George Michael hospitalized: Christians For a Moral America praying for his death

Word came out last week that George Michael, 48, was admitted to a Viennese hospital for severe pneumonia. (Though he has cancelled the remainder of the tour he was on, Mr. Michael is reportedly responding to treatment and slowly recovering.)

Ever heard of a group called Christians for a Moral America? Neither had I. Neither had anyone else—until this weekend, when the group Tweeted these lovely messages:

And now Christians for a Moral America will be known throughout the Internet.

And what is unlikely to matter during its 15-minutes of mud-spattered fame is that Christians for a Moral America consists entirely of one guy: fury-fueled Keith.

It won’t matter that CFAMA’s Twitter account has 78 followers.

It won’t matter that CFAMA’s Facebook page has 117 fans.

It won’t matter that in twenty minutes I could get 78 Twitter followers and 117 Facebook fans by starting a Facebook group called Toenail Eaters of America, and posting photos like this:

It won’t matter how obvious it is that Keith wouldn’t know Christianity from a boil on his ass. None of those sorts of things will matter, because so many people are so ready to believe the worst of Christians and Christianity, because so many have so much emotion invested in the idea that virtually all Christians are narrow-minded, hate-filled, fear-based, hypocritical misogynistic homophobes.

Meanwhile, in preparation of the print edition of UNFAIR: Why the “Christian” View of Gays Doesn’t Work, I’ve been rereading the heartbreaking letters contained with it from gay and lesbian Christians.

And I’ve been reflecting on the inspiring phone conversation I had yesterday with Roger McClellan, and on the superb work he’s doing with his Progressive Christian Alliance.

And I’ve been thinking of the man who wrote me just this morning, an anguished pastor torn between coming out, and knowing that doing so would sever him from the church and congregation he has so faithfully served for twenty years.

For every one person like Keith I’ve ever known—for every person who’s ever fanatically endeavored to transmogrify the beautiful love of God into the horrible hatred of men—I’ve known two hundred who are quietly and humbly working, in Christ’s name, to make the world a better, more loving place for all.

If you’re out there, and you happen to read this, I’m begging you to bear in mind that I’m a Christian, and that a lot of my friends are Christian, and that a lot of people I work with online are Christian—and that all of us, to a person, utterly shun, and are revulsed by, the perversion of our faith promulgated by people like Keith.

We want you to take issue with Keith. We’re with you on that. We support that.

But please don’t confuse him with us.

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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.

  • maria

    I think the confusion arises from demographics. http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2004/pages/results/states/US/P/00/epolls.0.html Statistically, those who attend Christian church once a week are far more likely to vote conservative and to share a conservative ideology than those who do not. Church attendance is no guarantee of being Christian, of course, as Christ himself would tell you. It says something about the expectations we have of church-attending Christians, sadly.

    And no, it’s not fair to generalize any group. It’s no more fair to Christians than it is to Muslims.

    • DR

      I agree.

  • Peet

    Dang. When I was taught to love my enemies, I didn’t really expect them to be other Christians. Congratulations, Keith. You’re the first person to make me wish I was gay.

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

      HAR! Excellent as always, Peet!

    • DR

      This goes into the hall of fame of comments.

    • Melody

      Now THAT is what I would call hell for these nutcases. Being reincarnated as a gay person and really achieving karma.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nwbuckeye Pat Hux via Facebook

    saw that earlier……. freekin’ idiots….

  • Jody Coaston

    I agree with you completely, but didn’t you perhaps mean to say that we are “revolted by” rather than “reviled by”?

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

      YES! Thank you!

      • john

        Yo John. I don’t like George Michael either, but come on. Do you really want to feel complicit in his death? That would give you a stake in murder.

        Listen to this: I hated Nicolette Larsen’s “Gonna take a lotta love”, and I guess I didn’t really like her, but I didn’t wish her dead. When she died I felt horrible. And I hated Vicki Sue Robinson’s “Turn the beat around”, and I guess I didn’t really like her, but I didn’t wish her dead. When she died I felt horrible.

        Don’t wish people dead. We’re all gonna die.

        • DR

          WTF is this comment about?

          John most certainly did not expressing the feeling that he was complicit in George Michael’s death.

          Nor did he wish anyone dead as your last sentence implies.

          His point (and it’s an excellent one) is for those who have written Christianity off because of the perception they have that the Keiths of the world are the majority and to reconsider not using him to fuel the last conclusion they draw about christians as a whole.

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

            My hero.

          • DR

            I am your Internet Handler.

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

          Who are you even talking to? Surely not me.

        • Melody

          Dude…what gave you the idea that John supports this? You clearly aren’t familiar with his writing, or you wouldn’t have come up with this conclusion. You obviously didn’t read the comments, either.

  • Mary Ellen Mayo via Facebook

    reported page to Facebook

  • http://www.facebook.com/royculver Roy Culver via Facebook

    it’s hard to tell what is a hoax and what is real idiocy anymore.

  • Susan

    Does this Keith character know that my gay siblings and their friends would refer to him as a closet case? Is he?

  • Caitlin ‘Cake’ Gateaux via Facebook

    This reminds me of how often I need to say “I am Christian, but not THAT kind of Christian.”

  • Melody

    So I take it this guy is the new Fred Phelps? Nothing like a few fringe loonies to give the rest of us a bad name.

    • Marcelo

      As opposed to “mainstream loonies.” Yes, I agree. We have enough of a hard time.

      kidding

  • http://www.facebook.com/tony.l.churchill Tony Lee Churchill via Facebook

    Probably true & that’s just sick.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Livia-TrullyGreatful-Mars/100003075145955 Livia TrullyGreatful Mars via Facebook

    Are they sure their Christians and not “PEW WARMERS?” SMH! Thats not “Christ-like” at all! LORD HELP THE CHURCH!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cecilia-Solis-Sublette/1466470876 Cecilia Solis-Sublette via Facebook

    So sad that people hate others in the name of Christ.

    • Diana A.

      Yes indeed!

  • http://hahasforhoohas.com anna @ HaHas for HooHas

    i better get some knee pads because a man like this needs some ‘get down on your knees and plead for hours’ kind of prayers.

  • carl

    What Christian prays for the death of another? What happened to Love your neighbor as yourself. And love your enemies (I don’t think George is an enemy) . Apparently, these “Christians” don’t really love themselves! They are more to be pitied than censured!

  • Judith MacKay Dahlen via Facebook

    Talk about trying God’s patience! Gotta say, our friends the Wiccans will tell you that whatever you wish on someone else will come back to you 3 fold. “Christians”, please, take note.

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.swaffar Michael Swaffar via Facebook

    Last Christmas I gave you my heart.
    The very next day you prayed for my death.

  • gretchen

    Amen, Brotha.

  • http://www.facebook.com/douglas.sewell Doug Sewell via Facebook

    Judith: And Galatians 6:7 says that we will reap what we sow… there’s a lot of harvest in this life coming on a lot of Christians, that best be hoping for mercy …

  • Iolanthe

    I have to confess: every time I hear Dick Cheney is gravely ill again, it puts a little spring in my step.

    But then, George Michael only did sexytime things in a public place. It’s not classy behavior, but it didn’t get anybody killed.

    Dick Cheney, OTOH ….

    I know Jesus says to “pray for those who despitefully use you”, but I just can’t quite yet. But I should try. It will be more satisfying to see that guy face justice at The Hague than to listen to all of his Fan Club burble on about his wonderfulness, should he shuffle the mortal coil anytime soon.

  • Karen Bayne via Facebook

    People like that make me want to cheer immorality. How fucked up is that?

  • John Pottle

    John, I would totally “like” your toenail eaters page.

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

      If I were a SLIGHTLY different person, I would have taken the .05 seconds it would have to actually start that page and Twitter account. I almost did it, just to make the point. But … you know.

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

        I’d have to join Facebook if you did.

  • Neanie

    Hypocrite, this keith character is one of the worst IMO. Who prays for another persons death?? Certainly not a Christian. This is disgusting and shameful. He needs to join up with that West boro sp? Baptist minister. God will deal with people like him!

  • http://www.facebook.com/maryterry17 Mary Knox via Facebook

    Thanks for the post! I have re-posted. How sad the Lord must be to see his children behaving like this.

  • Judith MacKay Dahlen via Facebook

    Karen, since we’re talking about George Micheals are you referring to being gay, in general, or…? If in general, I’d like to share with you the experience of participation in our UCC church in Vancouver WA.

  • BMac

    Wow, this is exactly why people are turned off by Christianity and they dont even get the chance to find out that this fool is full of bull. This, umm, individual must hold the notion that half the population in South Africa is gay as well seeing how they have so many people living with HIV/AIDS. Then again he probably doesn’t know anything about “those” people. I can’t even count the number if times I’ve seen racism and homophobia holding hands, skipping through the daisies together.

  • Dwayne G. Mason

    There is another kind of “Christian” that I think is just as dangerous, but much more common. These Christians attend church every week. They support mission work and donate food or volunteer for soup kitchens. But when someone is accused of abusing children, they say “Let him rot in hell.” When a woman is raped, they say “He should be beaten within an inch of his life.” When a home is burglarized, they say “If I had been they’re you’d have to take him out in a body bag.” They celebrate the murders of Osama bin Laden and Muammar Gaddafi. They say peaceful protesters should take a bath and get a job. They say “I’ll give you my gun when you take it from my cold, dead hands.”

    I’m much more concerned about those Christians than I am about Keith.

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

      Okay, well, one problem at a time.

    • genghisken

      All too often it becomes “You can take my gun when you pry it from the hands of my cold, dead child”.

  • love

    I completely agree with you. Christians are taught to preach the gospel and Jesus’s love throughout the world, not to condemn and judge people. As a christian, I believe that we should pray Mr. Michael’s recovery, not for his demise, and that he comes to know the Lord as well.

    Its people like Keith who keep other people from knowing the actual joy of becoming a christian, and I hope whatever is troubling him, that the Lord helps heal his pain, because only someone with a tormented soul would say things like that. Although I do not agree with the LGBTQ lifestyle, it is not my place to judge. I just ask that people respect my convictions, as I respect yours.

    And yes, I am a VERY big fan of George Michael, and I think he makes wonderful music (“Father Figure” is one of my absolute favorite songs).

    So I pray for Georgey’s recovery, and that he lives to make more beautiful music, for many years to come.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tlund1 Tracy Lund via Facebook

    Sick bastards!

  • Judith Bandsma

    This may be only one man but remember, there are whole congregations praying Psalm 109, verses 8 through 15 about the president of this country. And this is one sick prayer but, instead of saying (as they do elsewhere) that Jesus’ coming changed all that, they find it perfectly legitimate to pray the following…sincerely:

    Psalm 109, v 8-16

    8 May his days be few! May another take his job!

    9 May his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow!

    10 May his children roam around begging, asking for handouts as they leave their ruined home!

    11 May the creditor seize all he owns! May strangers loot his property!

    12 May no one show him kindness! May no one have compassion on his fatherless children!

    13 May his descendants be cut off! May the memory of them be wiped out by the time the next generation arrives!

    14 May his ancestors’ sins be remembered by the Lord! May his mother’s sin not be forgotten!

    15 May the Lord be constantly aware of them, and cut off the memory of his children from the earth!

    • Iolanthe

      Heartbreaking.

      He’s a decent man, lured (as so many in politics are lured) into some alliances that are not right, emphasizing some of the right things and some of the wrong things, but overall, doing his best in difficult circumstances.

      How absolutely unjust a prayer.

      I couldn’t stand Dubya or Cheney (see below), and I admit that I would like to see them before a court. I am not as sorry as I should be that Cheney is in ill health. But I can’t bring myself to pray for their deaths, and certainly not the disgrace or impoverishment of their wives and children!

  • JoLee

    Please somebody tell me what is so moral about praying for somebody to die!?!

    Those people sound just as twisted and awful as the folks at Westboro!

  • Brian

    John: I think it is all too evident that we are witnessing a full-fledged resurgence of “Pharisaical” religiosity. As a christian I am reminded daily that, even though the Pharisees of Jesus’ time were the target of some of Jesus’ most heated criticisms, He never claimed that His Father did not love them. They receive the Lord’s Grace as much as the rest of us. They, however, choose not to accept it, as is evidenced by their harsh judgment of those who do not read the bible with their eyes or judge others as they do. To know a Pharisee’s character, I have only to listen to the way s/he portrays God’s attitude towards the people they consider sinners.

    • John F. (London)

      That is perfectly expressed. In our disgust, let’s not lose sight of the fact that God loves Keith, and we should pray for Keith’s repentance and heart change, and remember that though he’s a blind guide, he is nonetheless human, susciptible to sin, and created in the image of God. Let’s also pray for and sen messages of support and love to george Michael.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Durham/853769836 Steve Durham via Facebook

    Just found this post via the Progressive Christian Alliance, and am happy to share it to my FB page. Makes me want to go running and screaming out the doors of *any* form of the church … except, damnit, IMO that only proves the power of the *original* Christian vision (and just how pathologically distorted it has become in the hands of moral midgets like “Christians For a Moral America …”). Sickening.

  • Marnie

    78 twitter followers and 117 facebook fans? Where’s the line between exposing his vitriol and giving him a louder voice?

    • Donald Rappe

      Yes.

  • http://www.progressivechristianitybook.com Roger Wolsey

    Sigh. This is but the most recent reason why I wrote my recent book “Kissing Fish: Christianity for People Who Don’t Like Christianity.” http://www.progressivechristianitybook.com

    We have work to do people. More loving, less hating. More inclusion, less exclusion. More light, less heat. More grace, less damnation.

  • http://www.gaychristianresource.com Justin Roberge

    Thank you for efforts to bring awareness around this issue and your courageousness. God is love. Period.

  • Christelle

    No words, except- disgusted with this behavior in the name of Christ. URGH!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/al.zylstra Al Zylstra via Facebook

    It is things like this posting that make me thank God I am an atheist….

    • Donald Rappe

      Like!

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

    10 bucks Keith has “I Want Your Sex” on his playlist.

    • BMAC

      LOL! He probably has Faith too.

    • Felicia

      And possibly She Gets What She Wants. :)

  • Edmund Dantes

    Don’t let these yahoos defile the name of Christians (or any other religion for that matter). Calling themselves Christians is like Attila the Hun calling himself a Good Samaritan. They are a hate group who have NO idea what Christianity is all about. They’ll learn the hard way – when they wind up where they truly belong in the afterlife…in Hell! ;-)

  • http://kenreads.wordpress.com Ken Leonard

    I nominate Christians for a Moral America for the category of Most Ironic Group Name.

    Thanks, John. I hate that the noisiest voices of Christendom in our country right now are those who think that Jesus came to spread hatred. CFMA is one of those groups, and whether they manage to get a significant following, they do help shape the appearance of Christians to the rest of the world.

  • Sean Padman McMenamin via Facebook

    Oh so Moral.

    If only more people were like John Shore.

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

    I wonder sometimes if people like this are trolls. Poe’s Law and all that – it’s sometimes hard to tell.

    “Keith” reminds me of someone I knew briefly in one of my geekery-circles, some guy people were listening to because he had some rumor about our favorite thing that turned out to be sorta-true. Was on his message board all of a week and he bothered me on AIM until I blocked him…The weird thing is, he wasn’t a Christian. In fact, he hated Christians as much as he hated gays, African-Americans and Jews.

    No one seemed to know whether his neo-facist schtick was for real or if it was part of an “evil persona” he was trying to craft for his online life. I think the assumption that he was “so hateful he was faking it” was the only reason why people listened to his rumors – until they turned out to be crap.

  • Judith MacKay Dahlen via Facebook

    My atheist friends would be holding their toes, rocking in mirth. It’s a lose/lose situation for Christians who are open and embracing. Getting mad and speaking out over outrages comes across as more righteous infighting. But Christians on a peacful and loving path do need to speak up and reclaim thier name. Even so, the diversity even in the Progressive/Left end is infinate. I’m grateful for atheists. Keep poking and provoking thought.

  • Miranda DeAnna Johnson via Facebook

    The freaks do come out…

  • Mary Wisner Miller via Facebook

    This is evil, vile, and disgusting. How does Keith’s view fit in with “Love God. Love one another.?” Splain it to me, Keith.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cindy-Ranta-Emerson/1496505835 Cindy Ranta Emerson via Facebook

    Would it be irony if those hateful posts actually caused more people to pray for George Michael’s health and long happy life?

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdgalloway

      It would be a bit ironic, but more so, it would be wonderful.

    • http://ThymeAndSeasons.biz Anna Thompson

      like like like like :-). That’s the irony we need.

      I always end up feeling despair when I read about hateful christians.

      I’ve been in a state of deep spiritual pain for a few years now, having been shunned out of the ‘christian’ community. I fled an abusive parachurch minister, and people ‘need’ to force themselves to believe that, ‘If he’s a preacher, he’s good. If I followed him / knew him…I can’t live with believing that he did bad things; hence: the woman is bad.’ ….yeah….and his young teenage sons were bad too?, for choosing to live with me, and they won’t even believe the boys that he was abusive.

      I was introduced to this site by my housemate. She’s a believer that no longer goes to church. I struggle with ‘becoming an athiest’ because the world has been so evil.

  • Michael Davis via Facebook

    I’m thinking its important we treat this dork like the westboro baptist church and ignore it. Publicity is what he’s seeking. Of course I thought of that after I tweeted about it.

  • Jeff

    We need to pray for a speedy recovery for Mr. Michaels. He has come out of the closet and encouraged a lot of people to do the same. I commend him for that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sharon-Aldridge-Kaufman/1328865837 Sharon Aldridge Kaufman via Facebook

    I reported this page and I suggest we all do the same. So much hate…I don’t care if it’s only one person, Facebook has guidelines regarding things like this. Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Christians-For-A-Moral-America-CFAMA/283163705049710

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdgalloway

      i just did that. I understand free speech, but I do not have to listen or force others to have to listen to pure unadulterated hatred. By stating my dissent and letting those that are allowing this vitriol to be made public, that I find it inappropriate and wrong, as well as harmful to others, I am exercising my own free right to free speech…Which is the flip side of free speech that people like the founders of that Facebook page don’t understand, the right to not listen, and encourage others not to listen.

    • Cameron

      Done my friend, and reported to face book group WHoF (Wipe out Homophobia on Facebook.) We’ll get this shut down, fast!

      http://www.facebook.com/WHOF1

  • David W. Reynolds via Facebook

    Is it wrong that when I first read the headline, I thought of “Arrested Development”, not the singer?

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdgalloway

    Ok it needs be said.

    Get well Soon George Michael! Let us hope and pray that you have many years of entertaining left in you.

  • Jeannie

    Unbelievable. Well there goes one person’s ugly 15 minutes of fame before they fade back into obscurity. I prayed for Mr. Michaels today. I hope he feels well and recovers.

  • Scott Collier

    Ignore the hateful fool … encourage the victims of discrimination and ignorance . Nuf said !

  • Asad Jaleel via Facebook

    “There is a reward for kindness to every living animal or human.” Muhammad (pbuh) (Muslim #2244)

    • Donald Rappe

      Like.

      • Mindy

        What Donald said.

  • Stephen McBride

    It’s a bit much. I mean, Wham! were pretty atrocious, and “Wake me up before you go-go” would set anyone’s teeth on edge, but even so…

    I think you have to laugh in the face of people who come out with such things. I know if I didn’t , I’d despair. Hence the flippancy. Not because this bloke shouldn’t be taken seriously, but rather because he should.

    It makes sense to me!!!

  • Daniel

    To pray for someone’s death is quite disgusting and speaks volumes about the integrity of those who participate in such disturbing behaviour. According to almost every spiritual tradition known to humanity we are to MOURN a person’s passing, not wish for people’s deaths or cheer their deaths. It seems that those who are the least spiritual are also those who are the most religious. Those Christians are showing themselves to be children of Satan when they wish evil on anyone.

  • trainwreck

    not moral at all… gloating over the demise of even your worst enemy is the epitomy of evil…

  • The Yellow Dart

    He’s never gonna dance again

    Sickly feet ain’t got no rhythm

  • http://www.InHonorofAmun.webs.com Kiera BloodRose

    This is completely and totally ridiculous. I’m a bisexual, and I am also a proud Witch that for quite some time has completely avoided ‘Christianity’ because of things like this. Praying for someone’s death is wrong on so many different levels it’s not funny. People that claim they’re Christian and then turn around and pray for someone to die instead of praying to have their life spared no matter if they approve of their lifestyle or not obviously don’t understand anything or have any compassion for life at all. I know very few True Christians [meaning that they actually go by their belief completely and not partially] and they’re the reason I even considered learning about the True Christianity faith. Witches have compassion for life and hold it high….why is it not many Christians do? I personally and going to pray for this man to come through with enlightenment of whatever kind he needs with his health improved.

  • Shea

    Some of you, this post, pretend like Christians praying for the death of people is rare. The only reason some of you are praying for it is that we live in a rational, civilized society that doesn’t allow you to burn non-belivers at the state, anymore.

  • Aliyah Aldridge via Facebook

    I’m thankful for people like him, because there are too many people who try to call hatred love. They are far more dangerous than people like this guy, because they can get other people to buy their bullshit. The out loud haters, on the other hand, tear off that veneer. When we have the preachers and politicians of the world calling injustice “family values” and covering genocidal hatred with a pretense of religious tolerance, we need people like him to make blazingly obvious what it really is.

    But I’m sorry John – this guy’s views *are* in fact held by a lot of other Christians. People aren’t going to generalize based on principal. They’re going to generalize because most of them personally know at least one person whose attitudes mirror those of Mr. Moral America. How many people do you think personally know any straight Christians who are as loudly and proudly affirming as you and Kathy?

    MA isn’t an unknown because he’s a kook. He’s an unknown because he doesn’t stand out. He’s completely unremarkable. Seriously – how many minutes of googling do you think it would take me to find 5 people who identify as Christians, and have just as much hate as he does? Have a look at the devoutly religious nation of Nigeria, where attitudes like his are not only the norm, but the law (http://www.npr.org/2011/11/29/142897972/nigerian-senate-approves-anti-gay-marriage-bill). One of the American sponsors of the “Kill the gays” bill in Uganda works for none other than Michelle Bachman, (http://unicornbooty.com/blog/2011/08/19/bachmann-hires-kill-the-gays-bill-supporter-arrested-for-terrorism/) who is currently running for presdient and found most of her support because she also hates teh ghey. The genocidal hatred in Africa isn’t occuring in a vacuum – it’s being stoked by American evangelicals (http://blog.beliefnet.com/beliefbeat/2010/05/american-evangelical-influence-uganda-anti-gay-bill.html). This guy is an unknown, but not an anomaly.

    There are certainly a lot of progressive and affirming Christians in the world, and you guys are wonderful. But who’s making more noise? How many progressive Christians are outspoken like you & Kathy, and how many are what Dan Savage refers to as “NALTs”? Where are the affirming opposites of Michelle Bachman and Rick Santorum? The closest you’ve got is Obama, who is “evolving” on whether or not the state should discriminate against GLBT people.

    As to what the silent majority of Christians actually think – I don’t know and I won’t speculate. But affirming Christians seem to have a problem that’s familiar to the GLBT community – too many are in the closet.

    • http://bonnie-halfelvn.livejournal.com/ Bonnie Half-Elven

      I agree, Aliyah, especially with your last point. I am an ex-Methodist. I left the Church because of the policies of the upper leadership. Discrimination is written right in to its Book of Discipline. I left because of the frustration and disillusionment I felt with the silent majority. Too many in leadership won’t speak out because they are afraid of dividing the Church – a legitimate fear, but what they do not realize is that people like me are leaving, and others will not join in the first place because we want our lgbt friends and family to be treated fairly and equally, and to not be told that they are an abomination. The Church will continue to lose relevance with the mainstream population unless it stands up for what is right.

    • Soulmentor

      Thanks Aliyah. Your post is great with one caveat. In your first paragraph it is difficult to sort out the people you are referring to because you use pronouns instead of proper names while referring to two different persons in the same paragraph.

      Your first six words apparently are referring to John and in your very next sentence, “this guy” must be referring to the Keith that John is criticizing in his blog. So I am able to sort it out but I had to backtrack a couple times in my reading of it and put your first paragraph in your entire post context to get it. I also had to take another look at John’s blog to discover who “MA” was in your reply because by the time I got thru all the comments, I had lost track of the acronym in my head.

      Don’t mean to be critical. I have a Speech degree and pick up on such things. Hope I’m just being helpful to everyone who posts here.

      And I have noticed that I occasionally fail to follow my own advice to re-read everything I write, maybe more than once, before I post. We all get excited about what we are saying and fail to see what the reader may be seeing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/robert.santacroce Rob Santacroce via Facebook

    This is a joke for a so called Christian group to pray for George’s death just because he is gay. Your not a real Christian People (The group mentioned above).

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joel-Copeland/1275200271 Joel Copeland via Facebook

    Seriously???

    • Soulmentor

      Your point?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anna-Thompson/1570335653 Anna Thompson via Facebook

    i lived deep, deep in the ‘evangelical community’ for nearly 40 years, and i have seen thousands of examples of the truth of the reality of what Aliyah is saying. it’s not just a couple of bad eggs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cynthia.clampitt Cynthia Clampitt via Facebook

    I loved your post, John, and I agree that this kind of hateful comment must be denounced. God never tells us to pray for the death of others. It is immoral and unrelated to Christianity. However, you’re also correct that a lot of folks view this as being just what we’re like. If you watch the show Law and Order, if you see anyone wearing a cross during the opening credits, that will be the mass murderer. Pity that the message of love — (as the Bible says, “If you do not love, you do not know God, because God is love”) — has been so perverted by some and so eagerly misconstrued by others.

    As C.S. Lewis wrote in The Four Loves, the hooker with the heart of gold is closer to knowing God than is the insufferable prig who sits at church and judges others. Anyone who understands Christianity knows that the whole point is love. Yes, we should try to change bad things in the world — drugs, slavery, murder, corruption — it’s okay to hate evil, but we are commanded to love people.

    The person being used by Satan is the person who makes statements like “pray for someone’s death” and then claims to be a Christian.

    • Floyd Miller

      Amen. And the crux of it is that Satan is using these people for haste and greed. Forbes has rated the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil” as the #1 conservative song. Satan’s greatest trick has been to deceive the otherwise “good” people into doing his work in God’s name. The people doing that in Jesus’ time were the Pharisees, the “brood of vipers”, as Jesus called them.

  • http://Facebook Ray Dryden

    Thank you for this.

  • Melissa Chamberlin

    This article really hit home with me today. I am struggling with even calling my self a Christian because so many people interpret that as an evangelical church goer, which is sooooooooo different from what I am. I am so angry with the church, myself, that I feel like I am just as guilty at thinking that all Christians are like the ones that have hurt me, instead of finding joy in being the sort of Christian that I would like to meet. Don’t get me wrong, I still live my life with the spirit of Christ inside of me, I just don’t give him verbal credit for anything…not because he doesn’t deserve it, but because I think his reputation among non believers is so bad and no one wants anything to do with us.

    • Keri Cusick

      Don’t hide your faith. Be honest about it and who you are and what you think. The only way we can get the word out that Christians aren’t all like this hateful Keith is by writing and sharing articles like this one and engaging in dialogue with people. People that have only met the individuals that call themselves Christians, but go against everything we are supposed to stand for need to meet and talk to Christians that are at least TRYING to live up to Christ’s life and teachings. We can’t let the hate-mongers continue to destroy “Christian” without fighting back! If you feel the nudgings from God to talk about your faith, don’t let these people detract from your relationship with God and whatever it is He has as a mission for you. One person at a time!! Take heart that there are other Christians like you who are fed up and disgusted by what these people say and speak out!

  • Reed Boyer

    It was an enormous laugh to see what happened on the CFMA Facebook page. Apparently Keith (its creator) is hoping to get moderators to deal with the large barrage of “homosexual trollers” commenting on the page.

    I’m hoping he’ll drop from exhaustion.

    And over on the CFMA web site itself, more giggles: the 77-response closed poll on presidential candidate preference was won (with 53%) by “Santorum.”

    Whereupon I reflected that Dan Savage’s “Santorum” was indeed an accurate reflection of the political views of Keith and the Christians Praying for Death group (or whatever the name is). Frothy, frothy.

  • Richard Wigton

    Great article John but I am inclined to agree with Aliyah in that this CFMA guy represents far more Christians than you are willing to acknowledge. I have been a Christian all my life and was once a right-wing evangelical—(I am now a liberal Quaker)–and while I have met many loving, open-minded Christians I have met just as many who are mean-spirited, self-righteous bigots. In fact it seems to me that the more angry and judgmental you are the greater your appeal in many Christian circles. (Just take a look at the most prominant televangelists. They are all homophobic, judgmental and fanatical.) I find that very sad since the Jesus I know is loving and tolerant.

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

      But you have no idea what I’m “willing to acknowledge.” I spoke of the Christians I personally have known and met, that’s all.

      • LSS

        oh yeah i also thought you were saying that there were in general more lgbtq-affirming christians than not. and i was hoping that was true.

        maybe you just know a lot of cool people. also you are in the west coast.

  • http://www.facebook.com/red4jesus Rev Cori Wood

    We who are followers of Christ can not let the voices of hate who try to hang out among us to be the only voice that is heard. Look at Jesus’ example. He preached an opposing message to the one being preached by the religious in His day and he did not let their in-example douse the fire of His example. We must be visible, and vocal and declare from the roof tops that our God is not one of judgement and hate and anyone who says that is not of god just as the scriptures say they are not of God. Luke 9: 51When the days were approaching for His ascension, He was determined to go to Jerusalem; 52and He sent messengers on ahead of Him, and they went and entered a village of the Samaritans to make arrangements for Him. 53But they did not receive Him, because He was traveling toward Jerusalem. 54When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 55But He turned and rebuked them, [and said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; 56for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”] And they went on to another village. This is the example we are to live by and bodly proclaim it!

    • David J Martin

      Jesus NEVER…NOT ONCE…condemned another person…not one person…sinners (He had the right, authority of judgment) were called to return to God…the Pharisees were chastised…exposed as hypocrites…but never condemned. Yet this so called “Christians” speak loudly while true followers of Christ work and live in humble silence…His message of service and love for one another. Once while showering in the gym, I was asked if I was worried about being hell bound. It was obvious by tattoos I am gay. We debated – I could cite Scripture as well as He – countered every hateful remark – claimed I was not worried – Christ teaches us to live in the moment – leave yesterday be hind and tomorrow is unwritten. Finally, wanting closure and to finish in the shower I admitted “concern” – aha – he said you are worried. No, I answered – I am concerned for the souls of persons such as yourself who usurp the authority to judge – belonging only to the Father – other persons as you do me – with your words of condemnation.rejection/hate – you fail to love me – impaling your souls on your words – if I am truly hell bound – meet you there – for you will be there before I. Pray for George Michaels as we should pray for any brother or sister who suffers – pray also for those who relish in his suffering and possible demise. Return their hate with love – which is hard – it is easy to hate – love takes courage. Namaste…David

  • David J Martin

    The Institutional Church as we know it is failing to shepherd the flock with love and tenderness as Jesus instructed. Instead she has taken up the rod – through hateful, judgmental stances she attempts to control the flock. Sheep respond to tenderness (used to raise them) and respond to gentle calls from the Shepherd – hence the imagery used by Christ. She has placed stumbling blocks in the paths of the faithful. In all denominations sheep no longer look to the hierarchy for guidance. They trust and follow their hearts wherein the Holy Spirit dwells and speaks. WE..the faithful…united with Christ are the Church…the Body of Christ. Those who preach hate in Christ’s names are the false prophets He spoke of. Yes, some will be lead astray but with hope and prayers for them…their false prophets will be uncloaked…and they will find their way back to the fold. The new Church will arise even as we witness the death throws of the “dead” traditional church corrupted by power hungry persons. This is happening in my own Faith Community – Catholicism. While others bemoan Catholics rejecting the distorted teachings of some Bishops and our Pontiff, I celebrate the revitalization of my Faith…Namaste…David

  • http://www.facebook.com/blessedandhighlyfavored1 Brian Wright via Facebook

    Jesus said: “You will know them by their fruit.”

  • Ginny

    Thank you, Keith, for beautifully saying what so many of us feel.

    • Mindy

      Ginny, are you actually thanking Keith, the writer of such hate toward George Michael, or did you mean John, the writer of this blog?

    • http://CastleRockBear.Tumblr.com Keith Walsh

      Ginny, you are no better than Keith (the writer of the blog) is…Your hate is what makes you so “Un-Christian”

  • angie

    I started to go back to church, any church..different churches… because sometimes I like to hear someone else read the scriptures, I like to see people, for communion…for spiritual food.

    I don’t stay or get involved, I don’t want to be persuaded or intimidated into something ‘body,soul,spirit ‘ I have not yearned for.

    Isn’t this sad?

    I have had people ask me why do I think attendance is down?

    They really don’t have a clue.

    angie

  • Theodore Bosen

    I am a religious instructor in the Eastern Orthodox Church. As such, I have researched the Church’s stand on same sex issues. Their position, as in every case, is the historical position of the early undivided Christian Church (which is the definition of Orthodox Christianity). In one sense it’s position is conservative in that it groups same-sex activity in with other sinful passions, but it should be well noted, the Orthodox view of sin is not the western view of personally conscious guilty actions, but, as affirmed in the Nicene Creed, the Orthodox Church defines sin as both “voluntary and involuntary,” and so it fully accepts the reality of the involuntary compulsion of one born with same-sex attarction. The Church regards gay congregants the same as any others invovled in struggles with involuntary passions. It does not condemn them. Therefore, perhaps some comfort can be found in the fact that the early Church did not, and still does not, vilify gays even while disapproving of the lifestyle. It does, however, strongly condemn the hatred and discrimination directed against them by other so-called Christian denominations as sinful on their part. There are many gays in the Orthodox Church who feel very much accepted and loved. Despite being called upon, as all of us are, to struggle toward the achievement of becoming one with Christ, the Church does not treat gays and lesbians who aspire to that path any different than the rest of us sinners who tread various rocky paths of our own. And so this is the original, historic, and verifiable view of homosexuality in Christianity based on the teachings of the early church fathers and the practice of early Christians. We should take comfort in that.

    • Soulmentor

      Obviously, you and your denomination conveniently ignore the fact that the “early church” sanctioned and even “blessed” same-sex unions, until Roman Catholicism with it’s incomprehensible sense of sex as as shameful but necessary evil, got control of Christianity.

      I urge everyone to do two things in regard to the issue of gays vs christianity; inform yourselves about the REAL church history AND stop conveniently ignoring the truths of that history. Suggested reading are the two huge historical tomes by Yale Professor John Boswell who did much of his research in, of all places, the Vatican Archives.

      CHRISTIANITY, SOCIAL TOLERANCE, AND HOMOSEXUALITY, and

      SAME-SEX UNIONS IN PRE-MODERN EUROPE.

      http://www.gaychristian101.com/Gay-Marriage.html

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Boswell#Books

      It’s controversial in that some scholars have disagreed with Boswell’s conclusions, but it is telling that NONE of them have been able to actually disprove them.

      • Soulmentor

        The Roman church knows this (after all, it’s found in their own archives) and surely so does the Orthodox. Their cover up of the history is a blatant hypocrisy that amounts to a vicious, slanderous lie.

    • LSS

      does the EOC also regard opposite sex attraction (not lust. just attraction: like wanting to marry one) as one of those involuntary sinful struggles?

  • Soulmentor

    My siblings, all younger, are evangelical types who would, if confronted, agree that Kieth’s attitude is very wrong, the operative phrase being “if confronted”. They are among the kind of “christians” who would otherwise remain silent in the face of such bigotry and might even let the violence it gives permission to, happen. They might use it as a topic of discussion among their church groups and their ministers might even speak against anti-gay violence from the pulpit, but not without adding the caveat that gays are sinful and deliberately choose to sin which, no matter how much they try to deny it, still gives permission for prejudice and violence.

    They are the ones who should take to heart the generation old gay activist phrase….SILENCE = DEATH. They meet Keith’s sin of spoken evil with their own sin of silence.

  • Ashdawn

    I’m confused as to why this guy thinks this is a result of George Michael’s sexual orientation. So, being a homosexual causes pneumonia? Wait, I’m trying to find logic in the ramblings of a nutcase again, aren’t I? I’ve got to stop doing that.

  • http://blog.northstar-net.org Brent Watkins

    Why or WHY do we keep playing into the marketing strategy these fringe groups have. The strategy is to say the most inflammatory thing possible to draw attention to their misguided leadership. A leadership desperate for attention – which the media (both old and new) heap upon them every time they say they want to “burn the Koran” announce that “God Hates Fags” or that the world is ending on (insert date). If we could all have the discipline to ignore them, they would go away or at the very least, confine their opinions to their tiny group of hate mongering adherents.

    • http://www.thelessonrooms.com Sonya

      THANK YOU!!! I wont repost as requested to clear “good christian’s names” because it only promote this hate monger.

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

      Brent,

      I agree, ironicaly the fact the John even posted this, is exactly what they want. I, for one, wouldn’t give them ANY time on this blog, there are more important issues at hand to discuss than some wacko “Christian” fringe hate group. They’re not even worthy of ANY attention in my opinion. If we all ignore them, they have no fuel to stoke their message of hate.

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

        The idea that I shouldn’t have written this story because in so doing I would only bring attention to, in this case, the lone guy who is this “group,” is certainly a valid point. It’s the very reason that I never write such stories–and why I initially rejected this one. But when I first learned of this particular story, it hadn’t yet broken. I knew, for certain, that if I didn’t write something on it, the story would go very large, and the storyline would be that this group of Christian haters had been saying these terrible things. So I wanted to get right out in front, and write about how it ISN’T a group of people: how it is, in fact, just one lone clown. That’s why I decided to write the story as fast as I could, and why I wrote it as I did. I tried to write the ANTI-sensational piece. And I’ve been gratified by the dampening effect I think it’s had on the idea that Christians for a Moral America, or whatever that guy called himself, is anything but one lonely nutjob.

        • Brian W

          Thanks John, makes sense ….

        • LSS

          i am glad you wrote this article because i was actually still under the impression that glbtq-affirming christians were still the minority. maybe i know the wrong people.

        • http://www.snoozepossum.blogspot.com Snooze Hamilton

          I disagree with the statements about ignoring this sort of thing, based on what I mentioned in my original comment. I don’t see this as reporting on an incident as much as doing exactly what I was talking about; being a visible non-hating Christian presence. And via the comments from other Christians who agree with you, an even bigger presence exists.

          There’s also that “don’t feed the trolls” doesn’t always work anymore. Some of them take silence as permission to escalate their vitriol, and I have seen whole groups, online and real life, be ruined because no one would say “no” to a malicious antagonist.

          The Pagan community gets it’s share of GLBT people who wind up with us not because they really want or feel called to leave Christianity, but because of bad experiences with people calling themselves Christians. I keep a list of articles and etc. that I can refer people to when they tell us “They all hate us, they all want us to die”, and so on. It’s hard to argue with that if no one is speaking up to say it isn’t true. Your post is going on the list. Thanks again.

        • Diana A.

          Thank you, John, for being so savvy.

  • debbie

    we as a christian family must love George. The Bible teaches us to love our brother. It is the act of homosexuality that is wrong.

    • Mindy

      Homosexuality is not an act, Debbie. And as long as you and others like you keep calling it “wrong,” bigotry remains. Learn about it. More and more of the “Christian family” in this country is finally coming to understand that being gay is a not wrong, not a problem, just a difference. A simple difference, no more so than left-handedness or curly hair, or dark skin. The act you refer to is simply those people, who are different than you, expressing their love for one another, just as you would with your spouse. Please, educate yourself more thoroughly on this topic. The Bible didn’t say it was wrong, because it isn’t.

    • http://CastleRockBear.Tumblr.com Keith Walsh

      Homosexuality is NOT WRONG….

    • DR

      Homosexuality is not an act, it is a state of being. Unless your marriage is boiled down to having intercourse with your husband. Is that true for you?

  • Michael

    OK…

    Then they should also consider not treating your body as a temple is a sin, a woman must cover her head, and Deuteronomy, a marriage is only valid if the woman is a virgin and she should be executed if she is not…and anyone who commits adultery should be stoned to death.

    In Mark, divorce is prohibited. I assume for homosexuality they are referring to Leviticus 18:6 ‘you will not lie with a male as one lies with a female, it is an abomination.” A similar verse occurs two chapters later, Leviticus 20:13. Leviticus is a holiness code written over 3,000 years ago prohibitions against round haircuts, tattoos, and working on the Sabbath, wearing garments of mixed fabrics, eating pork or shell fish, getting your fortune told, or playing with the skin of a pig (football anyone?).

    Jesus was clear about freeing us from the yoke and bondage of ‘the law’. It is so strange that these people pick and choose which laws apply to them, I am a Christian, I follow JESUS. I hate religion.

    • Suz

      Beautiful.

  • James

    I am not a deeply religious person by any means, however I have noticed too many “good” Christians allow their bad apples to speak for them. I understand not all Christians are like Keith but it seems the ones who speak the loudest are. I think it is time that if Christians do not want to be lumped into one group such a Keith’s it is time “good” Christians start speaking up, speaking out, and speaking loud and start calling groups out such as Keith’s and shun them, do it loud, do it openly, do it in public, start making your voices heard and let it be known invidividuals who claim to be “Christian” such as Keith will no longer be accepted . . . . .however the good shepard’s sheep tend to remain quiet on these issue, and for as long as they do I will continue to see no different between Keith and a Christian.

    • Nwhitaker

      Please see my post above. =)

  • Terri

    AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jess Loflin

    Wow what a bunch of fucking idiots ya’ll are. What’s wrong did your priest molest you when you were kids? Get over yourselves, what a bunch of selfish, egocentric, homophobic bigots.

    Have a nice day,

    Jess

    • Melody

      Please tell me you’re talking about Keith. If you’re talking about us, you really need to learn reading comprehension skills.

    • Mindy

      Um, Jess? You might wanna actually READ the post. And maybe not drink so much before doing so. Because you TOTALLY missed the point.

  • http://www.snoozepossum.blogspot.com Snooze Hamilton

    (applauseclapclapclapwhistleXenayellclapclap)

    Thank you for posting this. I’m a hedge witch that lives in North Carolina, a spot in the Bible Belt where you can lose your job, your home, your family and friends, and even your personal safety by not being Christian, courtesy of mindsets like Keith’s.

    I serve as a priestess for a local multi-faith Pagan group, and we try to foster tolerance by workshops and interfaith events. One of our biggest obstacles with our own people is the perception that all Christians are more or less of this fruitcake’s (I will not call him a follower of Yeshua) stripe. I grew up with family who are, and I can agree with previous posters that there are more like him that many people realize. That said, they are still not a majority by any standards, even here.

    They can gain an appearance of majority though, via lack of visible comparison. The loudest mouths get the attention, and unfortunately the media prefers sensationalist drama over anything else. And many Christians I’m acquainted with are uncomfortable speaking in opposition to this extremism out of some idea of brotherly solidarity or fear of being labeled as “enablers of sin”.

    Qui Tacit consentire videtur, folks. I believe that it’s not Belief vs Belief, or Gay vs Straight, or any of the other commonly drawn lines. It’s Crazy vs Insane. St. Francis has been attributed with the quote “Preach the Gospel at all times; when necessary, use words.” Now is a good time for words.

    • Diana A.

      Now is indeed the time for words and the Christian Left his is finally getting louder, thank God. As for unity, I agree that unity is destructive when it leads to permitting hateful behavior from those who call themselves Christian.

    • LSS

      oh if it’s a case of squeaky wheel vs. closet-affirmers, i could buy that. that sounds at least half hopeful.

  • Nwhitaker

    Please don’t be misled, these people are quite obviously not true followers of Christ! These are people who call themselves Christians, but live like He doesn’t even exist (aka, Christian Atheists). God’s Word, the Bible, says that “it is the will of God that NO E should perish (die)”. These people are so legalistic, they miss the whole point of Christ’s death on the cross, to die for everyone’s sins so we can all ask for forgiveness and ask God to be our Lord and Saviour. To wish death for anyone contradicts Christ’s love.

    • Nwhitaker

      Sorry, that’s “NO ONE should perish”

  • http://LordandCurtiss.ws Brenda Curtiss

    I am a Christian and it saddens me that crazy groups like this use the name of God to perpetuate hate & judgment and all that is against the nature of God. For anyone to pray for someone’s death like that… horrendous.. truly sickens (& kind of angers) me. How dare they the name of God for such a disgusting agenda! As a Christian I apologize to George Michael for these people who are not representing God in any way. Praying for him for health & well-being. p.s. – the toenail biting thing is pretty gross btw…

  • Aki Dreaming

    Bisexual heathen here!

    Message received. I embrace your efforts to keep your faith beautiful and relevant.

    Blessed Be, my brother.

    Blessed Be.

  • http://www.starjack.com/qmr.html Jack Fertig

    Of the 160 people who “like” kevin’s FB page most of the activity seems to be from people who just wanted to post disagreement with him. In the immortal words of Bugs Bunny, “Whadda Maroon!”

  • angee

    I find this rather disgusting.

    And for those who say that the good Christians aren’t speaking up. Jesus told us to be his example in all we do. This means meekness, gentleness and humbleness in all we do. Its not our job to get into rallies or be a part of sensationalism. We are to be kind in how we help our brothers. Theres a bible verse that says when we someone wrongs you, confront them. If they wont listen to you, bring a brother with you. Then that doesnt work, bring the church and they still wont listen, ban him from the church. No where does it say speak up and attack our enemies.

    These people have their own agenda and are just putting God’s name on it. I know Christians over the century have done bad things..i.e. the Crusades but so has every other religion over the course of history i.e. killing Christians in the name of free thinking and free will. I get mad too like how any bit of religion constantly being blocked out of government but I know that my job is to love everyone regardless.

    Im sorry George Michael…you didnt deserve what that disgusting man said.

    • Soulmentor

      You’re wrong. If Jesus had felt as you do, we’d have never heard of him. He changed the history of humanity precisely he didn’t say “it’s not [my] job” and he was crucified BECAUSE he spoke up and publicly challenged the religious powers of his time. He deliberately rocked the boat.

      My sister is one of those evangelical types who listens politely in such discussions I’ve had with her in the past, then, so far as I know because we no longer communicate substantially, she says and does nothing in her daily or church life to mitigate the damage her own religious attitude promotes. How do I know that? Because she doesn’t share it with me, her gay brother. She’s a good, loving person in many other areas of her life, but in the gay issue, she has lost my respect….and whatever weak bond we ever had because I’m weary of being the one who has to do all the understanding and acceptance.

      • Soulmentor

        Should read “precisely because”……..

  • Joe Justice

    While I applaud your efforts to better the name of Christians everywhere, the damage that has been propagated has been so heinous and so long standing, that it’s going to take more than a few posts to a Christian leaning blog that may or may not be read by a majority of Americans (or even across the planet). The ugly “Christians” who have spent lifetimes hating gays and women and people of color and anyone not also another hate-filled “Christian” have been so vocal and loud about what it was to be their kind of Christian for so long, it is going to take some fortitude and counter loudness to change the opinion those of us hurt by such sayings have of you. It’s going to take more of the sort of thing the Church of Christ has been doing by actively using gays and lesbians in their ad campaigns. It’s going to take very well respected Christian leaders to come out and denounce the hatred of gays and lesbians. They must put it into perspective against the eating of shellfish and working on Sundays, as it says in the Bible, such that people will begin to look at it from the standpoint of just something different and not so much as something to kill us over. The horrible way we have been treated by Christians is going to take a lot of undoing and, I’m sorry to say, it’s going to take Christians to do the undoing. Sure, you don’t have to. But then don’t bitch when people label you a hate group and marginalize you as a radical religious sect not fit to be admitted into the halls of reasonable thinkers making decisions about our government. Either step up and work hard to change people’s minds or deal with how the world sees you – as hateful bigots that spread fear and murderous intent among the uneducated masses. I get so tired of hearing people try to say, “it’s not my fault,” without the guts to take a stand and work for change in their own community. It is you who actually deserve these labels. You are just as guilty when you turn your head and do nothing as if you were the one standing behind the pulpit spewing the vitriolic hatred and fear. Period.

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

      That was you applauding my efforts? Yikes.

    • LSS

      your comment is aimed at blog readers, right?

      not at a guy who writes whole BOOKS of exactly the hard work you say should be happening… right?

    • Mindy

      Joe, you are right. But you need to read more of John’s blog – his one of your greatest advocates, Christian or not. He has done far more than “a few posts on a Christian leaning blog.” He’s written a cultural-altering book about it, that just came out. Ooh, pun intended!!!

      He fiercely defends gays and lesbians, promotes Canyonwalkers, another Christian LGBT advocacy group, and implores his fellow Christians to do exactly as you say. Speak out against the hate and bigotry, or take responsibility for the damage it does. Those are the only two options. And many of his regular commenters are Christians who eloquently speak the same message – here, in their churches and in their lives. You are not alone.

    • http://www.snoozepossum.blogspot.com Snooze Hamilton

      Okay, the hedge witch again, just in case you wanna play the “you Christians” card. Lemme get this straight – you’re crapping on the post because the efforts of one guy aren’t enough to change several centuries of history that he had no part in immediately?

      Piffle. Society and culture change one mind at a time. This one mind has changed how many? And may continue to do so because he’s put his efforts into a written work that can be passed on and on? Your name is false advertising.

  • Joe Justice

    When I see good, loving Christians standing at the Gay Pride parades confronting all the haters who are using bullhorns to shout at us telling us we are abominations and we are going to hell, telling them they are not Christian because of their hatred and that they should be embracing and loving us as Jesus would have done, then I’ll believe there are good Christians in the world ready to take a stand on their own beliefs. Until then, you are all just a bunch of milk-sops without a backbone or mind of your own to read the Bible and really understand what Jesus says about loving each other. Do you even believe that Jesus hung out with lepers, whores, and the poor? And he wasn’t screaming at them about how they were going to hell. He showed them love and kindness and lived such an example of holiness that it should shame everyone of you who has ever cracked a fag joke or thought anything unholy about a gay person.

    • ChaliePie

      How sadly true; however, to those sinners Jesus loved, He also said,”Go. and sin no more.” He loved them and knew their sin was destroying them. THIS He could not bear. Do we hate their sin so much we can’t separate it from them and be willing to die for them to free them from their sin? IF I love them, I will reach out to them in love,but I will also do whatever I can to disengage them from the sin that is killing them, in body and soul and spirit.

      Neitther those who want the sinner to die in his sin nor those who want him to continue to live in his sin are Christ-like, are they?

      • http://bonnie-halfelvn.livejournal.com/ Bonnie Half-Elven

        “Love the sinner, hate the sin” is a veneer to cover people’s behinds. It is not our job to go around pointing out other peoples “sins.” Our time would be much better spent worrying about our own sins and letting others worry about theirs.

        And believe me, we all know right from wrong. No one will go to hell because no one told them they were sinning. Everyone needs to mind their own business and get out of other people’s bedrooms.

        Ever notice how obsessed with sex some Christians are?

        • Diana Avery

          This is true, too.

      • Diana Avery

        “IF I love them, I will reach out to them in love,but I will also do whatever I can to disengage them from the sin that is killing them, in body and soul and spirit.”

        But you can’t. I don’t believe that homosexuality is a sin. But even if I did, what I know about sin (or any other human characteristic) is that no one can stop somebody from doing something unless that person, his or herself, wants to stop.

        Alcoholics? As long as they want to drink, they’re going to drink. Drug addicts? Smokers? Overeaters? (I’m one of those.) Slobs? Lazy people? People who like porn? Anything at all, unless the person his/herself wants to stop, you don’t have a chance.

        And that’s a good thing. People need to be free to make their own decisions–even bad ones. We can and should interfere when someone is doing something that causes physical harm to the person or property of a nonconsenting other. Sometimes, we might choose to interfere when someone is causing emotional harm to someone else. But mostly, we need to let people find their own way to a different way of life. Nagging, shaming, guilting, punishing–these things are, at best, temporary solutions–and more often than not, they cause others to just grow more stubborn in their determination to stand their ground, even if doing so causes harm to themselves.

      • http://bonnie-halfelvn.livejournal.com/ Bonnie Half-Elven

        People who think homosexuality is a sin compare it to alcoholism and drug addiction. Those are destructive behaviors. No one is born an alcoholic, but people are born gay. And homosexual acts are not destructive in and of themselves.

        Homosexuality is a state of being – not a behavior. Until more people understand this, this sort of prejudice will continue, and people will continue to use the Bible to justify that prejudice. Just like in the fight for interracial marriage and desegregation.

        • Diana Avery

          Bonnie nailed it!

    • Mindy

      Joe, honey, you are so preaching to the choir here. The Christians who follow and agree with John, which *most* of the posters here generally do, are the good guys – the ones who DO speak up, the ones who do rile up their evangelical relatives and support their LGBT friends and family members publicly.

      You have every right to be angry at how Christianity has treated gay people throughout history, and you are absolutely right that those who remain silent are also complicit – but here, you are among allies who do exactly what you are talking about – who rally, as Christians, ON YOUR BEHALF. So you might want to rethink coming onto John’s site with both barrels blazing.

      • Joe Justice

        I appreciate their and your efforts. But consider all the friends I and we have lost due to suicide and murder. When have you known of any social movement like Christianity to result in such horrific outcomes? When I see every gay pride in America (and in most other places around the world) with Christians protecting gays from the haters, then I will actually believe there is change happening. You have to realize the devistation that has been wroght by “Christians” against my people. I consider it terrorism just as bad as if they were walking in to gay bars with dynamite strapped to their chests and pulling the cord. These people have spewed so much hatred, there is a loooon way to go before I’ll ever trust that “Christians” are changing. Even in this blog and others like it I continually see the hatred spewed forth by other “Christians” denouncing your efforts. I understand there are different sects in the faith that believe differently. But to me, Christians = bad, evil, killers and I will look on them with distrust until I see real change in the majority of the group. That means the televangilists are denoucing the horrors that have occurred and leading prayer groups at schools to help heal the wounds of the past and welcome gay youths into their ministries instead of trying to get us to be somethng we are not – straight. It is not up to me to change Christians. It is up to Christians to change themselves. This site and others like it are starting to give me hope. But don’t kid yourself. If it hadn’t been for a lot of good science that shows it is NOT a choice and is a factor of genetics and mother/fetus biology that most likely causes a person to be homosexual, I doubt we’d be having this conversation. Likely many of you would still be throwing stones.

    • LSS

      this lady (who, iirc wrote the intro to John Shore’s latest book ABOUT glbtq christians) does exactly that.

      http://canyonwalkerconnections.com/

      she literally stood in between the haters and the nice gay kids and shielded them, at the Charlotte Pride. which i wish i had gone to, but it’s all written up on her site.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JohnShoreFans John Shore via Facebook

    Of course I’m not the only one, but I was definitely one of the first out the door with this story, and my treatment of it went pretty large pretty quickly. And that had the effect I was hoping it would, which was (to whatever extent) afterward making it more difficult, or problematic, to report that this “group” was anything but one lone person.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nwbuckeye Pat Hux via Facebook

    you were and it did.:)

  • http://www.facebook.com/JohnShoreFans John Shore via Facebook

    Thanks, Pat. What’s nice is that (as far as I know) the CFAMA FB page, and its number of Twitter followers, hasn’t grown in any significant way at all. (Last I heard, anyway.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ashley-Cohea/100000024967834 Ashley Cohea via Facebook

    Can you report something like that as bullying? I mean I don’t generally support trolling or reporting legitimate sites out of hatred, regardless of their beliefs. But when you start specifically wishing death on others, you lose pretty much any legitimacy you may have had to start with, imo.

  • Softie Thru N Thru

    CHRISTIANS don’t pray for the death of another human being. I believe Jesus said, “Love one another as I have loved you.” Just sayin’…..

  • Morgan

    I don’t know what Book and scripture you are reading(O must be the Big-git / Racist Idiot Edition) When you all decide to play God, I do believe that’s a NO NO,the Bible says to pray for sick and dieing and those who do will be blessed in return…

    So think about that when you wish Ill of others(No Matter who and what they are)we are all Children of the Lord and he will and does look down on all of you who take this Negative and Demonic Mentality…

  • Liz

    I am an activist for LGBT rights in Montana. Although I have always been ‘spiritual’ I have also been skeptical of ‘religeon’ as I have seen more hate and judgement done in God’s name but not in his spirit. My work has brought me an entirely new perspective on faith though. Through the over 100 clergy members in Montana who have said they support equal rights for LGBT couples in committed relationships, I have seen a change in my own heart. Listening to the stories of some amazing clergy members has actually brought me so much more closer to the spirit of God and strengthened MY faith. So if people want to say that God works in mysterious ways, I have flu d him while working FOR gay rights in a way I’ve never experienced before.

    • Joe Justice

      But do they go on the television and radio and newpapers and make these statements, or do they tell you this one on one when you are having private conversations with them? I’m really curious. Perhaps I just am so anti-religion and turn the channel so quickly when I see a televangilist that I just don’t see these things. But I would like to think it would be such a bell toll that someone in my usual newslines would pick it up and report that all these evangelists were open and accepting to gays and preaching it from their pulpits. When they are as vocal about it and supporting gay people as the haters are at spewing their hate at pride parades and funerals, then I’ll start to maybe believe that there really is some change happening. I am not ready to cut anyone any slack for quite words spoken in private to help you feel good. Tell it to the world and your entire congregation or shut up and sit on the sidelines like you always have. Yeah, right.

      • Melody

        Dude, chill. We are not sitting on the sidelines. We are fighting for the rights of people like you by protesting these hate groups, petitioning to silence them and for LGBT-protection laws. In case you couldn’t tell, we also fight for marriage equality. I know you’re angry, and understandably so, but don’t take it out on those of us who are on your side. That’s biting the hand that feeds you.

        • DR

          With allude respect, he’s entitled to pat us on the back when he sees the change he should be seeing and not a second before.

          • Melody

            You’re right. We don’t deserve a pat on the back, so to speak. I know full well we have a long way to go. But those of us who are working tirelessly toward equality shouldn’t be blamed for the misrepresentation of Jesus’ teachings by conservatives and unabashed homophobes. Just acknowledgment of our efforts instead of condemnation from all sides would be appreciated. If you want progress, you don’t shoot down your allies.

          • Melody

            And just to clarify, lest my last comment appear somewhat self-satisfied, that I’m very thin-skinned and extremely sensitive to harsh criticism. I can take it more easily if the good being done is acknowledged and I’m not just being told, “You suck and aren’t doing anything right. You aren’t good enough.” Maybe I misinterpreted what Joe said, but that’s the gist of how I interpreted it: “You think you’re trying but you suck and your efforts are worthless.”

          • DR

            I know exactly what you mean! I’m thin- skinned as well which is why I probably react to this and feel strongly about it. For me (and I’ll only speak for me) I am beginning to grasp at the depth of our privilege we’ve experienced as Christians and the subsequent expectation that my feelings are always considered. Which again for me, I’m realizing, is a result of the privilege I experience as a Christian in this country. I’m beginning to understand that my thin-skinned reaction to criticism doesn’t have much to do with the truth – the love, really – that Joe Justice is bringing to the table and wants answers for. And that Jesus equips me to hold his anger which in my opinion is a love for justice. I think Joe is demanding that we as a Christian Body fix this mess so he doesn’t have to and if I’m signing up to be part of the tent, then I share the blame. I just do, my own individual actions don’t count for many people and I’m not going to ask anymore that they should. (though it’s very difficult to not be acknowledged).

            And I think he should be able to tell us how angry he is at us as a Body and for us to understand the truth of what he’s offering about the massive passivity of the “good Christians”. For me, it’s privilege that demands he recognizes my personal actions. But that might not be true for others.

      • Erin D.

        Our pastor has said from the pulpit that “abomination” does not apply to homosexuals. I was impressed that he went that far. Then again, I belong to a liberal denomination in a liberal part of the country, but it still felt gutsy to me. Change will not happen as quickly as we would like, but the tide is turning for sure.

      • DR

        I am in the minority here but I agree with you. Who cares if there is a group of us reacting to this, there are millions of. Christians out there who aren’t stupid, who are educated but just won’t pick a lane and stand up against this filth in our church that causes such evil. They dont want to get their hands dirty, they still want to go to a nice church soctheir kids csn get a christian education.

        I do think it’s our fault that this has continued, I think those of us who know how stupid and harmful this theology is haven’t collectively put an end to it. We still go to churches where it’s just not spoken about but there is an anti gay agenda present. We give our money to these places and we don’t engage these evil people who speak for us.

        So I think you should be angry and if you dontr want to give people an atta boy pat on the back for our individual contributions, it makes sense. We shouldn’t need it anyway, we should listen to the deeper truth you’re sayings and stay focused on this. But Christians as a whole tend to be pretty precious about our feelings and the truth of the matter is we just as an entire. Group aren’t outraged enough. About this yet.

  • Raines

    Don’t worry. The thinking rest of us know that fools like this guy and the Westboro Idiots Choir are just lunatics on the fringe. Everyone has them…and no one pays any real attention to them. Its the nutjobs who dont act like nutjobs in public that are scary…but they’re still a tiny sliver of the whole and in no way really representative of any goodly faith.

    • Joe Justice

      I protest your statement that “no one pays any real attention to them.” Tell that to the thousands of gay bash victims throughout this country. Wake up. When these people spew their hatred, people listen.

      • Tanya

        Raines, I admire that you do not pay attention to them, but Joe is right. Words from those nuts sink in and poison the public.

  • Lymis

    John, thank you for this.

    Downthread, the idea came up about whether writing this simply brought attention to this specific wingnut full of hatred – and you answered that (very well).

    I want to point out an additional aspect to that. Yes, bringing this up sheds some light on this particular idiot and incident. There’s an incidental downside to that, true.

    But speaking as a gay man, what’s most true in the collective gay experience of organized religion is the deafening silence from the good people, the compassionate people, and the people who are willing to see us as people. When people choose to be silent so as not to bring attention, all that remains is the voices of the haters, speaking very loudly.

    I wonder if the average straight Christian really understands the effect that has. John, I know you do, but I really question how much most Christians realize that from the outside, especially as viewed from the exile that the gay experience of Christianity is, nearly ALL the voices are negative, especially all the voices spread through the major media. The vast majority of anti-gay propaganda, anti-gay legislation, and anti-gay violence is spread by Christians speaking as Christians, and claiming to speak for all Christians. The Christians who speak publicly on behalf of gay people and gay right almost universally speak as citizens, and speak for themselves rather than speaking for all Christians.

    Even for those of us who know it isn’t true because we have personal experience of loving Christians, it’s harder and harder not to see Christianity as the enemy. I won’t soon forgive the people who by their actions have (and I am not exaggerating this) turned the chrome fish car sticker into something that raises much the same feelings in me as a swastika would. And I know those feelings are inaccurate much of the time.

    I don’t think most straight Christians understand how much a site like this can be water in the desert, how much a single comment in conversation about what an asshole this Keith guy is would matter, how incredibly rare it is for a gay person to hear a positive religious voice or message – and how common it is that when we do hear such a message it is far more often “hey, don’t judge us all by his actions” rather than “hey, we don’t judge you the way he is doing.”

    Maybe I’m wrong, and far more people realize this than it appears. I know that here, I’m preaching to the choir – but sometimes, choirs spend too much time singing in church and forget to sing out in the world as well.

    But John, thank you so very, very deeply for what you are doing. It matters. A lot.

  • Joe Justice

    Oh, and the name I am using is not a pseudonym. It is my given name from birth. I don’t hide behind some anonymous term. I also do not attest that my given name has any other meaning as that it was likely given to a progenitor back in old Europe due to his particular vocation. I do try to live a just and honest life. But I also am willing to change my opinion and perspective when I have been shown enlightenment. I don’t have all the answers and am always willing to learn. But I am also tasked with expressing my own particular perspective on this very personal issue.

    Joe Justice (yep, right out of Texas)

  • Liz

    Joe,

    The clergy in Montana have not only counseled those in private conversations, they have allowed us to publish their names as supportive, have filed an amicus brief in support of our lawsuit against the state, and have spoken freely from the pulpit about their support. There is a growing movement of support from clergy. It doesn’t move fast and it isn’t extremely loud- but it’s coming.

  • David J Martin

    I agree with Joe Justice in standing up against bigotry and homophobes. My medical practice is in a small village – so when I came out 3 years ago and didn’t try to hide it – was open – I lost very few patients because I am gay. In fact, patients thought well of me for being truthful even though they didn’t necessarily understand – I am their doctor who they trust – who happens to be gay and married but now living separately from my daughter & wife due to my married adult son’s homophobia and rejection. I was living at home with family but excluded due to his disdain. Now live with my partner who I love while still holding my wife and daughters (who accept me & him) in my heart. Divorce is not desired by either of us – we took vows to love – sacramental vows of our Faith (Catholic) which for us are til death. This is our belief and we affirm it. Confronting hate mongers is quite easy I have found, mainly because they are cowards – really don’t stand up well when challenged. They do not know how to combat someone who does not return their hate with hate. This is, after all, true Christianity. Turning the other cheek does not mean becoming a doormat. It meant at the time of Jesus that after being struck you stood up to the person. In Israel, a person could be struck only with the back of the right hand. Offering the other cheek would require using the left hand – a violation of Levitical Law for the left hand could only be used for unclean acts, work. Thus, the attacker would be shown to have no power over you and a bully. He could strike or kill you, but never rob you of your God gifted dignity. In contemporary times – even one person speaking out against injustice, bigotry, hatred can influence many people. It is contagious. Today almost every person knows a gay brother or sister. How do you hate a friend, sibling, parent or other relative – a person you care for – because they are gay. The world is changing – it is not the same as in the days of Stonewall. It is a tide which continues to build.

  • Nugs

    I’ve seen this Keith guy on twitter before. He used to be known as Bachman4Pres, then he had another name. He is a horrible person, but I have also suspected for a long time that he is a troll/poe. He is not worth giving attention to.


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