When your Christian family rejects you because you’re gay

I get what invariably strikes me as a baffling amount of criticism for being “too divisive.” “It divides the body of Christ!”, for instance, is/was Complaint #1 about The NALT Christians Project (which I co-founded). If I’ve had a Christian “instruct” me that I’m being too divisive one time, I’ve heard it from more Christians than you could swat with a ruler.

I can only assume that the Christians who feel that I help foster division within the church are not terribly familiar with such stories as the one below, emailed to me Friday. It must be nice to live in a world where such moral transgressions, such wounding bigotry, such egregious negation of love and humanity—such abominable uses of the infinite love of Jesus Christ—don’t occur.

Seriously, man: How much are tickets to live in that place? Cuz I’ll dig deeply to afford that cost. But until I can afford it—until I understand how any Christian at all can live there—I’m afraid I’m stuck in the world where this pain is a whole lot more real than, as far as I know, any Christian should be willing to accept:

Dear John,

I just discovered your blog. I’m in awe. Where did you come from?! As an openly gay man in my 40’s I have spent the last 25 years feeling as if I jumped from one closet to another. How can I believe in God and most of what I was taught by the Catholic Church and be gay? It’s been a constant struggle in my life. The simple act of walking into a church makes me cringe. I stay away at all costs. I feel that my relationship with God is personal, and I don’t need a church to “teach” me how to manage it. Being around “devout” Christians makes me uncomfortable. I feel shame simply by being in a room with them. Of course I would never admit that to one of “them” but it’s true. I do. I have “unfriended” people on Facebook because I can’t stand to read the biblical quotes and see them “praise” God. It makes my stomach turn. I hate that feeling. Your blog is like a ray of light! Thank you!!!!

As wonderful as your blog is, and despite the feelings I have described above, that is not my reason for writing you. I’m sure you hear this sort of thing over and over—I am hesitant to write at all—but something is telling me to do it. Perhaps you can offer me some advice/perspective.

I have a second cousin that is more like an aunt to me. She and her husband have always been “aunt and uncle” to me, and they have always said that I am a son to them—that I’m their fourth child. Their three daughters are the sisters I never had. I love them with all with all of my heart. I love my aunt and uncle unconditionally, and I would do anything to show my love and support for them. They are also devout born-again Christians. My aunt feels as if the Bible speaks to her, and she believes everything that she reads in it to be literal. It has been a source of constant struggle with the girls and me, dealing with their parents near fanatical belief in their version of Christianity. I have always accepted it for what it was. They have never made me feel unwelcome.

I was married in 2004 when SF opened same-sex marriage. We had a large reception with all of our family and friends a few months later. The girls were there—but my aunt and uncle were not. In fact—despite the fact that she is wedding planner—my aunt felt so strongly about not supporting my marriage that she refused to so much as help me get discounts on invitations. Still, I accepted it, and let it go. I had to. After all, these were two people that, at my very lowest point in life, literally swooped me up, took me home with them, and nurtured a very broken soul. (That’s another story for another day. Suffice it to say my 20’s weren’t so great.) So, although it was hard, I accepted their absence at the celebration of my happiness. My husband and I weren’t permitted to sleep in their home (not in the same room, anyway: we could, however, sleep in our trailer in their driveway), but, except for the sleeping thing, they never made him feel unwelcomed, and accepted him as part of our family.

Fast-forward to 2008, before proposition 8 embarrassingly passed in California. My then husband and I had adopted a 16-year-old girl from the State foster care system in 2006, and we sensed that we should marry again, because our 2004 marriage had been annulled by the court. We wanted to legalize our marriage, both for ourselves and for our daughter. We had a lovely ceremony in our backyard with our daughter officiating. Again, my aunt and uncle were absent. And, again, I accepted that for what it was. This time it hurt more though.

The following Christmas I sat down with my aunt. She was reluctant, because she thought I was going to try to make her wrong. I did just the opposite. I simply told her how I felt, and said that I would always love her and accept her, but that I did not understand. I asked her to explain to me how it was that between her three daughters there had been six marriages, all of which she had attended when she fully disagreed with their divorces—and yet she could not attend my marriage. For that she had no answer. I needed her to know that it mattered a lot to me that they had refused to celebrate my happiness. I told her that her prayers had been answered: that I was okay and I was happy; that I had a full, rich life, and felt truly blessed. I told her that just because God didn’t answer her prayers the way she wanted or thought he should didn’t mean that he hadn’t answered them. We both walked away from that conversation feeling respected and understood—sort of.

Well, my “happiness” didn’t last much longer. I found out that my husband had been doing things with other men that put my life at risk. We amicably split.

Then I met him—the one—and everything changed. My whole life turned upside down. I felt love like I had never felt it before. I loved more than I ever knew I could love. I would have done anything for him. He wasn’t out yet. He was tormented—tortured—and he fell deeply in love with me, too. Technically I was still married, as was he (to a woman for 25 years). His ex-wife decided to out him. That’s when we both realized how blessed we were. His family (strict Portuguese Catholics) embraced us both. His children also embraced us; heck, even his ex-wife’s family embraced us. His family—my family—it really was like something out of a Lifetime movie! My aunt and uncle adored him as well.

Then he proposed. I was thrilled. Everyone was thrilled. Everyone, that is, with the exception of my aunt and uncle. I expected that. I had, after all, been through it before. But it was different this time. I chose to hold out hope that this time they would see the difference. Everyone else did. How could they not see how this man—this love—had changed me and my life for the better?

We decided on a simple ceremony at City Hall with just his kids. It was wonderful (and the best birthday I had ever had!) That was on July 1st. Rather than having a big fancy wedding(ish) party, we decided on something more casual. We rented a campground and invited all of our family and friends to bring their RVs and tents. We barbequed a whole pig (!). We intentionally stayed away from anything “wedding”-like, because we wanted the focus to be on family and friends and all who had supported us throughout our journey.

My beloved aunt and uncle did not come. Their daughters and their grandchildren did. This time they at least sent a response card, declining to come, but saying they “loved us.” This time—again—it hurt more. This time I was devastated. It was such a wonderful day for me: but there was a giant hole right in the middle of it. They couldn’t even come to a family BBQ to celebrate my happiness. My Catholic godparents came, for Pete’s sake!

This time, I just can’t turn the other cheek, and I’m stuck. I don’t know what to do. I just can’t get passed it. Yesterday my aunt sent me a text: “Hi – I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately. I hope you’re ok. I LOVE YOU!” I didn’t respond. I couldn’t. I just can’t pretend that everything is okay. I consider myself to be Christian, and I believe in forgiveness. I’ve thought of writing them a letter, but I wouldn’t even know what to say. I feel rejected and judged. I love this man with every fiber of my being. I would die for him. I get it now. To them, though, we are just “friends.” We are not worthy of marriage. Our marriage means nothing to them, and I just don’t think I can go on pretending that that’s somehow “okay.” It’s not.

I believe that God made me who I am and how I am. I believe that God brought my husband to me—and me to him—at the exact moment in both of our lives that we needed God the most. How can I possibly understand or make room for a system of beliefs that doesn’t recognize me as a whole person? The problem I’m facing is that my love for my aunt and uncle is so strong that my natural instinct is to see past it and accept. This time, though, I’m genuinely stuck. When I got my aunt’s text I wasn’t happy to hear from her. I felt pain. I felt rejection.

This time I just don’t know how to agree to disagree. To be honest, it is this relationship that has kept me from going to church.

I think this is what Oprah calls an “ah ha” moment. As I’m typing this I’m realizing that is exactly why I have been so estranged from any form of organized religion.

Anyway – this email has turned into a small book already so I won’t take any more of your time. Any advice you can give me on how to handle this would be greatly appreciated. And thank you again for your wonderful blog!

Advice-wise, I guess I’d say this:

Friend. Tell your aunt and uncle to come read what you’ve written here. Tell them to read and listen to this. But mostly ask them to read this letter from you.

If they could possibly choose their aberrant, widely discredited, manifestly destructive version of Christianity over you—if they could actually remain unchanged and unmoved by this letter of yours—then … then all we can do is pray for the poor people. Because the pain they are suffering—each of them, individually—is surely more than even the suffering they are causing you.

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.

  • Matt

    Full disclosure, John: I have never actually cried in response to a letter you’ve posted before. Ever. I have officially broken that streak today.

    Holy hell (and yes, that is me swearing)! The constant efforts to reach out, the desperate desire to overlook it but you just can’t, the loving texts and gestures that just arouse anger and pain…Oh man. Divisive? The word doesn’t even begin to cover it. Rending. Tearing. Obliterating. Those words start to come close. And all I see you (and the LW) doing is trying to bridge a gap that would make the Grand Canyon look like a crack in the sidewalk.

    I love being gentle. It’s my favorite thing to be and do. But man, I wish I could just yell at those Christians talking about “divisiveness!” They have no idea!

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      They don’t; but you do, Matt. And I guess (well: I know) that’s both your blessing and your curse. But mostly (praise God!–to put it old-schoolerly-wise) it is, most assuredly, your blessing.

      • Matt

        You are right, of course. But sometimes all I want to do is exchange every last bit of what I know for some acceptance. That urge to fit in can get very strong. I’m sure God is very amused by my disliking his blessing.

        • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

          do you dislike what you’ve called “the blessing of God”?

          • Matt

            Yes. More often than I’d like to admit. “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak,” and all that. I don’t practice gratitude as often as I should. God gets it. I’m not worried about that. I just get frustrated with myself.

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

            But there’s so much about you to love, Matt. Don’t get frustrated…you’re just being you. And that’s wonderful. *hug*

          • Jill

            I can safely say that you’re a grateful and compassionate soul undeniably, Matt. That you’d sometimes (maybe, often) prefer to trade some of your wisdom for some unbridled acceptance and full-on love doesn’t make you weak, or ungrateful. It makes you human. It makes you real.

            It makes you connected to humanity in spite of the disregard some of humanity has treated you. In my book, that alone shows your gratitude that the Creator made you a loving, embracing person. That you do not reject your loving spirit shows your strength.

  • JoAnn Forsberg

    Hello, Just wanted to thank you for sharing your story. The foundation of it shows how solid you are in your soul and your own skin. I am a 60 year old Christian grandmother married for 37 years to one man. Yet, I can tell you that even us “straight Christians” experience what you talked about regarding church. I have not attended church myself in a year. For I need to heal from the hurt church hListening to T.D. Jakes. He brought up an interesting point.

    The test is not in the storm. The test is your reaction to it.

    Something to ponder, placed on my soul just being a person who stands up for gay rights in the church. So understand your words. As for your aunt and uncle, only you can decide. I will say life us short. Eternity is long. So what is not healed here wil be then. Blessings. Jo.

  • maryterry

    Thank you, John, for all you do for the sake & name of Christianity! (real Christianity) I am ALWAYS lifted up by the letters you share; even though some of them are downright sad, your commentary on them affirms my own feelings about how I treat others who may be different than I. You do God’s work & don’t let ANYONE tell you any different! Love you brother!

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      Thanks, MaryTerry. This means a great deal to me.

      • SuckerpunchKO

        Hey John Shore, are your beliefs about homosexuality in line with the Catechism of the Catholic Church? If not than you’re simply out of line with the Truth.

        • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

          Good to know, “Sucker Punch.” I’ll bear that in mind. Thanks for the heads-up.

        • Snooterpoot

          Since I am not now and never have been affiliated with the Catholic church I really don’t give a fig whether or not my beliefs fit within your very narrow doctrine.

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

    I just want to commend the letter writer. Your commitment to family is a truly loving posture. I think we all can say family is both a blessing and a curse. From what you’ve written, it seems you’ve vigorously pursued the first despite the second.

    The hurt caused by your aunt must seem so intentional. I’d totally understand if you wanted to put some space between her and you to protect yourself from that hurt. The only thing I’d say is that she’s not putting a condition on her love. She’s reaching out to you despite her obvious (and misguided) personal convictions. It would be SO ok if you want to continue to the conversation started years earlier – even if just to express both your love and your hurt before creating some space and boundaries.

    Thank you so much for your vulnerability. It’s a gift, and I appreciate it.

  • Renee Skinner

    You’re quite likely aware of this; I found it really helpful: [link to Andrew Marin's blog deleted, cuz I can't have that on my blog. See below.]

    Secondly: “It must be nice to live in a world where such moral transgressions,
    such wounding bigotry, such egregious negation of love and humanity—such
    abominable uses of the infinite love of Jesus Christ—don’t occur.
    Seriously, man: How much are tickets to live in that place?”

    I believe that this place is called heaven. Hope to see you there one day.
    Renee.

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

        Thanks, Ford1968; it was also helpful.
        John, Just working out how to use this system, so sorry if I’m not doing it right.
        I believe that God can use different people to speak. Marin’s book really hit me between the eyes about my sin toward gay people. It was recommended by a gay friend who is graciously educating me. It’s not only Marin who posts on the blog site. I’ve found most of the blogs really helpful. I like your posts, but find I respond more personally to a less militant approach.

        • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

          I understand. Just know that in the end what Marin’s “less militant” message always boils down to is that being gay is a sinful abomination. He made you feel bad about the way you were treating gay people: he left alone the reason you were treating them poorly. That he won’t touch. Because–though he makes his living very carefully not saying it—he believes that being gay is a sin.

          It’s easy not to be “militant” when you don’t really want anything substantive to change.

          • Renee Skinner

            I don’t read his book that way, but I’m in Australia, a long way from that conversation. Australia is much more overtly secular so we don’t get the same sort of public conversation that appears to happen (from what I’ve read) in the USA. We also have very strong anti-discrimination laws. They do not, of course, adress the more personal issues that I see written about here.
            I think we each need to consider our own reasons – they’re not necessarily the same.
            I personally found that there have been many steps between realising the depths of my ignorance when my daughter told me she is gay last year and where I am now, which is perhaps over-enthusiastically trying to help other (straight)people learn more.
            Thanks for contributing.

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      Sorry, but I’m no fan of Andrew Marin’s. See my “It’s no sin to be gay.” See how easy that was, Andrew Marin?

    • Amethyst Marie

      Renee, I’m sure you meant well with your heaven comment, but it is not helpful AT ALL to tell people in a marginalized demographic with a high suicide rate that they’ll find peace and acceptance after death.

      • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

        AM: Not sure if this is apropos to your (great!) comment here, but, fwiw, I’m straight.

      • Renee Skinner

        You’re right, that’s absolutely not what I was trying to say. I’m just old enough to think that all sorts of things that I disagree with are not going to be eliminated before heaven. Quite possibly some of the things that I agree with will not be there either. I’m very relieved to let God decide.

  • Bill Steffenhagen

    Dear letter writer. You are a saint, But let me be blunt, and I can do this because I’ve been there with a dearly loved alcoholic friend. You are an enabler. You have spent years enabling your “aunt and uncle” to not have to face their bigotry and fear; to not have to acknowledge that their “faith” is not Faith. It is Fear. You have enabled them to PRETEND you don’t exist, for God’s sake!!!

    STOP IT. Give them the ultimatum, finally. But be prepared to lose them, which will hurt terribly, but then you can go on. Damn man, when you think about it, what’s to lose? You don’t really have them now anyway. Not really. They don’t really love you. They love their false image of you.

    And yes, it’s easy for me to say now because I spent years doing the same thing with members of my immediate family including my parents (now gone, my mother died thinking I’m going to hell and my dad? I never knew what he thot, for what that says about us). You have to do this because it will eat at you until you do, to one resolution….or the other.

  • Terri

    Dear letter writer:
    Please…….you know how the hurt has been and it still is. I hate to say it, but you have to stay away from auntie and uncle, they’re never going to change, this I know from my own experience with my brother who actually teachs in one of those churches that I suspect they go to……yes the dreaded IFB. Last time I reached out to my brother well, he told me that he had nothing to say to me unless I repented. I asked him what I was supposed to repent of? Loving my wife, living my life unashamedly in front of all. I KNOW that God created me the way he did, it took me awhile to accept that, but I found the love of my life when I finally accepted me for me. And I KNOW that God loves me just as he made me, no matter what my whacked out IFB preacher brother may think. God bless you and your family, love those who accept you and leave the rest to their own devices.

  • Steve Yna NY

    You need to give your Aunt and Uncle the respect and love they’ve given you by respecting the fact that they do not have to agree with your beliefs about gay marriage. They have a right to their beliefs just as you have a right to yours . If they do not feel comfortable with attending your wedding respect their freedom and love them anyway. You are a grown man and you are responsible for your own decisions as are they for theirs. When I was a young man I left the military because it does not square with my understanding of “love your enemy”. My parents severely rejected my choice and still do 25 yrs later. I also married outside the Catholic Church (I was raised Catholic ) and baptized my children outside the Catholic Church – my parents made a scene at my wedding and did not attend any baptism or other service in the life of my children (their grandchildren ). I still love my parents and we are very close in most other ways and frequently visit – we just agree to disagree – that’s called love – even if you think they are your enemy. So grow up be a man and respect others beliefs by agreeing to disagree . It sounds like your Aunt and Uncle have given you a lot so give them their own beliefs back and expecting that others must Agree with you.

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      Wow. Dickish much?

      • SuckerpunchKO

        Say what?

    • Christopher Bubb

      “Respect for beliefs” goes both ways. For the aunt and the uncle to refuse to share in their nephew’s happiness just because they do not approve of the nephew’s life partner – that this would be more important to them than sharing in the happiest day of their nephew’s life – tells me that they are the ones lacking in maturity and respect here. They certainly are entitled to their beliefs and opinions about gay marriage and about their nephew’s union, but a truly mature person would be able to put those beliefs aside and to share in the nephew’s happiness regardless. A truly mature person would not resort to such emotional blackmail and such a message of purely conditional love – “I’ll only attend the ceremony if I approve of the union.” If this aunt and uncle were truly mature and respectful, they would have realized that the day was about their nephew, not them. Certainly they were under no obligation to attend the ceremony, but it would have been the right thing to do, regardless of whether they approved of the union.

      My sister married a guy I didn’t like and frankly still am not crazy about, and I wasn’t crazy about the fact that they didn’t have a church wedding, but I wouldn’t have dreamed of missing her wedding or making a scene. The day wasn’t about me. As long as she is/was happy, I am/was happy.

      If you’re able to continue to love and maintain a relationship with your parents despite their actions, good for you. However, realize that most people would find such actions difficult to forgive. I’d hate to have parents who did to me what yours did at your wedding. Not everyone’s skin is as thick as yours.

      And if by throwing in the phrase “You are a grown man and you are responsible for your own decisions as are they for theirs” implies that you think sexual orientation is a decision or a choice, I disagree with you vehemently. But this isn’t the place to get into that debate.

      • SuckerpunchKO

        [Asinine rude snark deleted]

    • Gino

      Steve – Your parents didn’t accept your choices. They didn’t reject who you were/are. There is a huge difference.

      For the record: It is because I have grown into a strong and proud man that I am willing to question and not settle. A weaker man might, I don’t know, go along with it and pretend that it’s okay – pretend that the relationship is “close.”

      I never said they had to agree with me or in any way agree with gay marriage. I have asked that they stand up and support my happiness – even if they way to that happiness is not something they agree with. I ask that they make ME more important than their ideology.

      As Christopher said, respect for beliefs goes both ways.” If they were being celebrated in their church and invited me to attend in honor of that celebration, I would go. No question. I would go, completely disagreeing with everything that place stands for. I would go because I love them.. period. In fact I have gone and of course on that particular day the sermon was about homosexuality. I sat through the whole thing and said nothing. THAT is love.

      • Jill

        Hi Gino, your letter is as heartbreaking as it is amazingly alive with love and warmth. Thank you so much for sharing it with a ton of strangers. :)

        If I might gently wrestle with a thought I’m reading in your words here, that you’d attend an anti-gay sermon out of love for your family, I’m wondering how far is too far to show people your genuine appreciation and loyalty. As a woman, I refuse to attend my family’s church because of their unquestioned teaching of subordinacy. And I do not expect them to change their views. Ever.

        I believe that we teach people how to treat us (yes, some of Dr. Phil’s rhetoric isn’t terrible). I’d just like to suggest that what we do, or do not do, always seem to have their inherent price tags. Is proving your familial love worth the price of silently attending a sermon that ultimately discredits and negates you? I don’t know the answer to that question, only you do. You’ll know when enough is enough. It sounds as though you may be there already.

        But I’d like to offer this counterpoint simply to give a perspective that does not allow *your inborn worth* to be set aside…by anyone, including those whom we cherish.

        If total strangers here can see your worth and value and will offer you *nothing less* than to hold a mirror to your light, then frankly (please forgive my vehemence) what right does any family member have to do anything less?

        • Gino

          HI Jill –

          Thank you for your note! I If I had known that the sermon on that particular day was going to be anti-homosexuality I would not have gone. I am confident that if they had known they would never have asked me to attend. I think it was a fluke. I don’t believe they would ever put me in a situation like that on purpose. They wanted to share that part of their life with me and I was open to the experience. In fact, until the “sermon” began I found it to be a very happy and lively place. Growing up Catholic (stand up, sit down, kneel….) I found the celebratory atmosphere refreshing. I took if for what it was – until the “sermon.” That still sits in me with distaste but I have never discussed it with them because I don’t want them to think I believe they did it on purpose. I don’t.

          I am so very thankful that the strangers on this blog find worth in my words and sharing. It truly makes me feel good. I feel the same way about this issue as I mentioned above. My aunt and uncle find worth and value in me (no doubt there), but.. .and there it is…. “but” only to a point. I have value and worth, but, that only extends to where my sexuality begins. At least that is how it feels. They may say something different but I am passed the point of wanting to engage in conversation about it. I just want to find a comfortable place to be with respect to my feelings. It’s a tough one. Whenever my daughter and I would get into an argument I would tell her that if I ever don’t have an opinion and ever don’t care enough to say something – that is when she should be worried.

          This blog has really made me feel as if I can reach out to God again. I’d actually like to try to find a church in my area that TRULY accepts me – all of me. Of course finding it and actually going are two totally different things. We shall see.

        • SuckerpunchKO

          “Love and warmth”? What are you, completely blind to the bitterness lacing that man’s letter? “Bitterness and loathing” towards his uncle and aunt who raised him lovingly as their own son, more like, can’t you read between the lines???

          • Jill

            Let’s see… well I wrote this seven months ago, so my
            memory of the whole context isn’t fresh.

            But then I re-read: ” I loved more than I ever knew I could love.”

            I see nothing of “bitterness” or “loathing”, as you seem
            to be quoting the LW. What letter are you reading?

          • Jill

            And with a screen name like SuckerpunchKO, it has to be warm and loving.

      • SuckerpunchKO

        [Anti-gay lecture deleted]

        • Jeff Preuss

          He owes his aunt and uncle an apology for “breaking their hearts?” You’re unreal and out of line.

          • SuckerpunchKO

            No YOU are out of line. You have no clue what it feels like to be this man’s uncle or aunt in this situation and that’s a fact. Go express your own thoughts rather than merely reacting to mine.

          • Jeff Preuss

            Ohhhh, that’s cute! “I can react to your post but you can’t react to mine!” Especially when yours is the horrible position that he should apologize for embarrassing his aunt and uncle.

            Nope. I will call out your way of thinking as unfair and dehumanizing every time I see it.

        • Bones

          Yes, Muslims who convert to Christianity thus breaking their Muslim parents hearts should apologise to their parents.

          You know it makes sense.

          • SuckerpunchKO

            {Anti-Muslim rant deleted]

          • Bones

            So no apology then?

        • Bones

          Christians don’t respect others’ beliefs.

          They owe us all an apology.

          and I wish they’d stop trying to ram their beliefs down our throats.

          • Bones

            Seems you don’t respect others’ beliefs which you were preaching before.

            How surprising.

            You have to respect Christian belief but they don’t have to respect yours.

            Why are you trying to ram your beliefs down my throat?

          • SuckerpunchKO

            [Fundy rant deleted]

        • Bones

          Maybe this is more appropriate.

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

          Living one’s life as they feel best is not ramming beliefs down another’s throat. One does not have to apologize for differences in idealism. Nor do they have to hold one’s peace because someone’s treatment of the one holding a different view is harsh, condemning and disdainful.

    • Allen

      So believing that gay people are sick perverts who should burn in hell for having gay thoughts and being gay unless they apologize to an unchanged God who also happens to be Jesus who said that gay people should be put to death but now just wants to throw them in hell is love and respect? Christian beliefs are based off hate.Would u respect a person views that said u should die or suffer. probably not!!! If a person believes that gays being tutored forever in fire and or put death to death is right just for being gay because God said it then they are crazy. Let me put it this way if God is the moral authority and everything he does is correct, i assume if God came back tomorrow and said put all the gays to death like he said in the OT then that would be totally correct and all Christians should participate and that would be the moral thing to do? Really are people this crazy?Christians really have mental issues….

    • SuckerpunchKO

      Amen. Well said, Steve.

  • roninbear

    To the author of the letter: You do not deserve to be treated in any way as a lesser human being because of a chromosomal difference determined at conception. Love is very well laid out in Corinthians 13. If people who say they love You don’t try to uphold that standard, then just take them as they are, but they are not offering you pure, godly, biblical love. Sad that their surrogate parenthoid not ending the way they hoped has driven thus between you. It is not your problem, it’s theirs. Hugs.

  • Gino

    Hi – I am the person that wrote this letter. First – thank you to all of you for your words of wisdom! Second, I feel that I need to make a clarification about my aunt and uncle. The letter I wrote captures my pain but it does nothing to describe them. They are the most kind, loving, and gentle people that I know. I know, without a doubt that they love me dearly. If I ever needed anything they would be the first in line to help. They are wonderful people and despite the pain they
    are causing me, they have been a source of great love and support in my life.

    As I mentioned in my letter to John, when I fell in love with my husband it was as
    if my eyes had suddenly been opened to what it meant to truly love and BE loved
    by another person. I love him absolutely and completely, with no reservation or hesitation; faults and all. My love for him is no different than they love my aunt and uncle have for one another. It is because my understanding of what it means to love another person has grown so much that I struggle with my aunt and uncle. I struggle because, although I know that they love me, I feel that it is an, “I
    love you…. But”. I feel as if their love stops short of fully embracing who I am. My marriage is part of who I am.

    I have never, and will never, expect them to understand or agree. They have their opinions and I respect that. It is the constant and systematic refusal
    to celebrate my happiness because of their beliefs that has me stuck – especially when it is done in the name of their religion. I KNOW that they would want me to be closer to Christ but I don’t think they realizeit is because of their beliefs (and others like them) that I won’t open myself up to more rejection. I know that I am not alone. Most of my gay friends feel exactly the same way. Noting will clear a room full of gay people faster than bringing up religion.

    Walking away from them is not an option. Not only because I love them dearly, but because it goes further than just them or me. Their daughters (who are
    like sisters to me) and their children (who are nieces and nephews to me) are huge parts of my life. I just don’t know how to move forward with them because I
    feel so stuck by what I see as hypocrisy. If they were living their lives to the LETTER of the bible I might have more understanding but I feel as if they (and those that believe as they do) pick and choose the parts of the bible THEY feel are important.

    When my aunt and I had our conversation several years ago I asked her another question. I asked her if there was any room in her heart for the possibility that she could be wrong. I told her that as deeply and truly as I believed that God made me who and how I am, I would never presume to know what he will say when I am standing at the gates of heaven. I told her that although I believed God made me this way, there is room in my heart for the possibility that I could be wrong. If that is the case then it is God, and only God, that I would apologize to. She had no room – she knew she was right and that, on this issues at least, God would stand with her. I am still dumbstruck by that. How can anyone possibly KNOW with absolute certainty that their stance on
    any one issue is what God would want? I just don’t get that.

    As I have read through some of your comments, and the posted links, there are a few things that glaringly stood out:

    “The test is not in the storm. The test is your reaction to it. “ – love this! Thank you!

    “..
    the only kind of people who seem to ever truly anger Jesus are those
    who put religious dogma above what he most clearly stood for, which was
    God’s love.”

    “…put dogma ahead of love? You transmogrify God’s law into a justification for denying God’s love? “…Then you’ve got yourself a problem no one in this world wants.”

    ” …you should go to that gay wedding. You don’t have to have all your beliefs settled first. You don’t have to abandon beliefs that you’ve already settled on.
    Do it for your loved one. Do it for the relationship you’ve invested
    in. Listen to your God-given inclination to honor that relationship and stand by that person in love. Go to your gay loved one’s wedding. Good Christians might not. But Christ would.”

    I should also say that I know that their decision to, yet again, not
    attend a celebration of my happiness has weighed on them. They are
    sensitive people and I know that they know that I am hurt. That makes
    me sad. I don’t want them to hurt – even if I believe that it is
    self-inflicted. I want to be able to tell them that I understand and
    it’s okay. That I’ll agree to disagree. This, because of my new-found
    depth of love, I just can’t make it okay which is why I am stuck. I’m
    tired of “conditional” love. I’m tired of “I love you.. buy” Love me! Accept ME – ALL OF ME! That is where I sit.

    • Matt

      Hi, Gino. So, the reason that your letter aroused such a strong reaction in me (I’m the person who cried in response) is because I’m in a very similar situation. I only learned about unconditional love from my partner, and my parents are also very “I love you, but…”

      The urge to protect your parental figures from their own choices is overwhelming, I know. It can suck the life out of you. And it’s okay to want to stay in contact. I do, to a limited extent. But only you know exactly what you can handle. Only you know when the push-and-pull wears too much on you.

      My only other advice is…well, you have to get comfortable with the fact that they may never get to the place of loving you completely. At some point, you will have to stop desperately trying to make them be there. That’s a huge loss. I’m not gonna lie. And it’s tragic. It’s an invisible tragedy that can’t be easily communicated with the rest of the world, because in public and to a lot of folks it looks like you have this happy little family.

      In the meantime, lean on the love of your husband. He’s your strong tower through all of this.

      • Gino

        Hi Matt –
        Thanks for reaching out and thank you for your kind words of support. This site has really been a Godsend!

        I am confident that my aunt and uncle will not change their stance. They are firm. They’ll never be “there.” I so wish they
        could read all of this, but I would NEVER send it to them and even if I did, I’m fairly sure it would do no good. They are who they are and I Iove them unconditionally. That said, I can’t just pretend that it’s somehow okay anymore. Removing them from my life or confronting them would only cause suffering to the girls and their children. I won’t do that. I can, however, create space in my heart between them and me. As much as I don’t want to do that, I don’t see another option.

        As I’ve said repeatedly, this time it was just too much. It wasn’t about a “gay thing” or a “straight Christian thing” it was a human thing and they chose to ignore it. They chose to ignore part of my humanity – yes a part that God created. My cousin (one of their daughters) asked me why I give them so much power to affect my life and my feelings. I didn’t have a solid answer for her and I suppose the only thing left for me to do is to take some of that power back. I accept that they feel the way that they do but, to me, it is not okay, and I am worthy of being loved unconditionally. I know they believe that they do love me unconditionally and if I were try to argue that is not the case, it would fall on deaf ears. There is clearly condition when they can’t accept all of me and continually refuse to celebrate my happiness.

        There have been many times over the years that one or both of them have stayed in my home. I have never closed my door to them. I don’t think I ever could – even now. But – my husband and I are not welcome to stay in their home (in the same room). Why? Because they have a firm rule with the girls that unless they are married, they cannot have a guy sleep in the same room with them. So – the fact that my husband and I aren’t allowed to sleep in the same room speaks volumes about how they see my marriage. Of course the driveway in our trailer is fine and if I were married to a woman it would be a nonissue.

        Before I was married I took comfort in knowing that if I ever needed to get away from the city and hide, I could hop in my car in the middle of the night, drive 5 hours to their house, and crawl into one of the guestroom beds. They would be completely fine with waking up to my car in the driveway and me asleep in one
        of the bedrooms. I always felt safe there – with them. Once I got married that slowly started to change because I started to see the conditions. I don’t feel safe with them anymore. I feel that I have to be on guard and I can’t be my genuine self. That has been a huge loss in my life already. Until I started writing on here, I hadn’t
        really realized it. It’s true though. I guess in many ways I have
        already started the process of separating my heart from them. It’s very sad and as I write this I have tears in my eyes. By rejecting part of me, they are actually rejecting all of me.
        I can no longer make my relationship with them more important than being right because it’s not about being right or wrong. It’s about standing strong as the man that God created me to be. Making no apologies to anyone but God. I’m neither right nor wrong. I’m just me and I deserve God’s love just as much as anyone else. God doesn’t love part of me; he loves all of me, because he KNOWS that I am who he made me to be. We were all born sinners and we all will die sinners. All we can do is try to live our lives following our hearts and the goodness that He has instilled in our souls. If loving another human being, of the
        same-sex or not, is the worst of my sins, then I think I’m doing pretty darn good. :o)

        I keep asking myself what Jesus would do. I believe he would forgive them. In fact, I know that he already has. I believe he would try to teach them the error of their ways. But if he were here, standing in front of them, I believe, with absolute certainty, that he would not be happy that they were using his name to justify their behavior. In all the reading I have done since I first
        wrote John (and it’s been A LOT) the overwhelming message I get over and over is that Jesus would not stand for anyone getting in the way of God’s love –especially if they were using religious dogma as justification. Jesus took God to the very people that the mainstream said were not worthy and had rejected. He surrounded himself with the outcasts of the society that he lived in. He welcomed the “non-conformers” with open arms. My heart has been opened to what it truly means to stand with Christ by reading all of this. Those are words that I can honestly say that I never thought I would say – or even think –
        before I wrote John.

        I forgive them. I love them and I will continue to love them. The conclusion I have come to is that I have to let God guide me on this one. Through Him I will find the answers that I need. Through him I will find peace from the pain they are causing me.

        And Matt, my husband is my rock. His love and support are a gifts from God. No one will ever be able to tell me different. No one.

        • Gino

          Good grief! Apparently I have a lot to say! Sorry it’s so long!

          • Matt

            It’s no trouble at all if your response is long.

            What jumps out at me is how you’ve realized the depth of the grief you’re experiencing. Just know that you’re never alone in grieving that. I can never fully express my sorrow for what you’ve lost and can never have back.

            That’s great that you forgive them. If you ever move out of that space (or in and out), then I hope you won’t be too hard on yourself. Love and fear don’t tend to go well together, I’ve found, and they fight ferociously for space in one’s heart and mind.

            But you have very strong, clear convictions, and that will serve you well. Keep being awesome.

          • Gino

            Hi again Matt –

            You know what’s interesting about what I have been experiencing over the last few days through my writings and through reading this blog and others? As I write and I get it all out, to strangers, I’m feeling a HUGE weight being lifted from me. Yes – I am sad at having to “face the music” for what it is and for realizing that things will never be the same. BUT – and I know my aunt and uncle would be thrilled about this – by starting to let go of something that never was and never will be, I am experiencing an openness to what can be. I can’t tell you
            how long it has been since I felt a connection to my Christian (not Catholic) origins. I shut that door long ago. What I didn’t realize (until recently) was that my relationship with my aunt and uncle has held that door firmly shut. I know that they would be the first to say that if that is how I feel then my relationship with God should come first. That is what is at the center of all of this. THAT we can agree on and I believe that, in
            the end, THAT is exactly what will open doors for both myself and my aunt and uncle. They will likely never see that ALL of me was made in the “image and likeness” of God and, ya know what, that’s okay. Why? Because I know it to be true. I know it in my heart. Just as
            they believe that God speaks to them through their bible, I believe that he speaks to me through my heart. I can
            feel myself opening up to learning more and more about Jesus and what he actually taught. It’s a very strange and
            foreign feeling to me. My motivation to learn more about Jesus has always been self-serving. I wanted to learn more to prove them (and others like them) wrong. Letting that go feels really good. Now I want to learn for me!

            So, I’m realizing that the feeling of loss I have isn’t for the loss of them in my life. I mourn for the loss of being able
            to hold out hope that they will someday get “it”. I see them for who and what they are and I love them anyway. How hypocritical would it be of me to walk away, shun, or not accept them for standing by their beliefs when I have been trying to get them to do the same for me? I will no longer allow them to make me feel as if I am less than a whole person or to shut out part of who I am. How? By not making it important anymore. I have to let it go. Yes – their continued refusal to share in my happiness, based on a distorted view of Christ, is very painful. It will take me time to heal from that and I will likely never feel as close to them as I once did. To put it bluntly – I wasn’t really as close to them as I thought I was. I was only close to part of them. Just as they shut out my sexuality– I shut out their Christianity. Two wrongs DO NOT equal a right.

            So there it is. I think I’ve come full circle. I will accept them for who they are and love them unconditionally while trying to seek out the TRUE meaning of what Christ stood for. I am eager to learn! FINALLY – Now I GET it! It’s not about me or them or even our relationship. It’s about God and MY relationship with him. If I put that first and seek His guidance than whatever happens is what is supposed to happen.

            As John suggested in his original response to my 1st letter, I will pray for them and I will pray that God guides me in the right direction. Beyond that, there is nothing more I can do.

          • Matt

            Gino, you have transformed my sorrow into joy! I am so glad that you have “gotten it”. Best of luck on your new journey. It only gets better from here.

          • Jill

            May I just add, it is a miraculous thing to experience transcendence and enlightenment with a little help from our friends. Gino, you are by no means alone on your journey. Peace to you!

  • Jennifer

    1 Timothy 4:1 ‘The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.”

    This is exactly what the concept of gay marriage is and people (Christians included) have fallen for it. If this gentleman’s aunt and uncle do not agree with a homosexual partnership then they shouldn’t be critiqued for not agreeing with it. Homosexual partnerships are condemned in both the New and Old Testament and Christians should not encourage this behaviour. God is quite clear on this issue.

    • BarbaraR

      Did you even read this article?

      • Jennifer

        Yes, I did indeed. The gentleman is feeling hurt because his aunt and uncle refuse to attend his ceremonies, correct?

        • BarbaraR

          The writer of the letter expressed his great love for his aunt and uncle. He believed that they felt the same way – until their interpretation of the Bible caused them to reject him and his husband on what should have been the happiest day of his life. For them to continue to say “We love you” when their behavior says otherwise is continuing to hurt him.

          To simplify it unto “they refuse to attend his ceremonies” is ignoring the deep schism between him and his relatives – and he is now feeling that between him & organized religion as well.

          • Jennifer

            I doubt that their ‘interpretation’ is incorrect, there are numerous verses against gay marriage and the like. God is very clear. I commend them for sticking to biblical principles, I would do the same in such a situation.
            Jesus himself said he came to drive a sword between families, this is exactly what he meant. The gospel and Gods word will always be degraded in this sinful world under the rule of Satan. Organised religion is of Satan in any case, the Christian life is meant to be led by the Holy Spirit, not by ritual, or whatever the Pope says.
            Hopefully the actions and prayers of his aunt and uncle will lead him to accept Jesus as his Saviour. If not, he is lost.

          • BarbaraR

            *Sigh* You must be new here.

            Gay marriage is NEVER mentioned in the Bible.

            There are six or seven verses in the entire Bible which address same-sex sexual activity. The few “clobber” verses in scripture were written at a time when committed gay relationships were as unknown as digital communications. It was common and accepted at the time for hetero Roman conquerors to have non-consensual sex with slaves as a show of power, and this is what is being addressed in those verses. Any sexual act that is hurtful to others, hetero or gay, is condemned.

            The letter writer did express that he is a Christian, though that is not the issue here. The issue is that his relatives have put ideology before him.

          • Jennifer

            Of course it isn’t mentioned. That’s because the Jews had enough reverence for God to know that it was bad, unlike our foolish society.
            If committed gay relations weren’t known then how come there were two saints ‘married’ under the guise of a heterosexual marriage (and the church allowed it?) in early Christian times, not to mention many men at that time had sexual relations with each other? How come some men took partners of equal socio-economic status as husbands and were given the same ceremony and burial as a man and his wife? Men having sex with men is condemned repeatedly, in both old and new testaments. It is quite clear. Why do we argue about the interpretation of ‘homophobic’ verses whilst accepting ones such as ‘do not murder’ and ‘do not commit adultery?’ Homosexual sexual activity has been repeatedly shown by medical science and statistics to be harmful.
            The issue the article writer is having is not that his relatives have put ideology before him, it is that they put God before him. Jesus says you must give up your family if necessary to follow him.

          • BarbaraR

            As I said before, what is mentioned in the Bible – six or seven verses only – are hurtful, non-consensual shows of power, not loving, committed same-sex relationships. The difference between those verses and others such as “do not murder” is that no one is being hurt by a loving relationship.

            Boswell was the historian who suggested that Sergius and Bacchus may have had a romantic relationship, but his version of events is far from accepted.

            “Homosexual sexual activity has been repeatedly shown by medical science and statistics to be harmful” – simply untrue.

          • Jennifer

            How is ‘Thou shalt not lie with a man as with a woman’ in any way, shape or form indicative or implying a power abuse relationship?
            There are other cases, of Roman generals having homosexual marriage ceremonies just like they were heterosexual.
            I can get the statistics if you want.

          • BarbaraR

            It is referring to straight men having sex with other men. As I said, in that time this was a common show of power over slaves.
            Also, this is from Leviticus, which prohibits eating shellfish and wearing mixed fabrics – which we have moved on from. If you’re going to demand someone observe one of those laws, you have to demand they obey all of them.

          • Jennifer

            No mention of innate sexuality is implied so it must refer to men of all sexualities. If God has created gay men that way by way of a ‘gay gene’ (those studies were not peer accepted to my knowledge in any case) or hormones in the womb or whatever, then this passage still refers to them. The act is prohibited, not the orientation. The Old testament law is split into 3 categories though, isn’t it, the laws about shellfish and fabrics were because of the climate and lack or refrigeration. Eating shellfish is probably not recommended because it goes off quickly and can harbour dangerous levels of mercury, not to mention most shellfish are filter feeders and detritivores.
            Same sex activity is condemned again in the new testament. Even if you don’t accept Paul’s verses you cannot deny Jesus himself re-iterated the only sexual relations acceptable to God is heterosexual marriage in response to questions about divorce. To deny that gay men cannot overcome their desires by way of the Holy Spirit is to dehumanise them to mere animals, slaves to lust.

          • Guy Norred

            By mentioning man and woman Jesus words are not a denial of man and man or woman and woman.

            As to your last sentence, it is in your words that gay men are dehumanized by saying that their love is nothing but lust–admittedly, from your words, I haven’t a clue what you think of gay women.

          • Jennifer

            He is clearly stating that a man and a woman IS the only way. Jesus speaks only of the special bond in marriage of two becoming one flesh in relation to heterosexual relations. Any other sexual act is immorality in the eyes of God.
            True love from a scriptural perspective is not about nice, happy feelings or pleasure as the world so commonly leads us to believe. As quoted in Corinthians it is about sacrifice and can be painful. Do you think Jesus felt happiness or pleasure when he was hanging dying slowly on the cross for our sin? Of course not. Yet Jesus’ demonstration on the cross is the ultimate demonstration of love to us, fallen sinful man who anger him everyday by our evil.
            Yes, something feels nice. Revenge feels nice. Cannabis feels nice. Does that mean I should do it?

          • BarbaraR

            I have no problem with you smoking cannabis.

          • Jennifer

            That’s very interesting, but the Bible clearly says we are not to let our minds be controlled by anything other than God. Clearly smoking cannabis is wrong and in some areas illegal. Sin count: 2

          • BarbaraR

            *Burst out laughing”
            SIN COUNT?
            Oh, that is priceless.
            God: “Hmm… lemme see… Okaaayyyy, today Joey got three – no, make that FOUR sin counts. He bounced a check to the liquor store, lied to his boss about why he was late, was a gluttonous pig at lunch, and… smoked cannabis. Wait! Cross off one of those! He helped an old lady across the street. And I see here that he fed a parking meter for someone. OK, mark him for two sin counts today.”

          • Jennifer

            I put that in to be intentionally funny. I’m glad you found it as such ^.^ I watch CinemaSins too much, clearly. On a more serious note, I’m glad we have Christ to cover our sins

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

            When someone says “the bible clearly says” on something that is never mentioned in the Bible, because there was no reference remotely close to the topic at hand, then the Bible doesn’t really say Diddly.

          • BarbaraR

            Yeah, my Bible seems to be silent on the subject of cannabis. Maybe I should return it for a refund.

          • Jennifer

            Cannabis is not mentioned in the Bible but the same principle that applies to drunkenness can be applied to cannabis. We are encouraged to remain sober and vigilant. If you are smoking cannabis you are anything but sober and vigilant and when mixing the two you can be quite vulnerable. In addition we are not told to defile our bodies as they are a temple of the holy spirit. Cannabis and what it is smoked with can be medically harmful

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

            Ok, I’m going to say this one time.

            You are entitled to your very unique world views, which is something we are familiar with and utterly reject. I suggest you just give up. Its very disrespectful completely unfounded, and so far from credible, that its almost not worth keeping as part of this discussion.

          • Jennifer

            My views are from unique, they are shared by many, Christians and unbelievers alike.
            There is plenty of statistics out there, done by respectable academic institutions that back up what I’m saying. You just need to look at biology to know that it is wrong.

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

            Trust me any thing you find from the American Family Association or any of the other similar hate groups out there is going to be totally bogus, without a shred of credibility.

            Biology, genetics, psychology agrees with us with decades of evidence behind it.

          • Jennifer

            How on earth does biology agree with it when our body parts are not designed to be operated in that way? If God had wanted lesbians to have sex he would have made us all with both sex organs, as some species of animal have or the capacity to become. The anal tract is not lubricated and does not have the required biochemical adaptations for homosexual activity.

          • Jennifer

            Sexual behaviours
            amongst homosexuals:

            Defining Homosexual Behavior

            What gets lost in the debate over
            homosexual “rights” is the fact that active homosexuality involves specific
            sexual behaviors that come with a higher risk of bodily harm and disease.
            While homosexuals engage in a wide range of sexual activities, certain behaviors
            are common to men who have sex with men (MSM) and to lesbians.

            The Foundation for AIDS Research
            (amfAR) lists the following sexual activities as part of the “repertoire of
            MSM”: unprotected receptive anal intercourse, unprotected insertive anal
            intercourse, and oral sex.[ii]
            Some MSM also engage in anilingus, or “rimming,” which is oral/anal contact
            between partners.[iii] Among
            lesbians, common sexual practices include: oral-genital sex, vaginal or anal
            sex using hands, fingers, or penetrative sex toys, and oral-anal sex. [iv]

            ii] The Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), “HIV
            Prevention for Men Who Have Sex With Men,” Issue Brief, No. 4, June
            2006, pg. 2.

            [iii] Medical Institute for Sexual
            Health, Health Implications Associated with Homosexuality, A Monograph,
            1999, pgs. 23-24.

            [iv] Marrazzo JM. “Barriers to infectious disease
            care among lesbians,” Emerging Infectious Diseases, November 2004,
            http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol10no11/04-0467.htm.

            Anal sex
            practices:

            Although it is certainly not
            exclusive to homosexuals, anal sex has a long history of association with
            male homosexual activity, and is considered one of the highest risk sexual
            behaviors for both men and women. According to the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association
            (GLMA), “a significant percentage of MSMs—as many as one in three—have some
            incidence of unprotected anal sex.”[v]

            According to a 2000-2002 study of
            HIV-positive MSM in 16 states, 30 percent of sexually active MSM reported
            engaging exclusively in oral sex, and 13 percent reported engaging
            exclusively in anal sex at their last sexual encounter, while 55 percent
            reported both behaviors. Overall, 40 percent reported insertive anal
            intercourse at their last sexual encounter.[vi]

            [vi] CDC,
            “High-Risk Sexual Behavior by HIV-Positive Men Who Have Sex With Men—16 sites,
            United States, 2000-2002,” MMWR Weekly, v. 53, no. 38, pgs. 891-894
            (Oct. 2004).

            Substance abuse:

            Another high-risk behavior associated with both male
            and female homosexuality is drug and alcohol use. The GLMA states that gay men
            have a higher rate of drug use than the general population. Some of the most
            popular drugs among MSM include: “poppers” (amyl nitrate), Ecstasy, marijuana,
            and amphetamines. Some studies indicate that lesbians also may use illegal
            drugs more often than heterosexual women. In addition, homosexual men and women
            also have higher rates of alcohol use and abuse than heterosexual men and
            women.[x] Substance abuse among MSM and lesbians
            is a serious concern, as drug and alcohol use is linked to high risk sexual
            behaviors, such as multiple partners and unprotected anal sex.[xi]

            [x] Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, “Ten Things
            Gay Men Should Discuss With Their Health Care Providers,” and “Ten Things
            Lesbians Should Discuss With Their Health Care Providers,” http://www.glma.org. See Also: U.S. DHHS, National
            Women’s Health Information Center, “Lesbian Health,” Frequently Asked
            Questions, http://www.womenshealth.gov.

            [xi] Op. Cit., amfAR.

            Physical Damage:

            Physical Damage. Homosexual men who engage in anal sex are at a
            significantly high risk for numerous health problems. The high-risk nature
            of anal sex is simple: the rectum was not designed for sexual intercourse.
            According to amfAR, “compared to the vagina, rectal tissue is much more
            vulnerable to tearing during intercourse and the larger surface area of the
            rectum/colon provides more opportunity for viral penetration and
            infection.”[xxi]

            In her book, Epidemic, Dr.
            Meg Meeker, a pediatrician, writes: “The anus opens into the rectum…which
            is not as well suited for penile penetration as the female vagina is. Both
            the anus and the rectum have rich blood supplies, and their walls, thinner
            than the walls of the vagina, are easily damaged. When penetration occurs,
            it’s easier to tear the blood vessels, which in turn increase the risk of
            acquiring or receiving an infection…”[xxii]

            Physical injuries that can result
            from anal sex include: bleeding, lacerations, and perforations of the
            rectum and/or anal sphincter muscles. Once this damage occurs, open sores,
            hemorrhoids, and anal warts can result.[xxiii] Anal sex (as well as oral/anal contact) also exposes
            individuals to fecal matter, which can lead to a number of gastrointestinal
            infections, such as proctitis, enteritis, and proctocolitis.[xxiv]

            xxii] Meeker, Meg, MD, “High-Risk Sex,” Epidemic: How Teen Sex is
            Killing Our Kids, Regnery Publishing, Washington, DC: 2002, pgs. 152.

            [xxiii] Klamecki, Bernard J. “Medical Perspective of the Homosexual
            Issue,” The Crisis of Homosexuality, Ed. J. Isamu Yamamoto,
            Christianity Today Publisher, 1990. See also: Medical Institute for
            Sexual Health, Health Implications Associated with Homosexuality, A
            Monograph, 1999, pg. 57.

            [xxiv] Op. Cit. Medical Institute, pg. 55-56.

            Anal Cancer

            Homosexual
            men are also at an increased risk for anal cancer.[xxv] According to the American Cancer Society, risk
            factors for anal cancer include: Human papilloma virus (HPV), which causes
            anal and/or genital warts; multiple sexual partners; and anal
            intercourse.[xxvi] Due to concerns about anal cancer, some health
            professionals now recommend anal Pap Smears for MSM.[xxvii]

            [xxv] GLMA, “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health: Findings
            and Concerns,” Journal of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association,
            Vol. 4, no. 3 (2000), pg.111.

            [xxvi] American Cancer Society, “What are the risks of anal cancer,”
            All About Anal Cancer, http://www.cancer.org.

            [xxvii] GLMA, “Ten Things Gay Men Should Discuss With Their Health Care
            Providers,” at http://www.glma.org.

            Increased rate of STD’s

            Compared to heterosexual men,
            MSM are at an increased risk of contracting a number of dangerous STDs,
            including HIV/AIDS. According to the GLMA, these STDs include:
            “urethritis, proctitis, pharyngitis, prostatitis, hepatitis A and B,
            syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes, genital warts and HIV
            infection.”[xxviii]

            Recent studies indicate that
            some STDs, such as gonorrhea and syphilis, are increasing among MSM.[xxix] For example, gonorrhea diagnoses for MSM
            increased from four percent in 1988 to 20.2 percent in 2004, according
            to the CDC.[xxx] The syphilis rate among MSM has also increased
            in cities such as Chicago, New York and Seattle.[xxxi] After reaching an all-time low in 2000, the
            overall rate of primary and secondary (P&S) syphilis has increased
            for the fifth year in a row, mainly among men. According to the CDC,
            increased rates of syphilis among MSM “may be largely responsible” for
            this. The CDC estimates that more than half of P&S syphilis cases
            in recent years occurred among MSM.[xxxii]

            MSM also have a higher risk
            of contracting STDs that cause liver disease.[xxxiii] According to the CDC, liver diseases such as
            Hepatitis A and B “disproportionately affect men who have sex with
            men.” About 10 percent of all new Hepatitis A (HAV) infections in the
            US are to MSM. The CDC says that HAV is primarily spread by the
            “fecal-oral route through close person-to-person contact, such as
            household or sex contact with an infected person.”[xxxiv]

            According to the CDC,
            Hepatitis B (HBV), which is spread through infected blood, is also
            higher in MSM, who experience 15-20 percent of all new HBV infections.
            Risk factors of HBV for MSM include: multiple partners, unprotected
            receptive anal sex, and a history of other STDs, as well as injection drug
            use.[xxxv]

            [xxviii] GLMA, “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health: Findings
            and Concerns,” Journal of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association,
            Vol. 4, no. 3 (2000), pg.120.

            [xxix] CDC, STD Surveillance 2005, Special Focus Profiles, Men Who
            Have Sex With Men, 2005 National Report, available at:
            http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats/msm.htm.

            [xxx] CDC “HIV/AIDS Among Men Who Have Sex With Men,” HIV/AIDS
            Fact Sheet, May 2007, pg. 3.

            [xxxi]Ibid. pg. 3.

            [xxxii] CDC, “Trends in Reportable Sexually Transmitted Diseases in the
            United States 2005: National Surveillance Data for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea
            and Syphilis,” pgs. 4-5, http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats/04pdf/trends2004.pdf.

            [xxxiii] Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA), “Ten Things Gay Men
            Should Discuss With Their Health Care Providers,” see www. Glma.org.

            [xxxiv] CDC, “Hepatitis A Prevention for Men Who Have Sex With Men,”
            MSM Information Center, Hepatitis A Fact Sheet.

            [xxxv] CDC, “Hepatitis B Prevention for Men Who Have Sex With Men,”
            MSM Information Center, Hepatitis B Fact Sheet.

            HIV and AID’s

            Despite efforts by gay
            activists to disassociate homosexuality from the spread of AIDS,
            homosexual behavior, particularly among males, is associated with an
            increased risk of HIV. Although HIV can be transmitted through both
            vaginal and anal intercourse, receptive anal sex without a condom is at
            least 10 times more risky for contracting HIV than vaginal sex without
            a condom, according to amfAR.[xxxvi]

            Not surprisingly, MSM
            experience the majority of HIV/AIDS diagnoses. According to the CDC,
            MSM accounted for 72 percent of all HIV infections among men in 2005
            (this includes men who have sex with men and inject drugs).
            Among all individuals diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 2005, MSM accounted for
            53 percent of cases.[xxxvii]

            Recent studies in cities
            across the U.S. show an alarming increase in HIV infection among
            homosexual men, particularly in young MSM. The CDC reports that the
            number of HIV/AIDS diagnoses for MSM (including MSM who inject drugs)
            increased by 13 percent from 2001 to 2005.[xxxviii]

            In May 2007, the U.S. Food
            and Drug Administration (FDA) renewed its 15-year policy banning men
            who have had sex with men at any time since 1977 from donating blood.
            The FDA’s explanation for the policy includes the following facts:

            “Men
            who have had sex with men since 1977 have an HIV prevalence 60
            times higher than the general population, 800 times higher than
            first time blood donors, and 8000 times higher than repeat blood
            donors.”

            “MSM
            also have an increased risk of having other infections that can be
            transmitted to others by blood transfusion. For example, infection
            with the Hepatitis B virus is about five to six times more common
            and Hepatitis C virus infections are about two times more common
            in men who have sex with men than in the general population.”[xxxix]

            [xxxvi] amfAR, “HIV Prevention for Men Who Have Sex With Men,” Issue
            Brief #4, June 2006, pgs. 1-2.

            [xxxvii] CDC, “HIV/AIDS Among Men Who Have Sex With Men,” CDC
            HIV/AIDS Fact Sheet, May 2007.

            [xxxviii] Ibid.

            [xxxix] U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA/CBER, “FDA Policy on
            Blood Donations from Men Who Have Sex With Other Men,” Facts,
            http://www.fda.gov/cber/faq/msmdonor.htm.

            Breast Cancer (lesbians)

            [xliv] U.S. DHHS, National Women’s Health Information Center,
            “Frequently Asked Questions: Lesbian Health,” http://www.womenshealth.gov.

            [xlv] CDC, “HIV/AIDS Among Women Who Have Sex With Women,” HIV/AIDS
            Fact Sheet, June 2006.

            [xlvi] GLMA, “Ten Things Lesbians Should Discuss With Their Health
            Care Providers,” http://www.glma.org; Also:
            U.S. DHHS, National Women’s Health Information Center, “Frequently
            Asked Questions: Lesbian Health,” http://www.womenshealth.gov.

            [xlvii] Ibid.

            Other

            http://www.aidsmap.com/HIV-transmission-risk-during-anal-sex-18-times-higher-than-during-vaginal-sex/page/1446187/

            https://www.medinstitute.org/2012/06/anal-sex-a-dangerous-trend-3-2/

            Netherlands study I previously referenced:

            Psychiatric Illness

            Multiple
            studies have identified high rates of psychiatric illness, including
            depression, drug abuse and suicide attempts, among selfprofessed gays and
            lesbians.1 Some proponents of GLB rights have used these
            findings to conclude that mental illness is induced by other people’s
            unwillingness to accept same-sex attraction and behavior as normal. They
            point to homophobia, effectively defined as any opposition to or critique
            of gay sex, as the cause for the higher rates of psychiatric illness,
            especially among gay youth.2 Although homophobia must be
            considered as a potential cause for the increase in mental health
            problems, the medical literature suggests other conclusions.

            An
            extensive study in the Netherlands undermines the assumption that
            homophobia is the cause of increased psychiatric illness among gays and
            lesbians. The Dutch have been considerably more accepting of same-sex
            relationships than other Western countries — in fact, same-sex couples
            now have the legal right to marry in the Netherlands.3 So a
            high rate of psychiatric disease associated with homosexual behavior in
            the Netherlands means that the psychiatric disease cannot so easily be
            attributed to social rejection and homophobia.

            The
            Dutch study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, did indeed
            find a high rate of psychiatric disease associated with same-sex sex.4
            Compared to controls who had no homosexual experience in the 12 months
            prior to the interview, males who had any homosexual contact within that
            time period were much more likely to experience major depression, bipolar
            disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia and obsessive compulsive disorder.
            Females with any homosexual contact within the previous 12 months were
            more often diagnosed with major depression, social phobia or alcohol
            dependence. In fact, those with a history of homosexual contact had
            higher rates of nearly all psychiatric pathologies measured in the study.5
            The researchers found “that homosexuality is not only associated with
            mental health problems during adolescence and early adulthood, as has
            been suggested, but also in later life.”6 Researchers actually
            fear that methodological features of “the study might underestimate the
            differences between homosexual and heterosexual people.”7

            The
            Dutch researchers concluded, “this study offers evidence that
            homosexuality is associated with a higher prevalence of psychiatric
            disorders. The outcomes are in line with findings from earlier studies in
            which less rigorous designs have been employed.”8 The
            researchers offered no opinion as to whether homosexual behavior causes
            psychiatric disorders, or whether it is the result of psychiatric
            disorders.

            Reckless Sexual Behavior

            Depression
            and drug abuse can lead to reckless sexual behavior, even among those who
            are most likely to understand the deadly risks. In an article that was
            part of a series on “AIDS at 20,” the New York Times reported the risks
            that many gay men take. One night when a gay HIV prevention educator
            named Seth Watkins got depressed, he met an attractive stranger, had anal
            intercourse without a condom — and became HIV positive. In spite of his
            job training, the HIV educator nevertheless employed the psychological
            defense of “denial” in explaining his own sexual behavior:

            “[L]ike an
            increasing number of gay men in San Francisco and elsewhere, Mr. Watkins
            sometimes still puts himself and possibly other people at risk. ‘I don’t
            like to think about it because I don’t want to give anyone H.I.V.,’ Mr.
            Watkins said.”9

            Another
            gay man named Vince, who had never before had anal intercourse without a
            condom, went to a sex club on the spur of the moment when he got
            depressed, and had unprotected sex:

            “I was
            definitely in a period of depression . . . . And there was just something
            about that particular circumstance and that particular person. I don’t
            know how to describe it. It just appealed to me; it made it seem like it
            was all right.”10

            Some of
            the men interviewed by the New York Times are deliberately reckless. One
            fatalistic gay man with HIV makes no apology for putting other men at
            risk:

            “The
            prospect of going through the rest of your life having to cover yourself
            up every time you want to get intimate with someone is an awful one. . .
            . Now I’ve got H.I.V. and I don’t have to worry about getting it,” he
            said. “There is a part of me that’s relieved. I was tired of always
            having to be careful, of this constant diligence that has to be paid to
            intimacy when intimacy should be spontaneous.”11

            After
            admitting to almost never using condoms he adds:

            “There is
            no such thing as safe sex. . . . If people want to use condoms, they can.
            I didn’t go out and purposely get H.I.V. Accidents happen.”12

            Other
            reports show similar disregard for the safety of self and others. A1998
            study in Seattle found that 10 percent of HIV-positive men admitted they
            engaged in unprotected anal sex, and the percentage doubled in 2000.13
            According to a study of men who attend gay “circuit” parties,14
            the danger at such events is even greater. Ten percent of the men
            surveyed expected to become HIV-positive in their lifetime. Researchers
            discovered that 17 percent of the circuit party attendees surveyed were
            already HIV positive.15 Two thirds of those attending circuit
            parties had oral or anal sex, and 28 percent did not use condoms.16

            In
            addition, drug use at circuit parties is ubiquitous. Although only 57
            percent admit going to circuit parties to use drugs, 95 percent of the
            survey participants said they used psychoactive drugs at the most recent
            event they attended. There was a direct correlation between the number of
            drugs used during a circuit party weekend and the likelihood of
            unprotected anal sex.17 The researchers concluded that in view
            of their findings, “the likelihood of transmission of HIV and other
            Sexually Transmitted Diseases among party attendees and secondary
            partners becomes a real public health concern.”18

            Good
            mental health would dictate foregoing circuit parties and other risky
            sex. But neither education nor adequate access to health care is a
            deterrent to such reckless behavior. “Research at the University of New
            South Wales found well-educated professional men in early middle age —
            those who experienced the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s — are most likely
            not to use a condom.”19

            Return to the Health Risks main page

            References

            [1]For
            example, Judith Bradford, Caitlin Ryan, and Esther D. Rothblum, “National
            Lesbian Health Care Survey: Implications for Mental Health Care,” Journal
            of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 62(2): 228-242 (1994); Richard
            C. Pillard, “Sexual orientation and mental disorder,” Psychiatric Annals,
            18(1): 52-56 (1988); see also Mubarak S. Dahir, “The Gay Community’s New
            Epidemic,” Daily News (June 5, 2000), http://www.gaywired.com/story
            detail.cfm?Section=12&ID=148&ShowDate=1.

            [2]Katherine
            A. O’Hanlan, M.D., et al., “Homophobia As a Health Hazard,” Report of
            the Gay & Lesbian Medical Association, pp. 3, 5,
            http://www.ohanlan.com/phobiahzd.htm; Laura Dean, et al., “Lesbian, Gay,
            Bisexual, and Transgender Health: Findings & Concerns,” Journal of
            the Gay & Lesbian Medical Association, 4(3): 102-151, pp. 102, 116
            (2000).

            [3]“Netherlands
            Ends Discrimination in Civil Marriage: Gays to Wed,” Lambda Legal Defense
            and Education Fund Press Release, March 30, 2001, http://lambdalegal.org/cgibin/
            pages/documents/record?record=814.

            [4]Theo
            Sandfort, Ron de Graaf, et al., “Same-sex Sexual Behavior and Psychiatric
            Disorders,” Archives of General Psychiatry, 58(1): 85-91, p. 89
            and Table 2 (January 2001).

            [5]Ibid.

            [6]Ibid., p. 89.

            [7]Ibid., p. 90 (emphasis added).

            [8]Ibid.

            [9]Erica
            Goode, “With Fears Fading, More Gays Spurn Old Preventive Message,” New
            York Times, August 19, 2001.

            [10]Ibid.

            [11]Ibid.

            [12]Ibid.

            [13]“Officials
            Voice Alarm Over Halt in AIDS Decline,” New York Times, August 14,
            2001.

            [14]“A
            uniform definition of a circuit party does not exist, partly because such
            parties continue to evolve. However, a circuit party tends to be a
            multi-event weekend that occurs each year at around the same time and in
            the same town . . . .” Gordon Mansergh, Grant Colfax, et al., “The
            Circuit Party Men’s Health Survey: Findings and Implications for Gay and
            Bisexual Men,” American Journal of Public Health, 91(6): 953-958,
            p. 953 (June 2001).

            [15]Ibid., p. 955.

            [16]Ibid., p. 956.

            [17]Ibid., pp. 956-957, Tables 2 & 3.

            [18]Ibid., p. 957. The authors’ recommendation
            was more education.

            [19]Julie
            Robotham, “Safe sex by arrangement as gay men reject condoms,” Sydney
            Morning Herald, June 7, 2001. Data source: 2000 Male Out Survey,
            National Centre in HIV Social Research, Australia.

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            Lesbian women and BV:

            http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/lesbian-bisexual-health.html

          • BarbaraR

            Nice copy-and-paste from the anti-gay group NCFPC. Nothing in there that’s less than seven years old (I wouldn’t use a road map that old, much less rely on medical data) and quite a few links from Christianity Today (not known as a hotbed of factual nonpartisan scientific study).

            None of this outdated material (much of which is by partisan groups/studies) changes the stance here that gay people are born gay and are not going to hell (if it exists) for being gay, that they do not need to change to be worthy of God’s love, and that the Bible does not teach they are an abomination.

          • Jennifer

            Yes the article was from the NCFPC but if you actually looked at most of the links they were from medical sources of institutions promoting LGBT rights (such as the Gay/ Lesbian Medical Association) hardly what you would call biased against homosexuals. In any case I researched the sources and exactly the same information can be found on medical and psychiatric websites.
            I never denied or attempted to deny people were born gay. You clearly did not read most of what I put or completely misunderstood it. My point in citing all of this very relevant research was to prove that contrary to your original claim that homosexual relations were harmless, they are quite harmful as these statistics show. Hell is a scriptural concept and Jesus preached about it more than anything. If we practice sin we go to hell. Simple. Do you not believe in sin?

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

            NCFPC. a non-profit devoted to discrediting and belittling the LGBT community with the purpose of influencing legislation against them. I would not consider any of their “research” as unbiased nor credible.

          • Snooterpoot

            You just can’t keep your imagination out of the bedrooms of strangers, can you?

            It is ALWAYS heterosexual people who introduce sexual activity into these discussions, and it is ALWAYS degrading and insulting. We are not sex maniacs who do nothing else. We are human beings who love, bond and commit to our marriages just like straight people do. I think you’d be pretty damned insulted if I said your marriage (presuming you have one) is about nothing more than your husband penetrating your vagina with his penis.

            I think you are beyond redemption. Your hatred has blinded you, and, be sure, it is hatred you have expressed here, and you’ve done it in the name of Jesus. I think he’d be pretty pissed off about that.

          • Jennifer

            Hi Snooterpoot
            I’m sorry you misunderstood the evidence I listed about homosexual activities as my twisted imagination. I am going off what the people I know personally and are sexually active and gay have told me. I am a virgin and I would accept your viewpoint if that was your opinion aswell.
            I do not hate gay people, I have gay friends and I donate to gay charities, I’m sorry if you got that impression. Facts, evidence and bible quotes do not constitute as hatred (to me anyway) I’m sorry if what God says offends you.

          • Jennifer

            I’m not going to take your word for it in any case. Your fellow moderator claimed she is ‘addicted to oxygen’ and denies that cannabis can be harmful. I would not trust either of you for an unbiased scientific approach to anything, no offence

          • Jeff Preuss

            Well. I’m never getting those five minutes back.

          • Guy Norred

            Don’t be too hasty. I will admit I nearly lost my cool a couple of times (but hey, I have buttons and not so much cool), but I think her heart is more open than she lets on.

          • Guy Norred

            Besides, I learned something today. Who knew there were two Kirk Camerons I find irritating?

          • Guy Norred

            OK, I take it back. I am already exhausted just catching up on the discussion of the last couple of hours–none of which seems to be going anywhere.

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

            Well Barbara has handled things so wonderfully. I went to bed and spent today running errands and got a visit in to the grandbabies.

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

            Cannabis has medicinal properties and can help many people. It also helps people with stress, or even insomnia, as well as pain aid for cancer patients, easing pressure for glaucoma patients, help reduce or eliminate seizures for epilepsy patients. Having a couple of drinks is not a sin, getting tipsy isn’t a sin, even getting toasted isn’t. However if one uses a substance and is harmful or hurtful as a result, well they just crossed the line.

          • Jennifer

            I never denied cannabis had medicinal properties, but we are not to become addicted as believers. That’s a lie that we shouldn’t get drunk also.

            Plenty more beside the verse below

            Ephesians 5:18 ESV / 283 helpful votes

            And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,

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

            Im an addict. I’m addicted to oxygen, coffee, the internet, Facebook, sparkly toe nail polish. Speaking of which I need to resparkle my toes.

          • Jennifer

            You can’t be addicted to something you need for cellular respiration. The other things, I’m not so sure, it’s your walk with God.

          • BarbaraR

            There are many, many, many gay people who have begged God to deliver them of what they believed was a curse – their attraction to people of their own sex. They cried, prayed, devoted themselves to Bible study. And yet it was still there. Eventually they realized there was nothing to be delivered from. God made them this way. They discovered they were worthy of love, the same as straight people, and they were no more “slaves to lust” than heteros.

            Of course there is no mention of innate sexual orientation. That would have been completely foreign to the writers; the only gay sex they knew about what what I have been citing (not going to repeat myself).

            There is nothing in scripture saying that the act itself is prohibited, not the orientation.

            OT laws apply equally. There is no scriptural basis for applying one law but not another, nothing saying. “This only applies until refrigeration is invented.”

            Jesus said this about gay marriage:

          • Jennifer

            Fair enough I can accept that, I see no reason for gay people to subject themselves to self loathing or self hatred or any of the ghastly methods endorsed by Exodus to ‘cure’ homosexuality. Just because something is genetic doesn’t mean people of homosexual persuasion cannot resist sinful urges when they happen though. Anything is possible through the Holy Spirit and we are commanded by God to overcome sin.
            I have just quoted one that said the act was prohibited.
            Maybe under the Law, but as born again believers we are under Grace now.
            No he didn’t. But he did re-affirm heterosexual marriage was the only one in which the partners become of ‘one flesh’ any other sexual relation is sexual sin.

          • BarbaraR

            There is no need to gay people to remain celibate when the same is not expected of straight people.

          • Jennifer

            Straight people are advised in the New Testament to stay celibate and only marry if ‘burning lust’ cannot be controlled. All forms of sexual activity outside of a man and a woman in a monogamous relationship is sin

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

            that was the opinion of Paul, not a mandate for everyone to follow.

          • Jennifer

            You only believe that if you do not believe the Bible is divinely inspired (lol I can’t spell). I doubt that you have a personal relationship with Jesus in that case, which is rather sad.

          • BarbaraR

            Jennifer, a warning: do not make personal judgments here about what you think about someone’s relationship to God may be.

          • Jennifer

            I can take a pretty good guess by your ideology. Not that it’ any of my business, of course, but your ideology is more similar to pagan ideology than Christian

          • BarbaraR

            One final warning: do not go there and doubt or question someone else’s faith.

          • Jennifer

            Why can’t I? The New Testament says we are to teach, encourage and admonish one another. What is wrong with me being concerned about your eternal destiny?

          • BarbaraR

            You do not know the hearts of anyone here, and it is not your job to doubt or question them. You are missing the point of this space. Coming here and preaching is not appreciated.
            We allow for many diverse points of view, including atheist, Buddhist, Catholics, Muslims, agnostics, and so forth. However, insisting that your way is the only way is offensive and and does not allow for others to have their say without being told they’re wrong.

          • Jennifer

            I never claimed to objectively know the hearts of anybody here, that is God’s business. I am not preaching either, I am trying to have a reasonable debate with you, but contrary to you above assertion that ‘we allow for many diverse points of view’ you have censored, deleted and edited 3 of my posts and mocked them. Hardly conducive to reasonable debate. You have failed to look at the evidence I have presented to you even though they are by unbiased and widely accepted medical sources (such as the CDC) You completely disregard scripture on matters where it is as clear as day and you have told me to leave the argument as my claims are ridiculous and unsupported.

          • BarbaraR

            1. You’ve made judgments about allegro’s faith.
            2. You are indeed preaching and throwing out the fiery furnace of punishment for gays.
            3.We do indeed delete and edit comments.
            4. Outdated evidence is outdated.
            5.Not everyone agrees that scripture is (a) infallible (b) literal (c) divinely inspired (d) the word of God (e) without error.

            As I have said before: coming here and insisting that gays will go to hell unless they repent and stop being gay is not going to fly. We will indeed delete such comments. We will also delete lengthy scripture cut-and-paste because we all have Bibles and can look it up for ourselves.

            You’re not the first person to darken these pages and insist on your version of Christianity; I am sure you won’t be the last. But I think you’re just not getting what we’re about here.

          • Jennifer

            1. I questioned, not the same thing at all
            2. You claimed that I had threatened them with death (i.e: to kill) not true at all. The Bible threatens judgement for sin, not I.
            3. Fair enough
            4. Prove it is outdated. Which is outdated. Define outdated in any case. If it has rang true before it is likely to ring true again. Contemporary statistics for HIV with reference to homosexuals in the UK still point to MSM as having the most HIV when all is taken into account and that evidence is from 2012.
            5. If you are born again the Bible is God’s divinely inspired word regardless of whether or not other Christians, religions or atheists say it is. That is a matter of faith and a pretty central belief at that.
            Darken? I am trying to enlighten you. God will not be mocked. What a man reaps, he sows.

          • BarbaraR

            “Trying to enlighten you” implies you think we’re in the dark and need help. We do not. We are satisfied with our faith as is. It’s the height of self-importance to assume we don’t know better and need enlightening.

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

            Because:

            1, Its not loving your neighbor as yourself. Its assuming we need to be taught or admonished, .ie corrected, because of an assumption that our theology, our beliefs, our connection to God is in error. It disrespects our views and our relationship with God as invalid. That’s not being helpful, its being prideful, and judgemental, which scripture spends a fair amount of time discouraging.

            2. Our so called “eternal destiny has zero to do with you. You have no influence, control, or ability to see anyone’s future, Nor do you have the remote inkling what anyone’s future will be, even yours. All we have is guesses. I do remember Jesus telling his disciples not to worry about tomorrow. So why the concern over something you can do nothing about, and that is not even your business to know? Fear maybe?

          • BarbaraR
          • Jennifer

            I have just replied as to why I can question faith in fellow believers, I refuse to repeat myself.

          • BarbaraR

            Because you believe it’s your duty? Do that on your own time but not here.

            As I have said: this blog is a safe space for people who have been abused and hurt by allegedly well-meaning people who insist their version of Christianity is the only correct way. Many, many other people have come here with exactly the same mindset you have: if I just quote enough scripture and threaten people with a fiery death, they’ll believe exactly the same way I do.

            That isn’t how it works here. Perhaps this is not the right space for you to express your beliefs.

          • Jennifer

            I do quote scripture as I (clearly mistakenly) believe it is what Christians are supposed to base their world look on. Clearly you and I differ in this respect. I never threatened anyone with a fiery death, please quote one comment by me where I have threatened to hurt, injure, maim or murder anyone of here? I have not written it, that assertion is a lie. I have also provided sound scientific evidence to support my view and you have responded with unscientific nonsense and in most cases completely dodged or twisted what I have said.

          • BarbaraR

            That comment was deleted, the nonsense about fire-and brimstone.

            It might be time for you to give up.

          • Jennifer

            [I know a gay person so I couldn't possibly be prejudiced! deleted]

          • Jeff Preuss

            Fine. I question your faith. I don’t think it’s real. I just think you’re parroting what someone else hammered into your head, without actually studying, praying, and coming to a place of Peace with the Lord on your own.

          • Jennifer

            You think I’m parroting, that’s okay, your entitled to your own opinion. But the views expressed on this page hold no scriptural evidence whatsoever. I have yet to find one verse in the Bible where the special bond that happens between a man and a woman is said to happen between same sex couples. Just sayin’

          • Guy Norred

            Look at the possibilities of David and Jonathan. I fully realize it is not absolutely clear, but it is certainly possible from a straight forward reading of the the text unless one starts with the assumption that it doesn’t, and perhaps even likely (you want us to Google–try looking up “gadal”)

          • Jennifer

            David and Jonathan were merely friends. David was clearly heterosexual as he had wives, not husbands. That’s like saying the ‘holy kiss’ shared by believers in the new testament is to be interpreted as them having sexual relations. Don’t forget that masculine friendship would have been expressed differently in ancient Israel than it is today. Even today in some cultures it is considered or has been considered masculine to cry and show ‘effeminate’ charactistics by modern western standards. Just watch a pair of greek or Italian men arguing and you will understand what I mean.

          • Guy Norred

            Of course, but you automatically discount the possibility. Why? Just because David had wives doesn’t mean that he was incapable of loving a man. First, that discounts the possibility of bisexuality (Bathsheba at least seems to imply heterosexual desires), and second, David was attempting to found a dynasty. Wives for begetting children and for cementing political ties were necessary.

          • Jennifer

            David for the most part was living to please God. He is described in the psalms as ‘a man after God’s very own heart.’ He would have read the Pentateuch, he would have known the commandments of Deuteronomy and Leviticus r.e male same sex relations. So even if he did have bisexual desires (which there is no evidence he did) he wouldn’t have acted on them out of reverence for God. I understand your second point but David was relying on God and trusted in God, not his own wisdom about political ties and the worldly thinking around him. David was promised a dynasty by God that eventually led to Jesus and…. Wait, what did that last point have to do with homosexual relations?

          • Guy Norred

            He acted on his desires for Bathsheba in opposition to the 6th and 7th commandments, and it is this line that led to Jesus.

            In any event, even the meaning of Leviticus is questioned by some scholars. Some think it might again be in relation to shrine prostitutes and some think it has more to do with shaming one’s wife than anything.

          • Jennifer

            I’m not saying he didn’t fall temporarily but he was remorseful for his actions and repented in deep sorrow and suffered the consequences. A life of deliberate and habitual sin marks the life of an unbeliever, not one with the Holy Spirit like David was
            Scholars think and say a lot of stuff because they don’t believe the Bible is the divine word of God, some don’t even believe in God

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

            You are right, Its not your business.

            Here’s the thing. We are not questioning your beliefs. They are valid and important to you. You feel them deeply and they make your life meaningful. They are not, however shared by all, and now will they ever be. Embrace your relationship with God, and let us have the ability to interact with the divine as we will. Respect, and love go hand in hand. You cannot love that which you do not respect.

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

            My relationship with God is private and none of your business. Judge and condemn all you want, its still none of your business, unless I chose to share it. As you are so derisive, I choose no.

          • Jennifer

            I’m going now anyway, if you do not listen to what Jesus says on matters or science or anything, I’ll pray for you all. Ciao.

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

            So history has allowed for gay marriage, and had no problems with it. Why should we? If two men, or two women want a commitment to grow old together, sharing chores, interests and covers, what is wrong with it? Maybe we should take a page from the book of the early church, the ancient Greeks, the Romans, several American Indian tribes as well as other cultures, and accept that some people prefer their own genders.

          • Jennifer

            Because it is condemned in the Bible. Both old, and new testaments. I don’t know why you still deny the truth when it is right in front of you. Heterosexual marriage is the only relationship God recognises as valid and Jesus re-iterated this as the exclusive bond where ‘two become as one flesh’

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

            Because we disagree with you, completely.

            Start with this, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/2012/04/the-best-case-for-the-bible-not-condemning-homosexuality/and read through some of John’s other pieces here, or on our other site at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/

          • Jennifer

            Your opinion is not relevant. Only God’s opinion is relevant as you will have to stand before the throne of God on judgement day and make account to Him as to why you led people stray contrary to what he has revealed in the Bible. You will have to explain to him why so many gay people he loves are burning for eternity in hell because you told them their lifestyle was acceptable in God’s eyes. That is assuming you are a born again Christian. If not you will be going to the fiery lake with them!

            But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars–they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

          • Jennifer

            Deleting and editing my original posts (which you have now done two times) does nothing to detract from the truth and says more about yourselves than about me

          • BarbaraR

            This space is a safe place from the fire-and-brimstone nonsense that has driven many people away from God. It’s not welcome. This is a progressive Christianity blog and it isn’t for everyone. Coming here and typing that kind of thing will not make people believe in it; it just irritates the crap out of us.

            Keep in mind you’re a guest here.

          • Jennifer

            The whole foundation of the very gospel is centered on the fact that mankind sinned and that God is a just God that punishes sin. He demonstrates this many times throughout the Old testament and Jesus preached about hell and judgement more than anything else during his time on earth. To deny there is a judgement for sin makes a mockery of Christ’s death on the cross and undermines the whole of Christianity, not to mention having no biblical support whatsoever

          • BarbaraR

            ” Jesus preached about hell and judgement more than anything else during his time on earth. ”
            Try again.

          • Jennifer

            Maybe not more than the Kingdom of God, but he still mentioned it quite a lot.

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

            Except for this. I am bookmarking it

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

            I love that site.

          • Jeff Preuss

            I just love how clearly it states “There is no single correct way to translate the ancient Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek Bible manuscripts into English.”

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

            If I remember correctly he spent a lot of time on money, the rest on forgiveness, generosity and love.

          • Jennifer

            http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/1367/gay_marriagenothing_new_under_the_sun.aspx
            I quit. For now. It’s 2:15 am my local time and I got to get up in the morning. Good night. (or good morning)

          • Guy Norred

            What statistics show is that people who have been taught from a young age that they are vile and shameful, that their loving impulses are nothing but filthy lust, and that a happy life for them is impossible, will often believe these things, lose hope, and go make them true.

          • Jennifer

            False. A study done in Netherlands of the gay population (Netherlands is known for its pro-gay views) turned out the same results as those done in more homophobic nations.

          • BarbaraR

            Are you speaking of the study by Maria Xiridou?

          • Jennifer

            No, by Dr Paul and Kirk Cameron

          • BarbaraR

            The guy expelled by the American Psychological Association? Nice try, but no cigar.

          • Jennifer

            Do you expect a secular institution headed by Satan to listen to the truth? I thought not. ‘For Satan is the God of this world, he has blinded the minds of the unbelievers.’
            In any case, there are plenty of academic studies out there pointing the same. I will dig them up for you soon

          • BarbaraR

            I expect an unbiased scientific approach to any study, no matter how it is funded.

          • Jennifer

            How is it unscientific? Please tell me.

          • BarbaraR
          • Jennifer

            I understand and accept this but it does not change many biological facts about same sex relations including that the body is not designed for it and HIV is transmitted far more easier than through heterosexual sex.

          • BarbaraR

            You’re pretty sure you know what gay people do in bed, right? How about when straight people do it?

            Just because you are personally disgusted by gay sex – and not all gay people do what you think they do – doesn’t make them evil in the sight of God.

          • Jennifer

            The vagina is designed to accommodate a penis, the anal tract is not or else lubricants and poppers would not be required. I personally am not disgusted by it. I engaged in some same sex activity before I came to know Christ and I have been sexually aroused by a woman’s legs, if you want to know the truth. I am not going to pretend to know what goes on, but when it is anal sex it is harmful.

          • BarbaraR

            Poppers are required? News to me. Also it’s news that all gay people engage in anal sex.

            I really have zero interest in your sexual history, or anyone else’s for that matter. What people do in their own bedrooms does not hurt you or me or anyone else.

            I am seeing more than a little overcompensating here, though. But that’s your business.

            I have to go make dinner so I am gone for the evening.

          • Jennifer

            Please could you type my original answer that you took the mickey out of. It would be much appreciated.

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

            I am the one who removed it, and it will stay as is. You can add it back IF you reword it in a more respectful manner.

          • Jennifer

            What was wrong with it? It had no unpleasant wording in it.
            The fact that you removed suggests two things to me:
            You are either
            a) Lesbophobic hypocrites
            or
            b) Know what I wrote made sense and was the truth so you removed it.
            Also, I’m pretty sure insults and mockery don’t count as legitimate argument points, and is what people do when they are beaten.

          • Jennifer

            Please type what I originally put instead of taking the mick, thanks.

          • Guy Norred

            Ok–one last word for now as I have to go. I am not sure whose thoughts on this matter will affect you. You have expressed disdain for both secular and religious authority. I wonder if you would even take His word for it if God Himself sat you down and told you that you completely misunderstand him (or through you from your horse and blinded you on the road to persecute homosexuals as it were). In any event, try to consider if it isn’t you who has been lied to by Satan. After all, you are saying nothing new–nothing that hasn’t been said for centuries–and if that isn’t possibly representative of a little worldly influence, I don’t know what is.

          • Jennifer

            I have no intention to persecute homosexuals, I have gay friends, I just don’t want to see them go to Hell, is all. Most pre-Christian societies under the rule of Satan have approved or at least not condemned homosexual relations. These nations also worshipped or worship demons if you believe in the monotheistic God that we do. The connection is not hard to make.

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

            A institute headed by Satan? I didn’t know there was such a thing.

          • Jennifer

            If you believe in literal demons and a literal satan as I do you would know that he is the spirit driving and at work in the hearts of most unbelievers, who has blinded the minds of the unbelievers. Furthermore he often disguises his work as being good in order to deceive people

          • Jeff Preuss

            The Satan that I believe in is the one controlling the hearts and minds of “believers” who go about telling people they are not worthy of God’s Love. The people who do nothing but be increasingly divisive and condescending and hateful, all in “the name of God.”

          • Jennifer

            You believe Satan controls the hearts and minds of believers? Wonderful, now tell me where that is said in scripture. Please quote where I have said a gay person is not worthy of God’s love? The Bible says no such thing.

          • http://limpingtowardsgrace.com/ James Jarvis

            Well isn’t that special!

          • Jennifer

            Rude and insulting to people with genuine disabilities. Was that really necessary?
            (Yes, I know I said I wasn’t going to post again, I’m just looked up more recent statistics to back up my other post.)

          • http://limpingtowardsgrace.com/ James Jarvis

            NO! Just an SNL reference. It in no way refers to people with disabilities.

          • Jennifer

            What is SNL? Please enlighten me.

          • http://limpingtowardsgrace.com/ James Jarvis

            Saturday Night Live

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

            Ok, Now I feel old. When someone doesn’t know that reference, it means that time has moved on without us.

          • Guy Norred

            My thoughts exactly but I didn’t really want to admit it.

          • http://limpingtowardsgrace.com/ James Jarvis

            You feel old. I remember watching the first episode with George Carlin as host. I tell my grand-kids that I’m so old I can remember when Saturday Night Live was funny.

          • Jennifer

            What is Saturday Night Live? Is it an American thing?

          • Jeff Preuss

            “Do you expect a secular institution headed by Satan to listen to the truth?” Um…what? Are you calling yourself a secular institution headed by Satan? Because you’re very clearly not listening to the truth…

          • Jennifer

            I’m not sure if you were trying to be funny here or what, but it didn’t work. Every man made institution is prone to Satanic influence. Also, what truth?

          • Jeff Preuss

            Oh, it worked just fine. I’m still laughing. You are doing Satan’s work by driving more people AWAY from God. People doing his work like to mask themselves as believers to sow doubt and shame, all pretending to be in the name of the Lord.

          • Jennifer

            I doubt it, Satans work is deceiving people. He comes to steal, kill and destroy. He is the father of lies. I’m telling the truth here. Revelations says that all who are sexually immoral will be cast into the fiery pit. God is a God of justice, he punishes sin.

          • Jeff Preuss

            Nah, you’re deceiving. You just don’t know it. YOU are taking on the role of judge of who is sexually immoral. You are NOT the judge. It’s up to me and God to figure that out, not your business to be a giant busybody about it.

          • Jennifer

            Explain how I am deceiving when scripture clearly forbids same sex sexual relations and natural biology is not designed for it?

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

            because the bible isn’t specific and you are mistaken about biology.

          • Jennifer

            The Bible is very specific, and how am I mistaken biologically? We are not designed for same sex relationships. It is quite obvious

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

            seven debatable verses out of 31,000. Seven verses where certain words have been altered thanks to translation and meaning. Seven verses that have been pulled out to specifically bash and batter other people, while ignoring more clear verse that quite clearly tell us how to treat others.
            Biology is not an either or matter which is something all of us should have learned in middle school. There are other species, besides our that engage in same sex activities. It is as natural to them as it is to us. It is merely a variation of our biological spectrum.

          • Jennifer

            The Greek word Paul uses is Arsenokotai which Paul translated straight from the old testament verses about same sex relations in Leviticus. The word literally translates to ‘man lying with man.’ Please show evidence that they have been altered. Surely is those verses couldn’t be trusted then they wouldn’t have been included. The Bible warns against those changing the word of God so I doubt the meaning has changed that much if the translators were in the least bit God fearing. It just doesn’t make sense.
            I agree that hate groups do use the verses to mistreat the gay community, that is a bad thing and is very sad but to make a comparison between groups such as the WBC and me is ridiculous. As I mentioned above, I don’t hate gay people, I use evidence to base my views and I give to charities. I don’t agree with how countries such as Russia, some African states and Islamic states treat their gay citizens it is horrendous and I think regardless of our opinions as a Christian community on gay marriage we should stand up against it. The atrocities committed against gay individuals in other countries even in the USA and the UK are far more severe than opposing gay marriage, yet no one cries about it when they happen, do they? All the kerfuffle about gay marriage and political anger is at maximum, yet as soon as you mention the gay Iran couple burned at the stake no one cares, political outrage is at minimum. Talk about turning a blind eye
            As for your last few sentences, animals also eat their own young. Should we eat our own young aswell?

          • Guy Norred

            The Old Testament was written in Hebrew. Generally I would agree that translators have not intentionally let there prejudices or just simple mistakes in, but people do not always live up to their ideals. One of the most famous examples is Jerome translating the Hebrew of the Old Testament into Latin. He went to great lengths to be as accurate as he could, even traveling great distances to study with the best Hebrew scholars, yet there it is, in what for a large percentage of Christian history was about the only Bible there was, Moses had horns. This has since insidiously worked its influence in all kinds of ways. As to the mysterious “arsenokotai”, most will at least admit that it is somewhat unclear in meaning. Shrine prostitutes seem to be the most likely possibility.

            And as to Iran–why do you think no one cares? It isn’t that political outrage is minimal–it is that those who do care have little influence in Iran.

          • Jennifer

            Haha, that’s pretty funny. Maybe he did have horns? It can happen, do you know about cutaneous horns? That wouldn’t surprise me considering he spent a lot of time in the sun. Probably meant a wart or something.
            Yeah, I dunno, I’m not expert on Hebrew, possible suggestions include shrine prostitution and pedastry but no mention of either occurs. It is just a blanket condemnation. No exceptions are mentioned which makes me think it refers to all. Arsenokotai is believed to mean ‘man lying with man’ anyway so idk

          • Guy Norred

            The translation was a mistake. The word meant that his face shown.

            As to the other, plenty of actual scholars are not sure that it is a blanket condemnation and to say that it is generally believed to mean one thing is therefore not true. As we have all acknowledged, people can be mistaken, and one’s mistakes can influence others.

          • Guy Norred

            Agreed, but again, is it not possible that it is you who he has lied to? You do realize that you are starting with an assumption–that homosexuality is immoral?

          • Snooterpoot

            There is no book in the Bible called Revelations.

          • Andy

            So you’re saying God isn’t all-loving? Welp, if that’s the case, count me out.

          • BarbaraR

            In Jennifer’s world, God grades on a curve.

          • Jeff Preuss

            Dead man’s curve. BOOM! ;)

          • Guy Norred

            I might argue with the extent–prone seems a bit extreme–still I will agree that Satanic influence can make its way into the works of man–even possibly the work of Biblical translation and interpretation.

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

            Kirk Cameron???? The actor turned really zealot and arrogant super christian? Oh good lord.

          • Guy Norred

            A few years of less institutionalized condemnation does not automatically cancel centuries of often very insidious influence. The things people truly believe about themselves rarely come from overt statements but more from subtle hints. Also, the Netherlands and places like it, because of their less oppressive culture, attract those who have already soaked in the influence of where they were born.

          • Jennifer

            If a few years of less condemnation does not change so easily then how come modern society and my generation have embraced gay rights so quickly and without consideration?

          • Guy Norred

            I take exception to “without consideration” but you miss the point of
            what I said. Centuries of cultural baggage take time to lose their
            potency entirely. Every child today who hears that God hates fags or some such like less often, still hears it, and this will influence him or her, gay or straight, in one way or another even if unconsciously.

          • Jennifer

            Then how come the Chinese quickly shed their pro homosexual stance in the 19th centuries when Catholicism came along? That doesn’t explain homophobic attitudes from complete atheists over here in humanist UK either who have never attended a church service in their life.

          • Guy Norred

            Ok, I know I said last word, but everything I am trying to say is that homophobic influences have been all around for so long that they permeate culture in ways that may or may not have anything to do with religion.

          • BarbaraR

            There is anti-gay hatred in all walks of life – athiests, pagans, Baptists, whatever. Hatred is learned behavior. The good news is that it can be unlearned.

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

            Yet, hatred against other groups still is very much alive and well in western culture. They openly hate people of the Muslim faith, enough so that they will assault people of the Sikh faith because they dress a bit alike. Hispanics are looked at degradingly, and in my part of the world, vehemence against African Americans still simmers, just under the surface. It takes a couple of generations, at least for full embracement to occur.

            Try again.

          • Jennifer

            Obviously racism is bad and is condemned in the Bible, it is all a product of sin and Satan. Sadly my generation are still somewhat racist.

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

            And homophobic, and extremely judgemental

          • Jennifer

            I disagree, plenty of experience around my own generation have taught me that most are not homophobic. Maybe judgemental

          • Jeff Preuss

            “If a few years of less condemnation does not change so easily then how come modern society and my generation have embraced gay rights so quickly and without consideration?”

            Because it’s actually the right, Godly thing to do.

          • Jennifer

            Dear Jeff, I understand you are likely offended by my argument and by my opinion. But please show me where in the Bible we are encouraged to embrace gay rights and it is a Godly thing to do?

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Luke 6

            Jesus is speaking.

            27 “But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again.31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

            32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

          • Jennifer

            Indeed, very good advice… But where does it mention gay rights?

          • AtalantaBethulia

            “But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

            Some things never change.

            Luke 10:29-37 (NRSV)

            29 But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii,[a] gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

          • Jennifer

            I do show love to my fellow gay men, I have two gay friends of both genders and a gay flatmate who is awesome. I give money to gay charities. I wish no malice upon the gay community. The fact remains that evidence shows that gay relationships are physically and psychologically harmful not to mention counted as sin by God. I am doing a Christian thing by spreading the truth. I do not want anybody to go to hell, and neither does God.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            And the part about equal rights?

            Re: “The fact remains that evidence shows that gay relationships are physically and psychologically harmful not to mention counted as sin by God.”

            Facts are provable with evidence.

          • Jennifer

            Equal rights is a manmade construct, it is not found anywhere in the Bible. Obviously equal rights are good, but if a certain type of behaviour is physically, spiritually and psychologically harmful is it not more loving to dissuade it from happening? Would you encourage an alcoholic to drink, a smoker to smoke or an obese person to carry on eating fat foods? Of course not! Would you encourage a prostitute to carry on? I hope not. I see no difference. Just because people are told homosexuality is harmless doesn’t make it so.
            R.e evidence, please see my later postings. I know one of the articles I chose is from a family council organisation, but PLEASE look at the sources listed at the bottom, you will find a variety of medical organisations backing up what the writer is saying. It is a long read though. If you are not convinced, type in what you read on Google, everything listed in the sources is near enough by organisations such as amfAR, the Medical Institute for Sexual health, CDC, numerous private researchers, the GLMA, the American Cancer society, the DHHS and the American Psychiatry Association, amongst others.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Your rationalizations are not founded on objectivity nor biblical principles. Your examples are not equitable.

            Sexual promiscuity causes health problems for all sexual orientations and is not encouraged.

          • Jennifer

            Disregarding scientific evidence that I have provided just because you don’t like what the opposing part is arguing is hardly rational. Numerous time the Bible repeats same sex sexual activity is sin

          • AtalantaBethulia

            I’m a healthcare provider. I’m aware of the science.

          • Jennifer

            Yes it does make it clear rape and incest are sins. If you are healthcare provider you surely should be aware that the human body is not designed for same sex relations

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Does the Bible make it clear that incest and rape are sins?

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

            Sadly no.

          • Jennifer

            This is twice you have outright lied about what the Bible says. You are either ignorant of what the Bible says or lying.

            8 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your father’s wife; that would dishonor your father.

            9 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your sister, either your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether she was born in the same home or elsewhere.

            10 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter; that would dishonor you.

            11 “‘Do not have sexual relations with the daughter of your father’s wife, born to your father; she is your sister.

            12 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your father’s sister; she is your father’s close relative.

            13 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your mother’s sister, because she is your mother’s close relative.

            14 “‘Do not dishonor your father’s brother by approaching his wife to have sexual relations; she is your aunt.

            15 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your daughter-in-law. She is your son’s wife; do not have relations with her.

            16 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your brother’s wife; that would dishonor your brother.

            17 “‘Do not have sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter. Do not have sexual relations with either her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter; they are her close relatives. That is wickedness.

            18 “‘Do not take your wife’s sister as a rival wife and have sexual relations with her while your wife is living.

            Please see Leviticus 18:6-18

            Rape:

            But if in the field the man finds the girl who is engaged, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lies with her shall die

          • Jeff Preuss

            Hi! Jennifer, YOUR behavior is spiritually and psychologically harmful. Please stop.

          • Jennifer

            Am I upsetting you? I’m sorry

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Sarcasm is not a beatitude.

          • Jennifer

            It wasn’t sarcasm

          • Jeff Preuss

            No, you aren’t.

          • Jeff Preuss

            WE are doing the Christian thing by spreading truth. Gey people are people, too, and worthy of your love and acceptance, not constant reminders that we are “bound for Hell” or “an affront to God.”

            Your awesome gay flatmate – does he actually sit and listen to you condemn his life? Or does he roll his eyes?

          • Jennifer

            Please see my post above, I treat homosexual people the same way I treat heterosexual people. If a heterosexual person is doing something that hurts themselves and I am prayerfully provided the opportunity to tell them by God, I will do it.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Newsflash: Heterosexual people are hurting homosexual people by denying them equal rights.

          • Jeff Preuss

            Do you lecture your heterosexual acquaintances ad nauseum, as well? You seem to have a laser focus on MY sin here. You think you’re coming from a good place, but I don’t need your nannying ways policing my relationship with Christ.

          • Jennifer

            I’ve had quite a few discussions with my awesome flatmate, they have always turned out well. No, as I said, only when given the opportunity by God or the Holy Spirit usually. It is usually difficult and I dislike saying it in any case. Of course, you are right, I’m only backing up my point of view though, and what the Bible says.

          • Jeff Preuss

            What YOUR Bible and YOUR interpretation of said Bible says. There are many translations, and not all of them support your angle.

          • Jennifer

            All the verses condemning same sex relations are found in most bibles in print today. Show me one translation that omits them. (The Queen James doesn’t count btw)

          • Guy Norred

            Not sure why I am letting myself get drawn back in, but again–evidence shows that people who have been psychologically downtrodden by the culture around them are likely to not have the healthiest relationships–you mistaking the cause of this–it is not that gay relationships are inherently unhealthy, but that gay people have been hurt by the culture around them and …

            As to the sinfulness–have you actually considered that your understanding of this might not be Godly?

          • Jennifer

            Please see the Netherlands study I posted further down. Also it is intrinsically unhealthy, the body is not designed for it.
            The Bible is clear on what it says

          • Guy Norred

            And as has been pointed out, the study was on about Belgium and was flawed.

            You still have not answered–are you sure it is clear? Have you ever questioned that interpretation? Many people have and many of them have come to the conclusion that your understanding, that they all started with, was wrong. They did this without throwing out scripture, but looking at it more closely and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide them. Honestly, if you can’t at least admit the possibility, then I suggest you ask yourself what it is that you actually have faith in. Faith comes by hearing, but one cannot hear what one is closed to.

          • Jennifer

            Psychiatric Illness

            Multiple studies have identified high rates of psychiatric illness, including depression, drug abuse and suicide attempts, among selfprofessed gays and lesbians.1 Some proponents of GLB rights have used these findings to conclude that mental illness is induced by other people’s unwillingness to accept same-sex attraction and behavior as normal. They point to homophobia, effectively defined as any opposition to or critique of gay sex, as the cause for the higher rates of psychiatric illness, especially among gay youth.2 Although homophobia must be considered as a potential cause for the increase in mental health problems, the medical literature suggests other conclusions.

            An extensive study in the Netherlands undermines the assumption that homophobia is the cause of increased psychiatric illness among gays and lesbians. The Dutch have been considerably more accepting of same-sex relationships than other Western countries — in fact, same-sex couples now have the legal right to marry in the Netherlands.3 So a high rate of psychiatric disease associated with homosexual behavior in the Netherlands means that the psychiatric disease cannot so easily be attributed to social rejection and homophobia.

            The Dutch study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, did indeed find a high rate of psychiatric disease associated with same-sex sex.4 Compared to controls who had no homosexual experience in the 12 months prior to the interview, males who had any homosexual contact within that time period were much more likely to experience major depression, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia and obsessive compulsive disorder. Females with any homosexual contact within the previous 12 months were more often diagnosed with major depression, social phobia or alcohol dependence. In fact, those with a history of homosexual contact had higher rates of nearly all psychiatric pathologies measured in the study.5 The researchers found “that homosexuality is not only associated with mental health problems during adolescence and early adulthood, as has been suggested, but also in later life.”6 Researchers actually fear that methodological features of “the study might underestimate the differences between homosexual and heterosexual people.”7

            The Dutch researchers concluded, “this study offers evidence that homosexuality is associated with a higher prevalence of psychiatric disorders. The outcomes are in line with findings from earlier studies in which less rigorous designs have been employed.”8 The researchers offered no opinion as to whether homosexual behavior causes psychiatric disorders, or whether it is the result of psychiatric disorders.

            Reckless Sexual Behavior

            Depression and drug abuse can lead to reckless sexual behavior, even among those who are most likely to understand the deadly risks. In an article that was part of a series on “AIDS at 20,” the New York Times reported the risks that many gay men take. One night when a gay HIV prevention educator named Seth Watkins got depressed, he met an attractive stranger, had anal intercourse without a condom — and became HIV positive. In spite of his job training, the HIV educator nevertheless employed the psychological defense of “denial” in explaining his own sexual behavior:

            “[L]ike an increasing number of gay men in San Francisco and elsewhere, Mr. Watkins sometimes still puts himself and possibly other people at risk. ‘I don’t like to think about it because I don’t want to give anyone H.I.V.,’ Mr. Watkins said.”9

            Another gay man named Vince, who had never before had anal intercourse without a condom, went to a sex club on the spur of the moment when he got depressed, and had unprotected sex:

            “I was definitely in a period of depression . . . . And there was just something about that particular circumstance and that particular person. I don’t know how to describe it. It just appealed to me; it made it seem like it was all right.”10

            Some of the men interviewed by the New York Times are deliberately reckless. One fatalistic gay man with HIV makes no apology for putting other men at risk:

            “The prospect of going through the rest of your life having to cover yourself up every time you want to get intimate with someone is an awful one. . . . Now I’ve got H.I.V. and I don’t have to worry about getting it,” he said. “There is a part of me that’s relieved. I was tired of always having to be careful, of this constant diligence that has to be paid to intimacy when intimacy should be spontaneous.”11

            After admitting to almost never using condoms he adds:

            “There is no such thing as safe sex. . . . If people want to use condoms, they can. I didn’t go out and purposely get H.I.V. Accidents happen.”12

            Other reports show similar disregard for the safety of self and others. A1998 study in Seattle found that 10 percent of HIV-positive men admitted they engaged in unprotected anal sex, and the percentage doubled in 2000.13 According to a study of men who attend gay “circuit” parties,14 the danger at such events is even greater. Ten percent of the men surveyed expected to become HIV-positive in their lifetime. Researchers discovered that 17 percent of the circuit party attendees surveyed were already HIV positive.15 Two thirds of those attending circuit parties had oral or anal sex, and 28 percent did not use condoms.16

            In addition, drug use at circuit parties is ubiquitous. Although only 57 percent admit going to circuit parties to use drugs, 95 percent of the survey participants said they used psychoactive drugs at the most recent event they attended. There was a direct correlation between the number of drugs used during a circuit party weekend and the likelihood of unprotected anal sex.17 The researchers concluded that in view of their findings, “the likelihood of transmission of HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases among party attendees and secondary partners becomes a real public health concern.”18

            Good mental health would dictate foregoing circuit parties and other risky sex. But neither education nor adequate access to health care is a deterrent to such reckless behavior. “Research at the University of New South Wales found well-educated professional men in early middle age — those who experienced the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s — are most likely not to use a condom.”19

            Return to the Health Risks main page

            References

            [1]For example, Judith Bradford, Caitlin Ryan, and Esther D. Rothblum, “National Lesbian Health Care Survey: Implications for Mental Health Care,” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 62(2): 228-242 (1994); Richard C. Pillard, “Sexual orientation and mental disorder,” Psychiatric Annals, 18(1): 52-56 (1988); see also Mubarak S. Dahir, “The Gay Community’s New Epidemic,” Daily News (June 5, 2000), http://www.gaywired.com/story detail.cfm?Section=12&ID=148&ShowDate=1.

            [2]Katherine A. O’Hanlan, M.D., et al., “Homophobia As a Health Hazard,” Report of the Gay & Lesbian Medical Association, pp. 3, 5, http://www.ohanlan.com/phobiahzd.htm; Laura Dean, et al., “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health: Findings & Concerns,” Journal of the Gay & Lesbian Medical Association, 4(3): 102-151, pp. 102, 116 (2000).

            [3]“Netherlands Ends Discrimination in Civil Marriage: Gays to Wed,” Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund Press Release, March 30, 2001, http://lambdalegal.org/cgibin/ pages/documents/record?record=814.

            [4]Theo Sandfort, Ron de Graaf, et al., “Same-sex Sexual Behavior and Psychiatric Disorders,” Archives of General Psychiatry, 58(1): 85-91, p. 89 and Table 2 (January 2001).

            [5]Ibid.

            [6]Ibid., p. 89.

            [7]Ibid., p. 90 (emphasis added).

            [8]Ibid.

            [9]Erica Goode, “With Fears Fading, More Gays Spurn Old Preventive Message,” New York Times, August 19, 2001.

            [10]Ibid.

            [11]Ibid.

            [12]Ibid.

            [13]“Officials Voice Alarm Over Halt in AIDS Decline,” New York Times, August 14, 2001.

            [14]“A uniform definition of a circuit party does not exist, partly because such parties continue to evolve. However, a circuit party tends to be a multi-event weekend that occurs each year at around the same time and in the same town . . . .” Gordon Mansergh, Grant Colfax, et al., “The Circuit Party Men’s Health Survey: Findings and Implications for Gay and Bisexual Men,” American Journal of Public Health, 91(6): 953-958, p. 953 (June 2001).

            [15]Ibid., p. 955.

            [16]Ibid., p. 956.

            [17]Ibid., pp. 956-957, Tables 2 & 3.

            [18]Ibid., p. 957. The authors’ recommendation was more education.

            [19]Julie Robotham, “Safe sex by arrangement as gay men reject condoms,” Sydney Morning Herald, June 7, 2001. Data source: 2000 Male Out Survey, National Centre in HIV Social Research, Australia.

          • Guy Norred

            This is from?

            And I could easily copy and paste findings saying specifically the opposite.

          • Guy Norred

            And again–you avoid the primary question.

          • Jennifer

            Please see the sources I included at the bottom of the article to see where they got the evidence from.
            As for the primary question, please show me the verses in the Bible that say that homosexual relations are subject to the ‘uniting of two flesh to become one’ or are not spoken about in terms of sin. Or even are talked about in terms of a happy and healthy relationship. Oh wait, you can’t. Because there aren’t any

          • Mark Cee

            Jennifer, please show me mentions of the word “homosexual” in the Bible that occurred prior to 1946.

          • Jennifer

            The word ‘homosexual’ isn’t in no more than the word ‘dinosaur’ is used in Job to describe Behemoth as the biological causes behind the sexual orientation were not known then. However, most translators generally agree same sex activity (as in the acts, not the orientation) is what is meant by the original writers.

          • Mark Cee

            None of that is actually true. I’m curious–how much research have you actually done on this?

          • Jennifer

            The word ‘yada’ used the Leviticus verses relating to homosexual behaviour means sexual relations in the same way it did when referring to the behaviour of the sodomites. The verse is then followed by the word to’ebah which means abomination.

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

            What translators?

          • Jennifer

            Most Bible translators that aren’t the Queen James. Show me one that doesn’t agree

          • BarbaraR

            Queen James? Is that an attempt at humor? If so, it isn’t working.

          • Jennifer

            Yes, the Queen James is an actual Bible translation. It adds words to the verses in the Bible that were not in the original script in attempt to make them more politically correct

            http://queenjamesbible.com/

          • Guy Norred

            The sources are all nearly 15 years old, and as has been pointed out before, it takes a fair amount of time–generations even–to completely overcome past oppressions. At the time this was written, the Netherlands was RELATIVELY accepting, but that was in a context that seems greatly removed from today where you could hardly say the antagonism the past is completely absent.

          • Jennifer

            Sooo.. What about this UK study from 2008? More recent, clearly were not a nation of homophobes at this time as civil partnerships had been in force for 4 years.

            http://www.health24.com/Medical/Depression/News/Gays-more-prone-to-depression-20120721

          • Guy Norred

            To copy directly from your link:

            “This study could not examine the reasons for the higher-than-expected rate of mental disorders and substance abuse. However, King told Reuters Health, it is likely that lifelong stress is involved.

            Even in relatively liberal societies, he said, gay, lesbian and bisexual people face both overt and subtle discrimination. They may also have to deal with social exclusion and rejection by their own families.”

          • Jennifer

            Please see my comment above

          • BarbaraR

            What about that study indeed? Just because civil partnerships may have been legal does not automatically cancel out all homophobia, which comes in so many forms that are unseen by straight people. A young closeted person struggles daily with whether their parents know and if they should tell them and what their reaction will be. They struggle with their peers knowing or suspecting and the ramifications of isolation, ridicule, bullying, and physical abuse. Young gays people are disowned by their families and rejected by their friends.

            A legal right to civil partnerships does not eliminate all the hostility, rancor, and abuse directed toward gays. As we have seen in this country, the Civil Rights act did little to eliminate bigotry toward black people; it’s no different with gay people.

            I am not surprised that anyone facing the uphill battle of bigotry has a high likelihood of anxiety, depression, and accompanying substance abuse.

            What is it you think you’re proving here?

          • Jennifer

            We shall just have to see if the Netherlands study is repeated in the future to see if it has the same or similar results. I just don’t buy that its all societal induced. I have had to battle bullying and parental rejection and sexism throughout my childhood and teenage years, I’m not depressed, suicidal or on drugs. You get to a point where you just think ‘f*** you all, I’m just gunna accept myself as who I am, regardless of what you think.’ Many people around the world have suffered through worse than homophobic attitudes and comments and have managed to turn their lives around and rebuild them without substance abuse. Gays aren’t the only people who suffer in this world

          • Guy Norred

            No one said they were the only ones to suffer, nor that they suffer worse than any other group, or that people haven’t pulled themselves up and overcome this oppression.

          • BarbaraR

            I’m not sure what it is you’re trying to prove here, but comments like “Many people around the world have suffered through worse than homophobic attitudes” and “Gays aren’t the only people who suffer in this world” are not helping your cause.

          • Jennifer

            Maybe they don’t, but they are true

          • BarbaraR

            It adds nothing to the conversation and looks petty.

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

            I have a family member who has been with her partner for decades…Yes, happily united to the point that they made the decision to move to an assisted living center together when one’s health started failing.
            I have a friend, who just before their wedding, (not legal in that state) was diagnosed with advanced MS. He told his soon to be spouse that that was his ticket out, as my friend knew that he was headed for a future of complete disability, coupled with frequent illness and incapacity. The future groom, reminded my friend that they were in this for the long haul, a union for life. I cried at their wedding.
            So, you are wrong, there are couple in wonderfully, stable very happy and healthy relationships.

          • Jennifer

            A very touching story, but doesn’t change the fact that God sees it is as sin

          • BarbaraR

            *SMH*
            That was rude and arrogant.
            If you believe you are changing anyone’s mind here with that kind of personal attack clothed in your interpretation of scripture, you’re quite mistaken.

          • Jennifer

            I’m past caring tbh, you have ignored a lot of good arguments I have made and mocked me, you have the nerve to call me rude???? You even took the p*** out of my own words!

          • BarbaraR

            You haven’t made any good arguments.

          • Jennifer

            See? Completely ignoring where I am right? Just because you are moderators and have loads of back up does not entitle you to be douchebags to ‘guests.’ I sincerely hope none of you are involved in hospitality. No apology? Fine, whatever.
            I have made a lot of good arguments below based on biology, statistics and language. That you are not willing to accept them is not my fault. I have research from medical institutions that I have quoted and yet to continue to deny. Even if somewhat outdated, human bodies do not change over the course of 20 years and their age does not make them invalid when there is more recent evidence backing it up in any case. In the cases where I have been right you have both ignored me or changed the subject.
            I don’t know what else I can say, I have used theological, scientific and historical arguments. We are both as stubborn as each other. Maybe we should agree to disagree.

          • BarbaraR

            As Guy said above, you came here intending to preach to us and not listen to what we have learned.

            You are entitled to your own opinions, but shoveling them at us as fact will not be effective in changing anyone else’s.

            You’ve assumed that all we needed was plenty of scripture and outdated/discredited studies, and we’d suddenly say, “Oh golly gee whiz, how silly could we have been? All of our own personal research, interpretation, and experience has been collectively wrong!”

            This is probably not a good place for you. There are many places on the internet where people will agree with you.

          • Jennifer

            Human biology and design is neither an outdated study or a quote of scripture :L
            But whatever, we will find out who is in the right and the wrong at the end of days.
            Ta ta (I mean it this time)
            It has been a fun debate, I’ve learnt a lot

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

            You’ve made arguments based on your understanding of biology statistics and language. We disagree, not being ignorant on the topic. In fact many here have done in depth research on the matter. The same would be true on the theological side…which brings us to this. Theology is not as clear cut as some would like…Its nuanced, debatable, and subjective, which is why we also disagree with the insistence that only one view is correct.

          • Snooterpoot

            You wouldn’t know a good argument if it walked up and slapped you in the face,which is, rhetorically, what you have done here.

          • Jeff Preuss

            Here’s a fact for you: I got very sick of your unchristian, holier-than-thou character, and your attempt at breaking down good people already in wonderful faith walks with Christ, so I went and had a bubble bath. It was much more emotionally fulfilling than watching you minding everyone else’s business for them. Go home; you’re winning neither converts nor arguments here.

          • Jennifer

            None of you are considering even a little bit of what I’m saying regardless and have ignored a lot of my posts with perfectly good arguments. I’ll say what I want, how dare you judge me when all I’m doing is stating facts. You don’t even know me or my walk with God. I am already home, and even if I wasn’t, I’m not about to go home just because you disagree with what I’m saying

          • BarbaraR

            No, you aren’t stating facts. You’re consistently being offensive and condescending and, as Jeff stated above, holier-than-thou. The “proof” you are offering – of what, we aren’t sure – has been pretty well analyzed and disproven. When you’re called out on your attitude, you become sixteen kinds of butthurt.

            Keep in mind you are a guest here and are dangerously close to being asked to leave.

          • Guy Norred

            Everyone here had pretty much the same belief you do at one point or another–it would be nearly impossible to have otherwise considering the civilization we were born into–but we have all, in many different ways, been led to new understandings. It isn’t that we ignore your arguments, but that we actually have seen them, and have long sense found them invalid. The one not paying attention to others is you. All of this said, I realize it looks like you are being ganged up upon, and perhaps in a way you are, but you came here with no apparent intention of listening.

          • BarbaraR

            That sums it up beautifully. Thank you, Guy.

          • Guy Norred

            Thanks

          • Snooterpoot

            Maybe we are not considering even a little bit of what you are saying is because we have heard this shit all of our lives.

            And I’m going to turn this around on you. You don’t know us or our walks with God. You are judging people with self righteousness that is nauseating.

            What will you say when you stand before God and he asks you why you treated his homosexual children unkindly. You can deny this all you want, but you haven’t said a damned thing here that is kind.

          • Jeff Preuss

            No, no, no. I don’t need to read your response, because I really don’t care, and cannot learn anything positive from you. Thanks anyway!

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Is incest sin?

          • Snooterpoot

            I generally refrain from vulgar language, but you deserve this. Your comment is pure bullshit.

          • Jeff Preuss

            Gay rights can be rolled up into human rights. Gay people are a subset of that groups of neighbors God wants you to love. And, condemnation from you is NOT showing love.

          • Jeff Preuss

            No. As has been stated and linked to you multiple times, there are many pages within this blog and elsewhere that defend the positions we hold.

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

            cite the study. I don’t believe a word.

          • BarbaraR

            She means the widely discredited one (about Denmark, not the Netherlands) by Paul & Kirk Cameron (not that Kirk Cameron) – Paul Cameron is now working for the Family Research Institute after being booted from the American Pyschological Association for refusing to cooperate with an ethics probe.

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

            So, two homophobic bigots. Gotcha.

          • BarbaraR

            ” there are numerous verses against gay marriage and the like.”

            “Of course it isn’t mentioned.”

            Which is it?

          • Jennifer

            My bad, I meant same sex relations.

    • Guest

      [The usual anti-gay tripe deleted]

      • Jeff Preuss

        I’m sorry, but calling those who disagree with you blind and clueless is nothing but a self-righteous jerk move. Quit being a butthead.

        • Guest

          [More rude snark deleted]

          • Jeff Preuss

            It is…amusing that you think you somehow “got” me.

            I shall reiterate, with emphasis: QUIT BEING A BUTTHEAD. You are being a self-righteous jerk.
            Thanks! Have a NICE day.

          • Guest

            {Childish retort deleted]

          • Jeff Preuss

            You’re still being a self-righteous troll.

          • BarbaraR

            I believe you’re done here.

        • Guest

          [rude snark deleted]

  • SuckerpunchKO

    That is a moving letter. I really feel for the writer and his pain. But I will not fault his aunt and uncle for their strong moral and Christian convictions. They are right to see their relationship as a very intimate friendship at best, because that’s what it is in the eyes of God. Should King David and Jonathan have been civilly wed…I don’t see that anywhere in the Bible nor any such union receiving the blessing of God. So I think what should be obvious as bright daylight to the letter writer is that his view of gay marriage is simply not compatible with Christianity. Simple. My unsolicited advice, stay friends, and stop with the “marriage” farce…the world is messed up as it is. Turn to God in the Catholic Church, get a wise priest as a spiritual director to help you sort out the mess you’re in. There is hope for you yet to straighten things out.

    • Jeff Preuss

      “moral” convictions. Uh huh.

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

      There isn’t a single marriage of any type, including all the polygamous ones, the ones where the wives were the result of the spoils of war, or stolen from a festival, political pawns, or close relatives of the groom….not a one has a single mention of God blessing the union. So that argument doesn’t stand a chance.
      It should be obvious as the bright daylight that your views of gay marriage is an opionion based on personal views and the views of some in your church. For the record, not all in the RCC are anti-gay or anti-gay marriage.
      Lastly two men or two women getting married are not going to mess the world up one bit. What messes the world up is war, sectarian hatred, quests for power, the greed of holding onto money and resources and not being willing to share it with others, bigotry, the decimation of environments just for profit and to sell natural resources.

      • Andy

        Yes, but gays! I mean, come on! Priorities!

        Lewis Black talks about GWB (very NSFW, obviously):

        http://youtu.be/3ANrvQC4wIk

        • Jeff Preuss

          I would like to share an anti-gay marriage argument from the USA Today comments section on the Utah ban overturning article. It’s a doozy:
          “It would be totally unethical for people to try to create genetic
          offspring together with someone of the same sex. It would require using
          genetically modified gametes to make them complementary, so that they
          join together to form diploid chromosomes with one and only one copy of
          certain genes “turned on.” You can’t just join two unmodified eggs or
          two unmodified sperm, the embryo won’t form a placenta and will not
          survive. One of the couple has to have artificial gametes created, and
          that would be unethical and there is no right to do it, even with the
          couple’s own money. And it would end up costing the state Billions of
          dollars to deal with the health issues of the children created this way.
          Same-sex couples should be prohibited from conceiving offspring
          together, on the basis of being the same sex and therefore having
          non-complementary gametes. Society should only approve and allow people
          to procreate offspring with someone of the other sex, it is the only way
          it is ethical and the only way people have a right to do it.”

          Yeah, um…what?

          • Andy

            To borrow from Charles Babbage, I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of ignorance that could engender such idiotic ideas.

          • Guy Norred

            This one is going in my quote list–as soon as I revive it.

          • Andy

            What other ones do you have? I’m curious now.

          • Jeff Preuss

            “You came in here all high-and-mighty….acting all mighty, while I was high”

          • Guy Norred

            Decades ago when working on my thesis, I started collecting into one place things that were particularly meaningful to me. Unfortunately, that original list was compiled on this ancient technology (a Brother word processor that didn’t even talk to other Brother word processors that were a year or two newer or older), and I have never pulled this list into something I can work with anymore. I did pull out that original list recently to see if I felt differently about it (what do you know, twenty years has changed my perspective–though less than I might have thought) and I have things written in sketch books and on scraps of paper all over the place. I started a new document with yourquote and will start adding things this weekend. I do remember that some of the last two things I thought important enough were from Albert Einstein and one of my favorite books, Compton Mackenzie’s Sinister Street.

          • Andy

            That’s flattering. Makes me wish I’d come up with the entire thing instead of just mooching off him.

          • Guy Norred

            Well I consider it all mooched so … :-)

          • Jill

            The brainiacs on this blog… love it!

          • http://limpingtowardsgrace.com/ James Jarvis

            Obliviously, someone has mistaken a food processor for word processor.

          • Jill

            It seems to happen a lot on the interwebs.

      • SuckerpunchKO

        Homosexual unions won’t fix the world either, so why don’t we exert our energies on fixing those problems you highlighted. And let’s agree to disagree with regards gay “marriages” coz clearly we are of different opinions and you are just as entitled to yours as I am mine. As for your claims of understanding the official catholic church’s stand on marriage…you are clearly mistaken. Rather than accepting the opinions of misguided catholics who share your opinion on the moral acceptability of gay unions, pick up a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, read up on Theology of the Body, or ask the Pope. God bless you.

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

          And yet Kentucky is on the crux of being the next state to legalize gay marriage, and every other state are going through the process through court challenges.

          For the record, I’m not Catholic, and the ones I do know are not as sanctamonious as you seem to be. Most Catholics I know personally are intellegent, devout, and compassionate.

          I’d actually like to meet the Pope. I appreciate his views on many things, not all of course, but his social stance for the poor, and equality is wonderful

        • Bones

          Sheesh. The other day I had to believe the five Fundamentals and that the Catholic Church is a cult

          Now I have to believe the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

          What do I have to believe next?

          The Westminster Confession?

          Hey when are you guys going to let your priests marry?

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

            Why I have decided on being a dogmatic person of faith. Rules, and creeds, and rituals are all well and good, but not everyone needs them.

          • Guest

            [Personal attack deleted]

          • Jeff Preuss

            Personal attacks? Brilliant.

          • BarbaraR

            That was me, editing. I have even less patience than usual this morning for rampant jerkitude.

          • Jeff Preuss

            Oh, darn, and I have shiny new jerkitude boots and everything.

          • BarbaraR

            I am sure you’ll get plenty of chances to use them. Like they used to say on Top 40 radio, the hits just keep on coming!

            In the meantime, enjoy that new jerkitude boots smell. It’ll wear off soon enough.

        • Bones

          Let us know when you let priests marry and allow women to minister as well.

          And really Catholics are the last ones who should be lecturing us on morality.

          Has there been a more morally corrupt organisation?

          (Thank God for Romero, Francis and Dom Halder Camara)

          What’s with the personal insults? I defended Catholics and was called a child of Satan and now I’m dry bones.

          Am I supposed to wait for a Suckerpunch to KO me?

          • Jeff Preuss

            I think you’ll wait a long time. Pretty sure he got banned.

          • Bones

            Shame that!

            We were getting on so well!


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