in the New Testament.

    That’s interesting – their Bibles must be lacking these two lines (Matthew 5:18-19):

    17no lite putare quoniam veni solvere legem aut prophetas non veni solvere sed adimplere

    18amen quippe dico vobis donec transeat caelum et terra iota unum aut unus apex non praeteribit a lege donec omnia fiant

    That’s pretty durn clear… ‘you are not to think I came to overthrow the words of the prophets…and then that wonderful…jot and tittle will be struck from the law until fulfilled.

    That part of Matthew just plain doesn’t count, because if it did – well, what would evangelical Christians were if they couldn’t have poly-blend shirts any more? No loud polyester suits?

    Would that mean that Newt’s last two marriages weren’t valid?

    O, my stars.

    We are very close to the US either moving on into a just society or falling back into the dark ages of theocracy. These next elections will make or break the country. Gay rights is a subset of the problem. Should the conservative Christians carry the day in 2012, I shall be very glad that I also carry an Irish passport.

  • http://presentlyhuman.wordpress.com presentlyhuman

    I should preface this that I’m really hurt and angry at these kind of things right now and I’m tired of being apologetic for that – so fair warning that this comment is an angry one, and probably rambling and incoherent.

    “Regardless, as Christians we must strive for holiness and purity – Hey! I didn’t say it, God did.”

    I think what exhausts me more than anything is the lack of responsibility for opinions. “God said this and I’m just the messenger – what right do you have to get angry with me?” That kind of deflection would never stand in any other opinion. “Oh hey, you look really horrible today – I didn’t say it – it was that person over there!” Unless that same Christian is going to argue “God said it, but I don’t believe it” they’re saying it to. Take some responsibility. *You* think that gays are sinning. *You* think it gives Satan a foothold. *You* are the one voting against gay marriage, *You* are the one spouting off these words. Just admit that, because I am sick and tired of Christians who say hurtful things and then use god as their scapegoat to get them off the hook for it.

    “You are not alone. God is with you.” Really? Where? Okay, you believe god’s always there, so why don’t you give up all your human relationships? You obviously don’t need them, you’ve got god! Just spend every second of your life just you and god. It won’t break your sanity or send you into a depression or make you suicidal – if it does, your faith’s just weak. Go on, stand by your words. If god is all a person needs, then give up every single person in your life. Or else, don’t be like a person in front of an endless buffet looking down at the starving man telling him all he needs is a little bit of bread and water for the week to keep him alive.

    I’m asexual. If I got into a romantic relationship with another woman, would I be sinning? There’s no sex! Where do asexual homoromantics or biromantics fit into your wonderfully black and white world? Hey – has your god gotten the news yet that the whole world is in color? It’s not even shades of gray – but glorious colors that all have their own shades too.

    “This is asserting that the Bible does not offer advice on celibacy.” Oh cool. So basically, god was like, “I want some people to be celibate. Now, I could just make some people *want* to be celibate, but that would be too logical. People might be happy with that, and if there’s one thing I hate is people happy. So why don’t I make them attracted to the same sex and then tell them that its wrong? Great! Then I can just coerce them into celibacy! Because if there’s one thing I love is coercing people and then telling them they have a choice.” And if it’s that you believe that god didn’t create the attraction, but it’s from the fall then do you also go around stealing wheelchairs from people who were born unable to walk, or tell someone whose organs are failing that they shouldn’t get a transplant? It’s from the fall, right and dammit, we never accommodate for the fall! Do you look at nature and all it’s glorious imperfections and cry, “No! Wrong! The fall caused these imperfections and we will not love anything imperfect because it’s sinful!” Trees must be uniform, mountains – heck, mountains shouldn’t even exist because earthquakes create them and earthquakes are from the fall, right? Shame on you, if you dare think that mountains are beautiful. Celebrating the world’s fallen state.

    And, this is slightly off topic, but not really – where was your god when my brother was raping me? How loving is your god that my mother can say, “There’s no such thing as a gay Christian unless they’re working through it and gays should never marry” but can look me in the eye and say, “I don’t care if your brother raped you, you have to forgive him or else your relationship with God is in jeopardy.” Why is your god so loud against consensual relationships and so silent against rape and molestation? Why does your god protect rapists, why does he forgive rapists, why is my brother sooner in through the gates of heaven (having never cared what he did to me!) but if I dare fall for a woman and stick by her, there’s no redemption for me? Your right, your god doesn’t care about whether something harms another person – his morals are arbitrary and bloodthirsty – we are pawns in his game and if a few of us are destroyed in the process, he shrugs his shoulders. When I almost took my own life because I couldn’t take the pain anymore, would he have condemned me for that too? Does your god delight in human pain and destruction – in trapping people in lives of torture and pain or emptiness and despair, with no freedom?

    Your god is worthless. And I hope one day he is dethroned and on his knees before the God of love and beauty and diversity.

  • Suz

    Presentlyhuman,

    This is brutally beautiful. I am so sorry for what you have suffered at the hands of monsters and Christians, and monstrous Christians. Along with your mother, this commenter represents nearly everything that has gone wrong with Christianity. They live in the darkness, they think that’s what God wants. You know better. You have His Light in you – let it shine and stay away from their poisonous shadows. Don’t be hesitant with your anger. It’s genuinely righteous anger.

  • Soulmentor

    And I will reconsider my resistance to leaving the country because I can’t get US VA health care in any foreign country, unless, perhaps, I’m employed at an American govt institution.

    The kind of rant that was aimed at John has become too wearisome to respond to anymore and, in any case, it is obvious that any rational counter to it would fall on deaf ears and a willfully blind spirit. Better to be content with knowing your response may be seen and heeded by someone on the fence who will actually THINK about it..

    I fear, Panthera, that you are TOO correct in your assessment of our current political cliff edge. The next election will tip the balance one way or the other and God help us if the conservatives get more power. We can kiss democracy and Constitutional rationality good bye. Look how close we came to that with Bush. At least for now, we have an actual Constitutional scholar as our President instead of a “born again” (he said, who knows for sure) intellectual dimwit.

    The “homosexual agenda”, if you will, is currently winning the war. We lose some skirmishes still, but I believe the turning point will come with the finalization of a full and in practice repeal of DADT (I noticed just today on a CNN crawler that the Navy has permitted an openly gay sailor to remain in service).

    We no longer need pay any notice of the irrational ranters. Hopefully, the 2012 election will convince them that they have lost, something many of the noisy “christian” leaders like Robertson and Dobson have known for some time. Dobson even said as much http://liveprayer.com/dda.cfm?id=3666

    I once told my evangelical type siblings at a time we were still able to discuss respectfully (which has become very difficult for me to do) that we’re out now and not going back into the closet and we now give them two choices only; to accommodate us in society or kill us, cause we’re not bowing to them anymore. You should have seen the perplexed confusion in their faces.

    Unaccustomed to having their social dominance challenged, anti-gay “christians” have no rational response. They can only fall back on their wearisome rant of Bible verses, of which there are far more to be thrown back in their faces. They should never start an anti-gay diatribe with a gay person who knows the Bible at least as well as they do. They make such remarkably good targets.

  • Soulmentor

    *******…(the Bibles tells us David & Jonathan loved one another w/a love that surpasses that of a man and a woman), certainly not with same gender embracing/kissing/cuddling,*******

    And you know that how?

  • http://www.BuzzDixon.com buzz

    “…because the Bible tells me so!” ;)

    Seriously, it’s in the text. Read it.

  • http://www.BuzzDixon.com buzz

    It’s easier to be Pharisee-like rather than Christ-like

  • Soulmentor

    I’ll be glad to read it, but I can’t find it. Please cite the Biblical verses that tell you that David and Jonathan DID NOT engage in actions of physical love. Until then, it is not unreasonable to at least suspect, if not assume that they did because of the emotional strength of David’s own words. David’s description of their love leaves little doubt in my mind because it is exactly, EXACTLY what I have felt for my male lovers. I have been on both sides of that issue; married/divorced, now gay and having felt deep love with two men (separately) and for me, there is no way I could use David’s description UNLESS there had been a sexual component to it.

    The bottom line is that, from the Biblical text, we can never know for sure and you can no more insist they didn’t than I can insist they did. The difference is that you exhibit great self-righteous arrogance in your insistence and I do not even insist, merely offer the inarguable possibility.

  • http://www.BuzzDixon.com buzz

    Not that it was what I was trying to do, but I can’t prove they didn’t, you can’t prove they did; stalemate. But they did love one another more deeply than almost any other human beings loved one another (tho considering how dysfunctional OT families were, that ain’t sayin’ much!).

    And I’ll give you a brand new shiny nickel if you can show any place where I displayed “great self-righteous arrogance” on this topic other than behind your eyes & between your ears.

  • Matthew Tweedell

    Let’s just make clear the misunderstandings here, so you guys can stop talking past one another.

    Buzz was saying, “God has no problem … with same gender embracing/kissing/cuddling,”

    not “David & Jonathan loved one another … certainly not with same gender embracing/kissing/cuddling….”

    Soulmentor was challenging what he saw as an assertion of the Platonic nature of their love, not asking how one knows they loved one another.

  • http://www.BuzzDixon.com buzz

    Oh…oh, that’s where the confusion was. Yes, you’re right, Matthew: My statement was that (1) God had no problem with people loving one another (1a) as proof of that the Bible praises David & Jonathan for sharing a love that surpasses the love of a man & a woman (2) God has no problem with any same gender hugging/kissing/cuddling and finally (3) when God does have a problem with same gender sexual relations it is usually in the context of those relations being part of pagan/polytheistic worship [& to which I can add He is usually equally irritated at the heterosexual sexual shennanigans going on re paga/polytheistic worship, not to mention the child sacrifices as well]

    I can see where someone might have been confused & thot I was linking (1a) and (2)

  • Soulmentor

    OK, Buzz, I’ll give ya that, but I will defend myself a bit on that by saying I extrapolated it from your apparent assumption that they didn’t have a sexual relationship and your too ready willingness to have the Bible say something it doesn’t. That kind of making-stuff-up comes right out of the religious (self) right(eous) rhetorical playbook.

    I think you’d be an interesting person to have a conversation with under the stars, by the fire with a glass or two or….?? of wine. Anyway, be well.

  • ImpShial

    Does everyone here forget that the Bible, from which so many “citings” of God vs. the Homosexuals stem, was written by MAN?

    God did not have an agent. God did not have a publisher.

    The bible was written by men who lived in a time of ignorance and intolerance. Not God. Not Jesus. Just plain old men, who thought they knew better than everyone else.

    The words in this book are from men who wrote what they THOUGHT their God wanted. Their interpretation of their own laws and moral rules.

  • Robert

    Interesting discussion re: David and Jonathan and their love. When I was a fundamentalist christian, this passage always bothered me, as I am a ‘lover of men’, yet the bible seems to highlight their love.

    Bottom line to christians: if my partner and I don’t have sex at all, but we are as committed to each other as all my straight relatives, are we still sinning ala homosexual?

    I have yet to find a christian who can answer this question. I know I was persecuted in my church for loving a man, tho no sex ever took place. I could give up sex with my partner, but never our emotional bond.


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