As Jesus Said: A Smile Is Just a Frown Turned Gay

In case you haven’t seen this insanity. Behold the screen-save:

 

 

And look at Rachelle’s inbox. Clearly, everyone on ChristianMingle.com knows she’s a lesbian.

 

 

Note, too, how the fish in the ChristianMingle.com logo is totally interfering with the mingling. Final proof that the Christian fish is a carp?

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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.

  • http://www.ninotchkabeavers.com Ninotchka

    WOW. I don’t know whether I should laugh or cry. heh

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

      You should cry. If you laugh, someone might see you smiling. And is that really something you want on your conscience?

      • http://motheringbythefield.blogspot.com Hazel

        Good point there John. I’d better be careful.

  • Linda B

    A bit off topic but I looked at the sidebar at the pics Of who is on the social pluging and I see three of my own friends, just wonderful :-)

  • A’isha

    Think I’m going to go smile at lots of women today! :) :D :)

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

      Hellion!

  • http://psalmsinpurgatory.com Theophilus

    Is Christian Mingle overtly evangelical? I used a one month trial of their service and don’t remember reading anything about their sexual ethics.

    • DR

      I think they’re sexual ethics are pretty clear from this particular boundary they’ve set, no?

      • http://psalmsinpurgatory.com Theophilus

        Oh for sure. I was just curious if they have an official platform or statement, or whether it is just passively asserted with things like this.

        • http://psalmsinpurgatory.com Theophilus

          This is from their site, so I guess they are pretty upfront about it.

          “The Bible

          Written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, God gave the words of the Bible through human personalities. The essential beliefs of the Christian faith and eternal truths have been recorded and preserved in His Word. The Bible reveals the character of God and His will for the behavior of men and women today and throughout the history of the world.”

          • DR

            Do you agree with them, personally?

        • DR

          With all due respect, preventing the same sex from even communicating with one another virtually in the most banal of ways seems fairly obvious.

          • http://psalmsinpurgatory.com Theophilus

            Yeah, that’s really lame.

          • DR

            are you going to answer my other questions? If not, please let me know. Thanks.

          • DR

            guess not. ugh.

          • http://psalmsinpurgatory.com Theophilus

            you asked a question deserving a well constructed answer.

          • DR

            I jumped the gun., I’m used to the drive-by comments conservative christians, then just taking off. I’m sorry I lumped you into that group and I appreciate you answering. Thank you!

  • Dirk

    The hatred of the conservative Christians knows no bounds.

    Yesterday, they put out the filthy lie that they couldn’t have competent people testify in front of Congress because Teh Gayz would beat them up.

    Lies, lies, all filthy lies.

    I think I’m going to dig out my old 1970′s smiley button and wear it all day.

    • http://psalmsinpurgatory.com Theophilus

      I’m a conservative Christian and I sure don’t hate you. If you have a beef with an individual or organization name them. Otherwise you’re condemning a huge and diverse group of people. It’s as wrong as if a person said the violence of conservative Muslims knows no bounds. Hyperbole never helps a conversation move towards mutual understanding.

      • DR

        Theophilus,

        Two questions.

        Do you believe that gay men and women should be able to legally marry? Not a civil union – marriage.

        Do you believe that one can be actively gay and still a Christian?

      • DR

        PS.

        The damage the Christian community has done to the GLBT community is SO pervasive – it is so widespread – and it’s been happening for so long, that you, I or no one has the right to ask any gay or lesbian or transgendered human being to be “kind” to us or stop “condemning an entire group of people”. Because it has been an entire group of people – us – that have sat by silently while the people we worship with every Sunday vote against their legal rights to be married, who have kicked their gay children out of their homes from being gay, who have told their gay children that they aren’t “comfortable” with their “chosen lifestyle” and have driven those kids into emotional and spiritual despair. WE have done that. Nobody cares about the occasional good guy Christian who “has a friend who is gay and a brother who is gay too so stop being mean to me because i’m not one of the ‘bad’ Christians”. They don’t care about us personally nor should they. We as a “group” are hurting them. Those of us who aren’t overt about it are still doing nothing to stop the ones that are. So please – stop asking the people we’ve demonized over thoughts and feelings that are hardwired into them and will never – ever change – that they shouldn’t “condemn” us. Just stop it. This isn’t about you or your feelings about being condemned.

        Listen to the anger. Toughen up, move past your defensiveness and really listen to it.

        • DR

          (and that’s not personal, all of us who call ourselves Christian – including me – need to start being able to really deal with peoples’ anger towards us much more constructively than we do now. The most common reactions are to simply dismiss the person who’s angry with us as “disrespectful” so we don’t have to listen. Or we get defensive, we take what they are saying personally and we make it about *us* when in fact? Scripture calls us “the Body of Christ”. When one of us hurts someone, all of us are responsible, we don’t get to pick and choose when we are the Body of Christ and when we are not. So if a Christian has hurt Dirk in the name of Christian belief? In the name of Jesus? We are responsible as a Body for that. We are accountable for one another, we are accountable for repairing the harm one of our brethren do in the name of Jesus.

          And we better start maturing emotionally and respond to it as such or God have mercy on us if we don’t. We claim to have the Holy Spirit and we claim to be transformed and redeemed by Jesus Christ. Then prove it by how you respond to someone who doesn’t like you very much because of how our beliefs have hurt him or her. Because neither mean that we get to play the victim when someone is angry with us and says so – angrily. It means we have to really listen and respond. It means we have to apologize for the hurt one of our people caused and focus our energy on actively repairing it instead of defending ourselves and our Church, trying to convince everyone that “it was the exception rather than the rule” when we have absolutely no facts to prove it.

          • Russell Mark

            WOW…powerfully said and as one of those gay people I deeply appreciate your passion. The church is my second family and it took a long time for me to have the courage to stand up for myself, come out and be the real person I am. I have felt as you do more times than not – but I keep coming back to the family angle – if I love the church as my family, then I must find a way to forgive it – not excuse it, not ignore the pain and suffering it can cause, and not fight the ignorance it too often perpetuates – but confront and engage it in meaningful dialogue, that’s the only way we’ll break the defensiveness and fear that fuels their hatred and total misunderstanding of people like me. We must stay on the high-road – but we must also be more and more visible and vocal – united across faith expressions under God’s grace. That’s why I’m so grateful to John for his writings and for this place to share and vent and fortify. That being said, I don’t take shit from them and I won’t waste my pearls either – but when there’s an opportunity to plant a seed, it’s my responsiblity in faith to take it. Ever time I preach I try to open the door a little wider. Remember, Theophilus and his ilk are on this website and open to learning – so we teach and we learn ourselves and we become that unbreakable force that really does make a difference. Ain’t Grace Grand!

          • DR

            Beautiful. Thank you. And you’re right, most of us are learning and we start where we are. Comments like these as well as the example John and Christy set as they live out what you’ve offered here have been productive for me.

        • http://psalmsinpurgatory.com Theophilus

          Firstly, trying to promote productive conversation is a big deal for me. I fully realize how we got here, but more important to me is where we go from here. I think anger has every right to be heard, but moderation is the only way forward that doesn’t just deepen the trenches.

          Secondly, I’m under no illusion that America is a “Christian” nation, not do I think it has, or ought to have, a “Christian identity.” We all know enough European history to know that’s a bad idea. So as far as making gay marriage legal, I find it hard to see reasons against it constitutionally. From a state perspective, I have yet to hear a good argument against it. So even though I have conservative sexual ethics, and teach them in the church, I don’t think there is any reason for the church to poke its nose into matters of state. If the people vote to legalize gay marriage, that’s fine by me.

          Finally, I am of the passionate opinion that Gay people can be Christians. As an evangelical I want everyone to hear the gospel and have the freedom to choose it. There are gay Christians at my church who are in gay relationships and some that have decided against it. They’re both Christians. We all argue over what is sin and what is not sin, but we’re all still Christians. It is exactly that freedom of discourse that I try and advocate wherever I’m able.

          But to answer your subtext, yes we Christians have done a genuinely shitty job of loving people and have to face the reckoning for that now as we try and amend the way we evangelize and interact with the world.

          peace

          • DR

            Part of productive conversation is being transparent about what it is you believe. As someone who’s self-identified as a Conservative Christian and also, someone who’s clearly very smart and articulate, you know that’s going to send an alarm bell off to those who’ve both been harmed by conservative Christian groups or people like me who’ve had to clean up their mess and resent it. So it’s reasonable to ask – given that you’ve proactively offered that you’re a conservative christian – if you align yourself personally with those beliefs.

            So again – if you want to have productive conversation, please confirm where you are actually starting personally so we can know how to go from here, as you’ve stated. Specifically, where you stand personally on gay marriage as well as gay men and women being both actively gay – in loving relationships (I’ll assume you just didn’t have time to answer earlier). They are yes or no questions. Thanks.

          • http://psalmsinpurgatory.com Theophilus

            I think Marriage before God as described biblically is solely between a man and woman.

            I think the only sexual expression that honors God is marriage as described above.

          • http://psalmsinpurgatory.com Theophilus

            marriage in the state is not before God, thus they are different things to me.

          • DR

            I understand the distinction.

          • DR

            So you support legal marriage for gay men and women but not religious marriage?

            If so, how do you reconcile the fact that you stating that also communicates to gay men and women – particularly children – that their desire for a loving partnership blessed by the God they love (as a Christian) is not holy enough? Do you take responsibility for the emotional damage that does to them to hear that?

          • http://psalmsinpurgatory.com Theophilus

            I wrote a reply and it didn’t post?! Ah, it was good to :(

            it had a link, is this a link prof conversation?

          • DR

            Wow I’m a moron, you did answer them, I’m so sorry. I appreciate it!

            Wow for myself, I’d love to have more conservative christians here to add to the dialogue. I hope you stick around!

          • http://psalmsinpurgatory.com Theophilus

            PS. I’m already getting a lot out of this discussion. Thanks.

          • DR

            I hope so. I certainly have.

            I’ll be honest, it’s the only way I know how to be. There are a lot of us who have worked with the gay community here who have dealt with the fall out of your beliefs that marriage according to God, is between a man and a woman. And I’m angry. I’m angry at you and those of you who believe you can both hold this view and also send the message that you love and support gay men and women. I *believe* that is your intent. I believe 100% that there are thoughtful, loving, conservative Christians who would be devastated to know that their are kids who actually commit suicide because of the belief that such a core part of them is an abomination and as hard as they try, they can’t change it.

            But I do hold you accountable to it and I’m going to say so. I would also ask that you would give gay men and women the last word on the *impact* this kind of theology that you’ve just publicly acknowledged you believe has on them and I will also challenge you that your intent doesn’t have anything to do with your impact. A bullet, regardless of being shot accidentally or on purpose – still hurts someone, sometimes it even kills them. The impact is what is lasting. Not the intent.

          • http://psalmsinpurgatory.com Theophilus

            Sadly, my more articulate comment fell into the ether.

            However, Christianity has a long standing theological claim that state marriage and Christian marriage are distinct but not mutually exclusive.

            I think that as far as government is concerned, and the IRS and insurance, gay marriage is fine. But I don’t think it is possible before God because it is simply not in keeping with the definition of marriage.

            As to emotional harm, I have gay friends and acquaintances which could answer better than I ever could. Some say their choice of celibacy is difficult and life giving at the same time. Others are livid and hurt by the suggestion that their lifestyle is a sin and impediment to their relationship with God.

            All I can say is that Christians are commanded to speak truth and grace. That is to say, that from a point of genuine and proven love a Christian must speak their convictions, but if they are not speaking in love they should keep their mouth shut.

            I blogged about this yesterday.

          • DR

            Theo, you used a lot of spiritual words here but you didn’t actually say anything at all. You didn’t talk at all about your responsibility in the impact of your stated beliefs. Jesus came for people, He dealt with them intimately, directly and personally. He was a man of few words. Let your yes be yes, your no be no. You simply can’t have it both ways and “your gay friends” don’t define much of anything beyond their experience and yours. If you want to userhem as a reason why you aren’t responsible for the impact you have on a macro level? I guess you can do that but it’s not intellectually honest or morally congruent. Action A=Impact A1. Your belief is an action, it’s not an interesting theological premise that is just part of some vague “God is just someone we don’t understand entirely.”

            There have bee people here who’ve said “you know I do believe being gay is wrong. I believe being married is between a man and a woman and I don’t know what to do about it, it makes me sick to my stomach and I’m pretty confused. Except, this is what I believe. So I don’t know how to respond to your question.”

            I have farmite respect for that than what you’ve offered so far because it’s just not real. Stop hiding behiyonder ideas of God and really talk. Or don’t, it’s up to you.

            Marriage and love as God has ordained them may in fact, be changing

          • DR

            Thanks for this, it’s great. Part of what I have learned (as a former conservative christian) is that it’s essential to allow a lot of space and room for someone’s experiences with us as a Body. A dear friend (an atheist) attacked the church, christians, and me for the damage done in this country. And all I could do was focus on *me* – why I was one of the “good” Christians, why he shouldn’t be angry, that he was just choosing to focus on all of the hypocrisy of Christians, all the harm we did instead of the good. That he was allowing all of that to define what collective Christianity did.

            But then, the Lord led me to a quieter place. All I heard was “listen”. So I did. I listened, and I provided myself with the flexibility of being changed, and I did.

            He taught me that I – like other Christians who were for gay marriage and other things – just couldn’t have it both ways, I had to pick a lane. That we were actually more responsible for the damage done to this community because of our ability to reason and articulate. We are educated. We’re self-aware. Given that, we have a responsibility to clean up our own Christian tent but instead, from his perspective, I and others like me were simply focused on defending ourselves. The analogy he used was those during WWII who saw the Nazis doing what they were doing, but they never spoke up. They allowed themselves to go into helpless despair. They stayed quiet, focused on self-preservation. And doing so, they made a choice to let the murder of the Jews continue. They were responsible for that.

            It was the most convicting conversation I’ve ever had. And I’ve never been the same since.

      • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

        Theo,

        Dirk has some real bent-up anger issues with Conservative Christianity (seems Christophobic). It seems all the pain and suffering the GLBT community have endured and are still enduring is 100% the fault of Christians.

        • DR

          Apparently Theo is much more aware than you are, despite the hundred of attempts of people to educate you.

          Christians are 100% for the misery the GLBT community has put them through in America. No one else is telling them that they can’t get married and that they are an abomination before God and so far you’ve not ever been able to show anyone else who has any kind of majority influence on our legal system or our cultural, collective ethics here in America – who believes the same thing. You have tried to sell the idea that s I .012% of Muslim-Americans (based on 2010 census reports) are responsible though. I’d probably abandon that line of thinking, not sure you’ll be able to sell that.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            What is the offical Catholic position to same sex marriage, o yea, that’s right they’re against it. The Catholic Church is to blame too, aren’t you a Catholic? Also in Calif. Prop 8 passed (marriage is only between a man and a woman) not solely because of Conservative Christians, more non-Christians voted for it than Christians. Clearly the majority of the voting citizenry in California (Christians would be a minority of that crowd) voted that marriage is between opposite sexes.

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

            Brian, perhaps instead of trying to defend one group (with which you seem to identify) by spreading the blame around, it would be helpful to acknowledge the pain that the group with which you are a part HAS caused.

            This approach that you are trying here is not helpful.

            Conservative Christians who are against same sex marriage include Conservative Protestants AND Conservative Catholics. And most other- than -conservative Christians I know lump those two groups together. There’s no distinction between Protestant and Catholic, this is a distinction that you keep making and highlighting because DR is Catholic.

            Look, this is a Conservative Religion issue – regardless of the flavor of the ice cream.

            Here’s the deal: people of faith get blamed more for their HYPOCRISY in how they treat people because of expectations. I don’t necessarily expect someone who is not a person of faith to treat me a certain way. But when someone takes the time to claim, practice, self-identify, and proclaim allegiance to a certain set of standards and follow a deity that is supposedly loving and forgiving and taught us to treat others in the same way and THOSE people do not treat me in accordance with the standards that they claim……I’m going to be just a tad bit: hacked, dismayed, perplexed, confused, hurt, injured. And then when you call them on it and they look left and then right and point their finger at their chest and with that doe-eyed -caught -in -the -headlights -who -me look on their face and insist that it is the one pointing out the hypocrisy who is wrong, that they are just being good, loving Christians by proclaiming how sinful and wrong and evil and wicked people are, I can see how one would quite possibly get: angry, frustrated, irritated, pissed off, and resentful.

            Your line of defense is to deflect, rather than take responsibility. This is frustrating. The “he did it too” defense stopped working a long time ago.

            People should expect more compassion and forgiveness from people of faith, and for good reason, yet this wasn’t happening (until more progressive Christians got more outspoken). In fact, the opposite seems to be true. The fact that some of the most hateful and vile things are coming out of the mouths of the most outspoken and visible people who claim a faith in God doesn’t make God look very good.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            I agree with you Christy, I know that much pain and even murder has ocurred under the guise of Christianity, I have never denied that, it most certianly has. I keep making the “Catholic” distinction to DR because she keeps claiming that “the church” has caused all this pain and suffering yet she identifies with the Catholic Church and that is not hypocrisy?

            Look I don’t treat anyone different, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is available to all, sexaul orientation is not discriminated against. You shouldn’t lump all Christians togther into one large group of people that “hate” the GLBT community. There are some very vocal ones that do “hate”, most do not, since we are commanded by Christ to love your neighbor as your self.

            I’m part of a jail ministry that preches the Gospel and conducts Bble studies to people so dangerous that society locks them up and I don’t hate them, they need Christ like everyone else does.

            The love of God is personified in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, there is no greater love than this.

          • DR

            Brian, you’re a married man. Get over me, it’s just not going to happen between us.

            (Christy, Brian doesn’t have the capacity to understand what you are offering him. Maybe someday he will. Pearls before swine, sister. Xoxo)

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

            That’s a wonderful ministry to be a part of, Brian. Do you get to talk to them about things other than Jesus too?

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

            DR, Thanks …..and sweet! Hugs AND kisses. I’m way luckier than poor Rachelle who couldn’t even get a smile. = )

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

            @ Brian: And, No, I don’t see DR identifying as Catholic despite the official Catholic position being anti-gay as hypocrisy because she belongs to an apparently rogue group of Catholics who do not agree with this position and most of us know that there is much of Catholic teaching that gets picked and chosen from. Eg: many of my devout married Catholic friends use birth control without batting an eye.

            I believe I mentioned on another thread a few weeks ago that she does not have the luxury of the denomination du jour as Protestants do to pick and choose to match her understanding of theology, but as most faiths -there are conservative branches and there are more liberal ones. She attends a liberal one and works against the pain the church has caused, so, no I see no hypocrisy here.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            Christy,

            DR has said in a post “I am Catholic”, when I read that I have to assume if she says that she is identifying with Catholic doctrine. If she doesn’t, then why say you’re a Catholic when you don’t believe thier doctrine?

          • DR

            Jesus, take the wheel!

        • cat rennolds

          Brian. Why do you still post here if you don’t want to hurt the GLBT community? If that’s not your conscious, deliberate reason? How many of us have to tell you, how many times, that YOU SPECIFICALLY, and not just as part of the body of Christ, hurt us almost every time you open your mouth?

          You just now hurt me. No, 100% of the pain and suffering in my life are not due to the institution of Christianity nor even to individual Christians. Some of it’s just from being human. But 100% of the pain and suffering I have endured FOR BEING BISEXUAL

          • cat rennolds

            (accidentally hits enter key) are in fact due to Christianity.

            I didn’t try to commit suicide when I fell in love with my best friend at the age of 15, but only because it would have hurt my family so much. I wanted to. I thought I must be an evil, horrible, disgusting person, and there was NOTHING I COULD DO to change it. Not prayer, not tears, NOTHING. Any other Christian can ask forgiveness and get it. Not us. Not me. Not for what I did – because I didn’t DO anything – but just for what I am. What God made me.

            I wasn’t even raised Christian. I chose it for myself when I was 13 years old because I met a minister who said, essentially, look how much God loves us, now go and share that love, instead of my grandmother’s Baptist minister who said loudly and repeatedly, We’re all going to hell. Unless we’re saved, and then stay saved, and don’t ever, ever screw up again because that would prove you’re not saved.

            Then I fell in love with another girl. And then I knew one of two things: Either the Christian bible and teachings about homosexuality were in error, and God was in fact love, and love was of God; or they were correct and I was evil, and GOD was evil, because He made me that way.

            I chose to keep God and reject the church. But it took a long, long time.

            How long will you keep that millstone around your neck? How long will you keep killing and wounding YOUR OWN CHILDREN? How long, when your son asks you for bread, will you keep giving him a stone? How long will you keep pushing them away from your own Christ?

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

            Cat, this is painful, yet beautiful. Maybe it would help Brian understand that for many of us, it’s not God that is the problem; it’s the church. How long indeed….

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            Christy,

            I know the Catholic church has caused much pain to the GLBT community and my word, the countless number of children molested by priests, what a tragedy.

          • cat rennolds

            completely true and utterly irrelevant, unless your PURPOSE was to hurt Christy’s feelings. You are not going to get any of us to change our minds or shut our mouths by playing teenage bully.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            Cat,

            Hurt Christy’s feelings by agreeing with her? Huh? What is completely untrue? The Catholics have not caused pain to the GLBT community when their official position is decidedly anti-gay? Molestation of children by priests is untrue? How am I being a”bully”?

          • cat rennolds

            read it again. I said “completely true.” I answered the rest of your question someplace else on here.

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

            What if we chose to read Brian’s words while hearing sincerity in his voice, rather than looking at it as him trying to point out a black mark on the face of Catholicism?

            Maybe he was or maybe he wasn’t, but it is impossible to tell intent or tone of voice here. We could choose to see the best in his comment if we would like to.

          • cat rennolds

            Thank you.

          • DR

            Man. Cat, that makes me Geary to read that.

            Friends, you will notice that Brian didn’t respond to Cat directly. He didn’t acknowledge her suffering. He only used her pain and the vulnerability that took to continue to take some kind of weird shot at me re: this Catholic thing (that doesn’t even make sense). It’s creepy to read and makes me a little sick to my stomach, and very protective of the gay men and women who interact with I’m but we are all adults and our choices are all serving us (but still, I worry).

            There are going to be people who believe as Brian does who through dialogue and wrestling with others will absolutely come around in time, we see it everyday on this blog. But Brian is an example of a pathology that can’t be reasoned with, it’s like asking a fire to please stop burning. Fire won’t listen to reason, it just burns.

            Cat, I’ve come to adore your presence here and you, my friend. Arena elf the good stuff.

            (apologies in advance for iPhone typos!)

          • DR

            Teary. Not Geary. I’m a walking auto-correct.

          • DR

            Are madeof the good stuff. Ugh!

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

            I don’t know….I kinda liked Arena elf the good stuff.

          • DR

            Maybe he was or maybe he wasn’t, but it is impossible to tell intent or tone of voice here. We could choose to see the best in his comment if we would like to.>>>

            Because this kind of pathology – in my experience – does not respond to kindness, reason or the assumption of positive intent. It simply uses “apologies”, kind words and appearances of humility and concession. It’s similar to the deflecting and manipulative behaviors that addicts often display. Brian’s kept this same line of dialogue since the beginning despite yours and others numerous attempts to assume positive intent. I wish I was wrong, but the continued pattern of Brian’s behavior – even today – tells it’s own story.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            Cat,

            I’m sorry you experinced such treatment and taught that you were “evil” because of your love for a person of the same sex. There is nothing in the Bible that says such love is “evil”. God is love.

            What millstone do I have around my neck? What children of mine am I killing, wounding or pushing away? I try and push people TO Christ, not away, look unto HIM, not me, looking unto Jesus the author and finsiher of our faith. Don’t look to a church organization, look unto JESUS.

          • cat rennolds

            Deep breath. I am sorry, Brian, if I am being overly defensive. I will try to answer your question as concisely and logically as I can.

            IF: You belong to a church that teaches from the erroneous translations of the verses in the Bible, saying that homosexuality is not only sin, but abomination,

            AND: you do not challenge it publicly, either by choosing a different church or by challenging your church, or in some other way assisting to change that set of beliefs,

            THEN: you share responsibility for the despair of the young people who have absorbed these poisonous, soul-killing beliefs because they have been told it IS the Gospel truth. Because Christianity is so pervasive in this culture that even kids who have never been to a church think “gay” equals “bad.”

            You share the responsibility for those children who turn away from Christ because you have told them they are abomination. Even if only by NOT telling them they aren’t.

            Saying so on this forum is only a start – we’re pretty much all grownups here, and our opinions are our own. Kids, on the other hand, are still very much formed by their culture. So if you want them to love Christ – and LIVE to love Christ – you have to somehow help them get the message that being gay is okay.

            I know you have the prison work to do, I’m not asking you to change missions. there may very well be a chance for you to minister about this there, too. I’m just asking you to think about changing churches, or quietly challenging an elder or a reading or a sermon that hurts hearts. Go to a parade every once in a while:) Keep your mind and heart open. Stop saying, well, that’s what the verses say. Only since 1958 is that what they say.

            And do keep saying, loud and clear, God loves ALL of you. that’s good enough for me.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            Cat,

            Thanks for taking the time and the effort for such a long and thoughful response, (I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer so it takes me a awhile to “get it”) I don’t think you’re being overly defensive at all, you have a passion for what you believe. I’m on this forum for many reasons, most of all to learn and I have learned alot and there is still much to learn.

          • Mindy

            Cat, this is outstanding. I hope Brian at least attempted to understand. Last time I engaged in a conversation with him, he repeatedly pointed out to me that the whole “gay issue” just wasn’t a big deal to him, so it wasn’t his responsibility to speak out against his church. Besides, since he’s nice to everyone, including gay people, that should be enough. You did a beautifully eloquent job of explaining why just “being nice” is not nearly enough. Whether he will take it to heart and really understand you? Well, time will tell. :)

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

            Nicely done, Cat. The deep breath at the beginning always helps a bit.

          • DR

            Cat, please don’t take the bait. Any time Brian has acknowledged anyone’s pain directly, he inevitably challenges the very idea that he has caused you or anyone else pain. He’s not talking to you, he is defending himself. It’s his only capability.

          • cat rennolds

            maybe so, maybe no. I try to stick with the benefit of the doubt. And I only post when I feel called. But in any case he is not the only one reading my responses.

          • DR

            Cat, I trust your gut. You get to have your own story with Brian. :)

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            Cat,

            How have I personally hurt the GLBT “everytime I open my mouth”? I have done nothing but proclaim that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is freely given to all with no discrimination as to sexual orientation. How did I just now hurt you? Accept my apologies, I didn’t know how I hurt you. I don’t judge you in any way for being bisexual, Christ died for all.

          • cat rennolds

            You hurt me in that post with your sarcastic denial that Christianity is responsible for my, own, personal pain, much less any one else’s, and by implication the denial that you have any responsibility for or connection to that pain.

            Then you hurt me AGAIN by trying to sidetrack the issue – Christianity’s treatment of GLBT being the subject under discussion – by throwing in the Catholic church child molestation, thus implying that Christy is more to blame than you are, since you posted it in her thread, and that my pain doesn’t count because some other abuse is more important. You invalidated my suffering and you were flat out RUDE to Christy.

            Then you hurt me AGAIN by either failing totally to hear and understand what all of us are saying to you, or by hearing it, understanding it, avoiding it, denying it, and turning it back on us by asking what you did. I don’t know which one. I don’t know why I CARE. But I do.

            I already know Jesus doesn’t discriminate. I also know churches do, and you have admitted multiple times to attending one that does, and to accepting its beliefs. Perhaps not as poisonous as some, maybe in your church we’re not damned to hell….we’re just poor, deluded sinners who refuse to stop sinning.

            You hurt us when you do not help us. Either stand up and help, sit down and LISTEN, or admit you’re going to keep on hurting us.

            Try asking Christ what you’ve done. He will tell you.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            Cat,

            Christianity doesn’t hurt anyone and never has, Christianity gives life, love, hope, peace and is all that is good. PEOPLE cause the pain, not Christ, Christ heals. I agree and will continue to agree that people, even those that are Christians have caused pain to people, I never denied that. The mix-up seems to be that people beleive that some church organization IS Christ or some offical spokes person for all of Christiandom, they’re not.

            I never blamed Christy for anything, she seems like a very kind, sincere and loving person a real gem, I wasn’t rude, or that wasn’t my intent. OK child molesting aside, still the offical Catholic Church position is absolutely anti-gay, are you denying that? You claim Christianity is to blame for your pain and since it is, I’m directly responsible because, well, I’m a Christian, then is DR responsible too because she is a Catholic?

            I give freely and indiscriminately the Gospel to all people. There is no greater help I can give anyone than the free gift of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. All that really matters is Christ and him crucified……

          • cat rennolds

            Why would I deny the Catholic church is anti-gay? I said it wasn’t relevant to the discussion.

            DR is no longer to blame for something the larger church is doing, regardless of flavor, because she is actively working to change it.

            You seem to be very sincere about the love of Christ, and that is a beautiful thing. But He Himself said that the tree shall be known by its fruit, and this religion seems to have been sprouting hate and death since it was born, practically, against its own rules! There are exceptions. Are you one of them?

            If I were one of your prison inmates, and I said to you, “I’m homosexual, can I still be a Christian?” what would you say? If I said to you, “I’m a Christian gay, do I have to be celibate to be right with God?” What would you say? If I asked you, Am I an abomination, what would you say?

            Am I an abomination, Brian? Is my orientation a sin? Or is it only a sin if I act on it?

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            Cat,

            God can and does save anyone, yes you can be gay and be a Christian, you can be a Christian and be gay. All Christians are “right with God” because if you really are a Christian (not a wolf in sheeps clothing or a false Christian) you have been “declared righteous” before God through Jesus Christ, so no you’re not an “abomination”, that’s just plain stupid. Perhaps a technical thing, but that’s what I believe the Bible teaches.

            As to remaining celibate, that is between you and God, my opinion doesn’t matter. What do YOU believe God teaches in the Bible about sex outside of the divine covenant (not the state or man’s definition) of marriage ?

        • Dirk

          Two things: One, I can reject your hateful conservative Christian sect and still be a follower of Christ.

          Two, actually you conservative Christians are responsible for virtually all the murders, rapes, torture, beatings, electro-shock therapy, castration, homelessness of gay children and suicide of so very many young people.

          My fury at you and your twisted, hateful perversion of Christianity is the only appropriate response to your physical attacks upon us gays and the transgender.

          • DR

            This comment should be bronzed and mounted somewhere.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            Dirk,

            A follower of Christ is evidenced by their fruit, do have the fruit that Christ described in the Bible? Can you provide proof and evidence of murder, rape, torture, beatings, etc. that Christians have committed in America? The suicides that Christians have caused? DO you have proof, can you site sources? DO you have evidence of physical attacks that I have committed to homosexuals?

          • DR

            Did you read the news about Matthew Sheppard? Those were Christians who killed him. Do you read the newspaper? The bullying of gay men and women who say “those people aren’t right by God!” are in the newspapers every single day.

            You actually challenging a gay man like this is like asking a rape victim to provide evidence that she wasnt “asking for it” or dismissing the notion that African-Americans get pulled over by the police randomly far more often.

            Consider googling “hate crimes against gays” and do a little research.

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

            Brian, for the love of God, or Pete, or whomever you hold dear – can you not tell when we are talking about you personally and you (Conservative Christianity, Conservative Religion) collectively. You directly and you indirectly?

  • http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

    Not even a smile? I don’t know how dating sites work, but not all smiles are flirtatious, right? (Keeping in mind the genre of the site…)

    And here I was, last night on TV Tropes reading “Moral Substitutes” to mainstream things (and how they usually suck).

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheMoralSubstitute

    • http://psalmsinpurgatory.com Theophilus

      I have found that there is enough talent in the Christian community to do just about anything well. But when we try and do something in opposition to its secular counterpart it usually sucks. The best example, to my mind, is Christian rap. There are rappers who are Christian and rap about Christian stuff, and they are really good. Then there are the Christian rappers who try and mold their rap to critique secular rap. They almost always suck.

      I love D&D, which old watch-dog groups claimed was satanic back in the eighties. I shudder to think of someone trying to make a Christian D&D. I heard that a game developer was making a RTS computer game of the Left Behind Series and I just about cried.

      • http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

        I read somewhere (on the same site) that Gary Gygax was actually a Christian – it’s at footnote on the “Offending One’s Own” tag – he apparently said it in an interview not long before his death and was generally baffled by the “Satanism” ascribed to his game – which was basically just born out of wargames his friend and he played. I’ve never played D&D myself, though. I suppose if geeky friends got together and were willing to help out a newbie I might become an addict, since I’m very deep into the Fantasy genre in literature, film, series, videogames and the like. I’m a wannabe writer – guess my genre. (some of my stuff can be found on my blog which you can get to by clicking my name on here).

        I once had someone tell me (with writing) to “let my faith color my work.” There’s a strong difference between letting one’s views color something and “preaching” – making them overpowering. Every writer puts their own values and thoughts into their work, it is inevitable, but it is not necessary to make things an Author Tract. The key is having the imagination to see things from the perspective of the “others.”

        If you fail to do that, you wind up writing stuff like “Left Behind” (Yes, I’ve read half the series, back when I was deep into my evangelical/conservative phase – and I liked a lot of things about them then, but even then, a lot of it was ridiculous and I *hated* the treatment of female-characters in it. It’s like the authors never even talked to a woman or didn’t think we had fully-functioning brains or something).

        Mentioned above because “ChristianMingle” apparently serves as The Moral Substitute to regular dating sites and is showing an earmark of the trope.

        There are all kinds of “Moral Substitutes” out there – not just for one religion or even for religion specifically. There’s Muslim Music, there’s Liberal answers to Conservative films and talkshows, there’s PETA’s videogames to try to encourage kids away from meat-eating, etc.

  • Wicked

    Theophilus, I thank you for your thoughtful comments. As a gay person, what I would say to you is this- if you believe that marriage before God is between a man and woman and that the only Godly sexual expression is between the same, then make sure that is what you do in your own life. As long as you do not require me to follow suit, we’re good to go. That and don’t stand in the way of me getting my right to marriage in the state.

  • http://psalmsinpurgatory.com Theophilus

    Now I’m uncomfortably aware of how frequently Christian Mingle advertises on my facebook. I never payed any attention but now that I think about it, it’s always been there.

  • cat rennolds

    Ran out of reply buttons for Brian. I was really appreciating the last response until we got to the “sex outside the divine covenant” part. And that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms. Do we go there, let it go, take it somewhere else, what? Team?

    • Dirk

      I vote for asking John to permit it. It is becoming increasingly clear that not only do conservative Christians hate us gays and the transgender, they also really have it in for the few rights women have.

      And that is the real reason for all this covenant nonsense. It has nothing to do with what Christ demands of us and everything to do with women being reduced to the level of brood hens and milch cows.

      • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

        Dirk, why so Christophobic buddy? Conservative Christians don’t hate gays, do you hate Conservative Christians? You clearly don’t understand true biblical Christianity, you let some wack jobs that call themselves Christians and do hate gays, be representative for virtually all Christians.

        • DR

          Dear Brian,

          What you don’t seem to understand is that you are one of the wack jobs. Your beliefs about marriage being between a man and a woman only hurt people, it hurts kids who are gay. People have shown you the data, they have told you that to your virtual face. People who hurt others in he name of Jesus and demonstrate absolutely no willingness to at minimum, take responsibility for it? That’s not a decision that someone who is emotionally intact makes.

          • cat rennolds

            I dunno, DR, that might be a little harsh. Ditto Dirk, above. Brian does get defensive (so do I!) of what he’s been taught all his life. That does not equate to hating gays. I don’t think he’s a whack job – ie, I don’t think he is holding on to his beliefs because they give him power, or stating beliefs he doesn’t HAVE because it gives him power or superiority. I think he falls under the heading of “taught by the whack jobs,” and I think that he is honestly trying to be as loving and accepting as he is ABLE to be, given the data and experience he has. I think this is true of most of the quiet majority.

            But Brian, you can hurt people without hating them. I think we’ve covered that pretty well. I accept you don’t hate me, even if I’m bi and not gay. You’ve said some pretty loving things along with some pretty hurtful things. I’m starting to believe, though, that you truly don’t realize they’re hurtful, or how they’re hurtful. Unless of course you’re an incredibly skillful troll, but I don’t quite think so.

            What’s the definition of conservative in this context, btw? I know there are plenty of extremist Christians who actively hate and seek to oppress gays (and anybody else that doesn’t toe that narrow, narrow line). I think the conservatives are not hating….just failing, miserably, to love.

            See, here’s what I think about divine covenant marriage. I found this great essay on it. http://www.hccentral.com/eller1/covsex.html.

            And I think that if God could expand the original divine covenant with his first bride, Israel, to include the whole world through Jesus the Christ, then Christianity can expand its definition of marriage to include: Any who truly LOVE each other and have asked God to bless their union and be part of it, irrevocably. If irrevocable is too scary, don’t invite God until you’re ready for a REAL commitment.:) Have a civil union instead, even if you’re hetero.

            Brian – and Theophilus, if you’re following this – I think the biggest point about all this is that Jesus AND Peter both said, in different ways, “When the rules don’t make sense, listen to the Spirit behind them. What was unclean for these people in this time, is not necessarily impure for you. ” We don’t need more Pharisees and Saducees.

            I’m on baby duty typing with one hand, so, not all that articulate. I love you all.

          • DR

            I didn’t say that Brian “hates gays”. I said he hurts them. Big difference.

          • cat rennolds

            sorry for the conflation. I was trying to be concise and I’m not good at it. I have both hands now:)

          • DR

            Baby duty is a hard road, sister. xoxoxo

          • DR

            I love this comment:

            “I think the conservatives are not hating….just failing, miserably, to love.”

          • cat rennolds

            Thank you:) Are you on Facebook?Because I think I love you;)

          • DR

            That’s a Partridge Family song!

            I try to keep my real life identify on the down-low due to some craaaaaazy people who started harassing me a little bit when I had my blog linked as well as my FB. Would love to have you in there, email John and he’ll give you my Facebook. :)

          • cat rennolds

            p.s. in other words, gay sex is not necessarily outside divine covenant just because it’s gay.

            A gay relationship blessed by Love and trying to live in God IS inside the divine covenant.

            When gay sex is outside divine covenant, ie, not permanently committed to each other and asking God to be part of it, it’s just like any other sex outside divine covenant, with the same et ceteras.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            Sorry, I guess I’m thick skulled, what hurful things have I said?

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            DR,

            I admit that I believe that biblical marriage is between a man and a woman. If the state wants to recognize same sex marriage, then so be it. Why are you such a drum beater for same-sex marrriage?

            The statistics show that committed gay couples don’t seem to care all that much about it because where legal recongintion or same sex marriage is available, relatively few same-sex couples even bother to claim such benefits.

            Some stats: In California same sex marriage was legal for approx 7 months and in that time less than 20% of committed cohabitating gay couples (based on 2000 census), got married. So 80% of committed co-habitating gay couples rejected the opportunity to get legally married when the opportunity presented itself.

            In Massachusettes, since 2004, only 52% of same-sex cohabitating couples were married, by contrast 91% of opposite-sex couples that were cohabitating were married. So same-sex couples rejected marriage over 5x higher than opposite sex couples. (48% vs. 9%)

            In the Netherlands (the first country to legalize same-sex marriage) only 22% of cohabitating same-sex couples were married or in a “registered partnership”. Similar to California, 78% of same-sex cohabitating presumed committed gay couples have seen no necessity for legal recognition of their relationships at all, while only 18% of same-sex couples have.

            This is just a small sampling, but it clearly shows the majority of committed cohabitating same-sex couples neither need nor desire to participate in the institution of marrige or its legal equivalent.

            If the vast majority of committed gay couples seem to care less about same-sex marriage, why does it matter so much to you? Just curious.

          • Dirk

            My civil and human rights are not dependent upon statistics.

            Nor are my civil and human rights dependent upon the number of gays and transgender in the world.

            That they have been stolen from me by hateful conservative Christians like you is supremely well illustrated in your comment, above.

            Brian, you are a hateful conservative Christian. A true example of the child-molesting, gay-bashing, transgender-raping, Ugandan ‘kill the gays’ law conservative Christians.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            How have your civil rights be violated (have you been denied a job, housing, credit, etc. because of your sexual orientation?) Human rights too? Which human right has been violated?

            I used the statistics to show marriage or its legal equivelant doesn’t seem to be such a big issue with the gay comminity as a whole, because where it is legal, few take advantage of it, in fact a vast majority reject it.

            Civil Rights are “rights belonging to a person by virtue of his status as a citizen or as a member of civil society” like the right to freedom of religion, speech, and the press, as well as “due process of law,” and gives protections against unreasonable search and seizure, “double jeopardy” and self-incrimination.

            Correct me if I’m wrong but homosexuals have never been denied any of these rights, nor is anyone proposing to deny such rights to homosexuals in the future, are they?

            You’re a Christophobic Christian hater Dirk. You know that is fine, Christians have been persecuted (hated) since the time of Christ, why would it be any different today?

            Don’t spew hate Dirk, the Gospel of Jesus is love for all and most of all forgiveness, if I have hurt you in any way with any comment, it was not meant to, so please forgive me, since forgiveness is divine………

          • Dirk

            Wow.

            Just fine.

            The Nazis at Nuremberg didn’t argue their case half as well as you just did Brian.

            My civil rights have not been abrogated?

            The physical attacks upon us, the rapes, torture, beatings and murder have not occurred?

            Wow. Just wow.

          • DR

            Dirk, for Brian? He’s “very sorry” about the physical attacks upon you, the rapes, the torture, the beatings, the murder, the lack of getting a loan at a bank because all of the sudden someone in power realizes you are gay, the denial of you receiving an apartment because of the realization that you are gay…the list goes on. Christians like Brian are “very sorry” that all of that happens to you. He will claim like he has a thousand other times on the forum that none of that is his problem of course, it’s caused by the “one or two” exceptions out there that are really nasty so he isn’t in a position of doing anything about that.

            If the pattern continues, he’ll jump right off the “Gosh I’m so sorry sorry train” into “what does that have to do with me?” city with a drive by shooting of “I think you might be exaggerating all of that happening because you hate Christians so much” with a nice, passive-aggressive gross “Jesus loves you Dirk but none of this is my fault and it’s really not as bad as you are making it out to be.”

            It makes me sick to my stomach each time to read it but it’s important because Christians who are educated and reasonable need to see that there are millions of Brians out there. And we no longer can allow him to speak for us – for Christ – without being checked.

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

            Brian >> ‘Civil Rights are “rights belonging to a person by virtue of his status as a citizen or as a member of civil society” like the right to freedom of religion, speech, and the press, as well as “due process of law,” and gives protections against unreasonable search and seizure, “double jeopardy” and self-incrimination….. Correct me if I’m wrong but homosexuals have never been denied any of these rights, nor is anyone proposing to deny such rights to homosexuals in the future, are they?”‘

            Wikipedia – Civil Rights: a class of rights that protect individuals’ freedom from unwarranted infringement by governments and private organizations, and ensure one’s ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state *without discrimination or repression.*

            Brian, you’ve crossed a line. Your argument rings hollow and is insulting. It shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the severity of the issues at hand and is devoid of grace. Would you have made such a statement to an African American person in the heat of the CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT or even now?

            Civil and human rights include equal treatment under the law and the right to non-discrimination, both by government AND the private sector, Brian; and discrimination is precisely what Anita Bryant fought for in the 70′s and what The Family Research Council and Focus on the Family aim to protect today.

            And you play the poor me victim card again by turning it around and claiming Christian persecution. What current persecution of Christians in America do you see happening? (And the court of public opinion calling them intolerant doesn’t count.)

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            Wow, now you equate Christians to the nazi’s.. What civil rights or yours have been abrogated by legislation? The attacks, rapes, murders, torture that have occured to gays is 100% the result of Christians, I mean conservative Christians, right? I don’t mean to trivialize that this has not occured, because it has, but millions and millions of Christians have suffered the same fate for 2,000 years and still are today. Christians are being martyrd today around the world because they are Christians. So persecution is not limited to gays.

            I never said all is nirvanah for gays, because it isn’t. Does discrimination happen because someone is gay, yes it does, still happens to Blacks too, it doesn’t make it right, it is illegal and unlawful. It isn’t my fault, because I don’t discriminate and I do try my best to treat people the way I want to be treated.

            Mankind is cursed with a sin nature and the ONLY answer to sins curse is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, NOT legislation, you can’t legislate morality, that happens from the inside, a change that comes from the Gospel. Pain and suffering in tis world will NEVER go away until Jesus comes again.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            What legislation in place right now discriminates or abrogates the civil rights of a citizen because of sexual orientation? There are none.

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

            Brian, I have stuck up for you here. I have been patient, and I have been kind. As recently as yesterday, I lobbied for others to give you the benefit of the doubt, and now I see your true colors shining through. I feel betrayed.

          • DR

            Christy,

            You were just being your lovely self. Brian’s pathology is deep and pervasive. He honestly believes that the persecution Christians get is on the same level as the persecution, violence and injustice that the GLBT community receives.

            I know how disheartening it is to really believe that someone was being sincere, the effort it takes in reasoning and educating. The hope for change. But this is pathology – it cannot be reasoned with.

            The dwarves are for the dwarves.

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

            Brian >> “Pain and suffering in tis world will NEVER go away until Jesus comes again.”

            Let me be crystal clear: The hope of the Messiah lives in each and every one of us here on Earth right now. Every single day is an opportunity to do the work of the kingdom. To withhold the compassion that Jesus commanded us to show to everyone unconditionally – friend and enemy alike – is to withhold the transformative change He came to teach. This is what prevents the soothing of pain and suffering. We do. We who know better and do it not…. who look the other way, who are distracted by accumulating stuff, who are distracted with our own wants, needs, and desires, our own pains and grievances. And you – you personally and you directly – fail to do the work of the kingdom here and now by withholding the grace of Jesus Christ from your fellow human beings – the same grace that He so willingly extended to you. This lack of vision for compassion IS the reason for suffering in the world.

            Faith is not passive. Faith is a verb. It is passiveness of faith for you to await a King to return to lead you to do the good you should be doing already (or is it waiting to wipe out your enemies so that you don’t have to do the hard work of loving and forgiving them). You are blinded by your certainty, and it has hardened your heart to the plight of your fellow man. You can only see your own pain and your own point of view. I fear you are traveling on the wide way of ego, and ego blocks compassion……Every. Single. Time.

            And, yet, my compassion for you tells me that you must have suffered a horrible pain in order for you to feel so deeply wounded that you cannot see the pain of others. My prayer is that you will be able to one day know the unconditionally loving God who takes us just as we are and sends his rain to fall and his sun to shine on the wicked as well as the righteous, the One who loves us more than the beauty with which he clothed the lillies and beyond all imagination….. and it will bring you peace.

          • DR

            Wow, in earlier comments you led everyone to believe that you were for same sex marriage through your comment gymnastics. I think we all knew your true perspective so your revelation isn’t surprising.

            I care about my fellow Americans having the same rights as I do. And I want Christians who are gay to have a marriage blessed by God ivia sacramentally.

            As for the rest of your “statistics”, the suggestion that the majority of gay people don’t nacre about the right to legally marry is so ridiculous it’s not worth energy. I guess the groups thst are fighting for those laws to change – the huge organizations that conservative Christian groups are sod ing millions of dollars trying to suppress- are comprised of unicorns. Not gay people.

          • Brian W

            Most people believe marriage by definition is between a man and a woman, most people believe that, not just Christians. If the state redefines marriage to include same sex couples, then so be it. Just because people have different beliefs than you doesn’t mean they hate you. I don’t believe in polygamy but that doesn’t mean I hate polygamists. It seems if people don’t believe as you and affirm your beliefs then they’re hateful, mean, homophobic and on it goes. There are millions of Americans that are anti-abortion that doesn’t mean they hate woman.

          • DR

            The first part of that is just all wrong. The religious right says that marriage is between a man and a woman and that started with Nixon. Before that, they were focused on the blacks. Some moderate christians are still influenced by what the religious right has tried to say is “mainstream” theology but now as with a lot of things, that’s being challenged and it’s evolving. The rest of our nation does. not. care. Why would they? Just because someone has said “Well yeah – marriage has been between a man and a woman historically” doesn’t mean they actually care if it changes.

            You are making things up as you go along, Brian. Just stop. You’ve managed to alienate the people who’ve worked so hard to be kind to you, asking people like me to give you the benefit of the doubt. That’s not you being persecuted. That is you not being honest all along about your real positions toward gay men and women and instead, deflecting it. Because you’ve decided suddenly to be honest now doesn’t mean you get some prize. You owe those on this blog you’ve tried to give you the benefit of the doubt an apology. You don’t believe in gay marriage as you alluded to. As a matter of fact, you don’t report yourself as being “married” to the government so you may even be cheating on your taxes by reporting as a single man and your wife a single woman (you’re the one who said you’re not legally married by the state).

            I’ve been in a position where the “nice girl” image I believed in was exposed, I was exposed for who I was. That’s what is happening here Brian. Have the courage to face it, have the courage to not look good. Have the courage to instead of choosing to be victimized/persecuted/injured by those who have called you out as not a very good guy for your beliefs, *use* it. Bring it to Jesus. If you do, your life will never be the same. I promise. Face it as much as you can. But do face it, this won’t go away. Moving forward, this will be your reality in the church. We’re not going away. And we’re growing.

        • Dirk

          “Biblical Christianity”?

          BIBLICAL Christianity??????!

          What part of ‘we are not to know God’s mind’ and

          Thou shallt have no gods before me does your idolatrous mind not grasp, Brian?

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            Isn’t that found in the BIble? I worship no idols but Christ and him crucified.

          • Dirk

            Nonsense.

            You have made an idol of some perverted, conservative Christian interpretation of the Bible which serves to justify your hatred.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            Which interpratation are you refering to? How can you make an idol of an interpretation?, An idol is an image or an object of worhsip. I worship Christ and he alone. I don’t hate anyone one, Christ commands me to even love my enemy.

            The science of biblical hermeneutics (interpretation) is a very systematic descipline, as any science is. There is no room for “perversion”, since a “perverted” interpration can’t muster through peer review or the test of time.

          • Dirk

            How can you deny the fact that you have placed your twisted, perverted, hateful interpretation of the Bible in you heart, closing you off completely to any rational discussion?

            Oh, and I am quite well aware of the meaning of the term ‘hermeneutics’.

            We may continue the discussion in Latin, German, Italian, Spanish or Althochmitteldeutsch if it would better suit you.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            What twisted, perverted, hateful interpretation are you referring to Dirk? Can you be specific? Can you provide some Bible passages and an interpretation of mine that is twisted, perverted, hateful? Can you provide proof and facts instead of your never ending Christophobic rhetoric? Are you capable of mature and rational discourse without pontificating and regurgitating the same hateful words?

    • DR

      I think Brian is very valuable here. While I’ve been honest about what his limitations appear to be (at least to me), the comments others make in reaction to the stuff he says is excellent. I think Brianis providing a huge education to a lot of people reading ( though I suspect he’s not really aware of what they are learning). And I want gay men and women to see those of us who realize we need to clean up Brian’s mess and start countering him so they don’t have to (for once) as a positive thing.

      That being said, my overly protective nature kicks into high gear when he is around (obviously).

      Lastly, I get to make jokes like “Jesus take the wheel” when I can’t stomach it anymore and that’s kind of fun for me, so there you go.

      • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

        Dr,

        Why thanks, glad to be of education, I’m learning too. Please forgive me, but what mess have I caused? I give freely the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all, even incarcerated hardened criminals, indiscriminately to all. If you call that a mess, then I’m guilty of proclaiming the “mess” of The Gospel of Jesus Christ to all people, regradless of sexual orientation.

        • DR

          Brian, a very wise woman said to me once: “Pray for the religious, DR. Pray for them more than you’ve ever prayed for anyone. Not only are so many blind to the damage they do, they are unwilling and unable to *see* it because their actions that cause such damage are to them, the result of obeying God. They are in twice as much darkness.”

          You’ve been told so many times by so many people what “mess” you’ve caused within the GLBT community by your theology that’s reflected in your comments here. People who are gay have told you the impact you have on them directly. And still you ask

          “What did I do?”

          What are you talking about?”

          What mess have I caused?”

          asking others to spell it out time and time and time again. The “I’m sorry for hurting you but tell me again how I’ve hurt you” routine is old, at least it is to me. The number of hours others have invested on you in this forum is pretty staggering. But you have either decided to not listen – really listen -to what people have said, or you don’t have the capability of hearing.

          Jesus said there would be a lot of people who couldn’t hear Him. So I’m going to take the advice of my friend and just pray that you do and in the mean time, clean up your mess in my corner of the world and take responsibility for your actions as a Christian because you can’t do it yourself. I’m happy to do that, I’m willing to do that. And God willing, He will continue to provide me with opportunities to do just that. It’s time well spent.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            I listen and read every word and some posts are indeed very thought provoking and instilled in me a desire to learn more. I’m sorry, but I just don’t see the “mess” that proclaiming the Gospel to all people causes or what pain and suffering I have caused by pointing people, ALL people, to the loving arms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Any person that comes unto Him he will no wise cast out. The answer is NOT religion the answer is NOT “playing church”, the answer is not the Holy Sacraments, the answer is found in Jesus Christ, I point ALL to Jesus Christ, and Him alone.

          • DR

            You don’t see it because you choose not to. You prefer to believe your version of yourself, Brian. Dozens of people have told you now your beliefs about homosexuality and same sex marriage being wrong and against God hurt them yet the version of yourself apparently doesn’t include that possibility. Basically, you are hour own god. No one can tell you about the impact of your choices except, apparently, you.

          • DR

            In short, you are a manipulator and a deceiver. You evaded everyone’s appeal for you to make your beliefs about same-sex marriage clear. In an earlier thread you agreed with the commenter Zach that gay marriage was an abomination but when asked to clarify you called that “sarcasm”. You’ve used the language of apology to avoid answering direct questions. You regurgitate spiritual language to emotionally distance yourself. You apologize for the pain others feel at the expense of your stated theology yet take no responsibility for actually inflicting the pain. And you have the audacity to ask someone who’s been abused by Christians to “prove it”.

            You are one piece of work. No one has victimized you here. You’ve not been persecuted. The anxiety you feel is that you are being exposed and it’s not the nice guy Brian you believe you are. You give the last word on who you are to yourself, you deny that any of this is sin on your part. It’s someone else’s fault who believes the same things you do. 1 John warns about this. You have no real intimacy of fellowship here as a result. You’re just not honest so you can’t face the reality that people have put in your face, you keep trying to deny it or dismiss it or play the “look over there” game.

          • Brian W

            DR,

            I made my beliefs known but beliefs don’t damage people, actions do. What is my theology you always refer to? Who have I manipulated? Deceived? I have been nothing but honest on here, never using demeaning or vulgar language and calling anyone stupid or a wacko for their beliefs. You believe the way you want and I respect everyones beliefs on here. All I do is point to Christ and his salvation and love for all people. You want to make it about me, my beliefs and of course the most important issue in the entire world, same sex marriage. I want to point people to Jesus, the savior of the world. Hate me all you want, but not Jesus and the Gospel

          • DR

            I made my beliefs known>>>

            No you have not. This is a lie. You have evaded several direct questions about if you would vote for gay marriage to be legal if given the chance. You’ve never stated “I am against same-sex marriage” when asked directly.

            but beliefs don’t damage people, actions do.>>>

            Wrong. Our beliefs are *why* we act the way we do. Your beliefs – just like Theo’s – are what define “God” to others. They are to others, the voice that is speaks who God is, who Jesus is. Your beliefs are that the Bible states that gay people are not christian enough to be married in the eyes of God. Your beliefs are a conversation with people. And that’s what you tell those kids.

          • DR

            You believe the way you want and I respect everyones beliefs on here.>>>

            You have treated Dirk terribly and you owe him an apology. I’m embarrassed, as a Christian, for how you’ve spoken to him. You’ve given yourself an excuse to say some terribly disrespectful things to him, you took everything he said personally and you actually challenged the idea that gay men and women are in danger physically in America for being gay. When it’s simply all over the news almost every single week.

            You are the one here claiming to be all about Jesus. If that were true, you’d not return his rage with defensiveness. You’d respond with those fruits of the Holy Spirit you suggested Dirk didn’t have in an earlier comment.

            Peoples’ anger with you and the church trigger you and bring out the worst in you. I think you need to toughen up and start maturing a little bit more if you’re going to have these conversations.

          • DR

            All I do is point to Christ and his salvation and love for all people. >>>

            Yeah – you give some half-assed apology for what people go through – people who have been so vulnerable with you about the abuse and rejection Christians – even their family – and then you proceed to tell them that everything they’ve just told you is totally wrong because it makes you feel defensive.

            If that’s your idea of “pointing people to Christ”, I’d go back to evangelism school. Like, immediately.

          • Brian W

            DR,

            It doesn’t matter what I believe, all that matters is what YOU believe and what you think what is right to God. If you believe same gender sex and same sex marriage is ok with God, then what does it matter what others believe? Dirk has been relentless in his attack against me and my beliefs and I owe him an apology? I point to Christ and the Gospel, forget me, turn to Jesus

          • DR

            Brian you are a broken record incapable or unwilling to take responsibility for the things you believe, subsequently say and the impact those words have. You believing Dirk’s anger is exactly like telling a rape victim she should just get over it and stop being angry at her abuser as well as being angry at the people who say she was wearing a short skirt so it was kind of her fault. but of course, they “love” her. You are the latter.

            But at least now there are people who will counter you. It doesn’t stop the mess you make but based on responses here and in mail, it helps their healing tremendously to watch what –we— say in response to your inane, defensive, deflecting, circular, manipulative comments.

            You can keep saying you “just offer Christ” as you confirm that you believe the Bible says that gay people aren’t quite Christian enough to be married in the eyes of God. The gay men and women here have confirmed you are anything but the presence of God to them. But you need to keep believing that you are just the poor, misunderstood good guy here who is being persecuted. You are so blind. God have mercy on you.

          • DR

            That should read ” You believing Dirk’s anger is :inappropriate:…”

          • DR

            Dirk has been relentless in his attack against me and my beliefs>>>

            Because YOUR BELIEFS HURT HIM.

          • Brian W

            Well his beliefs about the Bible and Christianity hurt me, so I guess we’re even. DR, what is the real tie that binds everyone in here? If you affirm same gender sex is natural and normal and perfectly acceptable to God and support same gender marriage and disdain conservative Christianity then you’re “one of us”. If you have a belief ccontrary to that then you hate the GLBT community and are fully culpible for all the pain they have and are still suffering and if you ever, Ever , EVER use the Bible to support your contrary beliefs to, then your interpretation is twisted,

            perverted, hateful. Then what happens the talons of intolerance come out against anyone that doesn’t fully agree with the 3 essential “binding” beliefs for everyone

            here. If I or anyone else believes differently, then it is open season to call them every name in the book, that is ok right? You believe in tolerance of your beliefs but no one receives tolerance from you for their beliefs.

            The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the answer

          • DR

            Well his beliefs about the Bible and Christianity hurt me, so I guess we’re even. >>>

            OK. This is just too much and with John’s recent concerns over your feelings, I think it’s just time for me to take a breather from this blog for a while. Good luck Brian. I hope you feel really good. That’s the priority, not the damage your theology is doing. Feel good. I’m out.

  • http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

    After watching a little Jon Stewart, I came back here and skimmed some of the comments.

    I thought to something I saw on the show, though the context is different. Stewart was playing sound bytes from various Republican primary runners, then comparing them to footage from nature shows. He came to one who was arguing that the gov. has the right to ban the construction of mosques on the grounds of “Islam being a kind of law” and Establishment Clause. To show the utter cluelessness displayed the “nature footage comparison” was…

    … a Youtube video of a cat with its head stuck in a tissue box.

    Then, I come here and see people complaining about the utter not-getting-it of some people, a vast gulf between “Trying to convey” and “not quite understanding” and I just thought…. some people are like cats with their heads stuck in boxes. They might not even remember or know how they got stuck, but that’s how they are, pathetically clueless, looking ridiculous to those outside the box and unable to get the box off.

    So, when things get too frustrating… just imagine the person who’s not getting it as a stuck kitty. I was a confused kitty with a box stuck on my head for a while. I’m not even sure that I won’t look back on myself now at some point in the future and see the now-me as a kitty in a box, just as I see the past me as a kitty in a box.

  • http://www.biblethumpingliberal.com Ronald Goetz

    As Christians we are supposed to be Christ-like.

    Jesus accepted gays and lesbians on the same basis as everyone else.

    The evidence is in Luke 17:23-37. Check it out at http://biblethumpingliberal.com/gays-lesbians-in-luke/

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

    If I could real quick: If you guys want, it wouldn’t take anything to set up a place on the TWC forum where you could dialogue about this in a way that would be … better/clearer/non-narrowing. I could ask the person who runs that forum to set you guys right up. why not? It’s basically just sitting there, I think. Plus then the exchanges would STAY there, instead of, as they do now, basically disappearing in a couple of days. Anybody want to do that?

    http://thruwaychristians.com/forum/

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

      In fact, it’s not like it’s hard to do. Any of you guys could go over there, register (which is nothing: we don’t SELL your email addresses or anything; it’s just to keep out spammers), start a new topic, and continue your exceptionally kind of riveting dialogue. why not?

    • cat rennolds

      I can’t right now, I have to go to bed. toddler world begins waaaayyyy too early in the a.m. But I will check for it tomorrow.

      What do you mean, these disappear? I think I need to copy and paste this thread, then! (unless you wanna archive it for us:)

      • Don Rappe

        John may be mixing this up with the comments on facebook.

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

          Not sure to what you’re referring, but as far as I know I haven’t mixed/confused the two.

    • cat rennolds
  • http://psalmsinpurgatory.com Theophilus

    It’s frustrating when you run out of replies. Oh well, I still like this format better than a lot of other blogs.

    In reply to DR.

    I have somewhat lost track of what questions were at the root of this reply-tree, so I’ll just get to the point and you can see what you think.

    It is not a question in my mind if homosexual expression is Godly, I believe it is not. Like your example above, I am unsettled about it because of the very real pain it causes people. But I’m not uncertain about it and I don’t cling to these beliefs out of blind loyalty, or because i cannot think of a valid way out of them. I firmly believe in the divine voice of scripture and believe it is the highest arbiter of truth. I believe that Christians must try as fully as possible to live their lives according to scripture as it is God’s revealed will. Now this doesn’t for a minute mean I understand all the whys and wherefores. God is deeply mysterious. Some of his commands don’t make as much sense to me as others. But I follow, as best as a sinful man can, his commands because my relationship with him has inspired me with trust.

    So when it comes to speaking to others, lets say kids discovering their sexuality, the foundation upon which I build is scripture. Of course any Christian will claim this and it’s abundantly obvious that some Christians have a very flawed scriptural foundation, if you were to judge it by the things they say. When I preach and teach I try and keep a balance of truth and grace, as did Jesus. So does that mean that my teaching on sexual ethics may hurt the feelings of a gay kid in my youth group? They may. I sure hope not, and I rely on my genuine relationships to prove my love so that they can receive the tough things I sometimes say. But even so there may be a kid who thinks I’m full of shit on this point, or is just hurt and confused that their body won’t easily conform to the teaching.

    All this is to say, confrontation is an inevitable and necessary part of teaching the gospel which calls sinners to receive the love and grace of God, and turn away from whatever is between them and God. Whenever, an issue like this comes up in Christian teaching, sexual ethics or anything else, the only thing to do is demonstrate enough love to show that what you’re saying isn’t about puffing yourself up or bringing someone else down, it’s about being authentic and honest. Then people, regardless of whether they end up agreeing with the lesson, accept it as the best most honest and loving teaching the teacher can bring.

    I’m not sure how else to say this. I guess I could ask you a question. Do you ever receive teaching that makes you uncomfortable or makes you mad? If so, how do you discern between which teachers are worth hearing a hard lesson from and which aren’t?

    Speaking the truth can hurt. This is as true for anyone else in this discussion as it is for me. All we can hope in situations when the truth hurts is to cushion it and surround it with as much love as possible.

    Also, sorry for the interlude I was away from my compy for a few hours.

    • DR

      The question: Do you take responsibility for the damage you do to the gay men and women here for your theology?

      So does that mean that my teaching on sexual ethics may hurt the feelings of a gay kid in my youth group? They may…>>>

      Wow. First, please stop claiming that your interpretation of Scripture as “the truth”. All you have is what all any of us have – your interpretation that you’ve allowed the authority of your choosing to help you filter. I have that too. Neither of us know for sure if we have “the truth” so please stop calling it that, it’s arrogant. All any of us have is what we believe Scripture is saying.

      OK. Deep breath. I’m slightly stunned at your characterization of the impact you and other Christians like you who believe as you do have had. You wondering if you might be “hurting gay children’s feelings” is rather stunning to me, as someone who is working with kids myself for years. Are you aware of the fact that gay teenagers are the #1 group of kids who commit suicide? And a big percentage of those kids come from Christian homes? There’s actual data on that, please look up John’s other posts on gays and christianity and do some research on it. Read the stories of gay men and women on this forum using John’s link at the very top. Google and watch the YouTube “It Gets Better” project. This is way, way more than just hurt feelings. Despair is not “hurt feelings”. Being told that you are not holy enough for marriage doesn’t cause “hurt feelings”. I read your blog, you’ve worked with homeless kids before – so have I, for years and years and years. You know how many of those kids are gay and kicked out of their home by their “loving christian parents”. I’m deeply unsettled by your use of the term “hurt feelings”, we’re not talking about telling someone that they’re wrong for swearing.

      I sure hope not>>>

      With all due respect, you “sure hoping not” isn’t exactly a vote That’s not exactly a rousing display of concern or compassion. Have you *pursued* it? Gay kids in Christian environments are so vulnerable – what have you done to ensure they are OK? Have you sought them out? Are you actually expecting them to come to you when you have just told them and their peers that they aren’t good enough Christians – according to God – to be married? Seriously? That’s a little……unrealistic.

      I rely on my genuine relationships to prove my love so that they can receive the tough things I sometimes say. But even so there may be a kid who thinks I’m full of shit on this point, or is just hurt and confused that their body won’t easily conform to the teaching.>>>

      Right. They don’t “conform” to the teaching that tells them they aren’t fit to marry in the eyes of God because of experiences they have and can’t change, as hard as they try. And they hear that from a youth leader – someone who represents Jesus to them. But you’re focused on them “conforming”. OK.

      Here’s my take. You use spiritual language to emotionally distance yourself from this issue. From these kids. And from the damage you’re doing. I’ve dealt with the kids who were part of your youth group before, they are ravaged with shame and fear and guilt. I’ve held them why they have sobbed asking, “I’ve begged God to change me. Why won’t he just change me. My parents keep telling me this is a choice, that I am being disobedient by being gay. I’m trying so hard not to be but it’s useless, it’s useless”. I’m crying even now just remembering even one of those fucking conversations. And I had dozens of them. Same story. So this isn’t exactly a conceptual conversation for me. Nor should it be for you or for anyone.

      All this is to say, confrontation is an inevitable and necessary part of teaching the gospel which calls sinners to receive the love and grace of God, and turn away from whatever is between them and God. >>>

      What are you saying here – is someone being gay an issue that keeps them turned away from God? I thought you said someone could be both actively gay, in a relationship and still be a Christian. Please clarify.

      Whenever, an issue like this comes up in Christian teaching, sexual ethics or anything else, the only thing to do is demonstrate enough love to show that what you’re saying isn’t about puffing yourself up or bringing someone else down, it’s about being authentic and honest. Then people, regardless of whether they end up agreeing with the lesson, accept it as the best most honest and loving teaching the teacher can bring.>>>

      I don’t know how to say this any other way, but this read like a fairy tale. It’s language that keeps you emotionally distant from these children.

      I’m not sure how else to say this. I guess I could ask you a question. Do you ever receive teaching that makes you uncomfortable or makes you mad? If so, how do you discern between which teachers are worth hearing a hard lesson from and which aren’t?>>>

      I receive teaching that makes me feel uncomfortable, unsettled and challenged. I don’t receive teaching that tells me I’m unfit to experience one of the sacraments of the Holy Spirit from someone who says “Sure! You’re a Christian, you’re just not quite Christian “enough” to be married in the eyes of God.” Which is exactly what you’re doing.

      Speaking the truth can hurt. This is as true for anyone else in this discussion as it is for me. All we can hope in situations when the truth hurts is to cushion it and surround it with as much love as possible.>>>

      Speaking the truth is difficult but abuse in the name of “truth” – abuse that is a result of a Christian church that has been manipulated by politics and other decidedly non-faith based influences is not the truth”. The church has been held hostage by your theology for quite a long time and thankfully, things are changing via blogs and books by people like John and hundreds like him with the courage to actually challenge the “truth” of this theology and line it up with its actual fruits. It’s changing and your “truth” is now being recognized as something very damaging and not “truth” at all. We’re thankfully – by God’s Grace – evolving and changing. God have mercy on all of us who claim to be Christian who have done so much damage to his little ones.

      • Don Rappe

        About the truth: Jesus says “I am the Truth …”Come to me, you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” God gives all his children sexual gifts, of many types. If we suppose the Gospel is good news for straights, but, painful bad news for gays, then we have misunderstood the Gospel and our theology is incorrect. As the saying goes, please curb your dogma. I mean this quite literally. When logically constructed systematic theology leads us astray, we need to look for the error in its basis. The problem with the (falsely so called conservative) theology is that it places more weight on an erroneous method of interpreting scripture than on the loving God. This is fine idolatry, but, it’s not good. It leads to deadly results. The Sacred Heart of Jesus teaches us to love God’s gay and straight children as we love ourselves. The theological meaning of my statement is that it’s not a complicated matter. “Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

        • Dirk

          Good point, Don.

        • DR

          I want to marry this comment.

    • cat rennolds

      Theo, (funny, I actually have an ancestor named Theophilus, although he doesn’t appear to have lived up to it:) I’m going to take John’s suggestion and move this over to the Thruway Christians forum, if you (all) want to continue the discussion.

      But short version: According to my reading, understanding and inspiration, and that of many others, there IS biblical support for hallowing gay marriage. There is biblical support for accepting, tolerating, supporting, and even celebrating homosexual and bisexual orientation. I will support my argument on the other forum. It’s not just a case of “what I want to believe,” any more than yours is.

      For now, understand, hear and believe, you, yourself directly, and not just by association, are reducing love, Love, the very nature of God, to a shameful addiction. You are causing believers to turn away. You are disobeying His commandments to you and injuring his children IN HIS NAME. You are making His name into fear and filth in the mouths of those who only want to love Him.

      And it only makes it worse that you do it with love, Theophilus. Those kids can sometimes ignore and discount the mouth-foaming ranters, or at least come to be able to do so. They can’t ignore you, because they trust you and want your approval, and so your words cut them the deepest. It is the condemnation of intelligent, courteous, loving Christians that is the greatest weapon of all.

  • Dirk

    A quick review of bad justifications through the last 2,000 years or so:

    Quid est veritas? (Pilatus)

    Befehle sind Folge zu leisten! (Nazis) (Also, my fourth grade teacher, but never mind)

    I can drive children and teen to suicide because my personal, human interpretation of the Bible is the truth, I know God’s mind (hateful conservative Christians)

    The Bible is full of clearly contradictory statements. The Bible commands all sorts of actions which any sane person rejects. Anyone who claims that they are following ‘truth’ as set out in the Bible is making an interpretation of the Bible to justify their conclusion.

    Else, there is no possible justification for setting the misogynist views of Paul and his contextually limited anti-gay statement against Matthew 22:36-40.

    • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

      Excellent, Dirk. Folks talk a lot about biblical interpretation through the use of “scriptural discernment.” The passage in Matthew should be the sieve through which all the others must flow.

      For me, now, there seems to be far more grace and wisdom in the mystery of the Divine than there is in the need for certainty and nailing down absolute truths. To be able to tolerate the fragility of life and continue on in spite of its many uncertainties is an act of courage. To forge ahead despite not knowing and risk vulnerability in order to find any degree of happiness, this is to live in the tension of paradox that is life.

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

    I just now tried a bit to catch up on the nearly epic dialogue happening here between Cat, DR, Brian, Christy, and Dirk. One thing that jumped out at me was this comment of Dirk’s:

    Brian, you are a hateful conservative Christian. A true example of the child-molesting, gay-bashing, transgender-raping, Ugandan ‘kill the gays’ law conservative Christians.

    I’m not defending Brian in this conversation; I’m not saying that elsewhere within it Dirk hasn’t made some outstanding points. But did anyone who within this conversation is basically aligned with Dirk suggest anywhere that essentially calling Brian a hateful child-molesting murdering rapist might have went just tad too far? I don’t suppose he anywhere later apologized for that?

    • DR

      No I haven’t because while Brian is obviously not one of those people? His views on same-sex marriage and homosexuality are on the continuum and I’m tired of focusing energy on Brian’s feelings when he has a responsibility for handling those in the US who actually do *support* what is happening in Uganda, and don’t. Nor will I.

      • DR

        That should read,

        “when he has a responsibility for handling those in the US who actually do *support* what is happening in Uganda, and he *doesn’t*. He just focuses on Dirk’s rage about it instead, he’s already confirmed in other threads he sees the other as absolutely none of his business and nothing he can do about or will. He refuses to take any responsibility for the impact of his actions at all.

        So no. I won’t tell Dirk that he’s gone too far. I don’t believe he has. It’s Brian’s responsibility for taking to task those who believe same-sex marriage is wrong, that being gay is a sin as he does but who take it further than he does and inspires these Ugandan laws. And he won’t. Nor is he interested in doing that, he doesn’t believe it’s his responsibility.

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

        Where have you focused your energy on Brian’s feelings? I haven’t caught up on the whole thread, but that doesn’t seem to be anything over which you’re in particular danger of exhausting yourself. But–seriously–I may have simply missed those efforts of yours.

        Anyway, your point is that even though Brian is “obviously” not a child molesting rapist murderer, you don’t much if at all mind him — not to mention millions of other Christians — being called exactly that. I’m hopeful others on your side are less okay with that, but I suppose it’s just one bullet in what amounts to a war.

        • DR

          I’ve not invested any time in Brian’s feelings . We disagree that I should. And you’ve completely misrepresented the point within my comment.

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

            I didn’t say you should. I said, in response to your having said, “I’m tired of focusing energy on Brian’s feelings” that I wasn’t aware that you had focused any energy on Brian’s feelings.

            And sorry to have misunderstood your point. I thought it was that you were okay with Brian being called what he was. I must have misread what you wrote.

          • DR

            There are a lot of people who are so hurt and angry by what Brian’s beliefs about gay men and women not being fit for a marriage ordained by God, they actually see him as no better than the Ugandan government that wants gay people dead. That is my point. Those feelings I prioritize. Me prioritizing them doesn’t mean I don’t also understand the experience of being on the receiving end. Anger points us to the truth of what someone needs and wants. I will only speak for myself but as a Christian, if I can’t look underneath these kinds of accusations – even when they condemn me unfairly – and prioritize what is beneath it, I’ve not leaned on the Grace that I have been given who knows the truth of who I am has the Last Word on who I am.

            Ok, I’m going to take a break from this site for a little while. Thanks to everyone for the conversation.

        • DR

          One other thing, I wasn’t aware that we were on different sides.

          Is it painful to be lumped in as a child molester? You know firsthand via email I’ve sent to you that I’ve experienced that from an atheist. I KNOW how painful that is as one who is fighting for the rights for gay men and women. And I also know – having been where Brian is now – how much of a wake up call that actually can serve. Is it a dick move? Is it abusive? Is it inaccurate? yes it is. Does it communicate an important idea? Yes it does.

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

            Who said anything about “sides”? And sorry, but not following the rest of what you’ve said here. Anyway, lemme bow back out of this. My mistake.

          • DR

            You did in your first comment. You said ” I’m hopeful that people on your side are less ok with that…”. But it doesn’t matter.

            It’s your site, your preferences, your rules, i dont know why you would bow out, if you think that Brian isn’t being treated well or something along those lines according to your personal preferences or just universal good behavior then it seems appropriate to say something about it. This blog ultimately does represent you, so that seems reasonable.

            Ok I’m out. Later, take care everybody.

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

            Yeah, that’s why I said something about Brian being bombed in the particularly hyperbolic way he was. And all I was asking was if anyone — not just you, anyone — felt that was going too far. You’ve made your case for why you don’t think it was. Okay. Got it. Just wondering.

    • Dirk

      John,

      The conservative Christians in America consist primarily of:

      The Catholic church. These monsters are responsible for more child rape than any other organized group in the history of humanity.

      The standard defense of conservative Christians before court (see the current case when accused of murder, bashing, rape or torture is that Teh Gayz came on to them: http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2011/07/los-angeles-prosecutors-seek-to-ban-gay.html

      for a current example.

      The Ugandan Kill the Gays bill is not gone, rather the conservative Christians are putting it through quietly.

      I firmly believe in the principle of qui tacet consentire videtur.

      Brian carries the direct guilt of all those conservative Christians who rape, beat, torture and kill gays and the transgender because he, first, denies that conservative Christians do such things (despite proof to the contrary), and, second, because he denies that homosexuals have civil rights.

      It’s that simple.

      It is worth mentioning that although I have given up on the Christian church I am still a follower of Christ.

      Doubly worth mentioning is that Brian does not ignore that fact that I ALWAYS speak of conservative Christians, rather he defines Christian as conservative Christian, all others are excluded.

      This is a war. We are being raped, beaten, tortured, murdered. Our parents are threatened with physical violence by the conservative Christians.

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

    I’ve gone ahead and shut down comments to this post. It’s got nothing to do with my last little exchange with our good friend D.R.; it was time to do that anyway. If you follow this blog at all, you know that this always about the time I shut these things down. Excellent conversation! Really amazing stuff. As most of you know, my thoughts and sentiments tend to be much aligned with those of D.R., Christy, Cat, Mindy, and other such lefty pinko liberal hippie communists commenters on this blog. But I also very much appreciate Brian W.’s willingness to engage in the open and thoughtful manner he has.


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