Waiting for Bob Jones’s huge gay bomb to drop

Stephen Jones (above) is the president of Bob Jones University, in Greenville, South Carolina. He is the son of Bob Jones III, the grandson of Bob Jones, Jr., and the great-grandson of evangelist Bob Jones Sr, who founded the university he named after himself in 1927.

Stephen has an older brother, Bob Jones IV. If anyone ever had the right name for inheriting one awesomely cushy job, it’s Bob Jones IV. So why isn’t Bob the Fourth now the president of BJU? I have no idea.

In 1980, when Bob and Stephen’s father, Bob Jones III, was president of the college of which is now chancellor (read: owner), he said to the Associated Press, while standing on the steps of the White House, this:

… it would not be a bad idea to bring the swift justice today that was brought in Israel’s day against murder and rape and homosexuality. I guarantee it would solve the problem post-haste if homosexuals were stoned, if murderers were immediately killed as the Bible commands.

Which, for him, is not an extreme statement at all. Here are some more of Bob’s thoughts on homosexuality:

 

In 2005, Stephen Jones became president of his family’s university.

Last week (or so?) faculty and staff at BJU found in their inbox this email from President Jones:

In light of the growing cultural pressure combined with the increasing numbers of Christian young people struggling with the issue of same sex attraction, Bob Jones University is taking a week of chapels (November 11-15) to address same sex attraction in a way that gives the biblical position, provides the biblical solution, and gives hope and help to those who are struggling with this desire. BJU also wants to provide a biblical perspective on how believers can be of help to those who are struggling. The four days of chapels are intended to: give reasons this issue needs to be addressed. present God’s perspective on same sex attraction as found in Scripture. give biblical hope and help for people who struggle with same sex attraction. share a biblical response we should have toward those who struggle with same sex attraction. [Can't explain the weird period punctuation. Maybe semicolons are too complex? Too gay? Who knows?] Friday, November 15, will be a special Q&A forum to answer the questions that the student body has had through the week.”

For BJU students, attendance at morning “chapel” is mandatory, as the BJU student handbook makes clear:

Students are to attend chapel Monday through Thursday and every day they have a scheduled exam. They are to bring a printed Bible and sit in their assigned chapel seats. Via e-pass, a student may secure approval to sit with a guest. For days on which a student has no scheduled classes or no classes before 2 p.m., he may apply for a permanent pass to miss chapel one day a week to work off campus. A student on campus during the chapel hour is expected to attend chapel, even if he has an exemption.

Currently some 2,800 undergrads and 700 grad students attend BJU. It’s reasonable to assume that ninety-five percent of them will attend this week’s chapel talks. Here is a photo of BJU’s chapel-on-steroids:

So that was pretty much the scene this morning when, at 11 a.m. sharp, Stephen Jones stepped to the podium to deliver what amounted to BJU’s first of four Official Statements on homosexuality.

Some of the BJU students who’ll be in the audience listening to this week’s chapel messages are gay. This promises to be a very difficult week for those kids. (I already know of one closeted BJU student who, right after this morning’s message, was sitting in a Starbuck’s crying.)

So here’s what I thought I’d do. Typically an hour or so after each BJU morning chapel, the audio file for that day’s sermon is uploaded here. I thought that this week I would listen to each of the sermons as soon as they were up, transcribe the parts that I found … worthy of comment, and then here publish and respond to those parts.* That way, kids at BJU will have a place where they might be able to find a balm for some of the pain they’re certain to be enduring.

It’s now 4:30 in South Carolina. As soon as today’s sermon is up, I’ll get seriously busy.**

* For anyone wondering what my personal view is on the matter of homosexuality and Christianity, I offer Taking God at His Word: The Bible and Homosexuality; that, and my book UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Problem.

** UPDATE #1: So at this point (it’s 5:30 p.m. their time), it’s starting to look as if Bob Jones is not, after all, going to upload this morning’s chapel sermon. My understanding is that this is an exceptionally rare occurrence: that they always, within the hour, upload each sermon. Gosh, I wonder why not this morning’s? Oh, well. If they continue not to make public whatever it is they said this morning, it looks like, thanks to our friends at BJU News, we’ll have a copy of the sermon that was secretly recorded on site, and is now available at the bottom of this page.

UPDATE #2: It’s 10:15 p.m. their time. You know, I’m really starting to think they’re not going to put up that audio today. (snerketh!) We’ll see what happens tomorrow. Maybe they just got busy, or something.

UPDATE #3: Dear Men Who Run Bob Jones University

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://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    I’m in South Carolina myself. I’ll see if there is any local covering on this.

    • http://bjunity.org/ Bill B

      um, no. The Greenville News (a Gannett company) *never* carries anything derogatory about the school. Ditto for Greenville’s NBC affiliate, WYFF-4.

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

        yeah, also looking at the other affiliates. So far nothing. Its more an internal matter, as far as local news goes, so I’m not thinking much, but a girl can still be nosey.

        • http://bjunity.org/ Bill B

          WSPA has covered some news that puts the school in a bad light (or at least provides some balance) but I doubt a series a chapel messages is going to be on anyone’s news radar down here. It just doesn’t happen.

  • Jim Wetherell

    Why would any gay person go to that snake pit of hate?

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

      Maybe because they hope to make a difference, or maybe because of family dynamics and that is the only option given to them when opting for a college.

      • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

        What would you pay to go to college? In my case, it was $150K of my parents’ money, two abortions, and a vow of poverty. They are going to college. The chapels are (hopefully) pro forma.

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      Because a lot of kids essentially had no choice: their parents sent them there; they grew up never DOUBTING that’s where they’d go to college. For a lot of families, NOT having their children attend BJU isn’t even on the radar.

      So, being a good kid, you go where you’re supposed to–and then, while you’re there, it gradually grows on you that you’re gay.

      That’s a bad moon rising on a landscape like that.

      • http://bjunity.org/ Bill B

        Yes, That’s exactly it. I should know. I’m an alum of that wretched excuse for a school.

        • http://bjunity.org/ Bill B

          P.S. I’m gay.

          • Jim Wetherell

            As my wife told me when we met, she is part of the HUMAN race, as we all are.

      • Jim Wetherell

        thank you for the explanation, John, I feel sorry for kids who have to live with parents making decisions for them. I am a former fundy myself and know what that pressure can be like.

      • Jenni Frencham

        And then you find out you’re gay, which on that campus is the worst kind of sin possible (even if you’ve never done anything), and if you tell people so you can get help, you’re done for. If you don’t tell and someone finds out, you’re still done for.

    • Larry Gist

      I went there with the express wish that I would become straight. Really. I did. I spent one year and part of a summer there. I prayed, I read the Bible daily, I did EVERYTHING I could think of. I followed the rules, kept my head down and tried to be what was expected of me. I became disillusioned and frightened almost as soon as I go there that I would be found out. Funny thing is that I didn’t come from a particularly religious family. But religion became my closet so to speak. As long as I was pious and holy, they would never find out that I was gay. But – nothing changed. It never does. The people that “Tom” in the posts above was talking about are lying to themselves. They seek approval from a group of hard right Christians so they claim that they have been “healed” of their sin, but go right on sinning. And they are eventually caught with their hands in the cookie jar of someone else, then all hell breaks loose. Too many examples of that happening to mention here. But suffice it to say that there are LOTS of reasons gay kids wind up at BJU, not the least of which is family pressure, but more often than not it is their own internal pressure that causes the ultimate decision.

      • Jim Wetherell

        Thank you for enlightening me with your reply, and please accept my well wishes for you.

  • BJU News

    Hey John–here’s the audio from today. Knowing our friends at BJU, there probably won’t be an official version! It’s an interesting listen, especially the story Stephen tells at the beginning about homophobic letters on campus.

    http://bjunews.com/leaked-audio-files/

    • CC

      Wow, thanks for posting this!!!!!

    • Bernie Keefe

      Yes, Thank you!! I’ll be listening on your blog all week. I’m anxious to hear what John has to say.

    • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

      Thanks for this. I love any homophobic, hurtful speech that starts “some of my best friends are gay”.

      • Andy

        I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone use a phrase like “I have friends who are…” and not thought that they’re bigoted.

  • Jessica Britt

    I am so glad you are serving reality in this way – I am just so fascinated how Jesus’s message of love has gotten so so hateful – may all the gay students at BJU find there way to your message –

  • Tom

    So your a christian who thinks it’s not sinful to be gay? Just curious

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

      How can being gay be sinful? just curious.

      • Tom

        what kind of bible are you reading out of?

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

          I’ve read out of several translations, plus read the thoughts of many on the subject. The question remains, how can being gay be sinful? And more important, what is being sinful?

          • Tom

            Original Hebrew and Greek uses gay/homosexual multiple times in the bible. All of them pretty clear they are sinful. How can being gay not be sinful?

          • Tom

            Romans 1:24-28. Can you give me a translation that translates this differently? I’m interested to read some other thoughts.

          • Robert Stribley

            Curious, Tom. Do you agree that rebellious children should be stoned to death? Deuteronomy 21:18-21.

          • Tom

            Ya bro, and lambs should be slaughtered on alters daily.. Pretty sure the bible is clear about old testament law and how it applies to us today

          • Robert Stribley

            So why did God change his mind then on some of these things then? Also, if you’re not a fan of OT law, then why do you refer to the Hebrew above? “Bro”?

          • Tom

            Galatians 3:19-25

          • Robert Stribley

            Oh, so some things that used to be law and now sound nonsensical to us as modern humans were just intended to fill in the gap until Jesus came … but God wrote the OT law and Jesus is God, so … God wrote some nonsense in the OT? Is that what you’re saying? I’m glad we can safely ignore that then!

          • Robert Stribley

            By the way, are you able to articulate any arguments on your own, or will just continue to copy and paste Bible verses? You haven’t yet explained *why* homosexuality should be considered a sin.

          • Tom

            The reason I am posting bible verses is because the bible is truth. And homosexuality is a sin because the bible says it is. God didn’t create people to be homosexual.

          • Robert Stribley

            That’s a not a reason or explanation for why homosexuality is a sin, that’s just the equivalent of saying, “Because I told you so,” except you’re using the Bible. The Bible says purchasing your wife is OK. The Bible says it’s OK to stone a rebellious child to death. The Bible says slavery is OK. The Bible says in Deuteronomy 22:11, “Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together.” So wearing mixed fabrics was considered an abomination, too. (Now, depending on the fabrics, many gay friends and other discerning dressers might agree with that one.)

            So can you explain why I should believe these things?

            Because if I believe them “because the bible says” so, I end up believing some pretty awful things.

          • Tom

            That takes a look at the context of the bible passages then. Man and wife and homosexuality have the same theme through the entire bible.

            And you sound like you have some mistrust/disbelief with various parts of the bible. Which if that is the case then this topic doesn’t really matter. Having a relationship with Jesus is the important thing, and through that He will give you understanding.

          • Tom

            I have friends that are gay BTW, I don’t hate gay people or think they are the worst people ever. There are all kinds of people with sin issues. I have immoral thoughts sometimes too.

          • Elizabeth Niederer

            Ah yes, the vaunted “I have gay friends” nonsense.

          • Tom

            My gay friends aren’t gay anymore? o.0

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            I think the question is how the false doctrine of “love the sinner, hate the sin” makes you their friend.

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

            I really hate that doctrine…mostly because it seems impossible for the adherents of that line of thinking to totally separate the two

          • FormerFundy1992

            Its not doctrine. It’s some IFB preacher’s/president of an educational institution’s way to rationalize accepting their relative who is gay.

          • Benz981

            You seem like the kind of guy that thinks they have more friends than they really have… it’d be interesting to see how these “gay friends” of yours actually perceive you.

          • Robert Stribley

            “God didn’t create people to be homosexual.”
            On the contrary, there are millions of gay people around the world. They are here. Already. They didn’t choose to be gay. They are gay. And there’s plenty of science to back that up. Being gay is just as natural as being left-handed or red-headed, Tom. We know that now. But we used to hit kids on the hand with a ruler when they tried to write left-handed. We’re still learning as a species. And we’re wrong on a lot of this stuff – whether Christian, Muslim, or whatever religion or no religion. We have a lot to learn.

          • Tom

            Yah science proves it! There aren’t any bible verses about the wisdom of the world and how foolish it is either, are there?

          • Robert Stribley

            So if you’re suffering from cancer, you would reject science then because it’s “the wisdom of the world”? You’ll not trust that an iPhone will work because science built it? You’ll ignore the weatherman’s warning of a tsunami because that’s just science? You think maybe scientists made up photosynthesis and gravity and mitosis and meiosis and celestial mechanics and fusion and … Why is it that some people embrace every element of science – except when science happens to disagree with their long-held personal beliefs? Odd.

          • Tom

            Notice I used the words wisdom and foolish. You can be a genius scientist that comes up with a complex theory and still be a fool.

          • Robert Stribley

            True. However, when thousands of scientists agree on the theory, it can no longer call it “foolishness.” And that’s what we’re talking about here: Universal agreement among scientists that homosexuality is a naturally occurring phenomenon. We’re not talking about one mad scientist howling in the dark.

          • buzzdixon

            If God doesn’t want people to have same sex attractions then it is His responsibility to create them w/o the desire to have same sex attraction. It’s pretty clear He doesn’t care about whom one loves so long as it is a genuine selfless love

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

            Odd that it does still happen Robert. You’d think they’d learn after the whole Galileo debacle.

          • Robert Stribley

            Also have to point out that your argument again is not an argument, it’s just “the Bible says so.”

          • buzzdixon

            There’s also a Bible verse about the world having four corners.

          • Andy

            There’s also this guy that says something about four corners too, but he’s clearly insane.

          • Robert Stribley

            I’m sorry that you would equate a committed same-sex relationship with “sin issues” – without being able to articulate why that would be sinful, except for saying “because the Bible says so.”

          • Brent Caldwell

            Jesus never says a single word on the matter. That should be good enough. The books of the bible weren’t even assimilated into a single work until the council of Nicea in the year 330. They lack a unified message. So “the bible says so” doesn’t hold any water.

          • Tom

            Jesus doesn’t say anything about rape either.

          • buzzdixon

            Golden Rule applies: Unless you want to be raped, don’t rape anybody else (and, as pointed out, if you do want to be raped, then it kinda stops being rape…)

          • Brent Caldwell

            Boom, right there you just proved my point. Regardless of what any figure in a series of books has to say about a subject or not say about a subject, we should draw our own conclusions about what is right based on our own moral code. So if you have an issue with LBGT people, the issue is yours, not God’s.

          • buzzdixon

            “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

            I don’t want people passing laws against me loving & having intimate relations with my willing partner, so why would I want to pass laws against anyone else loving & having intimate relations with their willing partner? (And for the record, be it stipulated that “willing partner” = competent fully informed consenting adult)

          • FormerFundy1992

            See Tom, you done did yourself in there…. its the relationship with Jesus, NOT the Bible… You, yourself said it.

          • geno

            But I know of many, many fundie preachers who LOVE to wear brightly-colored, gaudy cotton-polyester leisure suits. And that’s a TRUE abomination …

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

            Again, what is your thoughts on what sin is? Just tossing out ” this or that is a sin” has little meaning, no matter who or what says it, without an understand of the qualities of a sin…the how’s and whys.

          • buzzdixon

            Where does He say that (as opposed to a prophet who felt inspired to say God said it)?

          • mindy

            Actually, Tom, God most certainly did create people that way. Homosexuality has existed as long as humanity has, and exists in mosts species of life on earth.

          • geno

            He did, me.

          • FormerFundy1992

            I was created in Gods image. God created me. God created me gay.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            Why did you say, “… but God wrote the OT law and Jesus is God, so … God wrote some nonsense in the OT?”
            You might as well have wrote, “so… Jesus wrote some nonsense in the OT?”

          • Carlton Gregg

            The Laws original intent was to set apart His chosen people. But to also show that we are all sinners in need of sanctification. If you study the OT you’ll realize God set up different laws. When Jesus came to earth and died for our sins He got rid of ceremonial laws (traditions which merited favor with God).

          • Robert Stribley

            You assume I haven’t studied the Old Testament laws. Actually, I have – which is what lead me to believe they don’t make sense. Please keep in mind, you’re actually saying that God presented different laws to people in different periods. He changed his mind about what was moral, apparently. Despite being a creature, which, we’re told, never changes his mind, nor needs to, because he is omniscient. That doesn’t make sense either.

            Explain, though, why it would ever have made moral sense for wearing mixed fabrics to be “an abomination.” Yet that’s what we’re told as part of the ceremonial laws you refer to.

            Finally, you might consider in the future that when you suggest that someone must not have studied something because they didn’t arrive at the same conclusion as you, that this can come off as sounding rather arrogant and presumptuous.

          • Carlton Gregg

            I apologize if it sounded arrogant. In fact I applaud you on the fact that you have studied it. You’ll have to forgive me for my assumption, it comes from having to explain it to many who haven’t studied it. God never “changed” His view on moral laws. He made new covenants with His people though as time progressed. The same way a parent changes rules and adds new ones as a child grows..

          • Andy

            But the laws that oppress certain people, those stay around? Wow. I don’t even know where to start with this.

          • Robert Stribley

            Also, perhaps you can explain why wearing mixed fabrics was considered an abomination? Deuteronomy 22:11

          • Tom

            or why for 3 years you shouldn’t eat fruit that you plant. Leviticus 19:37? Like I said some of the OT was moral and ceremonial stuff for the Hebrews. Who knows

          • geno

            Then why keep using O.T. law against gay people? “Abomination” this, “abomination” that?

          • FormerFundy1992

            Tom, where do you slaughter your lambs and burn them on an altar. I really want to come participate. The ancient rituals and laws – oh yeh, which were removed in Jesus since he fulfilled all of the law…. fascinate me.

          • Tom

            OT says not to murder. Most people agree that is a good principal. The NT is full of answers to your questions. Give it a read sometime.

          • Robert Stribley

            So if you were making your case to someone who doesn’t believe the Bible, Tom, how would you explain to them that being gay is a sin? You can’t simply expect them to agree because the Bible says so. Principles of morality have to *make sense* and should be able to be *explained*. In detail.

            There are plenty of rules and regulations in society that we follow because they *make sense.* We didn’t need a Bible to tell us to stop at red lights. We do so because it’s a matter of safety. If someone were to ask you, “Why should I stop at a red light?” would you reply, “Because the traffic regulations say so”?

            No? Well, that’s what you’re doing here. Again and again and again.

          • buzzdixon

            OT says to be a credit to your parents, and the way to be a credit to your parents are by not murdering anyone, not cheating on a spouse, not stealing, not lying to pervert justice, and not wanting stuff that you can’t have.

            Where do you see anything on same sex relations in that?

          • Brent Caldwell

            There are two types of Christians: those who follow Jesus, and those who worship Paul. You’ve made it abundantly clear which one you are.

          • Tom

            Paul was taught directly by Jesus. The bible is God’s word. Following Paul’s teachings is following Jesus.

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

            So Paul claim, and a pretty outrageous one at that.

            I wonder. Did Paul have a clue that one day his words would have more weight than Jesus in some circles, and how would he feel about that?

          • buzzdixon

            No, b/c Paul hizzownsef states more than once that some things he writes about are his opinion, not God’s

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            Paul was +/- 100 years after Jesus. They didn’t hang out. Jesus liked lepers, prostitutes, and itinerant fishermen more than Paul. You’re thinking of Augustine, 300 years even later. Did you not go to school?

          • Richard W. Fitch

            Most Pauline scholars would challenge that kind of dating and base their conclusions on the intersection of NT and Roman history. Paul was prbly born in the first decade of the 1st century and his Damascus Road “conversion” is dated in the early years of the 3rd decade, indeed after the Crucifixion. On the other hand Paul was personally involved with Peter, James and other members of The Way at Jerusalem.

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            Schooled by Richard Fitch. YES. This is the scholarship I’m talking about. Mary of Magdala didn’t write anything, and she’s the one who first saw the risen Christ. I’m not too worried about Simon Peter. He denied Christ three times before the rooster crowed. Face it: women get it done. Men… stare at their navels whilst wringing their hands. Biblically.

          • Richard W. Fitch

            Not sure I would endorse the “taught directly by Jesus” part, but, Yes, Paul did teach from the ministry of Jesus. One of the big issues in modern Pauline studies is scraping off 1900 years of faulty translations and misconceptions to get at what Paul *really* said. Tom points to the Romans section in Ch 1 which is the only NT passage that is incontestably addressed to same-sex behavior. The problem, however, is the need to take all of Romans 1:16-2:1 into its proper context. Some have ignored the witness of all Creation and worshiped human-made objects rather than the Creator. This idolatry has has caused men and women to become confused. They have become diverted from the order of Creation having passions (cf, Stoics) for one another. They will reap the punishment for their abandonment of the Creator in their own confusion (non-procreative sex). I could say a lot more but don’t want to try to put the past several months of intense Pauline studies into a single posting.

          • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

            There’s a strong argument to be made that Paul was not making a natural law argument. If that’s correct, the entire meaning of this passage changes.
            Paul was also making the point that all of us fall into the “reject God” category. It seems like you’ve missed quite a bit of the meat on the bone of this passage (which, BTW, cannot be divorced from Romans: 2).

          • FormerFundy1992

            Nowhere do any of the scriptures claim to be “God’s word.” nor do they claim to be the sole basis…. for anything. What they do say in John: In the beginning was the Word…. and the word was God.” NOT the Word was scripture. Jesus is the basis. You are an isolate setting the Bible up as the graven image you worship. Get thee behind me!

          • geno

            There’s an awful lot of bible worship in Christianity, too. As if The Book were more important than Jesus or the Father.

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

            A totally dubious and much discredited claim as some of regular scholars could easily point out.

            So onto the heart of the matter, what is your definition of sinful and is it a term to so easily bandy about?

          • buzzdixon

            Sin = not loving others as much as you love yourself

          • Brent Caldwell

            There is no ancient Hebrew or Greek word that translates to “homosexuality.” If you studied religion at all you would know that.

          • geno

            It is my understanding that the words existed, but were not the words used in what (much later) became the scriptures.

          • Richard Edwards

            If someone is gay, they are constantly sinning? If so, that’s probably why so many gay people, especially teenagers, commit suicide. After all, the only way to stop sinning is to stop existing. Makes perfect sense to me!

          • geno

            The original texts did NOT use the words that existed, at the time, for homosexual or homosexuality. The words that were used were for male prostitutes, temple prostitution, etc.

            Even Ezekiel 16 considers the “sin of Sodom” to be something other than homosexuality: …48 “As I live,” declares the Lord GOD, “Sodom, your sister and her daughters have not done as you and your daughters have done. 49 “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. 50 “Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it.…

            As for the legend of Sodom and Gomorrah … it has nothing to do with loving same-sex couples. The people of Sodom wanted to *rape* the visiting angels, not have an affectionate hook-up with them. THAT was the problem.

            Oh, and … P.S. … Would it have been okay if the crowd had accepted Lot’s nubile daughters to be raped, instead of the angels?

          • bnelson333

            It’s a moot point if you lean towards the saving power of Jesus (whatever that means, different topic for another time) who gave the greatest commandment to love your God and your neighbor.

            It is said that God is love, and to reject God is to Sin. Therefore, rejecting love is sin. If you reject GSM folks because of who they love, you reject love. Therefore, rejecting GSM folks is the sin, not BEING a GSM. That only promotes love (a true love, to yourself and to your partner).

            To reject a person because of who they love is to reject God’s creation. Which is neither loving your God NOR loving your neighbor. To put some old Leviticus junk over Jesus’ only two commandments is not very Jesus-like (I hesitate to use the Christ word because now we’re into Pauline territory and meh…).

        • Robert Stribley

          You mean it’s a sin just because the Bible says so?
          So if the Bible says slavery or purchasing a woman as a bride is OK, then you have no problem with it, presumably, since the Bible says so?

        • Elizabeth Gruenbaum

          The one in which Jesus never speaks one word about it! KJV, NIV, NRSV. Yours must have the typos.

          • Tom

            Jesus doesn’t speak on rape either.

          • buzzdixon

            He taught you should do to other people what you want done to yourself. Do you want to be violated against your will? (Paradox: If you do, then it is your will…)

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            I’d reread John 8:1-11 before I played the rape card. In Jesus’ time, any woman who had sex outside of marriage — even against her will — was an adulteress. Like it is in many Islamic countries today. What Jesus said about it is, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” All the hypocrites slithered away.

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth
          • Jill

            Sigh. Never thought angry feminism was going to become my fate, until I clued in to realize that patriarchy isn’t simply angry, it’s bloodthirsty. I stare in horror and stay away from matches.

          • Jill

            Elizabeth, you give me *hope* that one day I’ll actually like the Bible.

          • Olde Blonde Broad

            Wonderful! And right on. The Jesus I know never said one word about it. And – he actually consorted with women and respected them and honored them —– WOW what a concept.

        • Guest

          He taught we should do to other people what you want done to yourself. Do you want to be violated against your will? (Paradox: If you do, then it is your will…)

          • mindy

            Umm, what, exactly, is your point here? Anyone who violates anyone against their will is committing not only sin but crime. Victimizing another human being has NOTHING to do with being gay.

    • Olde Blonde Broad

      No – who says it’s a sin? How can loving someone be a sin? Oh yeah, quote those scriptures without understanding the history and cultures of the times in which they were written. But – then you must apply all of the laws in Leviticus to your daily life. Have fun.

    • mindy

      Most reasonable Christians believe that, Tom. Only those who are afraid to think for themselves, using the very brains God gave them, and rely on what those in power tell them the Bible says, still believe being gay is in any way sinful. I so hope you are one of the smart ones.

  • Mindi Palmer Fried

    I’m now ready to curl up in a ball and cry. :( So sad for these folks.

    Thanks, John Shore, for reaching out.

  • JoAnn Forsberg

    Bless You!

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      Thanks, JoAnn. Good to see you here.

  • Jeffrey Hoffman

    John,

    We’re so grateful you’re paying attention to this story. These days, with BJU about half the size it was when I was a kid growing up there, it seems a lot of people think that what happens on campus at BJU is irrelevant and don’t pay attention anymore to what happens there. That’s why a lot of hurting people don’t have any support whatsoever. They are isolated by media apathy when things like this happen at Bob Jones University. Just imagine being lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer, or even just having questions about those things in that place and being forced to sit through a week of chapel messages that may likely offer no hope and no acceptance unless the student agrees with the hotly contested theological positions of Bob Jones University. I was once one of those students, and I once believed, as I had been taught, that they were right about this. That did untold damage to me as a child growing up there, hearing hateful sermons by Bob Jones III several times a week, in which he routinely harped on “homosexuals” and “the homosexual agenda.”

    You’ve been a friend to sexual abuse victims in the BJU orbit this year, and now a true friend to those of us who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer, questioning or intersex alumni and students of BJU. As you know, I am executive director of an organization called BJUnity (http://bjunity.org) that offers support for those like us who have been alone for so long. . We offer people something they’ve never experienced in that environment: love and acceptance regardless of their own determinations about their faith, their sexual orientation or their gender identity. It really helps that you are shining a light on this.

    Thank you,

    Jeffrey Hoffman
    Executive Director
    BJUnity

  • Olde Blonde Broad

    I have a message from a 75 year old lady who is quite liberal, an unconventional Christian to the LGBT students as well as all the students – “Bob Jones University and it’s leaders and teachers do not speak for God. They do not know God’s heart and mind and their message is based on their own perverted view of the Bible and God’s Word. God created all – loves all and says nothing about who you may love or how you express that love. Men have written the words in Leviticus and elsewhere based on their own biased views and according to the social, cultural and religious mores of their time. It is always interesting to me that while they chant their untruths backed by scripture out of context against LGBT people, they none the less work on the Sabbath, allow women to preach in their sanctuaries, no longer stone a woman caught in adultery and more. Ladies and gentlemen, be who you are – be what you are – and strive for what you want and know, the real God loves you.

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

      Tell her thank you. Its a beautiful message.

      • Olde Blonde Broad

        Hi – it’s me – the olde blonde broad!
        Thank you – I really mean it. I am so sick and tired of the hate, the anger and the stupidity of those claiming to be Christians. Have a good evening.

        • http://www.enesvy.com/ Enesvy

          You go, girl!

  • textjunkie

    Good heavens, I hope you can help repair the damage, John.

  • Matt

    Closeted students of BJU, we are pulling for you and lifting you up in love. Shut your ears against that awful poison–God loves you exactly as you are. There is nothing wrong with you.

  • mindy

    BJU students, gay or not, know that what is being foisted upon you this week is wrong. Nonsense, and not to be believed, counted on or used against a fellow human being under the guise of “helping.” God loves all his children. ALL of them. YOU. Never, ever forget that.

  • chris1413

    Thank you so much for your support. As a former gay BJU student I know exactly what those current students are going through. They need your support, your voice, and your help.

    Chris Peterman

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      Hi, Chris! Good to hear from you. Was thinking of you today.

      • chris1413

        Oh. I didn’t know you remembered who I was. Thank you for thinking about me. I really appreciate that. :)

        And again, you don’t know how much it means to me and to so many other people that you support us.

  • KidLeopard .

    The bible was written, rewritten, adapted, readapted, translated, retranslated by MEN who thought the sun revolved around a flat earth. Flee BJU and flee religion. Come out of superstition and abandon the supernatural for the bright sunlight of truth and reason.

    • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

      Yada yada yada. The Jahwist, author of the most beautiful parts of the Pentateuch, was posited to be an educated woman by Harold Bloom. He has… a couple more degrees in literature than you do. Am I the ONLY one who went to class? Seriously.

      • KidLeopard .

        Who gives a sh*t? Jahwist, Yahwist, Yahweh, Elohist, Tanakh, Penteteuke, Hexateuch: more fairy tales written by primitive minds.

        • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

          Please try to keep a civil tone here, Kid. Thanks a lot.

    • lrfcowper

      Relativity says the universe and all it contains– matter, energy, and time itself– had a beginning. The law of causality says that for every event there is a preceding cause. If the universe began, then there was a prime cause. Because time began with the universe, the prime cause must exist outside of time. Because matter and energy and space began with the universe, the prime cause must exist outside the dimensions of matter. Therefore, the prime cause exists outside of our time-space dimension. It cannot be known except through observing its effects, unless it were to somehow temporarily shed its extra-dimensional nature and enter our four dimensions of time and space.

      Many holy works claim to be the eyewitness accounts of people who have encountered an intelligent prime cause who has shed its extradimensionality.

      Accepting that a prime cause exists is neither logical nor illogical, but a matter of choice dictated by one’s own personal experiences, one’s acceptance of the testimony of others, one’s interpretation of the scientific data, and one’s decisions regarding historical eyewitness accounts (AKA various documents of holy writ). Accepting that a prime cause is intelligent is neither logical nor illogical, but is based on the same factors. Accepting that a specific faith’s deity/ies is the intelligent prime cause one has posited is, again, neither logical nor illogical, but based on the above factors. Accepting that there is no prime cause, intelligent or otherwise, identified by any religion or otherwise, is also neither logical nor illogical, but is, again, a choice based on the evidence one has to hand.

      Claiming that one’s position on the matter is superior, and is more truthful or reasonable than another person’s– that one’s personal experiences are more enlightening than someone else’s, that one’s level of necessary factual basis is better than someone else’s level of necessary factual basis because it is higher or lower than theirs, that the weight one assigns to various types of evidence is superior to someone else’s… well, that strikes me as being more superstitious and unreasonable than those of a similar set of conclusions discussing their conclusions among themselves that you have accused of being superstitious, unreasonable, and unacquainted with the truth.

      In other words, you’re being a troll.

      • http://brmckay.wordpress.com/ brmckay

        Yeee Hawww! That is one fine riff.

        Raised the bar and opened some doors.

        • lrfcowper

          Thanks.

  • http://www.enesvy.com/ Enesvy

    They had class on Veterans Day? Jeez.
    I sure will look forward to what they have to say and your response, John. BTW, I’m Nicole from your old blog. :)

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      I recognize your avatar, Nicole! And I’m so glad to see you here.

      • http://www.enesvy.com/ Enesvy

        Hey, this discus thing is pretty cool. It let me know on another site about your comment. :) *hugs John just because*

  • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

    Fundy “Tom” (“homosexuality is a sin because the bible says it is. God didn’t create people to be homosexual.”) won’t be commenting here anymore. Sorry I didn’t tune in a little sooner to … well, Tom. You guys showed a lot of good humor and patience with him. Thanks for that.

  • vj

    So, I know this is not the main focus of the post, but is anyone else bothered that *college* students have ASSIGNED seats?! Sheesh, talk about control issues…

    • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

      Seconded. “Hi. Not only can you not be trusted with your own immortal souls, we don’t think you can sit without supervision.”

      • vj

        I nearly coughed up my coffee – at first glance I thought there was an ‘h’ in your italics ;-)

        Although, one is tempted to wonder exactly how far they take their entitlement to control…

        • AtalantaBethulia

          They have spies at the mall. And room checks. They will take their entitlement to control to the nth degree. Their lack of trust and need for control is implicit to their worldview and their theology.

      • Jill

        John’s new blog site: Sitting Wherever You Want, Without Any Supervision.

    • http://bjunity.org/ Bill B

      It makes taking attendance and reporting inappropriate behavior much easier. BJU is very much focused on a tattletale mentality, with a pervasive authority structure that guarantees students are never far removed from somebody that can report their transgressions up the ladder to the Dean of Men (described by many as a “snake”) or the Dean of Women.

      In other words, your behavior and “spirituality” are under scrutiny 24-7. This is a little tidbit that never makes it into prospective student materials.

      • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

        Yikes. My alma mater was 80% women, 50% LGBTQ, and 0% snakes. I was in the Dean’s office a lot. She was female, and she counted for the whole campus, not just the girly bits.

      • Jenni Frencham

        As a former row monitor, I can attest to the fact that I was required not only to take attendance, but to report people for sleeping, doing homework, arriving late, or chewing gum in chapel.

        • vj

          Row monitors?! This just keeps getting weirder! I am reminded of Jesus’ words about the religious leaders who kept making more and more laws, and yet they offered NO help to people burdened by the requirements of those laws… [Hint: He wasn't exactly endorsing the practice]

          • Jenni Frencham

            Oh, VJ, we could tell you stories. Row monitors. Room/hall monitors, enforced bed times (yes, for adults), daily checks of the room for cleanliness, demerits for walking across the grass or not checking your mail box often enough … it seems like a weird dystopian novel when I think about it too much.

          • vj

            Yikes! I was thinking ‘George Orwell’ earlier – he probably wouldn’t have believed it would come to that!

  • Gordon

    Semicolons are the gayest punctuation marks.

    • anakinmcfly

      That must be why I use so many of them; it all makes sense now!

  • Anthony W Strohm II

    All I can say is you ROCK!

  • Bill Stratton

    “chapel-on-steriods”? Absolutely epic!!

  • http://bjunity.org/ Bill B

    For all of you wondering why BJU is the way it is, their wacky interpretations, and how students end up there, etc. etc. It can be summarized quite easily using only four letters: C-U-L-T

    I previously thought of fundamentalism as a pesky nuisance, or some quaint throwback like the Amish — I was afraid to use the C-word. Once I admitted that’s what it was, it made it so easy to understand everything about them, and why trying to argue with them using any sort of logic or sound reasoning just doesn’t work.

    Normal church denominations, normal college experiences, don’t cause people to
    experience symptoms of PTSD for years after they’re left. Ask any BJU
    alum or former BJU student who’s left the fold (i.e. a survivor, or the “disaffected” or “bitter” as the school calls us) to tell you about the
    recurring nightmares they’ve had. The anxiety attacks. The fits of depression. The thoughts of suicide. The self-abuse. We’ve all experienced some or all of these to one degree or another. All. of. us.

  • Jeffrey Hoffman

    Apparently, my old friend Dr. Stephen Jones yesterday told students that anonymous homophobic letter writing to other students is unacceptable behavior and that it would result in expulsion. Curiously, his father has not yet apologized for the hate speech John noted above, and still holds his title as Chancellor of the School as of this morning. Why is it that students are held to a different standard than the Joneses themselves?

    http://bjunity.org/confronting-hatred/is-bob-jones-universitys-gay-chapel-week-a-farce/

  • Jenni Frencham

    Wanna know what it’s like to be a LGBT+ student sitting in a chapel like that? Here’s my story: http://bjunity.org/confronting-hatred/my-gay-chapel-day-at-bju/

    • Andy

      Ugh, I am so sorry you had to go through that. Their treatment of you was disgusting and they should be ashamed of themselves.

  • Daneen Akers

    I actually listened to those previous clips by Stephen Jones that you posted, and while I expected it to be appalling, I was shocked at just how completely over-the-top appalling it is. Thanks for keeping these guys accountable.

    • Bill Steffenhagen

      I’m thinking I don’t want to listen to it. I would get too aggravated. It is futile to argue with fools. If I write, it is not to change their minds, but to reach the readers who still THINK.

  • Kaleb Kittrell

    For a change, instead of arguing opinions, can someone explain to me with direct evidence proving that homosexuality is supported by the Bible. If you can make a logical argument then you will have my full attention. Feel free to use the scriptures since that is what every christian should be basing their viewpoint upon, whether a “gay” or “straight” christian.

    • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

      I can’t do that because it doesn’t exist. Homosexuality is mentioned briefly 6 times in the Bible, out of 31,173 passages. 3 in the OT, 3 via Paul in the NT. All of them refer to what was essentially rape of slaves or temple prostitutes, not loving acts between consensual adults.

      Homosexuality wasn’t even a concept then. We were all straight, and we sometimes did the maid or pool boy on the down low.

      • Kaleb Kittrell

        I assume you are saved and have put your faith in our wonderful Savior who took on human flesh to die for all the sins of mankind.
        If so, you will understand this next question….
        Do you accept the scriptures as your point of authority? being breathed out of the mouth of God. in simpler terms, the inspiration of the entire Bible.

        • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

          Yes, sir. I studied the Bible at Corpus Christi, Oxford. I know all about authority. I can recite the Nicene Creed with the best of them. The persecution of gays is not supported by the Bible.

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            Funny how someone was typing and then he disappeared. Loving the new interface, John.

          • Jill

            That was as satisfying as pushing off from the dinner table after a perfect meal with friends. Thanks, Elizab!

          • Kaleb Kittrell

            First of all, you have changed the subject from Biblical support of homosexuality to persecution of Humans who live a specific lifestyle, I’m sure they discussed distraction fallacies in your education at Oxford..
            I agree the scripture does not condone persecution of any human being whether they are in line with the scripture or not.
            Yet, it does explicitly mention homosexuality as a sin. It does not attack the person, but the sin that is being committed
            Leviticus 18:22 (KJV): Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination.
            Explain this to me?

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            Right. The fallback is always Leviticus and Paul. Not eating shellfish made a lot of sense for nomadic sheepherders. Improperly-prepared bottom-feeders could kill you. Same for mixing your grasses when you needed them to feed your livestock and stoning women for being impure when they, not you, would carry on your family name.

            Levitical laws were safety measures. They were taught to protect God’s people. They have absolutely nothing to do with a man loving a man or a woman loving a woman.

          • Kaleb Kittrell

            And yet, whether life principle or Old Testament law, that is one explicit argument against homosexuality, and still no explicit evidence for homosexuality, of which i was hoping you would provide me to even out the score. Statistical evidence is a hard thing to deny.

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            Hmm. Such a non-issue it’s only mentioned 6 times out of 31,173 passages is pretty hard statistical evidence. God was clearly concentrating on perpetuating the human race. Then came Jesus, and we all got forgiven anyway. Even Paul said we could ignore the OT, and he was just a PR man who fell off a horse.

          • Barbara

            Technically, if you are taking that verse at strict face value, it is ONLY an admonishment against male homosexuality. Lesbians are A-OK.

          • lrfcowper

            Well, no. It’s no more an explicit argument against homosexuality than “Thou shalt not commit adultery” is an explicit argument against heterosexuality. If you want to claim it is, then statistically the Bible is really, really, REALLY opposed to heterosexuality.

          • Toliniega Szebora Dobrowieść

            Leviticus 18:22 you have quoted is mistakenly translated, as far as I know. It should be something like “And with a male, thou shalt not lie down in a woman’s bed; it is an abomination.”

            So it is about adultery, not homosexuality. Also – I wouldn’t treat wearing clothes made from one (as non-mixed) fabric as a moral standard, so why should we treat sexual orientation as such?

          • Carlton Gregg

            That could be because the persecution of any sin is not supported in the Bible. However it does mention pointing the sins in order to lead them to Christ. The only one who can save us from our sins. That doesn’t mean we no longer sin, it just means we have forgiveness of our sins.

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            My life is sinful. As is yours. We are forgiven. Being born LGBT is not sinful. That’s “love the sinner, hate the sin,” and it’s bullshit. It’s not in the six clobber passages if you read them properly.

    • lrfcowper

      “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28

      In Christ, we all have one gender– Christian. Therefore, all Christian relationships are homosexual.

      Male-female complementarianism is an idea we got from Plato, not scripture, not Christians writers, not church tradition. While it works as a descriptive model for a portion of humanity, it is a flawed model and cannot be used for prescriptive purposes.

      We are called to set aside the Old Testament to’ebah proscriptions, of which the Levitical law against man with male in the beds of a woman was one. Indeed, Paul was so adamant that these be set aside that he wrote that those who insisted on keeping them were once again under condemnation and no longer under grace. (He also expressed the opinion that those who got all bent out of shape about circumcision and observation of to’ebah should go all the way and just castrate themselves– ouch!)

      The problem with this question is it puts the onus of proof on the wrong party. In order for the church to reject and oppress a group of people, it is on those advocating such action to prove that such behaviour is scripturally supported.

      Here’s how the scripture says we are to treat others– love our brothers in Christ; love our neighbours (which, based on the parable of the good Samaritan, includes people not of our faith, nation, or ethnicity); love our enemy; do good to those who would do harm to us; treat everyone as we would wish to be treated; do not judge; feed the hungry; give drink to the thirsty; visit the sick and imprisoned; clothe the naked; care for widows and orphans; seek justice for the oppressed; don’t worry about money; be generous; ignore all distinctions of race, class, wealth, status, nationality, or gender in order to treat people with equality; consider all teachings in the light of their fruit in the lives of others as good teachings do not bear bad fruit.

      That last one is especially a great approach when dealing with new social issues that didn’t exist in Christ’s day or that the Bible doesn’t address specifically– women being able to vote, desegregated schools, apartheid, child labour laws, protecting LGBT people’s marriages and families and rights to housing and employment and education without fear of bullying.

      The concept of homosexuality didn’t exist in Christ’s day, therefore, the Bible says nothing about it. Oh, I’m not saying gay people didn’t exist, but the society didn’t recognise them as a separate group. The closest you got was laws on natural-born eunuchs, who would have been transwomen and gay and asexual men so far on that side of the Kinsey scale that they simply couldn’t perform at all sexually with women, and a few mentions of certain kinds of virgins, who might have been lesbians and transmen. Trans* folk, gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and asexuals that could manage to perform their marital duties entered into arranged marriages just like everyone else and lived their lives completely blending in with the straight majority. Like other non-neurotypical people, like folks with ADHD or autism spectrum, LGBT people aren’t addressed specifically in the Bible.

      Therefore, we must apply the laws of love, the golden rule, and the good fruit/bad fruit rule to how we treat LGBT people.

      So, in order to oppress LGBT people, insist they deny their God-given nature, judge their behaviour by a different ruler than we apply to straight people, or make them unwelcome in the church, those teaching such things have to prove their position is scripturally supported. The onus is on them to show why we should treat LGBT relationships and people differently than straight relationships and people. They have to prove the handful of scriptures that speak about same-sex sexual relationships are addressing *all* same-sex relationships rather than addressing those indulged in by straight people against their God-given nature or in idolatrous, non-consensual, or abusive situations. They have to prove that the fruit of their teaching has been good, rather than resulting in misery, pain, oppression, abuse, poverty, homelessness, crime, brutality, and driving people away from Christ’s love and grace. They have to prove that their teaching is loving, non-judgmental, and impartial.

      Prove that. Then we’ll talk.

    • http://brmckay.wordpress.com/ brmckay

      Curious what Jesus’s take would be on Bibleism?

      • Ottomus James

        Well, since he affirmed the account of Jonah and the big fish/whale (Matthew 12), I think it’s safe to say he took it literally.

        • http://brmckay.wordpress.com/ brmckay

          Perhaps or perhaps not. Thanks though, for getting me to read a little bit. It’s been a long time.

          As for:

          “Whereas the New Testament does maintain moral teachings from the Old, as is the case with homosexuality.” – Ottomus James

          I would like to see the “red letter” edition so I can see who is maintaining these “moral teachings”.

          I trust Jesus to surf the metaphors with impeccable skill. But which “brothers, sisters or mother” really does the “Will of the Father who is in Heaven?”

          So many now-a-days, think that means checking off behaviors on a list of do’s and don’ts.

          • Ottomus James

            It’s definitely true that Christianity, like other religions/belief systems, can be unfortunately reduced to checklists. That’s the kind of thing Jesus was against, for sure. The Pharisees of His day checked off their tithes of their spices and simultaneously foreclosed on the widow next door. Our focus should be spiritual realities and the state of our hearts/souls.

            But that does not mean that there do not also exist “lists”/descriptions of acts/behaviors/ways of life that indicate internal spiritual realities. Christ mentioned some of these: giving to the poor, turning the other cheek, going the extra mile, (metaphorically) cutting off your right hand to avoid sinning, forgiving your brother, not causing children to stumble, etc.

            And of course the apostles expounded later on.

          • http://brmckay.wordpress.com/ brmckay

            “But that does not mean that there do not also exist “lists”/descriptions of acts/behaviors/ways of life that indicate internal spiritual realities. “

            I prefer not to practice thinking in the plural, as in “spiritual realities”.

            Simplifying to the intended message that God is All.

            Jesus would have been teaching about direct experience of that. i.e. Christ.

            Not setting himself up as a deity and especially not crippling people with lists.

            “Christ mentioned some of these: giving to the poor, turning the other cheek, going the extra mile, (metaphorically) cutting off your right hand to avoid sinning, forgiving your brother, not causing children to stumble, etc.”

            All these teachings from the mouth of one who knows. Laying the ground for the Intuitive leap.

            There is only God. The stillness of the center and the world of changing form. Not different.

            This can be known without reference to the Bible, or even knowledge of what is in it. It is our true nature and the driving force of evolution.

            The nature of Infinitude. God.

          • http://www.theunderstandingapp.com Kevin Osborne

            What is a spiritual reality? How is it internalized? Do you act nicely to become spiritually nice or are you nice because you are already spiritually nice? What was Jesus’ spiritual reality, assuming an acceptable definition can be found?

    • Jade

      It is only very recently that the Bible as the sole authority for Christians has been common in the West, and still isn’t for most Christians in the world, since most are Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox. As an Anglican I follow Scripture, Tradition and Reason together, and not Scripture alone – but I am still a Christian. My faith is in a Person, Jesus Christ, not a book written by humans. So no, Scripture isn’t my point of authority, God is. What you espouse is Bibliolatry. Oh and there are sexual orientations aside from gay and straight you know.

    • glorrierose

      There are TONS of articles out there demonstrating that the Bible isn’t anti-homosexuality per se. Here is one of the best:

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/05/15/my-take-what-the-bible-really-says-about-homosexuality/

      Yes, that is an opinion. That is, it is an INTERPRETATION of actual Biblical passages.

      So is every argument that insists the Bible condemns homosexuality. It is ALL interpretation, and therefore, it is ALL OPINION.

      • Bill Steffenhagen

        To answer your last question; Yes, it pretty much is after centuries of re-interpretation to the point where we now have….what, how many “versions”? Including those used now AND perhaps many from the past no longer used, it’s safe to suggest hundreds.

        Here’s two quite definitive books on the subject: WHAT THE BIBLE REALLY SAYS ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY, by Daniel Helmeniak, a former priest, and THE GOOD BOOK, by Peter Gomes, minister of the Memorial Church at Harvard and Plummer Professor of Christian Morals at Harvard College (now deceased). You really can’t get much better than that as a resource. He lays out an air tight case for his statement in the book that”no credible case against homosexuality or homosexuals can be made from the Bible unless one chooses to read scripture in a way that simply sustains the existing prejudice against homosexuality and homosexuals. The combination of ignorance and prejudice under the guise of morality makes the religious community, and it’s abuse of scripture in this regard, itself morally culpable.”

        The operative word there is “chooses”, as in chooses the “traditional” interpretation over another less prejudicial offered by eminent scholars and theologians and that cannot be disproved. But then that begs the question of WHY one would choose the traditional prejudicial interpretation over another non-prejudicial interpretation that is equally valid in that it cannot be disproved.

        The Bible, particularly in this matter, is wide open to varying interpretation. That is simply undeniable. If there is a Devil, (and I believe there is not, see the ORIGIN OF SATAN, by Elaine Pagels, among others), then this reprehensible, religiously motivated prejudice against homosexuals is one of his greatest lies.

    • FormerFundy1992

      Kaleb, If you are going to beat this old, tired, discredited drum, You necessarily must answer the following very short questions: Why do you not have slaves as the Bible, in the same old testament you quote – and in the new testament for that matter – does not specifically prohibit it, and actually supports it?
      Since the Bible specifically discusses, blesses, and supports an array of types of marriage, not just one man one woman (in fact it never, anywhere states that is the only kind of marriage there should be) why is that the only kind of marriage many IFB churches will bless.
      Do you eat shrimp, wear clothing with mixed kinds of fiber, make your wife live outside your city for several days each month and sacrifice doves each month? if you answered yes to either of the first two and no either of the last two, you are not obeying the scriptures in the same place you take your other arguments from.
      See, you yourself only accept portions of the Bible. YOU pick and chose what you believe and follow and what you throw out.
      Since you are so firm on your KJV stance, I do hope you use the entire KJV, and not just eh 66 books that a few men decided where the only books they would print… yes, the KJV includes 13 more books than are printed in most publications of the “KJV”. I can warrant YOUR KJV is incomplete.

  • Kay

    Homosexuality was not mentioned by Jesus nor was it in the 10 Commandments, yet it is an obsession for those attacking it. One of the first to receive the gospel was the Ethiopian eunuch (basically a gay man). Jesus mentioned some eunuchs born that way. If we keep Levitical law we would also need to exclude bacon sandwiches & touching a football in today’s way of life. But as a straight Christian I have been researching because I have LGBT people in my life that I love & they are kind, decent citizens. They do not feel welcome in many churches. Dr Cynthia Chappell’s videos on the Biology of Sexual Orientation & on Science of Sexual Orientation are on houstonvoices.org (Houston PFLAG) & Youtube & Matthew Vines’ video on Youtube gives his Bible search & Presbyterian minister Jack Rogers’ book on Jesus, The Bible & Homosexuality are a few of the things giving me more grace & compassion on this topic.

    • Kay

      Correction to Link – it is
      Videos PFLAG Houston
      http://www.pflaghouston.org/vidindex.html

    • LT

      Incorrect on a couple of counts:

      1. Homosexuality is mentioned in the Ten Commandments in #6 (the only about adultery, which is a condemnation of sex outside of a heterosexual marriage).

      2. A eunuch isn’t basically a gay man. It is a man without sexual function, either by choice, by force, or by birth.

      3. We don’t keep the Levitical Law, or the Mosaic Law. Those ended according to the Bible.

      If you are going to discuss this topic, please get your facts straight.

      • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

        1. Homosexuality is not mentioned in the Ten Commandments. Adultery is cheating on one’s spouse, It has nothing to do with whether one’s significant other is male, female, or somewhere in between.

        2. A eunuch, in classical terms, is a castrated man. He had his testicles surgically removed, without ether or hospitals, so he’d pose no sexual threat. Jesus drew this parallel to eunuchs in Matthew 19:12: those born “other” (LGBT or frigid) and priests (celibate.)

        3. We are, in fact, inheritors of Mosaic Law. Jesus was a Jew. The NT absolved us of responsibility to those laws, but not of the responsibility of remembering them. Or how Jews were persecuted for their beliefs.

        • LT

          1. A spouse is a member of the opposite gender, by definition. Furthemore, the Ten Commandments were not given to address every single possible instance, but to give a paradigm for viewing the world.

          2. You start off correctly, but then you make the bizarre comment that the “other” are (LGBT). That’s simply untrue, and makes no sense whatsoever.

          3. We are not inheritors of the Mosaic Law. The NT makes that clear. The Mosaic Law was for the nation of Israel. We are not the nation of Israel. I am an American and under American law. I am not sure about you, but I know you are not under Israelite law since Israel does not exist in the OT terms.

          Furthermore, the NT is clear that homosexuality is a sin.

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            1. A spouse is “a husband or wife, considered in relation to their partner.” Nothing about whether the partner is husband or wife. It’s legally binding in 15 states, Canada, and much of Europe. Many more can enter civil unions or have church ceremonies, but not both.

            2. “For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb [kids born with nontraditional parts or orientations]: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men [the classical Greek definition]: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake [celibate for whatever reason.] He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.” –Matthew 19:12, KJV.

            3. Jesus was a Jew. He preached in temples as well as on the street. He was eloquent in midrash. Nothing was written for +/- 100 years. Proof could get you killed. To disregard his background is to negate his most important message: what was once exclusive to the chosen people is now open to everyone. “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

            No mention of whether your neighbor is gay. You’re thinking of Paul. He had issues.

          • LT

            Again, you are simply wrong, whether because of prejudice or simply not knowing.

            1. Marriage is a man and a woman. Period. Calling a same-sex relationship “marriage” is a misuse of the word. The fact that governments do it doesn’t change that. What is “legally binding” (actually legal, not binding) in any state is irrelevant to the actual issue.

            2. You will note that “non-traditional parts or orientation” is something you said, not something Jesus said. Don’t misuse his name and break the third commandment to further your own opinion. Let his view be his, and have your own view.

            3. That’s unintelligible. I have no idea what you are trying to say. There is no doubt that Jesus was a Jew. Your reference to things written for +/- 100 years make no sense. The NT documents date between 20 and 60 years after the time of Christ. They were all written prior to AD 100. To love God and your neighbor requires us to love truth and tell it to others. We are not loving homosexual people when we allow them to continue their destructive lifestyle unchallenged. That is abuse to the greatest degree because it has eternal consequences. You should join us in standing against abuse of people made in God’s image.

            4. Your comment about Paul is likewise unintelligible. Paul was an apostle of Christ, who received revelation from God. To make Paul contradict Jesus is to call God a liar. That is not loving God (the greatest commandment you list above).

            I sincerely hope that you are being intentionally dishonest here. I recognize that many people simply don’t know the Bible and have merely believed what others have told them. But now, you have no excuse. You know what the Bible teaches. The only question is whether or not you will accept it.

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            Yup. I’ll join fundy oversimplification of the Bible when hell freezes over. I don’t need your approval. I don’t care if you call me a liar. I studied the Bible at Corpus Christi, Oxford. Anono-man’s interpretation means exactly zilch to me. That you think all NT documents pre-date 100 AD demonstrates your ignorance. Btw, scholars use the terms BCE and CE now. For about 20 years.

            Paul was OK. He didn’t influence Augustine and therefore the Renaissance and Reformation because God hated him. But he didn’t die on a cross. He fell off a horse. He didn’t address consensual LGBT relationships anyway. He warned against what amounted to violent rape of men and boys.

            Back to work!

          • LT

            You are right that you don’t need my approval. You need God’s, and you need to listen to his word. It doesn’t really matter where you study. What matters is the truth.

            The NT documents all date to pre 100 AD, and yes BCE and CE are used, but they are new, not all that common in theological studies, and they refer to exactly the same thing. That you think some date after 100 is just foolishness. There’s a reason that was never believed in the history of the church until recently. There is no credible evidence for that.

            Paul did address consensual relationships. He called them unnatural; that’s not even a theological argument. His point is that nature itself precludes homosexual relationships. The Bible does not distinguish between consensual and nonconsensual homosexual relationships. However, in Romans 1, it is clearly consensual, “men burning in their desire towards one another.” The “one another” means it is reciprocal; not one-sided.

            So back to work, and include the Bible in your work. It actually matters for more than a prop.

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            Yep. Got God’s approval and His forgiveness if I’m wrong. If you formally study theology, BCE and CE are hardly new. In educated circles, you don’t use the Bible as a prop. There are … too many people like you waving it around.

          • LT

            You only have God’s approval through Christ, and that comes from faith and repentance towards Christ. You cannot maintain a position of resistance towards him and still have his approval.

            I apparently have formally studied theology probably longer and more in depth than you (unless this conversation is misleading and you know more than you act like here). BCE and CE are new. You said twenty years. And you were wrong. The popular use is actually about 30 years give or take, so you were close. But that is new, when compared to at least two thousand years of historical theology. (The terms originated before that, but in a different sense.) But as I said, that is a red herring. Biblical scholars still routinely used BC and AD. And you, rather than discussing substance, want to talk about a dating scheme?

            You are using the Bible as a prop. That can be seen by the way you use an ancient document to support a modern hypothesis. The Bible appears to have no relevance to you other than to support a belief system you have chosen to embrace. That’s why you can so easily deny what it says about homosexuality. It’s only purpose for you is to explain why it doesn’t mean what it says. You show no willing to live under it.

            In the end, your position is a new one, is severely deficient in terms of biblical or textual analysis. You would be better off denying that the Bible is true than trying to change what the Bible says. The former actually has more credibility because it enables you to use language properly. The latter requires you to deny even the most rudimentary principles of communication.

            However, I sense from this discussion that we are quickly approaching the limits of your knowledge about this topic. I am not sure it can go much further. We are simply too far apart in basic knowledge of the subject at hand.

          • anakinmcfly

            Drive by history comment to say that ‘eunuch’ was, in Bible times, also used to include men whom we would today consider gay. They traditionally referred to ‘effeminate’ men who had no interest in women, be it either due to castration, asexuality, or homosexuality.

            Regarding Romans 1:

            A1) Paul speaks of people ‘exchanging’ and ‘giving up’ their heterosexual relations for homosexual ones, strongly suggesting that these were straight people engaging in homosexual sex against their nature. That’s not what actual gay people do. (Sometimes they are pressured into heterosexual relationships before ditching them, but their desires never pointed that way to begin with, unlike the people Paul talks about.)

            A2) A good number of scholars think that Paul was referring to the pagan temple rituals on Acrocorinth, where ritualistic sex – between multiple people, regardless of gender or relation – was something that happened. This would fit in nicely with how Paul spoke of this behaviour as resulting from a rebellion against God.

            A3) When taking the full context of that passage into account, there is also a lot of scholarly belief that Paul was expressing the stereotypical opinions of the Jews against the Gentiles (he later does the opposite), in order to then rebuke both sides for their judgementalism – which he does eventually do.

            Meanwhile, I am honestly interested to know how you define ‘same sex’. Be specific, particularly with how this applies to intersex people – do you expect them to live celibate single lives forever, due to not being easily classified as either male nor female and thus at least a little bit homosexual regardless of who they have sexual relations with?

            B1) If you say it depends on what gender they ‘feel’ like, I assume you’re totally cool with transgender people’s sex lives, then? At least the straight ones?

            B2) If you say it depends on genitals, it’s back to the question of intersex people, many of whom have ambiguous genitalia (and others of whom have genitals that later develop to more closely resemble the ‘other’ set over the course of their lives). If you say it depends on chromosomes, when was the last time you had your chromosomes tested? There are apparently a lot of people going around with sex-atypical chromosomes – and thus intersex – who are completely unaware of it. If it turns out that you actually have the sex chromosomes of the ‘opposite’ sex, does that mean that you would, as a Bible-believing Christian, cease your broken attractions and target them at the *actual* opposite sex to you?

            B3) Why does no one ever manage to give me a satisfactory answer to these questions? I’m genuinely interested to know. :( It’s just about logical consistency; there’s no trickery involved anywhere.

          • Matt

            Anakin–I doubt you’ll ever get a satisfactory answer. We trans folks are walking, breathing wrenches in their “logic” that unravel every argument they have simply by existing. I have tried too, and never gotten a response. That’s how we know their position is untenable–they have to ignore a population made up of millions of people just to have a wobbly leg to stand on.

          • Jill

            Ignoring a population is a well-worn dynamic. SO much easier than admitting doubt. Or ignorance.

          • Andy

            He’s had 2 weeks to answer this now.

          • LT

            Andy, I am not sure what your confusion is. Perhaps the lack of a “satisfactory answer” to your question is due to your inability or unwillingness to process reality. You are welcome to do that, but don’t pretend like there are no answers. Your questions aren’t even legitimate questions to be honest with you. But I doubt you are looking for answers. If you were, you wouldn’t be looking for them on a CNN blog. You are more than likely as bigoted as the rest of the participants here, and so narrow-minded as to be unwilling to consider the views of others. Hopefully one day you will come to live in the 20th century (the 21st is a bit much to ask for someone so backwards in their thinking as you are). But if you are interested, there are plenty of answers available to you.

          • anakinmcfly

            Oh, wait, were you responding to me? Then that’s me, not Andy.

            “is due to your inability or unwillingness to process reality”

            Please point out where exactly I did this, or how my questions aren’t legitimate. I live those questions every day.

            “But I doubt you are looking for answers.”

            Oh, I am. I always am, and I’ve changed my views various times throughout my life as the result of reasoned debate in which the other party showed me that I was wrong. Whereas all you’ve done is to state that I’m wrong without telling me *how*.

          • LT

            I did tell you how you were wrong in several different ways, both physiologically and philosophically. I am not sure how it could be any clearer. If you can’t see it, then it is time to question your education that has gotten you to this place in life. Your preconceptions and precommitments are blinding you to what is obvious and evident to all.

          • anakinmcfly

            It’s possible you’re mistaking me for other people here (Andy, etc), because I only recently joined the discussion, and you never explained how I was wrong.

            Okay, let’s make this simple, since you think it’s so clear: I’m a gay guy with a vagina and a very tiny penis. Who am I allowed to fall in love and have sex with? A woman with a penis and a very tiny vagina? If so, how do you propose I go about finding such a partner, without asking the kinds of inappropriate questions that will probably get me banned from decent society?

            I did a google search earlier on intersex Christians and found a few depressing forum threads in which people declared that all intersex and/or trans people should remain single and celibate for life, and that any sexual/romantic attraction to anybody that we experience is thus of the Devil and we should repent. Well, at least it presents a solution, though there’s zero biblical support for this and I very strongly doubt that Jesus would approve.

            P.S. I’m a 24 year old virgin and don’t know what gay ‘lifestyle’ you keep going on about. The only lifestyle I have is playing a lot of video games, volunteering at church, being lonely, and trying to find a job. Not the best lifestyle, I admit, but I can’t see anything sexually perverse about it.

          • Andy

            Pretty much everything you said here is wrong. Let’s try again.

          • LT

            So we should just take your word for it? Your contention is completely without merit in reality, as you know. Again, it is time to abandon your narrow-minded, old-fashioned, out of date ways and come into reality.

          • Andy

            That unsupported ad hominem won’t fly here. Try again.

          • Carlton Gregg

            Since when is the Bible no longer used in theologically educated circles???

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            Since when is the Bible only used in theologically uneducated circles?

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            ****His point is that nature itself precludes homosexual relationships.*****
            OK, now this is where I interject. That statement is so utterly false that even you must surely know better, which makes you either a lying hypocrite or, at the very least, a willful ignoramus. See BIOLOGICAL EXUBERANCE by Bruce Bagemihl, after which I trust you will stfu already about that patently false argument. (It even has pictures of animals “doing it”, so you’ll like that.) Thomas Acquinas liked that argument too but, today, his knowledge of biology would be laughed out of kindergarten.
            I weary of the non-starter anti-gay arguments of willfully ignorant “christians”.

          • LT

            Huh? That makes no sense. You should have saved your interjection, since it would you have saved you some embarrassment.

            Basic physiology shows that male and female naturally go together, and male/male and female/female do not naturally go together. That’s not even disputed, at least by anyone with common sense and no agenda. Even kids at a very young age know this. If your picture is any indication of your age, then you certainly know it.

            It’s not an anti-gay argument to point out the obvious. Don’t be so bigoted.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            Everyone will note that you didn’t respond to the biological evidence. You people never do respond to hard evidence (pun intended). You deflect from it with mere opinion as you just did. You insist that “male/male and female/female do not naturally go together.” You said it, so now you are obligated to say WHY that is so…BEYOND MERELY SAYING SO. What you said is merely opinion. You present no facts to back it up. Listen up everyone. I’m really hoping LT comes back citing genitalia as proof of his/her (not sure which) contentions.

          • LT

            Are you seriously not aware of physiology? I thought it everyone beyond three years old knew the hard physical evidence that men and women have bodies that are different, that naturally go together. That’s not opinion. If you think it is, then pick up a second grade science book, or a playboy or something. It’s basic biology. It is undeniable.

            I think you are a troll. No one could seriously argue with the evidence. This is where you should come back at me by saying nature doesn’t matter, or isn’t determinate. That is actually an argument you might sustain (for at least a paragraph).

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            You have not seen me argue against the naturalness of male/female physiological attraction. I agree with you completely on that. Hey, I was even married once and have two sons. What I don’t agree with is your implication that male/male or female/female it NOT natural. It simply IS natural and THAT evidence is equally undeniable. It is ALSO “basic biology”. The proof is out there, IN NATURE. You cannot deny it. You can only avoid seeing it BY NOT LOOKING, and then pretending it isn’t there. That is the epitome of willful ignorance and if that was all there was to it, who would care about what you believe. Problem is, what you believe isn’t good enuf for people like you. You NEED to feel validated by trying to make everyone believe what you do and, no doubt if you could get away with it, codify it into federal law and our Constitution, or even replace it with the Bible.

            I will not engage you further. I’m starting to feel foolish trying to discuss anything with someone who doesn’t THINK.

          • LT

            Your feelings of foolishness are well placed. I rarely run across someone who makes such foolish arguments in the blogosphere, and it’s even rarer to see someone who admits it.

            Your accusations of me not thinking are not well-placed. I am the only one in this conversation that is thinking, or reading apparently. I said nothing about the naturalness of attraction. I spoke of the naturalness of physiology–that body parts. Male/male and female/female is not natural. They don’t go together. As you say, the proof is out there, and it is undeniable. It is, in your words, foolish to deny it.

            I don’t need to feel validated. It’s not about belief. And I wouldn’t codify the Bible into the constitution or any such thing (although parts of the Bible are codified in our laws already). But all of that is irrelevant. The fact remains that, on the point in question, male/male and female/female relationships are not natural. By nature–the body parts–they don’t work together. They have to be forced.

          • Oswald Carnes

            What an arrogant jackass you are! I want nothing to do with you or your imaginary friends.

          • LT

            I am not following you here. I haven’t been arrogant, and I haven’t called anyone names. I have been attacked here by a number of people, now including yourself who doesn’t even contribute to the conversation except to call names.

            And people call me intolerant? I have never treated anyone like you just treated me.

            But you have nothing to do with me. I don’t know you and you don’t know me. Which makes your comments all the more curious. You have no way of knowing whether or not I am arrogant or a jackass.

          • Andy

            If you post arrogant or jackassy things on the internet, don’t be surprised when people call you arrogant or a jackass. This is not rocket surgery.

          • LT

            I didn’t do either of those things, as you know from reading my posts.

            Your bigotry, name-calling, and intolerance against those who hold different views than you do is wrong. You need to open your eyes and your mind, and stop being so bigoted and narrow-minded.

          • Oswald Carnes

            Good advice. You ought to take it. For myself, I have to be very careful that I don’t end up having to spend eternity around whiny bigot goons like you.

          • Andy

            Look, I was simply responding to your comment about how he has no way of knowing whether or not you are. I didn’t actually proffer an opinion on your posts, but since you brought it up…

            You are the one who’s being narrow-minded. By calling same-sex relationships unnatural, it sounds like you’re disapproving of gay sex. And if you are, you’re effectively condemning gays to be alone all their lives, or at least celibate, which is bigotry. It’s not bigotry to condemn bigotry.

            You are obviously the target audience for many of the articles on this blog. But you are clearly stuck in your bigoted ways. That would make you the munchkin calling the midget short.

          • LT

            Huh? I am narrow-minded? You are the one being bigoted against me. I haven’t said anything about whether or not homosexuals should be allowed to do what they want to. I haven’t said anything mean or unkind about them. But you have. You are pretending as if my opinion has no place. It is pure and unadulterated bigotry for you to treat me as you have.

            I didn’t call same-sex relationships unnatural. Nature calls them that, as does God (which is what the conversation was about). Homosexual people do not have to live alone or be celibate. They, like the rest of us, are free to marry, have families, and live a normal life.

            One day you will wake up and see the hypocrisy of your position. Hopefully you will learn to treat others with kindness and respect, even if their views are different than your’s are. And when you learn it, it will be from someone who is living like a Christian, the very person you profess to hate.

          • Andy

            I don’t hate anyone. I hate bigotry.

          • LT

            Apparently not enough since you are acting like a bigot here.

          • Andy

            Do you consider same-sex intercourse a sin? If you do, you are indicating bigotry towards gays.

            If you think I’m bigoted because I refuse to condone another person’s bigotry, then I don’t think we can agree on this at all. If a murderer says it’s okay to murder someone in his mind, and we condemn him, is that bigotry? I don’t think so. It’s standing up for what’s right.

          • anakinmcfly

            “Homosexual people do not have to live alone or be celibate. They, like the rest of us, are free to marry, have families, and live a normal life.”

            And yet you’d place the additional restriction on gay people that they are only allowed to marry people they’re not attracted to or in love with. Which, yes, is the case for even some people, given arranged marriages and such, but you’re insisting on this for gay people when you wouldn’t for straight people in the same context. And that’s unfair.

          • LT

            Um, I am not in favor of placing additional restrictions on homosexuals as to who they can marry. The law has long recognized lots of restrictions on marriage. No one has to marry, but those who do have to do it by law, and they actually have to get married. It is the same for straight people or homosexuals.

          • BrinKennedy

            Re: your second paragraph – right back at you, LT.

          • Oswald Carnes

            Allow me to rephrase: The comments you have posted are arrogant jackassary. If you, yourself, are not in fact an arrogant jackass, why are you trying to look like one on the internet?

          • The_Physeter

            Best answer EVER

          • anakinmcfly

            “By nature–the body parts–they don’t work together. ”

            But sometimes they do.

          • The_Physeter

            I don’t need to feel validated. It’s not about belief.

            But you go online to tell everybody how they *have to* agree with you–LOL.

            “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him.”

          • anakinmcfly

            “Are you seriously not aware of physiology?”

            Hey, I note you didn’t respond to my response to that point earlier down this thread. I’d honestly like your input on that.

          • LT

            I am not sure what you are talking about. And I doubt you would honestly like input. Honesty compels us to note that unnaturalness of homosexuality. If we were honest, there would be no debate here.

          • The_Physeter

            @LT Re:dating of the new testament

            I find it amusing that Elizabeth keeps quoting facts and scholars to back her statements up, and you keep just re-asserting your original assertion as if it’s more likely to be believed because of repetition.

            Saying, “nuh-uh, I’m right!” should have gone out of fashion when you were in primary school and has no place in an intelligent discussion between grown-ups.

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            Just for kicks, note the 110 AD. And John the Apostle wasn’t the same one who wrote Revelation. http://www.freebeginning.com/new_testament_dates/

          • LT

            Well, you are holding an opinion that no one with a credible argument holds. You are entitled to it, but it isn’t historical, and it isn’t well supported.

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            I’ll let the preeminent Biblical scholars Bloom, Kermode, and Josopovici know. I’m sure your disdain will make the Yale Sterling Professor of Humanities, Cambridge King Edward VII Professor of English Lit, and Nobel Prize winner tremble. My don was only Dean, Senior Tutor, Tutor for Admission, and VP of Corpus.

            Look. Entitlement, history, and support in three sentences.

          • LT

            You probably already know that those names are not preeminent scholars in any sense of the word “preeminent” or “scholar.” There has been a long line of unbelief and denial of even the prima facie case for the historicity of the OT that stems largely from German rationalism. The history of theology shows the newness of your position, and reveals that it is utterly bankrupt. No serious reading of the NT either as literature or in its historical discipline would reach those conclusions.

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            Right. God’s so dumb He can’t write a book. I assume you mean “are not” in the first sentence. You can’t even write a coherent blog comment. Bored now. Won’t trouble your intellect again.

          • LT

            Yes, you are correct. I made a typing mistake. But no, God is not dumb. He did write a book. And you haven’t troubled my intellect at all. This hasn’t even been remotely stimulating. There is nothing here past the most superficial of comments from you. That won’t trouble anyone’s intellect.

  • Jade

    Even if one believes that same-gender sexual activity is sinful, what BJU is doing is abusive. The fact that an educational institution like BJU can even exist is so puzzling to me, though. Do university students in the US have a union/organisation? Here in the UK we have the NUS or National Union of Students. While we do have some private universities it’s extremely rare for people to attend them, given the high standard of state universities (all the big-name UK unis are state ones) – and conservative Christians don’t avoid state unis either. Bear in mind that in England we have a state church and all schools have (or are supposed to have) prayer and Christian worship….yet we don’t have a BJU. So difficult for me to understand.

    • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

      Hi Jade. Can I take a swing at this? I spent a year at Oxford. Free tampons in the student union, free health care, and the pub subsidized student beer. Only £1.5. The four-years protested because the university wanted to raise tuition over £5K p/y. That is, for the same education for which I paid $26K as a visiting American. And this was twenty years ago.

      It was all Alice falling down the rabbit hole. How the UK beats the US at education is ridiculous. The short answer is, “No.” Technically, the US has http://www.usstudents.org, but I’ve never heard of them. One of the brilliant things about Brits, in general, is their ability to separate their religious beliefs from their scholarship. My Bible as Lit professor was an evangelical Christian. (And a musician!) I read it in his bio. One-on-one tutorials for three terms, and it never came up. Not once. He would no more sully the Bible with his personal beliefs than he would show up in less than a three-piece suit.

      • Jade

        I guess the private university system helps the US system fail like this. Here, aside from there being no real point to attending a private university, there is still widespread discomfort with sending your child to private schools for their compulsory education (and homeschoolers tend to be hippies who can’t afford Steiner schools – religious homeschooling isn’t common here, possibly because we have state-funded faith schools, albeit ones who must teach the national curriculum including evolution and sex ed). Politicians get ridiculed for it, unless they’re so posh it’s inevitable (like David Cameron).

        • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

          There are some great public schools in the US. University of Michigan is hot in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and the University of California system can’t be beat. That said, they are still prohibitively expensive. U of M is $28K p/y for in-state residents and $56K for out-of-state residents. My alma mater, based on the Oxford model hence the association, is consistently the most expensive school in the USA. This year, it’s $62K a year. That’s without EATING. My parents, bless their hearts, said, “Once you get over $20K a year, we’re not going to sweat a thousand here or there.”

          Don’t get me wrong. I got jobs with that name. A millionaire hired me to be his document guru, even though I didn’t know the software, just based on the Sarah Lawrence name. That’s why you go private school in the US. But how many 18-year-olds are willing to sign up for a quarter mil in debt? How many of their parents save up since they were born to pay it in cash? It’s a nightmare system. Truly.

          • Guest

            Ugh, totally. My college had nothing on yours, even though it has brand worth too – really, peerless worth among fellow alumni.

        • Ottomus James

          Just want to point out here that all of the 8 Ivy League schools are private institutions. And no, I’m not saying that BJU is among them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivy_League

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            The private school system is pretty crummy. The tuition at my alma mater — for decades a contender for most expensive school in the country — doubled since I graduated. Double a number that was already ludicrous. Part of the problem is that women’s schools have far smaller endowments. Just FYI, Jade, the advantages of private schools are smaller class sizes and one-on-one professor time.

          • Ottomus James

            They definitely tend the break the bank. Lots of them, anyway.

  • Bill Burns

    As I read these comments it is so clear that a lot of so called christians have forgotten something. You ask what? It is the foundation of what determines right and wrong. I believe every christian is commanded by God ti submit to His will. Well one must ask does God direct my life? If he does the Spirit that lives within will tell you what is right or wrong. God does not have two opinions on this issue. Does homosexuality reflect God? If yes then we should not marry.If no homosexuality is sin. If it is sin then we all know the correct answer. Will we follow Christ or will we go down the path of destruction. Remember if you say you love God, your life will reflect him and not the world

    • Giauz Ragnarock

      So gays should marry each other and straights should marry each other and both should be treated equally and justly because Jesus’s voice is so loud about this principle we can scarcely hear anything else?

      • April Garland

        Well said!

      • Bob Muenchausen

        Yes! There aren’t all that many folks, in my experience, who are listening to that voice, whether they be “Christians” or not. It is sometimes harder to hear His voice when Churchianity has taken a bullhorn.

    • Georgia Carter

      I’ll agree with you if you answer me one question. Were you born with your sexuality intact (sexually attracted to the opposite sex) or were you sexually attracted to both sexes and made a choice. If you were born with your sexuality intact then homosexuality is something a person is born with like the color of their skin or hair color. If you made a choice of which sex you were attracted to, only then is it a choice. Most Christians I’ve asked this question have refused to answer. I’m a Christian and Christ lives in me and through me and I believe that we are to do as Jesus commanded in John 13:34-35 and that is to love our neighbors gay or straight, old or young, black, white, red or yellow as Jesus loves us, unconditionally.

  • Carlton Gregg

    In all of God’s creation how many animals mate with same gender? Being gay is a choice. However I don’t condemn “gays” to hell. It is a sin, but God is the judge. My job as His servant to is to love. Not love those who agree with me, but to love everyone where they are. If Christ had only come and loved those who agreed with Him. This argument would never be taking place. As someone who wants to be God’s servant I show others that they have sinned according to God’s laws, and that He loved them enough to send His only Son as an atonement for that sin.

    I attended Bob Jones for a year. I plan on returning. There are many aspects of the school I agree with (part of why I choose that school over 5 others I had in mind. Secular and Private). However there are also many things I disagree with them on. One of those is being how they attacked and continue to attack the gay community. I find it a lack of love and compassion on their part. I struggle with porn/ lust. Which is very much a clearly stated sin. Matthew 5:28 “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” However I have the grace of God who forgives me when I fall. The same grace He offers to all who will listen to His Word. Gays, Fornicators, Thieves, Liars, Alcoholics, Ect… It doesn’t matter the sin God gives hope and salvation to all who call on His name.

    Like I said it’s not my job to judge the heart of another or to hate someone for their sin being different than mine. My job is to love them where the sinner is at and point them to the love of Christ. I believe that is what BJU is after as well no matter how bad of a job they do at it sometimes.

    • Andy

      I stopped reading after you said “it is a sin.” You could really benefit from reading more of John’s stuff. You would have fewer enemies in the world.

      • Carlton Gregg

        Funny I don’t recall Jesus saying to make less enemies in the world. He does however mention they will hate you and curse you for following Him. Even funnier most people like me.. Odd right??? Even if I am a so called hateful bigot… (according to the liberals out there)

        • Andy

          You are a hateful bigot.

          Also, you said that being gay is a choice. So when did you choose to be straight?

          • Carlton Gregg

            Well if I am, then I suppose you are as well. By your own standards you assume that a hateful bigot is one that speaks out about what he believes. Making you a hateful bigot as well. Now as far as being gay it has always been a choice. I “chose” to be straight when I learned what God’s intent for human relationships to be. Such as becoming one before God. That is strictly designated for a man and woman. Hence why the two parts fit together. And you’ll have to excuse the lateness of the re-post I have other things that require my attention other than arguing on this site :)

          • Carlton Gregg

            By the way I did some research for you and here is the definition of bigot
            big·ot noun ˈbi-gət
            : a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc. : a bigoted person; especially : a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group (such as a racial or religious group)

            But that doesn’t fit me because I have said I do dislike a person for being gay, I don’t treat them with any less respect because of their lifestyle. However I do think its important to point out sins, that is not one a chose to hit first simply cause as is made very clear just in almost all of these comments, its a huge turn off and at that point the connection is lost. I point them to the cross using the same sins I struggle with such as lying, or stealing, or covetousness. Then as they grow spiritually they can determine for themselves what God says about other sins and how they can change them through His power. My personal belief from the Bible is that homosexuality is wrong and sinful.

          • Andy

            You’re free to believe that. When you want to join the 21st century, let us know. We’ll be over here not hating on people because of how they were born.

          • Carlton Gregg

            So your telling me for over 20 centuries nearly ever culture that has existed believed homosexuality to be unnatural or right, but now because we are so-called “more sophisticated”, and “more intelligent” its okay? You’ll have to forgive me skepticism. Besides better to play it safe than sorry.

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            Stephen Jones is gone from BJU. He was so very good at upholding the ideology you hold dear, he was removed within a month of this week-long exposé.

            It’s very adulteress at the well. As soon as Jesus said let ye who is without sin cast the first stone, the Pharisees fled. As soon as the light shone too brightly on BJU, whatever malfunctioning infrastructure they have there yanked heir-apparent Stephen off-stage. As soon as Carlton Gregg is cornered, he goes with but “better to play it safe than sorry.”

            Shoo, fly. Even trolls must have a stocking to hang right about now.

          • Carlton Gregg

            Stephen Jones left due to sickness he has battled with for some time now. He felt as though he could no longer properly serve the student body in an effective manner. He is a respectable man who held to his beliefs. Sadly respect is some long removed from our society.

            We as Christians have been called to live above reproach. Even if this doesn’t change your mind (which I’m not over convinced you will change. even after hearing the truth.) What about James 4:17 “To Him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is a sin”?

          • anakinmcfly

            If you chose to be straight, then you’re bisexual. Actual gay and straight people have no choice in the matter, at all.

          • Andy

            I’m having a good laugh about the juxtaposition of you calling him “respectable” with all the hateful things he allegedly said.

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

            I am rather dubious as to the “official” reason for Mr. Jones’ resignation. The college tends to be less than open when it comes to the inner workings of it’s hierarchy. He may have been ill, but I suspect that it’s more than that,

          • Andy

            Every culture has believed that? Evidence, please. I’m calling bullshit.

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

            Egypt, the Congo, Japan, China, Thailand, Greece, Both Americas, Rome, England, Assyria, Iran, and other nations where Islam is practiced, Melanaisa, New Guinea, India….

            All of these locations and cultures record homosexual pairings and couples, as acceptable and normal parts of society. Religion has been the one to put restraints on what is natural, not the other way around.

          • Matt

            It is God’s place to judge. Ours is to love, without reservation. God is more than capable of doing the former, and you are designed for the latter. Act like it.

          • adam

            What is your “personal belief from the Bible” about wearing mixed fabrics, eating shellfish, adultery and of course….

            he that soweth discord among brethren- Proverbs 6
            since you didn’t mention any of these.

          • Ottomus James

            Ah yes, it is fun to quote Old Testament passages as proof of conservative Christians’ inconsistency. However, there IS actually a meaning to the words “old” and “new” in “Old Testament” and “New Testament.” Much of the old no longer applies. The New Testament makes it quite clear that we don’t have to obey the ceremonial stuff (i.e. Peter eating “unclean” things with the Romans, washings, etc., etc., etc.). Whereas the New Testament does maintain moral teachings form the Old, as is the case with homosexuality.

          • adam

            So your Jesus was a LIAR?

            Matthew 5:18
            18 For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle shall in any wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled.

            Heaven and earth are still here….

          • Ottomus James

            How dare you make me think? and now I’ve gotta try to expose my understanding of theology to everybody on here…. Gimme a minute.

          • Ottomus James

            Alas, I must confess that I don’t have a perfect understanding of all of Scripture. But… if I may give my humble opinion on this passage, I’m guessing the thrust of it is that God’s Word is preserved through time and that it’s all going to be fulfilled. And “fulfilled” might not always mean “every statue in force” (like lots of the Levitical stuff and laws for Jewish kings, etc.). It might mean more like “fulfilled” :) Yeah, I’m never gonna write a commentary….

          • adam

            Yes, Jesus said that it would be fulfilled;

            Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

            In THEIR lifetime…

            So you can figure out if Jesus was lying OR people are lying to you now.

          • Ottomus James

            I really don’t see those as my only two options. The kingdom coming in their lifetime could have referred to Peter, James, and John seeing Christ’s transfiguration shortly thereafter, or it could’ve referred to the beginning of the church a little after that.

          • adam

            [fundie anti-gay statement deleted.]

          • Judy

            Actually you chose to be straight about week sixteen in utero. It was then that your epigenetic material responded to the testosterone in the placental circulation. Your decision to be an arrogant judge mental Pharisee came much later in life. Please go back to BJU, you do fit in with the culture there oh so well.

          • Carlton Gregg

            Please explain to me how I am an arrogant judgmental pharisee? Because I have a different view point and speak my mind openly about it. Isn’t that the exact same message you proclaim. Or is it only to those who agree with you? I have not been rude, I have stated my point of view based on what I have been taught from the God’s Word. Oddly enough most of the arrogance and judgment have come from y’all.
            I chose to be straight. END OF STORY. Just as someone who is gay decides to be gay. AND I REPEAT I have never treated someone different than me with disrespect. They have their sins that they struggle with just I do.

            Btw I loved it at BJU I learned a lot in my short time there and none of it included hate.

          • Andy

            If you chose to be straight, then you could just choose to be gay any time, right?

          • The_Physeter

            You are not called “arrogant”, “judgmental”, or “a bigot” because you dared to have a different viewpoint. You are called these things because your viewpoint is arrogant, judgmental and bigoted.

            If you “chose” to like the opposite sex, that means you are bisexual. If you are gay or straight, that means you have a natural in-born desire for one or the other that you cannot change. Sorry friend, but you are bisexual. Look it up.

          • Andy

            Wow. Just, wow.

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

            “I “chose” to be straight when I learned what God’s intent for human relationships to be.”

            So until then you had no problem with the possiblity of sex with any gender?

          • Carlton Gregg

            When seven or eight sex really isn’t on your mind…. I enjoyed playing outside with friends and building with legos. that’s all I cared about.

          • David

            Andy, you really sound like the hateful bigot here. Can’t others have an opinion? And your question, “when did you choose to be straight” is anecdotal and really makes no point.

          • Bones

            Really? So standing up against oppression and ignorance is hateful bigotry?

            No hateful bigotry is to to demonise those that you can’t stand.

            Now a choice is to choose one thing or another.

            Not quite sure at what stage I chose girls as being more attractive to me than blokes.

        • Andy

          Still waiting for an answer. You said being gay is a choice. Did you figure out when you chose to be straight? I’m really interested to hear when you made that decision.

          • whisperingsage1

            I have read the NAMBLA site when it was still available, and there were links off that page by gay men and they admitted they were first encountered to a molestation (THEY didn’t call it that) when they were 11-15 in public pools, private places, etc, and they began to learn it then because that is the time that judgement develops and if you don’t know what right and wrong is yet, and someone causes a molestation to become part of your neuronal development, then you think you are gay. read Alfred Kinseys deliberate success at warping the minds of Americans in 1958; http://www.amazon.com/Kinsey-Crimes-Consequences-Queen-Scheme/dp/0966662407/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1401912233&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=alfred+kinsey%2C+judith+reissman

            he caused all this confusion and dementedness.

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

            NAMBLA never had more than about 1000 members. I would consider any anecodtal evidence they presented as suspect, because they had a specific agenda. In otherwords, they likely lied their asses off.

            Kinsey had some ideas about human sexuality, some of it spot on, some of it later proven to be mistaken. He did not cause confusion or dementedness. He just brought the topic of human sexuality into the open, not a bad thing.

            What has been shown is that molestation does not make people gay. Thousands of kids are assaulted by adults every year, few grow up to be gay. They all are traumatized by the predatory nature of adults, who are overwhelmingly heterosexual, often relatives, or family friends….even clergy, as sexual abuse in the protestant ranks of the clergy is shockingly high.

            Homosexuality is simply a part of the human sexual spectrum, that ranges from heterosexuals, to bi-sexuals, to homosexuals, to non-sexuals, and variations in between. We have people born with boths sets of genitals, with the DNA of one gender, and the sexual organs of another, or even the mindset of one, and the sexual organs of another. Sexually, we are not one size fits all.

          • Andy

            I’m sorry, but you can’t cite NAMBLA as evidence of anything that doesn’t involve legitimately insane people.

            And if you suggest that simply being gay makes someone insane, you won’t be welcome around here anymore.

          • Ottomus James

            “Anymore?” haha

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

          Jesus didn’t tell us to make enemies, period. He told us to love our enemies, forgive them, pray for them, try to help them become a friend, not provoke them into hating us more.

          Too bad people are so good at doing just the opposite and doing so evoking his name.

          • Ottomus James

            He/she’s probably thinking of John 15:18-19.

        • The_Physeter

          1 Peter 2:19-20 — ” For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it?”

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

      “In all of God’s creation how many animals mate with same gender? ”
      Over 1500 species have been recorded doing so, 500 well documented. The list includes species of ducks, bats, sheep, cows and primates, There are also species that can switch genders. There is a wide range of sexual behavior variations in the animal kingdom

    • The_Physeter

      Claims shouldn’t be made without facts to back them up. Here is an article about the 1,500 different species of animals in “God’s creation” who exhibit same-sex behavior. It says, “The most well-known homosexual animal is the dwarf chimpanzee, one of humanity’s closes relatives. The entire species is bisexual. Sex plays an conspicuous role in all their activities and takes the focus away from violence, which is the most typical method of solving conflicts among primates and many other animals.”

      Also? Rape is common among animals. Animals don’t have the ideas of love and consent that we do. So it is foolish to claim we would be more “Biblically moral” if we had sex like animals.

      This is not new information. It is commonly known. When you make such ignorant posts you just show everyone how deeply your head is buried in the sand.

    • David

      That’s an honest approach. I also attended this school, but left after a short time as I was looking for something a little different. But people like Mr. Shore really misrepresent the true nature of this school, which is actually a very good place.

      • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

        I notice, David, that you opened a Disqus account just today–and that the only three comments you’ve left with that account is on this blog post. Which indicates you joined Disqus with the express purpose of commenting on this post. BJU is notorious for sending out trolls to open new comment accounts so that they can then play the role of concern troll on posts just like this one. My guess is you’re one of those people. I hope I’m wrong (although, God knows, you’d hardly be the first; my blog regularly crawls with such fundies like cockroaches on a cupcake). If I’m not wrong, and you are one of those dissembling lapdogs, I beg of you: Get a new hobby.

        • whisperingsage1

          I think I must have opened my first Disquis account for the purpose of posting acomment somewhere. Everytime I have ever made a new account it was because I was posting something. So what?
          I have accounts with several postings because they required a different registration. There would be no reason for me to otherwise. And I don’t think I am a troll. Usually trolls are mean and unthinking. I don’t know how you were able to track the commenter above a I can only see he is a “guest” , so maybe you are the troll?

    • AtalantaBethulia

      Re: “In all of God’s creation how many animals mate with same gender? ”

      Quite a lot, actually.

  • herewegokids

    John: you seriously don’t know why 4th is MIA?

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      I’ve heard. But that’s none of my business.

      • herewegokids

        No I agree. Mine neither. I just wondered.

  • David

    Man, I thought I would see some humanity on this page, like your website says at the top. Instead, I see an ax just grinding away…

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      I think you need to look up the phrase “ax to grind.”

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

      Actually, what you are seeing, is humanity, the honest, unadulterated version of humanity, in all its diverse glory. Humanity is gay, straight, and all the variations thereof. We are Christian, Hindu, agnostic, and so many variations there as well. We are rich, poor, disabled, elderly, colleges students, stay at home dads, grandparents, and single moms. We have diverse viewpoints on almost everything, and we don’t have to agree.

      If you are looking for one size fits all version of humanity, then you are looking in the wrong place.

  • Gill Haskey

    [Fundie nonsense deleted]


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