Tell Me, Christian, That You Hear This Boy

Evangelical, fundamentalist Christians—by which I mean, specifically, Christians who believe that being gay is a moral abomination, an appalling affront to God—talk to me, please, about this kid.

Tell me that your belief system didn’t help put the hot tears on this kid’s cheeks. Tell me that the bullies who torment this kid aren’t in any way encouraged or empowered by your tacit approval of their actions. Tell me that the shame this kid feels about himself has nothing to do with the shame that you believe all gay people should feel for themselves.

Tell me that you can’t comprehend the connection between your conviction that God finds homosexuals repulsive, and the fact that this kid finds himself so repulsive that he habitually cuts his own flesh.

Tell me, please, how you love this kid. Tell me how you understand his pain. Tell me how when he cries, you cry.

Tell me how you want to do everything in your power to make sure that no one, ever again, feels free to in any way victimize a young gay person.

A Christian myself, I am pleading with you to be honest with me about this.

Tell me, please, how none of this kid’s anguish has anything to do with you.

I’m listening. I really am.

We all are.

 

Watch this, to its end:

Here’s an update to this story.

God didn’t hurt me, and God doesn’t hate me.
10 Tips for Becoming an Amazaballs Husband
A Pilgrim’s diary entry at the end of the first Thanksgiving Day
How Christians arguing against homosexuality sound to me now
About John Shore

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

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

    I tried to watch this once and had to stop. In will watch it again.

  • Iyam Leq via Facebook

    i tell ya…. VIRAL baby. VIRAL. /push

  • Erika Beseda-Allen via Facebook

    i hear him.

  • Wren Paasch via Facebook

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7HkOaLFzGw&feature=share
    In case you didn’t see it, he has made a new video thanking people for their support. People can make a difference!!

  • Scott Jones via Facebook

    My response on his page (coming from a straight Christian): PLEASE remain strong, you amazing human being. YOU ARE: AMAZING. WORTHY. LOVED. COURAGEOUS. You are filled with: Ability. Achievement. Balance. Charity. Compassion. Creativity. Dignity. Abundance. Hope. PURPOSE. Wisdom. Adventure. Freedom. Beauty. YOU DESERVE TO BE HERE! Speak these things to yourself everyday! Being straight, I have no idea what you are going through within the context of your experience, but you have my respect, compassion and prayer. Love is greater than ignorance.

  • Bobbi

    Amen John.

  • J9

    John, I’ve been following your blog for a short time, and I have to say that THIS video is what makes me so happy that I’ve found you. Thank you for calling out the hypocrisy of some Christians. Thank you for showing me that there are many other Christians who feel the same way I do. Thank you for sharing this video–it made me cry, and I want to know how I can contact him. I want to let him know that I admire him and that he’s not alone, and that he’s stronger than he even knows right now.

  • Jeannie

    I can’t watch this all the way through it breaks my heart. I wish I could give this kid a big hug and help to protect him. I can’t. I wish I could make people stop being stupid to him. I can’t. The way people treat him is evil.

  • Rev. Carl Johnson

    Keep holding up the light, John. It’s the hypocrisy that damages Christianity the most.

  • http://www.facebook.com/damico.jc Jonathan Damico via Facebook

    Did he ever say he was gay?

  • Gina Paterson-Bryant via Facebook

    I hear you Brother John and I hear him and all the others. WE are LOUDER when we love together.

  • Linda

    John, I don’t get it. I am with you in failing to understand how people who call themselves Christian can hate. And it mystifies me that causing somebody else pain can be justified. Oh, how I wish everyone would read your writing, and see the documentary Fish Out of Water, with open minds. What can we do but pray that the haters will be enlightened, and pray that the bullied, shamed, rejected among us find enough acceptance to stay strong? Everyone deserves peace.

  • http://www.facebook.com/damico.jc Jonathan Damico via Facebook

    ok. He did in the second video.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brooks.hanes Brooks Hanes via Facebook

    Christians need a Savior too and anyone who bullies another person without admitting it as sin, is not a Christian. So many people claim to be a Christian but so few people know Christ. I am sorry and feel pain for this young man.

  • LSS

    he didn’t actually say he’s gay (unless he says it elsewhere online). he said they call him these things. not that it matters, in terms of his bullying being real and terrible. but i guess it matters in terms of respecting his reality of his life.

  • Christelle

    I’m glad he knows he has a million reasons to be here… too many kids don’t know this… and that is so very sad… This is why I strongly stand for The Trevor Project… if only I could do more… augh… heart wrenching!

  • Matt

    I could not help but weep as I watched this. I know what this kid is going through (that was me 15 years ago). We must become the light and truth and love for all the kids like Jonah. We must no longer, as Christians and as humans, allow these things to happen. Thank you John for all you do. Let us, as a group of true followers of Christ, show the love that God has shown us.

  • Jodi Lynn Sweeney

    John I can honestly say I love this kid.. I couldn’t watch this without being hit with tears. It is horrible that he has received such horrible treatment to make him feel this way. And you are right, where does it come from? I know there are people that call themselves “christian” that live with hate. But just because you call yourself a monkey doesn’t make you one. I live by what Jesus taught.. that is love. Love all. That is the true Christian Faith. It saddens and angers me on a daily basis that those that call themselves Christians are giving the true Christians a bad name. I would stand up for him. I would protect him. Hug him.. Pray for him. My faith has a support group for LGBT. I am a strong advocate for LGBT youth. I am “mom” to some. You can’t just say you love all.. you have to show it and drown out the hate of others. He is a wonderful young man that has touched my heart tremendously.. He isn’t the problem those that are hate are.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com DR

    But in the magical thinking world of Christisns who believe this way, they aren’t *responsible* for this little boy because their intent os to follow God snd ovey he Scriptures. They dont owe you an answer, they are accountwble to no one if being accountwble means they consider being wrong. They will watch this video feeling no connection to this little boy because they believe that somehow, “obeying the Scriptures” exempts them from any consequence of their behavior. It is a maddening cycle of aggression and indifference. And you -or me – being angry with them for their role and their refusal to acknowledge us makes us the aggressors. Which in turn, gives them the ability to walk away as victims. But they know and we know they would have found a reason to walk away anyway and not thoughtfully consider it.

    I’ve given up on conservative Christians for the most part. My only goal now is to silence them, vote them down and challenge them in order to keep them AWAY from kids like this one. To protect the vulnerable they find excuses not to prioritize.

  • LSS

    was just trying to explain to a person on my fb wall what is wrong with bullying (which i feel like shouldn’t even have to be explained) and how it’s not just normal stuff that happens to everybody, not just kids “picking on” each other. i don’t know how to take apart the REASON why bullying is not a question of there being something wrong with the victim but rather something wrong with the bully. i need to learn how to explain this better.

  • Jo Hargis

    What a powerful piece of video this is! I always think, when I see something like this, and I know they are told a lot “it gets better”, do they really grasp what that means? I have grandkids his age, and I know at that age, it’s hard for them to really see what they’ll be doing in the future. Where 5 years, as this boy has left til he graduates, seems to us like no time at all, to someone who is 12, it seems like an abstract thing. I’m not sure they understand just how life can change once they graduate and go into adulthood. That means no more being forced to attend a school where people bully you. That means no more being forced to be around people you don’t want to be around or who do not accept you. That means becoming part of a community of other people just like you (or really really liberal, like meeee), all of whom are accepting, and will become your new set of friends, almost like a little community. You can move to a place that is more liberal in their views in general, where the community is more accepting and open about being gay. I feel sure many of these young people are stuck in redneck, bigoted communities which makes it very difficult to find acceptance. I know it sounds easy for us to say “hold on” but do HOLD ON, because in 5 years, your life will be ALL your life to do with as you please. Once you reach that point, you have another 60 or 70 years to enjoy life with whom you please and where you please, doing what you please.

  • LSS

    PS: he does say he “was being bullied for being gay” in a video that he made later to thank people for the support after this video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7HkOaLFzGw

  • http://rogiriverstone.com Rogi Riverstone

    HE NEVER SAID HE WAS GAY! He said they CALLED him those things! Get your facts straight! Don’t exploit this kid for your own purposes! Where is he? He’s only got ONE YouTube video, and it’s this one, that was uploaded back in August! Is he alive? He has been contemplating suicide, other wise, he wouldn’t say he won’t kill himself. Are we doing ANYTHING to find him?? I only learned about him tonight and I’m trying! He’s not a poster child for Queer rights; he’s a kid in serious trouble and we need to HELP HIM!

  • LSS

    you have to watch the very end, it will make you feel better. also his thankyou video.

  • Sean

    An update on Jonah http://youtu.be/G7HkOaLFzGw

  • Jodi Lynn Sweeney

    But they aren’t obeying scriptures. What about “Love thy neighbor as thyself” or “judge least ye be judged”.. I see what you’re saying but it hits me hard when I hear someone is following the bible. Those things aren’t from Jesus. And why focus on whatever is about being gay.. what about a women has to shut her mouth. A man has to cover his head. A unwed mom can’t enter into church nor her child. There is more. I think some people just need an excuse to hate. You are right, you can’t change people but I will say I will never stop educating them on the bible and that Jesus said LOVE EACH OTHER.. period.

    1 John 4:12 But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is truly in our hearts. (CEV)

  • Jo Hargis

    Agree, I’ve given up on them too. I should have added that in my previous comment. Part of going through the next five years for this young man is realizing that the people that bully him, that torment him, that do not accept him, are just ignorant, and cannot be changed, and you just hafta keep trying not to give your power over to ignorant people like that. They are wrong, they will always be wrong, and lots of us out here are fighting hard to stomp those people down, to protect kids like Jonah. Trends in the US are changing every year, and people are becoming more accepting, and all these ignorant evangelical bullies are going to be on the wrong side of history. Soon, they will be the minority. I’ve often said they should be very careful, as someday they’re going to find themselves on the receiving end of the same kind of torment they’ve dished out over the decades.

  • LSS

    dude i just worried about the exactitude of that statement, and searched it … he does say he’s gay in a later video.

  • LSS
  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    It’s fascinating how people like you just so completely miss the point that it’s hard to even know how to respond to you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JonShriver Jonathan Shriver via Facebook

    Incredibly moving. Every teacher needs to see this.

  • Melody

    You’re right about it being terrible, gay or not. Even if he weren’t gay, it is the inexcusable tolerance of anti-gay rhetoric and attitudes that give bullies the sense of entitlement to call anyone who doesn’t fit their exact mold one of those hateful names. It’s bad enough for people who aren’t gay; how much worse when it’s a slur for something that’s part of you! Speaking against gays has to stop, so that these slurs will die out.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    That seems quite obvious in the initial video though any quibbling over whether or not he’s gay or was being bullied because others *believed* he was gay diminishes the central tenant of the discussion (in my opinion).

  • Sally Price

    I attended the National Youth Workers Convention last month and sat in a fishbowl discussion about teenage sexuality. It was intimidating to hear YOUTH WORKERS say that they “love the kid but hate their sin” when they learn that one of their kids is gay. How can a kid open up to someone who is supposed to be helping them knowing they hold that position? I don’t have to interact daily with people like that but in that place I would have loved to have had words to respond.

  • DeLayne Cornog Vasterling via Facebook

    This made me cry. I just don’t see how people can be so ugly to someone else. Especially if that person has done NOTHING to them. Dwayne, I clicked on the link Wren (earlier post) posted and he has several videos but it’ll take you directly to the “Thank You” video. :)

  • Melody

    Sometimes I feel that way, too. It gets so frustrating, seeing posts by certain relatives of mine talking about the “liberal” (as if that were a bad thing) media “shoving” tolerance down their throats.

    But remember, I used to be one of them. I was once staunchly against LGBT rights, because I thought I was “loving the sinner, hating the sin.” It took some time and becoming close friends with non-Christians and gay people to make me realize my unintentional arrogance and ruthlessness. It’s a long, hard road, but if a stubborn person like me can change, there is hope for others.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    The capacity for these people to change is so low and so limited that I’m no longer invested in it. Can it happen? Sure. Of course. But that’s someone else’s fight, someone who has reserves of patience and grace. I don’t. For me, I’m a fighter. I believe that there are people who refuse to listen and refuse to change – and with those people. we have to shout them down – when they are loud we need to be louder. We need to be committed to getting the last word in each and every debate, discussion and denouncement of gay rights. We have to donate money to those who will vote these people out of office and vote the people in who will right these wrongs, even if they may not align with everything else.

  • LSS

    you’re right … but if we care about a person we would want to respect his reality by being accurate about his life, that’s all. it turns out that it was accurate, so, false alarm and sorry.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Janet-L-Wortham-Morgan/1079064835 Janet L Wortham-Morgan via Facebook

    Bravo John!

  • Melody

    He said he is in another video, and the epidemic of gay teens depressed and committing suicide makes that fact of utmost importance. Whether he’s gay or not, of course we’re trying to help him. But each person’s situation is unique, and we must therefore address the specifics of that situation to help the person. He’s being harassed for being gay, and the anti-gay rhetoric and bigotry must stop.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    I think it’s lovely when people change (we’re all a work in progress) and I also believe it’s the exception to the rule. I have no issue at all with investing both time and energy in those discussions with these people if that’s what the Lord is calling you to. For me, the more immediate need is to stop the damage they do. To silence them, to keep them away from these kids. That’s the ring I’m in. I’m no longer waiting for well-intended, loving Christians who were taught a particular way to change. These kids are killing themselves at an alarming rate, the wait for change is over (at least for me).

  • LSS

    it already has. when i searched his name there are like 3 fb pages supporting him. (^_^)

  • Melody

    Agreed. I know I’m just one person, but I’m one more voice speaking for equality and tolerance. Keep fighting the good fight; I’m fighting alongside you.

  • LSS

    bullying doesn’t stop at the end of HS. for some it continues into college, where students’ complaints still have limited power if teachers’ supervisors support them.

    some are bullied in the workplace as well. a gay fb friend posted about that happening to him and he appears to be as close to middle aged as i am.

    some can’t even GET jobs due to discrimination (especially but not limited to Trans folks).

    i don’t mean to say it (life) *doesn’t* get better. i mean to say it (humanity) NEEDS to get better.

  • Jeannie

    I’ll probably try later. I am at the tail end of the approximately 90 minutes it takes to get my daughter with PDD – NOS (autism) to bed. It exhausts me emotionally. Once I recover I’ll try again.

  • Mark

    What this kid feels and is going through is exactly what I fealt and went through while in grade school ! I feel I would have retained a much better education had I not been bullied on a daily basis, and was made to feel so damned worthless and down about what I fealt inside ! I really hope someone is comforting this young man and telling him that regardless of what “traditional” religion has said – God made him the way he is, and therefor loves him !

  • Brian

    @DR – one of the best ways to help teens like Jonah is what you all did here. At the same time, however, don’t give up on the Fundy’s either. Pray for them. Pray to God to enlighten them and fill them with an overabundance of his Grace so they may come to know the truth. There is a couple of wonderful stories in Mitchell Gold’s anthology “Crisis.” One was the story of a fundamentalist mother who was not there for her daughter when the girl committed suicide. The other story was an Evangelical man who wrote a story of conversion and regret for the attitude he had previously held towards gays. His contribution is titled, “An Evangelical Christian Appologizes.” His name is Brent Childers and he now leads an organization to help educate others to the plight of gays called “Faith In America.” I recall that the same day I recently reread his account was when the news broke about the Baptist Church in Kentucky that recently banned Racially Mixed Marriages.

  • Reed Boyer

    I watched it earlier today and it broke my heart. Big, sloppy, wet crying. Just too close to the bone for me, personally. Sixth through 11th grades were utter hell. Other than the cutting, this kid is me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-Gok/100003167101466 Steven Gok via Facebook

    John,
    I must tell you I sympathize with this child and understand his pain. I identify with this young boy for I was and still am put through the same prejudices as he. I am STILL here, and though I question my faith many times because of the insults I receive from those around me – that gays should all burn in hell, that gays are an abomination to mankind, that gays are in the same category as prostitutes, that gays will live in everlasting purgatory… on and on… and STILL I am here.
    This boy needs a bountiful helping of love and understanding, and all he gets is persecution. God is silent in many ways; one only has to watch the evening news. Revering children does not mean mistreating and abusing them.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    It takes a miraculous work of the Holy Spirit for these people who are in twice as much darkness. On one level, believing such hostile, indifferent beliefs. And second, believing those beliefs are directly from God. Twice as much darkness. The Holy Spirit can do anything but that’s a particularly closed-off heart. Not to mention they can walk away from this conversation anytime they like, they experience absolutely no suffering personally around this kind of thing (with exception of being victimized or “yelled at” when faced with a post like this one. They are impervious to what they cause, exempt from causing it and give absolutely no one who suggests otherwise any room at all to possibly be right. They do. not. change. Which is why I don’t care as much about being angry and expressing it directly to them and with them, at times to the concern of some on the forum. The skins on their heart and thick and almost impervious. Sometimes hearing how much someone is disgusted by them is the only wake up call they can hear.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    Again – others can certainly pray for them and take up the cause. For me? I’m sick to death of indulging these people. Somehow, someway, they consistently make the issue about *them*. How they don’t intend to harm anyone. How they are just following the scriptures and goodness, please stop being so mad at us! We just feel terribly for these little kids who off themselves while we vote against the State of California voting gay marriage in or supporting anti-gay bullying.

    I’ve no tolerance for them or frankly, the expectation that I should have tolerance. Energy is finite. Time is finite. My battle has simply been to engage them only to show the people who’ve abandoned our church in disgust that someone out there is willing to stand up against them. Period.

    So others can pray. Maybe someday I will too. But their 15 minutes of Christian fame are officially over, at least for me. It’s time to put the money, energy, focus and time on the GLBT community who are the actual victims here.

  • MostlEESerious

    Nice to see the kid is doing better.

    I have loads of friends who used to tow the Fundy line. And while it is hard (I see Fundy as a type of cult mentality, and as hard to leave as any cult) but they all found a way out.

    I am beloved by those folks just as I am, partner and all.

  • Dexter

    Wow…we’re really splitting hairs over whether he is gay, or is just perceived to be gay? What a triumph for the moral high ground. He does say in a later YouTube post (all over Facebook today) that he is gay, but that really isn’t the point. And, his newest post was uploaded Saturday (it’s already Sunday where I am), and he appears to be fine. People get bullied all the time for being perceived to be LGBTQI, regardless of their actual orientation/status. John standing up for gay rights (or, really, human rights) and him standing up against bullying in general would still be standing up for this kid even if he weren’t gay…because, as you pointed out, people thought he was. When your health and safety (physical and emotional) can be endangered just for the perception of being gay, then the facts of whether he was really have to take a back seat to the motivation. Jesus’ ministry focused so much more on the motivation: lust in the heart was the same as adultery; hatred in the heart was the same as murder. Until the underlying premise fueling religious bigotry is eradicated, and as long as children are verbally murdering children by proxy using ammunition given them in churches across the globe, I think we need to take a breath and realize that John’s “purposes” herein should be any Christian’s purpose. Because, hypothetically, even if the guy weren’t gay, it doesn’t mitigate or lessen the motivation behind what his tormentors are doing to him. And if they are doing it to him, they’re doing it to other people…in some cases because they are LGBTQI, or in others because of dozens of other reasons Christians selectively mete out misinformed and mistranslated proclamations from languages they can’t read from cultures about which they generally know nothing.

  • http://edityourpapers.com Mario Molina

    This is a very inspiring video. However, I almost feel compelled to point out several things. First, let it be understood that any “christian” who is capable of condemning any person to hell for any reason condemn himself. In the same light, any “christian” who speeks any sort of hate speech against a homosexual person does NOT do so in the name of God, for the bible strictly reads that the most important commandment is to LOVE YOUR NEIGHBORS. It does not say ” love your neighbors if their not gay,” NO, It says LOVE YOUR NEIGHBORS AS YOU DO ONESELF! I believe this stereotypical ignorance encompassing the conception that God hates fags should serve as a DIRECT indication as to who is a Christ follower and who is a fraud. Calling oneself a christian and condemning others are two CONTRADICTING factors. The bible reads that God LOVES EVERYONE, and that his mercies are new EVERYDAY.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Martin-Nihlgård/1315930406 Martin Nihlgård via Facebook

    Crying

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

    Thank you.

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

    thinking of you, friend Reed.

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

    How anyone could call this young man an abomination or say that he chooses to live a life of such pain is beyond me. MY God would never condone such beliefs.

    Great post, John. Horrible, but great.

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

    How anyone could call this young man an abomination or say that he chooses to live a life of such pain is beyond me. MY God would never condone such beliefs.

    Great post, John. Horrible, but great.

  • https://www.facebook.com/#!/christiansmisrepresented David Dornbush

    I have to add that the sentiment that many ‘Christians’ use of ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’ does NOT help. This is a complete cop out that evangelicals use to save face. It allows them to say they still ‘love the person’ but ‘not really’. Because then it says that the natural expression of that person, an LGBT person, is not right, or not as good as, a straight person’s natural expression. This doesn’t work. Beyond that, everyone has the phrase wrong. It’s ‘love the sinner, hate YOUR OWN sin’. When people like Michelle Bachmann go around telling people we ‘don’t need special rights’, ‘gay people have the right to marry already….someone of the opposite sex’ but then says ”I don’t judge them”, it’s false. It’s a lie. This is what keeps homophobia (the full current usage of the word, not the basic usage of fear) going. The discrimination, the hatred, the violence. The so-called ‘Christians’ that say ‘but I’m not judging you’ are to blame with their anti-gay rhetoric.

    This is very personal for me, because I was this kid. I was bullied for the perception of being gay from the time I was in 1st grade. It started as ‘sissy’ and quickly became ‘fag’ and then by 7th and 8th grade life, on a daily basis, was nearly unendurable. I was kicked, tripped, laughed at, called names, threatened, pushed, had things stolen, called ugly, and even told more than once ‘why don’t you just kill yourself’. Eventually, in 9th grade I went to the guidance counselor to report these people who were harassing and bullying to me to get it to stop. For awhile she would call the individuals in and, for awhile, it would cool down. Only to have someone new start in. One day I went to report 2 people who had been harassing and bullying me for months and the counselor, irritated, asked me ‘Do you have these feelings? Are you gay?’. Being a scared 14 year old, who hadn’t even came out to his parents yet, I thought who better to confide in but a school counselor? I was wrong. I said ‘yes’. She then closed my file with a smug look and said ‘Well, then, it’s YOUR own fault. YOU are provoking them.’. I was stunned. She then told me if I came to her again with this same issue I would be the one written up and she would call my parents and tell them everything. Which was a threat really when I reflect on it. As you can imagine this created incredible trust issues that I still have today. So in her assessment, by being who I was, I was provoking and causing the violence and bullying from other people. How could I possibly get beyond that? How could I live being who I was knowing that I was hated by others and their hate was not their fault but mine? What a twisted thing to do to a child.

    It was hell. Many times when I reflect I don’t know how I came out the other side. I contemplated suicide so many times. I had plans. But I just couldn’t follow through, because like this young man, I knew that I was here for a million reasons and I was NOT going to let them win. My heart goes out to this boy because I was him. It sounds lame to say, in the face of all that we endure to get beyond the hate and discrimination, that ‘it gets better’, but it does to some degree. However, when we still have bullies like Michelle Bachmann, Pat Robertson, Rick Santorum, Maggie Gallagher, Focus on the Family, American Family Association, James Dobson, Michael L. Brown, I could go own, teaching that ‘God says gays are wrong’, this will all continue. The blood is on THEIR hands. It is NOT the fault of the LGBT person. What will it take to make real change? It will take EVERYONE who sees the pain in this young man’s eyes and understands that these so-called ‘Christians’ have got it wrong to SPEAK OUT. Shout them down if need be. It is not ‘disrespecting their Christian views or religion’ because what they are professing isn’t Christianity. It is simple homophobia and hatred and the only way to overcome it is if we ALL say NO MORE.

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

    1. Calling him gay wouldn’t be an insult if jackasses posing as Christians didn’t define the discussion such that “gay” would be an insult.

    2. Now that you know that he has ID’d himself as gay in other videos, how do you feel about saying that we should help him yet throwing out the word “queer” as a perjorative?

    3. Just how hard are you trying to help him? Will that change once your efforts go as far as realizing that he’s said he’s gay?

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

    “i don’t mean to say it (life) *doesn’t* get better. i mean to say it (humanity) NEEDS to get better.”

    I’d like to see that on billboards.

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

    They’re now saying that recognizing homosexuals as people somehow violates their religious freedom. If gay people are allowed to marry, that it somehow violates the “sanctity” of marriage or something.

    I say this, when I knowA LOT of people on the wrong side of this issue. One of my few consolations there is that I try to imagine being an abolitionist in a Southern Christian church in 1860.

    I shared this video on Facebook, and I’m kind of wondering how my conservative friends are going to respond.

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

    Of course, it would be nice if they really did ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’

    Rather, they use that expression to justify hating the “sinner,” too.

    Terms like “fag,” “pervert,” “degenerate,” “deviant,” etc. aren’t borne out of love. They’re attacks on the person.

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

    In the Gospel accounts, Jesus was never as hard on anyone as he was on the religious leaders who used their positions of power to squash others.

    Who saw legalistic values as more important than love.

    I wish I knew how to knock that reality into people’s heads.

  • Mike

    It’s a shame, but for these kinds of people “religious freedom” means the freedom to use their religion to control the lives of everyone around them. Anything that allows anyone else freedom from that religion is perceived as an attack on that religion.

    “Love the sinner, hate the sin” is a serious cop-out for these kinds of people, but it’s even more than that. I had an argument online with a conservative friend of mine and she used that line, basically agreeing with Westboro Baptist Church’s ideology but condemning them for saying it out loud, which I hadn’t realized at the time. Another thing I hadn’t realized at the time is that “love the sinner, hate the sin” still relegates whoever the target is (the sinner) to the position of second class citizen. Basically “I love you, but I’m still better than you because my lifestyle is different”. The more I think about it the more disgusted I get.

    I do not choose to live a homosexual lifestyle, but this country is about FREEDOM. Not “freedom to be exactly like me”. Being different from me does not make a person a bad or evil person. Unfortunately I cannot get others in this country to agree with me in that regard.

  • Caitlin

    But these ‘Christians’ aren’t actually Christians. They’re idiots. I’m a Christian, and I believe everyone deserves equal rights.

  • http://deofmovestofca.blogspot.com/ Deof Movestofca

    Sorry, but as a fundamentalist, I refuse to fit your stereotype. I do, however, call anyone who has sinned- including myself- to repent. And it is up to each person to decide for himself or herself whether to do so or not. Any attempt to coerce another person to do so, whether through physical violence, derogatory language, or other means, would result, at best, in false repentance. If God does not force anyone, including me, to repent, then what right do I have to try to force someone else to?

    Furthermore, we were all created human. To treat another person as non-human, to try to dehumanize another person, to act or even feel like another person does not deserve to be treated like a human being is a lie and thus an affront to the Creator. I feel nothing but moral repugnance for the treatment this young man has suffered. Whatever sins another person has committed does not in any way abrogate a Christian’s duty to treat him or her as a fellow human being. To ignore such a duty is a sin and, if left unrepented of, is just as liable for judgment as any other sin.

    “Tell me that the bullies who torment this kid aren’t in any way encouraged or empowered by your tacit approval of their actions.”

    Tacit approval? How much more strongly do you want me to condemn such behavior?

    “Tell me, please, how you love this kid.”

    I love this kid. He is a fellow human being. The same salvation that has been offered to me has been offered to him. If he has not found it, I hope he does.

    “Tell me how you understand his pain”

    I don’t claim that I can understand anyone else’s pain. As much as I might feel or have felt similar pain, each person’s pain is their own.

    “Tell me how when he cries, you cry.”

    When he cries, I cry.

    “Tell me how you want to do everything in your power to make sure that no one, ever again, feels free to in any way victimize a young gay person.”

    No problem. I want to do everything in my power to make sure that no one feels free in any way to victimize a young gay person ever again.

    “Tell me that the shame this kid feels about himself has nothing to do with the shame that you believe all gay people should feel

    for themselves.”

    Actually, I think it’s the shame I believe all people- and I include myself here- should feel when they sin. Then again, you seem to believe that the people who victimized this young man should feel shame that they did so. If you do, why do you condemn others who also believe that those who sin should feel shame? The only difference between you and them is what each side considers to be sinful.

    “Tell me that your belief system didn’t help but the hot tears on this kid’s cheeks.”

    Let’s turn this around and suppose that a fundamentalist reading what you wrote about him or her causes him or her to cry. Would you agree with the accusation that you are somehow guilty for causing such tears or would you claim that it is not your fault that truth is sometimes painful?

    “Tell me that you can’t comprehend the connection between your conviction that God finds homosexuals repulsive, and the fact that this kid finds himself so repulsive that he habitually cuts his own flesh.”

    Again, sin should be repulsive. I am repulsed by my own sins, but that does not cause me to cut my own flesh. Rather, it leads me to repentance. Thus the problem would seem to be an improper response to the revulsion, although I am well aware that there are other factors that contribute to such behavior which you failed to mention in your question.

  • David J Martin

    This kid is really hurting spiritually. I see his face many times in my medical practice. Being gay…married/living separately & partnered…but totally “out” attracts many of thes suffering souls. They receive comfort and strength…so they tell me…and hope to see an adult who is “successful” professionally yet accepted by his community. We often discuss our “coming out”…the difference being that as an older guy – I have the confidence, spirituality – which allows me to shrug off the meanness I encounter. I care not what others think – chastise them for judging me – an authority of God’s granted to no person. We try to talk this out but truthfully, they are the ones on the front lines in war against homophobic bigotry – they are like young military recruits – untrained but sent into battle – fodder for the bullets which tear them apart emotionally and crush their spirits. In the gay community, I find it very disturbing – “sinful” if you may – to witness gay adults who continue to hide – allow hurtful fag jokes in their presence – do not speak out when discussions turn to gay rights. These persons are as guilty of homophobia and hate mongering as the Bible thumpers who presume to speak for God. The betray not only their gay brothers and sisters but Christ Himself…for they do not stand up for justice and love. They do not take up their cross and follow Him. They are ashamed of His Cross…and as our Saviour said – if you are ashamed of Me because of My cross…I shall deny you before My Father. To be a Christian is to risk loss of family, friends, position, social standing. To not follow Christ risks loss of one’s soul. For this kid – I can pray. For the thousands of others, I will continue to confront their detractors whenever the opportunity presents itself. Eventually, this bigotry will end – for when all people know a close friend, family member – and love them – and they are gay – the question will arise – how can I hate/reject someone I love.

  • David J Martin

    My “Christian” friend…you use the term “sin” very freely and imply basically that the suffering the child experiences is self – induced and thus, the contempt and treatment by “Christian” bigots is also self induced by him. He mentions in none of his notes that he has committed what YOU…a Christian…would label a “sin”. He mentions only that he is being tormented because he is gay. Even in my own Faith (Catholic) homosexuality in itself is not a sin. It is considered part of a person’s nature.

    My Faith considers the sexual acts between same sex persons as well as heterosexuals – outside marriage – to be sinful. So, my friend like the Pharisees of old – you judge him to have “sinned” because he is gay – assuming he has engaged in sexual acts. So, I say to you – you do persecute – lay burdens on his shoulders – oppress him. What repulses me about “holy than thou” “Christians” – is they are hypocrites – looking for the speck in another’s eyes – while allowing the timber to remain in theirs. You are not called upon by Christ to point out another’s sin – there is no mention in the Gospels whatsoever of this charge. Christ COMMANDS you/us to love one another as He loved us. He never condemned another person. By His loving message he won many persons back from errant ways. It is for for God to love the sinner and hate the sin – for only He can see into our hearts and judge who is sinful…although we all “sin”. Your “Christianity” is, to be kind, a bit distorted.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com DR

    And there it is. The defensive posture of a Fundamentslist who says he “cries” so he is let off the hook while at the same time, minimizing the uniqueness of this situation so he doesn’t have to face the actual reality of his responsibility. Not even the slightest struggle, the slightest concern thst he might be wrong and the humsnity to wonder about that. And his next response ( If there is one) will be to accuse me offering unkind, that I’ve got him all wrong. Just more about him. It never changes.

    David you are welcome to your opinion. It makes you a very dangerous presence to the GLBT community and I pray you are nowhere near gay kids. If you are and if there’s any trace of awareness in you, please just stay away from them. Please. You hurt them and you are incapable of realizing how much. But we have thousands of comments from gay men and women here who have provided that testimony which I’m sure you’ve not read and if you did read,would deny. But someone has to ask. Please stay away from gay kids. Think you.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com DR

    Sorry that was to Deof, not David).

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com DR

    Thank you.

  • Terry

    This is really sad. Fortunately he appears to be getting along better since this video was uploaded, as can be seen in videos on his other Youtube channel, RandomTV201 : http://www.youtube.com/user/RandomTV201

  • Pidge

    At this time of year four years ago I responded to a loner posting as ‘Dying Child’

    I didn’t know at the time that after each posting he went out and killed my Christian brothers.

    Such tragedies, small and large, will continue until we have eyes that see and ears that hear and hearts that are not calloused.

    A few days ago the church in my tiny English village was packed for the funeral of a man who had been in a gay relationship for decades. That is as it should have been, a recognition that the grief at such a loss is the same as the grief when a husband or wife dies.

    This is part of what ‘Dying Child’ (Matthew Murray) wrote,

    “I was raised in the the teachings of C. Peter Wagner, Bill Gothard,

    Charismatic and Pentecostal movements and all that other bullshit.

    Homeschooled for about 11-12 years. I was a staff member of Kings Kids

    Denver, Ronny Morris is the director there. I was also put through a

    YWAM Denver “DTS” school….both those places rejected me and wouldn’t let me be a missionary because…….I was “too shy”(translation:not

    popular enough, a Nobody)

    Me I’ve heard all the sermons on salvation and shit…I’ve looked

    everywhere for spiritual truth….all I found in christianity was

    hate, abuse(sexual, physical, psychological, and emotional),

    hypocrisy, and lies….I’m just one of the Nobodies who just wants to

    be loved and accepted somewhere……I just want to be one of the

    somebodies ”

    It is easy to justify a hundred and one ways of condemning others but even when we are 100% right in our judgement we have no right to throw the first stone. Self-righteousness is a path up a blind alley.

  • Donald

    I am a Christian and I believe that gays & lesbians should be given full equality in secular society, But the Bible is clear that it is a sin. Love the person but hate the sin is not a joke! The truth is just that too many do not actually practice it as Jesus did. Free will is absolute or love does not exist. This boy should be free to live with-out ridicule. To the bullies picking on him, Jesus would say…” let he who is with-out sin cast the first stone” . None would be able to. To this boy Jesus would say…” repent and sin no more”. In this country being gay or lesbian is slowly gaining acceptance in society and few places still have laws on sodomy. Those that do, often don’t enforce them. However biblical law will always hold it as a sin, as is hating the man because of his sin. Do not expect that it be declared not a sin any more than you should expect the law to accept you driving on the wrong side of the highway just because you felt so inclined to do so. Christian compassion is a must but acceptance of the sin is not Christian. Go and sin no more.

  • http://www.stillcircle.wordpress.com Reverend Brendan Byrne

    Dear John:

    Thankyou for this post…utterly heart and gut wrenching.

    In Australia we have a conservative Christian group called the Australian Christian Lobby who are currently resisting moves to legalise gay marriage (which I just call “marriage”). What angers me about them (aside from their homophobia) is the fact that they purport to be the “voice” of “Christian opinion” in Australia when they represent only a small section on the spectrum of Christian opinion. But a few of us are trying to organise a movement to ensure other Christian voices get out there.

    In the meantime, thankyou for your words (and images).

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

    @Scott Jones – You are truly a beautiful Christian!! Thank you SO MUCH for your post & your encouraging words to this young man. More Christians should follow your example!

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com DR

    Which is exactly what Christians who believed in keeping African-Americans out of our white schools and Americsn voting polls claimed about the Bible as well. You’re wrong just like they were and your beliefs cause the pain we see in this video based on the thousands of testimonial comments from gay men and women who barely survived the impacts of what your opinions about the Bible offering to gay men and women about their state of being which does not change and is not chosen.

    If you’re not open to considering that – to listening to their stories about the fruits of your beliefs- then at minimum if there is the slightest bit of conscience in you, please just stay away from gay kids so we don’t have to clean up the mess you make in their lives. A mess theyve talked about extensively that you are unwilling to even consider. Be a decent human being and just do that. Thank you.

  • Rachel Knobles Cabal via Facebook

    I hear this young man. i hear him clearly

  • http://www.facebook.com/elizabeth.k.lewis Elizabeth Lewis via Facebook

    I have been waiying for someone to explain to me why we use Leviticus to condemn homosexaulos are the worst of sinners but Leviticus let’s pork/shellfish eaters get a free ride

  • Brett Deiser

    I feel for this young man. We are all children of god. As he goes through life I hope he finds peace and will realize that most hate and prejudice stems from these peoples own feelings and self doubts, not from anything he may be or have done.

  • Brett Deiser

    I disagree. I find that the bible may have a few passages referring to homosexuality. but the Bible isn’t without flaw or error and I believe those passages are among the many that are expressions of the society with in which they were written and have no place in a modern understanding of God and spirituality.

  • anya

    His parents should homeschool him. No one should have to be afraid to go to school. and the false society in a school is NOT real life. homeschooling is NOT a cop out- it is NOT isolating, it can save lives.

  • Melissa

    There are exactly 6 passages in the Bible that even MENTION homosexuality, in even the most conservative view. None of them are as clear cut as you seem to think they are in the original language they were written in. Even the verse that “quotes” Paul as saying it is wrong, the word he uses is ambiguous, and wasn’t translated as “homosexual” until the late 1950s. I do recall the Bible saying “God hates divorce,” however. Why don’t I see this kind of behavior exhibited towards divorcees, or people with “modern” attitudes towards sex?

    http://www.openbible.info/topics/sexual_immorality

  • robert

    People like to dance around the translations of Leviticus, but I think there is little room for interpretation, and the verses are clear as clear can be. BUT I add Leviticus to the massive pile of evidence that Jesus Christ has little to do with the Hebrew God of the Old Testament. I strongly believe The Old Testament merely provides the cultural and religious context in which Christ found himself, and in which he had to explain his spiritual discoveries. Much like if the Buddha had been born and raised in Jerusalem, and had to explain his spiritual experiences within the context that the people of that region were familiar with.

    The Christ I love and follow lives in the New Testament, and unlike the Old Testament, his message is one of Love.

    I love this child as I love the bullies who torment him. They both need our love and intervention.

  • Jenatte

    I totally Love You Jonah…….<3

    And I give you my warmest hug and prayers for you.

    You give me inspiration…..even though I live a loving, happy life, to stand up for more Love in this world. You are brave Jonah.

    Love J

  • Misty

    This boy has been like this since he was BORN. There is no sinning involved. I was born straight, he was born gay. Why can’t evangelicals realize that there is a biological aspect to this? To say he is “sinning” (when I doubt the kid has even had sex yet) is the most ridiculous statement ever.

  • AT

    The Bible should be taken within the context of the culture that it was written. Back then, they were trying to populate the earth and so for a man to have sex with another man, and not be able to produce human life from it- well, that was frowned upon. The Bible should not be taken literally today because it wasn’t written for our culture. I was never a Fundamentalist, and I always knew in my heart that being homosexual was not a sin, but I never understood why I felt that way until I watched the amazing documentary For The Bible Tells Me So. If you have Netflix, it’s on Instant Stream. Absolutely amazing, and I think every Christian should watch it.

  • Kari Moroz

    I wish I could hug that boy. Jonah, I’m so sorry for all you’ve been through….believe me when I say God loves you and there is absolutely NOTHING WRONG with you.

  • vj

    Amen!!!!

  • Scott

    and HE and that type of christian is the very reason that I, am a recovering pentecostal. they have lead, no pushed, shoved and shamed me, into a very agnostic almost atheistic lifestyle. I am bitter and jaded to almost every “christian.” to me christianity=hate. having so few christlike people out there, this being one of the only non-secular blogs that i read regularly, that it makes me laugh and scowl with sarcasm when anyone mentions the christian lifestyle. how is it honestly, that i am persecuted, but the divorced, shrimp eaters, women speaking in church, unwed parents, OBESE, and the lot so fine and salvated and “bound for glory,” yet i’m bound for fire? I currently know in my mothers santicfied congregation of at least 8 bastards and fornicating fathers and mothers and are all fine upstanding glorious members. sin is sin? what i do is no more a sin than the 3 plates you consumed at thanksgiving. what i do is no more a sin that you the judgement you placed on me with your comment. what i do is no more sin than you failing to recognize that this wasn’t a wake up one morning and decide to be with a same sex partner. jesus wasn’t a conservative. jesus wasn’t white. jesus wasn’t like you at all. jesus would have preferred to have been around my group more than he would your scowling self righteous go to church on sunday group.

  • Diana Avery

    I don’t believe in shame. That is, I don’t consider it a helpful emotion. As a woman who has spent her life living in shame (though slowly, I’m learning to put shame in its place), I find that shame only makes me want to drown myself in a mud puddle. It does not lead to change even when change is warranted (and, I don’t necessarily think that homosexual people should try to become hetero–since I’ve heard so many stories of how these efforts fail time and again.)

    One changes when one believes that the change is both possible and warranted. Self-hatred does not lead to positive change. Self-acceptance and self-respect do.

    If this kid is supposed to be hetero (I haven’t watched the video because my computer is less than wonderful and the video won’t play on my mobile device) he will change when he feels good about himself, and not before. If he’s supposed to be gay (and I believe some people actually are intended by God to be gay) feeling good about himself will allow him to be a healthy homosexual–like so many homosexuals whom I know.

  • Jen

    I hear him and I want him to know there is a world out there of mommies who would protect him bodily from that kind of treatment.

  • Soulmentor

    Kari….EVERYONE…..quit with the platitudes. Jonah doesn’t want God to love him. He wants other people to love him. He cannot relate to an abstract “god”. He needs God with skin on. He needs arms around him……from more than “one friend”…..who, at their age, very likely doesn’t give him arms. He needs the hate to stop.

    OMG….I’m crying so much I can barely see to type. What a beautiful boy. What a wounded heart and suffering spirit. NO, HE DOES NOT LOOK HAPPY.

    At the end, I think….I hope…..he seems to be getting the idea that what doesn’t kill him makes him stronger. That will be to his advantage ultimately. But damnit, why must it be so.

    And don’t anyone tell him to “find Jesus”. He’s a child. He can’t find Jesus. He can’t see Jesus. He can’t get hugs from Jesus. WE, other caring people have to be Jesus with skin on. Only THEN will he recognize Jesus. In us. After all, that’s where he is, right? Or are the Jonah’s expected to be able to pull him out of thin air?

    Did you see the hope in his faint, beautiful smile? I want to hug him so bad it hurts……….

  • Soulmentor

    And daddies.

  • Soulmentor

    ****Why can’t evangelicals realize that there is a biological aspect to this? ****

    Because they don’t care about that. It’s a “fallen world” dontcha know which, of course, includes a fallen biology. They don’t care about the earth either, tho that’s beginning to change among many evangelicals. It’s the hard core fundies that are the problem and there’s still too many of them.

  • Gary

    Powerful post John, thank you.

    To those of you who think that conservative fundagelicals can’t or won’t change…take heart. The tide is slowly but surely changing. I offer myself as evidence.

    I have been a member of “fundamental bible believing” churches for nearly 48 years. (Up until this past summer in fact) I have used the phrase “love the sinner, hate the sin” more times than I can count. (I am now ashamed when I remember) I have even preached it from church pulpits myself. For 25 years I have been a bible teacher to adults and know the scriptures well. There was no doubt in my mind that the bible was clear about homosexuality…it was simply an abomination and that could not be questioned by anyone who took their faith seriously.

    I was wrong.

    Please be careful in believing that those still trapped in the ignorance of false teaching are evil, or hate mongers. Some of course can be very unChristlike. But I suspect the majority are very much like I WAS, simply trying to serve God and walk the line they falsely believe He expects of them.

    Many are bigots. For those…very little can be done as it represents a corrupted heart. But for those who are sincerely ignorant…there is hope. I once considered Dr. Dobson to be a present day hero of the faith. Now how see him as a pawn in Satan’s hands distorting the true message of the Gospel.

    I said until last summer. Over the past 10 years I have struggled with many of the teachings of the fundamental church. (Homosexuality being only one of these issues) My bible teaching over this time period took on a decided shift in purpose with a clear focus on the great command of Christ being first and foremost in the life of every Christian. Still the contradiction between what God was telling me in my heart and what I continued to hear preached from the pulpit finally became too much for me and I left the organized church completely. I may one day return, though it most certainly will not be to the same type of church I left behind.

    Not being a homosexual, I will never be able to understand the pain this young man has been forced to endure. But as a Christian with the Spirit alive and well in my heart and (finally) revealing truth, it resonates with me deeply.

    Funny how things change. Today I consider people like John Shore to be true heroes of the faith.

  • Soulmentor

    ****The Christ I love and follow lives in the New Testament, and unlike the Old Testament, his message is one of Love.****

    Unfortunately, the bludgeon against gays can be found in Paul in the New Testament too and the religious wrong is only too happy to use it as often as Leviticus…..and just as erroneously. Neither are “clear”. Both are open to interpretation.

  • Scott

    one of the best quotes that I have saw in a very long time:

    “isn’t it interesting that god hates the very same people you do”

  • RoeDylanda

    I hear versions of this ALL THE TIME. “Everybody sins, love Jesus enough (like me!) and you will find the strength to resist your evil impulses.” As though homosexuality is like gluttony, or sloth, or stealing cigarettes from the 7-11. No wonder gay kids exposed to this toxic falsehood feel so rotten. Love is what human beings are about, and the only thing about us that is always pure and good. It is the only thing in this weird world that I can be sure comes directly from God. Full stop.

    Love for friends is blessed and necessary, as is love for family, people in our faith communities, and the love and grace we sometimes are blessed with to deal with more difficult people and situations. Sexual love is blessed and necessary too, and helps us to find the strength to bear all the rest of it. It is a beautiful and *necessary* part of being human.

    Gay folks are born gay. They don’t choose it. They may not want it. But it is fundamental part of *who they are.* Who God created them to be. Who GOD created them to be. So unless you are also posting this nonsense to the shellfish-eaters and the money-lenders (who Jesus himself DID condemn), stop pretending that you’re doing this out of love. It shames the word. AND the Word.

  • jamie

    my dad comitted suisude on may 5th 2011. due to drugs and i was home when he shot himself in my front yard. it was a terrible experience

  • Thomas Mills via Facebook

    This not only applies to GLBT people, but it also applies to those of different nationalities and beliefs. If this doesn’t bring tears to your eyes and makes you ashamed of yourself for the way you treat others, while demanding to be treated well yourself, then YOU are part of the problem that needs to be excised.

  • John C Hoddy via Facebook

    My heart breaks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/duane.marshall2 Duane Marshall via Facebook

    I shared this on my page. People are people….and we can agree or disagree with a persons lifestyle….born or chosen. But we do not have the right to intimidate or hate in the name of Deity.

  • Alissa

    I agree with the sentiment, but am I missing something? This young man never says that he is gay, right? He is being tormented with gay slurs, but that happens to many young men regardless of their sexual orientation. I hope that you are not labeling him incorrectly or in a way that he did not intend to present. I believe he is just saying that he is being bullied and is cutting as a way of coping. Unless I missed something, I don’t see him “coming out.” I am grateful that the Christian community is waking up to the damage they have done to so many hurting people, especially the LGBT community. Heartbreaking.

  • Janet Lynn via Facebook

    Heartbreaking. Profoundly so. :( Very well written John. Thank you.

  • Tina Badger via Facebook

    This is what bullying does…it’s sickening. I just want to hug this young man.

  • Sara

    This boy does admit to being gay in another video, so those labeling him as gay / stating that the bullies are targeting LGBT youths are accurate.

    Whether targeted to LGBT individuals or not, bullying needs to be stopped. There is no reason to treat other human beings that way.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sharon.chrust Sharon Dolson Chrust via Facebook

    OMG, John. Literally. That so breaks my heart. I just so wish the people who NEED to hear this and your amazing words would do so. I’ll think about this beautiful child and pray that he is safe and happy…

  • Alissa

    Thanks, Sara. I was just about to update my comment as I saw other posts regarding this.

    Again, I absolutely agree with the sentiment. The bullying now is so much more difficult to escape now due to social media and email, texting, etc.

    Being a PROUD sister to a gay man who has endured bullying and rejection from the church, this is a topic close to my heart.

  • LSS

    and random aunts/uncles who will never have kids at least partly because we don’t want them to go through what we did.

  • http://www.facebook.com/juliejameslb Julie James via Facebook

    And an update–much needed, as that beautiful boy broke my heart.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7HkOaLFzGw&feature=youtu.be

  • LSS

    yeah i remember being told “well, sin is also inborn”. and it totally made sense at the time. for a LONG time.

    until i met friends i really respected that are lgbtqi, and decided i had to go with my gut instincts of justice instead of what i had been taught.

  • LSS

    i would tend to agree with you (having experienced several kinds of school and seeing the advantages to each one) but it’s not always possible for all parents, for a variety of possible reasons. definitely something to consider, though, if a person’s life/safety is at stake.

    what it doesn’t do, is remediate the bullies.

  • Sandy

    Now I’M crying…

  • LSS

    love the person but make it clear that there are certain important kinds of love that WE are allowed to experience, that will always be prohibited for them?

    NO. that’s not love. you either love the whole person, or you don’t.

  • Jodi Lynn Sweeney

    Will pray for you Jamie that is a horrible experience

  • LSS

    and don’t spread the hate to anybody else who will be around gay kids.

    there’s plenty of people who *think* they don’t know any gay people to hurt with what they say, and it’s just that the glbtqi folks in their life have guessed or noticed their opinions and are staying closeted.

  • Maggie Morawski

    So raw… so sad… I just want to hug him and protect him from any more pain and let him know how loved he truly is by God and those who know him and what an incredible young man he is who shows great strength and that everyone should be proud of who he is. I believe in a loving God and the world needs to change.

  • Lisa

    Jamie, I am truly sorry for your grief and pain, and the grief and pain your father must have been in. You, he and your whole family are in my thoughts and prayers. I know it’s easier said than done, but try and allow The Great Comforter shine His loving light on you. I pray He is and will continue to be with you, and your dad.

  • Saffie

    Someone should homeschool the bullies. Why punish the victim, ostracize him more than he already is? Pull HIM out of a place he has every right to be because someone else is behaving badly towards him. No, someone should address the culture of the school that allows this to happen.

  • http://BearDrummer.WordPress.Com Bear

    Alissa, those that are the most responsible are NOT waking up. They are digging in their heels. I grew up in that kind of “Christianity”. I was taught that gay people were soldiers of the devil, whose intent was to knowingly drag as many people, me included, to hell with them. The more LGBT comes to light, the more they scream that God is going to forsake us unless we purge the unclean from our nation. They teach approval of hate crimes. Westboro Baptist Church is different from a very BIG movement only in that they are willing to be vocal outside their church, where the others believe in keeping separate from the evil doers. Christianity in general still teaches intolerance at best, and active hatred at worst. Liberal Christianity is managing to come out into the light, but it is still a very small movement in comparison to those who teach hate.

  • Marge Doyle

    I wish I could just hold him, tell him it will be alright and that it does get better. My heart goes out to him. I will pray for him.

  • Jodi Lynn Sweeney

    Soul mentor, I don’t understand why you think it is wrong people voice God loves Jonah? Would you rather people say he doesn’t? Though I agree he needs to feel love and arms around him, I totally back up Christians that what to express Gods love. They are a reflection of what Christs teachings really was and want to proclaim that.. I can’t find anything wrong with that. If they want to drown out the hate? Then they should do it! Don’t judge their love and how they express it. Also? I have been through some really tough times physically alone. If it wasn’t for that fact I could connect to God and feel him with me? I wouldn’t have ever survived. I hope that for everyone.

  • Jodi Lynn Sweeney

    Totally Agree At!! And thanks for the recommendation of the movie!! I have Netflix and never heard of that movie!

  • Jodi Lynn Sweeney

    So agree with you Saffie!! We have to address the bullies!! This is a hate crime!

  • Ashley Prince

    It’s been a while since I’ve commented on your blog, but oh my gosh. I cried when I watched this video. It really breaks my heart. He is a kid and deserves to be happy. He has every right to be who he is and not have to worry about being called all of those names.

  • Jodi Lynn Sweeney

    Dr… The Scribes and Pharisees ask Jesus what the greatest commandment was.. Jesus said Love God above all and thy neighbor as yourself. Period. There isn’t judgmental in love. Love covers all. And isn’t up to any of us to decide what another person is doing is sinful or not. Only God can do that. And can you really say for sure what his thoughts are on this? Besides, you are contracting yourself when you say it is a sin and yet do not judge. You are still judging him. Also? In the bible, women should shut up and never cut their hair, men cover their heads, an unwed mom nor her child are allowed to go to church, can’t put two clothes together etc etc etc.. Back then? MEN (not Jesus) seemed to consider almost everything a sin! Why do people focus on that they feel being gay is a sin when every single one of us do something that we shouldn’t “according to the bible” How would YOU like to be bullied because of something you are doing “sinful”? Or have church against you because you “sin” or be see demonstrations against you because you “sin”.. I am a Christian. Very active in my faith. I studied the bible. And try to follow the path CHRIST taught, not men. And that is love, love all.. period.

  • Patricia Spitzler

    Even under the worst of circumstances, the bible says, “Hate the sin, not the sinner”, right? At least I have heard that sentiment from an awful lot of so-called Christians. This child deserves nothing but love and praise for his courage. He is a baby. He is one of God’s children. He is gay. He deserves better. Someone needs to save this child from the cruelty and biggotry in his life. I send my love to him. I don’t know what I would do if my little girl had to face this kind of hatred.

  • Jodi Lynn Sweeney

    Scot, I just posted along the same lines.. look above. You are right. There are so many “man made sins” in the bible. And sadly there are people that call themselves Christian that follow that. (Just because you call yourself a Monkey doesn’t make you one) However Jesus wasn’t about that. Jesus was about love. Period. Jesus said.. LOVE as I have love you.. love your Neighbor as yourself… and specially? 1 John 4:12 But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is truly in our hearts. (CEV) To REALLY have God in your heart? To REALLY be Christlike? You love.. And there ARE Christians out there that TRULY follow that. I hope you find more of that. My faith? Has a support Group for LGBT. Our District Apostle? (in charge of the states) held a special service and meeting with just advocates of our LGBT group and a meeting to teach him how our faith can be there more for them. Not all Christians live on judgment and hate.. And I truly hope you find it too if that is what you want.

  • kimberly

    i wish that i could protect that beautiful young soul. i wish that his sweet face could really sway the hateful hearts that cause his pain. and i wish that all of the people who say they are different, that they don’t treat people that way, that they love all people, and would welcome gay youth, or all gay folk, into their church if only they would repent, could see that their words are just as hurtful, just as ugly, and just so not coming from a place of Jesus love.

  • Don Whitt

    It’s all about Family Values, right?

  • Grannymae

    This is heartbreaking. Westboro Baptist Church does not speak for me, nor should they speak for anyone who bears the name of Christ. I am sure He does not condone any of their actions or attitudes.

  • alissa

    Bear,

    You are, sadly, right. I grew up in a small town, went to a Christian college, and now live in Tx so I am well aware of how far we still need to come. Just this year, however, the college, or rather a group on campus, I went to has gotten one the ball with supporting LGBTQ students and I am finally at a church that welcomes all people. Baby steps. Gives me hope.

    Those that preach hate really need to find a new name to identify themselves as there is NOTHING Christ-like about that behavior. My understanding of the Bible is that nothing pi%#ed off Christ more than people that abused others in words/action/power under the guise of being His followers. Shameful.

    All I can do is try to encourage those that are still close minded to consider another perspective and to remind then that we are to love others. Period. Not just others that we look/act/think/live like.

  • barron

    I tell you what, if i was that boys father i would be whippin some serious ass on some people, I might just have to go to the local fundamentalist church and get arrested for turning over the alter.

    I cant help it, Jesus said Do not Judge lets ye be judged and the Apostle Paul said there is no condemnation under Christ, therefore if you are under Christ you do not condemn or comment, Love your Neighbor As your Self.

    Okay whippin some serious ass is not exactly what Jesus would do figuratively but i sure wouldnt sit back and let this happen to the young man.

  • LSS

    i was conceived out of wedlock (why i’ve always felt committed relationships were the main thing, not official marriage) and i’m fat.

    i thought i was going to hell for other stuff, not that!

    trying to inject comic relief, but i do appreciate your points.

  • Libby Serkies

    My Mom’s Pastor (who I know and with whom I am friends both in life and on Facebook) has now undertaken Operation Let’s Harass Libby for Her Beliefs.” He has sent numerous emails to me on FB citing a recent post I made in support of marriage equality. His issue with my beliefs is most troubling – and indicative of those whose belief system convinces forcing their beliefs on others is not only acceptable but mandatory and “right.” My beliefs will not change – they are as fundamental to my core as my belief in God. My family of origin – all of them who claim they are devout Christians – do not understand nor “condone” my belief system either (as if I need Their permission) and some have severed their relationship with me. I would rather not talk to some of my siblings again than to compromise on something so fundamentally wrong!

  • LSS

    i guess if there are people who are trying to be straight by mistake (usually because they are expected to be straight and only later find out their options), there *could* be people who are being gay by mistake (due to disgust with the opposite sex, mistaking one kind of attraction for another, finding out by experimentation what their stronger orientation was, etc).

    just on gut instinct, i tend to think it might not be as common as being straight by mistake.

    i’ve only ever heard of one person that i sort of know, who tried to be a lesbian and it didn’t work out for her.

  • Sharla

    The Bible doesn’t say that. The Bible says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” And we Christians have a lot of trouble making that distinction between the sin and the sinner. Just love your neighbor, period. Let God’s love and grace flow through you, and God will take care of redeeming any sins and transforming lives.

    The Westboro Baptist “Church” is an extreme example. Most of these kids aren’t exposed to that as much as they are to beloved Sunday school teachers nodding in approval when someone says “abomination!” or youth pastors quietly and thoughtfully explaining how homosexuality is a manifestation of the fallenness of the world, and if there were no sin in the world there wouldn’t be gay people, either. These are the messages that are the worst. Crazy and noisily hateful, like Westboro, that’s easy to blow off. People you love and respect saying you’re damned, that’s a different matter altogether.

  • Sharla

    Yes, it does get better. But kids don’t have the perspective of us older folks who can look back and say that. They need us to MAKE it better, NOW. If you’re a pastor or youth leader and you consider yourself an ally, make sure your kids know it. If you’re afraid of repercussions from parishioners who may or may not be homophobic, well, those kids are, too. Whose side do you think Jesus would be on?

  • Jack

    \ the bible says, “Hate the sin, not the sinner”, right?\

    No, the Bible does not say this.

    Nor, for that matter, does the Bible say, “Spare the rod and spoil the child.”

  • Shannon Bass via Facebook

    I had to repost this. And now I’m waiting for the tears to stop. Heartbreaking.

  • JW

    Jesus did Whip some ass in the temple when he saw the so called pharisees doing wrong so whipping someones ass in the church or knocking over the alter would not be so bad

  • Sean Northrop

    They called me “Sunshine Boy”

    I cannot remember a day when I was young that I didn’t get picked on… for being a blonde haired boy in an almost entirely hispanic school… for being smarter than the other kids around me…. for being white….. for being different…… for being me…..

    I hope this child of God knows that it gets better… that the world has so much to offer him and vice versa….

  • JennahRose

    Like everyone, I am a dichotomy. A product of genetics, my upbringing, my experiences both collective and private, my personality. Raised in the church, I saw the best and worst of it and, after years of anguish, finally broke free. I am not a Christian, nor am I an Atheist or Agnostic. My “religion,” if labeled, is a Viktor Frankl-like Existentialism, a meaning and purpose-based philosophy. I am a firm believer in a woman’s right to choose, homosexual rights, but I also staunchly support the right to bear arms and capital punishment (just follow me here). My “religion” makes room for everything but hate, while understanding the nature of humanity’s inclination towards it. All this is to say, I spend my days spiritually and philosophically looking at today, the right here and right now, not some ever-after that might or might not be. It is refreshing to me to come to a page such as this where Christianity is the Christianity a Jesus of Nazareth intended, not the overwhelming majority that has come down to us. It disgusts me, irks me, angers me, and, as a parent, breaks my heart knowing that these CHILDREN are so maligned by a church and a people who claim love and mercy as their standards. This should not be an issue of church and state, religion and freedom. This child, these children, are hurting, pleading, dying right here and right now. Thank you for pointing this travesty out. And to these children: you are not alone, Honies. Please, please don’t give up. Stand against those who hate you, prove your innate worth, and live to tell your tale of hope and courage. Your story will save another. And thanks again, John, for your brutal honesty, open-mindedness, and shamelessness when it comes to pointing out the inadequacies of faith.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    This is a brilliant and insightful comment.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    This was encouraging. Thank you.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    No one is dancing around a damn thing. Head covering, not eating shell fish. This is all explicitly, clearly, obviously cultural. There wasn’t even a *word* for “homosexual” yet when all of this “Godly wisdom” was identified.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    No, I’m not judging him, I’ve no idea if he’s going to heaven or hell (which is what “judging” is. And seriously, please stop following me around on this blog and lecturing me, please. I don’t really care if you do or don’t but you are all over the map on this issue and half of this doesn’t even make sense, it doesn’t resemble anything I’ve offered. I’m holding this man accountable to the actions of expressing his belief. Period. I’m not bullying anyone, I’m being razor-sharp clear about the impacts of this expression of belief that I’ve seen first hand and have had to deal with a hundred times in the lives of gay kids. I don’t care if you disagree with my style and approach in doing so, unless John makes it clear that he prefers that I modify myself, I’ll continue.

    I’ve dealt with hundreds of people like this who’ve damaged their gay kids. I know the language, I know the opinions. It’s all a very broad pattern and this is the exact kind of dialogue I contended with as I worked with GLBT kids. So message received, you think I’m a bully. You think I’m judging him. Duly noted. Move on. Thanks.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    You are, it’s so great having you a part of this community. Look forward to more conversations.

  • LSS

    another recent ‘convert’ to tolerance/affirmation here. and there’s at least one in my family, which i never would have expected.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    It’s not even logical. Those of us who are straight are free to marry. We are free to marry sacramentally, we can choose whichever religious denomination blesses and sanctifies our marriage. And allowing gay men and women to marry prevents that from happening – how? No one has ever been able to explain that to me. As far as I can tell, “religious freedom” for these Christians with these specific beliefs equates to “religious experiences on my specific terms that are sanctioned broadly and exclusively in my country of origin”. How ironic that they call this “religious freedom”.

    We’re entering into a season – at least it seems like it – where Christianity is beginning to experience the closing of the doors on our “dominion” over the States, at least. And I think it’s terrifying for them. They feel that control slipping away where even the Christian youth of today raised in conservative homes are confused on what the issue is with gay marriage. And they’re panicking. I think this is largely generational as well as economic and in ten years, all of this will be a horrible bad dream. But when people lose control they start fighting in pretty vicious ways. So I think this will get terribly nasty. I hope not (but I’m ready).

  • LSS

    this is also true. removing the victim should be a last resort but it could be a useful last resort if nothing else was being done (in order to ensure his safety).

  • Sean Northrop

    I believe he was referring to the awful things his peers called him and you are right….

  • brook

    i’m right there with you sister. no time to waste on the Adversary and his minions. you know what’s right.

  • brook

    i agree. thank you for posting.

  • http://Nobleexperiments.blogspot.com NobleExperiments

    I’ve watched this video twice (with my heart breaking) and what jumps out at me is that he was bullied beginning in first grade. Evenif he is one if the people who know at a very young age that they are LTBQ, no one’s really interested in sex yet, or how sex relates to them personally, or who they might someday be interested in that age. This young man is bullied because he was different…. and the so-called adults in his life allow him to be bullied. So often, just being a little different from the dominant culture can brand you, and the psychic damage can last a lifetime. Whether or not he is gay is beside the point; what matters is that we reach out to him and people like him….. as someone else said, to be God and Jesus with skin on.

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

    Sure, it does.

    Right next to “Cleanliness is next to godliness” and “God helps those who help themselves.”

  • Vickie

    I am so tired of people saying that God said this and God said that, and they have no proof! I believe that God made every single person to be exactly who they are, and if you have a problem with some aspect of humanity, then you are missing something vitally important. There are several lessons we all need to learn on this plane of existence, and when you come upon people who are different than you, or who have a different philosophy than you, you need to take time and reflect on what this is showing you about yourself. You need to determine if this person was brought into my life, then what lesson(s) does God have for me to learn? In this case, is that lesson tolerance?

    Our so-called religious leaders are so proud and arrogant in that position. They must remember that they, too, are human beings and should be totally ashamed of themselves for promoting hatred and intolerance.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    Exactly. I’ve asked this question too about divorce and the answers are fascinating. “Divorce” – unlike being gay – is “complicated” and “requires mercy”. It’s just not as straightforward as we try to make it. Which translates into “let’s exempt the scripture about God hating divorce and just kind of wave our hands at it lightly because this actually impacts us personally and we just want the freedom to be divorced and then remarry so let’s just declare these specific scriptures that are awfully clear about divorce exempt from the literal interpretation we put on gay men and women.”

  • Bobbi

    Mike – I understand and agree with your point. I just want to point out one thing. In your last paragraph you said: “I do not choose to live a homosexual lifestyle, but this country is about FREEDOM.”

    One of the problems members of the LGBT community face from the conservative community is that they claim we choose to be LGBT, that being gay or trans is a lifestyle choice. I know of no one in the LGBT that made a choice or chose a lifestyle. I know it is symatics but when someone uses the phrase choose to live a homosexual lifestyle it plays right into the argument that my life is a sin, and rather than conform to the “conservative christian” view of the world I would rather live in sin and try to destroy civilized society. Believe me I spent a good deal of my life trying to be what they wanted I did not chose to be who I am or adopt a lifestyle to make a steament.

    Again I’m not criticizing what you are saying. I just wanted to say chose your words carefully when debating because the fundamentalists will leap on a poorly worded phrase.

    Also while I am on my soapbox I would like to say thank you to you and every other straight person who does take a stance. You guys rock, even if you choose to live a straight lifestyle. : )

  • Pam Martin

    I wish we all lived in a perfect world where everyone loved and cared for each other. I wish that no one would ever feel like they needed to make a video like the one that’s posted. I long for the day where everyone can be free to live honestly and openly, and be respected for who they are. I hope that this young man reads the words of comfort and hope from others who, to varying degrees, understand his sorrow and pain. Meanwhile, I send love and wishes for peace.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brooke-K-Farthing/1366990618 Brooke K Farthing via Facebook

    Does anyone know why the updated video was removed? Can you fill us in on what the update was, Julie? His video was VERY powerful!

  • Brian

    Some kids, I am guessing this kid, do think like adults and if this kid has been bullied since a young age, he is going to start thinking like an adult. I really meant that he will mature at a much quicker rate then kids who have it “easy”. I think and quite frankly, I know Jesus would be on this child’s side. Not because he could be gay or such, let get real. But because Jesus loves him for him Gay, Straight, Bi or Alien in disguise. I feel his pain and thus I am sending Love for him.

    Labeling is another thing I would like bring up. In the past and present people have always classified anything really. And people classified other people. This kills me on the inside. Who cares if you are gay. The only people who care are the ones being bullied for being called gay. Yourself. … Myself. Acceptance of other people for who they are, I think is the real massage. Without calling being names/Labels/put into Class/Role.

  • Yvonne

    I am a Christian. I believe that homosexual beings (homosexuality does not occur only in human beings) — homosexuality and LGBT friends are created by God and deserve the respect and protection that every Creator-created creation deserves.

    Yvonne, Christian of

    St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

    Renton, WA

    A CHURCH FOR ALL PEOPLE

  • Richard Candelieri

    What bothers me is people that believe what they read in a book that’s been re-written & interpreted many times, in many languages, like The Bible . None of us weren’t alive in biblical times, but yet you will live & die by its words you cannot possibly prove even happened & may never will. You place your faith what you hear in a church, by someone basically teaching hatred & denouncing certain kinds of people. In fact, I’d bet if you looked in enough of them, you’ll find many skeletons in their closets.

    People like Pat Robertson & Televangelist shows like 700 Club, should not be allowed to teach & spew hatred like they do. I think it should be criminalized & taken off the air, as it only perpetuates hate, bigotry, bullying, even suicide.

    Why is it a crime to put forth hate speech & mail only to allow televangelists get away with it? Since when are these nuts above the law?

    I just want to say, a black man come up to me at the gym one time, preaching a version of his supposed God’s word to me. Immediately cut him off & told him, “I have my own personal beliefs about his or any other ‘supposed’ God.” He then asked me, “why aren’t you open to another way of thinking”? I shot back with, “because people like you are prejudice and think homosexuality is a sin.” He had the nerve to tell me, “you know God doesn’t want you to be gay”. I turned, raised my voice so loud that half the gym heard me & yelled, “if this supposed God didn’t want me to be gay, then have God tell all the heterosexual parents to stop giving birth to them!!” I then got ugly & whispered in his ear, “get the f**k away from before my God tells me to kick your ass.” He left & I never saw him again.. & good riddance.

    Don’t let anyone ever, ever, EVER tell you who to be, just ignore the negative comments, walk with your head held high knowing that you were created they way you were meant to be.. YOU. A unique, amazing human who has every right to be on this earth, like any other creature.

  • Richard Candelieri

    Oops!!.. sorry about my misspelling.

  • Cindy Goldman

    Libby, good for you for staying true to yourself. On the path to higher consciousness, many people in your life will ‘fall away’ from you, or you from them, no longer able to resonate with your higher vibration of truth. They are just in a different place, and it’s all valid. People grow at different rates, and new people show up who are on a parallel with you. Blessings to you.

  • Richard Candelieri

    It’s sad that in this day & age, it seems so easy to project the negative to feel make people better about themselves. it just goes to show you, that we are not seeing the real picture, but what we are seeing is, kids with low or a lack of self-esteem & self-worth are bullying others for whatever reason is causing them to treat people that way. I have not stepped foot inside a church in 40 years & I likely never will. I can’t sit in what is supposed to be a house of worship, acceptance & tolerance & hear how its an abomination for me to be a gay person.

    It’s funny, you go into the confessional, profess your sins & the Priest tells you to say 10 Hail Mary’s, recite The Rosary, pay your penance & you’ll be cleansed. Tell me how a gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or trans-gendered person, born into the body & mind that they are in, who’s committed suicide because of being made to feel, or of their own fear of feeling less than human, can take advantage of that program?

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    I hear what you’re saying. Totally and completely. It’s important – thank you.

  • Kristi Johnson

    I stand up as a Christian – but one aligned with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America who believes ALL people are children of God and refuses to speak against anyone who doesn’t consider themselves a heterosexual. I count myself as a JESUS Christian, and nobody can prove to me that he didn’t love all beings.

  • David

    Proverbs 13:24

    Whoever spares the rod hates their children,

    but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.

    Discipline is not thrashing the child till he/she bleeds, Discipline is the teaching of good and bad, the true instruction of wholesome life. To spoil a child is to let it get away with ‘murder’ letting it walk over you at every corner in the mall, getting you to let it have the extra hour of unwholesome Tv right before bed.

    Mark 2:17

    On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

    We are not here to be judges! we as christians are here to point our peers, our neighbours to Jesus the one who can forgive our sin, we ALL are sinners, this is engrained in us, it has been since the fall of mankind in the eating of the fruit by Adam.

    Matthew 7:3

    Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

    In reference to the actual article, not the above comment:

    I personally believe from my reading of the scriptures, being homosexual in mind, in its self is not sin. It is the acting out of those lusts for the same sex which is the sin… the bible is very clear about what is right or not, God created Woman for Man, the physical anatomy of beings is such too! (use your imagination… not too difficult)

    Leviticus 18:22

    Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.

  • Kristi Johnson

    BTW – HUGS and LOVE to the boy in the video.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    I really don’t care what you believe and want you to have the religious freedom to express yourself. Given you more than likely, do not possess either the desire or the capability to understand the impact of *expressing* your beliefs and the damage it does to kids who are gay, the only thing I ask is that you stay far away from gay children. Your beliefs – and your choice to express them – pose a great danger to their physical, emotional and spiritual health. You’ll not acknowledge that of course but if the Holy Spirit is truly with you – if you are a decent human being – you will remember what I’ve asked and you will leave these young people alone. You are a danger to them (as well as the Christian community and our witness as a whole). Unfortunately we’re going to have to wait a few more years as your beliefs simply die out – another horrible black spot on the history of Christianity – but until then, I’d rather not have to clean up the mess you make. It’s a serious request – thanks for considering it.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    I have so much admiration for people like you. This has to be such a hard thing. The courage of your convictions is inspiring.

  • SEB

    Thank you, David, for giving an accurate representation of what the Bible teaches. I commend you, Brother, for not spewing unbiblical ugliness, as DR did in reply.

  • http://sinnerviewer.blogspot.com/ Shannon

    I watched this and cried, then watched it with my 17 year old daughter and cried. THen, I posted it on my blog and cried again. This beautiful, handsome boy has totally broken my heart. He will forever be in my prayers…

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    What is “unbliblical ugliness” is calling something a sin without being able to offer any of the specific fruits of said “sin” that lead to death – as sin does. You are the one perverting Scripture to justify your own fear and discomfort – not me. I have no agenda except to honor what sin really is and does as it is defined in Scripture. For example, I can point to the destructive qualities of deception – broken relationships. Lost jobs. Let’s try another sin – addiction. Physical loss of health, even life. Liver disease, damaged marriages.

    So now it’s your turn. Please tell me the specific destruction one causes in one’s life as a result of this “choice” to be gay. As we’ve heard from hundreds of gay men and women on this blog, “being gay” leads to committed, life long devoted relationships with the same sex that are rooted in love. They often result in couples adopting children that no one else wants. Please be specific about the physical, economic and/or emotional damage that being gay creates in those who are gay. Don’t run away, put your money where your mouth is. Let’s get specific. ‘ll wait for it. Thanks.

  • Mark

    The bible is quite clear that homosexuality is sin. Telling someone who practices this lifestyle that it is not sin is not a loving thing to do. Homosexuality seems to be the “in thing” these days and too many people who claim the name a Christ are buying in to this. I find it very disturbing

    .

  • Elizabeth

    Thank you so much. This is beautifully stated.

  • Diana A.

    You were being passionate. Keyboards aren’t always cooperative with passion.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    PS – the most recent Gallup poll confirmed that 53% of Christians in America both believe in and will vote for gay marriage when and if given the opportunity. You’ve held the beautiful and Holy Church of Jesus Christ hostage, committing spiritual and emotional terrorism on this group of people for years. It’s happening and it’s wonderful and it’s probably terrifying for you because you’re losing control. But you’ll soon see that as a result of gay marriage being legalized which is inevitable, all of the hysterical, dramatic “People will marry their dogs!” rants those who believe as you do will of course never happen. Your life won’t change at all. Some conservative Christians will forget all about the temper tantrums they displayed (just like they did when the Blacks got to go to school with your kids). And life will move on with yet another embarrassing blot of ignorance on Witness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that you won’t have the capacity to even realize you once again, caused. History will repeat itself and your role seems clear. You can change it of course, you can actually open your mind and really read John’s books – but you and I both know you won’t do that. Too scary. In a weird way, in the midst of being so repelled by what you do to the GLBT community? I feel sorry for you. I bet you’re miserable.

  • LSS

    questioning largely man-made ideas that we unthinkingly swallowed because the church told us it for years and years, is “in” lately. and i think that’s a good thing.

  • LSS

    he just said things were going better and thanks to the people who wrote with support and to the people who thought the first video was acting, he was not faking and he was kind of speechless that they could think that (presumably because he had bared his soul in it).

    he has a “public figure” fan page in fb now as well as several support pages made by ppl who saw the vids … so you can probably leave messages there and he (and others in similar situation) will see them.

  • LSS

    the first grade thing got to me, too. believe me, as an aspergers person … we’re “born that way” too, and always different since we can remember. there are many groups or aspects of people like that and if only people could just live and let live … LITERALLY… there would be less ones dying because of the world telling them they have no place in it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Wendy-Fallon/100000150019219 Wendy Fallon via Facebook

    If this doesn’t change how you treat every single person in your path, I don’t know what it would take. We are all so human and pain is so universal. They ONLY answer is love.

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

    “before my God tells me to kick your ass.”

    Alright … that’s funny.

  • Jeanine Byers via Facebook

    Hey Julie, what did the update say?

  • donnie

    I heard a pastor one time, a man who I thought alot of and still do, preach a sermon. The title of his sermon was “Is supper ready?’ he started out by asking if a beggar walked in off the street would supper be ready for him, would he be met with Gods love or would he be scolded for being there as he was, then he went on to say what would supper be ready if the prostitute walked in the door would she be met with Gods love or would she be met with the harshness and judgements of people in the church then he went on to say what if 2 big ole boys came in holding hands would they be met with Gods love or be met with judgement of the people in the church. And from your post above it tells me that Supper is Definitely not ready in your church…

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

    Oh, good.

    Quoting Leviticus.

    Eaten any pork or lobster lately?

    I hope that you’re not wearing any blended fabrics, and that you have your appopriate knots in place.

    How have your sacrifices been going lately?

    Oh … you mean, you don’t believe that THOSE verses in Leviticus still apply? Only the ones that don’t challenge you apply, right?

    Uh-huh … thanks for playing. Now run along.

  • Gary

    I used to believe exactly the same thing. I was wrong. You are wrong.

    This issue is too important for ignorance to continue to reign in the church. Do yourself and the rest of the world a huge favor and educate yourself.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Barb-Ulrich-Patterson/1683455220 Barb Ulrich Patterson via Facebook

    If the update was what I saw, it’s him thanking people for the support and he also mentions that some have said he ‘faked’ it, and he says, yeah right, I faked being gay and getting bullied, no, just no.

  • Stephanie

    You are choosing what scripture you would like to use to state your case and simply ignoring what else the bible has to say. What follows the scripture you just quoted (Leviticus 18:22) are many more rules and commands that I guarantee you or someone you know has broken. Yet, I’m pretty certain you wouldn’t have anything to say about those commands.

    When you look up those other commands and rules, remember what you wrote above…..”the bible is very clear on what is right or not…”

    “‘Do not eat any meat with the blood still in it.”

    “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD.”

    “When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.”

    “Do not mate different kinds of animals.”

    “Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed.”

    “Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.”

    That is just a few from Levitcus 19, which is a continuation of the commands.

  • http://www.facebook.com/robert.santacroce Robert Santacroce

    This boy and all gay youth should never be going through this ever!!!!! We all are gifts and children of God our Lord. People who hide behind religion to bully, call gay youth names etc all should be ashamed and be banned from civilization for all time. Some of them are scared for life and often hide who they are for their entire life. No one should never live in feer of who they are and should be proud of themselves as I am a gay adult male and hid who i am for may years from family and friends for fear of what they would think and how I would be treated during grades K to 12th grade. The town i grew up in was, i would say a very homophobic town and once attached a gay teanager back when i was in junior high just for being gay.

    I will and always will stand up for fellow gay adults and gay youths and let everyone know we are not alone. I will help in any way I can. Just email me and i will do what i can and be of support in some way.

  • lisa

    Sin is sin, homosexuality is a sin like any other sin. It is no better or worse than any other sin. Christainity teaches love of all people. One sin can not be singled out as not being a sin just because it is the politically correct thing to accept at this time.

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

    It’s also great that every time someone prays for God to lead them into something, it’s always what the person wanted to do in the first place.

    It’s great that everyone is so totally tuned into God.

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

    Because OBVIOUSLY God meant to legitimize the eating of scallops. They’re yummy!

    But homosexuality is icky, so He didn’t mean to make that okay.

  • Pat Schutz

    This kid, and all kids like him are welcome in my church. God loves ALL. PERIOD. And if God loves all, our church loves all. This video is incredibly sad:(

  • Sarah

    I don’t think this boy ever said he was gay. He was showing a list of names that the bullies’ called him..

  • http://www.facebook.com/OblivionSalvation Joe Smith via Facebook

    soooo, i’m gonna sound like a dick here, all i ask is you read this comment all the way through before raging at me. i have my own issues, revolving both around sexual orientation and gender identity. I was tormented throughout school. Before i was removed from my home at 13, i had the living shit beaten out of me by my mom on an almost daily basis. but you never saw me BAAAAAWWWWing on fucking youtube. Call me a cold fucker all you want. I went through more than this kid every will and i DONT BITCH ABOUT IT. I ENDURE. Because i know Christ has my fucking back. This kid, honestly, needs to learn PEOPLE WILL HATE. People are DISGUSTING. Stop whining and ENDURE. If you are too weak, be culled and stop taking up space. If you can endure, if you can stand defiant in the face of all that would oppress you, i am PROUD to call you my brother, my friend. Otherwise, get the fuck out of the way.

  • Nick S. From M, NB, C

    Dear Mark,

    I have a few points to make on this matter that are crucial to take into account when it comes to talking about this:

    I would like to begin by saying that these are matters that I have given a lot of thought, and due to my own background, my own story, I can say that I am not a perfect person, nor will I ever claim to be. I can also say that if your beliefs can’t handle an intellectual conversation without making assumptions, you should stop reading this at once. Let us begin.

    First: Despite the influences of popular culture, homosexuality is an issue that needs to be dealt with, like any other sin, wether choice or by nature (which is really a non-issue anyway since gays are people just like you and me in the grand scheme of things) one on one, believer to believer/unbeliever. For the “christian” community to take a cold hardline approach in dealing with this is going against everything that Jesus taught. How can people ever come to know the Christ who died for ALL our sins, including hubris, ignorance, prejudice; and in all seriousness, stupidity which are no different than homosexuality, divorce, fornication, murder, greed, materialism, need I say more about these sins which can ALL be found in the hearts of ALL men and women? Does demonizing this particular sin not qualify as hypocrisy? If you believe in the Jesus of the Gospels, the one who spent most of the three years of his ministry with prostitutes, lepers, the hopelessly immoral, murderers, thieves, tax collectors, and showed Godly love and understanding to them and telling them to LOVE one another and to leave the judging and condemnation up to God since, really it’s only His opinion that matters in the end anyway; if you believe in that Jesus, where do you get off making a moralistic statement that contradicts his teaching, and most importantly, his behavior? Since you have made this comment, I would say that it’s fair to assume that you’ve never really met anyone who calls themselves, gay, lesbian, bisexual, or otherwise. Even if you did, did you bother to befriend them, talk to them and bring them into your life? I’m going to leave these questions to you to answer Mark.

    SECOND: I think using Jonah(the boy who made this video) as an example, and champion of gay rights at this point would be a mistake. He never said that he was gay in this video, he simply said he was called gay and fag among other rather unintelligent insults, this does NOT necessarily mean that he IS in fact gay. He is only 13 after all. When I was in high school I was treated in much the same way he described and more. I was called every colorfully ignorant word in the book, including all those great words that hateful people like to use to describe people who are gay or different in any sense of the word. I would like to emphasize that I am in fact NOT gay, nor have I ever been. My crime, I believe, was that I was creative, different, a little socially awkward, not an athlete, and definitely on the small end of the spectrum. I’ve always been a big fan of women and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. So, just because he is called gay etc. at school, doesn’t mean this kid is gay.

  • Gary

    Nah…simply not so Lisa.

    Study up and show yourself approved.

  • Amanda Feeley via Facebook

    Where’s the FB page? I would love to leave him a message of support.

  • Vicky

    I wish there was a way to reach him and let him know that he is loved, just as he is.

  • LSS

    search his name on fb and there are pages, one fan page for him as a “public figure” and others that are like groups supporting him and protesting bullying in general, inspired by him. he will probably see the messages.

  • LSS

    he doesn’t say so in that video but he does in a later one.

  • Gary

    I understand you mean well. But I believe it is horribly damaging to classify homosexuality along with “divorce, fornication, murder, greed, materialism”, etc. When scripture is handled accurately within translation and cultural context this is an indefensible position. Homosexuality as we know it today, is not sinful in and of itself.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cindy-Wood/1130734009 Cindy Wood via Facebook

    Joe, I read all the way through your rant and fear you are cut of the same cloth as the bullies. Heartless.

  • http://www.facebook.com/scottrjensen Scott Jensen via Facebook

    We really do hear him John. And he’s made me want to be more outspoken to youth about our progressive faith and that its ok to be what ever he is. As he was made it the perfect image of God!

  • Bobbi

    That should have read every straight person, not every other. I am gratefoul for all my straight friends and allies not just every other one.

  • LSS

    he said it in a later video.

    and one thing i’ve learned from my gay friends … even though they were ok with me believing (when i used to believe that) that being gay was a sin … they didn’t want to mess with my conscience as long as i didn’t go preaching at them all the time either…

    i learned from being around them, not from their words at me but just from knowing them, that i couldn’t really be their true friend while still thinking they were doing an abomination.

    and i don’t think that my feeling that i needed to love my friends better was from some evil source, from sin or from the devil or whatever. i think wanting to love people better is an urge that we get from God.

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

    Well, you’re right: You sound like a dick. But … way to help this kid understand that people will hate. (And did you not watch this tape to the end? I think it’s safe to say you can call this boy your brother. And, more to your point: I do appreciate all you’ve said here. You could have said it with a good deal more compassion, but I hear you. And you need to hear that it’s okay to let people grieve, and reach out, and be strong–and be weak–in whatever ways work best for them. Your way isn’t the only way, right? Be NICER, basically. Cut people some slack, brother.)

  • J.P. Switzer via Facebook

    I understand you’ve needed to develop a hard shell but underneath that I would hope you’d also learned compassion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/OblivionSalvation Joe Smith via Facebook

    You’re right. I could have been more compassionate. I fear I lost my compassion in a well a few years ago. Volunteers are being accepted to help me find it.
    Honestly, i don’t like being this way to people.
    I wish i could go to this kid and confort him, tell him everything’s gonna be cool.
    But I can’t. That’d be lying. And i live in integrity.
    The world is cold. We have ourselves, our loved ones, and Christ. Thats it. telling him everything will be sunshine and rainbows and that everyone will love him….that would just do more damage in the end.

  • Gary

    Well I agree with your first comment…you do sound like a dick.

    “Get the fuck out of the way”? Seriously? What God do you serve anyway?

    (No I am not offended by the use of the word fuck)

  • LSS

    hey can we keep the “foreigner” one, though? i think that’s a good one. they get treated just as badly as lgbtq folks.

  • Madison

    1 Timothy 1: 8-11

    We know that the law is good when used correctly. 9 For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who kill their father or mother or commit other murders. 10 The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders,[c] liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching 11 that comes from the glorious Good News entrusted to me by our blessed God.

    1 Corinthians 6: 9-10

    9 Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10 or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God

    Romans 1: 27

    In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

    So it’s not just Leviticus, it’s throughout the Bible. It is clearly written that homosexuality is a sin. No, I do not hate homosexuals. Jesus taught that we need to love everyone, and I do. Homosexuality is placed in the same category as adultery, lying and stealing. It is no larger a sin than the others, and it is no lesser a sin. I hate the sin, but I do not hate the sinner.

  • Gary

    BTW – The God I serve said “blessed are the poor in spirit, for they will be comforted”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jodiLSweeney Jodi Lynn Sweeney via Facebook

    Joe, I think all the beatings you endured and being removed from your home at the age of 13 created a tough shell and exterior there. I know down deep you don’t expect everyone to act and react the same way. As well as we can’t expect Jonah to react the way you do. He has every right to be upset and sad over the treatment he has endured. I honestly fell if you saw a therapist you can address your issues and why he affected you so negativity. And lastly? Jesus had love and compassion for all.. and it up to us to express that.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    I think this might have been better had you stopped at “I have my own issues”.

    But if there’s any question that being bullied and tormented as a result of being gay is a real problem, we only need to look at Joe who’s still living it in living color.

    Joe, what you went through sucks. I don’t know you but I do know that beneath anger and hostility often lay great reserves of grief unexpressed. Take care of yourself.

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

    Joe: Who the fuck suggested anyone telling this kid everything is “sunshine”? Not I, and not anyone … well, that I know of.

    Once you’ve said that you have and feel and know “loved ones,” you’ve shown that you have in your heart and mind the only real values that ever save anyone.

    That’s enough. But let HIM have that, too. Let us all. How else are any of us saved, but through love? This kid ASKED for love. You can’t get more noble than that.

  • christine

    what i’d like to say is that

    one- if you think that God says its wrong to be a homosexual… do you not think that when Jesus told Peter, His most devoted apostle, that he was going to deny Him, that He kept loving him? did He in any way stop loving, befriending Him? NO! its by being his friend, and by loving him *despite” that He really reached his heart.

    two- the prodigal son story is another example: it is by LOVING & ACCEPTING that we reach one another in the end.

  • Zoe

    This post was both beautiful and deeply sad. Show this to your children and talk about how what you say and how you treat your peers can hurt so deeply. I was on a long trip yesterday with my 17 year old daughter and funnily enough we talked about both Christianity vs homosexuality plus bullying and being excepted as you are in school. I was so proud of her maturity and options that many adults don’t seem to possess.

  • http://www.facebook.com/OblivionSalvation Joe Smith via Facebook

    i really need to learn to step away from the computer when i get like this. I wont delete the post, that’d just be a form of lying, but i will extend my apologies to all. I’m going to go pray and ask for some guidance right now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cindy-Wood/1130734009 Cindy Wood via Facebook

    Life can be brutal, and Joe, you’ve been a victim of the worst life has to offer a child, just as Jonah has….. I’m glad you’ve found comfort in your faith.

  • http://www.facebook.com/love.sanchez Love Sanchez-Suarez via Facebook
  • Stephen Ciaccio via Facebook

    i don’t think anyone that has posted thus far has asked you to patronize or lie to this boy. but the truth is that you have obviously been hurt in your life by several events that wounded you greatly and left you with deeper long-lasting scars. and i’m sure that if you were to be honest (as you claim you are) you would admit that the emotional and mental abuse weighs heavier on you in the long run than the physical abuse. i’m also sure that the mental and emotional abuse you suffered was not in only what was said to you, but how it was said to you. and as someone who has experienced that, as someone who lived it, breathed it, and continues everyday to live with the repercussions of those words and those tones, i would actually think that you would have more sympathy than anyone else who has yet to post on this story or possibly than will post. again, i’m not saying you should lie to the boy, because, in a lot of respects, i agree with you. the world isn’t nice. a lot of times things don’t work out. people will always be cruel, uneducated, biased, hateful. but as someone who has experienced first hand the horrible reality that is so often life, what an amazingly rare and grand opportunity you have to be a voice among voices filled with compassion and love for this boy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/love.sanchez Love Sanchez-Suarez via Facebook

    there’s a bunch of others, too, just search his name.

  • J.P. Switzer via Facebook

    Three honest and true words: It Gets Better.

  • Sharla

    Not MY family, or my family values.

  • Jeannie

    Personality disorder much?

    Okay, so maybe I won’t judge you based on one post. However there is a big difference between enduring and living. Life is not about mere survival. I hope you figure that out someday. Part of living is compassion.

    Have you been so deeply hurt you are afraid to sympathize? Are you so wounded you are afraid to be vulnerable? Are you unable to empathize with someone’s pain after suffering so much?

    “Get the fuck out of the way” is way over the top here. I don’t know if I can ever think of a time when that is appropriate to say that to anyone. I do hope life keeps improving for you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrew.w.montoya Drew Montoya via Facebook

    Psst. Joe, you’re being a whiny bitch about it right now.

  • Kara

    Quoting the abysmally translated clobber passages to prove that the Bible “clearly” supports your point. Nice.

    Homosexuality is not and cannot ever be in the same category as adultery, lying, and stealing. Because those sins involve a breaking of relationship with other people. They involve deception and non-consent. They are manipulative and exploitative. They are manifestations of a lack of love.

    Also, I cannot state enough how sick I am of this “I hate the sin, not the sinner” business. What if I said “I hate your face and the way you talk and all your hobbies and think your clothes are stupid and everything you believe isn’t just wrong, but idiotically. Really, though, I love you.” You’d call crap. Because we’re the sum of our parts. And as much as you might wish you could so you could claim that you’re loving me, when you pronounce that you “hate” homosexuality? You are not loving me. Love is about how you treat someone. You don’t just get to declare that you love someone then do whatever you want.

  • LSS

    he apologizes later on fb. it will probably show up here soon.

  • Soulmentor

    OK, I get it. We can’t get our arms around him but we can assure him of God’s love…..but we should include ours with that and not just say God loves him.

  • Gary

    I pray you find the peace you seek brother.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jodiLSweeney Jodi Lynn Sweeney via Facebook

    Joe as much as I am praying for Jonah? I am praying for you. I can’t imagine the abuse you endured and being taken away from your Mom. As I said before, it obviously had an affect on you and I will pray you find comfort and a PEACE about it.. and remember you are loved too

  • http://www.facebook.com/jodiLSweeney Jodi Lynn Sweeney via Facebook

    just remember to show compassion for the very things you needed compassion for too

  • http://www.facebook.com/jodiLSweeney Jodi Lynn Sweeney via Facebook

    just remember to show compassion for the very things you needed compassion for too

  • Kara

    I’m so fucking sick of this shit. I’m sick of every “of course this is horrible, but…” and every “love the sinner, hate the sin.” I’m sick of seeing the same clobber passages used over and over when a twelve-second google search would show you the mistranslation and cultural baggage that’s been written into those texts over the years.

    I’m sick of watching my people die. And you know what? The kid’s dying. Thousands of kids are dying. Can’t you see it? Even if he lives to be 100, they’re killing him. His spark, his God-light, the part of him that sees beauty and tenderness in the world. The part of him that believes in anything. And it’s the people of faith, striking every blow with the best of intentions, convinced to their cores that they’re helping by testifying to the “truth.”

    I’m fucking sick of the simplifications. Of hearing that “the Bible is clear!” Of watching the people of God bringing destruction, clawing at the fledgling buildings of the Kingdom of Heaven, preferring to stay in the familiar wasteland of comfortable old theologies that are permanently colored by historical biases rather than help build something new and beautiful with God and with other people.

    When do we tell them that enough is enough?

  • Stephanie

    If we had more grace, we probably wouldn’t need to be so tough and just endure.

    We could probably work through our issues a little better.

    More grace. More love.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    He clarified it in his second video but you are totally missing the point. The reason that “gay” and “faggot” are slurs that bullies use in the first place is because we as Christians inserted that being gay is “a sin against God” in the first place. It’s our fault, we were the first to throw the stone in the name of Biblical interpretation and telling everyone our opinion of what God said in Leviticus. We started this – and now we’re seeing the results of our choice to do so.

  • http://www.unchainedfaith.wordpress.com Amy

    I saw this earlier, but didn’t have the chance to comment. Oh, my goodness. It was not a good idea to watch it right before going to church where we had to process through a teen’s death by suicide with the kids. It wasn’t related to LGBT bullying, but may have been related to both sexual harassment and cyber-bullying (no official word on it yet).

    While we were at the church service, we youth leaders had the chance to talk with the students in small groups. When we talked about bullying at school, one of the guys said something very telling. He said, “You only get picked on if you’re *too* different.” And he told me about his friend, who is apparently being harassed for being gay (whether he is or not wasn’t clear and doesn’t matter). This guy seemed uncomfortable, and thought it was funny–as did a few other kids. But I saw that some of the kids were visibly upset by his comments and laughter. (Obviously, I did not let it continue.)

    The thing is, as a formerly bullied kid, I know how it feels. Not only does the bullying hurt, but you feel alone–like no one else is going through it. I found out that so many kids–ones I thought were “perfect” in school–were abused by their peers. I wish I’d known then. I don’t blame myself, but I wish I could have done something. I wish I could do something RIGHT NOW to make it stop for these kids.

    Strangely, when I talked with the youth pastor at our church about the fact that some of our kids may be victimizing their peers, he seemed surprised (which, in turn, surprised me–he usually has more of a clue than that). We are blissfully unaware that the messages we give these kids are license to bully when someone seems “too different.”

    Sometimes, I just feel so helpless. It doesn’t feel like enough to be an ally and a friend to these hurting kids. I want everyone else to be one, too.

  • Don Whitt

    Mine either. But these folks who seem to hate people for being different keep saying that’s what it’s all about.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    So is women being silent in church. So is a woman being a teacher. Do you support those?

    But let’s do this, if homosexuality is a sin, then please be specific as to the type of emotional, spiritual, relational and physical damage it does to the sinner. For example, I can clearly identify those fruits when it comes to lying, adultery, addiction, stealing – even divorce. Shattered kids, broken relationships – as a result of addiction, physical damage to the body, even death.

    So if being gay is a “sin” like adultery, lying and stealing as you’re said it is, then please product the bad fruit as a result of this sinful orientation – present how it manifests itself in a gay man or woman’s life. Not *your* life -*their* life. I’ve met several gay men and women who are devout Christians on the forum so clearly their spiritual life is intact. But I’ll wait for it – thanks, looking forward to your response.

  • http://www.unchainedfaith.wordpress.com Amy

    Have you ever given yourself permission to hurt and to grieve? It really is okay. It’s okay to rant and whine and swear and whatever you need to. Sounds like this really touched a nerve. Go with that.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    I think you just did (beautifully).

    They don’t care, Kara. People *want* them to care. But they don’t. They’re blinded by their need to be right and their terror in being wrong. It’s not *your* lifestyle that freaks them out, it’s that *their* lifestyle within their carefully-constructed Christian cages are rattled to the core by you being both gay and Christian.

    The “hate the sin love the sinner” people can throw their opinion into the ring this evening and walk away from the conversation completely unchanged and totally uneffected. This does not impact their life. And as a result? They Do. Not. Care. They are only here speaking up because they read something and got offended and defensive (John is awfully good about striking the evangelical nerve). They Do. Not. Care about this little boy. None of them probably know anyone who is gay in any meaningful way with exception of family members or historical friendships that they’re locked into out of history or obligation. They don’t know you. And they know that they won’t CHOOSE to know you. Because they don’t have to, the way that Scripture is interpreted in their little worlds is the only thing they know. It’s the only thing they’ve *chosen” to know. And all of us are the enemies of Christ because we’re asking them to for perhaps the first time in their lives, prove it. Provide some good old fashioned human evidence of the “sin” of being gay. And they can’t, none of them will answer that question. Because there is no answer.

    But reading it over and over again must feel so totally demoralizing and exhausting for you. I can’t imagine (and I mean that).

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    My god, anyone who has read these testimonies of gay men and women and what they (you) experience as a result of those of us who are “Christian” have to be able to look beneath your anger to your story. Seriously. I wouldn’t worry about it and I hope you come back, the sadness and pain of being rejected so profoundly during such a confusing time of your life must have been unbearable. We all come undone every once in a while when that old, buried pain rears up. Much love to you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andie.norman Andrea Norman via Facebook

    Was there such a thing as YouTube when you were 13?

  • http://www.facebook.com/andie.norman Andrea Norman via Facebook

    Was there such a thing as YouTube when you were 13?

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    Dear Mark,

    As we speak (according to the latest Christianity Today figures), over 57% of Christian couples are getting divorced. And remarried. Breaking your family up and shattering your kids and then jumping into a second relationship (or third, or fourth) seem to be the “in thing” right now, nothing but Grace and Mercy and spiritual passes for those folks – right?

    I find that awfully disturbing.

  • Soulmentor

    John, are you in contact with this boy? Is he getting the chance to see all this support? I know you would do that if you can so I hope you have discovered and connected with him.

  • Jeannie

    Life’s a journey. I will pray for you tonight. When you ask for wisdom and guidance you will get it. Take care.

  • Kara

    *sigh* I’m 97% sure you’re right. I just don’t want you to be, because those people are my family. Those people are every friend I ever had before high school. Those people are people I love.

    What are you supposed to do when the people you love are hurting people you love, and are proud of it? Other than cry a lot. Which I’ve already got covered.

    (Also, thank you for always responding to my rambling, blustering comments with such thoughtfulness and care. It really does mean a lot to me.)

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    Plus, we’re doing some good old-fashioned ass-kicking now. The tide has officially turned. It’s going to take some time but not much more. And probably like most of these things have gone down through history, they’ll quickly realize that gay marriage doesn’t change one iota of their lives. They’ll be the last on the enlightenment train and when they put the self-pity crack pipe down they’re all hysterically smoking, they’ll see that most gay people want absolutely nothing to do with those of us who are “Christian”. They want nothing to do with them – their kids – their church – their opinions – their Bible – their “hate the sin love the sinner” kind of love that leaves the second their riding up the elevator alone together. The only “freedom” they’ll realize has been compromised is our place in line at divorce court when the gays start getting divorced just like all the other heterosexuals (a huge percentage being Christian).

    So the tide has turned. These people are like spoiled meat, it’s so hard. For me it’s hard and I’m straight! I CANNOT imagine what this is like for you and I’m sorry if I’m in anyway, appropriating your anger or speaking for you.

  • Stephanie

    Jamie,

    I can’t even begin to express how sorry I am for such a horrible experience. I hope you can find some comfort, support and healing.

    And if you need an extra friend to vent to, you just let me know.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    I adore you and I don’t know. But what I do know is those historical friendships – that family – thank God for those. Because I do think there’s genuine love there, it’s the only thing that keeps these people human when it comes to this discussion. I actually have no doubts that to your family and your friends who you love – who love you – you’re just “Kara”. Gay Kara which makes that complicated in ways that must be agonizing. But I’ll only speak for myself, when I was finally able to face the reality that my family didn’t love me in ways I needed them to – when I grieved and sobbed and faced it in small bits – I *loved* them. But I didn’t need their love on my terms anymore. God rushed in. I sense He’s done that with you and will continue to. But fuck – I’m so sorry that you have to face any kind of disappointment for such a stupid reason to begin with.

  • Kara

    I’m a bitter young cynic, I guess. I think they’ll die first. It’s not about homosexuality, it’s about how you interpret the Bible. They’ll die before they say it’s not the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God, authoritative for all areas of Christian faith and practice, period. At least, my family will.

    We’ll win the political war, I have no doubt at all. But I fear that this conflict within the church will end with permanent division, not gradual reconciliation. And I fear that families, friendships, communities, and lives will be damaged for years to come in that process.

    I’m not doing a very good job being a hopeful beacon of Jesus-light right now, I guess. Just not feeling it these days.

    You’re not appropriating my anger. This might sound silly, but it’s actually kind of nice to not carry it alone. Being angry, even when it’s righteous anger, burdens the soul if it goes on too long.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    Dear Lisa,

    Consider educating yourself. You’ve been completely manipulated by some very powerful politically-minded people who only care about your money to fund their ministry and your vote.

  • MarkB

    Why not tell the rest of the law? Leviticus 20:13…

    If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.

    The Bible is clear on the punishment too. Perhaps something is wrong with our “clear” understanding of Leviticus?

  • Kara

    It’s so hard. The hardest part, at least for me, is trying not to feel guilty when I see them hurting through this. It’s not like they’re made of stone and I’m the one in pain. My mother, I’m positive, has shed more tears over this than I have, and I’ve shed a lot. It’s hard to keep from believing that those tears are my fault.

    It’s hard *not* to be mad at them, it’s hard *to* be mad at them.

    Bah. Anyway. I didn’t mean for this to become a rant about my life. Although I guess it’s relevant. (I’ve been away for quite a while. Did I tell you that I no longer plan to become a lawyer? I’m currently applying to seminaries. It’s very scary and exciting.) Thanks, as always, for your kindness to me.

  • Nick S. From M, NB, C

    So, explain yourself in detail. I’d like to see how you came to this conclusion.

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

    Joe; I wouldn’t have responded to you as I did if it wasn’t blazingly obvious to me that you’re one of the good guys.

  • Kara

    Google is your friend. I’ve given this explanation dozens of times, and it gets really tiring. But I will sum it up quickly, and you can google to fill in the “in detail” portion, if you’re so inclined.

    The NT was written 2000-ish years ago. In Koine Greek, which is awesome. The thing about Koine, though, is that it only has words for ideas that existed during the time period it was in use. And “homosexuality” isn’t one of those. The word didn’t exist until the 1800s. We didn’t think about sexuality in those terms at the time of Paul, not at all.

    Therefore, any Greek word translated “homosexuality” has been mistranslated, because it can’t mean that any more than it can mean “ping-pong table.”

    As to Romans 1: Paul it writing about specific people to specific people at a specific point in time. He’s talking about specific practices in Rome related to pagan idol worship. He’s talking about relationships that were abusive, exploitative, loveless, and often non-consensual. He uses the language of shame to describe the sex acts, but not the language of sin. It’s the idolatry and the behaviors that are being expressed by the gayness that are sinful. In Romans 1 Paul never even comes close to saying anything that “clearly” confirms that modern monogamous consensual gay relationships between loving adults are sinful. Not even close.

    Cultural biases have an interesting way of warping our ideas.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sara-Michaels/1753461678 Sara Michaels via Facebook

    My husband suffered daily abuse – literally lived in fear of his life from his father’s beatings and worse until he joined the army at 19. It gave him that same hard shell that Joe feels too …Joe, I could hear my husband’s voice in your words….yet Christ is working in my husband’s life daily, to melt away the fear and bitterness that makes up that shell. Christ is working in your life the same way Joe. Young Jonah has a lot to teach us all about endurance and strength doesn’t he? God bless this young man in the days to come.

  • Nick S. From M, NB, C

    hmm, interesting. I know a few guys that can read hebrew, aramaic and greek. I should ask them what they think.

  • Kara

    Speaking as someone who adores Koine and hates seeing violence done to it, check multiple sources, and try to get sources coming from different theological backgrounds. We all come to the work of translation seeing through different eyes, and our pre-conceived ideas about right and wrong shape that in a lot of ways, mine included. Diversity helps with clarity.

    Also, it might be beneficial to do some research on the history of sexuality and how it’s been viewed through time. It’s changed more than one might think. Foucault is awesome and comprehensive, but overly dense perhaps for this task. There should be good summaries online, which should include histories of what words were used when, and what they would have meant to their hearers in context.

    Best of luck in your questing for information! (If you have questions I could help with, feel free to ask.)

  • Christian Connor

    To those of you worrying about Jonah, PLEASE go to his youtube page and take a look. This video has been viewed OVER 261,000 times!!!!!! The sheer volume of comments, support is staggering. This young man has touched so many lives world wide with this simple act of courage. I am a hard man. I have lived maybe not the most stellar life and have done and seen things that I never talk about. It takes a lot to phase me. When I say that I couldn’t even speak when I showed this to my wife because of the tears, that is something. I never cry. I sent him a message right then and after, I looked at all the support coming in for him, (they were coming in as I was writing mine), 3 months after the posting, I was amazed! I come to this blog and the Christian Left page for just this reason. It gives me hope that humans aren’t as bad as I thought. That there are still people that care about each other simply because they are another human being, one of God’s creatures. Thanks for being here.

  • Gus Grayman

    Jonah,

    I too was bullied my entire childhood. It was not from class mates though. I was bullied by my family. I felt alone, scared, torn down. I was told I was going to hell for what I thought and felt. I was told if I led the narrow path, things would get better. I followed that path. The path led to wishing everyday for 20 years for death to win.

    And then, I separated myself from those who bullied me. I left my family. I had to get out! I was hollow and bitter. I met my wife when I was 31. Slowly, the healing began. Slowly, the process of learning to live prompted me to want to live. Here I sit. I’m 42 now. I know who I am. I know I am loved. I know I am supported. I know I am wanted. I know I am needed.

    That time will come to you, as well. Just do not give up. Don’t let the bullies win. Don’t allow yourself to be beaten down any more. Stand up and be proud, Jonah. Brush yourself off of the torment. Don’t become a bully. But know, we are here, even if just in thought or prayer. If you need support, you just get in touch with the website maestro here. I give them permission to give Jonah Mowry only my e-mail address. You contact me Jonah. I will be here.

  • http://deofmovestofca.blogspot.com/ Deof Movestofca

    My ‘Christian’ friend…you use the term ‘sin’ very freely….”

    Freely, perhaps. But you fail to mention where I use it incorrectly.

    “and imply basically that the suffering the child experiences is self – induced and thus, the contempt and treatment by “Christian” bigots is also self induced by him.”

    In a way, you are correct. The reason any of us suffer is because is we have ALL sinned against God and thus removed ourselves from the only source of goodness and life.

    “He mentions in none of his notes that he has committed what YOU…a Christian…would label a ‘sin’.”

    I only mentioned that he has sinned (which even YOU admit at the end of your tirade) and I only do so because that is what scripture clearly teaches: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”. Never do I once claim to know what sin or sins he may or may not have committed.

    “Even in my own Faith (Catholic) homosexuality in itself is not a sin.”

    Isn’t it amazing how I agree with you here? Yep, the big, bad fundamentalist who you thought you had all figured out.

    “So, my friend like the Pharisees of old – you judge him to have ‘sinned’ because he is gay”

    I believe he has sinned because of Romans 5:12.

    “assuming he has engaged in sexual acts.”

    Just where do I say that I assume that? Maybe, just maybe, you INFERRED something that I did not imply?

    “So, I say to you – you do persecute – lay burdens on his shoulders – oppress him.”

    If you say so.

    “What repulses me about ‘holy than thou’ ‘Christians’ – is they are hypocrites”

    Mr. Pot, meet Mr. Kettle. You say that I’m like the Pharisees of old, imply that I’m “holier than thou”, and all but call me a hypocrite. But the second charge is especially peculiar as I freely that there is nothing holy about me: “There is none righteous, no, not one:”

    “You are not called upon by Christ to point out another’s sin”

    And what is it that you are doing but pointing out what you feel is another person’s sin?

    “Christ COMMANDS you/us to love one another as He loved us.”

    Yes, and part of love is warning others of dangers.

    “He never condemned another person. By His loving message he won many persons back from errant ways”

    Here’s the point you seem to be missing: I never condemned the young man. Furthermore, you’re only telling half the story here: while Jesus never condemned anyone, He did call them to repentance and He did tell them to sin no more.

    “Your ‘Christianity’ is, to be kind, a bit distorted.”

    Is that judgment and condemnation I hear in your voice? Furthermore, I would be surprised if you knew the first thing about “my” Christianity. I could be wrong about this, but it appears that all you saw was the label “fundamentalist” and then decided that you knew all about me.

  • Melissa Chamberlin

    I am with you here. While I never honestly believed that being gay was a sin, I heard it over and over again from the pulpit, my church friends and others who are just simply haters. I went with the flow and just kept my mouth shut, which in hind site, was worse than joining in on their hatred. I, too, left the organized church, and have found my faith flourish more than ever. It has allowed me to hear the holy spirit, not the preacher. It has allowed my thoughts and beliefs on this topic flourish without constantly being squelched by loud mouth Fundies. I WILL NOT be silenced any longer. I WILL NOT attend a church, or be a consumer of any company that supports antigay anything. Right now, this is not just one of those things in life that we disagree on, IT IS DARKNESS to shed light on. It is my responsibility, not my right. It is, and has always been, a matter of life or death for so many people. DR, I am with you. My prayers do not go up for these people. Instead, my mouth opens and I speak out, just as viciously as they do. Without apology.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Doug-Gilbert/100002359075229 Doug Gilbert via Facebook

    @Joe, he’s a kid for Gods sake!

  • Robert

    Being gay is not a sin Lisa. We gay and other LGBT people are born this way and should never hide it. We all are children of God our Lord and will be treated with kindness and respect.

  • Robert

    Madison,

    Your scripture quotes only points to what you were told to believe. We all are children of our creator and there fore not committing a sin. We are born gay, lesbien bi-sexual etc. Don’t hide behind a book and treat people with the respect they deserve under the constitution of this country the United States of America!!!!!

    P.S. We all have our opinion and entitled to it, although some of it is WRONG!

  • Nick S. From M, NB, C

    I definitely wouldn’t make the mistake of going to a simple undergrad level RS or BS major for an interpretation. ;)

  • Robin

    John, thanks for sharing. Jonah touched my heart and your blog elaborated exactly my feelings. I pray that Jonah is okay – that he has support and love (and secretly, that somone kicks the ass of the parents of the people who have been abusive). The bullies need therapy and their parents need to be straightened out.

  • Jennifer

    Joe,

    Yes, I heard him. My heart broke for him and for all he has suffered, and unfortunately will continue to suffer, at the hands of hypocritical, judgmental so-called Christians.

    This is not how Christianity is supposed to be, we have gotten stuck on the “thou shalt do/not this”, and have lost the message of love and salvation that is there.

    And Jonah,

    I hope you can see, through the many, many supporting comments, that you are not alone, that you are loved and cared for, and that you have touched the lives of many of us. I only hope that my little girl (who needs to be in bed), will be half as strong as you are when she is your age. Telling the truth, and behing who you are, is the most important thing you can ever do, and I know how much strength it requires to be that honest.

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

    Life shouldn’t be something that has to be endured, Joe. By you, or this poor boy, or anyone. I know where you’re coming from, I truly do. So please believe that it’s with compassiom and concern that I say please find someone to help you heal. A pastor, a friend, a group like Al Anon or a support group for the abused. You don’t have to live with this anger. You’ll be in my prayers, Joe.

  • Melody

    Wow. Those assholes should be ashamed of themselves. I’m mostly Christian, but I believe in a little thing called karma. Jesus also explained it, saying “What you reap is what you sow.” Sooner or later their callousness and cruelty will come back to bite them in the ass. And it won’t be pretty.

    Kudos to you, Jordan, for being strong. Stay strong, and don’t give up. You have many friends who have your back. As Mother Theresa once said, “In the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”

  • http://deofmovestofca.blogspot.com/ Deof Movestofca

    “The defensive posture of a Fundamentslist”

    It was rather silly of me to think that Mr. Shore was attacking fundamentalism with his post and then defend myself. How could I ever have made such a horrendous error?

    “who says he ‘cries’. so he is let off the hook while at the same time, minimizing the uniqueness of this situation so he doesn’t have to face the actual reality of his responsibility.”

    So it’s your position that I have responsibility for actions that I clearly condemn? (You did read where I said I condemned such actions, did you not?)

    “Not even the slightest struggle, the slightest concern thst he might be wrong”

    Wrong about what? I just love vague charges.

    “and the humsnity to wonder about that.”

    So let’s see: so far I’ve been called a Pharisee and a hypocrite, have been accused of being holier than thou, and have had my humanity questioned. All I’ve done is claimed that everyone- including myself- has sinned. Yet, I’m supposed to be the judgmental/condemning one.

    “Just more about him.”

    Well, let’s examine Mr. Shore’s original post, shall we?

    “Tell me that your belief system…. Tell me that… you…. Tell me that you…. Tell me, please, how you…. Tell me how when he cries, you cry….. Tell me how you…. Tell me, please….”

    When I answer questions about me, who else besides me am I supposed to talk about?

    “It makes you a very dangerous presence to the GLBT community”

    Funny thing is, I have a sister and several friends that would beg to differ with you.. (But I’ll leave it to you to figure out why they’re pertinent to the discussion).

    “his next response ( If there is one) will be to accuse me… that I’ve got him all wrong”

    On one hand I have my sister and several friends who know me personally, yet still don’t have any problems with my beliefs (however wrong they may think I am about many of them) and on the other hand, I have the judgmental attitude of a complete stranger. If you want to make a case that I should trust the assessment of the latter over the former, feel free.

  • David

    John – to be fair, you should frame the debate correctly. The Christians who believe that being gay is a sin or an abomination, do not give any kind of approval – tacit or otherwise – to bullying of gays. Would you say that Christians give tacit approval to bully adulterers? This is not about their “conviction” or some random “belief system” that they have thought up out of some superstition. This belief is held because of the same sacred text that you must revere in order to call yourself a Christian, right? You may think that they misunderstand or misinterpret, but they have not just “thought it up” in order to support their biases. In your logic, we could never disapprove of any behaviour, lest someone feel ashamed. There is a good discussion to be had by Christians about this issue but your emotional accusation squelches it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/julie.c.morse Julie Baker Morse via Facebook

    @ Joe: A young girl used the same type of format with regard to bullying. I think it speaks highly of his character that he wanted to promote awareness of the problem, and that he was willing to risk widespread, worldwide ridicule to accomplish it. That says that he’s already a lot stronger than most adults. The number of views his video has received, and the number of positive responses to it, should help reinforce his own worth in his own mind, and also reinforce their own worth in the minds of other kids that have to go through this every day. No one wants to become stronger through surviving childhood persecution and abuse. But the fact that this kid channeled that into something positive, to try to help others, speaks volumes about him, and that internal strength will help him going forward.

  • DR

    Tell us about the specific fruits of homosexuality that identifies it as sin. Tell us how being gay and having same sex relationshipss destroys men and women. Be specific. Thank you.

  • DR

    And f the record I don’t believe you have a gay sister ( if that’s what you meant) who is ok with you believing she’s condemned to hell if she doesn’t repent of her homosexuality. That’s not even in the ball park of believable. Fundamentalists always want to bring in the “But I have gay friends” to make it palatable but the macro-effects of your beliefs are what’s on the table for discussion and what’s so dangerous. Try to think beyond your personal feelings of defensiveness and participate in the larger idea.

  • Lee Marshall

    Homosexuality is a sin. Like eating pork and shellfish. And wearing clothes made out of more than one fiber. And not stoning adulterers. And wearing your hair different lengths.

    If your faith is strong, I recommend reading John’s book and / his other columns here. Surely you can examine alternate interpretations of the Bible without losing your moral certainty.

  • Lee Marshall

    Thanks, Love.

  • Lee Marshall

    I thank my Higher Power for you – and people like you. You bring a smile to my face every day.

    “evilgrrl”

  • DR

    Why is it that you feel inclined to frame a blog post. “correctly” that you didn’t write? Your premise as someone from the outside looking in (making the assumption you are not a Christian) seems like such an inappropriate choice. Perhaps you’d consider allowing people to frame the conversations they intend to have while at the same time, choosing to enter into the ones that are being offered

  • Michael Bussee via Facebook

    I understand that he posted his video several months ago and that he is doing better. I am wondering about his parents. Do they know he has posted these videos? Do they know what he is going through? Are they seeing to it that he gets some professional help? I sure hope so.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DebunkingAtheists Dan Marvin via Facebook

    Here is where the problem can be pointed to. Ready?

    Are you sure you’re ready for the truth?

    The problem is with…

    The Parents!

    They should of NEVER let this go on this long. He feels trapped and hopeless. Does that seem like a good environment for a kid? We raise our kids, no matter how they turn out, in a nurturing environment.

    This is what the children need. Not public schooling with bullies, gangs, drugs and alcohol, but a nurturing self directed education. Its called unschooling:

    http://bitly.com/unschooled

    Shame on his parents for not unschooling his kids like we do.

  • Sarah Strong via Facebook

    Humbled by this community and its understanding of love Jesus love people. I am exhausted from life’s brutality in a different form, nothing to do with the subject at hand, but you’re community’s love “runneth” over to my heart and I am comforted tonight. grateful.

  • Donald Rappe

    Thanks. And I really appreciate your acceptance of my decision to lead a straight lifestyle. :) Odd as this idea sounds, it reminds me of my high school Latin teachers admonition that we should not wish to live in ancient Rome, because if we did, the odds are that we would have been slaves. This was generally true of all civilized areas in Bible times. Instead of choosing whether to live a straight or gay lifestyle, we would simply live the lifestyle imposed on us by our owners. So, for the majority of all people.

    This context is one of the factors that frequently make it difficult to interpret the Biblical teachings about sex.

  • Donald Rappe

    I sympathize with you and your pain. I also sympathize with the pain of some (recovering) prostitutes I know and have known. One of them has the most uncontrollable cases of PTSD I have ever seen up close and personal. I try very hard now not to presume to know what another person has experienced.

  • Donald Rappe

    I see I misstated my comment. I tend to sympathize with all prostitutes, male or female, whether they are recovering or not. There is almost no exception to the fact that they are the victims of this “victimless” crime.

  • Donald Rappe

    Like!

  • Patricia Kayden

    One day Christian organizations will apologize to gays for the way they’ve been treated — just like they’ve had to apologize to Blacks for supporting segregation.

  • Donald Rappe

    For me, I have never known a deeper grief than when I lost my father. He did not get old like I am, but, died in middle age. When it happened. I realized I had never before conceived of a world without him in it. It shook me to my roots. It’s possible you will be needed more now in the family. Do not be afraid. Here are words God gave Moses to tell his people when they felt overwhelmed with their powerless situation. “I will bear you up on Eagle’s wings!” I think of a fledgeling eaglet leaving its nest for its first flight. It does not take off from a pond or tree, but from a ledge thousandss of feet in the air. But it does not go alone on its first flight. Its parents fly with it to help it maintain poise and stability. They bear it up with their wings, if it becomes distressed.

    You have my sympathy on the loss of your father. Dope and depression have taken more than one good man. I’m sure you will understand to emulate his good qualities and avoid those things that killed him.

  • Donald Rappe

    Jamie, may God the Eagle bless you.

  • Donald Rappe

    Mark, the only way you can think that the Bible is quite clear in saying that loving and responsible homosexual activity is sinful is by never having seriously studied the Bible.

  • Gary

    One day, no doubt you are right.

    I wish that day were today.

  • Donald Rappe

    I find it seriously disturbing that people who remain ignorant of Biblical studies take it upon themselves to speak in the name of Christ. There is a difference between simple errors of interpretation, which everyone makes, and heresy. Heresies are errors which lead their makers away from the faith which was once delivered to the saints. Much of the modern world has fallen under the spell of the “Biblical inerrancy” heresy. This heresy was developed shortly after Anglican Catholic Charles Darwin discovered the nature of the origin of species. It is form of denial of the truth of God’s creation. But Christ is the truth, the way and the life. Whoever denies the truth denies Christ. They lose their way and they lose the life which Christ gives. God hardens their hearts and abandons them to all kinds of prejudice and bigotry which flourish when their eyes have lost interest in seeing the truths of God’s creation. This includes not only believing in the more accurate age of the world, but, understanding that God created us all in his image, male and female, gay and straight.

  • Donald Rappe

    I agree that bullying is apt to follow any kind of difference from the norm. Including intellectually either low or high.

  • http://www.worthingtonpost.wordpress.com Aliza Worthington

    I love you, Jonah – you are the bravest soul I’ve had the pleasure to come into (virtual) contact with. Please, please, please…don’t go anywhere.

  • http://dragonmommie.wordpress.com Debbie

    God, I’ve been missing from here for a while and came through from facebook today for this video. My first thought is that I wish I had a way to communicate my feelings as this boy did when I was a kid. I was bullied and tormented, for the whole eight years back in the sixties and seventies, as this boy is today and it breaks my heart and brings back painful memories. I know EXACTLY what this kid is going through. I’ve posted about it here, I think. I also cut myself, though stopped after the first or second time because it scared me too much. I also thought about suicide many times and the only thing that stopped me was my belief in God and that I did not want to go to hell.

    What I want to tell this boy is that it most certainly gets better. Yes, I did endure a total of eight years of the most impressionable years of my life being tortured and bullied by my classmates, the adults did nothing but knew what was going on. I’m convinced of that. Anyway, I lived in a city and entered a large high school and realized that I didn’t have to be the same kid. I rationalized that I spent eight years with all the same kids and every year they were waiting for me. Now in high school, I didn’t know anyone and they didn’t know me. I felt a bit of freedom through anonymity. It was slow, but I enjoyed being in high school. Now I’m an adult who still has the memories but I “am” stronger and I’m a more compassionate person because I know what it’s like to be the victim, but I’m not the victim any more…. exactly because of my experiences. Please don’t hate yourself. The pain you carry with you can/will make you strong that, alone, has value. You will grow into a man who will have the capacity to understand what it’s like to be bullied and have the ability to uniquely understand and comfort others going through the same shit as you. Only you can give that kind of value to a horrible, horrible experience. If you can, then you will realize just how much worth you have inside, how much value you have to those around you. You are so young, but know that God loves you and put you on this earth for a reason. He is grooming you right now for His plan for your future. Have faith.

    Finally, if you’d like someone to talk to, who knows, I give John permission to forward my information to you. God bless you.

  • Donald Rappe

    I agree with every point you make in this comment. I try to avoid every superstitious interpretation of the faith that was once delivered to the saints. But if the label “Christian” is used in its original meaning, which like Hussite or Lutheran has a negative connotation, like “subversive”, I prefer to stand with the Christians.

  • http://dragonmommie.wordpress.com Debbie

    I can’t imagine the parents at least not knowing that something is “wrong”… But for my own parents, they only found out because of the time I actually fought back and got detention for it. Schools will not listen or do anything. Oh, forgot we’re not back in the sixties… maybe they will, HOPE the would in this day and age.

  • Donald Rappe

    Who says these unsupported views are not cultic?

  • Donald Rappe

    What’s wrong with your clear understanding of Leviticus is its lack of context and everything intended by the new testament words “The written code kills, but, the spirit gives life.” Only a liar or a fool could look at the great cluster of prohibitions in Leviticus, select the ones you do, and apply them as you do Mark. You do not seem to be a fool. I wonder which spirit motivates you?

  • Donald Rappe

    I hate to see the Westboro Family Cult confused with a Baptist church.

  • Frank

    David,

    The point of this discussion is that you along with most other Christians automatically assume that gays are guilty of a “behavior” and treat them like lepers and damn them from their earliest realization that they are gay, even if they are virgins. You couldn’t be more guilty if you handed a loaded pistol to a gay teenager and said “You know what to do.”

  • Grant

    My heart breaks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jennidyan Jenni Gregory via Facebook

    @Stephen, Joe, everyone- Discernment between the effects of physical vs. mental vs. emotional abuse is next to impossible within the heart of the victim. The pain spreads surreptitiously through the body and nervous system like the roots of a weed. Dismantling the bombs that abuse plants in the psyche is an arduous process. As much as his post incites a knee-jerk judgment, it is important to be aware that he is suffering and is dealing with this suffering through anger. It’s not an uncommon response, especially to someone who was bullied not just by peers, but also by someone whom he should have been able to trust. In fact, it is one of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s phases of grief, and grieving is where he is at, believe it or not. Joe…I relate to where you’re at, with the feeling that you have been pushed so far down that you’ve needed to fight to survive. I, too, resided there for a time. As hard as it is, let’s reach deep to that place where there was still hope, before you had to fight so hard to keep going (even if you can only imagine it as existing the moment you were born; perfect, loved and whole), and be glad that someone is helping and hearing Jonah the way that you should have been heard and helped. In a way, that can free a part of you, a part of me, and a part of everyone who has been severely abused by someone they trusted.

  • Donald Rappe

    Hey, Good on you Kara.

  • Donald Rappe

    I cannot see the point in considering anyone who considers the state of anothers created being as sinful to be Christian. Such a person does not believe in the God who creates the heavens and the earth, as Christians do. Imposter Christians is more like it.

  • Donald Rappe

    Jesus said unto them: “Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (I think I had to memorize something like this once.)

  • Paula

    Makes me think we all need bumper stickers on our cars. Something like: “You’re gay? You’re okay.” It’s not enough, but we need things to go viral, like the It Gets Better campaign.

  • darlene

    anyone who uses God or christianity to torment or bully a gay or lesbian is blaspheming. nowhere in the bible does it say we should treat people this way. new testament. we are no longer under the law. no excuse. we dont have to say being gay is right we can respect that God created all of us and loves all of us. we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God. this is a fallen world. just as we wont bully a retarded person or a disabled person no matter what we should love one another. God doesnt hate or dislike gay people. if he does then he hates and dislikes all of us cause we are not perfect either.

  • Anthony Archer

    I saw this yesterday and it hurst so much to watch. He’s only starting 8th grade, which means Jonah has 5 more years of torment to endure. As someone who was nearly bullied to death myself, who went from being the most popular boy in elementary school to someone routinely tortured the last 6 years of junior and senior high school, I can tell you the emotional devastation this poor kid will be left with never leaves you. I even went to therapy for 10 years as an adult and although I am now for the most part a confident individual, I still have a hard time in uncontrolled social settings. I truly hope someone local steps in and helps this boy. Otherwise, he might not survive. Jonah’s situation, as with every other bullied child, LGBT and for any other reason, is an affront against God.

  • Lymis

    “The Christians who believe that being gay is a sin or an abomination, do not give any kind of approval – tacit or otherwise – to bullying of gays. ”

    Well, that’s just wrong.

    Declaring with absolute confidence that someone’s very existence soils the created universe, that God himself abhors someone, most certainly does send exactly that message.

    In the most important senses, it’s really immaterial whether or not the believer in question feels that homosexuality is a choice – because the actual, real live gay person knows damn well that it isn’t a choice, or at least that it wasn’t a choice for them. So whatever you think you’re saying, what they are hearing is that they are condemned for their very existence – by God, and by those acting in God’s name.

    And all the coy semi-disapprovals of bullying don’t change that. All the “well, it wouldn’t happen if they’d just decide not to be gay” or “what do they expect if they are going to flaunt it” or the newest version – “We have a guaranteed Constitutional right to our religious belief that it’s okay to condemn and harass you for your existence, and any efforts to stop us count as oppression.”

    Gay kids are suffering, not stupid. It’s transparently clear to them, just as it is to the bullies, whose side those “Christians” are on, and it isn’t on the side of the kids being bullied.

    “In your logic, we could never disapprove of any behaviour, lest someone feel ashamed. ” Too bad God never made it a point to say something useful, like, say “Judge not, lest ye be judged,” isn’t it?

    But the point,as others have said, is that being gay is NOT a behavior. And statements like yours simply reinforce that – nothing any gay person does can possibly be acceptable whether it’s lifelong monogamy and love, or the most outrageous dissipated lifestyle, it’s all equally abhorrent.

    Talk about squelching discussion.

  • Lymis

    Kara, no, you can’t say one thing and change everyone’s mind. But you can say things often enough that they change a person’s mind here and there. And then they say things, and change more minds, and on and on.

    It’s exhausting, and it’s frustrating, and it’s horrible. But it’s necessary, and it works.

    The funny thing about the actual truth is that it eventually wins over made up fake ones.

  • Anne

    What if the interpretation is wrong, David? What if these Christians who are so insistent that they have it right also think that the world was created in a period of over 6 24 hour days? That there was a talking snake? That all the metaphors and symbolisms in the Bible aren’t – that each word, translated over several languages, always translate perfectly? What if they got it wrong? Why then not side with the teaching of Jesus, whose words are pretty clear in all languages, and who says you can only get to Heaven through him? By acting like him. Period. That’s if you truly understand the tennants of Christianity.

  • Kara

    Passive-aggressive, much?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Beeson/530994390 Michael Beeson via Facebook

    Oh goodness I cried like a baby. It hurts so much to see someone in so much pain. How do I help? How do I help?!

  • LSS

    and the thing is, it’s not just for one kid that this went viral … he’s becoming a spokesperson of all the kids and they feel it too when they post on the anti-bullying support pages.

  • LSS

    from what i’ve read, very often the zero-tolerance rules still mean that only the kids who fight back get punished. not sure how this logic works, but …

  • http://thaliasmusingsnovels.com/ Lore

    Homeschooled kids can be bullied, too. They still have peers, and there can be intense peer pressure in homeschool communities for children and adults. In some cases bullying can even come from siblings or parents.

    I’m not anti-homeschooling. I know it works great for some kids. But for it to have the results you’re suggesting, parents need to have a clear goal of what they want to accomplish by homeschooling and surround themselves with a “village” that will support those goals.

  • http://taras-random-thoughts.blogspot.com/ Tara Lynn

    Someone teach this child he does not have to listen to this. He can counter act this if he is taught how. I mean the bullying, not the Gay. He is alright, some people are Gay some are not. He did not choose it. It happens. He need to learn self respect so he can ignore the hurtful comments. He needs help and support from home, his parents, his cousins. He need to look the bully in the eye and ask him what he afraid of? Most bullies do not want to face their own fears, thus if this child throws it back into the bullies face each time, they will leave him alone. Or do the best acting job he can of acting like it does not bother him one bit. No reactions to others actions, they will move on. Tell your children this! I know some people who made fun of Gays, to only grow up and their children were Gay. Ha! Karma! This child needs all of our support.

  • http://deofmovestofca.blogspot.com/ Deof Movestofca

    “and HE and that type of christian is the very reason that I, am a recovering pentecostal. they have lead, no pushed, shoved and shamed me, into a very agnostic almost atheistic lifestyle.”

    Even if everything else that has been written about me were 100% correct (an idea I obvious disagree with), this would still be wrong. As much as others may INFLUENCE an individual’s decision, that individual, and that individual alone, MAKES his or her deceions and thus alone is responsible for them.

    “i am persecuted”

    Which, as I have clearly stated, you should not be. There is a difference, however, between calling something a sin and persecuting it.

    “but the divorced, shrimp eaters, women speaking in church, unwed parents, OBESE, and the lot so fine and salvated and ‘bound for glory,’ yet i’m bound for fire? I currently know in my mothers santicfied congregation of at least 8 bastards and fornicating fathers and mothers and are all fine upstanding glorious members. sin is sin?”

    Yes. Sin is still sin regardless of how socially acceptable some may become. Ultimately, when we stand before God, one’s standing before one’s fellow man will be of no import. Either one has recognized one’s sins for what they are and repented of them or one has not.

    “what i do is no more a sin than the 3 plates you consumed at thanksgiving.”

    And what 3 plates did I consume at Thanksgiving? Since you obviously know so much about me (even more than I do, since I don’t recall consuming 3 plates at Thanksgiving), I’m sure you can fill me in on the details. What did I have on those plates? What color were they? Was I full afterwards?

    “what i do is no more a sin that you the judgement you placed on me with your comment.”

    Exactly what judgment did I place on anyone with my comment? I have no way of knowing who, besides myself, may or may not repent of their sins.

    “what i do is no more sin than you failing to recognize that this wasn’t a wake up one morning and decide to be with a same sex partner. jesus wasn’t a conservative. jesus wasn’t white.:”

    Straw men.

    “jesus wasn’t like you at all.”

    You’re right. Then again, Jesus wasn’t like any of us.

    “jesus would have preferred to have been around my group more than he would your scowling self righteous go to church on sunday group.”

    Again, you presume to know more about me than you actually do.

  • Soulmentor

    Several years ago there was Matthew Shepard who’s murder galvanized the nation. Now we have Jonah, a similarly beautiful young man who’s story, thankfully different and hopeful, is looking like it will have a similar effect on the public’s thinking.

    Tho I had my share of pleasures, I didn’t leave my (outwardly) traditional, socially accepted married family life until my 40′s when I just couldn’t survive a double life anymore. After the divorce, there were several years of agonizing loneliness and prayer until all the religious folderol (a useless ornament or accessory : trifle, nonsense ) fell away and one evening, weeping beside the river, I gave up and said, “OK, Jesus, it’s just you and me now.” The pain was lifted and I never looked back, tho at one time my then partner and I attended a gay-friendly UCC (Congregational) church. We were even council members. After a time, my partner, raised Catholic and plagued by guilt he could never shake, left me after 8 years to become a priest. I was devastated, flat on my face more than once (and he never got accepted to priesthood, most likely because we were THE out and active gay couple and he had too much gay baggage).

    Here’s my point for Jonah or anyone with similar struggles. I came across a Bible verse that became my strength. “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but not crushed and broken. We are perplexed because we don’t know why things happen as they do, but we don’t give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up and keep going.”

    Keep going Jonah and everyone. It’s getting better.

  • Soulmentor

    Well, perhaps we should not assume Jonah is gay. It was never clearly stated in his video tho it may be a safe assumption from the words thrown at him. Still, maybe he’s just deeply wounded from being bullied about something he can’t understand because either he is NOT gay or doesn’t really know yet. Apart from the pain in his face, there was also a deep perplexity.

    I hope he’s finding love.

  • Soulmentor

    Reference to partner should read “my eventual partner……”

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    As much as others may INFLUENCE an individual’s decision, that individual, and that individual alone, MAKES his or her deceions and thus alone is responsible for them.>>>

    Translation: In the world of many Fundamentalists, they are only responsible for a bullet that they shoot *deliberately*. Not accidentally. Their *intention* is what they demand you pay attention to and the only thing they offer in discussion when it’s shown that the impact of their beliefs re gay men and women are harmful. They start talking about individual responsibility because many – as demonstrated in this case – are unwilling or incapable of taking responsibility for damage they do while not intending to do it.

    Yes. Sin is still sin regardless of how socially acceptable some may become.>>>

    Fundamentalists put this argument forward a lot. But when pressed for the specific “wages of death” that are a result of being gay – the relational, psychological, emotional and physical impacts of being gay on gay men and women that are destructive? They never seem to be able to answer that. When faced with gay men and women who are also christian, whose “sin” of homosexuality has only led to having the same loving partner for 20 years? No destruction, no damage. No wages.

    “what i do is no more a sin than the 3 plates you consumed at thanksgiving.”

    And what 3 plates did I consume at Thanksgiving? Since you obviously know so much about me (even more than I do, since I don’t recall consuming 3 plates at Thanksgiving), I’m sure you can fill me in on the details. What did I have on those plates? What color were they? Was I full afterwards?>>>

    Ahhh. There it is. Victimization and “I’m so misunderstood!” Fundamentalists often lack an ability to critically discuss the collective, macro-impacts of their belief system as well as the macro hypocrisies. For them, it’s all personal. It all revolves around them, this is a classic example of that.

  • Diana Avery

    I think you’re right, Soulmentor. When I was being made fun of in school, I got called gay and lesbo too. The kids didn’t use those words on me because they thought I actually was a homosexual (at least, I don’t think they did.) They did it because they had heard them used in a derogatory manner toward others and it was one more way to attempt to hurt me. No, my “crime” was the same as that of any other bullied kid. I was “different.” I was “weird.” They didn’t need any other reason to hate me.

  • Diana Avery

    Tara Lynn, with all due respect, have you ever actually been in a situation in which somebody was bullying you? I’m not just talking as a child. I’m talking in adulthood too.

    The smartest thing to do is to just leave. True bullies are relentless. They don’t stop for any reason short of being removed from the situation. Even then, they just find somebody else to pick on.

    I finally found a way to watch the video. It sounds to me as if Jonah has stood his ground with remarkable integrity and maturity. But why should he have to? The bottom line is, bullying should not be tolerated–not in school, not in the workplace, not anywhere. It doesn’t matter who is being bullied nor does it matter why.

    Back in the day, and unfortunately this still sometimes happens, when a woman told someone that she was being abused by her husband, the question asked was “What did you do to deserve it?” More and more, we are learning that this is an inappropriate question. No woman deserves to be beaten. Spousal or partner abuse is wrong regardless of one’s “reasons.” So is bullying.

    If Jonah’s school tolerates the bully, Jonah needs to go to another school. If all the schools in his area tolerate bullies, then he needs to be homeschooled. He doesn’t deserve to go through even one more day of this. No one does.

  • Diana Avery

    1) A lot of Christians are adulterers. Adultery is one of those things that Christians have traditionally winked and nodded at as long as it was the right person committing it (aka, a man.)

    2) One does not have to be gay in order to be accused of being gay. It is the view that “gay is bad” that leads people to use words describing gay people as slurs. Christians promote the view that “gay is bad.” Therefore yes, we are responsible for giving bullies one more way in which to hurt others.

  • Lynette

    Reminds me of Golda Meir’s response to a cabinet member’s suggestion that women should have a curfew during a period of violent rapes in parts of Israel — “Men are committing the rapes. Let them be put under curfew.”

  • Lynette

    I second the recommendation. Some of it is heart wrenching, though.

  • Laura

    I happened to research this subject last summer. It seems that the overwhelming majority state almost without exception that the best thing is to REMOVE yourself from the situation. This includes changing schools if necessary. I was really surprised. I thought that the way Tara Lyn does. I thought if you just stood up for yourself they would back down. Apparently, statistically this is not actually true. Not impossible, but not the usual outcome.

    Changes in behavior, making yourself appear less vulnerable also are helpful tactics.

    I hope this boy finds a support group of other youths like himself. He is NOT alone. When he finds peers who share his joys AND worries, he will begin to heal. God bless him.

  • Diana Avery

    Yes it is!

  • Diana Avery

    According to Peter McWilliams’ book “Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do”, back in the day (the days of the Roman Empire, to be specific), to refer to anyone as a “heterosexual” or a “homosexual” would have been like refering today to someone who likes hamburgers as a “hamburgest” or someone who likes hotdogs as a “hot-dogger.” It was perfectly acceptable to like both.

    What was important (and what has lead to the hatred of homosexuality) was the relative positions of the partners–that is, the receptive partner was despised regardless of gender. So women were despised because they were biologically designed as the receptive partner, while men who accepted the receptive role (usually due to their position in society–slave to master or whatever) were also despised.

  • Diana Avery

    Wonderful!

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    Oh my goodness – what a wonderful thing. You have a kind of smart and special that leaps off the page, your suffering has tempered you and matured you in ways that are remarkable. And you have a heart that is committed to love (you’re a good role model for me).

  • Diana Avery

    Right on! This is the exact truth.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    I get cynical too, it’s hard not to. Then I go running or laugh with my friends or watch something stupid on TV and realize in the end, Jesus is the Church. He’s in charge, He loves us. He’ll not allow us to destroy His Church, His Body. We’re just face on, full on with the evil that good people allow to get implanted and twisted up inside. It’s like that horrifying scene in the Matrix where he wakes up to the reality of what he’s been plugged into for so long. It’s so intense for everyone.

  • Diana Avery

    Hi Donald!

    I just posted part of your comment (the part about the difference between a simple error of interpretation and a heresy) on my FB. Hope you don’t mind! I did attribute it to you.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    Wow. You’re a condescending dick. Congratulations on a readership of thousands who just saw another Conservative Christian’s higher, purer kind of “love” – God have mercy on you for how you damage His precious Son’s sacrifice on the Cross and the message of hope that your ego just polluted (not that you care, we both know that).

  • Diana Avery

    “Uh-huh … thanks for playing. Now run along.” LOL!

  • Diana Avery

    Indeed! Thank you, Kara!

  • Stephanie

    Wow, this comment was directed to someone way back in the tread.

    But to address MarkB-Of course something is wrong with our “clear” understanding of Leviticus law. Where shall we start?

    The way we use Leviticus law and many other parts of the bible would be the number one issue. The way we pick and choose which one we will use to try and prove someone wrong. The way we ignore all the other laws surrounding the scripture we decided to use against someone.

    The way we act like we fully understand the scriptures, without understanding the history and cultural settings of that time.

    There are many reasons we don’t have a “clear” understanding.

  • http://www.facebook.com/NanBrowning Nancy Browning via Facebook

    Thank you for your work!

  • Diana Avery

    Patricia, at some point your little girl may well face this kind of hatred. Unfortunately, any child who comes across as “different” for any reason may well end up as the target of bullies.

    The best armor for this is for her to realize that she has the right to be who she is regardless of what anyone thinks of her and that those who bully are actually displaying their own weakness. Make sure that she gets a strong sense of all the ways in which she is valuable while she is young. Also teach her that no one is perfect (not you, not her father, not anyone) and that it’s okay to make mistakes as long as you go back and fix the damage to the best of your ability.

    Finally, if you hear of an incident in your child’s school of anyone being bullied regardless of the reason, be sure that the school knows about it and that they are being proactive in fighting the bullying mentality. What causes the most damage is when the bullying goes on for years and the child is made to feel like s/he deserves it–thus reinforcing the message that the child his/herself is inherantly bad.

  • Stephanie

    Madison-

    You know you wear clothing made of two types of material.

    You know that’s a sin, according to Leviticus law.

    I’m using the law in the same way you are.

    If we were talking about eating shellfish here, I guarantee you would not be saying you hate my sin, but you do not hate me ….because you wouldn’t care.

    It doesn’t matter to you if I was eating shellfish or wearing clothes of mixed material. You could care less about these laws.

    You pick and choose.

  • Diana Avery

    You are so on the money here!

  • Diana Avery

    Yes, indeed!

  • Stephanie

    If we aren’t willing to explore the bible from different perspectives, we are simply allowing fear to grip us and keep us as prisoners.

    I encourage and challenge everyone who is quoting snippets of bible scriptures to pound out their point, to set aside what you’ve learned from the pulpit, from Sunday school and from anyone else in your life.

    Allow yourself to explore these matters of the bible from different perspectives and then perhaps you might see things a bit differently, especially if you are looking through lenses of love.

    It’s ok to give yourself permission to question things. You won’t go to hell for it. As a matter of fact, I bet God would be pretty pleased if we questioned and wrestled with things a little more than what we really do.

    Peace.

  • Diana Avery

    What Anya said about the false society of school not being real life is true. What Saffie said about addressing the culture of a school that allows this to happen is also true.

    One of the problems with schools in general is that they are designed to teach conformity. Conformity is easier on the teachers because it’s easier to teach a group of kids the same thing at the same time if they’re all the kids are alike than if they are all different. So nonconformists get punished by teachers, which often leads to them getting punished by their peers as well. Thus, bullying.

    A possible solution to this problem would be adopting the Sudbury model of schooling. (http://www.sudval.org/). This is kind of like homeschooling (even unschooling) only at a school. At a school in which all students are allowed to set their own pace and study what is important to them, everyone is different and that’s okay.

    Everyone is different and that’s okay. Sounds like the kind of attitude that might stop bullying in its tracks.

  • Diana Avery

    Nah, he read the rest of your post.

  • Diana Avery

    I tend to think you’re right. My point was that any attempt to shame or pressure somebody into change does not work. Only when one completely accepts oneself as one is can changes be made–and then only if those changes are truly correct for oneself.

  • varmintito

    I only dealt with heavy duty bullying for one year (thankfully I had the option of transferring), but it consumed me and made me miserable. I was small for my age, dressed differently (I was obessed with the 1920s and 1930s, and mostly wore suits from vintage stores — not an unobtrusive choice in the mid-70s).

    The most therapeutic thing I did was chop wood. As my technique improved, I was able to forget about aiming the axe, and just let it fly with maximum leverage and effort. Before long, I was cleaving my tormentor’s head in one blow.

    I also would write and talk about elaborate revenge fantasies. I can’t believe I was never sent to a therapist. The demented shit I would say, with a gleam in my eye, was pretty disturbing.

    I don’t know what the solution is. For the individual, it is finding tools to cope. I just wish there was a solution that put enough of a burden on the bully that they decided the price was too high.

  • http://Facebook Bruce Deur

    I choose door number three. I want what’s behind the curtain.

    Apparently, however, Mr. Shore doesn’t want me to have those options. If I am to buy into his reasoning, this poor kid is being picked on because of me. It’s my fault. I put the second grade class and following for five years up to picking on this child.

    I am an Evangelical, Fundamentalist Christian, and NO, I do not accept responsibility for what has happened to this, or any other child who is being bullied. For whatever reason.

    I choose the third option. I choose to love this child, as Christ would have. I choose to defend him and his dignity. I would also tell him why I choose to do that. I have been given the option by God himself, the author of my Faith. I would explain that there is a friend that is closer than a brother. I would show him that if he has a relationship with Jesus Christ, he will never walk alone.

    That’s my choice.

    If John Shore has his way, he will use this video to force me to choose. I have to either condone sinful behavior (supposed, assumed by Mr. Shore), or stone him because of it. I choose neither.

    If there is sin in his life, God is capable and intentional about dealing with it. That is not my job. I would answer any questions he might have and do so in love.

    I watched the video, and I’m saddened, disheartened, and more than a bit enraged by it. I would love to know the entire story, what has happened before, and since. I sincerely doubt he was being picked on for actually being homosexual. Considering this started in second grade, it seems unlikely.

  • Leanne88

    First of all, the boy says he’s going into eighth grade…Jr. High is a horrible time for being bullied, especially because it’s during the vulnerable transition from childhood to adulthood, becoming a teenager. Their bodies are changing, they want to be cool, and it is an especially impressionable time. Kids can be absolutely cruel to one another. I like his perseverance, though, in deciding to not give up. As far as being gay…it’s true that he never says that he is. “Gay,” “fag,” and “homo,” among other names he’s been called, are quite commonly NOT exclusively used for people who are actually gay. So does anyone know if he actually is? In addition, he never targets Christians as his antagonists. Even if they were professing to be Christians, just because people say that they are Christians does not mean that they are true Christ followers. John 13:35 says (and yes, I am quoting a Bible verse), “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” True Christ followers, though we agree with what God says about homosexuality, are to be loving and not cruel. Hate the behavior, not the person. If I see someone cruel claim to be a Christian, then I assume they hold the unfortunate misconception of what a Christian truly is. I’m sure my comment will be highly disagreed with, but then, we are all entitled to disagree.

  • Leanne88

    Love your answer, Bruce! I agree.

  • Kara

    All other things being equal, are gay folk inherently less moral than straight folk by virtue of their gayness?

    If you answer yes, although you condemn bullying – and I believe you mean it – you’re still providing kids with the ammunition they need to justify their behavior.

    Also, your statement that John has asked anyone to condone sinful behavior contains assumptions that you have not acknowledged. In this space, you’ll generally have to defend claims that homosexuality is sinful. It’s not self-evident.

    Wanting something to occur and bearing some level of responsibility for that thing occurring are two different things. And, like it or not, the idea that homosexuality is dirty and immoral on religious grounds plays a large role in enabling the bullying of thousands of kids. Like it or not.

  • Kara

    I don’t think I’ve seen anyone claim that the kids who bullied him were Christians. But the culture created by a church that loudly and frequently preaches the moral inferiority of gay people is one where, like it or not, kids who are gay or are believed to be so are prone to be targeted.

    “What God says about homosexuality” doesn’t exist. There’s nothing in the Bible that speaks to homosexuality.

    You can’t hate a core part of who I am and truly love me. You can claim to, and that’s fine. Same with Jonah. To love him is to create a culture where people of all sexual orientations are valued equally, without qualification.

  • Melody

    Does “hate the sin, love the sinner” apply to these bullies as well? Also, being gay is not a behavior. It is an essential part of someone’s being, as innate as being lefthanded or red-headed. All are minority characteristics, but not an aberration.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    This response shows that you have absolutely no awareness of what is happening in our school system today. First, please put your ego away this isn’t about *you* and your injured ego. The only reason “faggot” is a slur is because those of you who interpret the Bible in the ways you do – who suggest that children like this one are condemned to hell for being gay because it’s not something they can “repent” of – attached “bad”, “wrong”, “sinful”, “repulsive” to being gay in the first place. So take some responsibility for why “gay” is a slur to begin with.

    Second, hundreds of gay men and women have testified that they knew they were gay from a very young age. And kids knew it too. I know you don’t want to believe that – you probably aren’t terribly open to any thought that’s going to make you reconsider you might be wrong on this – but you are.

    So start doing some reading. Read what gay men and women say about your belief system and how they *literally* had to survive it.

    No one is forcing you to adopt, select, and lean into these particular interpretations of Scripture you’re doing that all on your own. So you’re not a victim of anyone. You’re not being spiritually attacked. You’re not being persecuted or unfairly misrepresented. You believe that being gay is a sin – that it’s a choice – and people are telling you directly to your face the impact it’s had on *them*. I don’t think you’ll listen to them, I think it will be way too scary for you to give the last word on the impact you and your beliefs have had on them (even though I’m sure you’d be horrified to realize it). But who knows, I hope I’m pleasantly surprised.

  • Leanne88

    The idea of “a church that loudly and frequently preaches the moral inferiority of gay people” is, indeed, the most heard of probably because it is so loud and obmoxious. But that is a blanket statement for everyone who goes to church. There are both, people who go to church who agree or disagree with it and people who don’t go to church who agree and disagree with it. Like I said, not everyone who claims to be a “Christian” is a true follower of Christ. Unfortunately, there are people in churches who give true Christians a bad name by being so cruel. But there are Christians who do not treat homosexuals that way. I certainly don’t view gay people as inferior. They struggle with things I may not necessarily struggle with, but then I struggle with things they may not struggle with. Either way, we all struggle with things and we are all imperfect. I am no better than anyone else.

    And actually, the Bible, God’s Word, does speak about homosexuality. 1 Timothy 1:9-11: “understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 11in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.” There are more references in the Bible to homosexuality. I recommend you read it and pull apart verses you find to see what it says. You might want to try different versions of the Bible too, like NASB, ESV, NIV or New King James. There are lots.

    And I disagree that it’s a core part of who someone is. A person’s default is not to be gay. By default, we are born heterosexual beings. I have a close family friend who I have grown up calling my my cousin, who I have been really close with growing up, who was most definitely not born gay, but became gay in late high school. I don’t like his behavior at all and it’s only made him more empty. But I love the heck out of him. I’m still close with him. I still call him my cousin and always will. I would never say cruel things to him about it. All I can do is love him. Love has nothing to do with agreeing and adopting the same views. Love has to do with accepting someone despite disagreement.

  • Leanne88

    Please view above response. Thanks. :)

  • Joan

    Hang in there, John. You are a beautiful strong kid fighting for yourself and many others.

    Just get through you teenage years with pride, and adulthood will bring you a beautiful life. We love you and honor your suffering. Survive! Grow! Protect yourself.

  • Leanne88

    And yes, it totally applies for bullies as well.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    Leanne, as a zygote, men start as female and remain so until the Y chromosome is introduced. Using your logic, their “default” is female so they shouldn’t feel utterly and completely male upon birth and into adulthood. That doesn’t make any sense.

    Like it or not, you simply do not have the last word on what being a homosexual is like for a homosexual. Many Christians believe that the Bible provides us enough authority to have the last word on the state of being for others who have absolutely and completely different life experiences than we do. So consider that your opinion of what the Bible says isn’t exhaustive – you’re just like any of us, all we have is our opinion offered to us via an interpretation that someone we trusted gave to us. And you’re choosing to hold on to that interpretation because it serves you.

    The real question is how it’s serving gay men and women and if the fruits of your expressed beliefs are damaging to them. They would say that without a doubt, yes – that for them your “disagreement” translates into serious emotional, spiritual and psyhological peril. The only difference between you and them is you can walk away from me saying that, dismiss it all-together and your life isn’t changed. There’s is still impacted by you. You have to ask yourself why you’d place your comfort level which seems to be having the last word on what being “gay” is instead of the discomfort of opening yourself up and really listening to what *they* tell *you*. Are you willing to listen? Or do you have too much to lose if you really listen? Only you know that. Tell yourself the truth.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    And I disagree that it’s a core part of who someone is.>>>

    Why in the world would you believe that you get the last word on what the core of anyone is?

    A person’s default is not to be gay. By default, we are born heterosexual beings. >>>

    “By default”, all embryos are female until the male chromosome is introduced. So given your logic, men shouldn’t feel “male” because they started as female.

    But again – what is your basis for your assertion? Or is this just your opinion? As a straight woman I’m shocked that another straight woman would have the arrogance to announce who someone is at their core possessing absolutely none of their specific life experience.

    I have a close family friend who I have grown up calling my my cousin, who I have been really close with growing up, who was most definitely not born gay, but became gay in late high school. I don’t like his behavior at all and it’s only made him more empty.>>>

    First, gay men and women are often closeted to the point of unconsciousness because they live in an atmosphere that would be so terrifying to come out, they push it down. Surely you have to be educated enough to know how common this is. Gay kids who are Christian are the #1 suicide risk group – they are terrified that their parents will be disappointed in them, will reject them. That people like you will reduce their love and hope and deepest desires and call those “behaviors”. Treating them like animals, reducing them to just sexual acts (which is exactly what you’re doing).

    That’s not love. You *want* that to be love but that’s not love. You’re hurting people with your belief system, with the horrible way you reduce being “gay” down to a list of behaviors. That’s like someone taking your marriage and reducing it to the number of times you and your husband have sex. That your love, respect and devotion for one another have nothing to do with your “sexuality”. It’s exclusively about your vagina and his penis.

    Isn’t that repulsive? Isn’t that disrespectful of you? Well welcome to how you make gay men and women feel every day as you “love” them while at the same time, reducing their hearts and minds that desire love and relationship into acts of sex that someone could just as easily pay for. You cheapen and degrade them which is entirely your issue. Not theirs. And it’s time someone told you the truth.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    Bruce may choose #3 but what he doesn’t get to choose or control – nor do you -are the consequences of you expressing your beliefs. We have heard the direct testimony of hundreds of gay men and women on this forum that your decision to reduce them down to a set of sexual behaviors and tell them that if they don’t repent of these behaviors they are going to hell sent them into emotional, spiritual and psychological turmoil that many have to spend years in therapy overcoming. And you are willingly continuing to express those beliefs here.

    So do it. Talk about them loudly and proudly. But step out of whatever kind of childish thinking that’s telling you that because you believe they have some kind of holy backing that you’re exempt from the damage. This is your mess to clean up. The gay men and women who were kicked out of their homes when little because their loving christian families couldn’t handle their “behavior”? That’s on you. You have chosen the side you’re on – so face and deal with the consequences. No one is picking on you, all we’re doing is making sure you’re aware of the impact. Even though I’m sure your intention would never be to harm anyone, I believe that. But you don’t get a pass because your beliefs are rooted in the Bible. This boy in a second video did say he was gay – there are THOUSANDS of these little boys who believe you when you tell them “repent of this behavior or you’re not saved”.

    And they can’t, they don’t know how. So they lock themselves away with your voice that tells them that they can’t ever be forgiven because they don’t know how to repent from the impulse of wanting to hold hands with a boy. They can’t, it’s like you “repenting” from being female. You believe you’re pointing them down a road to salvation when in fact it is a total dead end road. So do it if you feel convicted but face the consequences. Their blood is on your hands and anyone who comes onto the Internet and expresses what you just did in a public way.

  • Leanne88

    Wow, that’s pretty full of misunderstanding. Number one, I don’t decide who the core of someone is. God is the one who made us and He says what we are. Two, yes, I know this about the closet and the fear, which is understandable. I wouldn’t mind seeing where you got your statistics, though, on gay Christians being the #1 suicide risk group. That sounds really interesting. Third, I am not reducing sex itself to a mere “act.” It is a wonderful and intimate experience, which God created, but He created it to be experienced between a married man and woman. If you think about it, two men and two women are physically incompatible with each other when it comes to sex. I’m sorry for your disgust for the train of thought you think I have.

  • Kara

    I’ve read 1 Timothy. And Romans 1. And Corinthians, and Leviticus, and every other text that has been mistranslated. Koine Greek only has words for things people knew about at the time of its use. Homosexuality is not one of those things. That word was invented in the 19th century. So if you see “homosexuality” in any translation, it is wrong. Paul can’t talk about homosexuality any more than he can a rocket ship or Freudian psychology.

    Also, as a queer person, lemme just jump in and say that you’re wrong. My being gay is woven into me from the core. I was raised by Southern Baptists; my whole family condemns homosexuality. I had literally no incentive to “choose” to be gay. I didn’t choose to be gay.

    That said, I’ve learned to embrace the difference. I didn’t choose my height or my handedness, whether I sang alto or soprano, my preference for cheesy food and hate for okra. But they’re part of me. If you take my gayness away, I’m not the same person anymore. It’s absolutely foundational to who I am. That is the reality of my life, the life I personally live every single day. So unless you can give me a really good reason to believe the claims you’ve made – “we are born heterosexual beings”? – then I’m going to have to conclude that you’re speculating based on what you want to be true; what backs up your theology.

  • Kara

    Your biases are showing when you say that gay couples are physically incompatible for sex. There’s nothing that keeps gay people from having healthy, mutually fulfilling sexual relationships.

  • Leanne88

    I’m talking about “default” in the sense of when people are finished developing physically enough to be born. And yes, I believe they are people from the moment they are conceived. I don’t understand the whole thing about me having the “last word” because I never said I have the “last word.” Where sis that come from? But yes, we all have opinions and we are all entitled to disagree. I just find it interesting how everyone demands Christians be open to being okay with homosexuality, but non-Christians are not willing to be open to the idea of not being okay with it. Isn’t the pressure on us to change our views damaging as well? Are you willing to listen?

  • Kara

    You said that being gay isn’t a core part of somebody, even though tons of actual gay people would strongly disagree, myself included. That gives the impression that you think you know better what the gay experience is than those actually living it. Hence, you feel like you get to have the ultimate word on what gayness is, where it comes from, what it’s like, etc.

    You being open to accepting others doesn’t do you any harm. You asking others to be open to the idea that who I am is morally not okay? That does actual harm.

  • Diana Avery

    “I sincerely doubt he was being picked on for actually being homosexual. Considering this started in second grade, it seems unlikely.”

    1) So, if he is actually gay, it would be okay for him to be picked on, right?

    2) It’s actually very small comfort to a person being picked on that the things being said of him/her are not technically true. It’s the being picked on that is painful, not the truthfulness of statements being used by the bullies.

    3) As I stated elsewhere, though you probably haven’t had a chance to read that, bullies don’t care whether what they are saying to someone is the truth or not, they simply care about causing pain to that person. So if calling someone an “abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz” is considered derogatory and the bully believes that s/he can make somebody else feel horrible by calling him/her that, that’s what the bully will do.

    4) In our culture (this is changing but not quickly enough) homosexuality is still considered controversial, especially among those who are of certain religious backgrounds, including Christianity. A sort of default Christianity is still the majority religion in the United States. Fundamentalist Christianity in particular makes a point of screaming that homosexuality is a sin (to the point that it sometimes seems like it’s the only “sin” that matters to them), while too many of the mainline Christian churches have maintained an appalling silence/tacit approval in the face of this viewpoint. Like I said, this is changing, but not quickly enough. Thus, this attitude promotes a view that homosexuality is a bad thing.

    5) Bullies pick up on the notion that homosexuality is considered “bad” in our culture and thus pick at those whom they consider to be homosexual. They also use terms relating to homosexuality as slurs without caring whether the person they are picking at is indeed homosexual (please see point #3.)

    6) So yes, Christians who promote the view that homosexuality is sinful, or who tacitly approve this viewpoint by refusing to speak out against it, are indeed responsible for creating a culture in which it is acceptable to bully others for homosexuality/perceived homosexuality.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    Number one, I don’t decide who the core of someone is. God is the one who made us and He says what we are>>>

    You just said “I disagree that it is a core part of who someone is ” and you are now saying that you didn’t JUST say that? Are you reading what you’re writing? “God” and “Leanne’s opinion about what God says about our core are not one in the same. Do you notice how you keep interchanging the two? That’s a little scary.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing where you got your statistics, though, on gay Christians being the #1 suicide risk group. That sounds really interesting. >>>

    It’s a quick Google search and was also featured in a Christianity Today issue. Focus on the Family has acknowledged this number is valid but instead blamed it on self-hatred for *being* homosexual that was intrinsic. The Trevor project has quoted those numbers. Gay teens are the #1 most likely group to kill themselves and those from religious homes are even more vulnerable. John did an interview with a leading expert, I’d read that article.

    Third, I am not reducing sex itself to a mere “act.”>>>

    Of course you are. You’re the one who in reference to your cousin talked about his “behaviors”. Clearly those are the “behaviors” of a homosexual.

    If you think about it, two men and two women are physically incompatible with each other when it comes to sex.>>>

    Oral and anal sex don’t occur with married couples? With all due respect do you live underneath a rock? Married people have this kind of sex all the time.

  • Diana Avery

    So don’t change. Continue to hate on people who are different than you and pout when you get called on it. One day, you will face the Lord your God and you will find out whether he commends your behavior of “calling a sin, a sin” or whether he condemns you for causing pain to those he considers to be his children.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    Leanne, for goodness sake, we’re not disagreeing over infant baptism or some kind of theology. Me telling a grown woman that you’re wrong about homosexuality and putting pressure you on you to listen isn’t going to cause you to KILL yourself or believe you have to live a life without God because you have a sin that you can’t change, as much as you try. At best it will hurt your feelings and give you permission to walk away from a conversation so you don’t have to face it. There’s absolutely no comparison, gay kids have to live in the world that your beliefs have created.

    Let me say this one more time – your beliefs about gay men and women being condemned before God because of their “choice” of homosexuality drives kids to suicide and it causes tremendous psychological, spiritual and emotional damage. And I’m not making this up, you can read it for yourselves.

    And I’m a christian by the way. A big one.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    I don’t understand the whole thing about me having the “last word” because I never said I have the “last word.”

    OK. If you’re really willing to give gay men and women the last word, you’ll allow them to tell you that they can be actively gay and still Christian and no repentance is required and you’ll just accept it and never question or debate it.

  • Diana Avery

    Doesn’t the name “Israel” mean “struggles with God”? And wasn’t that the name God gave to Jacob after Jacob wrestled with him the night before his encounter with his brother Esau? Oh yes, God loves it when we struggle with him, otherwise how can we grow in faith?

    Peace and blessings upon you, Stephanie. Great comment!

  • Marcio Cabral

    I was really touched by John’s story; what a brave kid. Thank you, mr, so much for supporting the gay community.

  • LSS

    do you tell him he’s Empty? and that he’s more Empty because he’s gay? or you only say that behind his back? cos that’s not cruel or unloving or anything… (sarcasm)

  • LSS

    this is why being gay is not about just sex. lgbtqi people consistently report that they themselves, and often family members, “knew they were different” from an early age … ages like 3, 5, etc.

    often they had less gender-conforming preferences than other kids, etc.

  • Diana Avery

    Or, as Jesus put it: “Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” –Matthew 15:14, NIV.

    Also: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit?” Luke 6:39, NIV.

    Twice as much darkness, indeed!

  • Kara

    God, you’re self-involved. There’s not even enough of a shitty, fake, pseudo-argument in there for me to address. Go live your life and leave the rest of us who are trying to bring about some justice alone.

  • Rosalie

    My son IS gay and I love him as much as any mother can. These hate posts make me sick.

  • Kara

    Ah. Troll. Fuck off, then.

  • Kara

    Look, I’m against people being jackasses to each other in general, gay or straight. Which obviously you’re not. Anybody bashing Christianity, I’m gonna have a problem with, as a Christian. Ad hominim attacks, I’m always gonna have a problem with, no matter who’s making them.

    The fact that you have to resort to quoting people from other websites who have nothing to do with the conversation at hand, rather than dealing with those of us here and the arguments that we’ve made shows well that you can’t.

  • Kara

    First of all, the HIV-panic bullshit erases lesbians, who are far less likely than straight men or straight women to get HIV from sex.

    Second, this isn’t about sex. As much as fundamentalists want to reduce being gay to sex, it’s not accurate. We’re talking about the lives of kids who haven’t had sex just as much as the ones who have. Bigotry doesn’t care about what you’ve actually done, just how they can label you.

    I care about the health and welfare of every kid, gay, straight, or otherwise. Including their emotional health. I want them to know that they are beautiful and valuable, that they don’t have to ever do anything that they don’t want to, that there are ways to be safe if they decide to have sex, and that they can have healthy relationships. But I don’t pretend that claiming conversion is a viable way to help these kids. It isn’t. Denying the reality that someone is gay isn’t looking out for their welfare either. It’s not going anywhere.

  • Kara

    It won’t let me reply to your other post. (Which I should probably take as a sign, but I’m putting off writing a paper.)

    I have no use for comments like these. They’re not helpful in any way. But Truth Wins Out has also done good work. The world isn’t black and white, and I can condemn the bathwater of religiously intolerant posts without throwing the baby out alongside it.

    I’ve never claimed to speak for all LGBTQ folk. I’d love to see you quote where I do. You, on the other hand, have put words in my mouth several times, claiming to know what my idea of justice is, for one. (Perhaps you’re projecting?)

    I am a Christian. Obviously I don’t hate Christianity. I’ll continue to challenge those who claimed Christ’s name when they called me slurs, or when they told me at 16 that I was a threat to children, or when they told me I was predestined to hell. But I adore Christianity and Christians. If I have a bias, it’s toward my faith, not against it.

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

    Hi, all. I got too busy today to properly monitor the comments. I apologize for that. I’ve just now gone through and deleted the comments to this post that were just too noxious/toxic to allow. But that leaves a lot of responses TO those comments now just sort of … randomly hanging there. Again, sorry. But if you read a comment that seems to be a response to a comment that isn’t there, trust that you’re better off not having read the original comment. Thanks, you guys, for your patience—and especially for the love, intelligence, and compassion so many of you show. It’s a wonderful thing. Sorry again for not doing a better job today of keeping this site from becoming any sort of showcase for the kinds of toxic hatred of which we’ve all, God knows, had enough.

  • Leanne88

    Mistranslated? God is all-powerful and, therefore, preserves His Word throughout the ages. We have more and older copies of manuscripts of the Bible than we do of Homer’s The Odyssey and The Iliad. But Apologetics is a whole different issue.

    So if the word was invented in the 19th century, then the entire idea of homosexuality didn’t exist until then? It’s not a modern issue. The Corinthians and 1 Timothy and many other books were written by Paul in which he talks about homosexuality. Even if he didn’t use the “offical 19th century term” I guarantee you there are Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic terms for it (all three of which are languages the Bible was written in). I can find out what they are if you want.

    So, you grew up Southern Baptist and had no incentive? Does that mean you had absolutely no exposure to homosexuality growing up then? All your growing up years you knew that was your preference? I find it interesting that identity is so heavily emphasized on sexuality. I’m straight but I don’t rely on that for my identity. It’s a fact about me, but it’s not who I am any more than my job is who I am. Even if I were a lesbian, I would still be me.

    You are perfectly entitled to think I’m wrong and it is clear we have different beliefs. Honestly, we could get into a whole debate here trying to convince each other of this or that, but I don’t think any reason I gave would be good enough for your reasoning. I will not accept your beliefs anymore than you will accept mine, so there is really nowhere else to go from here.

  • Leanne88

    No, I do not tell him that. Funny you would assume I would. Maybe he told me.

  • Diana Avery

    Thank you, John.

  • Kara

    Okay. Small words this time.

    We have lots of copies of Greek manuscripts. In Greek. Which has different words than English. If I take an original text then tell you it says Jesus liked to eat banana pancakes for breakfast, that’s not God’s failure to preserve something, that’s me saying stuff that’s wrong.

    The word was invented in the 19th century, and yes, the idea didn’t really exist before then. Not like we think of it. The idea that you’re somehow proving that it did by saying Paul talked about it is circular logic. Paul did not refer to homosexuality in Corinthians or Timothy. There are absolutely not Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic terms for “homosexuality.” In Rome and Greece people didn’t think of sex as a gender thing, it was a power thing. Who was screwing and who was getting screwed, not gender. I’d love to see you back up your guarantee.

    No incentive. I got run out of my church. My youth pastor told me I was going to hell, and a danger to children. My first crush on a girl was at age 12. I prayed for years for God to “fix” me, make me “normal.” Took years to realize I was like God made me. Being gay is only a part of my identity because it matters to other people. It affects my relationships with my family, my friends, with churches, with God. If other people would leave it alone, it wouldn’t be core for me. Ironically.

    You can toss your hands up and walk away, claiming that neither of us really have any evidence. But I think that’s a cop-out. There are facts about the texts. There are facts about the cultural homophobia that has shaped the ways that people have chosen to read the texts over the years. And you can’t just hand wave them away. People are living this fight every day, and we’re not going anywhere. We can’t afford to.

  • Christy

    Nice job here DR, Diana, and Kara.

  • Mike

    I’m not going to say I know how it works, and there are whole books on Nature vs Nurture about pretty much every topic from how people kill people to how they brush their teeth. I will say that different =/= bad. The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter if homosexuals choose that kind of lifestyle or not, the important point is that people choose to hate them for it. And these same people will hate others for their lifestyles as well, whether it’s people who follow another religion, or another economic system, or whatever else. I don’t know if homosexuality is a choice or not, but that’s not the issue. HATRED IS A CHOICE. People need to understand this.

    Saying that people choosing to live a homosexual lifestyle makes them targets of Christians is like saying women who choose to wear a certain dress make themselves targets of rapists. We must always remember where the responsibility for the hatred is!

    Again, I don’t know how it works, but we need to point the finger at the people doing the hating. There is no doubt that they are choosing to hate, for whatever reason.

  • Mike

    It really isn’t right, if it’s a choice someone makes about their own lives, it’s not right that they should have be be afraid to live their lives as they choose. You could say “it’s not my choice I was born this way accept it” or you could say “I choose to live this way and there is nothing wrong with that, so conservatives get over yourselves.”

    Again, I’m not sure how it works, but conservative Christians make it out to be a choice. But then so what if it is? I choose NOT to be a conservative Christian, and that offends them also! It should be our right as Americans to live FREE, without the fear of persecution. Someone else’s decision, or someone else’s birth, into homosexuality does not diminish my life, so it’s none of my business really. The only reason I say anything at all on the topic is to speak out against the hate, because hate destroys our great nation, and that is my business, because I live here.

  • Christy

    Thank you for this, Mike. The trouble is the reasoned person agrees with you and the wrongheadedness of this thinking. But I come from a corner of Christianity that would agree with your analogy: women who dress a certain way invite rape. They believe this. Except they use reverse the logic as well, if a woman is raped – she must have done something to invite it…and they’ll find anything to answer that question in order to make it fit the model they have already accepted: women tempt men. So, in this narrow part of the world – where judgement is only for other people and not for themselves, some folks agree with your analogy: yes, they believe – no matter how archaic it may seem to the rest of us – that people invite condemnation upon themselves….and they have some right and obligation to dish it out.

    Our job is to keep calling it out for the shrill lie and heresy that it is and to do the unconditional loving that we have been called to do for all people no matter who they are.

  • Joy

    Wow, I just watched that and I don’t know if it is bad Christianity that causes it, or sometimes just contributes to it greatly…but what I do know is how damaging bullying is for any kid for any reason. I was bullied mercilessly in school and I can even remember cutting myself a few times…thankfully I did not continue the practice but I remember the hopelessness and despair that drives one to do that. I don’t think there was any special religious significance associated with my being bullied; I think kids can just simply be cruel when they detect any weakness or difference in someone. I think religious zeal CAN fuel their passions, but in all fairness, when kids get going they don’t need any help with it. I just wish there was a way to stop it once and for all – for all kids – for all reasons.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Kezastian9 Sebastian Hayball via Facebook

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KuCRKaofhm4. One of Jonah Mowry’s bullies apologizing, we are watching an amazing story unfold before our eyes on the eve of 2012. Can you see the possibilities, when the bullied and the bullies unite, we’ll have a new way to fight for the future of our children.

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

    yes. amazing stuff. next BOOK stuff.

  • Ron

    I grew up in the late 40s-mid 60s in a small town in Texas. Gays were a subject that was never talked about, even in private. I knew I was different from others at a very young age. I liked girls, enjoyed dating a few, but all of my crushes were on boys. And these crushes started at a very early age before I had any sexual understanding or feelings. I was very confused about myself. This confusion led to me being a very despressed and made me feel more alone than you could ever understand. I had no one to talk to about it, and never met a person I knew was like me until my second year in college. Thru college I tried to be like everyone else, I met a wonderful young woman while a senior, dated for over a year, loved her deeply, and we planned to marry. After several months I broke up with her because I knew in my heart that I cared and loved her so much that I could not marry her, because I knew that our relationship would some day end because I would never be able to spend the rest of my life living a lie, I could never do that to her and possibly to children we might have.

    I never acted on my feelings for another man untill after I was 25 years old. I had a couple of relationships that each lasted for 2 or 3 years. In 1980 I met someone , and we lived together for 31 years untill he died last May. I have never regreted the life I have had, only that so many people are unwilling to understand that the only choice I made in life, was to be the person god made me, and to do it proudly.

    I WAS BORN GAY. IT WAS NOT A CHOICE I MADE. THE ONLY WAY I COULD BE ANY OTHER WAY, WOULD TO BE LIVE A LIE! TO NOT LIVE A LIE IS THE ONLY CHOICE I MADE, AND I REFUSE TO BELIVE MY GOD WOULD HOLD THAT AGAINST ME! WHY SHOULD MAN?

  • Christian Atkins via Facebook

    All I can read here is you Christians should be ashamed of your selves talking to Jim like that wha once understood what he said who once looked past the hurt in jims post frankly you christians have alot to learn how dare you and I am saying it to you bullies, you the bullies, self rightepus hypacrites, how dare you make a man feel giulty for voiving his opponoion. what is this all about common guys, this man Jim is being honest and you dont hvave the guts or the balls to see through you stiff necked attatudes and you block peaple from their words and its wrong enough is enough leave jim alon you bunch of mnatzies. he is not bulling him, his saying yes mate but you can get up stand up and stop taking shit from poeple!!!! oh i have nothing good to say my tone is not good but i satand by it and I am not goung any where,,,,,,…..jim who gives a shit what they are saying who care if you wernt compasionate rellay guys get a grip you really annoy me you blaa blaa blaa at everyone and you cant even even love your selves and you will say I cant iether by thios message but i got nothing good to say to you right nopw I wont refrain or leave the computewr and you wont push me around. Jin you speak speak speak….you sopeak you others guys shut up you so mean!

  • Christian Atkins via Facebook

    joe I mean Joe speak speak dont let them shut you up far out man have some balls you guys who a trying to shut him up you shut up morans!

  • Lymis

    “If you think about it, two men and two women are physically incompatible with each other when it comes to sex.”

    That will come as a shock to my husband. We fit together just fine, thanks. We can’t make babies, together, no (though we’re still trying!), but the sex is just wonderful, physically and otherwise.

    Who is it that isn’t thinking about it?

  • Lymis

    “I sincerely doubt he was being picked on for actually being homosexual. Considering this started in second grade, it seems unlikely.”

    There you go again, equating homosexuality entirely with adult sexual behaviors. I can tell you with absolute assurance that I can look back at things about myself in my preschool years – the actors on TV that I had crushes on, the things that I was interested in, the ideas that caught my attention, and the mannerisms that I had – that I subsequently had to learn obsessively to hide for my own safety – that clearly were the early indications of the gay man I would grow up to be.

    Saying that a second-grader can’t be gay is as ridiculous as saying that a second-grader can’t be straight. And yet, nobody blinks twice at mapping innocent pre-sexual heterosexuality onto kids, and letting them have crushes and friends (and strongly discouraging signs of “inappropriate” same sex attractions.).

    If you don’t think that second graders can be, or can be seen as “sissies,” then you don’t know the second-graders I’ve met. Or the one I once was.

  • Barbara

    “I sincerely doubt he was being picked on for actually being homosexual.”

    What does it matter what this kid’s sexual orientation actually is? I seriously doubt the kids who are bullying him really care. All they care about is that “gay” is a dirty word, something they’re allowed to use to belittle and make fun of and fling around as an insult, because so many adults and churches do the same.

  • http://ILoveItWhenOurPresidentIsAngry angemarie

    There is bullying in Families, there is favoritism in Families , it’s part of the Culture. But, we are Human Beings.

    Angemarie

  • http://www.unchainedfaith.wordpress.com Amy

    My son was bullied worse as a home scholar than at public school. He has ADHD which is why we hs’d in the first place. But he & I both were bullied by the other families. He got picked on for both his hyper excitability and because he takes dance class and isn’t “all boy.” I got bullied for not “making” him be “normal” and for using the “wrong” methods of teaching my kids. It sucked. Since starting public school, he has made friends and found lots of kids who like him for who he is. I have met wonderful parents and his teacher is just fantastic. Homeschool may be the answer for some kids (it’s perfect for my daughter) but not for others.

  • http://www.unchainedfaith.wordpress.com Amy

    I completely agree with what you said–with one exception. Human embryos do not all start female until the Y chromosome is introduced. The Y is there (or not there) from conception. The genitals form at 6 weeks. Until then, they are both/neither male and female. This has been a long-standing myth of human reproduction that just isn’t true, although it is true in some other animals.

    But anyway, I still agree with what you’ve said otherwise, and I will stop hijacking this discussion now.

  • Melody

    Christian, honey, you’re going to have to improve your spelling and punctuation if you expect us to understand any of your ranting. If you’re talking about those who were criticizing Joe…well obviously you’re just as angry as he is, or you wouldn’t be defending his original comment. And you know what? He apologized for the inappropriateness of it, and we’re all on his side supporting him. We fight injustice of any kind, so we are not your enemies here. Take a breather, and come back when you’re ready to make sense.

  • Esteban

    It’s sad that these things happen to this kid. But that doesn’t change the way the Lord views the sin of homosexuality.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    Esteban, please be specific as to how being gay brings on ruin and destruction in the mind, heart and being of a gay man or woman. “The wages of sin are death”, it’s easy to identify something as sin because of the havoc and destruction it causes a a life. So please be specific and outline how being gay destroys one’s life. Thanks.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    Did he or didn’t he?

  • Rosalie

    Ron, I am sorry for your loss. You have led an HONEST life. I will never understand why my fellow “straight” citizens think your lifestyle would/should/might have any effect on them. I hope your memories of your partner are all happy ones and the pain of your loss will soon lessen.

  • Esteban

    Sorry, but I don’t agree with you on your view of what constitutes a sin. A sin is an affront to the Lord, and we know what is an affront to Him through the Bible. The Bible states that homosexuality is a sin. And even if it didn’t say that, Jesus says marriage is between a man and a woman and all sex outside of marriage is a sin. So I guess we are going to have to agree to disagree on this one.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    You didn’t answer my question so I’ll ask again and remind you that you are a Christian who is being read by thousands of people who are not and your witness needs to have some integrity. So perhaps you would consider that respectful dialogue means answering the questions you’re asked. I’ll ask again:

    Please be specific as to how being gay brings on ruin and destruction in the mind, heart and being of a gay man or woman. “The wages of sin are death”, it’s easy to identify something as sin because of the havoc and destruction it causes a a life. So please be specific and outline how being gay destroys one’s life. Thanks.

  • Esteban

    As i said before, I don’t agree with you on what constitutes a sin. I don’t think having gay sex necessarily brings on ruin and destruction. But neither does having sex with your boy/ghirlfriend before you are married. The thing is, both are sins in the eyes of the Bible, and thus, in the eyes of the Lord. There are so many sins that don’t destroy lives, some make lives seemingly better and easier! But they are still SINS!

  • Ron

    I want to thank you for your reply.

    My story was only background to try to get people to understand the statment in caps. The statment in caps was all I really wanted to say. No one I have ever met wanted to be gay. It is just who they are, and no one would be gay if it were a choice. Why can so many small minded people not realize and understand that, because life would be so much easier if none of us were gay. So many find it so easy use the bible to justify hate for any one different.

  • mike moore

    @Esteban:

    Let me get this correct …. you watched this heartbreaking video of Jonah, a messed-up kid who claims to have been ruthlessly bullied, a boy who is a cutter, a child who has considered and may again consider suicide.

    And your response? Where does Christ’s love take you? Esteban thinks, “Wow, what an excellent forum and opportunity for me to stand proudly on the righteous bow of Christianity, sun in my face and wind in my hair, and smugly declare to the world that homosexuality is a sin.” (I bet you could be on a Titanic poster, you’re so awesome!)

    So here’s where I’m coming from: unlike 99.999% of John’s readers, I’m not a particularly nice guy, and with that said, I’d like to proudly declare:

    Esteban, You are a worthless piece of sh*t. You make the world a bad place. You are living proof to the world that while Jesus was a very cool dude, way too many of Jesus’ followers SUCK.

    Unlike the nice forgiving people here on John’s blog, I Hate You. Yes, that’s correct … I. Hate. You.

    I hate you for a lot of reasons, but mostly I hate you because kids like Jonah will commit suicide because of Christians JUST LIKE YOU. So congratulations, I’m sure I’ve given you exactly what you wanted … an angry diatribe on I hate you and your teeny tiny petty god.

    (I’m sorry, John. I know this is probably a wildly inappropriate post on your awesome blog, and I know you’ll probably have to delete this post, but I’m hoping Esteban the Fucktard Weasel will see before you hit the delete key.)

  • Brooke

    Please, tell me exactly where in the bible it states that homosexuality is a sin?

  • Melody

    Don’t bother. He’ll just use the same, tired old clobber passages as if we haven’t heard them a million other times, just like all clueless fundiegelicals who think liberal Christians and secularists have never read the Bible.

  • Melody

    What an insensitive, self-righteous thing to say. What makes you so sure God thinks being attracted to the same sex is a sin? Please don’t quote Leviticus, or any of the Pauline verses that for too long have been mistranslated due to the vagueness of the original Greek and translator bias.

  • Esteban

    Well, so much for Christian love…

  • Esteban

    Even without those “clobber passages” it is clear that the Bible condemns homo because if the way gender roles are set up. You guys’ heads are stuck so far up your liberal asses.

  • Kara

    Explain to me how our current gender roles are somehow derived from the Bible, rather than our reading of the Bible shaped by our current gender roles? Also, please explain to me how you get around the reality that “there is no more male or female” ’cause we’re all one in Christ.

  • Diana Avery

    Why don’t you try practicing some love, Christian or otherwise, then maybe you’ll receive some in return?

  • Diana Avery

    I realize that science is probably anathema to you, but neither gender identity nor sexuality is cut and dried. Even though there appears to be only two genders, there have always been people who were born intersexed (the old term for them was hermaphradites.) This was noticed even in the days before we found out about hormones and other such biochemical influences. Now we know that even though a person may have the appearance of being one gender or the other, that biochemical influences might have worked in that person to make him/her feel more like the opposite gender of his/her appearance. And this doesn’t even get into the influences on sexuality.

    Only those who are insecure when it comes to their own gender and sexual identities feel the need to police others. The rest of us understand that there is a wide range of sexual and gender identities and thus do not feel the need to act as the gender/sex police.

  • Melody

    Care to tell us? Oh, of course not, you can’t, because it isn’t there. You won’t accept scientific and social findings that suggest that homosexuality isn’t an aberration, because your head is stuck so far up your homophobic ass.

  • Brian

    Simply my thoughts.

    From what I have learned as a Christian and My experiences as such is that we like to try and put God in a box. I have let God be the Creator of ALL that is. The key word is all that is. Jonah is who he is. He is perfectly fine now and the video was uploaded about 3 months ago. He has support and he has many friends now. Go to his profile Jonah Mowery public figure page and he says, all is well and feeling better and better each and everyday. This blog isn’t about Jonah anymore, I fear. I think its about ones values in life. It about weather I keep my God in a box and I continue to think small of him. Or accept The Creator that created this loving boy for who he is and Everyone that has been in his shoes. ME. So this is a personal topic. This Bible that is a book of guidelines written by people on how to live their lives to the best of their ability. I am going to talk in a little smaller box so some can understand. The book of Exodus The only words from God was the 10 Commandments. JESUS was Gods son. When ever does Jesus say Homosexuality is a sin and I think, correct me if I am wrong, The only time he ever got pissed off was at the temple. Not because Mary was a prostitute, not because Paul was a fisherman, and not when Jesus did absolutely anything wrong and whipping him on the back to die for you and you and you. So… Other then the actual words of God everything else is filler. Expanding the Box a little bit. For me when reading the Bible I let the Creator impress what he wants me to learn in a certain passage. Love thy neighbor. Don’t Judge. When I Judge others of a certain thing I notice its me that I am really judging.

  • Diana Avery

    Thank you, Brian.

  • Melody

    Exactly.

    And so much for actually addressing some well-made points because you’re afraid of a bruised ego.

  • Brian

    Favoritism and Bullying should never be in any Culture. In the greek text there are 4 words for Love. Apage is the highest form of Love. Thats what I was told. Apage for God and Parents and our significant others. I see a place we Apage one another and there is no bullying, favoritism, prejudiced, sexist, religious, ect…

    Be The Change YOU Wish to See in the World.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com DR

    Stop being so manipulative and start demonstrating some emotional maturity. You enter into this conversations with an aggressive posture, knowing you were going to offer a contrary point of view. The responses to you are a result of cause and effect that conservative Christians seem to feel magically exempt from.

    Simply put, you initiated the aggression and you knew it. So man up and face the consequences or approach people differently, stop USING the Gospel of Jesus Christ as a hiding place for your poor communication.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com DR

    So you really have no answer. Sin has destructive consequences which is why a loving God calls it sin and protects us from it. God only hates those things thst destroy us. To suggest something is an offense to God but you can’t really say why means you really don’t have any reason for it. God is not illogical nor is what he calls a sin disconnected from his children’s emotional, spiritual and psychological health.

    The real truth of the matter is you and others have called this a sin all on your own because you are either too lazy to dig into the scriptures to understand its cultural context or you want to justify your own homophobia.

  • Brian

    Thanks Diana.

    PLEASE READ.

    I like the saying, ” Out with the old. In with the new.”

    The old testament, to me, Is just moral stories. Sodom and Gomorah was not about homosexuality. I think I was their intentions of the heart. Sex just to have Sex, Steal just to Steal, Murder just cause I can take a life and feel power that last two minutes. The soul/spirit is never whole after a murder. I think bullying is just as bad as murder.

    Jesus, New Testament, gave his life. Why? So we can go to Heaven. We have a way to God. John 3:16. Great Verse. I think it is a bit bigger then that. I like to ponder things a lot and I have very deep thoughts on random subjects most would not be interested in. Think about this. The Holy Trinity. Father… Son… Spirit… Creator… Jesus… Spirit… Jesus was human like you and me. I think Jesus says, not in quotes, You will do greater works and deeds through the holy spirit. O.K. Creator… Me… Spirit Creator… You… Spirit… We are all connected. We are all one in the same. The Universe is like the Human body. We all affect each other weather we see it or not. If 7.2 Billion people took 5 minutes or an hour ( I wish) on a single day to meditate and to give Love back to the Creator and to this earth with just out thoughts, I think we would see change in out immediate life. I think If we Meditated, sending Love for 7 days for 1 HOUR. We would see a global difference. I like to challenge peoples way of thinking and help people step outside of the box and see the big picture. Jonah made a simple act of faith to get support from his friends, who he felt had left him, and it turned out to be I think Global. This is my theory and take it or leave. I challenge people to be curious and look inside ones self.

    The Creator sees that this one issue is getting a bit out of hand and the Creator wants Unity through Love/Jesus. There may be nothing out of hand at all but people are suffering through this. The creator took this opportunity to challenge narrow minded people to be more accepting of others. If I was a hard core, ” Bible Thumper” and I saw this video, I would be on my knees praying to God/Creator to figure out what was the REAL ISSUE!!! BEING GAY OR BEING PREJUDICE!!! This is not what the Creator teaches. Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Graciousness, and Self Control, and the great of these is LOVE!!! Now this is what the Creator teaches me. Peace within my self the Buddist way, also Patience. Kindness, to be nice and considerate of others along with Goodness. Graciousness, to me, is humility and grace. Grace is also to forgive even when not deserved. Self-Control, a quality I think, many Americans need to learn. And Love.

    I am going to speak plain now. The bottom line is love without it. None of use would be here. We are the evolved species but I think we aren’t acting like it. We excessively compose a variety of intellectual words so as to appear smart. We pay bills and we get into a routine day in and out. We think about other people, for only a couple minutes. This boy has constantly been on my mind for a week. Its sad when an sad event happened that involves life or death, the world stops and looks. Gandhi, Martin L. King Jr. Lincoln, Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him. Until today. I know he is doing great now. Now I am constantly thinking about prejudices. I am only one person. Jonah is only one person. Obama is only one person. Operah. Shaq. My mom. Your friends, Family, Neighbors. I am staying at a friends house who doesn’t know his neighbors after some odd YEARS! of living here. All I am trying to say in this paragraph. is … if Adam and Eve were the first two people on Earth. Then why is my families on Earth in Dismay and Chaos?

    Why do we kill for territory,

    Why do we need to go to war.

    Why do we need to have lines on paper to show which is my or countries.

    Why is there Money?

    and the question go on in my mind…. .. .. . . . . .

    Read the questions again and imagine God/The Creator asking this Planet that. Substitute we for “you” . I started to get to get tears. I had no real father figure for a long amount of time like some. I only want to make my Creator Proud of me.

    I am sure I can write a book. but Its 3 27 A M and my Laptop is almost dead. :]] Comment if you’d like but remember. This is my view and I am not impressing in Ideals on Anyone. Please To all Haters… Dont post. I dont have time to walk in circles around you.

    If you want a love message to be heard, it has got to be sent out. To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.

    Mother Teresa

    You must be the Change you wish to see in the world.

    Gandhi

  • Patrick

    Judgement is a sin. If you knew Jesus then you would know, HE would be sitting right next to this “sinner”. He would show love. WOW, he may even sit down with him over a meal. Ask yourself, would you? Think about that the next time you express yourself.

    Wait… Let me find you a stone, I am quite sure you can cast it.

    Rather than posting judgement try responding how Jesus would.

    What would you say? Are you evolved enough to look inward and re-post with a statement of love as Jesus would?

    As for me, I know exactly how this child feels. It was like watching a video of my life to a “T”. I am not the judge of “sin”. “Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, his grace was given me.” Ephesians 3:8

    Patrick A. Floyd

  • Patrick

    Now that’s the way a Christian speaks…..

  • Esteban

    I’m not homophobic. I am gay. But I accept that that part of me is wrong, so I don’t act on it.

  • Gary

    Actually Estaban…the bible does not declare either of those things sin. That fact that you keep declaring otherwise only means you drank the Kool-Aid.

  • Gary

    Then you must really hate God for playing such an evil and manipulative trick on you like some sick and twisted omnipotent bastard getting his holy kicks out of creating such a paradox in you.

    I think perhaps the most offensive part of the view you and those like you hold is the way it perverts the nature of our loving God.

  • LSS

    it’s very possible to be gay and homophobic, especially when people you respect tell you that you should be.

    to hate/reject a part of what God made you, is called self-hating or self-loathing.

    it doesn’t mean that God actually hates that part of you. it just means some people convinced you of it.

    there are lots of groups in this position, where society in general has, by centuries of pressure, convinced at least some members of the groups to hate themselves.

  • Esteban

    God did not make me this way, the devil did. Ever hear of the fall of man? Well, that was the devil. And being gay is part of man’s fallen nature. So don’t go blaming the Lord for our problems. You can’t just take a sinful part of your nature and claim God made you that way and then go just do whatever you please.

  • mike moore

    @ Esteban. I am not a Christian. I’m here because when I read the words of John and his readers, I hear Jesus. This is a rare and special place. Don’t fuck it up.

    And, if you want unconditional love, go talk to God. I, on the other hand, admit that my love is very much conditional. One of those conditions is: YOU DON’T BE MEAN TO LITTLE KIDS.

    Your instinctual response to Jonah’s video is to slap the label ‘SINNER’ on the kid. My instinctual response to you is, figuratively speaking, to slap you, hard, upside your no-”Christian love”-resides-in-here noggin’.

    And at the very moment my figurative hand banged upside your figurative head … interestingly enough …. I pictured Jesus standing by me, saying, “Jesus H Christ, Moore, how many times have you and I talked about loving your enemies and turning the other cheek?!” And then He whispers quietly in my ear, “off-the-record? thanks, bro, I’ve been dying to knock some sense into that twerp Esteban.”

    btw, I hate you less today … everyone should have the chance to evolve, so let’s you and I both try evolving a little today.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    Mike,

    I appreciate your honesty and understand it. Sometimes comments from people like this make me want to go take a hot scalding shower and wash the “UGH” off. But they also provide a wonderful opportunity for those who’ve had to contend with the Estebans of the world – who’ve been so damaged by his belief system – and see Christians not putting up with his shit. He’s a fantastic foil and while I never expect people like him to change, I think it’s way too scary for him? It’s nice to imagine that there’s someone reading this who’s been tormented by my fellow Christians and says, “Finally – they are speaking up instead of remaining silent.” I hope that’s true.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    I don’t believe this for a second.

  • mike moore

    @Brian – I really like what you’ve written. But I think this thread is still very much about Jonah and kids like him. And Jonah may be OK today, but what about kids like him?

    I’m have no real knowledge of child psychology. What I do have are 13 nieces and nephews. Mostly, young teens are crazy little lovable hilarious sociopaths.

    Jonah, as with most teenagers, can be great today and terrible tomorrow. I hope Jonah never cuts himself again, but let’s use this thread to cement the idea that our words and labels can cause both physical and mental harm to kids.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    Ron, much love to you. Lots of people have never had a devoted partner of 31 years. You must miss him terribly, I can’t imagine.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    Science! (good to know, appreciate the added info).

  • Esteban

    What don’t you believe, mi amor?

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    I don’t believe you’re gay. And wow, could you get any more creepy? That’s a serious question, do you realize how many people are reading this and watching you be a smug asshole on a thread about a little boy who is devastated and sobbing in a video? You you care at all about what people think about Jesus after watching you behave this way? The owner of the blog had to say something about your behavior and you’re still acting like a dick. It’s so shocking when Christians do this and feel like you can challenge the authenticity of peoples’ beliefs.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    OK. You’re not real. Nice job, you’re an amazing troll (no one would act like this who’s a Christian – even a crappy, delusional one).

  • Diana Avery

    And who made the devil? There is nothing that happens on this earth (or anywhere else) that God does not permit.

    You have the right to make your own choices. If to you, homosexuality is wrong, you have the right to abstain. But you have no right to judge what another person does. So do what you want to do, but don’t go looking down your nose at other people who make different choices. What makes you so certain that God will not say “Well done, good and faithful servant!” to them instead of to you?

  • Brian

    I completely agree on what you have said. Words do hurt! It needs to stop!

    What about other kids??? How are you helping other kids. All of us reading this can chit-chat on how things are going to be better, my vision of world is…, this and that should happen. And, I think, many people are scared to take the first step.

    :] I have a feeling someone might put the question “How about you” back on me. Here a little bit about me.

    I am a cheerleader. I am 19. I, like mike more, am no child psychologist but have been around many kids like Jonah. I am also a coach for cheer/gymnastics and I think I am life coach as well. I do my part the best I can, one child at a time. If I could heal the world I would, but I think that is where the rest of you guys come in. This is what I think. I believe the theory behind The Secret. I think one person would only need to have a strong intention and real desire to want to help kids like Jonah. Otherwise it would only be a thought. After one person has a thought and desire, that person need only take one step in that direction to lay down the rest of the road to follow on. The strongest intention always shows through. If someone is thinking more about fast food instead of cleaning the garage. The chances of him getting fast food first is higher then cleaning the garage. I would want fast food first anyways then clean. hhaha. Children are attached to me like my heart is attached in my chest. Many times I like it and other times I want my space as does anyone who is a little introverted. I am an “open ear”, ” “open book”, an “open heart”ed Young adult. My mom has always told me I should be a youth pastor and maybe one day, after I finish the Olympics in Gymnastics 2016 and 2020, Cirque du Soleil, And college to be a physical Therapy and Healer. Then maybe I’ll be a Pastor for teens. I do what I can with what I have been given to help others who ask for it. I don’t seek it out. Just happens.

  • mike moore

    I, also, very much hope you’re right.

    I do feel compassion for this self-hating guy … unfortunately, when a gay guy like Esteban stands in front of kids like Jonah, and says, “God did not make me (you) this way, the devil did. Ever hear of the fall of man? Well, that was the devil. And being gay is part of man’s fallen nature,” he is teaching that kid to hate himself.

    Guys like Esteban are seriously dangerous, however sincere.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    I think Esteban is an excellent role who’s faking this persona on the internet to get a rise out of people. He should have quit while he’s ahead. That being said, there are people who are like this and as you said, they are incredibly dangerous. I agree.

  • mike moore

    I was thinking the same thing … but fake persona or not, his words are real, so off I go to tilt at those windmills.

  • mike moore

    other kids? good god man, didn’t you see I have 13 nieces and nephews? A full-time Harvard MBA is required to analyze and forecast optimal birthday and Christmas gifts based on ages, genders, parental restrictions (bugles for all!), sports interests, geography, and the kid’s technical abilities (iPads at correct age, excellent gift … too young and suddenly you find pictures of their older sister’s underwear are broadcast to the entire school.)

    OK, seriously … as you have found, the kids who really need our help are all around us, every day, and there are a thousand ways to help.

    For anyone looking for a place to start, LGBT homeless shelters and assistance networks always need help and money. Because of our time in NYC, we know firsthand the Ali Forney Center is a great place to get involved. The Trevor Project is amazing. Just look around. Good luck everyone.

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

    You won’t hear from Esteban again.

  • Brian

    :] Yes I saw you have 13 other nieces and nephews. :]

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    exactly.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    I sense he’s like Tattoo from Fantasy Island.

  • Gary

    No I don’t either. You are a sick troll getting your perverse kicks out of your arrogant smugness. Nothing more.

  • Jodi

    http://www.wsmv.com/story/16213348/friends-say-classmate-killed-self-after-bullying#.TuAHvjInY-8.facebook Please pray for this young mad.. and please do whatever you can to stop these hate crimes. Every school should be aware that if they allow a child to be bullied there will be sever consequences. Parents teach your children and be an example of love.

  • Jodi

    I am sorry.. I meant to write young Man. I am so upset by this I can’t think straight. These hate crimes have to stop. There is no excuse.. Jesus was about love. PERIOD. And THAT is what we should be teaching our children.

  • Gary

    LMFAO

  • Melody

    It’s cute how you read selectively.

    Don’t let the door hit you.

  • Emily

    Just want to share another blog post by another Christian author who is a positive force in the media!

    http://learningmylines.blogspot.com/2011/12/is-jonah-telling-truth.html

  • http://deofmovestofca.blogspot.com/ Deof Movestofca

    Then may I suggest a remedial reading class, since he seems to have done a very poor job of it.

  • http://deofmovestofca.blogspot.com/ Deof Movestofca

    “And f the record I don’t believe you have a gay sister ( if that’s what you meant) who is ok with you believing she’s condemned to hell if she doesn’t repent of her homosexuality. That’s not even in the ball park of believable.”:

    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

    If you have trouble conceiving of people who don’t need validation for their beliefs from others, that’s not my or reality’s problem. And that basically is what your objections boil down to. Unlike you, my sister understands that as long as my belief has no “therefore’s” attached to it (such as “therefore I should attack/discriminate against/call names at/harangue gays”- all of which I condemn, as I so many times previously stated), then it lacks any power to hurt her or anyone else. Thus, she sees such a belief as no more dangerous (except, possibly, to me) as if I believed the moon was made of green cheese or that “Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict” shouuld be the new national anthem (although, come to think of it, the second of those would be kind of cool). Does she consider such a belief misguided? Yes. Delusional? Yes. Eccentric? Yes. Dangerous? No. If there is anyone who feels endangered by such a belief, then it says more about the fragility of said person’s psyche than any real power that such a belief actually has.

    “[T]he macro-effects of your beliefs are what’s on the table for discussion and what’s so dangerous.”

    How can they be “on the table” when you fail to state what these alleged micro-effects are or how a BELIEF in and of itself could be dangerous (except, again, to those who falsely feel a need for validation of their beliefs from others)?

    “Try to think beyond your personal feelings of defensiveness and participate in the larger idea.”

    Your second fail at amateur psychology. You might consider another tactic. Logic would be a nice change of pace.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    If you don’t actually understand the societal impacts your beliefs about being gay have had on our society – if you’re too intellectually lazy to consider what’s been offered on this actual thread clearly and explicitly – then I’m certainly not going to take the time to explain it to you. The one thing this blog has taught me is those of you who must maintain this belief system of yours (about gay men and women) is so contained that willful ignorance is what you’re going to have to rely upon to manage your way through these conversations. You are entirely invested in protecting yourself in these conversations – you’ve not demonstrated one solution for kids in this situation or even remorse for kids like this without bringing your *self* into the conversation at the same time. If you didn’t do so much damage, I’d feel sorry for your utter lack of awareness. But as far as I’m concerned, your 15 minutes of internet fame are over – at least on this thread. God have mercy on you for the damage you have no idea that you’re doing. And worse, have zero interest in actually learning about.

  • http://deofmovestofca.blogspot.com/ Deof Movestofca

    “Translation: In the world of many Fundamentalists, they are only responsible for a bullet that they shoot ‘deliberately’.”

    Straw man. But if continuing to put words in mouth makes you feel that you’ve won, enjoy.

    “[W]hen it’s shown that the impact of their beliefs re gay men and women are harmful.”

    I’m still waiting for you to show me how my belief IN AND OF ITSELF is harmful. Just because one disagrees with or doesn’t like another’s belief doesn’t make that belief harmful.

    “They start talking about individual responsibility because many – as demonstrated in this case – are unwilling or incapable of taking responsibility for damage they do while not intending to do it.”

    Sorry, but there has been an utter lack of demonstration on your part that I have somehow CAUSED damage to anyone with my belief.

    “Fundamentalists put this argument forward a lot. But when pressed for the specific ‘wages of death’ that are a result of being gay – the relational, psychological, emotional and physical impacts of being gay on gay men and women that are destructive?”

    Unless you can point to where I’ve used such an argument, this is a straw man.

    “They never seem to be able to answer that. When faced with gay men and women who are also christian, whose “sin” of homosexuality has only led to having the same loving partner for 20 years? No destruction, no damage. No wages.”

    Even if I did use such a line of reasoning, your response is an argument from ignorance.

    “Victimization and ‘I’m so misunderstood!’”

    Talking about ballparks, you’re not even close to being in one here. My point was that he was presuming to know more about me than he really does (see my last response to his comments above where I couldn’t have been any more clearer about this).

    “For them, it’s all personal. It all revolves around them, this is a classic example of that.

    Same song, different verse. More failed amatuer psychology. What that comment you quoted has to do with is not me, but him presuming to know more about me than he does. But I’ve done what I come here to do- present my case as best I can that I’m not some enemy of homosexuals. If you want to continue to believe that I am, so be it. In the end, reality is what it is- and regardless of which of us is wrong, that persons’s belief cannot change that.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    Even if I did use such a line of reasoning, your response is an argument from ignorance.>>>

    In other words, you just don’t have any. The only common denominator of “sin” is the damage it does to human beings, to our planet, and to ourselves.

    There really aren’t any physical, psychological, emotional, even physical damages from the “sin of being gay” that you can offer. There aren’t even any spiritual impacts, there have been hundreds of gay men and women – also Christians – who’ve posted about their devotion to Jesus on this blog. So you are now officially dismissed. I don’ think you have the emotional or intellectual capacity to absorb what people have offered you but my hope is that others in your position who do have read this and can see themselves in it.

  • DJS

    Honestly, I almost did cry watching this video. I really did hurt for him. As a young Christian, I want to set it straight that homosexuality is wrong no matter how you look at it and there’s scripture in The Word( The Bible) that backs it up. I don’t believe that someone can be “born” homosexual, but it is an acquired behaviour and environment does have a lot to play in its development. However I do believe that what that child went through and maybe is still going through is wrong, down right wrong and I commend him for not giving up. God is the God of Love, in fact He is Love and He isn’t pleased with Jonah’s treatment. Like I read in one of the comments, God hates the sin, not the sinner, and he wants the sinner to be changed. In fact He loved us so much that He sent His only son, Jesus Christ, to die for us ,even while we were yet sinners, on the cross to save us from our sins (check it out for yourself in Romans 5:8). I know that a lot of ppl may say that Christians are judgemental and even hypocritical, but truthfully no one is perfect, we do make mistakes and we don’t always properly represent God. That’s why He gave us grace but you cant access His eternal grace if you don’t have Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour. He loves you unconditionally, don’t let what you see or hear convince you otherwise. I speak from experience. What young teen girl would want to spend her Sat. night in church, I did. I did it because I love being in God’s presence and feeling His unconditional love. I want to share that love with others and I really want to impress upon you that don’t let the behaviour of some Christians give you reason not to turn to a loving God. He is consistent, never failing, awesome, holy, compassionate, faithful, He is love.

  • DJS

    to clarify “backs it up” (line 3-4) refers to scripture not supporting homosexuality.

  • DJS

    Kara what you said about homosexuality not being in Biblical time in incorrect. It was there. You could check out the account of when the angels visited Lot’s house.

  • DJS

    But honestly you can choose to believe what you want. the Word of God remains the same.

  • DJS

    no matter what anyone believes. It doesn’t change nor will it ever. It does not condone homosexuality, it speaks against it. Check my post lower down

  • Anakin McFly

    1. Yes, acts of homosexuality existed in Biblical times. It was considered merely a form of sexual excess carried out by heterosexual people, as writings from that time all indicate. The concept of sexual orientation – and by that extension, gay people who were naturally attracted to the same sex – did not exist until the 19th century.

    2. The story about the angels at Lot’s house is evidently a story about gang rape, and it says a lot about you that you equate rape with homosexuality. Question: Do you think that Sodom and Gomorrah would have been considered less evil if the angels had been female and the crowds had likewise demanded that Lot hand them over to be raped?

  • Anakin McFly

    “I want to set it straight that homosexuality is wrong no matter how you look at it and there’s scripture in The Word( The Bible) that backs it up.”

    But that’s not true. The Bible wasn’t written in English, and in the original Hebrew and Greek, it’s far from clear what they were referring to. (Among other things, the word used for ‘man’ in ‘man shall not lie with man etc’ in Leviticus didn’t actually mean ‘man’ but something like ‘male shrine prostitute’, likely as a reference to pagan sex rituals carried out in those days.)

    There is lots of biblical scholarship on this issue out there, and if you do care, I recommend you look it up. Go check out Matthew Vines for a start; he does a great summary of the material: http://www.matthewvines.com/transcript

    “I don’t believe that someone can be “born” homosexual, but it is an acquired behaviour”

    Well, they are, and it’s not a behaviour, it’s about who you fall in love with.

  • Elizabeth

    Hey DJS. God is Love. On that much, we are agreed. He doesn’t love the sinner but hate the sin. If He does, it’s probably you and me bragging more than any gay teenager. I spent my childhood crawling under the pews in a Presbyterian church while Mom practiced for choir. I was an acolyte, vacation Bible school, potlucks, sleep-away camp, the whole nine yards. I broke into the room to watch the organ pipes for kicks. I climbed on the minister’s desk to get to the bookshelf. That’s how well I knew the place.

    There are 6 Biblical passages out of 31,173 on homosexuality, and they are about the rape of servants and temple prostitutes, not loving, consensual relations by equal adults. God doesn’t hate our sin. He adores it. He’s rooting for us. It shows we’re trying to muddle through this life the best we can. That’s why He put us here: to do our very best.

  • Elizabeth

    PS, yeah, LOT is the way to go. Offer to let strangers rape your daughters instead of angels and your wife still turns into a pillar of salt.

  • Matt

    “That’s why He gave us grace but you cant access His eternal grace if you don’t have Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour. He loves you unconditionally, don’t let what you see or hear convince you otherwise.”

    DJS, I think you’re a smart young woman. Can you see the hypocrisy in those two sentences? What human being who loves someone unconditionally says, “I love you, but you must believe x, y, and z”? Why would God create people who He knows would never hear of His grace, just so He could damn them forever? How unimaginably cruel.

    Saying to another person, “I love you now, but I’ll love you even more when you’ve changed into what I want,” is not love at all. At best, it’s naive and wishful thinking that will still cause huge damage. At worst, it’s sugar-coated emotional manipulation with a poisonous center.

    Let your hurt for Jonah’s situation be your guide as you think deeper about this, not just what you’ve been taught.


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