If no one’s being hurt or exploited, God’s okay with your sexuality

Lately I’ve received a fair number of emails from people wanting me to understand all kinds of things about human sexuality. (The most popular/immediate being that pansexuals are people who are basically not yet ready to admit that they’re bisexual or gay.)

So about all that sort of thing I just want to say real quick: I don’t care.

Asexual, heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual, pansexual, polysexual, polyamory, transgender, third gender, two-spirit, genderqueer, intersex, cissexual, gets off watching Dukes of Hazzard, shouldn’t be left alone with large fruits or vegetables … I. simply. Do. Not. Care.

I don’t want anyone hurting or in any way violating or exploiting anyone else, of course. And certainly no one should ever sexualize children. Beyond that, why should I care what another person does with their affections and/or body? If everyone involved in any kind of sexual attraction or activity is a sane, capable, consenting adult, I’m out, concern-wise. That’s their business. Not mine. Not yours. Not their pastor’s. Not anyone’s pastor. Theirs. No one but the people doing it have any legitimate reason to be concerned with what they’re doing or whom they’re doing it with.

What has got to go is the tired, toxic, useless nonsense that God is concerned, that God is morally outraged by all sexual activity that isn’t between a man and woman who are straight and married to each other. That’s just so … unhelpfully immature.

God cares that people maximally love and are loved. God wants people to enjoy the emotional health that comes from being consistently well loved by consistently good people. God wants everyone to cultivate and evince a sense of honor about themselves and others.

Christ didn’t sacrifice himself on the cross so that everyone could start worrying about what everyone else was doing with their sexuality. He let himself be killed by hate so that we might at least begin to grasp how true it is that the only thing that ever matters is love.

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. If you shop at Amazon, help support John by entering the site through this link right here--Amazon will then send John 3-4% of the cost of anything you buy before exiting the site again.

 

  • Valerie

    Wonderful!

  • Cynthia Haug-West

    AMEN.

  • Barb Walters Harris via Facebook

    Amen, brother.

  • Kristi

    “Asexual, heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual, pansexual, polysexual, polyamory, transgender, third gender, two-spirit, genderqueer, intersex, gets off watching Dukes of Hazzard, shouldn’t be left alone with large fruits or vegetable … I. simply. do. not. care.”

    Well said!

  • Gary

    John…you included me. (Polyamory)

    Thanks from the bottom of my heart. One day maybe we can be accepted too.

    • Gary

      BTW John I know that you accept me. Re-read my comment and thought it might be confusing as to my intent. I just look forward to the day we can shed the church imposed sexual ethic and embrace the God imposed one. Then all of this bigoted nonsense will go away and the standard will be as God always intended…Love.

      Keep up the great posts…I have become a huge fan.

  • Tom Backus

    As a “large fruit”, I want to say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. I, like you, really don’t think God cares about where my genitals are, as long as no one is hurt, all are consenting, and all are adults. Again, THANK YOU!

  • Will

    Awesome! John, you delivered a truth that needed to be said.

    And said again and again till everybody gets it.

    But this thing about pansexual. What sexy about cookware?

    Are we talking about non-stick?

    Is there a cast-iron fetish I am unaware of?

    Are there going to be people coming out of the kitchen?
    :)

    • Diana A.

      Oh Will. You’re just so bad. (Shakes head sadly while attempting to stifle giggles.)

    • Kai

      Pantry. My friends say I came out of the pantry.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Eileen-Boyd/100000180886463 Eileen Boyd via Facebook

    Another winner!

  • Terri Antonovich

    Oh how i wish you were my Pastor and i could go to your church …do you have any brothers or sisters lol

  • Allie

    “God wants everyone to have a sense of honor about themselves and others.”

    Love this, spot on.

  • Don Rappe

    Amen!

  • http://elfinragdoll.facebook.com Heather Halloran

    Pff, people seriously said pansexuality was someone not ready to admit they’re gay/bi? Lolwut. Either way, thank you so much for this post (and for including polyamory! We get left out so often).

    • LSS

      Can i ask, is it PAN to emphasize that there are more than 2 genders of people that you could be attracted to? That would be my logic but i am not in that particular situation so i wanted to know from someone closer to it. Oh wait maybe when you said “us” it was for polyamory. Well, anyway. I ask this in case you can answer it.

      • Driftwood2K11

        I love what you’ve said John. I completely agree that it doesn’t matter one’s sexuality. I do think, however, that identification can help in the long run. I knew that for years I was confused until I was able to put a fine point on my sexuality. For a short while, I thought I might be gay. Then I was certain I was straight. Then I thought “bisexual?”, but the way I saw people didn’t really fit any of those definitions, because it wasn’t that I was seeking out one gender over another, or even looking at gender itself. Rather, I was ignoring gender.

        When I held a deep attraction for someone, their gender didn’t play into it. That’s not to say I didn’t notice the sexual side of the coin, just that the gender aspects of it held no sway with me. For me, there were no boundaries like that. Throughout my life I have been attracted to men and women and haven’t given two jots to their gender, but I would always focus on their personality. For me, that was the hook.

        My attraction includes men, women, intersexed, and androgynous. My attraction pans across the gender spectrum without being confined to one or two genders. True, we tend to think of people as being male or female, but human sexuality is so fluid that I’m not certain two is adequate. There are at least three, and I personally feel “androgynous” would make a 4th, but that’s just my opinion.

        Still, I am always glad when you make a point to discuss such things. I know someone’s orientation doesn’t mean a hill of beans to one such as yourself, but for those of us who don’t fall under the “straight and narrow” term of sexuality the church has pushed for so long, it is welcome relief. I may not be a Christian, but I was at one time, and the pressure was immense. I was terrified that somehow someone in my group of family and friends would find out that I wasn’t “normal”. Where I live, being anything other than a “red blooded American male” is enough to get you in trouble. So your words are a soothing balm in a sea of painful uncertainty.

        You, sir, are a credit to the faith.

  • Otter

    Quoting Ted Alexandro:

    “Some people say that homosexuality is a sin. It!s not. God is perfectly cool with it, and he feels the same way about homosexuality as he does about heterosexuality. Now you might say ” woo,woo, slow down, you move too fast! How could you have the audacity, the temerity to speak on behalf of God?” Exactly. That’s an excellent point and I pray that you remember it.”

    • Diana A.

      I like this. Thank you, Otter!

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

      Why don’t you summarize that long essay for us, Gregory? What’s the core thought it’s expressing?

      • Gregory

        Sorry, I didn’t click the “subscribe’ option and so got no updates.

        A couple of the comments below sum up the essence pretty well, and you touch on it on your most recent post.

        Given the comment in your most recent post I have to ask, are you for or against contraception?

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

          Depends on the couple/person in question. Don’t want to get pregnant? Use contraception. Do? Don’t. Simple.

          • Gregory

            Well then how can you argue against casual sex? If I love someone and want to have sex with them you say go for it… but under what conditions? Only if we’re married? As long as we’re in a committed relationship? If so, how would you define a “committed relationship? How long must a relationship last before you’d consider it committed?

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

            I didn’t argue for or against casual sex: I denied its existence. And I never said that if you love someone and want to have sex with them, you should “go for it.” If you’re going to question things I’ve said, at least get right the things I’ve said. But I get it. You think all sex outside of marriage is a sin against God–and that the unrepentant gay person is destined for hell, etc. And if you have found that kind of understanding of God to be beneficial in your life and the lives of those around you, then … then you’re not looking carefully enough at either. Because that’s a theology rooted in fear and anger. And that’s always toxic.

          • Gregory

            Well now we’re even. I put words in your mouth and now you’ve put them in mine. I never said anything about hell or any other punishment; I just asked you a question.

            You commented “And there’s no such thing as casual sex—just like there’s no such thing as casual skydiving or casual bullfighting. If you’re in a little, you’re in all the way (um … so to speak).”

            What do you mean by ” If you’re in a little, you’re in all the way”? I understood that to mean “you’d better be committed! Apparently I was wrong… What do you mean by that?

          • Diana A.

            I think John was saying that being casual about sex, like being casual about other potentially dangerous activities (such as skydiving or bullfighting), could lead to a great deal of trouble and so wise people would not be casual under those circumstances. Of course, I could be wrong.

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

            Diana: very good. yes. plus, automatically all-absorbingly intense.

    • Drew

      Huh?

      Abortion is wrong so sex is only meant for procreation?

      • Lymis

        How about “I’m ticked at God for making it so I have to take responsibility for my own choices?”

    • Brena

      I do not understand what this has to do with who one falls in love with.

      • Drew

        Ditto. Just trying to figure out what Gregory was driving at.

    • Diana A.

      Okay. So I read the link you provided and then I read the original essay. And here’s my bottom line: it’s still not the right of one human being to tell another human being how to live his/her life. In other words, I’m still pro-choice (which is to say, in favor of keeping abortion legal) and I’m still pro-contraception. I’m also in favor of minding one’s own business when it comes to other people’s sex lives instead of Christians (or anyone else) acting like the Sex Police. Any questions?

      • Otter

        Haha! I like this, Diane,

        Wish more people had the humility to butt out!

  • Roger Loveday via Facebook

    Excellent, John! I totally agree with you. I would have shared, but there is no SHARE button.

  • Barbara A.T. Wilson via Facebook

    Some days, sometimes, it seems as if he died in vain.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tom-Weller/1719051091 Tom Weller via Facebook

    this comment is hereby stolen and reposted! Thanks John, as always.

  • Becky

    I love this line! “God wants everyone to have a sense of honor about themselves and others.” I am in seminary, and was reading a book for class about honor and shame in the New Testament era. I think you nailed it! Honor, a.k.a. self-respect! Be fully who you are and not ashamed of it, and don’t allow others to put their shame on you. I also believe that God doesn’t care as much as we think he does. The last two posts have helped me further see that I need to fully embrace and appreciate that one of my daughters identifies as asexual, and I need to support her in that. Thanks, John! I really appreciate all of your thoughts.

  • http://www.facebook.com/beth.s.archer Beth Sanders Archer via Facebook

    @ Roger Loveday – you can open the article and share it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rick-Smith/1047193902 Rick Smith via Facebook

    This was a GREAT article that I will repsot to all friends & family both on FB & in emails! THANK YOU.

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

    As always, a spot-on and wonderfully written article! Thanks, John!

  • Karen

    THANK YOU!! I have long asked why it mattered what anyone does in their bedroom (or living room, or kitchen, or… ). I don’t base my acceptance of heterosexual people based on which position is their favorite or whether they like to role play or not or anything else for that matter. Why should it matter then what anyone else does unless, of course, it is hurting someone that doesn’t want to be hurt?

    While I no longer am a regular church attendee (for a wide variety of reasons), I still have many friends that are so I have a question: How do YOU respond to “Christians” who will read this post and then argue, from their Bible, that God DOES care and that’s why he calls homosexuality an abomination? What do YOU say when a “Christian” tells you that there is no way that a person is “born this way” because God would not willingly create such an abomination and that anything other than heterosexuality is a choice that can be un-chosen? I wrestle with the right answer to these as I talk to people that I love but that I feel are so misguided in their thinking.

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

      Well, the way I personally handle that question is to write a book about it, so that I always have ready an answer that takes those question with the seriousness they demand.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Eileen-Douglas/1676191897 Eileen Douglas via Facebook

    I performed a Holy Union ceremony today, and the couple could not have been more in love or more seriously committed to one another. I say to the government, “Stay out of my womb, out of my bedroom, and out of my marriage bed.”

  • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

    I think it’s fair to raise the question as to whether one’s pursuit of purely hedonistic pleasure — be in sexual, aural, olfactory, intellectual, whatever — is at the expense of healthy interpersonal relationships with others & a spiritual relationship w/God. This applies to people who play Angry Birds too much as well as those who spend all their time knocking boots.

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

      That is a good question; it’s always good to consider the nature of excess. But there’s nothing in this conversation—in the post itself, I mean—that logically prompts that consideration. Unless I missed something, I’ve nowhere referenced anything at all having anything at all to do with the pursuit of purely hedonistic pleasure.

  • http://www.facebook.com/julian.acosta1 Julian Acosta via Facebook

    Ain’t it weird how much hate is generated in his name…

  • Mac

    I am sorry, but I must object. In Biblical times, homosexuality was the norm, but, this norm ended up hurting people. Men would go out and “have fun” with each other, or even young boys. Then, so as to keep their bloodlines going, they would then come home and procreate with their wives, making her nothing but an heir-making machine.

    Then, you add the fact that Christ lives within you. He made marriage and sex holy, but humanity, like it always does, made it perverse and nasty. When you become one through sex outside of holy marriage between man and wife, you are forcing Christ to do the same. It forces the Holy One into something completely unholy, which is why God hates sexual sin. If you don’t believe me, look up Romans in the New Testament. There is no wishywashiness about it there: Do not sleep with a man as you would a woman.

    I have many friends, and even family who are lesbian, bi, or gay. And I look at them, and I know that they are hurting, just the same as I feel about any of my straight friends who throw themselves at guys to get love in all the wrong places. God does not say no to sex outside of marriage because he is unfeeling and tyrannical. He does so because he knows what is best. I mean, think about it. How many people do you know have regrets about having sex only within the confines of holy marriage? And how many people have regrets about ostracising friends and family, becoming pregnant, getting diseases, or simply being hurt emotionally from sex outside of marriage?

    Think about it

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

      Um. You lost me at “In Biblical times, homosexuality was the norm.”

      • LSS

        They lost me with the bit about where Christ was in the semen. I think. Can i even say that? It’s kinda creepy.

    • Sunny

      I have major regrets about the married sex I’ve had. Up until a year ago, I’d only had sex with one man, whom I was married to. It was the most horrible, degrading experience ever. And it took me years to figure out how to say no to it since it was within marriage and therefore “holy and blessed.” Breaking away from that, getting divorced, was the most amazing and spiritual experience of my life. Finding my way to the place where I realized that God loved me more than the institution of marriage and that he didn’t want me to have to keep dealing with that. For the last year, I’ve been in a relationship with a man who is amazing and kind and wonderful. I cannot believe that our sex is “bad” and the sex I had when I was married was “good,” simply because of the married/unmarried difference.

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

        All the sex with your husband was horrible and degrading? That’s so … unbelievably bad. Why is that? What was going on there?

        • Sunny

          Well, there were times that were better than others, but it was never good. He was emotionally abusive, which didn’t help the sex, but he was also sexually abusive. I was very inexperienced and innocent before I met him. And then we got all kinds of “Christian” advice that told wives to always say yes to their husbands sexually and that whatever happened in marriage was okay. So I didn’t know that I was allowed to call it rape because we were married. But, starting from the day after we were married, if he wanted something sexually, he just took it, no matter what I wanted. And, because we were married and I was supposed to cooperate, he didn’t feel he needed to bother about my part in the experience.

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

            Oh, gosh. That is just so horrid. Unbelievable. Needless to say, I’m sure glad you’re out of there. Awful, awful, awful. Thank God you survived it. And you were certainly right to put “Christian” in quotes there. Your husband was a Christian like a raging werewolf is a sleeping hamster.

          • http://www.barnmaven.com Barnmaven

            I hear stories like this and I want to go bitch-slap someone. Its SO NOT Christian to tell a woman that its OK for her husband to abuse her sexually, verbally, emotionally or otherwise. Sunny, I’m so happy for you that you got out of that horrible marriage and that you’ve found someone wonderful. I bet there’s a whole lot of healing going on for you these days. :)

          • BC

            I am so unbelievably sorry Sunny, but I am so GLAD that you got OUT! Yes, I believe it was CHRIST who said on more than one occasion something similar to “Take up your mat and go.” Countless times he cared for healing first, law second. Thank GOD for Him. Bless you for sharing, and enjoy every SECOND of the freedom that He’s given you the strength to obtain! Wahoo!

    • andie

      Sex within a marriage can certainly be emotionally regrettable.

  • Dan Oberman via Facebook

    actually, he died so we could be forgiven of our sins and live new lives

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

      Right. Because of how much he loves us.

  • Linnea

    Wonderful as always, John. You have a way of cutting through all the BS and getting right to the heart of the matter. This is what keeps me coming back to your blog on a regular basis. Thank you.

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

      Thank you, Linnea. I really appreciate this.

  • Andrea Norman via Facebook

    There’s not just one reason. Or think of it this way: we’re forgiven the sin of forgetting that love is a better guide than hatred.

  • Andrea Claassen

    John, I love how you express yourself. Clearly, concisely, beautifully. Of course, what I love most is that you are able to dissect and debunk the arguments of the anti-anyone-who-doesn’t-fit-this-box camp, exposing them for the meanie-heads they are. (And now you know why I’m not a writer.) Thank you again for proving that Christian and sensical do not have to be diametrically opposed, and for putting love for your fellow man above concerns for what’s going on in his pants.

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

      Using “meanie-heads” MAKES you a writer. (And thank you very much.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mad-Maddie-Mendelsson/783945797 Mad Maddie Mendelsson via Facebook

    I think so, too, John Shore.

  • Moraine L

    I saved myself for marriage to my “godly Christian minister” husband, since sex was only good when it occurred within the context of the marriage bed, and then discovered that sex was horrible.

    What he wanted, he got. No matter how I felt. No matter what I thought. I was made to feel like a terrible Christian woman if I wouldn’t dress up in the kinky clothes he ordered me to wear (which, you know, might have even been kind of fun, IF I’d have ever been given a choice in the matter…but knowing that you are with someone who *orders* you to do something sexual, knowing that you won’t like it, just kinda kills the sex drive).

    As a person who desired to please God above all else, I made sure my husband was sexually satisfied because, after all, that was a huge part of my job as a wife. Promise Keepers told their men that they needed to be sexually satisfied every 24 hours. The marriage books I read said that if my husband looked at porn or at other women, it was *my* fault for not meeting his needs. So I met his needs. And I pretended that I didn’t hate it.

    I am no longer married to that man, having committed the ultimate horrible sin of “divorce” that caused my former church community to turn away from me in shock and dismay. After all, by filing for divorce, I proved that I was in sin. (Not him. He couldn’t be in sin. Such a godly minister, always quoting Bible verses and such. No way *he* could be in sin! No way he could be an alcoholic. No way he could be abusive to his wife. No way he could have a personality disorder. Because he knows theology and can quote Bible verses every time he talks. And he can sound SO sincere! He has to be a man of God).

    It took me a few years to put the pieces of my life together after that marriage ended. He had broken me down in so many ways. I forgot who I was. I felt like a shell of my former self. There would be a lot of healing. A lot of discovery. The path back to wholeness is a journey.

    Let me just say that now I love my sex life. I LOVE it! I enjoy a healthy loving sexual relationship with my wonderful lovers. Yes. Lovers. Not what I was expecting, not what I was looking for, not what I ever thought I would do…but you can’t help who you fall in love with.

    My two best friends and I have a wonderful home life, solid, stable, tons of laughing, no faking ever. It’s actually the REAL kind of happy, and we have a whole lot of love. We’ve had that right from the start. We obviously keep pretty private about our polyamorous relationship, because it’s just not considered normal (even thought it’s been built from the first moment on the qualities of faithfulness, honesty, communication, equality, gentleness, outright joy, and absolutely overflowing love). Our kids have the best home ever. We have so much fun in our big happy family! We regularly shook our heads in wonder, when we first embarked on this unexpected adventure, shocked at how wonderful and happy it was. Exactly the opposite of everything our religious training had said it would be.

    I sometimes think about how absolutely strange it is, that my horrible sex life with my abusive husband was “righteous,” but my happy and healthy sex life with my loving life partners is considered “sinful.” Really?

    So this is my moment to say thank you, John Shore, for mentioning polyamory in your post. I didn’t even know what that was, until I was in it (as I certainly wasn’t looking for it, nor did I have any clue that I could be bisexual, nor did I have any clue that I could love both a man AND a woman with all my heart. I never knew that love could ever be bigger than two).

    It’s sad to realize that the world I live in will probably not ever be okay with people having more than two partners. Even though the Bible that people supposedly get their “one man, one woman” marriage argument from is full of marriages made with multiple partners!

    Thank you for mentioning us. We are out there. We are very quiet. It’s not safe to raise our heads up yet. But we are here. Thank you.

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

      This is fascinating, Moraine. Thanks for sharing your story with us. (I’d like to learn more, actually. It’d be fun to maybe, like, interview you for the blog, you know, and find out how that really works for people—or at least for you and your friends. It’d be so interesting, to learn what the sort of life that people typically consider ideal—or at least the norm—for two looks/feels like when it’s lived by three. Would you be up for sharing more?)

      • Moraine L

        Yes… I will nervously say yes. :-)

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

          Cool. Drop me a line via the “Contact Me” tab at the top of my blogsite here. Looking forward to hearing from you.

          • Gary

            Hey John, if you’d like additional perspectives just let me know. We’d be happy to share.

          • Moraine L

            Thank you, Gary, for also speaking up. It’s not for everybody. Not at all. But I feel so lucky to have found my loves.

          • Gary

            As do we. Thanks for the reply…it is always nice to meet like minded people.

          • Jon

            Gary, Moraine, is there any way that I contact you guys and ask you some questions from the Christian perspective regarding polyamory? I’d like not to disclose my situation publicly at the moment.

    • Gary

      Moraine, what a compelling story. It is sad that WE will likely not be accepted by the world as we are seen as deviants. The story of your “righteous” sex life with the abusive preacher I’m sure resonates with many. It is a great example of the bizarre and unholy problems that result from the twisted biblical teaching so prevalent in our churches today.

      Yes I said WE. That’s right…my wife and I are poly. We were both raised in very fundamental churches and have served in the same for most of our lives. I have taught as a bible teacher, and for a while as an interim preacher, all those same fundamental views pertaining to sexuality. Needless to say…we never could have imagined that we would find ourselves not only open to but actually embracing a poly relationship.

      Our story is different than yours…but the love, trust, honesty, and beauty of genuine love is very much the same as you describe. My wife and I have been married for nearly 30 years now and our marriage, though always strong, is incredible. More than 5 years ago we entered into a poly relationship with our best friends who themselves have been married for nearly 20 years. Ours is most definitely a closed and exclusive relationship. We have no desire for any type of swinging or open arrangements. Though we do not all live together…we do dream of that possibility one day.

      We are all heterosexual…but I totally understand what you mean when you say you had no clue you could love more than one person with all your heart. I have always been taught by the church that to love another you have to love your present spouse less. I don’t know where this idea comes from but I can say that it is absolutely false. (Do you love your first child less when you have your second?) For my wife and I…we literally thrill in giving each other this gift of love for another. What a joy it has been to watch each other fall in love all over again and to share in the experience. Our choice to blend our marriages did not arise out of dissatisfaction with each other (quite the opposite in fact) but simply out of the rather unexpected reality that we had fallen in love with our friends that were already very dear to us. Through ups and downs like every relationship has…these last 5 years have been simply amazing.

      You are right Moraine…we are out there, though understandably very quiet. For us it most definitely is not safe to raise our heads up yet…and probably won’t be for many years to come. But we relish the love we share and thank God for it constantly.

      Yes John…thanks for the mention. We are here. And God blesses our union every day as we continue to draw strength and love from it.

      • LSS

        just wondering, as 2 hetero couples like that, what do you feel towards the other guy? what does your original wife feel towards the other woman? of course not in the “Other Woman” sense or this totally wouldn’t work out.

        did a couple fall in love with a couple, or did you fall in love with only the one of the opposite gender that you are attracted to?

        sorry this is way too personal a set of questions, but i am just curious how that works.

        • Gary

          Not sure how it works in general…but I can share with you how it worked in our case.

          First we were good traditional friends…nothing more. Eventually we became very close to the point of considering them to be our best friends…and vice versa. Much like healthy romantic love between a traditional couple, this was the foundation for stronger feelings that developed. Fortunately for us…it was something all four of us felt, otherwise nothing further would have come of it. I love my wife immensely and would never betray her. If she was not 100% in agreement with our poly relationship…we would not be in it. The same sentiment exists with our lovers and their marriage. We both have long standing marriages and understand the sacrifices necessary to make a relationship work. I don’t know how common it is to find such a compatible quad but I suspect it is extremely rare. This is one of the reasons why we believe we are very blessed. Balance in our relationship is one of our strengths. This is not to say that a triad is not as good…just that we find our situation to be perfect for us.

          Now, as to your question of he and I…or my wife and her. He has been one I have considered my best male friend for a long time. I trust him completely or he would not be with my wife. Between us there is no competition for their love. In fact I truly take great delight in watching them fall and be in love with each other. We are both straight heterosexuals so there is no romantic component of our friendship…but obviously we are closer than most friends…grin. Our wives consider themselves sisters in spirit and closer than either of their flesh and blood sisters are. In fact when one pair within the quad have a squabble (and not just within one of the legal marriages) the two remaining partners have been very instrumental in helping the squabbling couple work through it. We literally have an additional support system in place that most couples do not have.

          We have been close friends for 10+ years and intimate for 5+ of those years. We did not rush into it (or even look for it) and we have weathered the usual pitfalls. One thing that helps us is that none of us are what we would call “players”. That is we did not go looking for additional sexual partners simply for the experience of it. I personally don’t think genuine poly is about that.

          What we have is a gift…to us and for each other. Our marriages are stronger because of it. I am not saying it was any kind of solution for either marriage…I don’t believe a problematic marriage can handle poly.

          Anyway…not sure if I answered your questions fully or not but thanks for asking them.

    • Hannah Grace

      Thanks so incredibly much for you comment. I’m not poly, but I’m going to try really hard to make the world/church a safe and accepting place for you and your loved ones. Thanks thanks thanks for your comment, which really helped me know how to deal with my friends and loved ones who are. Because I was struggling. Really, haha, can’t thank you enough.

    • Richie

      The story of your “Christian marriage” actually left me in tears, as did your recounting of what was expected of you and many other woman in such relationships. I am 54 and the victim of an alcoholic single Mom who was very physically and sexually abusive. I am at a place in life where I am just now beginning to understand how my experiences have formed me and am working on accepting and loving the me that I am. I consider myself a survivor and actually one of the lucky ones because I was able to successfully help raise my six kids in a safe home with no abuse or alcoholism, and mostly enjoy a vanilla marriage with my HS sweetheart for more than 27 years before she finally had the courage to tell me that she felt that she couldn’t deal with some of the parts of my sexuality that I had shared with her and asked me to leave. Devastated and lonely I quickly found an extremely dysfunctional family situation where I could “ride in on my white horse” and fix everything…stupid. Twelve years years and many tears later I have been separated for the past year and a half and half of the past five years. I am trying very hard to listen for His still small voice to help me understand how I am supposed to actualize my new found understanding of my sexuality and my needs. Finally, as much as I cried at the beginning of your story I rejoiced for the life that you have found. I wish you safety, security, laughter, and unending love and joy! r.

    • Bri K

      Hi, I just read your interview and was shocked in a good way. Almost every detail resembles my partner’s and my relationship. My best friend left an abusive relationship, came to live with my fiance and I and we all kind of fell into polyamory realizing we were in love with each other.

      It’s still very new and I have been having exactly the thoughts you said your friend had and reading your interview was like a godsend. Thank-you! You give me hope for our future together and because of you I believe we can make it, I just need to follow your advice. Thank-you so much.

      Bri

  • Jenna

    Props to you, John. You’ve done your Gender and Sexuality Studies homework. That is WAY more than many straight people I know can say.

    As a straight person, you have the privilege to never have to take a hard look at your sexuality or anyone else’s, if you choose. You could simply surround yourself with like-minded straight people pretty easily, and that would be it. No one would question you.

    But you didn’t. You put yourself out there. And give hope to humankind, straight and otherwise :).

  • redlo

    The Bible expressly and explicitly says that sex is to be between a man and woman only and to be engaged in within the confines of marriage only.

    • redlo

      …so I guess God thinks not only ‘you’, but others, will be hurt by anything other than the above, or he wouldn’t have said sex is only between a man and woman and limited to the confines of marriage between a man and a woman.

      • Gary

        You are free to live in ignorance…just don’t expect us all to indulge your delusions.

    • Gary

      Don’t be ridiculous. It says no such thing.

    • http://luwandi.wordpress.com beth luwandi

      Call me stupid, but I’ve studied the Bible for years and I’m hard-pressed to find a directive stating the above. The only place I see anything close is in early church years when setting parameters for who might serve as deacons. “Let him be husband to one wife,” because everyone knows a bigger family means more responsibilities….? Song of Solomon, an explicit tribute to sexual love… perhaps a metaphor for God’s love for his Bride….says not to waken desire before the appointed time. It doesn’t say “wait until you are married.” Nowhere do I see these two getting married in the course of the wait. And Solomon had how many women and concubines? David, a man after God’s own heart… several wives. Still loved by God. Was Peter a good husband? I don’t know! Paul… my question about him is did he love well at all?

  • http://drevets.com Emily Drevets

    YES!

    This makes so much sense, which is incredible. I find it amazing that people still believe that God is limited to a first century understanding of sexuality.

  • katherine

    God does care. Christ died for your sins. That’s statement of your is so untrue. Its not biblical. Nowhere in Gods word does he say that ,He does say the opposite. Its a shame u lie to people.

    • Gary

      Yikes. Who are you addressing and why are you calling them a liar?

      • vj

        I’m guessing she’s addressing John and objecting to the title of the blog post? I expect katherine and redlo share a belief that the Bible *explicitly* limits sexual activity to one man, one woman….

        [And, while I do believe that there are many reasons why it may be better for sex to be reserved for marriage (however one may choose to define marriage), clear Biblical instruction to that effect is not one of those reasons.]

        • Gary

          I kind of figured she was addressing John as well. When people come along and claim some not cited biblical authority (which does not exist btw) for calling someone a liar…I always know I am dealing with closed minded fundy. My statement was in hopes of getting her to step up to the plate as it were rather than simply do an unsubstantiated drive by attack.

          I agree with you concerning sexuality. There is much reason to be cautious with it and treat it with respect. For many…that may mean waiting til marriage. For others clearly not. Each must work out in their heart between themselves and God what is appropriate for them.

          Though my wife and I are indeed in a poly relationship with another couple…neither of us have ever had sex with anyone outside of our committed and closed relationship. This statement has been openly challenged by many who simply cannot believe that “people like us” could have any values…LOL.

  • Anon

    You mentioned asexuality! Thanks for that John.

  • Joshua

    One of the things that I find most concerning is that you often don’t go to the Bible when you are writing about some of the more “difficult” issues. I would sincerely be interested to see where you get the basis on issues of sexuality. I don’t remember seeing where in the bible God says homosexuality, bestiality, bisexuality,etc. is alright. I even remember specific examples in the old AND new testament that speak against what you’re saying here.

    Too often we make God into who we want him to be. To make ourselves and others feel better. Is it possible that this is what’s happening here?

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

      Joshua: is it possible that by conflating homosexuality with bestiality you’ve proven that you’re a complete asshole?

      • Joshua

        No confusion here. I know the difference between having sex with an animal and having sex with a pleasure driven, self-pleasing human being.

        It’s even more interesting to me that you lash out at me instead of show me where in scripture God even says homosexuality is okay. (throw bestiality out the window right now, that will be a whole different subject).

        I think I may have proven my point, and perhaps struck a nerve?

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

          Yes. Your penetrating intelligence has disarmed me.

          • Joshua

            You choose sarcasm over any sort of scripture, facts, personal opinion, etc. That’s says a lot about your character.

            I think I’ll go play with your devout followers.

            I’ll leave you with this scripture. No it’s not about sexuality, but it IS about what is happening here.

            2nd Timothy 4:1-4;

            In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

          • Gary

            Physician heal thyself.

          • DR

            It’s so odd to see someone like Joshua attack someone’s character and then say he’s going to go “play” with other people – what a good and loving example of behavior that he’s learned from “going to the Scriptures”, apparently!

            The disconnect from how creepy he’s being as he challenges unloving behavior and then gleefully talks about going and doing some of his own – the lack of his self-awareness – is so unsettling. If guys like this didn’t do so much damage I’d feel sorry for them (I already do). Thank God we’re closing this chapter on Christianity once and for all so we can help these people see how sick they are.

        • DR

          Joshua, the illusion that you’re either a) right or b) being spiritually attacked when you’re both not right and being a complete asshole is fully engaged. Have the courage to actually listen to the conversation instead of falling back on what you’re clinging to. You’re not focused on God’s Truth – you’re scared of what being *wrong* about God’s Truth will mean for the rest of what you believe. You do get to be wrong about this and right about Jesus. But decide quickly because those of us who have to clean up the emotional and spiritual mess you make with these kinds of comments are losing our patience. So learn. Do it quickly. Thanks.

          • Joshua

            I didn’t one say that I was being spiritually attacked, did I? Mr. Shore, after I asked him to show where in scripture God says homosexuality is okay, he proceeded to call me an asshole. That’s not spiritual attack, that was nothing but the words of a hurting man who had nowhere else to turn.

            I have very much listened to the conversation. I read Mr. Shore’s blog, and 10 pages of comments, and still know exactly how I feel about the situation. There is no fear here my friend, I am just not taking something at face value. I don’t know what “emotional and spiritual mess” I am going to create. Is telling people the truth about what God says about all forms of sexuality. Because ultimately that is what this whole conversation is about. I am not bashing homosexuality in any way. I have a gay brother who I love very much, but I’ll be the first in line to tell him his view of sexuality in general is not biblical.

            The truth can hurt, especially when it causes us to examine ourselves and our sins. Trust me, I know. I am a broken person just as much as the next. I have had my struggles with sin in many ways, shapes and forms. I don’t claim to be perfect, but I will go so far as to say that I know what the bible says about sexuality.

          • Gary

            That’s because you are an asshole. With a brother who is gay you damn well should have learned more sensitivity than to compare your brother to one who engages in bestiality.

            The truth does hurt Joshua. And the truth is that you are a bigot and your willingness to attack with words that HURT is why you were and are called an asshole.

            You want to know what John believes, read his book. If you want to know why we believe the bible does not condemn homosexuality then get off your lazy ass and at least do a little research into the debate…for your brother’s sake. (Does it sound like I am pissed? I am!)

            And save the false humility bit for the blind guides (you know…the ones who say what your itching ears want to hear) you listen to…it’s tough to pull it off in here when you come in spewing judgment and condemnation.

          • Joshua

            Sexuality is sexuality. Perversion is perversion. I’m tired of you trying to make the the bad guy, or you trying to make me out to be the bad guy. I have not spewed one BIT of judgement or condemnation, that is what YOU have received it as because you don’t want to admit you might be the one who is wrong. You can be pissed all you want my friend, but that doesn’t really scare me. I gave you scripture, I have more where that came from. SHOW ME YOUR PROOF. SHOW ME WHERE GOD SAYS IT’S OKAY.

          • DR

            You already *were* the bad guy when you posted. And are you actually suggesting you’ve not judged anyone? Did you happen to read your comments about John’s character?

            You are now the victim of people being “mean” to you. You’ve moved yourself into a position where being countered and called on your bad behavior here means you’re being “victimized” which will give you permission to leave the conversation because you can’t face being held accountable to your actual words and the damage you expressing them does to the GLBT community.

            It’s scary – we’ve all been there. You’re not here for the reasons you think you are. You’re not here to teach – you’re here to learn. Scary, I know, but you’ll not be enabled here.

          • DR

            I realize that in your mind, your words are actually who you are and who you believe others experience you as being and in a way – at least on the internet – you’re right. For example you just attacked John’s character while then in the same sentence, say you’re going to go “play” with others who read this blog. I guess you learned that kind of loving behavior from “telling the truth about what God says”, right? You’re a delight (though I’m sure you’ll have an excuse for it.)

            I pray that the Holy Spirit will intervene in your life and help you realize how terrified you are. In the meantime, I pray you never come into contact with kids who are gay. I pray that they are protected from you (and your brother as well).

          • Joshua

            I wasn’t talking about the “others” who read this blog, I was talking about the two that came to stand up to his defense. When he had nothing else to say but call me an asshole and then use sarcasm as a defense, you two came to his side. That is what I meant. You can say I am a hateful person, but then again who isn’t? I don’t hate gays, I hate the sin. Just like you may not hate me, but you hate what I view.

          • DR

            The specifics of who don’t change a thing about what I posted. You were the bully here – the aggressor – and bullies make great victims and you demonstrated a really creepy part of you who wants to go “play” with other people are you actually attack a guy’s character who’s helped literally hundreds of abuse victims heal and find peace – even their faith again. It’s so gross.

            Step back and apologize for your arrogant, aggressive initial posting. Be willing to acknowledge that they way you communicate with someone you disagree with was totally out of line. Or don’t. who cares. This isn’t you being attacked, this is you being called out for being a jerk If you can’t handle it then that’s your own issue. You’re not going to be enabled here.

          • DR

            PS – I don’t blame John a bit for not wanting to deal with you. The amount of energy he has to expend on the truly hurting and vulnerable people who are opening their hearts and pouring out their agony to him is one thing – to have to deal with people like you who come and attack him and challenge him to provide an argument that is acceptable on your own terms? With all due respect – who are you, anyway? You’re just some dude on the internet and this is a guy who’s investing hours in helping people heal. And you have the arrogance to actually talk about his *character*? What an arrogant little creep you are. You must be miserable.

        • Gary

          Joshua,

          Clearly you have not even begun the biblical research into this issue or you would have come in with substance rather than fundy talking points. I recommend you avoid telling us what you THINK the bible says. You are wrong about the bible…but you have a lot of research to do before you even comprehend the issues. Instead you come in guns a blazing with some truly ignorant (and deeply offensive) statement relating homosexuality to beastiality. It is then that you reveal yourself to be the man spoken of in the famous quote…

          “Tis better to be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.

          • Joshua

            Gary,

            I definitely have begun my research on this issue. Like I told “DR”, I have a gay brother, which is the main reason I even began to try and figure out what God and the bible says about sexuality as a whole. (Again, I think you’re getting hung up on the fact that I used homosexuality and bestiality in the same sentence. This is a discussion of sexuality in general, not just about homosexuality) I DO know what the bible says, and I DO comprehend the issues.

            It seems you’re wanting to see some scripture come from my part. In all honesty, I was just waiting for someone to ask. I wanted to see if there would be any sort of scripture saying that God DOESN’T care about sexuality. Ask and you shall receive.

            Leviticus 18: 22-25 “Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable. “Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion.”Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants.

            (Interesting that homosexuality and bestiality are talked about together, looks like I wasn’t too far off)

            Now, this is Old testament. Jesus has come and died for our sins, so now everything is permissible, right?

            Romans 1:26-27

            For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper

            New testament speaks against it too.

            If I am wrong, PLEASE, show me where in scripture God says that he doesn’t care about your sexuality. I will be the first to admit I am wrong when there is proof I am. But I am not going to go on a feeling. I need proof.

            Again, please do not take this as an attack on homosexuality. I’m just trying to show how God defines SEXUALITY as a whole.

          • DR

            Research isn’t having a gay brother, dear. Try researching how the expression of your belief is driving gay kids to suicide. We have a huge community of people who are barely surviving your theology – most of us are focused on their emotional and spiritual well being.

            You and I both know that you’re not going to consider that though. Too much for you too lose – too frightening. You know it’s true even though you may not be able to acknowledge it.

          • Joshua

            Who is scared?

            It’s not people like me who are causing these kids to commit suicide, it’s the kids their own age who tell them that they aren’t good enough because they are gay. It’s the kids that will beat them up, physically and emotionally hurt them, that drive them to that. You have no idea who I am outside of these few posts. While I admit that sure, maybe it makes me out to be the bad guy, and without realizing it at the time, maybe I was trying to pick a fight.

            I believe Jesus loves us the same, and I strive to do my best to love like Jesus would. But at the same time what I believe about our sexuality stands. If that makes me a bad person for standing on my views of God and the bible, then so be it.

          • DR

            You are absolutely responsible for gay kids who commit suicide upon being told that they are eternally condemned by God for something they cannot hope to change. There is no one telling them that theology but you. That you don’t *want* to be responsible for it or you refuse to accept responsibility for it doesn’t change the reality of the impact of your actions.

            And yes, I think we’ve all seen you “strive” to love Jesus as you personally attack the author of this blog because his way of using Scripture isn’t to your liking. And then your desire to go “play” with others who disagree with you! That’s really loving Jesus, what a great example of that love in action you’re providing.

            Keep going, Joshua – I’ll never leave. I’ll never stop countering you. I’ll never stop reminding you of the damage you’re doing.

          • DR

            And I know, Joshua – you were picking a fight because you had a good reason to. Right? I’m sure you’ll give yourself an out for that.

          • Joshua

            You’re making this out to be ONLY about me DR. About how I am the bully, about how I don’t love, etc. At least I admitted I possibly came here looking to pick a fight, whether I realized it at the time or not.

            But look at the words you have been sending my way. You’re telling me I am causing kids to kill themselves. You’re telling me I am not loving well. How is that showing ME Jesus? If I need Jesus so desperately, why don’t you show him to me?

          • DR

            Admitting it isn’t the same thing as apologizing it. And you’re not a victim of anyone, you’re not being bullied or ganged up on. You’re simply not being enabled and it’s likely the first time that’s happened in a while. You’re being told the truth.

            And I’m telling you the facts that are well-documented. Gay kids kill themselves because of the theology that you’re putting out in the world that their sin is going to send them to hell. They can’t stop being gay and so they kill themselves because they can’t bear the burdens you put on them. If you want to have that belief and express it? More power to you. But I will hold you accountable to the impact.

          • DR

            Joshua, you find the Jesus you seek.

          • Gary

            I believe your words were…”the truth hurts”?

            Jesus also rebuked very harshly those who spoke and acted like you. Perhaps the Jesus we are showing you IS the Jesus you need to see. The one who would stand in opposition to the aggressors who would hurt His children.

          • Gary

            Yes it does make you a bad person…when those views marginalize and discriminate an entire class of people. Your “views of God and the bible” are destructive both to those you harm AND to the true message of the Gospel. Just like those before you who’s “views of God and the bible” were used to justify slavery and racial bigotry, your views must be challenged.

          • DR

            Joshua just admitted that he came here to pick a fight. What an example of a loving Christian man. Ugh.

          • DR

            “If that makes me a bad person for standing on my views of God and the bible, then so be it.”

            And there is the “I’m being spiritually attacked being called an asshole because of my standing up for my views!” Wow, how weird it’s like clockwork. And you don’t even see it. What a thing. It’s so creepy to encounter people with such an inactive moral compass that they actually pervert the Bible to hide behind their bad temper.

          • Diana A.

            “…it’s the kids their own age who tell them that they aren’t good enough because they are gay.” And where do you think these bullies learn these bad attitudes? Maybe from adults like you?

          • Gary

            Yes you found a couple of the clobber passages…sigh.

            If you are genuinely interested in learning here is a good place to start.

            http://gayprejudice.com/GayPrejudice.pdf

            Of course another is John’s book which you can purchase for a very reasonable price.

            As for where in scripture God demonstrates He does not care about our sexuality…really? I could lead you through countless examples of God’s handling of a huge variety of sexual situations with never a hint of care or concern outside of times when the law of love is being violated. Some of the non-traditional sexual unions God even provided for Himself. God’s concern is and always has been about our heart…not our sexual organs. But that would be a distraction from the core issue of homosexuality so let’s wait till we see if your sincere enough to actually do a little reading first shall we?

          • DR

            “You can say I am a hateful person, but then again who isn’t?”

            Joshua is already giving excuses for his hate and his behavior.

          • Joshua

            Gary – I’ll read it to get a better understanding of where you’re coming from. That isn’t me backing down on what I believe, it’s me being sincere in trying to understand where you are coming from, and knowing even stronger where I am coming from. I would actually enjoy having a more personal conversation over email with you Gary.

            Dr- It’s funny how I admit I may have been in the wrong with the way I went about this, and you keep sending the personal attacks. You have done nothing but send those attacks my way. I’ve already admitted I was wrong to send any personal attacks at all, and you continue to send them.

          • DR

            Again, admitting is not apologizing. What’s wrong with you that you can’t see how totally unChristlike it is to come on a forum – pick a fight – attack the character of the blog owner – and then claim you’re being “personally attacked” when you’re being held accountable to it? Seriously, what is wrong with you?

            For the record, telling you the truth about what a jerk you’re being is not unloving or unkind. Ask a lot of former assholes, they’ll tell you it was their moment of clarity. That you don’t have the humility to actually deeply acknowledge your behavior and offer a true apology for it really does reflect your commitment to Christ, Joshua – and you chose to behave that way all by yourself.

          • Joshua

            I am sorry for coming on here, and any attacks that I may have said.

            I’m not sorry for believing what I believe, but I am sorry for the way I made it known.

            I’m finished here. There are a lot of unkind words being thrown from both sides. I have also personally apologized to Mr. Shore.

          • DR

            Joshua, there have been tons of people who believe just like you do who are actively engaged in the forum. You were not being attacked for your beliefs – try to hear that. You were told the truth. If you want to remain injured and blame other people for the reason why you’re no longer participating that’s fine, but it reflects a lack of commitment to the actual issue and your conviction around it. Which is good – let’s hope you’re just confused and the convictions around what it is you actually believe about gay men and women aren’t as steadfast as they feel to you right now because they are very dangerous. We owe it to you – more importantly, we owe it to the GLBTA community – to tell you that so they don’t have to.

            Go in peace. Better yet, go in conflict. I hope you keep wrestling with this. I think you will, I bet you’re a good guy who like all of us, just has some growing up to do. Take care.

          • Anon

            Joshua- I am shocked at how much you were attacked in these comments. I truly am. I’m sorry that you were treated this way. It makes me sort of concerned that the blog owner basically called you an asshole and checked out. I doubt the many people who gave him positive reviews on his “About” page would approve of that. It’s hard to find a way to fit that into the mold of any possible understanding of “love” or “loving behavior.”

            I think the comments section can be a rough place, and I feel like I just saw a mugging or something: it seemed like people ganged up on you and refused to listen to what you were saying at all except to twist your words. Please know that at least one person witnessed this. I had been sort of interested in this blog, but its author and some of its more vocal followers have made me feel like it’s not the tolerant atmosphere it would appear to be from the content it tackles.

            If you’re interested in doing more research on the topic, you might check out the blog faithpermeatinglife.com and look on the column on the left for “A Resource Guide to Christianity and Homosexuality.”

          • Diana A.

            Hello Anon.

            I checked out the link you provided above and I like it. http://www.faithpermeatinglife.com/2012/01/resource-guide-on-christianity-and.html

            I hope Joshua and others who have concerns with this issue will check it out.

          • DR

            Joshua was not attacked. Joshua was the aggressor as is anyone who tells a gay child that he is going to hell for something s/he cannot change. Telling that to Joshua directly – and you – is being direct and is holding you accountable for the abuse you commit against these children using *our* Bible – *our* Jesus – and *our Holy Spirit* to do it (or in the name of them). We are not allowing you to do that anymore. We are taking back our Church. And we’re doing it in the name of Christ and for the sake of His Cross.

            You’re going to need to deal with that and lose whatever fear or ego you have that would translate these comments into you or Joshua being attacked. That’s all about your ego and your fear of being wrong. It’s not about those who are telling you the truth with the intent of protecting the GLBTA community from you.

          • DR

            (assuming you are aligned with Joshua’s beliefs re the gay community. If not, please disregard my references to you believing as he does).

          • Dr_Maybe

            Just a small aside, Joshua. You claim you need proof. Why do you consider the bible authoritative (faith?) and what constitutes proof-the message of a literary document or the specific words? Granted, I am at best a weak pantheist, mostly an atheist; but why is proof important when there doesn’t seem to be much emphasis on soundness, cogency or logic?

          • Diana A.

            All right. I’m going to go under the assumption that you really are serious about finding out more about this subject so that you can be a good brother. Thus, I’m going to recommend a resource: “Claiming the Promise: An Ecumenical Welcoming Bible Study Resource on Homosexuality” by Mary Jo Osterman.

        • DR

          Joshua,

          Please show me the explicit verses that provide evidence for the Trinity. Thanks.

          • DR

            Wait. Joshua was here like, a million years ago. I’m talking to his ghost!

      • Nathan

        John, I’m more-or-less a “traditional” conservative Christian. I disagree with a lot of what you are saying, but some of it makes sense and it has caused me to think. But then, after reading through your comments (in particular, this one), I realize that you aren’t really practicing what you are preaching. On the one hand, you want “fundamental” Christians to respect your views about homosexuality. But, on the other hand, you seem to show no respect what-so-ever for our views. You bash traditional Christian views right-and-left. You can’t have it both ways. Either you lead by example, or you join the pack of bigots. As far as I can see, you have done the latter. You’ve given up the moral high-ground by comments like this one.

        I’ll enjoy continuing to read your blog, but my respect for your views has just taken a serious nosedive.

        • DR

          When I read this kind of thing my first reaction is how arrogant it is for people to assume that anyone gives a shit about our opinion of one another when gay kids are killing themselves. Sometimes Christians are so grossly self-absorbed, it’s stunning. We’re such a infantile mess.

    • LSS

      dude, how many books/chapters/blogs about the biblical passages does a person have to write?!

  • Jesop

    No one is being hurt? Forgive me for perceiving ignorance. I will post a series of medical articles to the contrary with the intent not to hate but to educate. : Is it right to advocate a person towards a lifestyle that is unhealthy and causes a much shorter lifespan? A fulfilling relationship emotionally, psychologically, and sexually wouldn’t cause a much greater risk and spread of disease and a shorter lifespan now would it? All available evidence indicates that the life span of practicing homosexual persons is drastically shortened by their (sexual) behavior. No reliable study indicates otherwise. The lifespan topic is taboo among homosexual advocates, because the evidence is so damaging to their case. This information represents a fair summary of the available evidence concerning homosexual life span. It indicates that on average, even apart from AIDS, homosexual persons will be extremely lucky live past their 40’s if and when they embrace the homosexual identity and lifestyle closer to their youth…an appalling loss of about anywhere from 8-30 years, or up to 40% of normal American life span, similar to life expectancy rates of the average person living in the 1800s…

    http://theroadtoemmaus.org/RdLb/22SxSo/PnSx/HSx/hosx_lifspn.htm

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

      Are you trying to make a point about MORALITY, Jesop? Or are you simply trying to educate us about medicine?

      • Jason

        One doesn’t need to be a Bible thumper to figure that out, but one certainly needs to jump through a lot of hoops to twist and misinterpret GOD’s word to falsely portray it as homosexuality affirming.

      • Jesop

        Medicine most directly. The moral issue would be an aside to that. Simply put, to make a moral decision without considering the medical evidence is to ignore facts in favor of ideology. I will leave those d3ecisions to the reader and simply educate one the medicine as I have it.

        • Gary

          Blacks live a considerably shorter lifespan than whites. Based on your logic we should also point out that it is a bad idea for anyone to be born black.

          • AudraM

            ^this

            Gary, your comment makes me ten kinds of happy. Thank you.

    • Allie

      This is not a trustworthy looking page, and many of the studies they cite don’t appear trustworthy either.

      What are you saying, exactly? Have you thought through the ramifications of these studies? Left-handed people have shorter lifespans, too, you know. Should we discriminate against left-handed people? Exclude them from our churches?

      • Jesop

        Being left handed is a physical trait, not an orientation or behavior. Don’t get distracted. And what source would you consider trustworthy? If one is not willing to question their own views (and I have) then they are not willing to validate them in the light of any sort of scrutiny.

        • LSS

          Handedness, as far as we know, originates in the brain’s “wiring”. It’s only physical in the sense that everything, including opinions, religious beliefs, etc, are physical because they are made with the brain, which is a physical organ.

    • cat rennolds

      These aren’t medical articles, dear, they’re religious propaganda. Tripe, to be precise. You know the old Twain quote…”There’s lies, damn lies, and statistics?” When religious writers pick and choose the studies they want, interpret them the way they want to, and put them together in the order they want, any study can be made to say anything. Do a little more research, if you yourself actually believe this nonsense, and aren’t deliberately lying to try to scare people.

      Your science? Isn’t.

      • Jesop

        And to that I return your challenge. Prove the refuting documentation. If you are willing to say that something is inaccurate you need to be willing to back it up. I already did.

      • Jesop

        Also, are you aware of some of the other quotes of dear Samuel Clemens? He really was a real rascal and a rebel who generally refused to listen to anyone at all, statistics or not. I can provide a link of such quotes if you wish.

      • Jesop

        Is it fear to face the medical heath issue? One does not have to be afraid to take this problem seriously.

    • Gary

      If your articles are genuine then you will post them from REAL medical sources rather than bigoted religious propaganda.

      “Mountains of medical data”?? All you have posted is 1 piece of nonsense.

      Still waiting for this “education” you think you bring.

    • Gary

      Your statement that “even apart from AIDS, homosexual persons will be extremely lucky live past their 40’s” is utter nonsense. Any thinking person can spot the pure exaggeration and hysteria in such a false claim.

      http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/30/6/1499.full

      http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/Articles/000,018.htm

      There are countless other reviews of these horrible excuses for studies all over the web. Any thinking person can spot their (excuse me…YOUR) prejudice in a matter of moments.

      • Melissa

        Jesop, there is a chicken and egg problem with this argument. It is well acknowledged in the medical community that the reason gay people (black people, poor rural white people, non-English speaking people, any minority group) have worse medical outcomes and poorer health is precisely because they are ostracized and disenfranchised from mainstream society. Their expectation of judgment and dismissal makes many of them disinclined to seek the proper medical treatment and health education that they need. This is why AIDS got so bad in the gay community in the 80s: because they were gay and “weird” and living on the fringes of society, the medical establishment ignored the problem for years until people began protesting for their rights.

        As a student in nursing school, this problem was pointed out to us when we were learning how to take proper medical histories from patients. For instance, it is extremely common for a woman who says she is a lesbian (or even appears to be a lesbian) to not be asked about her reproductive health because it is assumed that she is only sleeping with women and thus at lower risk of STIs and other health problems (which is not true). The additional trouble with this is that even a woman who identifies as a lesbian now might have had sex with men at some point, maybe even recently, and even lesbians can be raped by men. So if you don’t ask, you can miss out on information that is extremely relevant to the patient’s health, and thus that patient will have worse health. It’s not because something about their lifestyle is inherently less healthy.

        • AudraM

          ^ all the awards. Thank you for such a well-reasoned, level rebuttal.

    • DR

      I think this information stems from the same place where the fellows in office claimed to have “medical evidence” that being raped shuts down a woman’s body and prevents pregnancy. It’s always interesting to see how far people will go to justify their hostility and fear.

    • DR

      Is this the “huge amount of evidence”? Wow.

  • Jesop

    The fact is that if homosexuality harms no one then why are there mountains of medical data to the contrary? More so, since it involves a sexual behavior at least one if not more partners are affected by these risks inherently, so to say that it harms no one else is simply ignoring the dynamic of the situation entirely. Also, that large collection of data is current and gathered on an international scale, so it is not outdated and defies regional politics.

    • Gary

      Still waiting for “that large collection of data” that is “current” and “gathered on an international scale”.

      Bullshitters are so easy to spot.

  • minni

    Oh please.

    Don’t even try and justify beastiality based on what’s written in the Bible, or say that Jesus and God would be okay with someone practicing such sick acts because it’s “out of love lol”. You’re totally twisting God’s words around. Like what on earth.

    You realize that by fucking an animal, you are completely insulting and degrading God’s intent for humans to be a special and higher creation. We may be animals in the sense that we eat, sleep, reproduce. But in Gods eyes, we aren’t animals. We are far beyond that. We are humans with a mind, heart, and soul. And that’s why as a Christian, I think that homosexuality, pansexuality, etc etc is completely different from beastiality or zoosexuality or whatnot.

    Plus, humans were made in God’s image, and I’m pretty sure that God would be pretty darn unsatisfied if you were to lower his image down to an animal’s level by being “intimate” with it. Again, God made humans to be HIGHER BEINGS than animals. He put animals on this earth to be companions that we reign over, not our sex toys.

    Also, with your logic, you’re basically saying that everything a human does is okay as long as its out of love, for example: killing out of love, raping someone out of love, stealing out of love, molesting a child out of love, fucking a dead body out of love, etc etc. But I’m sure you find none of those things to be okay, now do you?

    I mean, if you wanna think beastiality and zoosexuality is okay then that’s on you (I personally think that people who are all into that have serious issues). But to try and justify it through the means of God’s word or the Bible is absolute bullshit. I mean, why do you think so many people have died from engaging in beastiality? It’s not a coincidence lol. Same thing with incest – there is a reason why incest babies are typically born with a bunch of issues. It’s nature’s/God’s way of saying “uhhhh don’t do that”.

    But yeah. To to try and reason that beastiality is acceptable under Christianity is not only ignorant, but it is a HUGE insult to God and Jesus, not to mention a slap in the face to our religion. True, God made us to love, and I’m sure that he appreciates people who love animals. But there still comes a point where love crosses the line. Beastiality, for all of the reasons I mentioned above, crosses that line.

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

      Um. Yes. Bestiality is bad.

      yikes

      • LSS

        Think of the slow cats.

        • Diana A.

          Poor kitties! :-(

        • Diana A.

          I just remembered a Mondegreen pertinent to this discussion.

          From the book “He’s Got the Whole World in His Pants” by Gavin Edwards:

          Song: The Bee Gees “You Should Be Dancing”

          Real Lyric: “What you doin’ on your back?”

          Misheard Lyric: “Whatcha doin’ with the neighbor’s cat?”

          Picture: Teenage boy with fiendish smile holding miserable and scared looking kitty.

          Just thought I’d share.

    • DR

      What in the world is this person suggesting. Where is bestiality mentioned at all as being a good thing?

  • minni

    Oh damn, I just reread the ORIGINAL post.

    Sorry, I don’t know why I assumed this was a beastiality/zoosexuality post, that’s what I searched on Google and this page popped up….maybe that’s why.

    But yeah I agree – as long as you are staying true to the fact that God made us to be special and higher beings who shouldn’t lower ourselves to an animal’s level, and noone is getting harmed, then I am totally okay with this argument.

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

      Was there a NON-ORIGINAL post?

      • LSS

        She must have read one of those. … Unfortunate comments.

      • gary

        Yeah…kind of a big oops that one was…lol

    • Gary

      Curious as to WHY you were searching for beastiality/zoosexuality in the first place. Just wandering around looking for a fight?


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