Why the surprise at learning how much evangelicals hate gay people?

There’s been a lot of chatter around the Internet lately from Christians who, thanks to the World Vision debacle, have been surprised to learn just how deeply the evangelical right despises gay people.

How can that possibly be a surprise to anyone? Where in “You’re going to hell because God deplores you!” does anyone see even a hint of affection or respect?

The evangelical right’s attitude toward gay people has always been about pure hatred. The Bible’s just an excuse (and a shallow one at that) for that hatred.

The difference between the Westboro Baptist hate-mongers and the Southern Baptist Convention (the largest Protestant body in the United States) has never been a difference of substance; it’s only been a difference in style.

Why does anyone think that so many of us out here have been fighting so hard for so long to bring a new and freaking better Christianity into the world? LGBT people get beaten. They get killed. They get spat upon. They get run over. They get doused with gasoline and lit on fire. They get bullied so ferociously that they kill themselves rather than suffer another moment of it.

Those things don’t happen sometimes. They don’t happen every once in a while. They happen all the time, all over the world. And it’s all perpetrated in the name of Christianity. If you believe that the Bible teaches God condemns to hell all “unrepentant” gay people, then why wouldn’t you pound to death every gay person you saw? Doing so would be doing God’s work, by extending God’s will into the world. That’s what Christians are supposed to do.

We need a new Christianity. And we need it now. (I defined one, by the way. This shit’s not complicated.) And I think one of the first things we also need to do is be very clear about the fact that no one who believes that God finds gay people morally reprehensible is, in fact, a Christian.

They’re just not, okay? Saying “I’m a Christian, and gay people are going to hell” is like saying, “I’m a feminist, and women should remain pregnant and obey their husbands,” or “I’m not a racist, and white people should own black people.” One automatically cancels out the other.

No one gets to declare that they follow the Prince of Peace while at the same time declaring that gay people deserve to be burned alive forever. I don’t care who you are, or how respectable you pretend to be: that pig doesn’t fly. Ignorant bigotry is ignorant bigotry, whether it’s wearing a tie or not. I know it. You know it. And God sure as hell knows it.

To quote Jesus (quoting Isaiah):

These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.

To which Jesus then adds his own words:

You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.

This is a war, folks. It’s always been a war. It was a war when the evangelicals said the Bible supports slavery. It was a war when they said the Bible supports denying women the vote. And it’s a war when they say the Bible condemns homosexuality.

In a war people choose sides. They have to, because they realize that not doing so will only cause more death and suffering.

If you’re a Christian who is just now realizing that you are part of the problem if you don’t refute the Christian right with anywhere near the vigor with which they so horrendously persecute gay people, then hallelujah for World Vision’s ignorant cowardice.

The middle ground is where people fall and die. Stop standing there. Come to our side. Join us in fighting the good fight. We who know that the Bible does not condemn gay people will win this fight, because God is always on the side of what is right and just.

The sooner you join the winning team, the better for all. And most certainly the better for you, should you have to, say, answer to God tomorrow for why you waited.

And make a NALT video already.

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.

  • BarbaraR

    Hating gays trumps feeding starving children. It can’t get much clearer than that.

    • harrisco

      Crystal clear, alas… I confess I have been giving the folks on the right far too much credit. Hate is just hate–and enough is enough. God does not hate gay people. God does not hate what he has created.

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

        I wanted to believe differently about conservatives. Naivety? Willful ignorance? I’m not sure. But this week has revealed the truth. And it saddens me deeply.

        • harrisco

          Ford1968 – I think we have had a similar experience. I just do not want to believe that there is that much Ugly in the world… but I stand corrected. You are right… profoundly sad. To add to the gut-punch, one of the links that came up at end of the story was to John’s post on a bullying-unto-death of a young gay man last year. That post hit hard then–and did so again yesterday. So, to any kid being bullied in the name of Christ or conformity, I can only say again: God does not hate what he has created. Anyone hating in name of God does not speak for me or the other Christ-followers hereabout. OK? Just want to be clear on that.

        • Jill

          In part, I think, because you are a believer in humanity. You believe that people will get it right, one day.

          I believe that too, only I know the depth of avoidance, denial and subjugation of your own conscience that it takes to survive in fundamentalist circles. No one can teach self-hate as a virtue like they can.

          It speaks to the willingness not to do their own thinking when their world is locked into preservation mode and where exclusionary practices are highly rewarded. The expanse of walking wounded in that subculture is mindblowing.

  • Matt

    Amen.

    Say what you will about Westboro Baptist Church. They at least had the decency to snarl and snap as a rabid dog should, so that we could keep well away.

  • Janet

    Awesome.

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      thanks, janet

  • jodi_3

    “The middle ground is where people fall and die.” Exactly! I have been an advocate for equality for a few years now. But THIS issue with World Vision has completely sent me over the edge. Based on John’s recent articles it seems to have done the same for him. I have lost all patience when dealing with people that are “in the name of Jesus” bullies. I come from a very conservative southern baptist background and I changed my ways. They can too. No more excuses!

  • Kathy Verbiest Baldock

    thank you

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      Kathy! Hello!!

  • Leslie Marbach

    Well said, John. Thank you.

  • DrewTwoFish

    John Shore,

    I’m no longer a Christian, but, man “…I wish I knew how to quit you.”

    – a grateful gay man who’s feeling the love.

    • SonjaFaithLund

      John’s like a fierce mama bear for the gays. It’s really awesome. :)

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

    I was one of those taken by surprise at the depth of animosity that exists within the ranks of conservative Christianity. What a sad reality you so accurately articulate here. Praying.

    • DrewTwoFish

      If you can call it “Christianity.” Doesn’t appear to have much to with Christ.

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      Ford: You’re one of the kindest and smartest people I’ve ever known. The idea that you must go to hell for the way you were made to partner is so manifestly absurd that it’s a testament to the enduring darkness within the human soul that such a “theology” is ever taken by anyone to be anything but a joke.

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

        Thanks so much for the nice words, John! Truly appreciated.

        Even beyond concerns about hell, the anti-gay theology is toxic. It dehumanizes us. It says we are pathological – sick and twisted. It says we are immoral – bad people. It says we are profoundly and uniquely flawed – inferior humans.

        Is it any wonder this toxic theology has caused so much death and destruction?

  • Jakeithus

    Thanks for the invitation John, maybe it’s just me, but some of us can’t help but feel called to stand in the middle ground (even if it maybe doesn’t exist on an issue such as this). If that makes me an unwitting supporter of evil in your mind, then so be it, but I’ll answer for that on my own and to someone more qualified.

    Hearing you call out everyone who disagrees on this as not True Christians does nothing to personally endear myself to your position. That’s ok of course, maybe you wouldn’t want me or people like me in your new and better Christianity. This whole affair makes me wish the seemingly inevitable schism hurries up and gets here so that us middle grounders can figure out where we stand, as sad as everything makes me personally.

    • Matt

      Were you looking to be courted instead, with roses and sweet nothings? That’s an option for you, but can’t you see that LGBT people don’t get a choice in the matter? For us, it’s either submit, or be obliterated. The least you could do is try to meet us where we are.

      • Bill Steffenhagen

        I once said something similar to my brother and sister back in the decade and a half ago when we could actually talk about this. I once told them that I didn’t care what they believed but I care how they vote and how they remain silent in the face of the hypocrisy and lies and ignorance. Then I told them to their faces that they no longer really had the choice anymore. I wasn’t giving it to them. WE are now telling them that this is now how it is; you have two choices, either learn to live with us or you will have to kill us. We are no longer giving you the other choice of oppression. You should have seen the perplexedly anguished expressions on their faces. Sort of like, “This doesn’t compute.”

        We haven’t had a conversation about it since.

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      (And that reminds me: I need to go link this in the post:

      Christians and LGBT Equality: There Is No Middle Ground.)

      • Jakeithus

        I hear you. As soon as World Vision came out claiming to be taking a neutral position on the issue, I questioned whether such a thing was possible. I’m not sure if it is, but given that Evangelicalism is supposed to be a big tent, it’s survival depends on trying at least.

        • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

          Look how quickly you built and sat on so many fences there. “I questioned.” “Is it possible?” “I’m not sure.” “Trying is important.” In … what, three sentences. Man, that’s nothing but learned instinct. Try your best, friend, to unlearn that instinct. Cuz I guarantee you that you’re a whole lot better than that nowhere fluff.

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      Jake: First, you sitting on the fence on this issue doesn’t make you an “unwittingly” supporter of evil; it makes you a supporter of evil, period. There’s nothing “unwitting” about it. You know exactly what you’re doing. Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “The only thing it takes for evil to persist is for good people to do nothing”? Turning away while a person is being beaten makes you an accomplice to that crime. And the evangelical church, by promulgating the toxic lie that God condemns homosexuality, is very effectively, and very methodically, beating gay people. And you are choosing to allow that to happen without at all complaining about it.

      Secondly, stop pretending that you’re only waiting for more information so that you can “figure out” where you stand. All the evidence you need to pull that fence out of your butt has been in for years and years and years now. At this point you are choosing not to commit to what’s right, and are doing so simply because you think that’s safest for you. It’s certainly easiest for you. And it allows you to feel sanctimonious and essentially above it all. That’s why it’s the position that so many “progressive” Christians have been taking for so long. (And saying that you feel “called” to excuse yourself for doing nothing is just bullshit. That’s not God calling you. That’s at best your fear dictating your no-position, and at worst your thinly disguised malice.)

      Thirdly, the schism you claim to be awaiting for is here, Jake. Wake up, dude. Pick a lane. Or don’t–in which case you have picked one, whether you have the balls to acknowledge that obvious truth or not.

      • Jessica Harmon

        I get it. I’ve picked my side and made my NALT video and everything. I was more angry yesterday than I have been in a long time. But. (There’s always a but…) I think there is (and should be) room for peacemaking. As you said, the difference between Westboro and the SBC is style. And one of them is ridiculed and the other holds more sway than I could ever hope for. Like I said, I have joined a side, I am not on the middle ground. But that doesn’t mean I won’t temper my comments on Facebook. In my experience if I start yelling or express my opinion too loudly I get tuned out. I don’t mind losing Facebook friends, but I do mind losing the channels of communication. People dig their heels in when pulled too hard. It’s easier to get more movement when you are welcoming, kind, and logical than when you are angry and/or pleading.

      • Bill Steffenhagen

        Ouch!! You go gi…..uh, John.

      • Jakeithus

        Say what you will about my middle ground position, but I don’t agree that what you say is true, and that the only 2 options are to choose one of the extremes and blast everyone who disagrees with me as not a “real true Christian”. That to me seems to be taking the coward’s and the bully’s way out; I don’t accept it from the other side, and I can’t accept it from yours. Standing in the middle is not necessarily safer and easier when you know you’ll have bombs thrown at you from both sides; I can’t think of too much easier than to close ranks with like-minded individuals, demonize the other, and then begin to throw bombs of your own.

        I get that the whole situation causes emotions to run high, maybe I should’ve just been quiet and let you pass judgement on my (and others) status as Christians, knowing that in the big picture it doesn’t really mean anything. I figured that as a moderate, peacemaker, cowardly fence sitter, or whatever else one might call me, I should be true to my convictions and share my thoughts; that you lose all sorts of influence with pronouncements such as this. Tribalism is no more attractive when it comes from the Left than the Right, and your new kind of Christianity is not all that different than what you’re suggesting needs to be given up.

        • lymis

          Okay, I’ll bite (and I’m sure, regret it.)

          You keep saying you are in the middle ground, that you disagree with what John says, and that you feel that there are more options than just the two, but you so far have utterly failed to articulate what you think the middle ground is.

          Just what is the middle ground between “All gay people are going to hell, regardless of how much they love and how well they live their lives, unless they somehow stop being gay” and “No, they aren’t” ?

          How much middle ground is there between “God hates all gay people and will send them all to hell, and we have the obligation to say so” and “No, God loves all his creation, and we have the obligation to say so.”

          Just what is this mythical middle position. That God, does, in fact hate some gay people but not others?

          I think that’s what’s true is that you don’t WANT there not to be a middle ground. That you want to be able to not hate gay people but not rock the boat with religious people, that you don’t want to be responsible for choosing sides in one of the major moral issues of your day.

          Please, prove me wrong. What is this middle ground of yours? My guess is that it’s just a polite gloss on the hate side.

          • Jakeithus

            I’m of the position that there are better ways to be spending my time than determining who and who not is going to hell (whatever that might mean), and that it’s ridiculous to pull sponsorship from World Vision on this issue. I also believe that churches and individual Christian’s are within their rights to posit and hold to moral standards that God calls us to, whether or not we fully live up to them. This doesn’t make individuals hateful, bigots, or not worthy of the name Christian.

            You do realize that this post is basically calling for those in agreement to reject the vast majority of Christians who have ever lived and are alive in the world today as not true believes and as unworthy of the name of Christ? That’s no task to be undertaken lightly. For those of us unable to do that, where does that leave us in this new world order?

          • James Walker

            see, I don’t think John is actually trying to draw the circle smaller in this post. I think he’s trying very hard to point out the blatant hypocrisy of claiming to follow Jesus and then, point blank, not following Him. He’s trying very hard to issue a wake-up call to mainstream Christians that by maintaining an anti-gay stance, they’re acting in a distinctly un-Christian way. They’re not being true even to their own beliefs, let alone Progressive Christian beliefs.

          • lymis

            “You do realize that this post is basically calling for those in agreement to reject the vast majority of Christians who have ever lived and are alive in the world today as not true believes and as unworthy of the name of Christ?”

            I’d say, rather, it’s calling for those Christians to recognize they are fundamentally wrong on a significant human issue – and that they are being entirely human in doing so. Any Christian who claims their Christianity makes them perfect and incapable of error is seriously missing the point. It’s not about “being worthy of the name of Christ.” It’s about being willing to love one’s neighbor.

            This is no different than calling on those Christians who felt that slavery was justified and reconcilable with the Gospels to recognize that that belief does not reflect the truth of Christ.

          • James Walker

            Ah, Lymis, I should just stop responding today since you’re online and watching. You always say everything better than I ever imagined it could be said. :)

          • Jakeithus

            I guess we disagree about the fundamental message the post is sending. Saying we need to be “clear about the fact that no one who believes that God finds gay people morally reprehensible is, in fact, a Christian”, is pretty clear to me. I get the desire to sugar coat his words and explain away what he’s really saying, but I just don’t see it.

            I do see it as trying to draw the circle smaller, which is why I question the future of an Evangelicalism that is so split on the issue.

    • DR

      How lovely that in your privileged position, you can afford the luxury of waiting to see how it all falls out. Are you reading? People are killing themselves because of the beliefs you take in your “middle ground”. We could wait until you get over your injured feelings of being called out but honestly, please – no one is prioritizing your feelings here and it’s so odd to think that you’re owed that. No one is “endearing” you to anything, make a choice or don’t. It’s already over, the damage is so horrific, I suspect our Church will never recover from this one, the silence from this massive amount of passives in the middle ground is absolutely permission for this evil to go on in the name of Christ. You’ve already been left behind, it’s a matter of you running as fast as you can to catch up and start repairing the damage we’ve all done as we all waited in the middle ground. Decide quickly.

  • James Walker

    in case anyone didn’t catch what just happened here, this would be John Shore losing what little patience he had left with the so-called “Christian Right”.

    • jodi_3

      I did catch that. This seems to have been my own tipping point as well.

  • Bones

    John Shore = hero.

    Well written bro, like the prophets of old.

  • hyhybt

    First, to be absolutely clear because I know it would be easy to jump to wrong conclusions from what I’m about to say: there is nothing wrong with being gay nor with gay relationships any more than there is with straight. But something you said is the same sort of thing that bugs me when I hear Christians promoting the death penalty or read about historical events like the inquisition or witch hunts.

    “If you believe that the Bible teaches God condemns to hell all “unrepentant” gay people, then why wouldn’t you pound to death every gay person you saw?”—Setting aside that gay is not sin for the moment, the answer is that killing someone robs them of the chance to repent later on. And surely Christians aren’t supposed to *want* people to go to hell.

    • Bill Steffenhagen

      ******And surely Christians aren’t supposed to *want* people to go to hell.******
      In the case of the noisiest anti-gay “christians”, I am not at all convinced of that.

      • hyhybt

        Well, of course, many of them DO. But they’re not *supposed to.*

      • James Walker

        the only reason the concept of “hell” exists at all is so that those in control of “the religion” can use it to a) scare the money out of the pockets of the “faithful” and b) permit the “faithful” to feel superior to the “unfaithful”. that’s it. that’s the bottom line.

        • Bill Steffenhagen

          Yes, I no longer believe in the existence of hell. See Elaine Pagel’s THE ORIGIN OF SATAN. You will never think of hell in the traditional way again.

    • lymis

      Repent of what, exactly? Are you under the impression that being gay is something one CAN “repent” of?

      It’s okay to hate all black people and condemn them to hell, because they can decide to be white, and therefore okay with God? Women are inherently inferior, because at any point, they can just decide to be men, right?

      The only way that this view you’re propounding works is if we gay people don’t actually exist.

      What you’re saying is that there is some justification for hatred, discrimination, and oppression, as long as you can make up a story with no actual relationship to the facts of the reality of the people you are discriminating against.

      You CAN’T “set aside that gay is not sin for the moment,” any more than you can “set aside that black people are actually human for the moment” or “set aside that women are people” for the moment and then finish that sentence in any morally non-reprehensible way. “Setting aside that Jews are people, for a moment, let’s discuss how ovens fit into social policy.”

      The thing that get so exhausting for those of us on the receiving end of this is that people honestly seem to think that there is a theoretical intellectual discussion to be had that ignores the lived reality of the people who are being systematically and deliberately harmed.

      You, and everyone who wants to be oh, so, careful to see “all sides” of these things, never seem to realize that you are looking us in the face and saying, bluntly and clearly, “For the sake of argument, agree with me that you might not be a real human being, that God may not love you at all, that your fundamental experience of one of the most significant personal characteristics may be meaningless, and that total strangers who make it clear from the start of the conversation that they have already decided that you are scum know more about your life than you do.”

      And then you wonder why we seem so touchy, when all you want to do is talk reasonably about other possible views.

      WE. ARE. PEOPLE. Once you really are willing to understand that, that we actually exist, a lot of these moral quandaries suddenly resolve themselves. Our existence, our lives, our loves, and from a Christian perspective, possibly more important, OUR PAIN AT YOUR HANDS, is REAL.

      Please stop pretending we aren’t, even as a theoretical postulate.

      • hyhybt

        “Are you under the impression that being gay is something one CAN ‘repent’ of?”—Of course not. You can readily see that by my post, if you weren’t so anxious to take offense at every possible opportunity. All the positions you pull out of nowhere and ascribe to me are grossly incorrect and unjustified by anything I’ve *ever* said, much less in the post above.
        Let me try this from the other direction. (Please hold your outrage at me until you’ve read through calmly; if you do, you’ll see there’s no reason for it.)
        In general, Christians are supposed to want good for other people. Part of that includes wanting those you believe are doing wrong to change their ways; if you are of the “accept Jesus and be saved” type, to want them to do that rather than going to Hell. *Wanting* those you believe are in the wrong to go to Hell, and especially trying to deny them more time to reconsider, is a much deeper problem than merely being mistaken about what is sinful. That remains true even when the practical effect of the two on other people is the same.
        “You, and everyone who wants to be oh, so, careful to see “all sides” of these things, never seem to realize that you are looking us in the face and saying, bluntly and clearly, “For the sake of argument, agree with me that you might not be a real human being, that God may not love you at all, that your fundamental experience of one of the most significant personal characteristics may be meaningless, and that total strangers who make it clear from the start of the conversation that they have already decided that you are scum know more about your life than you do.””—You couldn’t be more wrong if you were trying. NOWHERE did I even suggest they were, or even might be, *right* in seeing gayetc people (of whom I am one, thank you very much) as in any way less or worse than anyone else. Nor did I suggest agreeing with any of those things. Only that the outright hateful, send-you-to-hell approach would still be unchristian even if they were right about gay being sin.

        • lymis

          Well, now that we have that cleared up.

          Please forgive me for being a bit dispirited by the fact that the point of John’s post that you chose to focus on is pointing out that the people who hate us and condemn us are doing it the wrong way. Implying that there really is a more appropriately Christian approach to hating and marginalizing us.

          You know, setting aside the fact that our mere existence isn’t a sin, and all. Can you at least understand how much it hurts to CONSTANTLY hear that sort of thing, from people who claim to be on our side?

          • hyhybt

            Of course I understand that. It doesn’t justify the very small part of the piece I was commenting on in the first place.

          • lymis

            Never mind. I give up.

          • DR

            my God, that some of you are so self-absorbed that you insist on both highlighting and prioritizing your injured feelings as a result of being misunderstood by people like Lymis who’ve been brutalized by the Christian community is perhaps, the most narcissistic thing I’ve come across in a long time.

          • Matt

            (Hi, DR! It’s great to see you around again! Just thought I’d say that. Carry on being your awesome self.)

  • C. G. Walden

    Uh, where do you stand on this John… I’m sensing that you have a definite opinion. By the way, you are dead on the money right. Thanks for being clear.

    • Bill Steffenhagen

      Sounds like you haven’t been familiar with John’s “stands” for very long or you would know where he stands. Stick around. It will soon become apparent.

  • Lori

    I have stopped being surprised but I am still dismayed. The animosity is so horrific when did hatred become a “Christian” value? People are condemned for who they are and the bigots, the greedy, the adulterers are given a pass. How about we start doing what the Bible teaches and take care of the poor and the sick, the widow and homeless child?

  • ValReia Ann Lavigne Cox

    I am reminded of hearing a deacon in my church saying Gay’s were not welcome in our church… I could not keep my mouth closed… I had to ask if gays were sinners how could they be saved if the church doors were closed to them… Isn’t the church for sinners to hear the teachings of Jesus? The Christian right completely dumbfounds me.. Needless to say I am no longer a member of the Southern Baptist Church…I do know that,Jesus loves me.

  • marymorrison

    For several decades I’ve been convinced that the spirit of evil was leading the far right evangelicals, including the SBC, not the Holy Spirit. Most of them make no pretense of protecting children from sexual assault in their churches; women are there to submit; their hatred of LGBT people is unspeakably harsh; and now they have openly declared that they would prefer to see children starve than allow same sex couples to serve in World Vision. It has clearly devolved into a cult, rather than a church. Richard Land’s recent remarks are ridiculous. Yes of course we are in a time of schism. With their hateful rhetoric, they have driven so many away from the church and forfeited whatever witness they may have had. They have also tainted the witness of those of us who genuinely love and welcome everyone without exception. They have much to answer for.

  • usingmyvoice

    My concern is the ministers who are still blindly leading congregations and districts and states in persecuting those who don’t think the way they think, or look the way they look, or act the way they act. The Bible says a LOT of things that simply aren’t true, but the purpose of the Bible is for God to speak to the person reading it (which means YOU), not for you to use the book to beat up someone you disapprove of, REGARDLESS of your reasoning.

    Dear Lord – seriously – DEAR LORD, wake these people up and remind them how to love. Unconditionally.

  • Allen

    Once again no one is addressing something important with this whole issue. What do Christians lose or what have Christians lost? There is no way you can ever make up all the crap you guys have done.. Now Christians (be it Progressive Christians and some conservative Christians) are now on the bandwagon to treat gays equally. How sweet!!! Now Progressive Christians claim that the bible doesn’t consider homosexuality to be sinful. It doesn’t claim that gay people are sick perverts who should burn in hell for being gay or having gay thoughts unless they apologize to this God and stop. Progressive Christians claim now that the bible and this God never in a moral context said that gays should be killed… Nope never happen!!! Here is the problem that I’m having..Where were you liberal progressive Christians in the past? That’s the thing that I’ve noticed. Christians always run from their past or never acknowledge it existed. If they do acknowledge something they will say “we are sorry” but they lose nothing.Never mind all the craziness done to gay people in the past by Christians over centuries and a the turmoil you guys done by killing,arresting, firing from jobs and shaming gays as well as all the lives you destroyed with your religion. That’s over and done with. Now you guys have”evolved”. You religion is crap!!! You’ve used it to punish gay people for centuries and now when gay people fight back you say ..”oops we interpreted the words wrong sorry about all the lives we have destroyed for centuries, we are deeply sorry”… There shouldn’t be evolution on how to treat people. Apparently with Christians they have to have ah ha moments and go against their religious teachings or “read it differently” This is what happen when people don’t think for themselves and just follow a bible. Regardless of liberal or conservative Christians you are followers. You don’t think for yourselves . You guys are gonna do this same thing over as you have done in the past because you base your understanding of morals on a book of what someone told you instead figuring out for yourselves. At times i feel like you guys must lack the quality of empathy. After you figure out you had ” interpreted” your bible wrong then you will give a half ass “oops we were wrong now we’ve evolved” but by that time you will have destroyed more lives just like with gay people. Progressive Christians want to make it like they have always been on the side of gay people but you guys haven’t . You had to “evolve “. Which is the problem. I’m happy that over time progressive Christians have changed their views to support gays but there shouldn’t have been a evolution to treat people equally in the first place if your religion was worth something or was as positive as you claimed. A progressive Christian in the 19 century for example should have accepted gay people but that just wasn’t the case. Now all of sudden Christian love gays. You are a little too late in my opinion. Gays are gaining now but have lost a lot because of your beliefs yet all Christians offer is an apology. How sweet!! You destroyed, caused turmoils in the lives of many and all you offer for the crap you’ve done is ” I’m sorry we will get it right next time”…… till this day i don’t understand why any gay person would trust a christian person…..

    • James Walker

      I’m very sorry that you’ve been treated in such a way by Christians in the past that you can’t forgive us. I hope that you can someday understand, we’re not all like that. We’re not all followers, we don’t all blindly follow what’s written in the Bible, we don’t all believe that anyone “other” than ourselves is less than us.

      If you like, take a look through some of the other blog posts here, some of the videos on the NALT site and some of the posts on the Unfundamentalist Christians blog as well. We’re different here. We own what took place in the past, we understand what tragic pain and suffering it caused and we aim to make it right, not just to apologize or make nice noises about it. We aim to behave toward other people the way Jesus taught us, with the kind of Love that we ourselves want to receive.

      • Allen

        Your exactly what I’m talking about sadly. its just comes off as a hollow apologize. You don’t address why progressive Christians were against gays. Don’t address the Christians mindset of bible following which led to Christians to believe gays were bad in the first place ,that includes progressive Christians. It’s just comes off as worthless. The love of Jesus is what got gays into the mess we are in now. Now you are trying to use the same thing to get us out the mess? I’m not sure how to solve this but i just know Christians have lost absolutely nothing. You guys can go on living un bothered but gays have always ALWAYS had to struggle and it has been because of those beliefs/God that apparently you have “evolved” from and or interpreted differently or just choose to ignore now. Tough Luck to the lives you’ve destroyed. Now you guys are cleaning up your mess and want people to just pat you on the back and say we forgive u for everything you’ve done and move on until you find someone else to do the same 2…..For instance as we speak gay people have to ask permission from Christians to be treated equally. Now you might argue that you are trying to push for equality for gays but you don’t mention why you were not like this in the past? Why weren’t Christians like this in the past? If you religion is as good as you say it is why is it always push back from a segment of the society for you “to see the light” before you evolve to treat people with equality? it shouldn’t take any push back it should be something already understood . Its like the term Progressive Christianity doesn’t make sense. If someone is suppose be treated equally and your Bible says that then why is it that you have to Progresses to get to that point? If Christianity is for gay people and always have been then why did progressive Christians have to progress to the point of accepting them? Shouldn’t they always been accepted by you guys? but that hasn’t been the case…..

        • James Walker

          I’m a gay Christian, by the way. I was brought up in a Southern Baptist Church, with a minister for a dad. The way you feel about Christians and about the Church.. well, I’ve been there, and it took me years to find a way to be both Christian and Gay without conflict. Part of that was learning how to study, really study, what the Bible actually had to say about homosexuality and I discovered it said EXACTLY NOTHING on the topic. So, all the reasons I had been taught in the past to hate myself for wanting to be with a man instead of a woman were wrong.

          Not everyone will rush to embrace the Christian faith. Not everyone will suddenly decide that Christianity is “ok” even after it has a revolution like what John proposes. And that’s fine, Allen. You’re not obligated in any way or form to forgive the hurt you’ve experienced.

          Just know that you’re welcome here if you want to be here. We will do our very best to show you the love and kindness you deserve, no matter what you think of us. Many of us here will understand exactly where you’re coming from and know that it may be a lifetime before you feel anything but animosity and outrage toward the idea of Christianity.

          • Allen

            Thank you i don’t mean to be mean but to me at this point Christianity is like the KKK would be to a black person. You can try to start a new KKK that said nothing about blacks at all but i think the damage is already done. I’m not trying to force myself or have the desire to be apart of a group because my parents taught it to me or i have a emotional connection to it. You are more forgiving than i am i guess. Regardless if that religion or organization got it wrong and totally changed and didnt say or do anything negative to me i have enough self respect to move on. Like i said i doubt any black person would want to be involved with a new KKK organization that said they loved blacks but with reiglion apparently people make exceptions.. Good luck to you man. I know one can be Christian and gay but not sure why would want to given the history and the current viewpoints and your Christians brothers and sisters working against you…..

          • Bones

            Let’s not forget the civil rights movement was a mid twentieth century phenomena.

            MLK was a Christian and Christianity had been a reason why blacks had been treated poorly in the past.

            MLK revolutionised civil rights and how people of other colour and ethnic origins should be treated, hence his ‘I have a dream’ speech.

            That people will be judged not by their sexuality but by the strength of their character.

            What we’re seeing now is Christians are saying that that dream extends to all people regardless of sexuality. It is an extension of King’s Dream that we may be all one. The Promised Land is for our gay brothers and sisters too.

            Christians are fighting against that now as they were fighting King then.

            Let freedom ring.

          • Allen

            Yes but Christianity was the reason both slavery and anti gay anti black movements florished for so long. You are correct that Christianity was used to diffuse the problems but it was Christianity that turned these into serious problem. People follow a book instead of thinking for themselves then they “evolve” then Christianity/Christians clean up it/their mess say they are sorry and start on another group after millions of lives are destroyed. Im shocked people don’t take this seriously. It just seem like an after thought. It really bothers me then everyone makes excuses for the previous Christians without focusing on how to prevent this in the future. Oh they were not “real” Christians. The problem never gets fix its just a endless cycle of the same crap over and over. I bet no one on this page believes that gays will be the last group targeted by Christians. Can you honestly say that gays are the last group? Yet instead of fixing the problem everyone throws out hollow like apologies and wait to “evolve” for another group. This isn’t how it should work. How is that in religious circles a person is considered immoral in one decade and in the next moral? If a person is moral and deserves respect no evolution is required to know that. Either your religion is wrong or the people wrongly interpret it. I believe its both but at this point it really doesn’t which it is because no matter what millions of lives will be destroyed because too much importance is given to it and whatever the general population agrees is the outcast group based on biblical teachings that group will suffer…

          • Bones

            Most here would agree with you.

            I think some of the Bible is wrong or at the least, not factual.

            I think some of our beliefs were wrong.

            Personally I’ve scaled my beliefs to there may or may not be a God and Jesus, may have had something to do with Him. But loving others is a commendable way of life.

            But then maybe I’m not a Christian anymore.

            Dunno.

          • Bones

            By the way, people’s beliefs and morals evolve through education and societal laws and standards.

            It’s good that we evolve. Otherwise we don’t learn.

            And people like John are trying to fix the problem.

          • Melissa Brown

            I’m not sure what you want from us, Allen. Only in the last decade has the internet given voice to those with no other voice. Money and power have always been a megaphone, and without a megaphone you can’t be heard. Many of us have ALWAYS believed the treatment of gays was wrong. My bible does not tell me to act the way that “Christians” act, and my Jesus would never condone what they are doing. I am an intelligent, educated woman, who works through things using logic and reason, and I have always believed those that money and power allowed to speak for Christianity were wolves in sheep’s clothing. Now,through the new power of the internet, we who believe this are finally being heard. I cannot change the past. I am sorry for what has been done “for Jesus” for the last few centuries, but I do not own responsibility, just as I do not own responsibility for what my European ancestors did to the Native and the slaves. I was not there. I had no power to stop it. Now I exercise what power I have, contributing my voice online to petitions and that sort of thing, and in person, in my classroom, not allowing those who claim to share my faith to use the Bible as a weapon to attack the most vulnerable of students. We all do what we can, and it is finally working.

          • Allen

            Being born into a race says nothing about you as a person. Black people, white or European people are all different. but what if i joined an organization or group known for its negative treatment of people and negative ideology would it be different then? If i join a nazi group does not say something about me as a person or my intentions? I could say sure i wasn’t their in the past when the Jews were killed but would that really make a difference? I have nothing against u but you are the one joined the group that hated gays forever and now want a pass. Im glad you are fighting to stop the hate in the Christian community but u can’t expect for someone to welcome you with open arms when you joined a group that for centuries hated gay people to point of murder and only now are “evolving”. This is all based off beliefs from a book that you may that not think is accurate but a majority of your Christian brothers do.

          • Melissa Brown

            Ah.I see the problem. You see, I don’t see following Jesus as anything like a decision to join a group. I came to Jesus on my own, without the help of a church. I found God in the night time stars, and in the amazing way the universe was formed, and how he changed us from dumb animals into what we are today, using the amazing rules he set up the universe with (we call it SCIENCE). I feel the love our creator has for us when I see other people loving each other, and I read the words of Jesus and I say, “That’s how I want to live.” Those people are not my brothers and sisters in Christ. I do not consider myself a member of a church, just a lone follower of Jesus, and I have found others that believe the same as I do. But I think that is the disconnect between the rest of the members here and you- you see choosing to follow Jesus as a choice like which person to vote for, and I think most of us would say we really didn’t CHOOSE to do anything.

          • Allen

            You follow Jesus and his rules .Worship him and God yet isn’t a Christian or belong to a religion. People honestly think that not going to church means they aren’t part of a religion.

          • DR

            If we’re really going to be committed to this, in my opinion we own all of it. Even when we weren’t there, someone HAS to take responsibility for all of us as Christians. We have to, while you or me may not have been culpable, getting defensive and saying “I’m one of the good Christians!” isn’t going to help with the repair that is so urgently required. That’s my two cents, I know others don’t believe it which is fine.

          • Matt

            Anyone can use anything to hurt another person. That’s the beauty and horror of free will. Through harsh eugenics programs, science was used to hurt so many people in Nazi Germany. That same science of genetics has been used to improve the quality of life for so many people today. We can use love to hurt others. In fact, it’s extremely effective that way.

            That’s the deal about being human, basically. We all have choices to make. Some of us choose in ways that cause so much suffering it beggars the imagination. That doesn’t mean the tools used are irrevocably bad.

            As a transgender Christian, I need no apology from Christianity. My faith teaches, sustains, and nourishes me, because it is mine in a way that nothing else can be. What I require is an apology and healing from Christians, including my own mother. I may not get it, but it will never dim the light of God’s love in my own life.

          • Allen

            its funny that you bring up eugenics programs. You realized science data doesn’t have beliefs it just is. Scientist do have beliefs and at the time actually castrated gays and i wonder why they thought the needed to? Any ideas? could it be based off religious teachings that gays are wrong? BtwTechnically free will doesnt exist in Christianity if god is all knowing or can interfere with life and cause miracles..

          • James Walker

            if you check current research on the topic, you’ll find that “free will” probably doesn’t exist in the human species at all. call it, rather, self-determination. that we have, but it is often the product of the sum total of our experiences. most “decision making” happens in our brains before we even become consciously aware of our choices.

            as for the other bits of your comment, of course scientists can have “wrong” or “harmful” beliefs just as all humans can. we’re flawed. go figure. =)

            and, with regard to who or what God is, please don’t get all hung up on what someone in the past told you about God. I certainly don’t believe God does magic or “interferes” in our lives. when I read the Bible, I see a bunch of people doing their best to write down what they perceived and believed about God. that doesn’t mean they got it right or had the whole picture. it’s worth studying not because it’s all correct or all perfect, but because the story about how the Jewish and Christian faiths came about is a good one for anyone interested in faith to know and understand.

            for me, God is that sense of awe and wonder I have when I see a flower bloom or look at the vastness of the stars in the night sky. the whole “God as the King in the Sky, Omniscient, Omnipresent, blah, blah” thing doesn’t work for me on a whole lot of levels. not everyone who is a Christian believes in that portrayal of God. only (usually) the loudest, most obnoxious ones. =)

          • Allen

            one hand what guides you is experience or action in your brain yet a sense of Awe or vastness is not a something that is dertemined in the brain but is God? you are contradicting yourself. If your brain is already programmed to decide things then you brain has program you to feel awe, vastness or etc. Their is no God here just what your brain has programed u to feel or do. its like adding on qualities that aren’t needed.

          • James Walker

            you’re striking awfully close to what I truly believe God is. =)

            you just gave me goose bumps. that’s how powerful it is.

          • Jill

            The last paragraph especially. Damn.

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

            No. Christianity was not the reason for slavery. Commerce was. Slavery has long been a sad part of human history, carried down from generation to generation. Our forefathers, looked as slaves as a necessary labor force, and an asset to their holdings. It was Christians who realized how wrong it was, people like Wilber WIlberforce, who was instrumental in ending the slave trade in Britain, decades before the American War of Aggression.

            The importation of slaves in the US was made illegal in the early 1800′s, signed into law by Thomas Jefferson, himself a slave holder, who was a deist,. That law was passed, quite possibly because of the deplorable conditions people endured during transport.It was already falling out of favor in many parts of the country, as the northern states became more industrialized. It took another few decades for slavery to end in the south for good.

          • Allen

            Yes and the Bible and this God apparently the most moral timeless entity of all can say its a sin to have sex out of wedlock or( something that makes since like) thou shall not stealbut never says thou shall not own another as property. This powerful entity can wipe out whole civilizations yet cant put an end to slavery..no no instead gives guidelines on what to do to slaves because you know slavery is just a form of life. They can be beaten within an inch of their lives and if they don’t die within a week that’s totally fine. Not only that everyone wants to ignore the parts where the slaves can be held for life and say “no they were no indenture servants” like that makes it better but they were not all indentured servants. It would be best for you to not even go this route because I’m fucking sick of Christians trying to make excuses for their book in terms of slavery. That honestly makes the rage come out in me….

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

            You are entitled to your beliefs. Which doesn’t seem to be shared by the rest of the people here. I don’t understand your anger,your intention to case blame on people who have not hurt you personally, nor your hatred, but then I’m a pacifist.

          • James Walker

            no one here is trying to make excuses for the Bible vis-a-vis slavery. it’s something most of us acknowledge that the Bible writers got dead wrong.

            can we recognize it was a horrific, tragic mistake of human history that hasn’t even been fully corrected yet without placing it at the feet of every single person who professes to be a Christian today?

          • Allen

            Just as you can interpreted that it is wrong others can interpreted it as right because it based of emotion and not facts. What is stopping a christian from reinterpretation slavery as correct? Not the Bible because God support this practice and lays out guidelines. How can you say slavery is a tragic mistaken given God gave his endorsement to it. and given God is what you believe to be the supreme moral leader than how do i know you and other Christians want turn the other way in the future? How do i know that Christians want turn the other way when it comes to gay people given the Bible? They could evolve to say they were mistaken about giving gays rights or that slavery was wrong

          • James Walker

            “given God is what you believe to be the supreme moral leader”

            err.. I didn’t say that. can you please not paint with a broad brush and put words in my mouth?

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            Hey Allen. I’m gay, was married, have two sons, divorced and happily gay now for more than 20years, did the whole deception for 40 years til I couldn’t live like that anymore. Well, that’s very brief but I couldn’t get into it all here….again. Thru most of the 90′s I was the most “out” gay activist in my area as a gay issues writer and advocate in the local media. Like James, if went thru the agonies and did the study and learned so much about Christianity that, except for my parents funerals, I haven’t been to a church for a decade and feel no impulse to return. I have become one of those who considers myself to be Spiritual as opposed to Religious. I know your pain and anger. Check out my facebook page where I spout off frequently.

            May I please suggest you try to be forgiving toward those who have wounded you. When you do that, you will begin to see that HEY, we are winning. You can let go of it. It’s all changing. My own mother died thinking I was going to hell. She told me so herself! I never knew what my father thought because we never communicated anything beyond the weather. Now he’s gone too and I’m left with only the peace of having forgiven them for the failure of bonding with them because I spent 50+ year hiding from them. They really can’t be blamed for their ignorance. Much as I would like to believe I came from better intellects than theirs, the reality is just not so. Even today, my siblings, evangelical types pretend to love me while they hate my “sin”, and I have no bond with them either. Of my family, only my sons remain to me.

            I recognize now that my family lives in FEAR, not FAITH. They call it faith but, of course, it’s not. They live in the fear of knowing that if they can no longer trust their Bible on this issue, what else can they not trust. So they hunker down in their bunkers of deliberate ignorance and fear. Hard as it is to be compassionate toward them, it is, as Jesus demonstrated, the only way they can be reached.

            So I have adopted a social/political philosophy of compassionate battle. Let go of the anger and pain, forgive but fight. Do a twist on their love-the-sinner-hate-the-sin meme. Love them, hate their fear and ignorance.

            And remember, the James Walkers of Christianity cannot snap fingers and make the past go away or just make his New Christianity simply happen. It does indeed, have to evolve. Birth, in this case Rebirth, is painful. We must keep our eyes on the joys that come after.

            You give no indication of your age, but I get the feeling you are much younger than me (69). If so , you have time to see so much more of that evolution, and work for it, than I do.

          • Allen

            See your story makes me angry near rage that people (sorry to say) your parents are this way.I’m in my late 20′s but homophobia/homophobic people have been around me my whole life. I’m sure your generation was worse with this issue but mine isn’t as great as they claim. Your story really highlights the deeper problem I’m having. I Don’t understand people or how this world works. That’s why i been asking these question yet no one really has an answer to them. Your story just made me realize that i don’t care to know the answer anymore. I’m not even sure why i keep asking religious people over and over why they believe this or ignore this over make excuses for this or find this moral and that immoral. Why they treat people harshly yet claim to be better folks. I just realize i don’t care anymore. People are going to hate or treat people the way they want to regardless of who it is. I’m tired of trying to figure out who to trust and who will love me or who won’t who is a friends who isn’t. This is a worthless way to go about life. I need to get in touch with myself. People ,friends etc are a distraction. By blocking out most people i block out most of the problems. Without Christians friends i don’t have to deal with christian theology which has become a headache.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            I’m a little alarmed for you now, Allen. That sounds a lot like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. You must separate the baby (Jesus love and philosophy) from the bathwater (the religion called Christianity) that, in a lot of it’s current behavior, no longer resembles it’s namesake. In other words, forget about Christianity, the religion, and focus on Jesus and his teachings.

            I remember, after my divorce and move to the city where I’ve lived for the past 20+ years, sitting in a park beside the river in the middle of the night, crying out for some understanding and peace and Love (after not getting it at the gay bar….again) and finally (tho not all at once) getting an answer and a measure of peace. And I looked up and said, “It’s just you and me now Jesus. Just you and me.” Over time, all the trappings of religion fell away. I began to realize that I had the answers inside me. I had learned enuf to know that I didn’t need to seek from other, those answers that you seek. That God was not “out there” somewhere, but inside me, that I was already a part of God because “God is Love” and BECAUSE I LOVED, and that that is one of the things Jesus was trying to show us. “God is Love and he/she who lives in Love lives with God and God lives in him/her.” 1 John 5: 16

            Of course, I didn’t get there without a lot of reading and learning about christian history and Biblical interpretation and the contexts of Biblical writings and what others have leaned and written, all of which cleared away the confusion caused by all that stuff in my head from the past. Those authors; theologians, historians, clergy persons, therapists and just plain people like me, didn’t tell me what to think. They gave me information that helped me think my way to my own answers, like John does here. (Find and read some of his writings) In other words, Allen, I didn’t have to “figure out who to trust”. I learned to trust myself because I began to realize that, in so doing, I was trusting in God within myself, what some would call the working of the Holy Spirit, that did not depend on trusting a church leader or noisy evangelical or judgemental fundamentalist or even my own family. I came to know that I could have Faith in myself and the Love that lived in me.

            Who should you trust? Trust those who help you THINK your way, not those who tell you what you must think. It is among them that you will find true Christians and true friends, because they will be caring more about you than their own power over you.

            Ah, it’s 4am and I MUST get to bed. You have my name. Contact me at my facebook, Allen. I will be your friend. And others reading this, reach out to Allen here. Trust us here, Allen. John has attracted a LOT of good people. You say you “don’t care anymore.” Sure you do, Allen. After all, here you are among us.

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

            Thank you so much for this, Bill. Words I needed to hear right now.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            Good of you to let me know. It’s always good to know I’ve been helpful to someone.

          • Allen

            I get turned of by the God stuff. i understand you are trying to refer to God as being something of a spirit inside you but i don’t like God talk as well as worship stuff that everyone keeps talking about.i don’t think worshiping is a good thing for anyone. That line of thinking can lead to terrible stuff on a large scale. if you will go as far as worshiping someone then nothing is stopping from blindly follow them. i don’t believe in Gods and Goddess. I think people give to much seriousness to the Jesus character and other religious figures. If you want to say that you like some of things Jesus taught or Budda or Mohammad fine but once you start with the Holy spirit etc then you’ve taken following someone actions of how to be a better person on the merits of whats right to something stranger. Worship!!! worship is why many people are hated on this planet because they aren’t able think for themselves and just follow whom ever they worship. But im not a fan of God talk. I know you mean no harm and i know that you are probably try your best to make me feel better and i appreciate that. I honestly do and i dont want to think otherwise but at this point i think cut out Christians people around is the only way get some peace. The reason i cam here is because i didn’t see a difference between the WBC and mainline Christians churches yet they claimed they were different on this issue. They are not!! That what’s drove me here .Trying too understand why they say that but i’ve come to learn that the WBC embarrassed other churches by being so upfront about their hate for gays instead of hiding behind the passive aggressive “hate the sin not the sinner” which if you dig deeper really means you hate the sinner too.

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

            You can’t paint all Christians, or even all mainline Christian churches with the same brush. Christianity is a very diverse faith.

            We also agree, that “hate the sin, not the sinner” really means you really hate the sinner, but you don’t really want to admit it out loud. That is why you won’t see John using that tactic, nor many of the regulars. We know that its a lie.

          • Jill

            “I need to get in touch with myself.”

            Best advice ever. You have more answers in you than you might give yourself credit for. If Christians are in your way, fuck that and take care of what’s busted and bruised inside you. Fuck all this religious conversation and find out what you need to feel good inside. Seriously, come to this space IF ONLY to find some amazingly kind people and ask for their support.

            Christian, Atheist, Buddhist or other– you will be heard here. You will be supported here. If you can’t take another moment of Christ talk, then say so.

            When respect is given, respect is shared around here. You have valid points to share (in case there was any doubt!) and I don’t believe your heart is not open to being cared for and honored. This is what John Shore fosters and nurtures in this space. I’m guessing you are still capable of being pleasantly surprised. I had to learn this for myself.

          • Julie Greenwaldt Eklund

            I am Christian. My denomination is the United Church of Christ (UCC). The UCC ordained the first openly gay minister in 1972. I was never once told or taught to hate any group of people. http://WWW.ucc.org

          • Allen

            you are a stronger person than i could ever be

          • James Walker

            I won’t pretend to be a stronger person than anyone, Allen. The way I see it, the biggest difference between where you are and where I am is simply that I’ve worked through a lot of my anger at the fact people professing to a faith about Love, Grace and Mercy were actively trying to deny me a seat a the table with their God. I’ve realized it’s not the faith at fault but the human beings who were supposed to be representing that faith to the world. it’s not the Bible at fault but the flawed human reasoning, pretending that the Bible is somehow perfect despite the fact it was written (and translated and interpreted) by flawed human beings trying to convey a divine message.

            You may not be in a place where the Christian faith is the way for you. You may NEVER be in a place where that is right for you. That doesn’t mean you can’t share fellowship with us here. We hear you. We have felt in many cases the exact same pain and rage as you. We cherish you and hope that you will get through that anger in whatever time and in whatever way is best for you.

          • Allen

            Doesn’t it bother you that no one ever blames the “faith” ever? Its always people interpreting the facts that got it wrong. Those other Christians interpreted the bible wrong yet you got it right as well as the other way around. Never the God. He is always squeaky clean always… Regardless of the stuff in the Bible its never the Gods themselves or the Bible that got it wrong its always to people interpreting and every generation one group of Christan claim they got it right until the next comes along. Does this not bother you at all or do u chose to ignore or don’t care?

          • James Walker

            in the end, we’re all humans, doing our best to figure out this whole thing called “life”. I’m doing my best to also figure out this thing called “faith”. my faith helps me in my life because my faith teaches me to approach other people with the same love and kindness I want to receive from them. that’s it. that’s all.

            I read and study the Bible because it’s where my particular exploration of faith began and where I find the most comfort and like-minded thinking. I could have just as well studied the Gita or the Sutras. the point for me isn’t to have a scripture that “has all the answers and has it all correct”.

            so, no, I don’t care if the Bible is perfect or correct. I don’t care if the way God is portrayed in the Bible exactly matches up with the way I perceive God and worship God. I care whether or not I am being a good example of a Christian to those around me. period.

            this isn’t a matter of “I’ve got faith right and those who came before me had it wrong”. it’s a matter of I have found the faith that is right for me and helps me to do what I need to do in my life and in my interactions with other people. maybe you’ll choose to walk a similar faith path to mine and maybe you won’t. I hope that you’ll find a way that makes sense to you and that helps you to be not only good to yourself but good to everyone you meet.

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

            Im a woman and straight, and have been hurt by Christians who used their interpretation of the Bible to enact control and to oppress. Yet I remain a Christian, because I chucked all that I found hurtful, and kept what I found beneficial. I don’t pretend to have it right, and any Christian who is truly honest will agree.

          • EvenMoreLove

            Leaving or blaming the Christian faith itself is a legitimate response to the spiritual violence you have endured at its hands, Allen. There’s nothing wrong with that. There are also people such as myself who say, that is not the only way of being a Christian, or understanding God or Jesus. We say that homophobia is not the authentic voice of the tradition- and we really mean it. Whatever your decision, forgiveness for those who have hurt you is a must, if you are ever to be free. It is the only force I know of that is strong enough to heal spiritual violence.

          • Jill

            I have, Allen. I have blamed the ‘faith’ for it taking nearly 40 years of my life to be cool with the fact that I am primarily straight but am capable to fall in love with a person of any sex/gender configuration. I’ve blamed the faith for my shuffling the ‘coming out’ conversation playing round and round my head before I tell certain members of my family that they might find out one day that I’m dating a woman or a trans* guy.

            But people have never needed an excuse to be cruel, heartless and horrid. They just need a scapegoat. Faith is as good as any. There’s much more to the story about that god figure than is in this conversation. I have zero interest in convincing you of anything, other than perhaps that you are not alone. And I believe there is a way beyond this anger into something resembling peace. Religious belief optional.

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

          Hey buddy,

          First, don’t leave yourself out of this condemnation-fest. Are you a man? By your reasoning you are personally culpable in the oppression of women. Are you white? Yup, then you’ve got to do your mea culpas for slavery and segregation. I call bullshit on your argument. If you’ve been hurt by the Church, join the fucking club. There’s plenty of stuff to criticize in the present; there’s plenty of work to be done to prevent future abuses. It’s intellectually dishonest to use history to try to lump us all into the “mindless Christian oppressor” category.

          Second, your anger is misdirected here. Wanna do some good with your hurt? Go talk to the folks that are still trying to harm us in the name of religion. That’s what we’re doing. Many of us are on the front lines of combating the toxic anti-gay doctrine in our churches, in our communities, and wherever the interwebs will allow us to go.

          • Allen

            “white people” “men” can believe different things and are not all the same. being white or black or Asian doesn’t say anything about the person .Christians on the other hand are all connected under an umbrella of thoughts/beliefs. You might have different views on certain issues but you are all under an umbrella. For instance the KKK. There might be some people who joined that group who only hate Jews and not blacks or only hate blacks and not gays but by joining the KKK you would be connected under one banner of thought. Also by joining you know the history of the group and what that entails.Christianity is a group you decided to become a member or maybe you forced in by your parents. Either way you have to deal with all your group has done good or the bad. Secondly it’s not my job to clean up your mess whether you created it or decide to join the group that created. It’s not my job to make your religion that caused the mess look better . Do your own PR work. …Yes I’m very angry and disappointed because i understand that you guys are NALT which I’m happy that you are fighting the good fight but many of you UTBLT (Use To Be Like That). See you are focusing on how to make sure gays are treated equally after they pushed backed(quick fix). I’m trying to to determine the source of why you UTBLT and nip it in the bud so this thing doesn’t keep happening again and again like always. Not just do a quick fix and move on when popular opinion is going your way. I not mad at you for trying to stop the homophobia and treating gays equally I’m angry that you want to use Christianity/Bible, the reason gays are hated so much in the US, to do it.What will happen is what always happens you guys will say “it was all interpretation ” and move on like nothing happened. This book keeps causing pain and suffer because people have and will continue to take it seriously. As i said no one believes that suffering from this book will stop at gays yet you keep bring this crap along in the 21th century like its gonna actually make lives better for everyone when you know that isn’t true. Ask most gay people have Christianity made their lives better? here is a hint most gay people are atheist and not even the kinda atheism were they base it on fact and logic like i do. its all emotion.. Ask those gay folks in Africa has it helped them.

          • Matt

            I’m LGBT, and I am not an atheist. The Bible has been used to hurt me, but I am still a Christian. I never “Used To Be Like That.” I have always been NALT. I may have been raised in the buckle of the Bible Belt, but I still found my own way to walk. Christians are no more a hive mind than white people or men.

            Why would I work to help create a new Christianity when my fellow Christians might hate me? Well, I believe in the faith. I think it’s stronger than all the hatred. You might not think that, but that doesn’t make it so. I’m not afraid to be lumped in with the haters. I know that I’m different. Do you?

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

            Politicians keep causing pain because they have power. Just because some people twist stuff to protect their power and privilege doesn’t mean that the stuff they twist is inherently immoral.

            You can be angry all you want at my belief in God. Do you want to be mad at my belief in evolution too? How about my belief in the power of music?

            Your hurt at the hands of the Church is obvious. I get it and have my own stories to tell. But following the example of Christ – the guy who saved the sinner from being stoned – is not participating in the oppressive religious machine.

            Allen, I’m not sure of the status of your faith in God, but I would encourage you to hang around this community for a while. There are believers and non-believers. But most of all there are a bunch of really smart and compassionate humans who make a safe space for people like me and you to process our beliefs.

            I wish you my sincere best
            David.

          • Allen

            its always politicians or Christians its never your religion/God ever. It’s blameless apparently..

    • Bones

      Where were we in the past?

      We were ignorant. Uneducated. Bigotted. Legalistic. Narrow. Blind. Scared. Exclusivist. Racist. Emperialist.

      We simply didn’t love our neighbours.

      We were all these things.

      We were wrong.

      • Allen

        Exactly the point that I’m making. Most of these people were Christian as well. If Christianity got us into this and didn’t make the situation any better for gays then why are people using it now?Christianity has done enough harm to gays. Its destroyed lives for centuries and yet liberal Christians think its the best thing for gays……

        • Bones

          I don’t think Christianity is the best thing for gays.

          The best thing thing for gays is to live happy, peaceful, fulfilling lives, like everyone else.

          You don’t need a religion for that. You could be a Buddhist/ atheist/ whatever.

          Some of us have found that place.

          Personally I’m here

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8lxLCQebnI

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

      We can’t change the past, but we can learn from it.

      We can’t undo the past but we can work on fixing our present so that in the future, people aren’t bemoaning the past.

      • Allen

        exactly!!!! and what does all these struggles that people had to go thru like women’s rights, black civil rights, gay rights have in common? Government and Religion. Government is made up of people who usually act on their religious beliefs. That should tell you where the problem lies. Religion cleans up it mess but it start the mess.meaning we need a better system in addressing our problem because “faith” always lead to these results. If you keep doing the same thing over you are going to get the same results. This same fight we are having now will happen exactly as it has to another group in the future and someone will be saying the same thing I’m saying and Christian will be saying the same thing they are saying now. Business as usual. What NALT is doing is a temporary fix. Commendable but its not going to fix problems in the long run . Apparently no one cares about long run…..

        • James Walker

          you can take the word “religion” out and it really won’t make a difference to the outcome. people act on their beliefs, whether those beliefs originate from a faith, from a philosophy, from a psychology, etc. we’re human. we get things wrong. hopefully we learn from the mistakes and find a way forward that redresses those mistakes.

          religions have been strong sources of mass “getting it wrong”, that’s true. but they are not alone in that regard. scientific thought has also gotten entrapped by incorrect beliefs. just look at the fallout now from one poorly designed study that linked vaccines to autism in England! measles outbreaks in California and New York when we thought we’d eradicated the disease. *sigh*

          when dealing with any area of life that involves large numbers of human beings, you’re going to find that we don’t live up to our best qualities a lot of the time. but sometimes we do and those times are really special things to behold. try not to hang all the “not-so-special” happenings of human history on the cross of religion.

          • Allen

            so basically Christians fuck up say tough luck tho don’t focus on that. its over Christians are sorry lets move on. that’s all i’m getting from that. If that’s how this problem is gonna be dealt with then atheist need to ban to together grow our numbers and control Christians for a change. You have no solutions and u have no idea what you are doing. Atheist need to take control of the wheel for a change.That’s only far

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

            Lets look at an athiest run country….North Korea. They control Christians in their country. How’s that working out for them.

            Religion is not the problem, nor is lack of religion. Its baser that that, The problem is pride, greed, ignorance, Just those three very human attributes cause all sorts of problems, such as fear, bigotry, wrestling for power, oppression, poverty, famine,

          • Allen

            North Korea is based on worshiping a dead leader and the state. They don’t even worship the leader that’s alive. This is based on worshiping the government and state. This is not based on atheism. Atheism has no tenants like religions or ideologies. So nice try there. How about this go find an atheist book that tells you that something is right or wrong or that such and such should be worshiped. Here is a clue you wont find it. Now Christianity does have all those things and does call out different people as being bad or good and people follow and do things according to their religious teachings. You can’t say that about atheism because there is nothing to follow. You can call out secular morality, government, group ideology etc but you can’t worship or do something in the name of when there is nothing there .Honestly i would assume that you guys would have known this already.

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

            Now you have crossed the line into being condescending and rude.

          • Allen

            Would you like me to cry or something? I have to fight for rights that the group you are a part of is constantly trying to take away from me. Regardless of if you are fighting to help me get the rights i already should don’t expect me to feel sorry for you because you got your feelings hurt. you are still a Christian. How about join the club. I have no clue if you are gay or not but if you aren’t then nothing has been taken from you so i really don’t care how you feel. I would sympathize with James even tho at times have this idea he is working for the enemy but even then at least he understands whats going on. I still wouldn’t cry for him given he is a Christian. Sorry you wont get that from me. try looking for my sympathy from years past when Christians screwed with me and made me to out be a monster. oh i forgot NALT just most of you…

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

            What are people trying to take away from you? I simply do not understand the vehemence you are displaying.

            And as for you assumption that I’ve lost nothing, you have no idea, what religion has robbed me of, what pain I’ve endured, and what I’ve had to overcome. I don’t need sympathy either. I just took the hell of my past and channelled it differently. It is because of my past that I strive to make the present more peaceful and to help others imagine and work towards a better future.

          • Allen

            no no i’m not talking about emotional pain. I’ve suffered that as well i’m talking about what rights have u had denied or taken by religious people. Have u been denied to marry your boyfriend. What about employment?

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

            What has been denied me? The right to health care, the right to work when I can, the right to escape an abusive relationship, the right to have my mother with me instead of dying of a treatable ailment that her religion told her not to treat.

            One day, I hope you can legally marry your boyfriend. I was honored to attend a wedding for a former co-worker and his partner.My state doesn’t recognize his union, but I do, and it was a beautiful ceremony. Some states and many employers no longer discriminate because of sexual orientation, and more and more are joining. I celebrate each milestone.

          • Allen

            and yet you don’t feel like a traitor to yourself and gay friends?

          • James Walker

            of course she doesn’t. why would she? she has not taken an anti-gay stance or an anti-woman stance based on religious belief.

            look, you’re asking people to abandon all religion because some bad things have been done in the name of religion. well, get over it! I mean, seriously.

            faith or not faith ought properly to be a personal choice based on the individual person’s convictions. this is not a test. there is no right or wrong answer. please, please, stop launching arguments that attack people because they haven’t come to the same anti-theist conclusions that you have.

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

            No. Why would I?

          • EvenMoreLove

            See top of the blog

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

            I need to bookmark that.

          • James Walker

            it’s not over. it’s not tough luck. we owe it to ourselves to speak out against any group, religious or not, trying to use their beliefs as justification to hold us down or make us “less than”.

          • James Walker

            and we should embrace advocates, like John Shore, who stand for us and with us when their particular branch of faith is being particularly obnoxious about trying to stamp us down.

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

            I like the vaccine example. It doesn’t involve religion or government, except for the fact that government had long encouraged and participated in vaccination for health reasons. The anti-vac movement is not based on religion or government but on fear brought upon by a self motivated science study and a celebrity that bought into it.

            People can get things very wrong for all sorts of reasons.

    • Bones

      You need to go and target the people at Christianity Today or some conservative Christian blogs.

      But as far as history goes and trying to fix it .

      I’m a man

      Males have been instrumental in the oppression of women since pre-history, and the religious texts merely reflect that

      I’m white Australian

      White Australians were instrumental in the extermination of the aboriginal peoples which was influenced by the ideologies like Darwin’s Natural Selection and Survival of the Fittest. Aborigines weren’t recognised as citizens in our country till the 1960s.

      I’m Protestant (technically)

      My ancestors were Catholics who fled Ireland during the potato famine in the 1800s. While many Catholics (like my ancestors) starved, Protestants (the landholders) gave glory and praised God for wiping out the Catholic religion in their churches.

      I’m Christian (maybe)

      The Christian religion has caused oppression to many races and cultures. Apartheid was a Christian movement. Slavery was justified using the Bible as is the attitude towards gays.

      I’m a white Australian Protestant Christian male and I can’t undo any of what went on before.

      But I know none of those attitudes represent me who I am.

      Our morals reflect the times and cultures we live in.

      If you were born in the middle ages in Catholic Europe or 1930s Germany or a white 1950s South African or an African tribesman scouring the savannah 10 000 years ago, you would believe what they did.

      If you are an American have you taken responsibility for your unjust wars against your own natives and in the Philippians (and against Spain), Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

      Or are you saying “I’m sorry we will get it right next time”.

    • DR

      I’m glad you wrote this and you’re exactly right. Our apologies, our “turning to the light” is all bullshit, we can’t ever repair what we’ve done. I did it, I was in the middle – I was too afraid of losing my security blanket, if I was wrong then I would have lost my community around me and it was all I had. I made my life so small that they did all my thinking for me, I gave my power away and was corrupt and evil in the name of God. I’m absolutely guilty of what you’ve said here and honestly, if those of us who still claim Christianity had any sense, we’d do as John is doing – writing about it, talking about it in hopes of making some change in our own gross organization and leaving all of you alone. It’s awful how we targeted you, how we fixated on you as a Church. We abused you physically, emotionally, sexually. We perverted the thinking of your parents so even they – the people who were supposed to love you – turned on you for the “greater good”. We made it impossible for you to have any kind of belief of your own in God because who could possibly pray to a God that supposedly – according to us – hates you? No one reasonable would stick around.

      I’m always so surprised that anyone who is gay and who has survived us Christians would participate in these dialogues but I’m grateful that you did, you do because this is exactly what we need to hear. The damage to you is permanent and that blood is on our hands.

    • lymis

      Allen, while I’m certainly never going to be an apologist for the horrors that have been done in the name of the church, there’s a very important aspect of your post that you’re getting deeply wrong.

      The institution has been getting this wrong for millennia. The people who are currently IN the institution have not. You simply cannot say to anyone who is alive today that they have been oppressing gay people for centuries.

      You can’t say to someone, “You are not allowed to be tolerant, because your grandfather was a bigot.” Maybe a progressive Christian in the 19th century should have accepted gay people. You cannot throw that in the face of someone who, today, is reaching out with love, unless they make the mistake of saying that, in fact, the church has always been happy and supportive of gay people.

      Yes, to the degree that current Christians maintain the structures that supported hatred and oppression, and try to spin the past into something it never was, they have not only inherited the institution, but continue to misuse it for bigotry.

      But hell, yes, people are allowed to say, “We got it wrong before, but we want to get it right, now.”

      And yes, if “all” Christians extend is an apology, especially if they offer it to LGBT people while staying quiet in the face of the ongoing attacks on us from their fellow Christians, that’s inadequate, and yes, LGBT have a lot of perfectly valid reasons not to take any Christian at face value purely based on their words alone.

      But history is only the future if nobody lets anyone change. And even if no gay person alive today is never able to forgive Christians for what they’ve done to us, at least we can join forces to work together so that tomorrow’s Christians don’t continue to hurt tomorrow’s LGBT people.

      I doubt I’ll ever be able to see a chrome fish and think fond thoughts. I’ll settle for being able to make that something that is incomprehensible to our grandchildren.

    • Jill

      Allen, I’m pondering your point that “There shouldn’t be evolution on how to treat people.” Perhaps you’re right, that human beings should ‘just know’ how things are meant to be, but for a variety of reasons that’s never been reality.

      We don’t collectively know how to do this human being experience right. We just don’t. I wish that wasn’t the case.

      Blaming anything other than the people making the collective choices to be horrible and cruel removes their personal accountability. Also, staying in that blame only indefinitely poisons our lives, not theirs.

      I was indoctrinated to believe gay sex was against God’s law but I knew not to treat a gay person with cruelty. Bullshit theology did not make me ridicule, hurt or harm anyone. Yes I did judge gay people unfairly. Hell I didn’t even know trans* people existed! I don’t take myself off the hook.
      But I got educated and got out as fast as I could. Yes people evolve. I don’t know how else this life thing could work.

      If I’m only the full and complete product of my birth origins, my upbringing and my developmental environment, then my life is ultimately worthless because >90% of that has been shed from my adult life.

      I do blame my childhood religion for its toxicity, but it has always ultimately been toxic-minded people that created the religion to its breadth and depth. If there were no toxic-minded people, that every toxic religion and belief system would be defunct.

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

        Very well stated.

      • Allen

        that’s the problem people want to treat the Bible and Christianity like it is the gold standard for morals and that whenever a moral decision is to be decided everyone first has to look at the Bible to make a decision. With this religion you are almost saying that no evolution is to be made because God/Bible has the answers already. If it has all the moral answers then gay people would haven’t been treated so harshly by it but apparently it doesn’t.Every civil rights struggle that i can think of people first looked at the Bible and then made a decision. Usually the wrong decision because they decided to go with this book. So if the Bible and Christianity is the moral standard that everyone refers to then there is no evolution required because the answers are all there. Even people on this page look at the Bible to guide them to do the right thing yet it is because of the Bible that so many things are fucked up.

        • Jill

          I don’t disagree with you. All I can say perhaps as a balancing point is that I have found thoughtful Christians who do not do those things you are speaking of.

          I don’t believe thoughtful Christians think every single answer is found there. I too find that grave nearsightedness. I believe there is a third option, somewhere between full-on, unquestioning fealty to it and fuck-off, unwavering rejection of it.

          And if the thoughtful Christians are honest, they’d tell you that they don’t break out the Bible to make decisions– of any magnitude– in their lives. But they do still use it because it does hold value, if only for them.

          I’ve been made more life decisions based on advice from Dr. Seuss and Charlotte Bronte than by the gospel writers. (Not sure if that’s the better option, but whatever.)

          And lastly I’ll throw out there that I believe that the only path to deconstructing all that you, I and a myriad of thoughtful Christians (and non-theists, etc) detest is by confronting the ugliness from within. There’s not gonna be any Lord of the Rings-style battle here, where the kind and gentle King Hotstuff wins it all at the end.

          It’s really going to come down to human beings, changing ourselves from within, changing the small universes we inhabit with our changed presence, changing the institutions that wreaked so much misery and bloodletting. Changing lives to maybe, hopefully start again. Not to forget–never to forget. But to create something better.

          • Jill

            (And yes, grammar Nazis: myriad can confidently be used as a collective noun. I looked it up just today.)

          • hyhybt

            I don’t remember ever seeing it used any other way.

  • Bones

    I quite like the post about a new form of Christianity. Reminds me of what Bonhoeffer said in his final letters. We need a religionless Christianity.

    I’d rather not be called a Christian than share the mantle with bigots and racists.

    And I know they feel the same about us.

    • Andy

      That sounds like something John Shelby Spong says too.

  • Bill Steffenhagen

    Soulmentor is back, John. See my facebook page if you have the time.

  • Larry Fraga

    Make it a law that all religions come to an end…. That will take way most
    of the worlds hate and anger! If you take away what most people hide behind, use
    as their weapon, Their religions! Then the world can learn to love!

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      Right. Cuz that sure worked in Russia.

      • Bill Steffenhagen

        So true John, but that will mean something to only those who have a clue what your referencing. Tragically, world history is not a priority in American education.

  • 2TrakMind

    Great post! One thing about this ongoing “conversation” (shouting match) that I think we need to get better at, though, is making claims about who “can’t really be a Christian because…”. Because that is a primary claim by gay haters, it is counterproductive to throw the same argument back at them. We need to raise the level of dialog that stips away the emotional responses and can talk from a place of reason and intellect. I don’t often like to use the Bible as an intellectual tool, because I don’t beleve that is why we have it, but since those in the “all gays go to hell” camp only have respect for the Bible (it’s questionable whether they actually respect God), we have to be able to educate them on why the same Bible we read doesn’t say what they believe it says, if it truly doesn’t.

    As a former traditional evangelical, I am so sorry for how we have hurt you in our ignorance and disdain for anyone “different” than “us.” It is reprehensible how you have been treated. Sadly, you are just the latest in a long line of devastation that has been created by this mentality. We are all one body on this rock and we have to learn to love with the heart of Christ if we’re ever going to overcome.

  • Christina Johnson

    The Bible is just an immoral set of documents. It really is as simple as that.

    • Matt

      Why let other people’s hatred cover up the good that exists in what is a very complex set of books? I think the world can use as much beauty as it can get.

      • Christina Johnson

        It isn’t about other people’s hatred. If it were, that would be petty. I’m not sure who phrased it this way, but “Finding the good stuff in the Bible is like finding corn in crap.” Its just not worth it.

        • Bones

          Anything good in the Jesus story?

          • Christina Johnson

            “Love me or I’ll send you to hell because I love you.”

            That’s the basic gist of the Jesus story. He may have made some “hippy love and hair grease” feel-good statements, but his mission and message was one of damnation. Not to mention contradictory at parts.

          • James Walker

            you must have read a very different version of the Jesus story than what I read.

          • Allen

            ? how so… yes Jesus talked and hung out with sinners but he still thought they were sinners and wanted them to change and accept Him or suffer. Thats where it ultiamtley leads too regardless of how nicely you dress it up….

          • Matt

            Again, so you say. I did not interpret it that way, and clearly others did not either.

            Not that it matters, but I get the impression that you’re young. If that’s true, let me just say that so am I. It’s a worthwhile lesson to learn that there are many different viewpoints in the world. It was a big one for me.

          • Allen

            almost 30

            learned experienced different people and ideas some people have never known about

          • Matt

            Then I know that I would be happy to talk about what you have experienced, if you do your best to be calm. We mean no one any harm, if they want to talk.

            You may have missed this in the (very) tangled thread, but I am transgender, bisexual, and a Christian. I have reconciled my faith, my gender identity, and my sexuality. I’m currently unable to marry my partner. I’m pretty sure that we can find common ground, if you would like.

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

            Matt is excellent people too.

          • Jill

            yup

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

            Almost 30 is still young. I have kids older than you.

          • Bones

            How did Jesus want them to suffer?

            That was the other dudes.

          • Christina Johnson

            If I’m wrong, correct me. The Jesus story goes like this:

            Humanity is crap. We’re sinful bastards in need of saving. God tried to do that through a set of laws* which involved animal sacrifice for the atonement of sins. God realizes that those laws weren’t working, and people were still being sinful bastards. At this point in the story, I find it prudent to note that there is no mention of eternal suffering after death. He then raped a faithful girl (there was no consent granted by Mary) so that she would give birth to himself in human form. That is when the idea of hell came about. As stated, he had some nice things to say, but the gist of his message was one of eternal suffering except upon worship and submission to this god. Sure there was some nice feel-good stuff in there, but it wasn’t until Jesus meek and mild that YHWH had humanity by the balls for eternity. Before then, he only had humanity by the balls until they died (and they usually led miserably short lives because YHWH sent his people about killing non-believers like bloodthirsty savages). Basically, the Jesus story is crap. The story of the Bible is crap. And it is damn relieving to know that none of it is real.*

            *The idea that the Torah was given to the Israelites by a loving deity is an atrocious one at best. To suggest that YHWH, who is allegedly the living embodiment of love in this universe, would be supportive of such a mandate is to suggest that YHWH is an Orwellian nightmare of a deity, worthy not of our love but of our scorn, resistance, and contempt.

            **I feel that way about other religions that have concepts of eternal suffering, too. So I’m not just bashing Christians. I’m bashing beliefs.

          • Allen

            exactly!!!

          • James Walker

            and there are those of us who read the story of the Bible and recognize it was written by humans, not by God, and that the portrayal of God in the Bible is the product of human desires and beliefs. we glean from the stories what we can that is of value in order to understand the background from which our Christian faith came.

          • James Walker

            trying to use the fundamentalist, literal English interpretation of the Bible in order to claim all Christianity is based on violence and hatred is silly. it’s like trying to argue that African safaris should be outlawed because dolphins sometimes get caught in tuna nets. it does not compute.

            I, and many other Christians in this community, do not accept that interpretation of the Bible in the first place. so your claims about “the gist of his message was one of eternal suffering except upon worship and submission” have nothing at all to do with what we believe and how we practice our faith.

          • Christina Johnson

            Don’t you think an all-powerful deity would take the time to make sure his followers got it right the first time? Even then, it still hinges on human sacrifice. Which is still immoral.

          • James Walker

            you’re still arguing against a position that I don’t occupy.

            I completely disagree with the premise that God wrote, co-wrote, dictated, or otherwise directly participated in the writing of the Bible narrative.

          • Bones

            Honestly, read some of the other threads on this site before misrepresenting what the people on here believe.

            Good luck finding people on here who believe in ‘eternal suffering’.

            You’re being no different to conservative Christians who would label many of us false Christians and dishonestly misrepresent what we believe.

            There are many good people here seeking to educate and encourage those of the Christian faith as well as non-Christians to being more loving.

            We don’t need you huffing and puffing.

            Go and do that somewhere else.

          • James Walker

            you’re not supposed to make me belly laugh in the middle of an argument, Bones! ;)

          • Christina Johnson

            I’m not talking about what you believe. I’m talking about what’s in the Bible. Just answer a simple question:

            What happens to the people who don’t believe in Jesus?

          • James Walker

            they won’t be Christians. end of answer.

            it’s questionable even in the Bible narrative whether being a Christian or being a Jew is required to enter the afterlife with God. Jesus himself said we shouldn’t be busy concerning ourselves with what happens in the afterlife but with how we treat each other here in this life.

            Matthew 25 makes quite clear that Jesus is less impressed with whether we’ve checked off the correct “belief boxes” in our lives than with how we treat those who are less fortunate than ourselves.

          • Christina Johnson

            Then what’s the point? Why can’t we just be nice to each other for the sake of being nice to each other? Why do we have to add the dead Jew on the stick and human sacrifice as a reason for being kind to one another?

          • James Walker

            We can (be nice for the sake of being nice) and that kind of IS the point.

            Not all of us buy the argument the Apostle Paul made about the substitutionary atonement. There are other views supported by the narrative as well.

          • Matt

            I’m nice to people for the sake of being nice. All the time. It’s fun to be kind for no particular reason other than that it does good and feels good. I find it’s nice to have my faith when I get frustrated or testy, as I’m wont to be (since I’m human).

          • Bones

            The thief on the cross wasn’t a Christian when Jesus said “Today, you will be with me in paradise”.

            The honest answer is no one knows what happens when you die.

            A lot of what the Bible says about the Afterlife is people’s own interpretation.

            Hell (more correctly the word Gehenna, the Valley of Hinnom) was a real place outside Jerusalem where child sacrifices were performed, executed criminals were buried and rubbish was burnt and was continually ablaze. Hence the warning about the fires of Gehenna. It was a real place, like the Bronx I suppose. Now it’s a nice place.

            So when Jesus talks of hell it’s not an afterlife but a metaphor using a real place which the Jews of Jesus’s day understood.

          • Christina Johnson

            And I’ll ask you the same thing I asked James (kind of): If we don’t know what the afterlife consists of (or if there even is an afterlife), then what is the point of wasting our lives pining away at bronze/iron age mythology?

          • James Walker

            “If we don’t know what the afterlife consists of (or if there even is an afterlife), then what is the point of wasting our lives pining away at bronze/iron age mythology?”

            and once again, you ask a question framed around something that most of us here don’t stand for at all. how are we supposed to answer this? we don’t care about the afterlife. one. tiny. bit.

            Jesus’ own words in the Gospels tell us we’re not to worry about tomorrow because God will take care of that. we’re to concern ourselves with how we can be better reflections of the Love, Mercy and Grace of Jesus here and now on this planet today to the people immediately around us.

            that’s what being a Christian is. that whole “bronze/iron age mythology” bit you brought up has nothing to do with how we practice our faith.

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

            I don’t dwell on the afterlife at all. I don’t know if there is one or not, but I don’t think that Christian theology has the answer, nor does any other theology, or theory on the subject. I think it is asking the wrong questions.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            Indeed. That is exactly correct. Everyone should read Elaine Pagel’s book, THE ORIGIN OF SATAN. After that, you will never again be able to think of hell in the traditional way.

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

            Wow. That’s not what I get out of that story at all.

          • Allen

            Thank You!

          • Christina Johnson

            Your welcome.

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      Everything is a “simple” as anyone wants to pretend it is.

      • Christina Johnson

        Right after the Israelites were released from captivity, their god gave them rules for how to manage slaves, both Hebrew slaves AND foreign slaves. One of the most popular Bible stories out there, and it has a slavery/racism double whammy.

        It’s an immoral set of documents.

        • Bones

          Some of it certainly is.

          Part of wisdom is working out what is still relevant.

        • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

          Oh. Well, that settles it then.

          • Christina Johnson

            Pretty much.

        • James Walker

          “right after the Israelites were released from captivity”

          an event history and archeology tell us never actually happened

          “their god gave them rules”

          or, more accurately, their priests wrote down at a much later period of history the rules that had been passed down to them via oral tradition…

          so, as a set of documents, the Bible narrative isn’t really any more or less “immoral” than any other narrative of its time. it reflects the genres and the periods of history in which the component “books” were written. its key benefit is that it tells us what the Jewish people thought about the origins of their people and their faith and it tells us how Christianity sprang up from that mindset.

          for that purpose (figuring out how to be a Christian, should we choose to do so), the Bible is unparalleled in literature.

  • James Walker

    Darryl, despite what you probably think is complete assurance by your training and the teaching of the ministers you’ve sat under in your life, the Bible has exactly nothing to say at all about homosexuality as we currently understand it. Those verses in Leviticus may seem clear to you in the English translations where you’ve read them, but in the original language and taking the cultural context into consideration, they’re anything but clear. Also, whatever those verses in Leviticus are condemning applies strictly to the Jewish people as a means to keep them as a separate people, holy unto God and distinct from the Canaanite peoples around them whose religious practices included ritual sex with male temple prostitutes.

    As for the verses in Timothy and Corinthians, in most translations the Greek work malakoi is mistranslated as effeminate or homosexual. The word doesn’t mean that at all. And the word arsenokoites appears to have been invented by Paul. No one living can claim to truly understand what he meant by that term because it does not appear in any of the 1st or 2nd century literature except in other Church fathers’ discussions of Paul’s writings.

    In short, what you’ve been taught all your life about homosexuality being a sin is dead wrong.

    While we’re at it, there’s nothing in the Bible to support your diatribe against “foul language”. In this context, John’s use of vulgar English was entirely appropriate.

    • Gordon

      There goes the Apostle Paul, making shit up again!

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

        Well yeah, he did that a lot actually. Pathologically.

        • Gordon

          When my friend Kitty was in seminary, she called me one night and was really excited. She said that huge pieces of the New Testament made sense to her now because she realized Paul was a psychopath. That whole experience of seminary and real theological scholarship was so liberating for her. And now she is a successful pastor in Chicago and following her bliss!

          • Bones

            We have to realise Paul was influenced by Greek philosophy.

            That’s where his attitudes towards sex and the depravity of human desires comes from.

          • lymis

            Not to mention that a very solid scholarly case (and a salacious one, given Paul’s obsession with Timothy’s genitals) can be made that Paul was dealing, somewhat unsuccessfully, with same-sex urges of his own.

          • James Walker

            even when I was still a young, dedicated, “save the world” fundie, I suspected the “thorn in Paul’s side” was sexual attraction to Timothy.

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

    I have yet to see anyone who uses the hate the sin, love the sinner route, while also using scripture to back up their views on why they think being gay is a sin, actually demonstrate authentic and fair love to the lgbt community. Instead the lgbr community are expected to do more, give up more and endure more than Amy other “sinner” out there. And still it isn’t enough.

    That is why I reject that line of reasoning.

  • http://limpingtowardsgrace.com/ James_Jarvis

    I think we are one of those point in history where things can change for better or much worse. I’ve meet people on the evangelical right who are much better people than their theology would have you believe but who are afraid to speak out for fear of exile from their church, family and friends. I see God as a loving parent and like a loving parent God never stops loving us even when we mess up or sin. As a parent and grandparent I could never stop loving my children and grandchildren even if they sometimes do things that I do not approve of. The problem with some people is they believe in an angry God who is waiting to send everyone to hell for their sins and not a loving God who seek to reconcile himself to us through his love.

  • EvenMoreLove

    I don’t think that it is possible to fully discredit Allen’s critique of Christianity itself as the source of LGBT oppression. Most days, I waffle between the desire for total apostasy for gay people (we should just LEAVE) and something more constructive. Ultimately, my Love for the 2,000,000,000 Christian people in the World is the only thing that keeps me here. But let’s not kid ourselves. As Gene Robinson said, we have been treated very, very badly by the Church, and asking people to come back to the Church is like asking victims of domestic violence to go back to their spouses. There is nothing wrong with assigning blame where blame is due, and with not going back. Though I myself don’t believe that homophobia is the authentic voice of the tradition, most Christians, past and present, have. Because of that, it is not unreasonable or inaccurate to blame the religion itself for our suffering, whether we leave, or whether we stay. Christianity is a virulently homophobic religion, by and large. Until recently, it was a virulently anti-Semitic religion. But some of us still believe it to be capable of change. Maybe we’re wrong. The only way to find out is to try and then fail, repeatedly, and decisively. After all, God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, are not going anywhere; Christianity just might be.

    • Allen

      you seem very authentic and dont make excuses.

    • James Walker

      respectfully, I disagree with your initial point. human beings are the source of suffering in this world. end of story. all else is just detail.

      you see, people would find some reason to oppress the “other” whether we had religion or not, whether that religion called itself Christianity or not. we possess certain instincts which, while we were small family groups in the wilderness 20,000 years ago, helped to ensure our survival as a species: we did not mate with the “other”. we killed and/or deprived the “other” of food and resources whenever possible. we feared and loathed the “other”.

      it’s only in recent years that we’ve evolved socially to the point that some of us have begun seeing all humans (and perhaps all sentient beings) as part of a greater whole, as part of a social structure larger than our immediate tribe and worthy of being treated as equals. it’s so recent that many humans still think their tribe superior to all others. many humans still think the appropriate response to encountering an “other” is fear, loathing and possible destruction.

      religion is mere detail in this sad, violent story. and blaming religion in general or Christianity in particular is a distraction from what we must do to overcome this instinct in ourselves which is to help one another to find the common ground that makes us all part of the same tribe.

      • hyhybt

        Hear, hear!

      • EvenMoreLove

        We have to face up to the fact that Christianity, when its Scriptures and mythos is literalized or semi-literalized, becomes extremely dangerous in the way that most other religions just become boring or ineffective when the same happens to them. See Jack Spong’s “The Sins of Scripture” for an (extremely) brief overview. Christianity has exacerbated our innate tendency to fear the other that you describe at least as often as it has helped us overcome it. We are easily the most profoundly flawed religious tradition in the history of humankind. I’d rather have to say this about my culture and my religion than live in a state of denial or pseudo-denial. I know of nothing in World religion that compares to the hideously antiChrist teaching of original sin, for instance. Or the fanatical obsession with Hell and the Devil. Or the obsession with right belief to avoid said Hell and Devil. No, not to the level we have taken it.

        • James Walker

          you’re allowing yourself to be caught up in the euro-centric, christo-centric model of world history. divisions and strife have occurred in Hinduism, in Confucianism, in Islam, etc. and the results have all been fairly similar to what we’ve seen over the past few centuries of Christianity. no religion, and no social framework has been exempt. people are the problem, much more so than any particular belief system.

          until we manage to counter this very human impulse to demonize the “other”, we won’t get past this.

          • EvenMoreLove

            Hinduism and Confucianism, or any Eastern tradition for that matter, have not contributed to ecocide the way that diabolical Christianity has. If humanity destroys itself, Christianity will be as a big a contributor as anything. You cannot annihilate all of European indigenous religion and spirituality, which is the first line of defense against ecocide, degrade people and the entire planetary system with original sin and its sociopolitical consequences, and then frighten people into a state of stupor with Hell and the Devil for 1700 years, and then expect to place no blame at all on the religion itself. I have a higher view of humanity than you do, it would seem. As I said, I would rather have to say this about my people, culture, and religion, then humanity as a whole. We contribute disproportionately to global problems. The first step towards healing is to recognize, partially, that we have met the enemy, and the enemy is us.

          • James Walker

            we’re also going to disagree, I’m afraid, on just how “environmentally friendly” were the pre-Christian faiths and cultures of Europe and the Americas.

            but, yes, I absolutely recognize that a particular teaching linked to Young-Earth Creationism is very much responsible for the current “Drill, Baby, Drill!” philosophy of American commercialism and environmental destruction. again, I don’t blame Christianity per se but I blame the humans who morph it into whatever supports the interests of their “tribe”.

          • Bones

            I agree with most of what you wrote.

            We need even more love, less bigotry, less ignorance.

          • Jill

            “until we manage to counter this very human impulse to demonize the “other”, we won’t get past this.”

            yesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes

        • James Walker

          even Buddhism has its share of extremists! isn’t that wild? but, yes, they exist and there have been riots and massacres in India between Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh extremists over the years.

  • guest

    If God is on the side of what is right and just, why did he put all those anti-gay ‘clobber verses’ in the bible? Would have saved a lot of pain if he’d told his ‘prophets’ to write ‘thou shalt not discriminate on basis of sexual preference’ instead.

    We don’t need a new Christianity, we need a post-religious world.

    • James Walker

      those of us Christians who are here and part of THIS faith community don’t believe God “put all those” verses in the Bible at all. the prophets wrote what they sincerely believed was a reflection of God’s will. in some cases (slavery, for instance) they got it dead wrong. that doesn’t invalidate the entire set of documents as a tool for learning about faith and religion, though. it just means that they are human documents, not something handed to us by God.

      • guest

        But why did God not correct their misconceptions? If he saw gay people being stoned to death and he could have stopped it by speaking out against the practice, that makes him neglectful at the very least.

        If you have to use your own judgement to work out which parts of the bible are moral and which aren’t, you might as well just use your own judgement anyway. The bible is unhelpful in some cases and pointless in others. And by treating it as a valid source of morality, you’re legitamising the more fundamentalist versions of your faith.

        • James Walker

          please do try not to put words in my mouth. I can already barely speak around my two feet. =)

          I never said I was using the Bible as a “valid source for morality”. I maintain that the Bible is a source text to provide background on where the Jewish and Christian faiths came from.

          • Bill Steffenhagen

            “I can already barely speak around my two feet.”

            Very clever James. That’s a keeper. I’m admiring your mind here, James. You seem to be very thoughtful, knowledgeable, and eloquent…..and patient!

        • James Walker

          and why is it God’s job to correct human misconceptions? you seem very stuck on one view of God (that you also disagree with stridently). you are aware, aren’t you, that isn’t the only possible way to understand God?

    • Bones

      Once again, misrepresenting what people here believe is dishonest.

      • guest

        I’m not misrepresenting anyone, I’m asking a question. You’re free to tell me that you don’t believe it happened like that and what you actually believe.

        • James Walker

          it’s difficult to tell someone is asking a sincere question when they frame it around an argument that the Christians here aren’t making…

        • Bones

          I’ve discussed this in another thread. This is one quote.

          “It’s totally irrelevant what rules the Ancient Hebrews gave themselves in the Old Testament. And no, they weren’t given by God to a mythical Moses.
          Like the laws of Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans it has absolutely no relevance at all to modern society.
          You don’t see people going around demanding that we keep Ancient Egyptian laws.”

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/2014/03/to-secretly-gay-affirming-pastors-of-conservative-churches/#

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

      “[A]ll those ‘clobber verses’ in the [B]ible” are only six verses out of 31,173 passages. Maybe reading comprehension is the answer.

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      There are no “anti-gay” verses in the Bible. None. The idea that there are is just bullshit.

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/2012/04/the-best-case-for-the-bible-not-condemning-homosexuality/

    • Gordon

      There are many, many things in the Bible that “would have saved a lot of pain” if they weren’t in there. But until Christians, Jews and Muslims are willing and able to look at the Bible for what it truly is instead of “the unadulterated Word of Almighty God” we’re probably never going to be able to reason together. And for the record, the Bible is probably the single MOST adulterated collection of historical documents in the Universe. Calling it the “Word of God” is absurd. If God is as all powerful as Christians say He is, He doesn’t need us to take dictation from him. He can speak for Himself.

      My Ah HA! moment was when I was in college and I went to church with a friend and the minister was talking about Noah. I had heard the story as a child in Sunday School, but I never believed it. After church my friend and I went to lunch and I asked him if he believed the story of Noah was true. And he replied, as so many Christians do, with a bumper sticker: “God said it, I believe it and that settles it.” Sort of like when Nixon said, “When the President does it it’s not illegal!” No reason, no logic, no analytical thinking and no search for truth and understanding. Just blind…I was about to write faith, but that’s not the right word. It’s not faith, it’s complicit ignorance. And it does real physical and psychological harm to millions of people every single day.

  • Bones

    Back on topic

    • Guest

      it took a page reload for me to see the meme you posted, Bones.

      sorry for my inappropriate attempt at humor.

      • Bones

        No probs.

  • James Walker

    We’ve had some visitors here who are currently at a place in their lives where they’re completely unable to accept the idea of a God or a Jesus or a Bible as a basis for any kind of faith at all. They’ve been arguing that what John suggests in his blog post above about having a revolution and creating a new Christianity is, quite simply, impossible and nonsensical. They’ve claimed that Christianity in particular and all religions in general ought to be thrown out because people who are so deluded as to believe in a religion cannot be trusted ever again not to try to crush the weak, the defenseless, the helpless in the name of our “holy truth”.

    To these visitors, I say this. There have been some people in your life who’ve taught you that religion in general and Christianity in particular are a certain thing, that only someone who believes XYZ is Christian, that only doing DEF makes you a practitioner of the “real” religion, that there’s only one way to understand the Bible and to understand God. Well, it’s bullshit. It is. Everything you’ve been taught about what faith means, what belief means, what religion means, what scripture is, it’s all bullshit.

    Someone has done a number on you and has left you twisted and broken, unable to share fellowship with people who truly love and care about you and hope that you will find your own path to God or to Peace or to Love in whatever way is best for you and you alone. You’ve been spiritually abused! And of course your reaction is to hate and to be angry toward your abusers! How on earth could anyone expect you to react in any other way?

    All I ask, and all I think anyone from this faith community is asking, is that you please not lump us in willy-nilly with your abusers just because we happen to share the name “Christian” (unwillingly) with them. Please don’t expect us to behave like your abusers did when asked questions about what’s in the Bible, or what Jesus said about certain things. Don’t expect us to rattle off the same Bible verses your abusers did as if they “prove” anything. We are not the same, yet we understand it may take a long time before you’re willing to take our word for that.

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

      James,
      So well said. Thank you so much for your contributions.

    • Bones

      Wow!

      James, you da man.

      Love you bro.

    • http://faithlikeaman.blogspot.com/ Ryan Blanchard

      Two years ago, a group of alumni from my alma mater, a conservative Christian university in Oregon, formed with the purpose of asking the administration to change its stance towards LGBT people. Though I was, and still am, an atheist, the alumni group re-introduced me to old friends from college who had dramatically changed their outlook. Seeing Christians who were also allies of the LGBT community softened my stance towards Christians, and led to many new and amazing friendships, and ultimately my family’s attendance at a liberal Quaker meeting, which being affirming of LGBTs is one of their primary points of emphasis.

      All that to say, the kinds of people posting in this forum are making a difference, not just for the LGBT community, but also for Christianity’s reputation.

    • Andy

      Bravo! I think everyone should read this before being allowed to post here.

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

    I don’t know if it’s so much surprise as shock.

    I mean, this situation literally came down to which is stronger: hatred for gay people or love for hungry kids.

    I mean, I knew in my head that if it came down to that, people who think that they’re “sanctified” and “put apart from worldly things” and other oh-so-humble stuff like that would agree that poor people have to make sacrifices, but seeing it put into practice is pretty stunning.

    That some jerk from Focus on the Family then dared liberals to boycott WV and compared that to taking food fro their mouths displays a level of sociopathic disengagement from reality that is pretty hard to get one’s head around.

    But, you’re right. It shouldn’t be a surprise to us. We know that what really motivates some people is hatred. Seeing it lived out, though, is pretty freaky.

  • Josh Magda

    (This is EvenMoreLove) To James and others, on the purported similitude between the ecological devastation wrought by the West versus tribal cultures, and its relation to accepting responsibility for the Church’s failures.

    Yes, yes, I’ve heard all about the Native civilization that employed its religion to spread out from its home continent, and within 400 years brought the entire ecosystem to the breaking point… oh wait, that was CHRISTIANITY.

    Native peoples lived here in hundreds of cultures for 12000 years. Sapiens for at least 20,000 in Europe, and Neanderthal 40,000 before that. And none of the pre-Christian empires degraded the Creation the way we have, either theologically or actually.

    The point is not to assign blame for assigning blame’s sake, but to recognize that there are elements within traditional Christianity itself that are evil. Evil that did then and does now create a whole hell of a lot of suffering. Evil that takes the psyche of good and decent people and infects them with a mind virus, exactly the way Dawkins describes it. Diabolical Christianity is, quite literally, a kind of collective psychosis. It degrades us in the integrity of who we are, and makes us capable of prolonging our hatred of peoples that our innate morality would long ago have overridden (such as hatred of gay people). As one author said, never before in the history of the World has a civilization suffered a psychosis so severe that it hunted and killed its own wise women… and that was 500 years ago.. at the birth of the Enlightenment. Women, Jews, Blacks, gays, indigenous peoples, and so many others… are we really to believe that Christianity itself has played no role in their butchery and oppression?

    The point is simply to ‘fess up to this, be done with it, and move beyond it, which we will NEVER DO if we cannot acknowledge the great harm that it has caused and continues to cause to the spiritual lives of people.

    • Bones

      Josh, of course Christianity played a roll in butchery and oppression and there are people on this site who have been damaged and abused by Christianity. Christians have always had a fear of those who are different.

      And we’ve faced up to what we’ve done. Well I know I have.

      Wars in the name of religion is evil. Sectarianism is evil. Religious persecution is evil. Religious justification for racism and the oppression of women and minorities is evil. Destruction of cultures and civilisations in the name of God was evil.

      We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves which was the specific teaching of Christ. We’ve become hung up on religious dogma, holiness and purity codes, evangelical crusades and hysterical scare campaigns eg witch hunts, heretic hunts. That still goes on via the internet.

      There’s no excuse for it.

      And yes we are saying that homophobia is evil. John’s article calls for Christians to make a stand.

      I don’t think morality is innate as such. I think the specifics of morality are learned and defined by culture and upbringing.

      Personally, I’m just hanging in.

      Btw I like Dawkins and Hitchens.

      We need to listen to what they have to say.

      • Josh Magda

        Morality is nature and nurture. It is not in our nature, for instance, to believe that everyone except our tribe is going to eternal hellfire. That’s something that has to be indoctrinated into people, as we innately reject it, even and especially as children, when the seeds are first planted.

        The “answer” if there is one, is out and out acknowledgment of the past and accountability for the present situation. It makes it easier to make a clean break with evil altogether if we do so. In order to do that, we will have touch our own morality and goodness and intrinsic connection to God very deeply. We will have to accept responsibility for ourselves and our World. We will have to move to a post-Biblical Christianity, wherein the Bible is set alongside other sources of Christian Wisdom and acknowledged to “have a voice, not a veto,” as one 20th century rabbi said. When Jesus left, he didn’t say he was going to send us a book to guide us, but a fresh impartation of Spirit. The Spirit is ours and has always been ours; It belongs to us as we belong to It. Its time for the Love of the Father/Mother to become complete in us, as Jesus wished for us.

        Otherwise, as Bede Griffiths said, Christianity should fold up shop and go out of business, because it has nothing to offer. Either we become Christian mystics again, or may Christianity die quickly so that God’s Dream can live.

    • James Walker

      Josh, the problem with your thesis is that none of those peoples had anything like the population density or the industrial and technological capacity we have. I just can’t buy the idea that had we entered the industrial revolution with a different religious framework such as one of the Native American faiths or Confucianism, that our environment would be any better off. You’ve seen the environmental conditions in India and China, right? This fascination with how much “better” ancient peoples were than moderns is, to me, a distraction from the real problems we face today.

      That aside, I’m a Christian and my faith practice doesn’t include the elements of fear, hatred, “othering”, or environmental destruction so how could I reasonably be expected to “blame Christianity” when I know Christianity does not require those elements? Those aspects were put there by humans who sought an excuse for their bad behavior, not by God or by Jesus or by the early Christian writers.

      • Josh Magda

        But it wasn’t those traditions. it was ours. I do not entirely dissociate Christianity itself from the evils Christian people have subjected the World too; I’m too familiar with Christian history. I think there is something deep seated and pathological right at the heart of Western civilization, in a way that is unparalleled elsewhere (see preceding rejoinders to the effect of “I’d rather have to say this…). The environmental situation in China and India is largely because they are trying to copy us, and have abandoned their own religious and cultural traditions on what makes for a good life. Respectfully, if you believe Native religion would have blessed off on the Industrial Revolution’s excesses, I’m not sure where this confidence is coming from. How much do you know about them?

        The point is not to play a blame game or put one tradition or another on a pedestal. The point is to find what is good, true, and beautiful in all of our traditions, and let the rest go. For us, that will mean letting a ton of stuff go. And the first step to letting go is calling a spade a spade. Western civilization (or as my friend on Marcus Borg’s blog calls it, “the Greco-Roman war machine”) has fucked up the planetary situation for all of us, hasn’t it? It is not Confucianists who are teaching the United Arab Emirates to build a ski resort in the middle of a desert… that is us. We need to stop, NOW. And if the Church wants to come along for the ride, so much the better, but it is an entirely secondary issue to uniting around shared human Wisdom that transcends the failures of any one historical religion.

        • James Walker

          The bulk of what you’re saying I agree with. I just had that little quibble and I think we’ve talked around it enough that I’m satisfied you’re not stuck romanticizing dead cultures. Thanks for being patient with me. ;)

  • Josh Magda

    While we’re at it, visit the Even More Love front lines here:

    https://www.facebook.com/TheMa
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/l
    https://twitter.com/MarinFound

    In the wake of World Vision, tell these good people that NOW is the time to move for full LGBT inclusion in the conservative Church.

    I think we’re making progress. I’ve heard from Andrew and Michael, and talked extensively with the staff. But I can only do so much by myself with an IP scrambler! Support a just-war/pacifism style resolution to LGBT inclusion in the conservative Church, which is as good as I think we might get from them. Both groups, gay people and homophobes, should be welcome to participate in the full life of the Church, meaning, as my church used to say, “all of the sacraments for all of the baptized,” with room for personal objection allowed. We don’t turn away military folks at the communion rail because pacifists have an issue with their service.

    Let’s get this done.

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      Why fight so hard against Marin? He’s making $$ doing what he does; he’s not about to change.

      • Josh Magda

        Well, he’s in Scotland right now. While the Mouse is away, the Spirit will play. Because they’re uniquely positioned in the conservative Church (they listen to him) the wellspring of our suffering, and they have already stepped up to the plate to a certain extent. I’d like to believe that his organization is capable of change, and I’d like to push them over the edge into where most of them (Drew notwithstanding) probably already know they should be heading, especially the 3 gay people that work there. They can leave and start their own movement if they so desire. Anyone can dream; nothing ventured, nothing gained.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

    Thank you, brother. Thank you. I need you to keep fighting the good fight because I am getting really, really tired. I really don’t want to give up and let them win but at this point I am ready to throw in the towel, let them fucking have “Christianity”.

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      Right? I mean … it’s becoming a bit much. At some point you feel like, “Fuck it. Let the cockroaches have the place.”

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

        Yup, pretty much.

        • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

          Of course, whatever that actually means. Stop blogging on the issue? Stop blogging altogether? Stop being a Christian (if that’s really an option for you)? What’s “throwing in the towel” looking like for you, if anything yet specific?

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/ Kimberly

            I’d actually love to chat with you offline about the trajectory I’m seeing for myself. Meet me in chat on FB later today?

          • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

            I’m afraid I can’t today or tomorrow, for reasons I’ll share with you … well, any time from Tuesday on that you might like to chat? Just pop me a line from then on out whenever works for you.

      • http://twitter.com/twbtwb Tim Wilson-Brown

        John, Kimberly, I would be so sad if either of you stopped blogging. You’ve both helped me understand what Christianity is really about: caring for everyone (not just people like those I grew up with).

        But best wishes (and prayers) for your journies onwards. And particularly for you, Kimberly, whatever you decide. The Internet can be a vile, unforgiving place to inhabit – let alone fight for love and compassion.

    • Gordon

      You sound discouraged, Kimberly. I’m sorry. I understand. I’ve been there too. I got so discouraged I decided to leave Christianity altogether. There are pros and cons with doing that. I don’t miss the stress but I do miss the fellowship. I lead a rather solitary life now in many respects.
      Anyway, I would be sorry if you stopped blogging. I just discovered you and have been enjoying your writing a lot. People like you and John are doing amazing work and you are reaching all kinds of people. I think blogging is sort of a thankless job, which it shouldn’t be. But, all I can say to you both is thank you. You have made a difference in my really pretty messed up life and I appreciate it very much.

      • Jill

        Hi Gordon. Miss you. :)

      • Gappy

        Gordon, I have been attending service at a Unitarian Universalist church only a few months now. They welcome everyone, no matter their religion or lack of one. The church encourages a person to find their own personal spiritual path and stress acceptance and tolerance for ALL people world wide. The Unitarians were the first church’s to answer the call by Martin Luther King Jr. for the civil rights march in Selma and two were murdered by white supremacists and the Unitarians are deeply invested in the LBGT movement and overwhelmingly for gay rights. You don’t have to leave Christianity behind because the UU’s will welcome you and let you apply the BEST parts of your faith to yourself. Google them and read about them and if you like what you’ve read, then find one of their church’s in your area. (I drive 45 miles one way and it’s worth it to me) I truly hope you do because you can re-find the fellowship you’ve left behind in a traditional Christian church.

    • R Vogel

      let them fucking have “Christianity”

      Assuming you mean just the label, as opposed to your faith, would anything really be lost? Is this not just a classic Mimetic conflict being played out real time? We are fighting over what? In order to ‘win’? Win what exactly? They won’t be convinced and we won’t give in to their depraved idolatry – so either this continues to escalate into violence, or one of us has to say enough, it is finished.

  • Bill Steffenhagen

    Among the comments, “guest” writes: “But why did God not correct their misconceptions? If he saw gay people being stoned to death and he could have stopped it by speaking out against the practice, that makes him neglectful at the very least.”

    While reading all these entries, my mind keeps coming back to something I’ve said in the past. One of the greatest challenges to communicating anything about God is the anthropomorphization of God (yeah, I know, that’s a mouthful), the making of God in our own image, as if God is some kind of humanoid entity that thinks and behaves like us, that HE writes or “says” anything. I am constantly reminded of the Greek philosopher Xenophanes who posited that, (paraphrased) “If horses had gods, they would look like horses”. (and probably ACT like horses also). There cannot be a “new Christianity” until we can get past that imagery of God as He, or even She. God is an It. God is a Something. We really haven’t a clue what God is tho perhaps the closest description is that which does indeed come from the Bible and maybe other religious philosophies that “God is Love”. And even then, we are stuck with trying to define Love, and even humanity’s finest poets and philosophers have trouble with that so……how do we find our way thru this mess we find ourselves in?

    “Can’t we all just get along?” For me, living by the Golden Rule would solve a LOT of problems. Why is that such a difficult concept? Because there are humans who simply won’t live like that. So then what? Therein lies the conundrum of the human condition, illustrated by this blog and so many other controversies. We are seeking the answer to the question at the beginning of this paragraph. So far, tragically, the answer is NO.

  • Herro

    >Saying “I’m a Christian, and gay people are going to hell” is like saying, “I’m a feminist, and women should remain pregnant and obey their husbands,” or “I’m not a racist, and white people should own black people.” One automatically cancels out the other.

    Fascinating. So Catholics, Southern Baptists, Eastern Orthodox et cetera (who think that homosexuality is a grave sin), aren’t “True Christians”?

    So your definition of Christianity is the normative one? Can you provide it (you linked to the 14 points of Unfundamentalist Christianity, but I assume that those aren’t supposed to define what “True Christianity” is).

    >If you believe that the Bible teaches God condemns to hell all “unrepentant” gay people, then why wouldn’t you pound to death every gay person you saw? Doing so would be doing God’s work, by extending God’s will into the world. That’s what Christians are supposed to do.

    Well, you could have all sorts of reasons for not doing so, e.g. hoping that they would repent and get to heaven. If I recall correctly Jesus sometimes condemns his opponents and even whole cities to hell. Using your logic, the disciples should have understood that as permission to “pound to death” those people.

    ps. Why did you use a picture of what appears to be a police officer setting up a hanging noose?

    • Michael Rowe

      Herro, you really didn’t understand one single goddamn word that John wrote, did you? How very, very sad. And how perfectly you illustrate the point he made in his headline.

      • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

        Thanks, James and Michael. “Herro” is troll who follows me about, leaving his troll … droppings. I’ll block him. Thanks again.

        • Herro

          I don’t know how I “follow you about”. I’ve commented on few of your writings here on the “progressive” channel (I occasionally check it out after having read James McGrath). And I don’t think I’m a troll, although my comments are “adversarial” I think they are on-topic and can be the start of a substantial dicussion. But do with me what you want!

      • Herro

        Michael, I’m not an evangelical (I’m an atheist). So I don’t exactly illustrate the point John made in the headline. And sure, I might not get everything John says, but think I understand much of it.

    • James Walker

      The short answer is because Jesus told what was required to follow Him and nowhere in Matthew 25 does He say that His followers are excused from their (our) duty to help provide children food, clothing or medicine because some of the employees helping manage and distribute said care might, by chance, also be gay.

      • Herro

        James, which one of my points was this short answer intended to answer?

        • James Walker

          “Fascinating. So Catholics, Southern Baptists, Eastern Orthodox et cetera (who think that homosexuality is a grave sin), aren’t “True Christians”?
          So your definition of Christianity is the normative one? Can you provide it (you linked to the 14 points of Unfundamentalist Christianity, but I assume that those aren’t supposed to define what “True Christianity” is).”

          that one, although in providing my answer, I took the liberty of digesting the question down to:

          “why do you (John Shore) presume to tell the people who threatened to withhold their monies from World Vision America that they are not True Christians?”

          • Herro

            Thanks for that clarification.

            But the point John made was more general. If you look at the quote, then you’ll see that he said that if you think that “gay people are going to hell” then that means that your claim of being a Christians is false: “One automatically cancels out the other.”

            That claim of his is much wider than what you are trying to justify. Your point is, if I try to rephrase: “People aren’t Christians if they don’t want to support a charity because of their stance on homosexuality, because Jesus didn’t allow that.”

            That doesn’t actually support John’s claim (rephrase: “People who think that gays are going to hell aren’t Christians.”)

            So my question remains unanswered: Why does thinking that “gay people are going to hell” make you a non-Christian?

          • James Walker

            thinking that gay people are going to hell for nothing other than their “gayness” means you are not thinking like a Christian. see again Matthew 25, where Jesus spells out in clear terms what it means to think and act like one of His followers.

          • Herro

            Well, these people think that “homosexual acts” are a grave sin. I don’t see how that’s supposed to be “not thinking like a Christian”.

            Do you think that Jesus didn’t think that practicing sexual immorality could get you thrown into hell?

            > see again, Matthew 25, where Jesus spells out in clear terms what it means to think and act like one of His followers.

            I’m sure you can help the poor and so on, **and** think that gays go to hell.

          • James Walker

            no. you can’t. you see, the word Christian means “Christ-like”, someone who follows the teachings of Christ. Jesus, in His teachings, makes it very clear that we are not to live our lives being concerned about whether SOMEONE ELSE is sinning or SOMEONE ELSE is going to Hell. so, faith groups that make their entire approach all about condemning THOSE PEOPLE OVER THERE who are “sinning” or about supposedly “rescuing” THOSE PEOPLE OVER THERE from death and hell.. they’re doing something completely different from Christianity. they may call themselves Christians, but what they’re doing is not what is required by following Jesus.

          • James Walker

            and before you launch into a diatribe, Herro, about how I’m just doing exactly the same thing that the “other side” is doing, let me tell you that every Christian denomination I’ve studied in the US contains in its doctrinal statements the very teachings that I and John and other Christians like us are pointing to, saying “you’re doing Christianity wrong. you’re not abiding by the basic principals of our faith”. this is not a matter of some denominations having the right beliefs or having the right interpretation of the Bible and some having the wrong ones. this is a matter of a behavior, of a practice, that has poisoned nearly every denomination of the Christian faith here in the US and in many other places, and it is un-biblical.

          • Herro

            You claim that the word Christian means “someone who follows the teachings of Christ”. Ok, I don’t know why that should be the accepted definition.

            But even if we do so, I don’t know why believing that gays go to hell should be contrary to that definition.

            1. It’s not clear at all what Jesus teachings were on the subject. The gospels aren’t exactly reliable. Do you think that he said everything that’s attributed to him in the gospels? And even if he said all that’s in there, I don’t think that he’s clear on this specific subject. So we don’t really know what he thought of the eternal destiny of homosexuals.

            2. I don’t know where in the gospels Jesus says that: “We are not to live our lives being concerned about whether SOMEONE ELSE is sinning” (which you suggest is the teaching of Jesus that they violate). Where did he say that?

            3. It’s not even clear that (*assuming* that Jesus said that*) this saying would be contrary to thinking that gays go to hell.

            4. Would this also apply to Christians who think that “Abortionists go to hell” or “Adulterers go to hell” or just “Some group X goes to hell”?

            5. And even assuming that someone is doing something that’s contrary to something Jesus clearly says in the gospels, does really make them a non-Christian? I think that Jesus commands people to sell their stuff and give it away a gospel or two. Well then, people who don’t do that can’t be Christians!

          • Guest

            “Ok, I don’t know why that should be the accepted definition.”

            not to be mean, but perhaps you should check a couple of dictionaries.

            going down your list of points:

            1) we do know that nowhere in the gospel portrayals is the character of Jesus presented as saying anything at all about homosexuality. evidently the character of Jesus had much more important work to do, like teaching His followers that the greatest commandment is to Love.

            2) you want to be taken seriously as a critic of Christian teaching and you aren’t aware of the multiple places in the gospels where the character of Jesus teaches we aren’t supposed to judge others? “Judge not, lest ye be judged” comes to mind. “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone”, etc. honestly, there are too many to list concisely. may I suggest reading through the gospels and focusing on the “red letter” portions?

            3) the character of Jesus is the one speaking in Matthew 25. it doesn’t matter whether this speech “really” occurred historically speaking. that is how the character of Jesus was portrayed to the early Church, and was part of the basis for forming Christian doctrine.

            4) yes

            5) the character of Jesus regularly spoke out against people becoming rich at the expense of others. He does not appear to have made that (selling all one’s goods and giving to the poor) a core teaching of the faith because it only appears in certain instances where He is speaking to a wealthy person who has professed interest in becoming a follower. it also doesn’t appear in Matthew 25 as a criteria for judgment against those who have professed to believe.

          • Herro

            I think there are various definitions of “Christians”. E.g. just people who claim that they are Christians. One example of problem with the definition James gave would be muslims, they often claim that Jesus actually was a muslim and that they are really following Jesus’ teachings. Does that mean that muslims are Christians? That’s not how the word is used.

            1. Sure, there’s nothing in the gospels about the eternal fate of homosexuals. So there’s at least not anything explicitly contradictory about “following Jesus” and thinking that gays go to hell.

            2. Well, we can be pretty certain that the story about the woman taken into adultery is a later addition.

            Ok. I see how you can get to a conclusion like that from the “don’t judge, lest ye be judged”. But it’s not clear that this saying precludes coming to the conclusion that certain grave sins could get people to hell. It’s simply not that clear cut.

            3. So it doesn’t matter if one is following the **actual** teachings of Jesus? You’re a Christian if you follow the character of Jesus as he appears in the gospels, even if the actual Jesus probably didn’t say much of the sayings attributed to him? So a liberal Christian who doesn’t follow a specific commandment of Jesus because he doesn’t think that it’s original to Jesus isn’t actually a Christian?

            4. So was the apostle Paul not a Christian?

            5. The commandment to sell your posessions is not only given when he was speaking to a wealthy person. Its’ given in Lk 12:33 in what appears to be a general commandment. And if it doesn’t appear in Mt 25 “as a criteria for judgment” then it just means that it’s not relevant in deciding whether you go to heaven or hell. A lot of things that Jesus commands aren’t mentioned in Mt 25

          • James Walker

            I’m not going to go point by point with you. in fact, this is my last response to you, Herro.

            you don’t have a dog in this race so it’s pointless to pursue this conversation, for all concerned. this is, for you, merely an exercise in argument for the sake of argument. I’m not doing that with you.

            the wording of your questions makes it clear that you don’t understand the position of those whom John is arguing against in his blog post. you don’t understand mainstream Christian theology and you don’t comprehend aspects of the Bible that most children of devout mainstream Christian denomination parents have already grasped thoroughly in Sunday School.

            because you don’t understand this and aren’t part of the audience John is addressing in his blog post, you also don’t understand the argument he’s making against their position on homosexuality. you come into this conversation with a very loose grasp of what it means to be a Christian, as if it were mere label swapping and in your nearly complete ignorance of the meaning and weight behind these arguments declare the whole topic “silly”. well, that sir, makes you exactly the internet troll John labeled you in one of the comments below this one in the thread.

          • Herro

            Not much to respond to in that, since I don’t like to respond to accusations of me being ignorant.

            I would just like to point out that you misrepresent what I wrote when you say:

            >[you] declare the whole topic “silly”.

            When this is what I actually wrote:

            >I just happen to think that **certain parts** of this blog post were silly,

            Don’t do that.

          • James Walker

            you’ve said you aren’t a Christian yourself. so why, exactly, are you so invested in “defending” positions on the nature and content of scripture that you yourself don’t believe in and that you know no one in this faith community holds?

          • Herro

            I’m not sure what you mean by me being “invested” in defending a certain position. I just happen to think that certain parts of this blog posts were silly, and commented on it.

  • Toni

    John, I am a member of the LGBT community, and also a Christian. I was born with a condition known as “Mixed Gonadal Dysgenesis” – meaning I had both male and female parts (although undeveloped) at birth. Doctors surgically altered me to be ‘fully male’ (or so they believed) when I was an infant in the belief that it would allow me to better fit into society. This was a commonly held belief and practice back in the early 60′s when I was born. I was given up for adoption by my mother, and my birth records were sealed by court order, so I did not find out about the circumstances surrounding my birth until very recently in my life, when I was able to afford to have those records unsealed and finally discovered the truth.

    I am also now transsexual, as therapy with a number of professional counselors, including test and many other issues determined that the doctors who altered me at birth most definitely made a mistake.

    Due to a Christian religious upbringing, I spent a large part of my life believing that my innate and natural desires and attractions were “sinful” and must be repressed in order to receive love and acceptance from a God and a Society – including my family – that told me I was wrong and would burn in Hell for having these feelings and attractions. I repressed all of that inside myself and went on living and trying to fit in for forty-seven years of my life. The day finally came however, when all of that repression, denial of self, and who I really was meant to be began to make me hate myself. It had done that a few times earlier in life, but as I did not completely understand the circumstances of my birth. I had no idea of who/what I was.

    After I came “out’ to myself, my family, and friends – most of whom were also Christians, I faced staggering rejection, denial of my own truths, and even hatred. discrimination and bigotry from people who just a few months earlier would have told me that they loved me and cared for me. Even my own wife of 23 years completely rejected me and blackmailed me into a divorce – threatening with her father to make it “very painful” for me in court if I objected to the unwanted divorce.

    My own family rejected me as well, and I was essentially ‘thrown out in the street’. I could not secure employment even though I actively pursued such, and have been a rather productive and valuable worker in the information technology field for over 16 years. In short, all the so-called “Christians” in my life turned their backs on me and rejected me simply due to who and what I am. They literally rejected me because of how I was born.

    All of this from people who supposedly follow a Messiah who never preached anything other than the message that their God is a God of unconditional love.

    As far as I can see it, being a Christian in America today means that you either believe as I do in a God of unconditional love and acceptance, or you believe in an angry, judgmental God who hates those who are divergent from the norm.

    This is what is at stake in our current ‘cultural war’. Either you stand on the side of love and acceptance or you stand on the side of hate. It’s as simple as that.

    • harrisco

      Toni – I am sorry for the hatred you have endured. I am glad you have persevered, though, and found an acceptance in God that your friends and family could not offer. You were rejected by them–only to find acceptance beyond measure from a loving God. Sounds like you have journeyed well.

  • Josh Magda

    A lot of people are burned out on Christianity here, it seems (me included). Most days, I put more into than I get out of it. Ultimately, such decisions are a matter of the Spirit, but maybe John could explore in another post: Why be Christian? I mean, why seriously? Why should gay people remain Christian, after all we’ve been through? Consider carefully. And if we leave it behind, where would we go from here?

    • Josh Magda

      Then there’s the simple cost-benefit analysis several atheist brothers and sisters have suggested: should we be putting our energies into the collapse of Christianity altogether, either actively or through JUST LEAVING, instead of keeping a progressive version of it alive? Ultimately, such things cannot be decided with the left brain, but humor me. I’d like to hear other’s thoughts on why they’re here. For me 1) I Love Christian people and want the best for them 2) I need Jesus to kick my ass when I start acting like a coward and 3) I need the challenge the tradition at its best holds out to me: the prospect of unconditional Love becoming an incarnate reality, in us, in society, and in the Creation as a whole. For these three, I wade through all the bullshit calling itself Christianity on a daily basis. Am I fool? Why or why not?

      • R Vogel

        I’m not an atheist, and I am screaming this from the rooftops. I have already shed the label christian. I won’t engage in their twisted game of declaring who is or is not a christian. I will simply say if they are, then I am not. It is not worth fighting with them over it, and they have shown they are willing to stoop to any level of depravity to enforce their ideology. They can have it. There is too much work to do. This constant fighting, constant attempt to describe how ‘we are not all like that’ is just a distraction, keeping us from working together to bring to pass the world Jesus described!

    • Jill

      Hi Josh, I had pretty much that very question until I asked my LGBTQ Christian friends what their faith means to them and why. What’s the point?

      It was through their answers that I came to understand it.
      So that would be my recommendation to you. Anyone here that would choose to comment about the meaning of their Christian faith would be illuminating for sure.

      • R Vogel

        Don’t conflate christianity with your faith. One is a human power structure with a blood soaked history of persecuting and victimizing any and everybody who challenges its authority. The other is a commitment to following Jesus of the bible, who stood against dehumanizing power structures with the poor, the oppressed, the other.

        Our LBGTQ brothers and sister should not just leave, we should all leave together. Sometimes the temples has to be torn down so not one stone is left on another so something else can be resurrected in its place…

        • Jill

          Call me confused. Did I say anything about my faith? I said you will know my LGBTQ Christian friends’ faith by asking them.

          I never said I was Christian.

          • R Vogel

            Apologies.

        • Matt

          As a transgender Christian, I quite frankly could not care less what the rest of the faith does. Don’t get me wrong, I care that they’re hurting my LGBTQ brothers and sisters. I will do whatever it takes to defend them and help alleviate that pain. That’s what Christians are supposed to do.

          But rage uselessly at them? Leave just for them? Entirely too much wasted effort. You ignore children that are screaming for no other reason than to provoke. I apply the same principle here.

          I’ve got my hard-won faith. I’ve got my personal relationship with a God who loves me, and who helps me be loving. They can stew in their hatred all they want. Clearly, that’s what they want. I will leave them to it, once the innocents are out of the way.

          • R Vogel

            How exactly have I advocated ignoring children?

            I applaud your faith, amazed at its resilience in the face of such adversity, I would never dream of asking you to give it up, you are a champion over the forces of death and oppression, thank you!

            I am drawing a distinction between my, I may even hazard to say our, faith and their religion. My faith stands with the other, their religion demonizes them. My faith is about loving my neighbor, their religion is about the idol of purity. Their religion is willing to steal bread out of the mouth of children to enforce their orthodoxy, my faith holds that there is no orthodoxy more important than people (Sabbath was made for man…). How then can my faith and their religion share the same label? My point is we can spend endless amounts of time arguing over who gets to define the label, who’s in and who’s out, or we can all stand in solidarity against that evil. I can say that I don’t give a shit what they do, but you know what, they count me in their numbers! And the rest of the world has no way to distinguish between us! When the atheist community unleashes its valid attacks on christianity as a backward and oppressive religion, it is their christianity they are attacking, but then we progressives all jump to defend the label saying ‘we’re not all like that.’ I don’t need to do that anymore. I don’t need to try to explain I’m not like them. That the label as I use it is different. I will just use a different label.

          • R Vogel

            Matt, thank you for helping me further frame this issue in my mind. Please see my response to Josh above. I would never ask you or any of my LBGT brothers and sister to do any more than what you do everyday of your life by simply existing in the face of such oppression. I am thinking about what I can do, how I can resist. G*d bless.

        • Allen

          They are actually the same thing. If you believe sin, Jesus, God, you are really kidding yourself if you think u are some how different. i understand people want to differentiate themselves from the Christians who strongly push the bible in politics by saying they are “Jesus Followers” and not “Christians” but you aren’t really any different. These Jesus Follower claim they don’t follow “rules” or the church they have a “relationship” with Jesus which includes following the rules of what Jesus ask in the Bible. Same thing. They claim they don’t think gays are bad or those other non Christian people are bad but they believe in sin and that one has to have a relationship with Christ or they will suffer. Same thing as those “Christians”. It’s so ridiculous it makes my head blow. These Jesus Follower acknowledge God’s glory and the morality of this Gods glory while ignoring the crap from the OT this God carried out by say “it was totally fine to make rapist marry their rapist because that context called for it”” Its ok to kill gay people in that context” while ignoring that if God came back and said do these things again the “Jesus Followers” would blindly follow. Pretty slick move on the part of the “Jesus Follower” but only a dumb person would buy it. You are exactly like the people you claim you aren’t anymore.

          • Andy

            Labels are just that. They make it easy for people to throw you into a box, but that’s a bad idea. I don’t usually volunteer identifying as a Christian because of the stereotypes associated with it, when in fact my beliefs are pretty different from a lot of Christians, particularly evangelicals. I’m sure others have said similar things, but Dan Brown once said that if you ask three people what it means to be a Christian, you’ll get three different answers.

            I don’t care what you call yourself. I’m more concerned with who you are as a person. Calling yourself a Christian, a Jesus follower, or anything else doesn’t make you a good or bad person in and of itself. I’ve met plenty of people who identified as “Christian” but — repeatedly — engaged in behaviors pretty universally considered bad (cheating, stealing, etc.)

          • Allen

            As a member of the LGBT community, When a person calls themselves a Christian or anything close, even if they are gay christian, I think three things. Either this person is a hater or a traitor or has a short memory. Either way i want no dealings with u. Regardless of if you call it soda,cola,or pop i want neither because they all have caffeine. If you fool with Christianity,Jesus, any of that I’m done with ya. You are all of the same cloth….

          • hyhybt

            All nouns (maybe even all words) are labels. To argue against labels is to argue against the use of language itself.

          • Andy

            I can’t tell if you’re disagreeing with me or not.

          • hyhybt

            Both, really.

          • R Vogel

            I can see why rather than engaging in any sort of dialogue it would be easier to simply invent a list of things that you think people believe so that you can dismiss them. What I don’t understand is why you would bother to waste your time responding to me with them?

          • Allen

            Anytime a Christian theology wins or morphs into something more “tolerant” society loses. The same cycle over an over. You are my enemy and not by my choice. You made me your enemy thru your religion. You religion wants everyone to suffer and you guys or as you call it those “untrue Christians” make harsh laws against me based of those beliefs and religion you belong to. You have wanted to destroy people for centuries so at every opportunity im going to try my best to make it hard of each and everyone of you. Don’t worry tho you have the numbers game. YOu get your way constalny . My life dendens on what Christians decide. I have to get permission from you guys on where i can go ,what i can do, who i can be with. So at ever opportunity regardless if I’m fighting a losing battle and regardless of if its on a miniscule blog post i’m going to do what ever i can to make you feel some kind of discomfort or suffering that you have caused others. You guys need to be stopped. You want me to forget and forgive but i haven’t forgotten . You guys constantly run from your past and while still fucking up in the present.

          • hyhybt

            Some people prefer ranting over both minding their business and holding a civilized conversation.

    • Bill Steffenhagen

      Where do we go from there? I go for a walk in the woods. Thru the 90′s I was the most “out” gay media activist writer in the area. I help my friend in prison (I really do have one). Ten years ago I took a young man off the streets of Illinois and made a new home for him, got him to get his GED, then start college. On May 9 he will graduate from local Viterbo University with a degree in Psychology. I encourage people right here on this blog who are struggling with their identity vis-a-vis Religion. I don’t have a hateful cell in my body. I live the Golden Rule. And I have not been to church for a decade.

      There’s more places to “go” than any one person has time for.

    • R Vogel

      Why should anyone who wants to follow Jesus of the Bible remain christian if it means appearing to have solidarity with that level of depravity? Why should we all continue to provide them cover with the ‘not all like that’ moniker? All we do is take the slings and arrows meant for them, trying to protect what exactly? A label? Is it really that important? Does Jesus care what you call yourself or if ‘when he was thristy you gave him something to drink, hungry gave him something to eat?’ Stand aside and let the full force of justice come down on their heads. Stand with Christ and let them stand alone with their depraved idol.

      • Josh Magda

        moved to top

        • http://twitter.com/twbtwb Tim Wilson-Brown

          Yes, we must hold open space for generous, inclusive faith: at the very least so that those who are searching for a way out from toxic faith, can find hope in their despair.

          • hyhybt

            likeA

  • DJSundayTowers

    Well Mr John Shore I found you by accident and indeed it was meant to be. You are the words my heart has long to come out of my mouth so right to the point. I have been on this case for the longest and thought I was alone. It seems that no one reads my wall, but only my one friend from Ghana. Blessed be God’s name forevermore. Please send a friend invitation, since I am being punish by Facebook for probably another week. Tony aka DJ Sunday Towers God’s DJ Conscience; The Truth Be Told

  • http://twitter.com/twbtwb Tim Wilson-Brown

    John, I’ve been reading your blog and archives for a few months, and I really appreciate and connect with almost everything I’ve read here. (And I’ve read almost everything…)

    But the denial of others’ faith this post concerns me deeply. I have to disagree, subtly but vitally, with that particular point (and only that point):

    In that moment where someone stands by and does nothing about, or even contributes to, the suffering of our people, any people: they may be Christian, but they are nothing like Jesus.

    But no matter how much I deplore their actions, I will not condemn their faith. I was once blind to the impact of my own behaviour in similar ways, and I still often am.

    John, thank you for your passion and advocacy for the LGBTQQIAAP+ community. People are justifiably angry at how this kind of discrimination is perpetrated and reinforced, issue after issue, by those who hold entrenched power. (And I would never want to be seen to be criticising that anger.)

    • John Crane

      Never heard of this “community”. Why not just have one word to cover it all, now and forever? The word “gay” comes to mind. This alphabet soup is like a string of DNA that keeps getting longer and longer. If you keep adding people and naming various types of people who suffer discrimination, sooner or later everybody in the world who has ever suffered any kind of discrimination will be on the list. That would be effectively everybody.

      • http://twitter.com/twbtwb Tim Wilson-Brown

        John Crane, positively, perfectly prescient! I potentially pissed-off polyamorous people (or polysexual or pansexual people), by precluding their participation. Pfft!

        LGBTQQIAAPPP+
        Is that more recognisable?

        If you’re having trouble, let me Google that for you: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=LGBTQQIAAPPP

        Or if you prefer John Shore’s work, he has a recent post right on that theme:
        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/2014/03/a-new-sexual-alphabet/

        But, seriously:

        Because, no matter how much you try to force people into a mould, the reality is that bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, and polysexual (or polyamorous) people are not (necessarily) gay. Neither do all lesbians appreciate being described as “gay”.

        The word you may be looking for is “queer”. But some don’t feel like that is a good description either.

        Yet as a movement, there is a lot of common ground in issues of gender and sexuality.

        • hyhybt

          Is there not some new word or two that could be used for all, rather than continuing to just string separate terms together?

          • http://twitter.com/twbtwb Tim Wilson-Brown

            I don’t know of any. “Queer” is the closest of the positive terms I am aware of. And negative terms inevitably exclude people: non-straight excludes TQAP people, for example.

            If you find such a term that is acceptable to most of the people in all of the categories in the existing LGBTQQIAAPPP+ movement, please do share. It would make life so much easier for my autocomplete, and my twitter character limits.

          • hyhybt

            If there’s not one, how do you go about making one? It’s getting out of hand.

          • http://twitter.com/twbtwb Tim Wilson-Brown

            Why not just sit back and enjoy the sprawling diversity? Why the need to blend everyone together into one homogenous mess?

            It’s not up to me or you to make decisions about the terms used to describe how others identify. Many of us have had enough of that for several lifetimes.

            Why not treat everyone you meet as an individual, and ask them how vey choose to identify? How xe wishes to be described? Which pronouns ___ would like you to use?

            You may get some funny looks from some people, but most marginalised people actually like making these decisions for xirselves…
            In fact, almost everyone likes to be called what they themselves want to be called! It’s really not that hard.

          • hyhybt

            I’m not suggesting abolishing the separate terms. Only that, since the various groups are so often thought and spoken of together, there should also be an umbrella term, rather than either leaving anyone out or continually trying to list all possibilities.

          • http://twitter.com/twbtwb Tim Wilson-Brown

            I like QUILTBAG. Its’ imagery is appropriately evocative, and there’s enough room for an awful lot of diversity inside.

            And, it’s self-contained, only has 8 letters, and easy to remember.

            If only it had a P in it…

          • James Walker

            the only uniting feature of the “group” at large is that we all fall somewhere outside the “traditional” view of sex/gender/relationship which is one birth-male acting in a stereotypical male role plus one birth-female acting in a stereotypical female role. since the language currently gives us some difficulty expressing THAT, you can see how we’re challenged in expressing NOT THAT.

          • tyler

            i’m not a big fan of QUILTBAG personally. it’s a good term of course, it just doesn’t roll off the tongue very well for me (said out loud it makes me think “douchebag,” “fag,” and “hag” eurgh)

            i’ve seen the term GSRM tossed around before, which stands for Gender, Sexual, and Romantic Minorities. that one seems nice to me, but at the same time i feel like it doesn’t adequately call attention to lesser known orientations (everybody knows about those poor gay white men and sometimes people even remember that lesbians are a thing, but most of the world still doesn’t even realize that aromantic, pansexual, and genderfluid people even exist…)

          • hyhybt

            GSRM? Never heard of it before, but it seems to work.

          • anakinmcfly

            I actually really hate the ‘ask me about my pronouns!’ thing, because if anyone ever asks me what pronouns I prefer, I’m going to panic that everyone can tell that I’m trans, and that will completely decimate every ounce of self-confidence I might have at that moment.

          • http://twitter.com/twbtwb Tim Wilson-Brown

            Anakin, I would worry about my gender presentation if someone asked me that, too! (I’m cis.)

            The way I’ve seen it done well: everyone wears a badge (e.g. GaymerX2), or answers the question along with introducing themselves by name.

          • Andy

            I’ve heard GSD (gender and sexual diversity) and GSM (gender and sexual minority) a little more lately. I’m not particularly well-connected, but from what I’ve seen there seems to be little objection to those.

          • hyhybt

            GSM makes me think of cell phones.

          • http://twitter.com/twbtwb Tim Wilson-Brown

            Yeah, it’s descriptive (a category) rather than enumerative (a list). It’s much harder to exclude people unintentionally when you’re using the appropriate category.

            I had thought of GSD myself over the last few days.

            Although, I understand to be completely inclusive, I could use GSRD (Gender, Sexual, and Relational / Romantic Diversity). Or is that GSRRD?

          • Andy

            If you’re not careful, you’ll make a longer initialism than LGBT+.

          • http://twitter.com/twbtwb Tim Wilson-Brown

            Yes, that was pretty much my point…

          • anakinmcfly

            I object purely on the grounds that it doesn’t look as nice and doesn’t have much of a ring to it as LGBT. And if it’s a term I’m going to be using frequently in life, I’d rather it be nice. :|

          • Andy

            Appreciated. So what do you say to those people who say that “LGBT” does not include their orientation and/or gender identity? Do you think “LGBT+” is sufficient?

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

            I look forward to the day when people just say, “My friend John and his husband Tim, had me to dinner over the weekend. Let me tell you, Tim makes the world’s best lasagna”…and it be no more a issue than if Tim had been Lisa.
            To me, your name matters much more to me than your sexual orientation as an identifier…and I remember it easier if you can cook lasagna

          • hyhybt

            That will be nice… but it won’t remove the usefulness of labels.

          • lymis

            “Is there not some new word or two that could be used for all, rather than continuing to just string separate terms together?”

            People have openly been trying for nearly a half-century, and clandestinely for generations before that.

            Had the early attempts to popularize a specific term for gay men to parallel “lesbian” been successful, “gay” might have been that word. Boat. Sailed. Not going to happen.

            Queer may yet succeed, since we dinosaurs with strong objections to it are going to eventually age out of the discussion, but if does, it’ll be another half-century before it’s uncontested.

            Maybe some0ne being born even as we speak will coin such a term, and in a Twitter and Facebook world, it could take off incredibly fast. If so, it will be a word we don’t currently have.

            In the meantime, I’ll be happier with full social and legal equality for people it is awkward to describe over a tidy term to single us out for discrimination.

          • hyhybt

            Of course.

          • http://twitter.com/twbtwb Tim Wilson-Brown

            There was an entire thread (here?) mentioning GSD / GSRD (Gender, Sexuality, and Romantically / Relationally Diverse) as an acceptable alternative. But it seems to have disappeared (or I’m getting my posts mixed up.)

          • Andy

            Disqus gets selective about what it shows when threads get really long. If you go to your comment history in your profile, and click on a comment you made, it should take you to the correct context.

          • hyhybt

            It was here; I read it.

        • James Walker

          I have strong personal objections to the word “queer”, as it’s one of the derogatory terms my dad uses. I refuse to even attempt “reclaiming” that one.

          • http://twitter.com/twbtwb Tim Wilson-Brown

            And I support you in that – there are many of us who are sick and tired of others choosing which names we’ll be called.

    • R Vogel

      You need to condemn their faith, it is depraved and evil. They are willing to sacrifice children to their barbaric idol. That is not Jesus, G*d or anything but evil pure and simple. The fact that it walks around masquerading as Jesus should make us all the more angry. My solidarity is with the atheists who were willing to set aside their atheism and advocate for standing in the gap for poor children, not with those G*d haters…

      • http://twitter.com/twbtwb Tim Wilson-Brown

        Respectfully, I disagree. I will condemn their actions, and claim these actions are nothing like Jesus.

        But if I were to condemn their faith on the basis of such evil actions, then I must use the same measure on myself. And I would be found wanting. Because there are many things I do without thinking that have terrible impacts – usually on people I will never meet.

        Edit: clarify second sentence.

        • R Vogel

          Jesus had no problem condemning their faith, ‘Woe to you, hypocrites, you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering go in.” “Woe to you, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices…but you neglect the important matters of the law – justice, mercy and faithfulness.” “Woe to you, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are!:”

          This is why the world scoffs at the so-called ‘moral authority’ of christianity -how can it face the evil in the world when it can’t even deal with the evil in its own midst? Slavery in the US was ended 150 years ago, yet the church is still rife with racism, women gained the right to vote 100 years ago, and still it is rife with misogyny, and now the principalities and powers that rule christianity have declared that out LBGT brothers and sisters cannot be christian, cannot serve Christ in the manner he commanded us, and are willing to sacrifice children in order to enforce their depraved ideology. What will be our response? Hand-wringing about how sad we are? Lamenting about how we are not all like that? Or are we going to make a stand, the stand of Jesus?

  • John Crane

    For years, my husband and I who are both ex-Mormons have tried to explain this away: maybe they just don’t understand the Bible; maybe they just need to know somebody who is gay; maybe it hasn’t been explained to them properly. I have had pretty good luck talking to Christians one on one and changing hearts and mind, but still there is a die-hard core who will not change, no matter what.

    For example, in each of our families, there are a couple of died-in-the-wool Mormons who will not accept us, much less acknowledge us or our marriage. The rest of both families is fairly open and accepting. But, it’s that hard-code. You can see the same thing with movement in the polls. Acceptance is growing in all demographics, but much less so in the South, among Republicans, and among older voters.

    We’ve analyzed this and talked about this for years. There really is no other explanation for it other than pure hatred.

    “We can easily reduce our detractors to absurdity and show them their hostility is groundless. But what does this prove? That their hatred is real. When every slander has been rebutted, every misconception cleared up, every false opinion about us overcome, intolerance itself will remain finally irrefutable.” Moritz Goldstein 1912 – from his essay “The German-Jewish Parnassus”

  • James Walker

    I’m reminded of the passage from One by Richard Bach where the characters of Richard and Leslie meet Jean-Paul Le Clerc in 12th century France. Le Clerc has just been given a book of universal truth and love by an angel and his response is to burn the book, scattering the ashes, in order to avoid the inevitable rise of the “Pageite Priesthood” and the “Wars of The Pages” after humans got hold of any such scripture.

    Perhaps there’s a reason the New Testament writers tell us that the new Law of Jesus is written in our hearts rather than being written in a book. Perhaps in their lifetimes they already saw factions and strife develop during the infancy of this new Church they had founded on the life and teachings of the “Good Man” they knew as Jesus.

    If any of use were to break away from Christianity, giving it up as a lost cause, whatever we call ourselves afterward will be subject to the same human flaws and failings and will inevitably have factions and schisms of its own. I’m not sure there’s any real choice here but to try and try and try some more to work from within the “big tent” of the Christian faith and Church.

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

      I’ve long wonderered what would happen if the Bible ceased to exist, suddenly removed from our access, now and forever, with any attempts to recreate it discovered impossible.

      What would happen to the faiths built around it, what would happen to religion, and to individual partakers? What would the fall out be? Would we learn we were more enlightened with our literate abilities and our tangible tools, or were more blinded by dependence on book, creed and tradition?

      Yeah, I ponder stuff like that all the time.

      • Matt

        There are people who have the entire Bible committed to memory. I know the important parts. Unless those memories were wiped as well, I think we could carry on. I know that my own practice of faith would not change in the slightest. I personally consider a faith that can’t be practiced completely alone and without any tools to not be developed enough.

        It might free us up for more productive discussion, since there would be no literal Bible to hide behind. But who knows?

        • http://twitter.com/twbtwb Tim Wilson-Brown

          Wouldn’t we just end up subject to the tyranny of memory?
          (Then again, this is often how many proof-texting debates progress, even with ready access to the scriptures. Access doesn’t force comprehension, after all…)

          • Bones

            I’ve been worried about my kids lately cos we’ve been going to a Pentecostal church which my wife likes but are very conservative in theology. I used to be very active in ministry including preaching but I now rarely go.

            I had a great discussion last night with my 10 year old who was asking me why God made dinosaurs millions of years ago, yet the Bible said it happened over 7 days.

            I’ve been thinking of this discussion and how I’m going to raise my kids with the Bible and as open minded Christians. Thought it was time to start educating him about the Bible so he doesn’t become one of these ignorant Bible bashers.

            Went through his Action Bible with him and went through all the stories like Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah, the Exodus, Samson, Ezekiel’s Valley of Dry Bones even Revelation and how they didn’t actually happen but were written for a purpose and from the viewpoint of an ancient people 2500 years ago.

            They were just stories. Like the parables Jesus told. Even talked a a bit about the context of Revelation and how it had nothing to do with the future.

            Even he could see that God doesn’t send armies to kill people. That’s educating a child to read critically. I even told him some people won’t like you for saying that.

            Hopefully when he encounters verses on homosexuality these discussions will help him and he’ll be open-minded.

            The Bible is not a law book. The laws it contains are for a different culture and a different time and are as relevant as Ancient Egyptian Laws.

            I’m not going to be responsible for raising a religious bigot.

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

            Sounds like a healthy solution.

        • Bones

          That would make us like the early Christians.

          No Bible to hit each on the head with.

      • lymis

        People would write a new one.

        And it would be the same mix as the current one – stirring and beautiful attempts by people who sincerely try to document their own personal and community contact with That Which Is Greater Than All We Can Imagine combined with the work of people whose primary motivation is to control people through fear and guilt.

        In other words, it would be thoroughly human, and, like a stained glass window, the Divine would shine through parts of it, blocked by other parts of it, and inevitably colored by the medium that transmits it.

        If anything, the biggest flaw in the Bible is that it was locked down and declared to be final, rather than continuing to grow and absorb the wisdom of other branches of humanity and new insights that came with changing times, which distanced it from its human origins.

        The Bible is not the Word of God, nor is it the Biography of God. It’s the minutes of one chapter of God’s Fan Club. As such, it gets some things deeply, incredibly, beautifully right, and some things frighteningly wrong.

        Again, deeply human. And of course, the deepest experience of being human is where we humans each individually encounter God.

        • Andy

          Spot on. I wish everyone could understand this.

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

            Evolution at work. We are witnessing the process.

        • Linnea912

          “The minutes of one chapter of God’s Fan Club.”
          WHOOMP! THERE IT IS!

  • R Vogel

    So to answer your question, ‘Why the surprise?’ I was raised in conservative christianity, not sure how all the terms charismatic, pentecostal, evangelical apply, but demonizing gay people was a major theme, so the leadership’s reaction was no surprise – however 2000 terminated sponsorships was where I was personally taken aback…and appalled. This wasn’t just not buying chicken sandwiches, or even stopping donating to an organization, this was looking into the face of that child hanging on the refrigerator, with whom you have traded letters, for whom you have prayed, and declaring that oppressing gay people was more important than they are, telling the world that you are willing to cast them into the furnace rather than risk your money being tainted by the fact that there might be a legally and perhaps even church-sanctioned married gay person anywhere in the supply chain. That is a depth of evil I honestly cannot even comprehend.

  • Josh Magda

    R Vogel: “Why should anyone who wants to follow Jesus of the Bible remain christian if it means appearing to have solidarity with that level of depravity? Why should we all continue to provide them cover with the ‘not all like that’ moniker?”

    This is how I feel, roughly half of the time. Let them have their word, if its that important to them. Just fucking TAKE IT. It doesn’t add one iota of legitimacy to what they are, by and large: antiChrist cowards.
    Then, I think about their children, and the future of our World, and I realize that holding a public space for generous-spirited Christianity is important. Not as important as actually living the faith, whatever we call it or do not call it, but still important, not necessarily for our sakes, but for THEIRS, and those they recruit. In a spiritually starved civilization, they cannot be allowed to just run off with the name Jesus and Christ, or be allowed to impact the culture into a myopic echo chamber sounding forth to the destruction of humanity. Authentic Jesus people have to resist them.

    As Rabbi Heschel said, echoing the Genesis Rabbah, true Love “interferes” with injustice. Justice is balance. We are the balance. If we leave, no one else will be speaking in Christ’s name, except the fundamentalists and those that parody their conjugal worldview: missional atheists. In short, no one will have to encounter authentic religion, which is the only legitimate threat to the intellectual success of the fundamentalist-atheist binary that presently dominates the public conversation about worldviews. Worldviews matter, to the extent that they help open us to the life of the Spirit.

    For the actual life of the Spirit is what matters most of all, and the spiritual life of humanity and the flourishing of Earth community, is what all of this is ultimately about to begin with. So we have to put up with it. At least those of us that remain Christian do, as its not all about us. Sometimes, our Souls get wrapped up into things that must be done though we wish it were otherwise. “The one who is able to accept this, should accept it.”

    • Jill

      “As Rabbi Heschel said…true Love “interferes” with injustice. Justice is balance. We are the balance.”

      Yes, all the above. Thank you Josh.

    • R Vogel

      Josh, thank you for your words. I appreciate the sentiment but I think you misunderstand my point, let me try to clarify – for the sake of the world, for the sake of their children, I think we need to break fellowship with these brood of vipers who shut off the kingdom of heaven from people. Our children are fleeing the faith in droves because to them their religion of death and hate is the same thing as ‘the faith.’ Our witness as ‘christians’ is swallowed up in the world by their hate. We can still speak in Christ’s name, we can still love the world in the way Jesus taught. We are just making a declarative statement to the world that we do not stand with them, that we have no unity, no solidarity with them and their twisted, depraved idol they call Jesus but we know is simply Baal. As I said earlier, are we so invested in the label ‘christian’ that it has become an idol in and of itself? If our right hand causes us to stumble, isn’t it better to cut it off than the whole body go into hell?

      • R Vogel

        Let me just follow up and say that none of this is directed at my LBGT brothers and sisters. They resist this evil everyday of their lives by simply having the audacity to exist. I, privileged white, straight, middle class, American, have no right to ask anything more from them, But what of me? What will I do? If my LBGT brothers and sister have been declared not christian by the principalities and powers that rule the power structure that calls itself christianity, than I am not a christian either. Fighting against them directly is futile – they have the power, the money, the organization, and they are willing to stoop to any depth of depravity, but I can resist. I can refuse to identify with them. I can stand in solidarity with the poor, the oppressed, the persecuted rather than with the rich, the oppressor and the persecutor. It is the only power I have.

        • Andy

          “Christian” is just a label anyway, and one that the early followers of Jesus did not use, as far as we know.

  • Albert Swanson

    I honestly love all people but I seriously am afraid that most of you are choosing to twist the teachings of the bible until they suit your own life choices. The Bible is pretty clear about homosexuality being a sin but so many of you are so adamant to follow your own desires and make the Bible whatever you want it to be. Maybe you are struggling with homosexuality or you know and care of someone that is so this part of the Bible is uncomfortable for you. But I have news for you the Bible is not supposed to make you feel comfortable. They are Gods laws for us not your laws for him. It’s supposed to tell you the truth so that you can save yourself. That does not mean that Christians should hate homosexuals. Obviously we are called to love one another and not judge each other. We should love each other so much that we want to teach homosexuals about Gods laws and try and save them. Homosexuality is no different than any other sin discussed in the Bible. You can be forgiven but you have to actually recognize that you are sinning and genuinely want to stop. Whether you are a liar a thief an adulterer or homosexual. Just as a drug addict has to put his desires passed him a homosexual must also put the word of God ahead of his own fleshly desires. You all have a silly idea of God. You believe God put you here to be happy with yourself but really God put us here to serve him. You have to really be in denial or trying to twist God’s word if you are not willing to recognize that God clearly states homosexuality is a sin. It may not make you feel comfortable now but the sufferings and sacrifices of this world will pay out for an eternity.

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore
      • Albert Swanson

        Thanks for the intelligent conversation… Don’t include links in your rebuttal. I included the Holy Bible teachings and Word of God. My source is thousands of years old. How old is yours?

        • Bones

          What’s this thing about God’s Laws?

          Jesus only gave one law: love God, yourself and others.

          The other stuff is ancient irrelevance.

          We aren’t Jews therefore we aren’t bound by Law but by grace.

          Of course if you knew the Holy Bible you would know that.

          That’s if you believe God gave Moses the laws which I reject as impossible.

          It’s a matter of picking which verses you want others to follow.

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

          The link goes to where John’s rebuttal is contained, and he’s covered this in great detail. You simply included your opinion on what the Bible states, pulling out a few, badly overused/misused sentences to “prove” your point.
          Then there is this. If you are supposed to love each other and not judge them, then why are you judging others, based on what you think they are doing wrong? Aren’t you instead supposed to be concentrating on the larger issue at hand, your own imperfections, and let everyone else deal with their own imperfections, without any input from you? That’s what the parable of the beam and the mote state, as well as in other locations throughout the bible.

          • Albert Swanson

            Did Jesus not question and correct the prostitute at the well? Judging and helping are not the same thing. Your stance is that you do not want to hear my opinion. You get mad at me but I am just doing what the Bible says. So where is the fault in that? You think because we live in new times that means the Bible does not apply? God Has seen all of eternity he knows about all times but yet provided this Bible the way we have it.

          • Andy

            Your stance is that you do not want to hear my opinion.

            Where did she say that?

          • James Walker

            what are you referring to here?

            Did Jesus not question and correct the prostitute at the well?

            are you perhaps mixing the story of the Samaritan woman at the well with the story of the woman caught in adultery?

            in the story of the Samaritan woman, Jesus didn’t really question her. just revealed some facts about her she didn’t think a stranger would know. He didn’t correct her either. not one word was said negatively about her sex life.

            and the story gives us no reason at all to call the Samaritan woman a prostitute

        • James Walker

          You came to the blog of a Christian writer who has been studying and writing, literally for years, about how “traditional” Christian teaching on homosexuality is wrong and unbiblical. You’re going to tell that writer you’re too important to be bothered READING his material, and you expect that to get a pass here?

        • Ashley Cohea

          If you’d read the link included, you wouldn’t have to ask how old it is.

      • Albert Swanson

        John, remember who God punished the hardest in the Bible and who Jesus was most upset with? It wasnt the prostitute, thief, or the tax man. It was the pharisees or the leaders that were leading everyone else in the wrong direction. It was those that should have known better.

    • Jill

      “You all have a silly idea of God.”

      So do you.

      …is that how this game works?

    • lrfcowper

      What was written in a suzerainty treaty between YHWH and the people of Israel has absolutely zero relevance to Christians or anyone else who is not part of that covenant. We are specifically told throughout the New Covenant writings that trying to place ourselves within the Old Covenant places us under condemnation and nullifies Christ’s grace. Why you would want to do so mystifies me. The only reason I can think that you would want to place someone else under the Old Covenant while enjoying the New Covenant for yourself is because you are cruel and unloving, in which case, you have failed to uphold the only single law those under the New Covenant are to follow. Either that or you are simply ignorant of what Jesus Christ actually taught.

      And, no, the destruction of a city already condemned by God for pride and failure of hospitality has no relevance to lgbt people. No, not even when you consider an attempted gang rape. And if you can’t distinguish between rape and consensual sex, then I’m not interested in your “morality.”

      And, no, you can’t pull out Paul’s refutation of the Levitical law in Romans 1 as a prooftext. And, no, Jude’s mention of Sodom is *still* about rape and still doesn’t apply. And, no, those words that conservative Bible translators decided to make about homosexuality because no one thinks masturbation is a horrible win anymore don’t actually mean what you think they mean.

      • Bill Steffenhagen

        ******Either that or you are simply ignorant of what Jesus Christ actually taught.*******

        Actually, that pretty much nails it.

      • Albert Swanson

        You do realize the New Testament talks about homosexuality right? You keep saying old covenant like it dropped off or something. What dropped off were the traditional ordinances. All of the 10 commandments and sins covered in the Old Testament are covered again in the New Testament. Soooo what are you taking about?

        • lymis

          The English translations of the New Testament talk about homosexuality. It’s pretty universally acknowledged that in the original languages and early translations, all the New Testament references most people quote were clearly indicating either idolatry, child prostitution, or heterosexuals getting their kink on – not committed love between people of a same-sex orientation.

          You might as well discuss the New Testament rules about using the Internet or antibiotics. It’s not there in the original.

        • lrfcowper

          No, it doesn’t. I covered that in my last paragraph, if you were paying attention, which apparently you weren’t.

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

      Hi Albert –

      First – I don’t struggle with homosexuality; I’m very good at it.

      Second – The theology to which you subscribe is toxic. It has caused irrefutable harm on flesh-and-blood people. To choose this belief (and it is a choice) is to knowingly inflict harm. Your belief is immoral.

      Third, and related to the second – The bible has a lot to say about what it means to be human and where sexuality and sex fit into that experience. We are created as relational beings – we are meant to be in relationship. Sexuality helps us connect to other people, and sex is a profound expression of intimacy that can profoundly bond us to our partners.

      Nowhere in the bible does it say that the human experience is different for people who are gay. It doesn’t say “Man was not meant to be alone unless your’re gay”. Paul didn’t say “Its better to marry than burn with passion…unless you’re gay.”

      To insist that all gay people are intended to suppress and deny God’s gift of sexuality is to tie heavy, cumbersome loads to people who are gay.

      So stop it. Stop being anti-gay. You’re not being faithful to the bible, you’re being faithful to a tradition of marginalizing gay people. You’re causing harm.

      • Jill

        This comment needs to be bookmarked for future reference.

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

        “First – I don’t struggle with homosexuality; I’m very good at it.”

        I think that qualifies for a win.

      • Albert Swanson

        The Bible does not say anything about what you have just claimed. It does not say sexuality is a good thing. The Bible does say that it is better to be married then to give into your sexual desires and that sex between a husband and wife is a part of a good marriage. It does not say sex between a man and a man or woman and a woman is a good thing. In fact it says that you are not supposed to do that and multiple verses.

        • Andy

          “It does not say sexuality is a good thing.”

          If you can infer from any of the “clobber passages” that homosexuality is wrong, I think we can infer from the Song of Solomon that sexuality is definitely a good thing.

          “It does not say sex between a man and a man or woman and a woman is a good thing.”

          It also doesn’t say that condemning other people for things that they have no control over is a good thing, but that’s what you’re doing.

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

            OK – dude…you TOTALLY are psychic or something…how’d you know I was going to think “Song of Solomon”?

            And, BTW, how do you get the offset-bar-next-to-it-quote-level text effect thing? That’d be really handy and I don’t know how to do it (or any text effects other than CAPS).

          • Andy

            Great minds think alike, I guess. :)

            I use the HTML tag “blockquote”. I also use “em” to italicize.

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

            Is that English?

          • Andy

            Is what English? HTML? Blockquote and em?

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

            Yes. And the way those “words” are all strung together. I got an A in seventh grade diagramming. I’m not sure that you used a verb;)

          • Andy

            I used the verb “use”.

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

            Fair enough. It got buried in the words the kids use these days ;)

          • hyhybt

            Oddly enough, yes, it’s English. HTML is a basic element of the world Wide Web. Tags say what to do with what’s between them, but are themselves normally invisible. They come in pairs, and take the form to begin and to end. (I hope the empty ones, at least, show up.) if you put “em” instead of the space, it makes whatever’s between the tags italicized; if you put “blockquote” there, it’s treated as a block quote, and so on.

            In the rest of this post, please read { as . {blockquote}Once you buy a prize, it’s {em}yours to keep.{/em}{/blockquote} yields

            Once you buy a prize, it’s yours to keep.

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

            Holy Cow! You rock hybt! Or should I say

            You ROCK!!!

          • hyhybt

            Why thank you! But I was just expanding what another said.

          • hyhybt

            The vertical orange stripe appears when you follow a link to a specific post on the page; say, by clicking “read more” or “reply to…” links within an email notification rather than just replying to it. I think it also shows if you click a “show x new replies” button on the page itself.

          • hyhybt

            Forget what I just said.

          • Albert Swanson

            Really? I am condemning you? Do you think I have the power to send you to hell? Man does not condemn only God does. I am trying to help you because I would love to see you and heaven with me someday.

          • Andy

            You’re condemning gay people. Were you condemning me too? (I’m straight, in case you were wondering.)

            And my salvation is not your business.

          • Albert Swanson

            Well speaking from the Bible that is actually not totally true. The Bible commands Christians to Evangelize which means go out and spread the news of Jesus Christ. If a woman was in a Burning building would you not go over and tell her that the building is on fire? Would you not say hey this building is on fire you really need to get out of here before you burn. Or would you walk away? Most of us would step up and do the right thing and that is only an earthly demise. i am concerned with eternal salvation And eternal burning. And it is my duty as a Christian to try and spread the word. If everyone else was being a good Christian I would not have to even be talking about homosexuality but you and this website operate solely to encourage supposedly Christians to continue homosexual activity. You are encouraging people to sin. You are the ones that are condemning People. Certainly I am not perfect myself but I do not go around telling people to commit sins

          • hyhybt

            It does, though, get old when people keep insisting you flee a building that’s not on fire just because they insist it is.

          • Andy

            “Well speaking from the Bible that is actually not totally true.”

            Again, your interpretation. Considering the many writings that make up the bible were all written more than 1,000 years ago, and how often they’ve been translated, I don’t think you have a whole lot of reason to say you know for a fact that it’s not true.

            “The Bible commands Christians to Evangelize which means go out and spread the news of Jesus Christ.”

            Provide a citation for this, please.

            “If a woman was in a Burning building would you not go over and tell her that the building is on fire?”

            Of course. There is a clear and present danger.

            “i am concerned with eternal salvation And eternal burning.”

            Of course you are. I am not, because I don’t really think I believe in hell. I do not believe an all-loving God would send his children to eternal damnation.

            “And it is my duty as a Christian to try and spread the word.”

            No it’s not. Everyone already knows about Jesus. They don’t need to be told. They can make up their own minds.

            “If everyone else was being a good Christian I would not have to even be talking about homosexuality”

            This I agree with, but not for the same reason you do. If everyone were being good Christians, nobody would care about a person’s orientation and nobody would condemn anyone else for being different.

            “but you and this website operate solely to encourage supposedly Christians to continue homosexual activity.”

            You didn’t do your research before posting this comment.

            “You are encouraging people to sin.”

            I most certainly am not. I encourage people to be themselves without fear of damnation from a vengeful god.

            “You are the ones that are condemning People.”

            Whom did I condemn? Please refresh my memory.

            “Certainly I am not perfect myself but I do not go around telling people to commit sins”

            Neither do I. You seem to be laboring under the delusion that homosexuality is a sin. You can go ahead and believe that crap if you want, but keep it to yourself. You are not going to convince anyone that a singular quality of themselves, which they are powerless to change, is sinful. It is you who is condemning people here, not me.

          • Albert Swanson

            So provided…
            Matthew 28:19 ESV

            Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

            And there are many more. Actually not “everyone” knows about Jesus. If they did the world would have come to an end. The bible says as soon as the word of God has reached all of the nations of the world, than the end will come.

            You dont think an all loving God would send his children to damnation? You must really feel entitled. What do you think God owes you? Was it not enough he provided you with a book full of pages that tell you how to live your life? On judgement day, you and I will both be excuse free.

          • Albert Swanson

            Mark 16:15 ESV
            And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.

          • Bones

            “You dont think an all loving God would send his children to damnation? ”

            The funny thing is that you do.

            Any notion of God the Punisher is an idol.

            That God is not worth worshipping.

          • Albert Swanson

            The entire old testament shows a God that poors out his wrath on people who disobeyed his laws. They did not have the Grace through Jesus. Now we have Grace through Jesus but you have to actually accept Jesus for what he is and what God’s laws are.

          • Bones

            The OT reveals nothing about God or, even worse, caricatures of God which simply aren’t true.

            There is no archaeological evidence for any of the genocidal campaigns by Joshua from the excavated sites.

            Quite the opposite in fact.

            It’s weird that people still have this idea that God will punish you if you don’t obey the rules.

            Like the Pharisees did.

          • Andy

            I don’t feel entitled. I don’t think God owes me anything. I owe him my life, and I convey my gratitude on a regular basis. But I see no reason why I ought to feel “owed” anything. I already told you I don’t believe in hell — at least not the literal one, the lake of fire — and I am not interested in listening to anyone try to convince me that such a hell exists. I believe that the idea that God would send his children to hell just because they do not pass a test in a transitory life where they have free will cannot be reconciled with the idea that God is all-loving.

          • James Walker

            the Great Commission can be viewed as generally applying to all believers or it can be viewed as specifically applying only to the Apostles. I, for one, subscribe to the latter view and supplement it with the saying attributed to St. Francis (although, probably a misquote)

            Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.

          • Albert Swanson

            It says if you commit homosexuality then you will not enter the kingdom of God… sounds kinda clear to me…

          • Bones

            What is the ‘kingdom of God’?

            I bet it’s not what you think it is.

            And I bet the Bible says you won’t be in it either.

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

            I think the kingdom of God is present, here on earth, that its a mindset devoted to peace, compassion, gratitude and generosity, recognizing the immeasurable love of the divine for us, and not being able to, or wanting to contain that love for just us. so are compelled to share, by being peaceable, compassionate, grateful and generous.

          • Bones

            That is exactly what it is.

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

            I believe your statements have proven the title of the article.

          • Andy

            Citation, please.

          • Bones

            The Gospel according to Albert chapter 1.

          • Albert Swanson

            1 Cor. 6:9-10, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
            Did that give any more credence to my point? You can read it for yourself in your own bible and I doubt very much you will be swayed. You have chosen to believe as you wish so that you do not have to change your life style. If the truth stared you right in the face you would still deny it.

          • anakinmcfly

            Another translation of that exact same verse:

            “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” – KJV

            ^ nothing about homosexuality.

            The Greek words used were ‘malakoi’ and ‘arsenokoitai’. Neither was the Greek word for ‘homosexualty’. ‘Malakoi’ meant ‘weak’, which got first translated as ‘womanly’ (because women were considered weak) and then later as ‘effeminate’ so as to be a little less sexist. ‘Arsenokoitai’ is thought to have referred to a form of prostitution between a man and a boy, and got translated as ‘homosexuality’. Neither bears any relation whatsoever to two gay people falling in love.

          • Bones

            The translation of arsenokoites as homosexuals is purely the whim of the translator as in other early Christian documents it is translated as something else.

            What is the ‘kingdom of God?’

            It sure as heck isn’t heaven.

            You’d think God would make it more obvious than use made up Greek words which were never used before.

            The fist instance of this word ever being used is in Paul.

          • Andy

            Ah, the simple exegesis based on a likely flawed (or at least oversimplified) translation. Well done.

            This completely debunks your BS. Also, I dare you to meet some of the many wonderful gay Christians in this world and tell them they’re going to hell. Go ahead. Let me know how that goes.

            Snark aside, I implore you to listen to your heart, and read what John and some other great voices have said on this matter. And, at the risk of bringing up a somewhat hoary meme from the 90s, ask yourself what Jesus would do.

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

            I always find it amazing how the rest of that so called, “keep you out of our kingdom” is utterly ignored. You don’t here such vehemence or lenghty campaigning against drinking alcahol, or shoplifters, or cheating on one’s taxes, or being consumer driven. Not even people who don’t bother with the whole wedding thing to have sex, or who get all gooey-eyed and enraptured everytime the see or think about, their favorite enamoured object or personality….

            No….its just de gays. always de gays, that are reviled, and given justification by this stupid list of Paul’s, and then completely deconstructed to mean only one group of people out of the ten listed.

            Which is why I call bullshit on that. Paul can keep his opinion, or maybe how others have turned it into something that he never intended it to mean.

          • hyhybt

            Some of those are much less hypocritical than the others. The police already go after shoplifters and tax cheats, and almost nobody argues they’re really OK things to do. And there never was a time, so far as I can tell, where Christianity as a whole was against drinking alcohol, not even when large sections of it in the US were working hard to stamp it out.

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

          Wow, Albert.

          “[The bible] does not say sexuality is a good thing.”
          Have you READ Song of Solomon? I mean…come on…who needs porn?

          • Albert Swanson

            That story is about a king and his bride. Not a bride and her queen.

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

            Albert,
            I don’t want to be dismissive, so suffice it to say I don’t agree. I hope you take me at my word that I have faithfully tried to discern Gods will for my life. Could I be wrong in my conclusions? Maybe. And maybe so could you. We all walk by faith.
            I am as secure in my salvation as any one of us can be. So please accept me as a sibling in Christ, and let’s wish each other well in the journey.

          • hyhybt

            If God doesn’t forgive honest error, we’re ALL doomed.

          • Bones

            God seems to be obsessed with right thinking.

            The mentally disabled are stuffed.

            And Democrats.

          • Albert Swanson

            I dont know what your trying to say about democrats but the bible talks about mentally disabled and those children that die before they have knowledge. I believe God will take care of them Justly. That is a whole other topic.

          • Albert Swanson

            Honest error? what is your error? You have no excuse. You have been warned by both the bible and at least myself. Now perhaps some angry “christians” called you names at one point and told you that you would burn in hell and treated you poorly and that is why you all have treated me wrongly. That is not what i came here to do. The bible says no man has excuse if he does not follow God’s word. Everyone has been warned.

          • hyhybt

            If I thought I were in error, it wouldn’t be an honest one, now, would it? But everybody’s going to be wrong on something, and at least one of us is wrong about this, since we disagree.

          • Albert Swanson

            Right… but if I am wrong I am still not sinning… Being wrong in and of itself is not a sin. But if you are wrong than you have been sinning all along….
            My only area of concern for myself would be that I am not crossing the line from trying to help you to arguing simply to argue with you which would be sinful. That is a fine line and I am trying to be careful to not cross it.

          • Albert Swanson

            I have always accepted you. I speak out of love not out of bigotry or disgust for homosexuals. I have close family that is gay and I love them just as much as i would if they were straight. But i always will want to try and guide them.

          • Matt

            Loving full-grown adults means trusting them to make the right decisions in their own lives. You only “guide” children. I sincerely doubt that any of your family members want to be condescended to like that. You don’t hold a monopoly on the truth any more than the rest of the human race does.

          • hyhybt

            Love without understanding is often more hurtful than plain old hatred.

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

            Take it from me, if you express these beliefs with the moral certitude you’ve used in these comments, then you’re certainly driving them away from the cross and possibly towards their grave.

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

            But i always will want to try and guide them.

            Because it is obvious that you know best?

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

            When someone sets themselves up as an unasked spiritual guide, the person who is the target is not going to feel guided, or loved, but cornered and offended. They will usually do what they can to avoid any “spiritual guide” conversations. Mostly, because they don’t need such “guidance” to begin with.

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

            Unfortunately I do so much of it myself. This makes Albert, my Guru for the day.

          • James Walker

            Albert – you’re being obtuse. Ford didn’t direct your attention to Song of Solomon to present the case that homosexual sex was displayed in the Bible as “a good thing” but that the Bible does contain at least one overwhelmingly positive portrayal of sexual expression.

          • Albert Swanson

            Okay, thats great. A story in the bible talking about sex between two straight married people does not back the point that was originally made. That story does not imply or say that sex in general is good. Sex between a married man and woman is a good thing and the bible even says why. Because it is better to enjoy your spouse than to give into sinful temptations.

          • James Walker

            the fact you can say all that with a straight face, knowing Solomon is purported to have had multiple hundreds of wives and concubines…

            That story does not imply or say that sex in general is good.

            ok. sure.

          • anakinmcfly

            But that still comes back to you saying that straight people can have sex – they just have to get married – whereas gay people can’t have sex ever. We’re not talking promiscuity. We’re talking just one. One same-sex partner. Same standards for gay people as straight people. I’d love to enjoy my spouse and nobody else ever, but in order for me to have said spouse, gay marriage needs to be legal (and I need to actually find a boyfriend).

          • Jill

            “Albert — you’re being obtuse.”

            Understatement of the year.

        • Bones

          OK we’re not supposed to have sex and sex (which God created) is not a good thing

          Hands up who agrees with that?

          Put your hand down Paul! You Platonist!

          • Albert Swanson

            You really think God wants you to run around having sex with anyone you please? That is a fairly loose approach to life.

          • Bones

            I don’t think God’s interested in sex.

            Not as much as you are anyway.

          • Albert Swanson

            You have a pretty interesting idea of God. Seems like you view God as that buddy you take to a rock concert and get stoned with. Then you both go pick up some chicks/dudes and stage an orgy in your van. I see God as the creator of the universe and the being that gives me everything I have. He says dont be gay, I dont be gay. Very simply. He says jump. I jump.

          • Bones

            He says ‘kill heretics’, I kill heretics.

            Nope, God’s not interested in sex.

    • Lamont Cranston

      Suffer now for pie in the sky later? No, thanks. This is the only life I’m certain to have and I’ll live it the way I see fit. And I have no interest in being forgiven by your imaginary friends.

      • Albert Swanson

        Your notion of suffering is uniformed. If you think that not being able to engage in homosexual activities is suffering then you really have never suffered. I’m not asking you to nail yourself to a cross here. Do you have any concept of how long an eternity is? Even if you suffered every day for hundred years it would not even register as a blip on the measurement scale of eternity. I’m not suffering enough being a Christian. I’m happy and following God’s words. And I understand that this life means Very little in comparison to the big picture. If this little bit of persecution I am taking right now is the most I will have to endure in my life I am a lucky man. Thank U God.

    • lrfcowper

      Also, I’m honestly disturbed by the idea underlying some of your statement that discomfort is a metric of righteousness. “I’m miserable, so I must be doing religion right!” A theology that harms people should make us uncomfortable, not because it is moral, but because it goes against the very bedrock of morality laid down in scripture– Love others as you love yourself by doing to and for them what you would have done to and for yourself.

      Comfort or discomfort are not good metrics for morality, nor are they ever suggested as such in the Bible. Bearing false witness (the Bible doesn’t condemn all lying) isn’t wrong because it makes us uncomfortable, but because it harms the person about whom we are lying. Stealing is wrong because it would be easier than working, but because it is unloving and harmful to another person. Adultery isn’t wrong because it’s pleasurable, it’s wrong because we are harming a family (or two) by weakening the bonds of intimacy and trust. Drug use isn’t wrong because it’s awesome to get high, but because we are harming ourselves and potentially others and/or our relationships with them.

      Same-sex relationships can be wrong if they are adulterous, abusive, or otherwise harmful, but the same can be said for opposite-sex relationships. The same kind of relationships that are not sinful for heterosexuals– loving, consensual, committed– are equally not sinful for LGBT people because when you apply the same metric to all people– Is this loving or unloving?– they come back with the same answer.

      • hyhybt

        It’s an easy trap to fall into, moving from “what’s right is not always fun/easy/comfortable/etc.” to “this must be right *because* it’s not fun/easy/comfortable/etc.”

      • Albert Swanson

        You have all terribly misunderstood me. I am not saying that you have to be miserable to be a good Christian but I am saying you should not be putting your own happiness over the instruction from our God. In fact the Bible does tell us that if we are good Christians we should be suffering and being persecuted as Christ was. If you are spreading the word of Jesus people will persecute you. Maybe not physically but they will talk down to you and treat you like you are fanatic. But was Jesus fanatic? If the Bible told you to jump would you not jump? But you people want to treat homosexuality like it is so much different. It is covered in Scripture with other sins that you are willing to accept alongside it but not homosexuality. It is also covered in the Old Testament and New Testament so there can be no doubt of the meaning. Don’t call yourselves Christians if you’re not willing to take all of God’s word. You may be fooling yourselves and others but God knows your heart. I just like all of you am a sinner and we are free from God’s wrath if we believe in Christ. But you have to actually believe you are sinning and not think your behavior is acceptable. I freely admit my sins. My conscience tells me I am doing wrong and I feel sorry when I do. But you are living and sin because you do not feel like you are doing anything wrong.

        • lymis

          “If the Bible told you to jump would you not jump?”

          I don’t make a habit of talking to books.

          “Don’t call yourselves Christians if you’re not willing to take all of God’s word.”

          Would that include the part of God’s word where Jesus clearly stated that there were truths that he had not shared because his disciples were not ready for them, but that the Holy Spirit would continue to guide and teach?

          If you claim that the only experience of God is found in the Bible, and not in our hearts, that is in itself a denial of the words of Jesus as recorded in the Bible.

          “If you are spreading the word of Jesus people will persecute you. Maybe not physically but they will talk down to you and treat you like you are fanatic.”

          I firmly believe that was intended as a reassurance, not a goal.

          • Albert Swanson

            So he tells you that there are truths he has not shared and you assume he’s referring to homosexuality? Bold assumption. You think that God inspires all human feelings? What about people who feel the urge to murder or cheat or lie? Two of those sins are covered in the same paragraph as homosexuality.

          • Bones

            The actual Greek words are unclear. Martin Luther translated the word some versions now translate as homosexuals as masturbators.

            Even so it’s Paul’s opinions.

            Not God’s.

          • Albert Swanson

            Inspired by God. If nothing in the bible is inspired by God than it might as well all be discounted. I of course do not believe that.

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

            Inspired by God. If nothing in the bible is inspired by God than it might as well all be discounted.

            Why would you deny the voices that you debate the same status?

            Answer: You have poured wax in your ears, and hear nothing but the echo of your own limitations.

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

            And then there is this, if nothing in the bible is inspired by God, then God will still find a way to give us inspiration, just like always.

          • Albert Swanson

            So if I felt a lust for a man it must be God telling me to go for it? Could it just be my own sinful nature?

          • Bones

            Or it could just be attraction.

            You know like being attracted to a woman.

            Nothing wrong with that.

          • Albert Swanson

            That sounds like that could mean basically anything. Your basically saying that any “feeling” I get could be interpreted as God. Does that really seem any more reliable than the bible?

          • Bones

            Yes, a bit like yours.

            I’m convinced that allegro’s understanding of scripture is correct.

            Yours isn’t.

          • Albert Swanson

            Because I know the bible is Gods Word. You are not. You are speaking for yourself. Should I listen to a murderer that says he did it for God?

          • Bones

            The Bible’s not God’s Word.

            Why should we listen to you?

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

            Because I know the bible is Gods Word.

            How did you come by this knowledge?

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

            Excellent question brmckay.

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

            I’m going all Socratic on him now. Sharing the workload.

            Don’t really want to take away his certainty. It is a precious thing. Compassion, empathy and veracity will have to come in their own time. It’s not up to me.

            I wonder who the preachers and parents are, who have provided us such an abundance of convolution.

            Naivete can be a virtue when approaching God. But this kind is different. It’s been preprocessed just to fill pews.

          • Albert Swanson

            The only resource we have available, God’s Word. Or would you propose I follow the word of “brmckay,” from the ever so reliable internet. It’s pretty laughable when you put them side to side. No disrespect intended.

          • anakinmcfly

            The Holy Spirit was supposed to be a resource too.

          • hyhybt

            Gets tough when people who believe they are informed by the Holy Spirit say opposite things.

          • Bones

            Dude, your opinion has just as much weight as brmckay as you are on the ever so reliable internet..

            Its pretty laughable that you think your interpretation is above everyone else’s here.

            No disrespect intended.

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

            How do you know it’s God’s word…and you cannot use the 2 Timothy 3:16 attempt for proof which was written before there was such a thing as a Bible. A quote from a book that says it is its own proof, just doesn’t lend credibility, but the quote seems to be either the opinion of the author, or even a notation that a translator mistakenly added at some point later on.

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

            List of murderers who believed they did it for God: Samson, David, Elijah, Paul.

          • Jill

            Touché.

        • hyhybt

          Lowering the bar for persecution to the level you want would be a gross insult to those who genuinely are or have been persecuted.

          • Albert Swanson

            Define the word how you want. That was not the point. The point was to say that we are all supposed to suffer and sacrifice a little bit for our God. To say that you are only meant to be happy in this life and that your desires come first means that you are putting God backseat.

          • hyhybt

            And I haven’t said that.

            But I see people basically deciding to call anything they don’t happen to like “persecution,” and that’s not only an insult to those who really *have* been persecuted, it’s also fundamentally dishonest. Do we not agree that lying is a sin?

          • Albert Swanson

            Agreed. Now please refer to the definition of persecution…

            hostility and ill-treatment, esp. because of race or political or religious beliefs.

          • Albert Swanson

            I would say you folks are being a bit hostile.

        • lrfcowper

          I’ve had plenty of people talking smack at me. Almost all of them were “good Christians” who didn’t like me standing up for the civil rights and justice of LGBT people. I’ve been persecuted plenty for Christ. Homosexuality is not talked about or condemned in scripture, period. You have been misled by the pharisees of the modern era who are corrupted by their desire for wealth and power.

          And, for the record, I’m not gay, and “you people” tells me all I need to know about your judgementalism.

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

      Preaching at people just will have them tune you out. Deciding that someone makes you uncomfortable, therefore God is uncomfortable with them, and to use a couple of dubious Bible verses to give a paragraph long treatise to justify your discomfort…just has people tune you out. In fact I can bet my itty bitty paycheck, that most people didn’t get past the second sentence of what you wrote.

      • Andy

        I skimmed it any it made my eyes hurt.

    • Andy

      Pray tell, what credentials do you have that make you a better expert on exegesis than the rest of us?

      • Albert Swanson

        My credentials are the Bible. I actually read it and interpret it like a rational thinking person would. You read it and make something of it that it does not say so that it suits your life. What credentials do you have to change the word of God?

        • Andy

          I don’t have such credentials, but the bible isn’t the word of God. It’s the word of men. You can debate whether or not the bible was dictated or inspired by God or whatever, but there’s no evidence that God actually wrote the bible.

          And you are so completely wrong about our exegesis, but it appears to me that you have no interest in anyone’s perspective but your own, so I will not waste my time explaining anything to you.

          • Albert Swanson

            If the bible is not the word of God than how can you ague the merit in your sins. If the bible is not the word of God than who is to say there are any sins at all? Or that there is a God for that matter? If you don’t believe the bible is the inspired word of God than why are you arguing from the perspective of a Christian? You are not a Christian if that is your belief.

          • Andy

            I don’t give a shit if you think I am or not. “Christian” is just a word.

            And I didn’t say I didn’t think the bible was the inspired word of God. I simply said it was up for debate. Don’t put words in my mouth.

          • Albert Swanson

            Saying its up for debate implies you don’t actually believe it. If I said the Existence of God is up for debate would I be a a true believer? That’s not what God wants as he let us know in his word.

          • hyhybt

            It implies no such thing; only that reasonable people can come to different conclusions.

          • Albert Swanson

            Have you read the conversation? Sounds like you don’t really understand what I am saying. If you truly believe something you would not say it’s debatable. Saying it’s debatable literally means it could go either way. What about that do you not understand? And try and remember that things may be debatable to us humans but in the end there is only one absolute truth. Not everybody saying that their religion is right can be right. In the end there is only one absolute truth.

          • hyhybt

            Granted that there is only one truth, people nonetheless disagree on what that truth IS. Hence, debatable.

          • Albert Swanson

            That was not my point. My point was explaining to someone who claims to be a Christian but yet calls the bible and God debatable that they are not actually a Christian if that is their opinion.

          • hyhybt

            That’s exactly the point. That you are certain, for yourself, has nothing to do with whether a thing is debatable or not. You just made that up for the sole purpose of baselessly insulting people.

          • Albert Swanson

            No no no. He is claiming to be a Christian but is saying that he himself believes that God and the bible is debatable. That is like me saying I’m not a murder than in the next sentence saying its debatable whether I have ever murdered someone or not.

          • Bones

            You’ve had too much happy juice dude.

            They are nothing alike.

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

            If the God is not debatable, then its a puny deity, not worthy of wonder, discovery, honor, devotion. If the Bible is not debatable, then its dry, purposeless, unimportant and of little value as a tool to learn or gain insight from.

          • Albert Swanson

            God is certainly debatable to people who are not Christians. But once you call yourself a Christian and disciple of Jesus Christ you cannot find it debatable. If you do, than your not really committing yourself entirely which goes against what God says several (under playing) times in the bible.

          • Bones

            Without doubt and questioning, you never learn anything other than what you are told.

            It’s a shame that more Christians throughout history haven’t doubted those who spoke for God.

          • Andy

            Where did I claim that I was a Christian? I’m not saying I’m not, I’m asking where I did. I think you’re putting words in my mouth again.

            Would I be correct in assuming that you don’t believe someone is a Christian if they aren’t 100% convinced that Christianity is the absolute truth?

          • Albert Swanson

            No you would be incorrect. Everyone has doubts from time to time. That is normal. But I don’t walk through life with an attitude like it could be true or it could not be true… You said your a believer but then you said that what you supposedly believe in is debatable to you. If you think logically, that clearly makes no sense. How can you believe in something and find it debatable in your head?

          • Bones

            The road to certainty is littered with corpses.

          • Andy

            I didn’t say it was debatable to me. Stop putting words in my mouth.

            And again, the definition of “believe” is rather nebulous. Does it mean I am 100% convinced that it is true? Does it mean I think it’s more likely to be true than not? Does it mean something else entirely?

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

            You don’t have the copyright! Where do you suppose you got that idea?

          • Bones

            Yes, all hail the believers of absolute truth.

            Now is your absolute truth the same as other holders of absolute truth? Like the Catholics? Muslims? Pentecostals?

            How many have died for absolute truth?

          • Albert Swanson

            Am I killing you with my words? If i have caused even one person that reads this stuff to rethink their life than I have succeeded.

          • Bones

            In the past you would have killed us for not having YOUR absolute truth.

          • Albert Swanson

            Not so. I am posting in this forum because it takes very little of my time and I have the chance to make a good impact. This mission of mine is not worth killing anyone for. Not that Jesus Christ is not the most important thing in the universe, but that God does not want me to murder anyone in his name.

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

            We understand what you are saying, we simply utterly reject it as hateful, prideful, bigoted and arrogant. In other words, you speak for yourself, only yourself, and we are not interested in what you are shilling.

          • Andy

            Depends on what you mean by the word “believe”. If I am not 100% sure that God exists, does that mean I don’t believe in God?

          • Bones

            Yep, it’s all open for debate.

            Most of the OT is fiction which has been demonstrated through archeaology and science.

            As for Paul, he was writing opinions some of which we’ve discarded.

          • Albert Swanson

            Please share bones? you have some evidence to back that up right? The Old testament is not fiction any more than the new testament is not.

          • Bones

            Complete fiction from Genesis to Joshua, with the kingdom of David being embellishment all in the name of revisionist nation building.

          • Albert Swanson

            Actually the purpose of the old testament was to show that man alone could not live a Godly life. Even as we appointed Kings to serve and represent us to God, those kings (like David) failed miserably. It was not until the ultimate king, Jesus Christ that all of Gods wishes were met. The point of the old testament was to show us that apart from God we can do nothing on our own.

          • Bones

            The last guy who asked for evidence never posted again.

            You guys are a dime a dozen.

          • Albert Swanson

            Granted I will probably not post in here again much after tonight (i hope). Its nothing personal but I dont want to argue with you folks simply to try and “win” or prove a point because that would be futile. There is no winner in this.

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

            You need a dose of humility. And I fear for that child on your shoulders. There are voices all over the internet of people who had to dig themselves out of the very same hole that you have dug.

            You espouse the most constricted and bent form, of an ancient religion. And further compound your sin, by asserting it to be written in stone.

            If Jesus met you on the street, what impression would he get?

            I think you would bring him to tears.

          • Albert Swanson

            I think we would all bring him to tears.. But he would know I at least rely on his gospel to make decisions. He might say you rely on your flesh and how you feel. I TRY and put God ahead of myself. You all don’t try at all.

          • Bones

            How nice.

            Good to see you’re not into condemnation.

            And I rely on the Gospels above all else.

            Jesus is above Paul, your rules, the Law and the Bible itself.

            We seem to follow different Jesus’s.

            One follows a Jesus that’s into rules, the other a Jesus who is into compassion.

          • Albert Swanson

            I follow Jesus the Advocate. The one who will advocate for me someday when I stand in front of God. If there are no rules than there can be no compassion. What would you have to show compassion for if everyone was of no fault? That is kind of why we need Jesus. Because we all break the rules, not because there are no rules.

          • Bones

            I think I can see a flaw in your theology.

            Undoubtedly, you would have stoned the woman caught in adultery in John 8.

            What law did the people break who Jesus had compassion on and healed?

            What law did Jairus break for Jesus to show compassion and raise his daughter?

            What law did the hungry crowds break for Jesus to be moved with compassion?

            What law did the pagan centurion break for Jesus to marvel at him and heal his servant?

            What law did the thief break for Jesus to have compassion on him and say ‘this day you will be with me in paradise’.

            Why did Jesus break the Law as commanded in Leviticus (20:10) and not put the woman caught in adultery to death?

            What law did the journeyman break so the Good Samaritan (a heretical outcast btw) would have compassion on him?

            What law have the poor broken for me to show compassion on them?

            What law has the suicidal person broken that brings me to compassion?

            What law has the abused wife broken that leads me to compassion?

            One group was into laws in Jesus’s day.

            And they had Jesus killed.

            Just because you say you have Jesus doesn’t make you any different.

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

            I TRY and put God ahead of myself. You all don’t try at all.

            Your own statement should help you understand your error.

            The path to wisdom is a life long project.

            The self that you try to put God ahead of, has some very restrictive, conditions built into the contract. And just who is this other self? The one trying to put God ahead of itself.

            Best to leave your versions out of it altogether when contemplating the eternal I Am that is God.

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

            I think if we met Jesus on the street, He’d say. “Why hello friend. Wanna grab some lunch?”

          • Albert Swanson

            “Best to leave your versions out of it altogether when contemplating the eternal I Am that is God.”
            Now there is some pretty sound advice.

          • anakinmcfly

            And God would know I try too. Very hard. All the time. And you’ve no place to say otherwise just because you presume to know what goes on in our heads and what goes on between us and God.

          • Bones

            We’ve had the Bible for 1600 years, give or take. Hasn’t stopped Christians torturing and murdering each other, let alone non-Christians by taking a scripture here and a scripture there.

            It was the Enlightenment which said you can’t go around killing people because of their religious doctrine.

            The letter of the law kills….

            It’s actually been used as a weapon to oppress others.

            To say we get our morality from the Bible is rubbish.

          • Albert Swanson

            We get our morality from God. If not for God we would be just like all of the other mammals in the world and kill as we please. There will always be evil in the world. The existence of sin guarantees that.

          • Bones

            Really?

            What of Paul sending a slave back to his master?

            Moral? No!

            Do you think other cultures didn’t know that stealing, adultery and murder was evil before Moses came down with the 10 commandments the proceeded to slaughter each other btw?

            Paedophilia and religious genocide is evil.

            We don’t need the Bible to tell us that.

            In fact we believe that DESPITE what the bible says.

          • Albert Swanson

            Read the old testament. Apparently they didn’t know because they were doing whatever they wanted. I believe I remember hearing something about a flood…

            Also a slave back before Christ was not the slave your thinking of today. Slaves back then became slaves to work off a debt and when they paid off the debt they were free to go. It was not slavery like we have today that means forcing someone into bondage. That happened in Egypt and Moses saved them. Outside of that it was common for a brother to be slave to another brother because he was paying off a debt. Like I said Egypt was clearly wrong and God punished them, but most slavery aside from that was not what your thinking of.

          • Bones

            The Ancient Hebrews must have been pretty dumb to not know that murder was evil considering Cain murdered his brother in the opening acts of the Bible.

            So he obviously didn’t know what he was doing was wrong.

            Wtf!

            Oh and good work justifying slavery.

            I give it a Fail.

          • Albert Swanson

            Sounds like you just proved my point about God and morals for me. Cain murdered Abel and God came made him very aware that it was wrong. God introduced morals.

          • R.A.

            If the abuse wasn’t happening, why did Paul tell slave masters to treat slaves kindly?

            And not all slaves were debt-servants. Conquered peoples also became slaves. Additionally, look into how free, adult Roman men would keep young boy slaves as sex toys. Also probably as humane as slavery in the 1800s. This is one of thing things Paul sees and condemns that often gets misconstrued as modern gay relationships.

            While it’s true that some slaves were debtors, this is not universal in scope.

        • Bones

          You need to look in the mirror.

    • lymis

      “The Bible is pretty clear about homosexuality being a sin but so many of you are so adamant to follow your own desires and make the Bible whatever you want it to be.”
      The Bible actually says nearly nothing about homosexuality, certainly not that loving, committed same-sex sexual relationships are a sin.

      It is, however extremely clear that eating pork and shrimp are sins. Are you sure you’re not picking and choosing a bit there yourself?

      • Albert Swanson

        Same sex relationships are homosexuality or so I thought. Also, homosexuality is talked about in the new testament and new covenant. Pork is not. Neither are most of the traditional ordinances covered in the old testament.

        • anakinmcfly

          “Also, homosexuality is talked about in the new testament and new covenant”

          It’s not. The Bible wasn’t written in English. In the original Greek, they were referring to very specific homosexual acts – namely rape, pederasty, and so on, which are rightfully condemned, and whose heterosexual equivalents were likewise declared sinful. Yet we don’t consider heterosexuality a sin just because the Bible calls heterosexual rape a sin. So the same standard should be applied to homosexuality.

  • Albert Swanson

    Do not think of me has a bad person or a homophonic person. I am just a Christian trying to do the right thing. I have no personal grievances against homosexuals. I am strictly following what God is saying in his instruction manual. If you had a friend who committed adultery every single day would you not tell him he is doing wrong? Would you let him believe that he is doing nothing wrong and good with God? Yes we are all forgiven but there is a difference between sinning like a normal person and being forgiven Versus somebody that commits sin every day with no intentions of trying to do otherwise. God is perfect so his words can be nothing but perfect so why would you assume something is not a sin when he says it is and gives no other information to the contrary in the entire Bible?

    • Allen

      Claims he has no personal grievances against gays yet believes the bible that their is some moral earthy context that gays should be put to death from Leviticus and not only disagrees with gays but believes that gay people should be burned and tortured forever for being gay and having gay thoughts unless they apologize to this God who also happens to be Jesus who said gays should be put to death in the past but now wants them to burn for eternity if they don’t stop. i guess you also have no grievances against non Christians and atheist either huh? Christians are really slick but the slickest are the liberal Christians. Conservative Christians are more upfront with their hate but liberal Christians pretend it doesn’t exist and are like snakes in the grass.. you are all the same ..

      • Andy

        We most certainly are not all the same.

        • Andy

          Okay, we’ll have no more of this shit.

          • Allen

            Appernetly i hit a nerve. Don’t worry you’ll get use to it Christians have done this to me forever. It becomes something you are accustom to. even threw all the twist and underhanded new techniques Christians come up with it’s the same old crap. Nothing really changes in this world …..

          • Andy

            The only issue I have with you is saying that all Christians are the same, and that we’re all hateful. We are not all the same, we are not all hateful, and I will not tolerate you saying that we are.

          • Allen

            you really need to look in the mirror. The foundation of Christianity is based on hating and loving others at the same time. You can ignore the hateful parts like you tend to do but they are still there. When you call yourself a Christian i automatically assume both since that what the religion is. So get mad all you like it doesn’t change anything

          • Andy

            I completely disagree. I think the greatest commandment is the most important thing Jesus had to say, and almost everything else is either details, conjecture, or parables. I don’t really believe in hell, I don’t think a lot about sin, and I most certainly don’t hate anyone for things they can’t change. If you took the chance to read anything on this site, or if you engaged us personally, you would find that we are not all like that. (If you will have an open mind, read the posts on this site and http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/, or watch one of our videos at notalllikethat.org.)

          • Albert Swanson

            Do you really interpret my words as hateful? If so I feel you know very little about being hated. If you hate me that is fine. Jesus was hated too because he told people they needed to change. I’m fine with that.

          • Andy

            I know about hate, even though I’m a straight, cisgender white male. I was bullied a lot when I was younger. However, I also know that what I went through didn’t compare to the atrocities a lot of other people went through and still do.

            That said, something need not be life-threatening to be hateful. Calling homosexuality a sin isn’t as detrimental as murdering someone, but it’s still hateful.

          • Albert Swanson

            So Jesus hated people? He called out everyone even the priests and told them they are sinning. Generally being more like Christ not less like him is a good thing. As all parents know you can love something and still tell it it’s wrong and correct it.

          • Andy

            Did Jesus ever condemn anyone for acts of homosexuality?

          • Albert Swanson

            What point does that prove? You don’t know that he encountered any homosexuals. Most all of the disciples that traveled with him were married.

          • Bones

            Would you call eternal torture ‘love’?

          • Albert Swanson

            The point of correcting it is so that you do not have to have eternal torture.

          • Bones

            Lol.

            There is no eternal torture.

          • Albert Swanson

            If you do not believe in hell than why are you even engaging in this discussion. I am trying to help people who actually have some resemblance of a belief in God. If your starting from scratch than you need more help than I can give you.

          • Bones

            I can engage in any discussion I want to.

            I see you’ve gone the ol ‘if you don’t believe in hell/Satan you aren’t a Christian’ route.

            How ironic!

          • Albert Swanson

            Bones…. hell and satan are sort of a mainstay in the Christian doctrine. You know, just like that being called God… I suppose if you want to you can always create your own religion that does not include hell, heaven, God, loves homosexuality, loves adultery, loves murder and any other sin… but that is not Christianity and should not be called Christianity. That sounds more like a pagan type belief or atheism.

          • Bones

            No, your scare tactics won’t work.

            I know the origins of Gehenna (hell) and satanas.

            They’ve got nothing to with the supernatural/afterlife.

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

            Yes. Yes we feel that your words are hateful. And attempting to compare yourself with Jesus is the height of arrogance.

          • Albert Swanson

            Arent you supposed to live like Jesus? I never said i was close to Jesus but I am trying. That is always the goal. It’s not arrogance its just a realization of our purpose here.

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

            No matter what countless Christians have fixated on about Jesus, he did not go around reciting a list of do’s and don’ts.

            He demonstrated the nature of Christ in action amongst us.

            The guidance he gave, was purposeful and to the point.

            Showed us how to see our fundamental mistake. We live our lives blinded by self serving and myopic egoism. Our behaviors, no matter what they are, are only secondary and incidental artifacts of this condition.

            We are ignorant of our our non-difference in God. The stronger the grip of this ignorance, the more pain our behavior causes. The more we trap ourselves and others in the maze.

            He declared “I and the Father are one.”

            Advised us to “Love God with all our heart, mind and soul” and to “Love our neighbors as our self.”

            Saying that this, is “The whole of the Law.”

            Went to his death without fear, because he knew the Truth; Death is not real.

            What more do we need to get started? To begin finding our way out of the mess?

            Yet people think he came to warn us, about a Moralistic and Judgemental God. One who must punish or reward, for a small subset of behaviors. And, only those percolating through popular consciousness at the time.

            Paul was not Jesus, The Bible is not God, and it’s only the word of God, to the degree that you or I have cleared the fog from our eyes. Not much different that the daily news paper, once you’re really in the groove.

          • Albert Swanson

            If you are so eager to toss out the bible why would you even believe in Jesus at all? Most of the people on this site seem to really pick and choose with the bible, like its a buffet or something. You can have a little of this but you don’t need this. Until the chef comes up and says you have to take the whole thing and then your response is “forget it! I don’t want any of it then!”

          • Bones

            Does your wife wear a hat to church (1 Cor 11:5)?

            Do you agree that if your wife has short hair it is a disgrace to God (1 Cor 11:6)?

            Do you agree with Paul that you are the image and glory of God but your wife is the glory of you (1 Cor 11:7)?

            Do you agree with Paul that it is better to remain single and celibate (1 Cor 7:8)?

            Do you allow women to preach (1 Tim 2:11-15)?

            Do you agree with Paul that long hair is a disgrace to God (1 Cor 11:14)?

            If you’re being attacked and your wife grabs your attackers penis, do you cut her hand off and show no pity (Deut 25:11-12)?

            Are you unclean when you touch your wife when she menstruates (Lev 15:19)?

            Should your daughter marry her rapist (Deuteronomy 22:28-29)?

            I don’t agree with any of those and they were commands clearly not inspired nor given by God. Some of those were advice, opinion, and in the case of the Old Testament purity and holiness laws.

            Actually some of us have studied the Bible given that it’s such an important series of ancient documents which we live our lives by.

            A lot of what we are told to believe is simply not the case when investigated.

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

            They’re Christians, not Biblists.

            If one has made the connection, then that is the authority.

          • hyhybt

            Biblists? What a great word!

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

            Yes, but it is still hard to have to say it.

            I am grateful that you confirm it’s meaning here. Albert will assume it is from disrespect.

          • Kevin Osborne

            You are supposed to die like Jesus, not live like him. That’s the point of his existence, isn’t it? If you were going to live like him you’d have to convert water into wine, bring the dead to life, and as a child get hard line Jews to listen to you in their own temple. Good luck with that. But, to die yet know you still exist? That is doable.

          • Albert Swanson

            That is in no way true. I can live like a great person without doing every single miraculous activity he did.

          • Bones

            Except you aren’t.

            Jesus broke the rules when He didn’t stone the woman brought before Him in adultery.

            You wouldn’t.

          • Kevin Osborne

            Thanks for the response! Could you define what “living like a great person” means, to you? I’m not asking to attack it, just to see where you are coming from.

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

            Jesus wasn’t an arrogant know it all, who tossed his pride all about. Tone down your presumptiousness, and you may be heading somewhere positive.

          • Bones

            Ignorant would be a better word.

            And bigotted.

          • Albert Swanson

            Really? Really? Bigoted? You act like I am trying to take away your voting rights here. Stop playing the woe is me card. Sorry, is trying to help guarantee your salvation impeding on your right to enjoy yourself? My fault, really guys and girls, my fault…

          • Bones

            It’s similar to the black civil rights issue.

            I suppose people who didn’t like that weren’t racist hey?

          • Albert Swanson

            That has nothing to do with homosexuality or the bible. The only religion I know off the top of my head that has harmful ideas about black people are Mormons. White folks did a lot of terrible things to black people especially the KKK and supposedly claiming the name of Christ. I think we can all clearly see they were not Christians.

          • Bones

            Funny they thought they were and they held the absolute truth and everyone else didn’t.

            And they used their absolute truth to oppress members of society.

            Who does that sound like on this thread?

          • Albert Swanson

            I am oppressing you? That is a tad bit over the top. KKK operated out of hate and anger. I am not. Their “absolute truth” had no basis in the bible. Actually the members of the KKK are more like you than me. They probably knew what the bible said but didnt care. They disliked black people and because oppressing them made them feel good they did it anyways. They chose sin just like anyone who chooses their own desires over Gods.

          • Bones

            Lol, you’re not oppressing me dude.

            Though I imagine you can’t wait till you see Jesus throwing everyone on this thread including the gays into that Lake of Fire that’s in your head.

            Actually the KKK did justify their treatment of blacks through scripture.

            The argument being that the black race came through ham who was cursed.

            eg from Alma White Heroes of the Fiery Cross

            “The Book of Genesis, in its account of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, sons of Noah, teaches the supremacy of the white race. Ham saw the nakedness of his father, but made no effort to cover him, and a curse was pronounced upon him and his posterity. Noah awoke from his wine and said, “Cursed be Canaan [Ham]; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.” “Blessed be the Lord of God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.” “God shall enlarge Japheth [the white race], and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant” (Gen. 9:25-27). This edict was imposed by a wise and just God, and should not work a hardship on the black race. It cannot be otherwise than it should be for their good. Until the curse is lifted from the human race, the very best position that the sons of Ham could be placed in is that of servants (not slaves), thus establishing white supremacy as foretold more than four thousand years ago….”

            Using imagined Bible verses and idolatrous caricatures of God to deny civil liberties to and oppress others.

            Nope. Not me.

            Sounds like you dude.

          • Andy

            The lake of fire? That’s where bad folks go when they die.

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

            You obviously dont live where I do. Racism again African Americans, Hispanics, and Muslims is very much alive and well here, a very Conservative Christian part of the US. Its just more covert than in decades past.

          • Albert Swanson

            Did I say otherwise? I said that’s not what Jesus taught which I think you would agree with. Read my posts more carefully please.

          • Bones

            The point Allegro was making is your comment that only Mormons are racist.

            Which is profoundly ignorant of history.

            And they based their bigotry on the Bible.

            Like you do.

          • Albert Swanson

            I never said “only Mormons are racist.” I said that their religion has beliefs that are racist in nature. Or it did until it was changed again..

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

            I have fantastic reading comprehension skills. As for racism. You’d have to be utterly ignorant of US history to not see the long and sordid trend for bigotry and racism. Hated groups? Well they include Jews, Catholics, Irish, Muslims, African Americans, Native Americans.

            In my state they just elected a neo-confederate to the president of a state college. They still fly the confederate flag on the state capital grounds, a sordid reminder of oppression to every descendant of a slave. White conservative Christians still don’t like blacks, hispanics, non-christians, or anyone who is socially or politically non-conservative and they pretty much control our state government. What they have to say about our president is obscene and utterly racist.

          • Albert Swanson

            What does any of this have to do with me? Some bad people use the bible to wage wars.. Not a shocker.. Sad but not shocking.

          • Jill

            I am going to clarify something: my salvation is absolutely none of your business. You do not control, impact, inform or influence my salvation. Neither do you impact my relationship with the Divine.

            Step down off your manufactured pedastal of righteousness and keep your eyes on your own road.

          • Albert Swanson

            Everyone out for themselves Jill? You propose a world where people not care about the well being of others? And you all say you preach love and acceptance??

          • R.A.

            If I’m not mistaken, Jesus did tell people to change and act more lovingly to one another, but he reserved his harshest words, and all mentions of Hell, I believe, for the self-righteous, religious people of his day, the Pharisees. Sad that so many Christians (not pointing at you, Albert), do that same Pharisitical thing today. :(

    • Andy

      “Do not think of me has a bad person or a homophonic person.”

      Too late, you’ve already posted a lot of things that identify you as a homophobe. Or at least a gay-hater.

      “I am strictly following what God is saying in his instruction manual.”

      According to your personal interpretation, or at least that passed on to you by someone else who was not the author of any of those pieces.

      “If you had a friend who committed adultery every single day would you not tell him he is doing wrong?”

      Yes, but adultery is hardly analogous to homosexuality.

      “Would you let him believe that he is doing nothing wrong and good with God?”

      No to the first part, don’t care to the second. I don’t care if someone else is “good with God” (whatever that means) or not. It’s not my business, because it doesn’t affect me. It’s between them and their god(s), if they believe.

      “Yes we are all forgiven but there is a difference between sinning like a normal person and being forgiven Versus somebody that commits sin every day with no intentions of trying to do otherwise.”

      Finally, something we can agree upon.

      “God is perfect so his words can be nothing but perfect”

      That’s logically unsound, but I’ll allow it in order for you to make your point.

      “so why would you assume something is not a sin when he says it is”

      He doesn’t.

      “and gives no other information to the contrary in the entire Bible?”

      Oh, but there is plenty to the contrary. Especially if you want to cherry-pick. Let’s start with Matthew 22:39 and Mark 12:31.

      • anakinmcfly

        idk, man. I’m not getting a hateful vibe from him, just an ignorant one. I’ve been there before, making the exact same arguments, and I’m gay. :/

        • Andy

          Perhaps “gay-hater” was a bit strong, as one might from it infer a Westboro-esque level of hate, which would not be the case. I guess I could have chosen a less inflammatory term. It is my belief, though, that his refusal to love gays as they are is hateful, to a much lesser degree.

    • Bones

      Westboro Baptist say ‘hi”. You’re the same as them. Just nicer. They’re just trying to do the right thing.

      And you’re sinning now with no intention of trying to do otherwise.

      The written words of the Bible are not perfect. They are mistranslated, errant, based on multiple copies with scribal additions and errors. They are errant in terms of the ancient understanding of the world, of science and of history.

      Christians are errant in their understanding and interpretation of ancient texts using it as a weapon to hit others on the head with or even to kill.

      The Bible isn’t God ie perfect, which many Christians try to claim.

      • Albert Swanson

        You need to watch a few videos if you think I am like the westboro Baptist. I do not camp out at the funerals of soldiers and tell them that God hates them. In fact I proudly served my country. I do not use words like Fag or queer to insult people. The westboro Baptist are not about God’s word. they are all about media attention, hate, anger, and shock factor. They are not Christians. I believe in love but that does not mean there are no basic standards as to which we should live our life. I believe the Bible itself is perfect because God worked through man to write it. There are no translation problems.

        1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people-none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.

        That seems pretty clear to me.. if homosexuality doesnt count than i guess niether does being abusive, or cheating, or adultery right?

        • Bones

          Your beliefs are the same.

          In a sense they’re more honest.

        • anakinmcfly

          Except that the Bible wasn’t written in English, and the original words since translated as ‘homosexuality’ bear no relation to what we know as gay people today. Those were pedophiles, rapists and temple prostitutes referred to originally, albeit in male-male contexts. All those things are likewise sinful in male-female contexts, but we (and the Bible’s translators) didn’t use that to conclude that they equate to heterosexuality and heterosexuality is thus wrong.

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

            And there are tons of translation problems. There is a book I have on my kindle that discusses the problem, notes being added, people changing phrasing in hopes of making passages clearer, and instead changing the meaning, and the utter lack of any original documentation penned by a single author. Its still a terrific, book, full of insight, and meaning. The themes are mostly intact, even if we have lost some of the elements.

          • Bones

            Yes the first time arsenokoitēs is used in Greek literature was with Paul.

            It’s a word which Paul has made up and no one’s certain as to what it actually means. Literally it means manbedders.

            Yet somehow gets translated as ‘homosexuals’. It’s really a guess as to what it means.

            Martin Luther translated it as sex with children or paedophilia which may be closer to the truth.

            Tellingly the term is used in early christian documents such as the Sibylline Oracles and the acts of John where it does not refer to homosexuality but sins related to justice and economics.

            The translation of the terms really come down to the ideology of the translator – who are only making guesses.

            It’s a pretty big call to condemn sections of humanity over a term that is, at best, ambiguous.

          • Andy

            Shhh, bigots can’t be bothered with details like that.

    • Bones

      Why shouldn’t someone commit adultery?

      Because of the Bible?

      No, because it destroys trust, families and relationships.

      Now should people get divorced if they are in a relationship which is abusive or a marriage doomed to failure, clearly violating the words of Jesus and scripture?

      The answer is yes, without any hesitation.

      Or do you stay in a destructive marriage because the Bible says you have to?

      Cos God hates divorce.

      NOPE.

      That is not what God wants you to do DESPITE what scripture says.

      • Albert Swanson

        Bones please re-read the bible. Jesus did not teach that you cannot get divorced. Forgiveness and reconciliation are not the same thing.

        • Bones

          Jesus gave ONE get out clause – adultery.

          That’s it!

          Abuse did not come into it.

          Many Christians have stayed in abusive marriages becuse of it.

          • Albert Swanson

            Actually the other principle is that of abandonment. Additionally the bible says that if your spouse is an unbeliever than you are not under bondage any more. The bible also makes it very clear how one should treat their wives. I will say to some extent you are right about divorce. I would say divorce is much less clear than the subject of homosexuality which seems to be pretty straight forward.

          • Bones

            Aaah so it’s ok to misconstrue Jesus’s words about divorce which is straight forward than Paul’s words about homosexuality which isn’t.

            Keep the lunacy up.

          • Albert Swanson

            Misconstrue? I just told you what Jesus said… I didn’t misconstrue anything. Those were his words not mine buddy.

            Luke 14:26, 33, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple…So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

            Matt. 5:32, “But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery”.

          • Bones

            Yes, you misconstrued what Jesus said, which was pretty clear.

            And even posted the evidence.

            Good work putting up two unrelated verses.

            The Lucan passage had nothing to do with marriage.

          • Albert Swanson

            Bones, what he is saying in Luke is that if you are not willing to abandon your family to come serve me, than you are not ready to serve. Most of the disciples were married and left their family to serve Jesus.

          • Albert Swanson

            And I dont know why your arguing about this. I just said your right that the bible isnt as clear on divorce as homosexuality.

          • Bones

            If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband…”

            1 Corinthians 7:12-14

            What Jesus says about divorce is perfectly clear.

            What Paul says about divorce is perfectly clear.

            You’re the one confusing it.

            Because we know what the gospel writers wrote is wrong.

            Now if you say Paul was wrong, I’d be happy to listen to your reasons why.

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

            We also must consider that Paul, who wrote his letters well before the first gospel was penned, and who was coming at things from the view of his culture and education as a pharisee, we have to realize that his audience understood and agreed with his cultural views. I strongly suspect that he would be shocked and possibly appalled to discover that his letters to friends and early congregations would some day be considered by some to be “THE WORD OF GOD”. and part of the canon. I also think, that he would have had a moment of pride over it, who wouldn’t, but would likely be quite vocal on protesting the matter, plus raise a hissy fit over some of the additions and mistranslations found there.

            I can’t help but wonder how different those letters would have been if Paul had been a Sadducee, who had some very different theological views.

          • Bones

            Not only are there elements of Pharisaism in Paul’s writing but strong elements of Greek philosophy as well.

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

            Very true, Paul, or those who wrote in his name, as he didn’t write all the letters credited to him, were certainly influenced by Greek thought.

          • Bones

            “Additionally the bible says that if your spouse is an unbeliever than you are not under bondage any more.”

            Better check that out with 1 Cor 7:12-14.

            Paul doesn’t agree with you.

          • Albert Swanson

            14For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy. 15Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace. 16For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?

            Seems to agree just fine.

          • Bones

            You conveniently left the first bit out.

            It’s clear from Paul that believers are NOT to divorce their unbelieving spouses.

            But the point has been made as to how Christians are quick to pick and choose they (ie God) will judge others by.

            The command from Jesus to not divorce apart from adultery is usurped by compassion and mercy when encountering women in abusive relationships.

            Spouses should be entitled to a way out whatever the guys writing the Bible 2000 years ago.

            Whether Christian or not.

          • Albert Swanson

            Its funny that you think you have any notion of what should or shouldn’t be so. You think our tiny insignificant human brains know it all? I will put my faith and trust in a God that created the entire universe and has seen all of time over your or any other humans ideas of right or wrong.

          • Bones

            The Bible was written by blokes with ‘ tiny insignificant human brains’ who believed that God lived in a realm above the clouds.

            Hence stories like the the Tower of Babel and the Ascension of Jesus, Jesus coming back on a cloud and from the sky (ie heaven). Beliefs like the rapture are hilarious when you consider people will be floating around the universe.

            Modern astronomy discounts this unless the heavens are on a planet somewhere.

          • Albert Swanson

            You do not understand the super natural solely because it has never been a part of your life. You think science provides all the answers? Science provides more questions than answers..

          • Bones

            No, Ancient belief was that God lived above the clouds in a heavenly realm..

            It’s clearly not there, no matter how much you try to attack me.

          • Andy

            Perhaps you should look into the concept called “non-overlapping magisteria”. We use science to answer how things happen, at least in the sense of the material universe. For some people, religion answers why things happen.

            The beauty of science is to provide more questions. No good scientist would say that he or she has all the answers, nor would he or she stop looking for more and better answers.

          • Mark

            The star Kolob, I believe.

          • Albert Swanson

            As is so common you have decided to not read the entire paragraph.

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

            So Jesus advocated abandonment of family and responsibility, leaving their spouses and children to fend for themselves, in a culture where women have no rights, and many were dependent on their husbands for survival. AND as woman had zero legal rights, they couldn’t divorce or obtain annulments from their husbands on those grounds. or sue them for support.

            Anyone else see the problem with that line of thinking?

          • Kevin Osborne

            The men might feel guilty?

          • Albert Swanson

            I’m sorry did you expect the bible to make you feel warm and fuzzy inside? Read about justification. Maybe that will do it… Again your trying to set terms for God. God is a perfect being that has the hindsight of an eternity. He doesn’t ask you to accept him at a caveat. He sets the rules folks…

          • Bones

            Ah the old “I read the Bible to condemn others” approach.

            It’s worked really well throughout history.

            God’s not into rules.

            People are.

          • Albert Swanson

            Again I have no power to condemn.. I’m merely trying to help supposed Christians on their walk.

          • Bones

            And yet earlier you pronounced condemnation on gay relationships cos you talk for God.

            I say you’re being a stumbling block and you need to look at yourself.

            You know, Love the sinner, hate your own sin.

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

            I’m merely trying to help supposed Christians on their walk.

            And who do you suppose is trying to help you?

          • Albert Swanson

            I have many mentors in my life who are always leading and helping me and I am very thankful to have them.

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

            And so, you also pick and choose.

          • Andy

            Who asked for your “help”?

          • R.A.

            Do you not judge by using the word “supposed”?

          • Albert Swanson

            Your probably right. God wouldn’t care about what his creations do right? Nah..

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

            Again your trying to set terms for God.

            And this is somehow different than restricting God to a few scraps of paper to explain things?

          • Albert Swanson

            What else do we have to go by… oh your feelings right?

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

            Christ is nothing if not knowable.

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

            But then I should elaborate a bit.

            Knower and what is known. Not different. Just like God.

            Not a deity! But the nature of Infinitude.

            How will your book show you this?

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

            Scripture can be a good place to start for all this, but to me, its just a starting point. When I decided to set the book down, and look beyond ancient writings about the divine, that is when true wonder began.

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

            And yet they weren’t always ancient.

            Much like these pages once.

            Ordinary, simple and familiar.

          • Kevin Osborne

            Tedious, dull, and prosaic. That is why we have preachers, they bring a little fire to the cause.
            A way to look at existence is that all presentation is a viewpoint of God in variable cloth. Undress the mannequin, and you will see God in relationship to you.

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

            I’ve listened to few preachers I could listen to all the way and not get bored out of my mind, or didn’t get pissed off at. The few I could keep an attention with, stayed on topic, spoke like they were conversational, or were excellent story tellers, and kept things short and sweet.

          • Kevin Osborne

            A friend once told me “Spirituality will set you free, but first it will piss you off”.
            Have you read Portrait of the Artist as Young Man? Inside is a quintessential sermon regarding hell and its charms.

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

            Chopping wood and carrying water.

          • Kevin Osborne

            Right.

          • Mark

            It’s going to be really hard on people like you to realize some day that your collection of scriptures is the writings of men, and that the reason you believe it to be the divine word is only because you’ve been told that over and over by other men who you have chosen to see as authority figures.

            Doesn’t it get tiresome, trying to keep track of all the special rules for damn near every verse? This one must be taken literally, that one not, those were for a certain people/time/place, while these are for all? “God sees all sin the same.” but we condemn homosexuals and say nothing about the people who serve us lunch or sell us groceries on Sunday?

            Don’t you find it more than a little audacious, even arrogant, to claim that all which can be known about God is contained in 66 particular writings?

          • Albert Swanson

            And he did not advocate family abandonment he advocated completely living for your God and maker above all else. Rule 1 – love your God with all your heart, mind, and soul. Now that does not imply there are no other rules as many here would like claim.

          • Bones

            There are no other rules.

            You can eat fish on Friday if you want, go to dances and listen to secular music.

            We have not replaced one Law with another.

            That’s hard for some to understand.

          • Albert Swanson

            No you have said there are no laws basically. You have said that you basically think our God and creator of the universe will be satisfied with us living for ourselves and using God when it is convenient for us. Do you really believe that is what God wants or do you just not care? If you were a God would that be enough for you? You and I are both sinners but the difference between you and me is that I don’t try and conform God to fit into my life, I try and conform myself to fit into him.

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

            Luke 14:26, 33, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple…So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

            I’m actually relieved that I only have a passing familiarity with the bible.

            If I thought it was my sole source for comprehension, my relationship to the divine would have withered up and blown away decades ago.

            Is there any reason given, that the term “Hate” is used in the above quote from Luke?

            Am I supposed to think that all human existence is vile and loathsome?

            Or,…as I have concluded through other sources and direct contemplation; it is not what it seems on the surface. There is more.

            Our small lives as people among other people, living on a planet bursting with countless expressions of life, is the realm of finite and relative experience.

            It is rooted in, and not-different than it’s source. The infinite and absolute singularity of God.

            We live our lives not knowing this. And in that state we perpetuate good and bad, happiness and suffering.

            What we don’t know, is the missing piece. Demonstrated by Jesus when he declared “I and the Father are one.”

            The knowledge of this, is Christ. The Atman. Self.

            If you don’t move towards, and ultimately into this awareness, then you live in what you refer to as sin.

            This has nothing to do with being gay, adulterous, divorced, happy, sad or indifferent.

            You just have not heard the call. No matter what you think the bible is saying.

          • Albert Swanson

            Did you really take that as being literal? I took that as he wants you to put himself (Jesus) above yourself and even your family. That seems to be backed up in other areas of the bible that state that God must always come first. Sometimes the writers would make an overly powerful statement in an attempt to make a point. I think it is fair to say that not everything in the bible is literal. And before you mention the topic of homosexuality.. think about this.. what is the heart of the message about homosexuality? What point would they be trying to make if it was anything other than that homosexuality is a sin?

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

            The spiritual sense of Luke’s quotation is not lost on me. It is the essence of Yoga saadhana. But forgive me if I did not assume you had grasped the nuance.

            In relationship to this; i.e. the turning away from the trance of worldly things, the topic of homosexuality does not leap to the forefront of my thoughts.

            Let’s look at Capitalism, Hedonism, Sexism, Racism, Terrorism, Militarism, Materialism, Nationalism.

            Scientism, Fundamentalism, Egotism.

            These are organic developments rooted in the primal sin of not knowing our non-difference from the One source. We live in a dream of individual self interest. Our lives wasted grasping after the ephemeral and finite. Running away from death.

            Being homosexual is no more a sin than being born a human being. Especially in increasingly overpopulated, spiritually impoverished, toxified time and space.

            We have all contributed to the chaos. Stop deflecting your own responsibility.

            The Bible is not the solution. Awakening to Christ is.

            Stop persecuting your brothers and sisters for the variety of libido they are born with. You need to concentrate on sorting out your own condition.

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

            Beautiful. I’d quadruple like this if I could.

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

            Give it another 20 years and you’ll “quadruple” too.

            Thanks.

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

          Stop telling people to “re-read” the Bible, Its demeaning, insulting and inappropiate. I see it again, and the comment will disappear.

          • Albert Swanson

            The bible is the basis of this entire argument which everyone feels so strongly for yet it seems like nobody here is actually willing to read more than one or two sentences to prove their point. Its not demeaning or meant to be insulting. If your going to collect chicken eggs would you leave the basket at home?

          • anakinmcfly

            I’ve read the entire Bible more than once. Including the footnotes.

  • Albert Swanson

    I think that you folks are not being grateful enough to God. Let’s say just for a second that you totally believe everything I am saying about homosexuality being a sin and that really bothers you because you may be gay or just not liking that fact. Would that be enough to drive you away from God? Would you not be willing to put your own desires passed you in order to move closer to God? I feel like you are all driving down the road and you have come to that speed sign that says 55 mph is the speed limit. But maybe that sign is a little rusty and old looking and hard to read so your second guessing yourself. You decide that your not totally sure so instead of going 55 you decide you want to go 80 mph. You know that you are probably breaking the law but then again the sign wasnt so clear so you figure why not go 80 mph? 80 mph is more fun and thats what you wanted to do so your going to drive faster and break the law. That is all fine and dandy but that will not stop you from being pulled over. That excuse will not fly with the police officer that passes judgement on you. He will ask why you didnt just play it safe if you thought the speed limit might by 55. He will say he doesnt care if you think driving 80 is fun and that the law was there for a reason. In the end you will still be punished regardless.

    You see this as a bad thing, I see this as a glorious thing. I thank God that he made it so easy as to give me an instruction manual to follow. I pray for forgiveness when i sin and dearly want to never sin again.I realize that any God that could have created the entire universe, breathed air into my lungs, and slaughtered his own son for my sake (when i clearly dont deserve it) is worth making a few sacrifices for.. In the end i know i will be paid back for all of eternity because God has promised that. I don’t deserve it, but i accept Christ as my Lord and savior and know that i am covered. I do not use this as an excuse to sin but instead it makes me even more sad when I do sin because i know the love my God has for me and i want to serve him the best I can.

    I wish all of you luck and God Bless.

    • James Walker

      your analogy of “God as policeman” really strikes at the heart of our disagreement. it really has nothing to do with homosexuality or greed or envy or any other particular sin. you view God as some rule-maker, rule-enforcer where it doesn’t matter if we understand or agree with the rules we just have to obey them all very precisely to avoid “bad things” happening to us.

      we find this view of God to be terribly limiting not only on us but on God! I understand how you might have arrived at this view, but I cannot for the life of me understand how you would persist (in the face of so many people trying their hardest to explain it to you) in believing your view of God is the only one that’s genuine.

      many of the people here on this blog truly, deeply, passionately and, yes, faithfully, follow our belief in and love for God. we learn about and inform our faith through diligent study of the Bible and through prayer. the fact we have come to a very different understand of who God is and what Christianity is all about does not mean we are somehow “fake Christians”. it just means we’re different from you.

      • Albert Swanson

        The bible ensures that we will all get our judgement day at some point. That is not something you can argue about. And on that day I believe God may ask us, “what did you do to deserve to get into heaven?”

        My answer will be that I have done nothing my God to deserve to be in heaven. If i were you I would not let me in here. All I can say about myself is that I have believed in you and your Son Jesus Christ and what he did for us. I have loved him and tried to obey your word and the example of his life though I know i have failed miserably. God will know that this is true for me. I did not decide that there was something in the bible I did not like and strive for that (sin) anyways. I did not chase after idol Gods or engage in sexual relations with someone other than my wife even though I very much want to make my own decisions often and the sin in my heart tells me too.

        My fear is that our society is adopting a pop-culture Christianity in which anything and everything goes. One in which rap artists can say the words “God Bless” at the end of their terribly horrific songs and every thinks “oh what a good Christian he is.” Or one in which we allow hollywood, our peers, and blogs to shape how we view Christianity. The truth is that there is only one trust worthy resource we have available and that is the bible. Why has our societies views on homosexuality changed so much in the last few decades? Did the bible change? No. Our society changed and what we consider taboo. We constantly push the envelope and say “oh well its not that bad.”

        • Bones

          Nope.

          No Judgement Day either.

          Thank God our society changed or we’ll still be burning single women and engaging in wars over religion and burning heretics..

          Those were the good old days.

          • Albert Swanson

            Yes i too am very glad we dont do those things especially since none of them are condoned in the bible. Phew..

          • Bones

            Yes they are.

            You haven’t read the OT.

            You know the good ol days.

          • Albert Swanson

            That’s not condoning anything. It was an instruction to a particular group of people often times.

          • Bones

            Aaaaaah

            So certain parts of the Bible are only relevant to the context the author was writing in. Like maybe the Torah and some of the writings of Paul.

            Can you tell me in what context genocide is justified?

          • Andy

            Certain parts were obviously written for specific people in a specific historical context, and others were obviously written for everyone for all time. It’s very obvious. And I am qualified to say which is which.

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

            “It was an instruction to a particular group of people often times.”
            That can easily describe the entire Bible.

          • Albert Swanson

            How many times have you read it?

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

            Many.

        • anakinmcfly

          I actually agree with a bunch of things you say here, but I’d like to point out that your implicit analogy is faulty. Homosexuality isn’t comparable to you wanting to have sex with people other than your wife; rather, it’s comparable to you wanting to have sex with your wife. So, by denying gay people the opportunity to ‘practice homosexuality’, you’re basically denying any gay person the opportunity to have what you have with your wife. Not just the sex, but the love as well, because I think you’d agree that the love you have for your wife is different than the love you have for your other friends and family.

          And then the question is: why would God create any person for whom every single possible experience of romantic or sexual love for another is a sinful temptation to be shunned? Apart from being unnecessarily cruel, it would suggest that God made gay people lesser than straight people, somehow inherently wrong and broken and incapable of any form of holy non-platonic love, and I can find no biblical support for this whatsoever.

          • Albert Swanson

            God does not make you gay. You choose to follow your temptations or not just as I do. You either live for your flesh or for God. The difference between you and me is that my relationship with my wife is not condemned by the bible. God says its better to marry a woman than to follow your own temptations.

          • Bones

            Have you or your wife remarried?

            If so, then your marriage would be condemned by Jesus Himself.

          • James Walker

            Dude, it’s April 8th already and I’m out of popcorn.

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

            Hun, We burnt through the corn popper too. A new one is on order.

          • anakinmcfly

            In marrying your wife (and then having sex with her), wasn’t that also you following your temptations? Or were you not attracted to her?

            Meanwhile, given that I’m not and have never been in any relationship, it’s kind of unfair that I’m still condemned just for existing. If I weren’t gay, those ‘temptations’ wouldn’t exist to begin with. That’s kind of what sexual orientation *is*.

            And there are a whole other group of people who would consider me likewise condemned if I did marry a woman, given that I’m a transgender guy, particularly one who hasn’t had any surgery other than the one to remove my wisdom teeth (they were impacted; it hurt). Basically, no matter who I fall in love with or marry, there are a lot of people who would object. But I still have extreme difficulty in believing that God made any expression of romantic or sexual love on my part to be automatically wrong and sinful and evil. If so, *why*? And more importantly, who – in your opinion – am I allowed to have a non-platonic relationship with without sinning? (Honest question. I’m keeping a tally.)

          • Bones

            He didn’t.

            God wants you to be at peace with yourself.

          • Albert Swanson

            You must have God-Skype I guess.

          • Bones

            Pretty much.

          • Albert Swanson

            Are you implying that any temptation you have is evidence in and of itself that what your are desiring for is right and true? I do believe it is possible to have a urge towards homosexuality and still not be gay. People choose to be straight and gay every day. They CHOOSE.

          • anakinmcfly

            dude, you didn’t answer my question on who I’m allowed to have a non-platonic relationship with. :(

            “I do believe it is possible to have a urge towards homosexuality and still not be gay.”

            But having an ‘urge towards homosexuality’ *is* the definition of ‘gay’. (And if there’s a simultaneous urge towards heterosexuality, then the person is bisexual).

            Based on your posts, I have to ask another question: have you ever experienced attraction to men? Because all your posts about choice seem to suggest that; and if so, you’re not straight, you’re bisexual.

            And no, people don’t choose to be straight or gay every day. No one can choose their attractions; if they could, we’d just choose to be attracted to anyone willing to be with us, and choose to stop being attracted to people who turn us down. And gay kids would stop killing themselves because they couldn’t turn themselves straight. Or that guy whose family refused to feed him until he became straight – he wouldn’t have starved to death.

            So – where’s the choice there? Or do you honestly believe that people are so, well, stupid, that they’d choose to be gay and then kill themselves because they’re gay?

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

            Ok, if it is a choice to be one or the other, then everyone would have the consideration of, “should I favor men or women today?” I’m 51 one years old. I have never looked at a person of my gender in a romantic or sexual nature. Never a single time in all my life. It just doesn’t happen…ever.

            I have gay friends, and I’ve asked them. One tried to choose being straight, because he was trying to be what others demanded of him and it was an utter failure. He is now in a very happy marriage with the man he love. The rest of my friends are content with the knowledge that looking at a person of an opposite nature in a romantic or sexual light, is just not crossing their radar at all. It just doesn’t happen…ever.

            Now maybe its different for you. Maybe there are days, you do look at a person of your gender and have those romantic thoughts. It does happen, as it is part of the spectrum. If so, then it is normal, for you, and nothing to be ashamed of.

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

            Well that would mean that God didn’t make you straight either. Paul that said that stuff about marrying and temptation. He did have some interesting opinions. And if marrying a woman is the cure for temptation, then there should be loads of lesbian couples out there.

          • Albert Swanson

            Really? Is this the “I was born gay” argument? Of course nobody actually knows that they were born gay unless everyone remembers day 1. I certainly don’t. Not to mention that there are absolutely zero evidence-based research studies that have proven that being gay is genetic. In fact most seem to agree that being gay is a combination of other factors like upbringing.

          • anakinmcfly

            Yes, homosexuality is not genetic (though there’s a wealth of research showing strong biological factors unaffected by upbringing). Being tall isn’t genetic either, and one isn’t born tall or short – all babies are tiny – but that doesn’t make height a choice.

          • Jill

            I’m choosing to be tall. Let’s see if it works. Starting…now.

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

            You can ignore the research that supports our views, of which there is a huge amount of it, which is of course, what you’ve been doing, but whatever source you are using, its antiquated, agenda driven, or just plain old wrong. What sound, scientific research there is, is evidece-driven, peer reviewed, multi-tested, and has been happening for decades.
            If being gay was partially because of upbringing, then there would be strong similarities in the the people who are gay, and their upbringing…but there is NOTHING to prove such a claim, because upbringing has nothing to do with it. LGBT people come from every socio-economic background one can imagine…poor, rich, religious, non-religious, conservative, liberal, educated, illiterate, homes with healthy families, single parent families, abusive family members present. Upbringing determines sexual orientation as strongly as whether one is going to have flat feet or not.

          • WilmRoget

            ” In fact most seem to agree that being gay is a combination of other factors like upbringing.”

            No. Now either you are flat out lying, or you are about 2 decades, or more, behind the research.

            ” Not to mention that there are absolutely zero evidence-based research studies that have proven that being gay is genetic.”

            That is flat out wrong. Again, are you lying or under-educated on this matter?

            And you know, it is the sin of pride on your part to presume that you know better than we do the truth about our lives, Albert.

            People are murdered and raped because of the belief you teach, and you are accountable. You ought to be far more worried about that, and a lot less worried about the cause of homosexuality.

          • R.A.

            On what is your assertion based that God made no one gay?

    • Bones

      The PoliceGod is an idol. Made in your own image.

      Actually the whole substitutionary atonement stuff is a leftover from Medieval legalistic Catholicism where Christianity was a law court.

      And so was God.

      Your God is too small. I reject him too.

      • Albert Swanson

        Than I truly feel sorry for you.

        • Bones

          Actually I feel sorry for whoever lives with you.

          Must be hard living up to your expectations.

    • R.A.

      I think the analogy to the speed limit breaks down because interpreting the Bible isn’t quite as easy as seeing a sign that tells you exactly how fast to go, regardless of the sign’s age.

      If you have both hands and eyes, then you did not follow Jesus’ clear teaching on avoiding Hell. If you still have nice things, you neglected what he said to the rich young man when he told him that selling all his possessions was a part of inheriting eternal life. If you don’t hate your family, you’re neglecting Christ’s words to hate your father, mother, sister, brother.

      If you disagree with any of the above mentioned scriptures, then you’ve already made an interpretation by saying those verses cannot be taken literally. And interpretation flies in the face of a plain reading of the text.

      What I’m getting at is the difficulty of interpreting those words we see on the page. Language is not an easy thing, especially when we have a culture, almost 2,000 years, an ocean, and a tongue between us and what was originally meant.

    • R.A.

      Btw, I’ll be glad to discuss with you why I hold the opinion the a Bible doesn’t necessarily condemn all forms of homosexual intimacy.

    • Jeff Preuss

      >>”I think that you folks are not being grateful enough to God. Let’s say
      just for a second that you totally believe everything I am saying about
      homosexuality being a sin and that really bothers you because you may be
      gay or just not liking that fact. Would that be enough to drive you
      away from God? Would you not be willing to put your own desires passed
      you in order to move closer to God?<<

      Okay, several months later, but I'll bite.
      I used to believe this very thing. I used to believe that homosexuality was a sin, once puberty hit and I realized I was gay. (I was already Christian.) I cried. And prayed. And cried a WHOLE lot more. And studied my Bible several times a day. Did I mention the crying?

      Every day. For TEN YEARS.

      I put my own desires aside and NEVER turned away from God. I was not intimate with a single person. I implored God to take this away from me, because I could not live with BEING something I thought was such anathema to our Lord above. Something I did not choose.

      I contemplated suicide, but I knew that God wanted better for me. God NEVER left me alone.

      I prayed and prayed and prayed for God to take away my homosexuality, because I couldn’t live with the fear and the shame anymore. I prayed for patience to wait for His answer.

      And then I received it. The patience and the answer. And He took away my fear and my shame at being gay. Note I didn’t say He took away my homosexuality, just the misplaced shame, the misplaced self-loathing, the fear. I am right with God as a fully honest, openly gay man. As He made me.

      So, you may think we are being gay because it’s “fun” or it “feels good.” We’re not; it’s just a natural part of who we ARE, like your heterosexuality. And there is nothing wrong with it.

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

        I do have to wonder how much gratitude to God it takes to reach critical mass so that some people think that you have finally reached his favor?

        I’m tired of people telling others they aren’t good enough, patient enough, righteous enough, grateful enough to please God. Because who they are really demanding that we please is them, not God. I threw my “winning god’s favor” hoop some time ago, and like you found peace.

        • Jeff Preuss

          I think the biggest takeaway I have from my whole experience was when I stopped pleading and demanding that God give me His answer and change me, when I decided to completely leave it up to Him and wait without the gnashing of teeth and self-flagellation…is when I GOT the answer and was changed…just not at all in the ways I expected.

          The answer is that I am all right how I am, and the change is that I am now at peace with myself and God.

          For that I am ever thankful.

          >I’m tired of people telling others they aren’t good enough, patient enough, righteous enough, grateful enough to please God. Because who they are really demanding that we please is them, not God.<
          Exactly. There is always going to be someone who is going to say you are not fully pleasing to God in some way. But, you are not pleasing to their understanding of God. Which is between them and God, not them and me.

          • WilmRoget

            “when I stopped pleading and demanding that God give me His answer and
            change me, when I decided to completely leave it up to Him and wait
            without the gnashing of teeth and self-flagellation…is when I GOT the
            answer and was changed…just not at all in the ways I expected.”

            That is so familiar. Not only does it parallel my experience, but that of most of the GLBTQ Christians I’ve talked to one on one over the years.

        • BarbaraR

          It’s not how much gratitude so much as it is the correct gratitude. For instance, being grateful a turkey dinner is correct. Being grateful for good health is correct. Gratitude for a loving family is also correct.

          Gratitude for being created gay is…. well, you know.

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

            ok. let me see if I got this right..which one is the right kind of gratitude?

            Gratitude to God that someone contracted Ebola while working for a wealthy Christian missionary group, was given experimental drugs before returning to the states,flown back on the mission group’s dime, to receive the best medical care known to man, which allows them to state how God did it all.

            Or gratitude that the Vandi family only had to bury three family members instead of four, none of which got any treatment at all.

            OR

            Gratitude to god for parents footing the bill for that trip to Tahiti for Jane and Howard’s honeymoon….or gratitude that after 25 years together, Jane and Catherine can finally legally get married.

          • WilmRoget

            I like your rant. And I guess, according to Albert,

            I should be grateful to God that several people I knew were murdered for being gay or lesbian. Right, Albert, I should be saying ‘Thank God that gays are murdered’.

            And the woman I heard speak a few weeks back, telling how she was raped at gun point for being a lesbian. I guess, according to Albert, she should be saying “Thank you God for having me raped”.

            And all of us gay and lesbian people in states that had campaigns to ban our civil right to marriage, we should be say, according to Albert, “Thank you God for having people call us pedophiles and abominations day in and day out for months on end”.

            And the people who have been made homeless because they lost their home as the direct result of bans on same-sex marriage, they should be saying “Thank you God for having people steal my home and my possessions and leaving me destitute” – right Albert?

    • WilmRoget

      I’ll bite too.

      “Let’s say just for a second that you totally believe everything I am saying about homosexuality being a sin”

      First, you’d have convinced me that your god is evil, unjust, and that the Bible lied when it says God does not play favorites. You’d have convinced me that your god favors you, just by coincidence of course, but your god not just hates me, your god purposefully made me to be an object of its hate.

      And then as we looked at the Scripture your belief is based on, and I saw Leviticus 20:13, you’d convince me that your god demands human sacrifice, that hundreds of millions of human beings are to be slaughtered as human sacrifices to make your god happy. Somehow, I guess, you’d convince me that murdering people to make your god happy is acceptable behavior.

      “is worth making a few sacrifices for..”

      So you go make sacrifices. Sacrifice your pride, your heterosexism, your hatred of GLBTQ people, you willingness to see us slaughtered as human sacrifices to your god.

    • Jeff Preuss

      >I feel like you are all driving down the road and you have come to that
      speed sign that says 55 mph is the speed limit. But maybe that sign is a
      little rusty and old looking and hard to read so your second guessing
      yourself. You decide that your not totally sure so instead of going 55
      you decide you want to go 80 mph. You know that you are probably
      breaking the law but then again the sign wasnt so clear so you figure
      why not go 80 mph? 80 mph is more fun and thats what you wanted to do so
      your going to drive faster and break the law. That is all fine and
      dandy but that will not stop you from being pulled over. That excuse
      will not fly with the police officer that passes judgement on you. He
      will ask why you didnt just play it safe if you thought the speed limit
      might by 55. He will say he doesnt care if you think driving 80 is fun
      and that the law was there for a reason. In the end you will still be
      punished regardless.<

      Instead, it's more like this (trying to further apply the hamfisted metaphor of a quantifiable objective difference in numbers to the difference between the polar opposites of the sexuality spectrum which simply aren't objectively quantifiable):

      God tells someone to paint the speed limit sign.

      Signpainter Dave determines God means it to be 55.

      200 years later, the sign isn't maybe the most legible, so Signpainter Albert repaints it to say 70.

      Signpainter Timothy argues with Signpainter Albert, and declares it was always supposed to be 40.

      They fight. Signpainter Timothy goes off to form his own Signpainting business.

      200 years later, each of the 16 Signpainting businesses that have splintered off from the original 2 stake a claim on painting the sign, so that 16 different speed limit signs are painted and planted in the exact same spot.

      200 years after that we are driving down the Faith Highway and encounter the cluster of signs.

      We commune with God and try to determine for ourselves as best as we can, understanding the entire history of the infighting in the Signpainting business, what the original intent of the speed limit was, and how we can actually apply it to our own faith walks. And we carry on down the road.

      • BarbaraR

        I dream of a day when evangelicals won’t resort to insipid parables.

        • Jeff Preuss

          Oh, parables aren’t so bad. Jesus used parables, & I kind of like Jesus.

          • BarbaraR

            Jesus didn’t have much to say about combustion engines.

            Many years ago in another life, I was in a very conservative church where the pastor was raving on about the sin of drinking, and he said that no one can tell when a cucumber put into vinegar starts being a pickle, but one thing’s for sure – it can never be a cucumber again. And that’s when my spidey sense started tingling.

          • Jeff Preuss

            Well, I simply cannot tell if I’m supposed to be a cucumber, a pickle, or a banana in that story.

          • BarbaraR

            Just embrace your inner pickledness.

  • Bones

    Great article this.

    If you, like me, doubt you’re a real Christian by the loonie Evangelicals, read this.

    You have far more in common with Jesus who presented a God of compassion as opposed to a God of Holiness (Pharisees)

    I’ve copied part of it but it is very good at looking at the different images Christians have of God.

    The Religion of Jesus

    “With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:6-8)

    a social prophet

    What kind of religion did Jesus proclaim? Was he just the teacher of beautiful and inspiring timeless truths? Was he merely a proponent of love and compassion who was harmless to the state and the status quo of economic oppression? Was his mission solely to forgive the sins of individuals, and even to sacrifice his life for their redemption in some sort of cosmic bargain with God? All of these things and more have been said about Jesus.

    However, we have been painting a picture of Jesus as one who assumed the messianic mantle of a social prophet. Historically, the Hebrew prophets were people called by God to speak to the wealthy and powerful leaders of the nation about God’s demand for a just society. It was a risky role calling on the leaders of a domination society to change. Yet, the prophets believed they spoke for God. Thus their message was social, political, economic and religious.

    If Jesus truly saw himself as a social prophet, then he would have embraced the religious ideas of Isaiah, Amos, and Micah—that the truest form of religion is social justice. Justice, the prophets believed, is the manifestation of a faithful life in response to God.

    four questions

    It is said that every theology begins with a series of questions. Biblical scholar John Dominic Crossan says that there are four key questions he would ask of every Christian about his or her faith. He believes that the answers to the last three questions will flow directly from the answer to the first one.

    * What is the character of your God?

    * What is the content of your faith?

    * What is the function of your church?

    * What is the purpose of your worship?

    what is the character of your God?

    What is your God like? Is your God angry or compassionate? Does your God punish sinners or welcome them in as beloved children? Does your God directly intervene in world affiars and personal lives, or does your God quietly watch human life from a distance? Is your God a person, a presence, or an experience? Is your God a separate being or is your God part of the fabric of everything that exists? The answer to this question will determine the content of your religion.

    Biblical images of God

    The ancient Jewish and Christian communities who created the Old and New Testaments of the Bible reveal many different images of God in their stories:

    * a God of life and creation

    * a God of destruction and global genocide

    * a God of liberation and salvation

    * a God of wrath and anger

    * a God of laws and requirements

    * a God of war and ethnic cleansing

    * a God of justice and protector of the poor

    * a God of holiness and otherness

    * a God of nearness and tenderness

    * a God of faithfulness and longsuffering

    * a God of graciousness and generosity

    * a God of condemnation and damnation

    * a God of comfort and compassion

    * a God of acceptance and forgiveness

    * a God of violent retribution

    * a God of peace and love

    a personality disorder?

    All of these images of God are biblical. Because of this, some critics claim that God has a serious personality disorder.

    These wide-ranging images cannot with any honesty or integrity be seen as different aspects of the same God. They are not descriptions of a single God with changing moods, or varied behavior reflecting good and bad days. And despite the fact that many Christians want to believe that God is “the same yesterday, today and tomorrow,” these images cannot by any stretch of the imagination be integrated or blended together.

    Some claim that the differences can be explained because the God of the Old Testament is angry and judgmental while the God of the New Testament is loving and forgiving. But anyone who reads the Bible with open eyes and a critical mind soon finds that both images of God exist side-by-side in both parts of the Bible.

    These images represent very different perceptions of God’s character by different biblical writers at different times in history. Sometimes, these images were shaped by the dominant culture of the time or by the political objectives of the nation’s leaders. At other times, these images were shaped by prophetic men and women who called their nation to restore peace and social justice. Most images of God were and are shaped by the believers themselves.

    holiness or compassion?

    Two different responses to these questions are encountered in the gospels. The Pharisees represent one way of understanding God and Jesus represents another. When asked, “What is God like?” the Pharisees answered, “holy,” while Jesus answered, “compassionate.” When asked, “What does God want of us?” the Pharisees answered, “holiness,” while Jesus answered, “compassion.” Those answers determined two different approaches to religious life.Borg has described the Pharisees’ position as a “politics of holiness” and Jesus’ position as a “politics of compassion.” It is in the conflict between these two imitatio deis—between holiness and compassion as qualities of God to be embodied in community—that Borg sees the central conflict in the ministry of Jesus: between two different social visions. The dominant social vision in Hebrew society was centered in holiness; the alternative social vision of Jesus was centered in compassion.

    The Pharisees were essentially good, religious people. Their ambition was to follow the laws of the Hebrew Bible and keep them perfectly. “Be holy as Yahweh is holy,” was the phrase that summed up their religious practice. This objective forced them to focus on external behavior in their attempt to be like God, to imitate God.

    Holiness was understood to mean “separation from everything unclean.” Holiness thus meant the same as purity. The ethos of purity produced a society structured around a purity system.

    The way of holiness or purity can also be called the way of religion in our churches today. Many Christian churches profess a holiness religion. Although they focus on God’s forgiveness, they also focus on right or proper behavior and actions. Many churches today exclude people from leadership who don’t conform to their rigid requirements of holiness.

    the God of Jesus

    Marcus Borg has said:

    “For Jesus, compassion was the central quality of God and the central moral quality of a life centered in God. “Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate,” (Luke 6:36) was the response of Jesus. For Jesus compassion was not simply an individual virtue, but a social and political paradigm expressing his alternative vision of human life in community, a vision of life embodied in the movement that came into existence around him.”

    a politics of compassion

    According to Borg, it is only when we appreciate this dimension of Jesus’ emphasis upon compassion that we realize how radical his message and vision were. For Jesus, compassion was more than a quality of God and an individual virtue: it was a social paradigm, the core value for life in community. Compassion for Jesus was political. He directly and repeatedly challenged the dominant paradigm of his social world and advocated instead what might be called a politics of compassion.

    A Religion of Compassion

    The religion of Jesus, like that of the prophets before him was manifested in everyday life, in his politics, his economics, his social life. It was a religion of compassion which flowed seamlessly into a politics of compassion. For Jesus it was impossible to separate the two.

    We are told in the gospels that compassion was the motivator for Jesus’ actions. What made Jesus unique was the unrestrained compassion he felt for the poor and the oppressed.

    “He was moved with compassion because they were distressed and dejected like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9: 36)

    We are told that compassion was the fire that fueled his healing miracles:

    “He was moved with compassion for the crowds and healed their sick.”(Matthew 14: 14).

    Feeding the hungry crowds: “I have compassion for these people; they have been with me for three days and have nothing to eat.” (Matthew 15:32)

    In the healing of two blind men: “Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes.” (Matthew 20:34)

    In the healing of a leper: “Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man.” (Mark 1:41)

    Raising the dead son of a widow: Jesus “saw her and his heart went out to her…Then he went up and touched the coffin.” (Luke 7:13)

    In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said: “Blessed are the compassionate, for they will be shown compassion.” (Matthew 5:7)

    What’s more, compassion is expressed in his parables. What made the loving father in the parable different was the excess of love and compassion he felt for his prodigal son. (Luke 15:20)

    In the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), Jesus tells us that the Samaritan:

    * Felt compassion for the man left half dead on the roadside

    * Was moved to the point of action

    * Became personally involved

    * Was interrupted and inconvenienced

    * Took a personal risk

    * Willingly covered the man’s expenses as he recovered

    a religion of charity and justice

    Compassion takes two forms in life: charity and justice. The word charity is derived from caritas, Latin for love. It is the personal form of compassion. Its objective is to alleviate the effects of suffering. Justice on the other hand seeks to eliminate the root causes of suffering. It is about transforming the social structures and systems that produce poverty and suffering. Justice is the social form of compassion. It is the social and political form of caring for the least of these.

    The story is often told about townspeople along a river who began to see people floating downstream in distress, drowning, near death. With great compassion, they would throw out lifelines, row out in boats, and swim out to rescue the victims from drowning. The incidences, at first isolated, began to increase. Always, the townspeople would respond. Over time, they began to improve and expand their lifesaving abilities. Finally, one day, someone from the town suggested that they would better utilize their resources by going upstream to find out why people were falling in, or who was throwing them in, and try to prevent it.

    This is the difference between charity and justice. Charity seeks to heal the wounds, while justice seeks to end the social structures that create wounded people in the first place.
    Martin Luther King, Jr. said:

    “We are called to play the Good Samaritan on life’s roadside; but that will be only an initial act. One day the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be beaten and robbed as they make their journey through life. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it understands that an edifice that produces beggars needs restructuring.”

    William Sloane Coffin has said: “The bible is less concerned with alleviating the effects of injustice, than in eliminating the causes of it.”

    Both charity and justice are needed in our world. Jesus called for both. He embodied both. The question is do we favor charity over justice? In an unjust world, only the first response—charity—is acceptable to those in power. The work of faith-based charities is often lauded by government until they try to influence government policies to change the status quo.

    Dom Helder Camara, a Roman Catholic bishop from the poor Brazilian region of Recife said in the 1960s, “When I feed the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a Communist.”

    John Dominic Crossan once said, “Charity gets you canonized; justice gets you crucified.”

    That is exactly where the religion of Jesus led him.

    http://www.followingjesus.org/leader/religion_jesus.htm

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

      I love that passage in Micah. my choir does a musical rendition of it, and its one of the favorites of the one we do.

      Thanks for sharing this. It is how I try to live my faith, as a follower of the compassionate jesus.

      • Linnea912

        Yes, it’s one of my favorites, too. I think it pretty much sums up what a life lived in faith should look like, whether you’re Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or some other religion.

    • Albert Swanson

      Why all the hate towards evangelicals? Most all Christian denominations believe that homosexuality is a sin. It’s not like their some angry gay-hating white supremacists here people. If you have a problem with people thinking homosexuality is a sin don’t blame evangelicals, blame the bible, because their just reading it and trying to interpret the best they can (as I assume all of you are doing). Personally, I can respect that too. Because in my opinion if your going to believe in ANY God than why would you not fully commit yourself to him? Are you expecting Christians to say “okay, homosexuality is not a sin because you said so and because it ‘feels’ bad.” While the bible may get laughed at and discounted, its the only resource we have to go from. It also happens to be way older than any other works we have to follow. Should I discount all that just because some people don’t like what it says?

      • anakinmcfly

        hey, just as a note – in case you get blocked from this site, I don’t mind continuing the discussion. Drop me an email at anakin.mcfly at hotmail dot com, if you’re interested.

      • anakinmcfly

        “Are you expecting Christians to say “okay, homosexuality is not a sin because you said so and because it ‘feels’ bad.” ”

        No, we’re expecting Christians to say “okay, homosexuality is not a sin because the Bible – when studied seriously and taking into accounts its original linguistic and historical context, as well as the overarching message of the Bible, as well as heeding Jesus’ instruction to follow the spirit rather than the letter of the law, as well as what we believe, through much prayer and study and reflection, to be God speaking to us – cannot be considered or defended as condemning homosexuality in and of itself, or holding LGB people to a different standard of morality from straight people.”

        • http://limpingtowardsgrace.com/ James_Jarvis

          Quite possibly the clearest and best argument against homosexuality being a sin I have heard in this discussion.

          • anakinmcfly

            Thanks! :)

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

        No one hate evangelicals. there are evangelicals that are part of the people who comment here, as well as mainstream Christians, former Christians and people of non-Christian backgrounds.

        Not all Christian denominations beleive homosexuality is a sin. Episcopalians, or the Quakers, or many Methodists congregations as well as other denominations are of the mind that being gay is just a variation of humanity, equally loved by God, and is as sinful as possessing belly buttons.

        No one is laughing at or discounting the Bible, but instead reading it in a broader context, considering the differences between the culture it was written, and today, the potential purpose of the authors, as as other methods of gaining insight and meaning. Everyone interprets scripture as best they can, unless we allow others to do that for us.

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

          “Everyone interprets scripture as best they can, unless we allow others to do that for us.

          Yes! Not even their own finger pointing at the Moon. Another layer of abstraction. A Digression. A Golden Calf.

      • Bones

        My family are conservative Christians: Catholic and Evangelical. As are most of my friends.

      • Fun-ky Feline

        The Bible says that homosexuality is an “abomination.” It also says eating shellfish is an abomination. Do you eat shellfish? I bet you would eat shellfish every day if you like it. Then, you are “living in sin.” Christians cherry pick scripture to build a case for whatever makes them uncomfortable. Case closed.

  • Bones

    Btw this only applies to World Vision USA.

    Other World Vision agencies such as World Vision Australia have fully inclusive employment.

    “World Vision Australia has issued a statement .. that re-affirmed its pro-LGBTI workplace policies and differentiated the organisation from its US counterpart following the criticism the latter faced when it reversed an inclusiveness policy.

    “This is in compliance with Australian law.”

    “We serve all vulnerable children and value them as people irrespective of race, religion, sexuality, gender or ethnicity.”

    http://groupsects.wordpress.com/2014/04/02/world-vision-sparks-christian-gay-panic/

    Bizarre hey.

    So Evangelicals there could still be a gay person helping your sponsor child.

    Shock, horror.

  • http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/ Lotharson

    Hello, this is my first step towards a NALT video:-)
    http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/2014/04/30/a-disheartening-news-evangelical-fag-killers/

    Feel free to interact there with my readers, some of them being Conservatives.
    I want love to win.

  • Bones

    Some worrying comments from the Archbishop of Canterbury ++Justin Welby.

    Apparently Boko Haram are killing Christians in Nigeria because of gay marriage according to him.

    “‘Speaking on an LBC phone in, Justin Welby said he had stood by a mass grave in Nigeria of 330 Christians who had been massacred by neighbours who had justified the atrocity by saying: “If we leave a Christian community here we will all be made to become homosexual and so we will kill all the Christians.”

    “I have stood by gravesides in Africa of a group of Christians who had been attacked because of something that had happened in America. We have to listen to that. We have to be aware of the fact,” Welby said. If the Church of England celebrated gay marriages, he added, “the impact of that on Christians far from here, in South Sudan, Pakistan, Nigeria and other places would be absolutely catastrophic. Everything we say here goes round the world.””

    http://therachelmannblogspot.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/justin-welby-homosexuality-and.html

    So there you go. Gay marriage can’t happen because of the ignorance of extremists and terrorists.

    And it’s the fault of all of us who support equal rights for all that Christians are being killed in Nigeria. Yeah right.

    I wonder if he would recant the Trinity or the Deity of Christ if Boko Haram was killing Christians over that.

    • http://limpingtowardsgrace.com/ James_Jarvis

      Even a little research would have shown that Boko Haram is an extremism group that wants ti impose their extremism views on Nigeria. Their goal is to impose a strict form of “sharia” law on Nigeria and to end all western involve in Nigeria. They are attacking anyone who disagrees with them including Muslim clerics. If you follow Justin Welby’s argument to its “logical” conclusion the western world should stop educating women because that is also an excuse that Boko Haram use to justify its acts of terror.

  • Allen

    i just don’t understand why people need religion and Jesus as the middle man to do anything or act good? No one every explains this to me. They always say its a given that we have to keep Christianity and Gods and deal with Christians especially conservative Christians because they take religion too seriously. Why is this? Why is that for every thing we do in this country we first have to see what the Bible says. This makes no sense.. Another thing is liberal Christians pretend that conservatives aren’t real Christians and conservatives claim liberals aren’t real Christians and that each is getting the Bible wrong. Both groups are right and both groups are wrong. You each leave out the other parts that don’t suit you. Conservative capitalize on the bad of the bible to control and liberals try to capitalize on the good but just know liberals the bible and Christianity isnt all love and kindness .God isnt love and happiness all the time. He does some very harsh crazy psycho things that you either ignore,pass off as a different context or try to change. Liberals cant accept the horrible crap this God does and that’s why i cant take you seriously. The fact is this reiglion needs to go because you are only enabling the hatefulness of conservatives who have just enough truth from the Bible to do bad things as you do good. You both have valid points to act the way you do according to the Bible. its time to drop this all together. If you need Jesus in your life before you can make a conscience decision you really need to grow up and actually do something on your own for a change because conservatives aren’t leaving ever .All you are doing is enabling the hatefulness to continue and because religion has no realities check and only requires faithfulness you can get good people to very evil things…

    • Bones

      “i just don’t understand why people need religion…”

      That’s the beginning of your premise.

      It’s not really that hard to understand at all.

      Not quite sure why you’re on here.

      You also seem to contradict yourself.

      Did you celebrate MLK day by chance or is MLK an exception to your lack of understanding?

      • Allen

        not sure what MLk has to do with anything ?

        • Bones

          You don’t seem to understand much then.

          Allow an Aussie to educate you on some basic American history.

          That’s the Rev MLK who proclaimed

          “I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”

          This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

          With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

          And this will be the day — this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning:

          My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.

          Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride,

          From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

          And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

          And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

          Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

          Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

          Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

          Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

          But not only that:

          Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

          Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

          Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

          From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

          And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

          Free at last! Free at last!

          Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

          Progressive Christianity is of the same ilk as MLK who had to fight Christian racists in the name of Christianity.

          Maybe he should have just given up hey as he was contributing to hate.

          Let freedom ring.

          • Allen

            YOu really should re read what i wrote in my original comment. I beg you to re read again. Apparently that went way over your head. I argued the same thing you just said but that’s not the point….

          • Bones

            You did nothing of the sort.

            Reading your posts is the same as reading a Fundamentalists who has a Sunday School understanding of the Bible.

            eg He (God) does some very harsh crazy psycho things that you either ignore,pass off as a different context or try to change.

            Only if you take the texts literally like you do. Unquestionably most of the Old Testament didn’t happen as written. No Exodus. No divinely ordered genocides. No Adam and Eve. No flood.

            That’s according to Biblical scholarship.

            The fact is this reiglion needs to go because you are only enabling the hatefulness of conservatives who have just enough truth from the Bible to do bad things as you do good.

            I give you MLK. His religion needs to go, hey.

            Because you say so.

            How will you achieve that? By constant sniping and bitching?

            It makes no difference to you whether it’s MLK or Westboro Baptist, they’re all the same hey.

            Jim Jones of the Jonestown massacre and Mother Teresa are the same aren’t they?

            That’s just plain ignorance or dishonesty.

            If you need Jesus in your life before you can make a conscience decision you really need to grow up and actually do something on your own for a change because conservatives aren’t leaving ever

            We all need love and hope in our lives. If Jesus inspires people to do that what is your problem? What is your problem with people finding hope in the midst of abject suffering?

            If belief in Jesus motivates people to support others than what is your problem?

            How many charities will be left when you finish getting rid of this religion.?

            .All you are doing is enabling the hatefulness to continue and because religion has no realities check and only requires faithfulness you can get good people to very evil things…

            That statement is childish and the reason I provided the MLK example. I’ve seen politics cause a lot of good men to do evil things as well. Go read some Christopher Hitchens or Richard Dawkins and come back with something better.

          • Allen

            The problem which i said in my original comment is Christianity supports both bad actions and good ones. You cant say Conservatives aren’t Christians because they are just focusing on the bad stuff in Christianity . MLK was a liberal Christian who focused on the good but the fact is you cant have one without the other .Conservative Christians aren’t going anywhere because they have just as much validity in their Christians positions as liberal Christians but instead of liberal Christians leaving Christians and stopping it you endorse it meaning you are feeding the beast that will never leave because part of that beast is hateful. The Bible is partly hateful. That something you can try to ignore or twist but it will still stare u in the face. You are enablers and as much as liberal Christians love to point out that “we follow the NT” what you can never do is ignore the fact that the God of the OT is the same in the new. Liberal Christians whine about how conservatives are destroying people lives while refusing to acknowledge that Christianity partly endorses the suffering of people. Then instead of leaving you stick with it like something going to change or that conservatives and the hate will go away. newsflash! Christianity endorses hateful things. Its apart of the what makes up Christianity. Also your idea of charities is ridiculous. Should i feel the same way of about Islamic religious terrorist organizations who run charities. So i should give religious organizations a pass just on their charitable work?

          • Bones

            MLK was a liberal Christian who focused on the good but the fact is you cant have one without the other .

            Says who?

            That’s not a fact.

            That’s your opinion.

            Give some examples of this good and bad in Christianity.

            Were members of the KKK Christian? What of members of the Apartheid Dutch Reformed Church? Or the Reich Church of Nazi Germany? What of Catholics in the IRA?

            Yes according to a broadly defined definition of Christianity.

            Though they may have some central tenets of Christianity such as belief in Jesus their conduct was not at all consistent with the Jesus of Nazareth as written about in the Gospels.

            Conservative Christians aren’t going anywhere because they have just as much validity in their Christians positions as liberal Christians but instead of liberal Christians leaving Christians and stopping it you endorse it meaning you are feeding the beast that will never leave because part of that beast is hateful.

            You don’t think Christian belief has changed in 2000 years?

            You may have heard of something called the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s. From that came the Enlightenment and the Age of Reason.

            Got news for you buddy, Christian belief has evolved with progresses in science and society.

            There have always been elements who fought against that.

            There are still geocentric believers around. Nowhere near the number in the 16th century when it was a central belief in Christianity.

            Now according to your wishful thinking if liberal Christians just bailed out because you said so, these hateful elements will disappear. That’s fantasy and delusion.

            History tells us this. Extremists turn on their moderates before attacking others.

            The Bible is partly hateful. That something you can try to ignore or twist but it will still stare u in the face.

            Ignorance again. The Bible was written by ancient humans.

            You are enablers and as much as liberal Christians love to point out that “we follow the NT” what you can never do is ignore the fact that the God of the OT is the same in the new.

            In the same way that MLK enabled racism, right?

            Rubbish statement!

            Liberal Christians whine about how conservatives are destroying people lives while refusing to acknowledge that Christianity partly endorses the suffering of people.

            Example? Sounds like you’re talking out your arse. You seem to be the only one whining and bitching around here.

            Then instead of leaving you stick with it like something going to change or that conservatives and the hate will go away. newsflash! Christianity endorses hateful things.

            Newsflash. We ain’t going nowhere. Especially with an argument that barely makes it past high school.

            Are you still at high school?

            Also your idea of charities is ridiculous. Should i feel the same way of about Islamic religious terrorist organizations who run charities. So i should give religious organizations a pass just on their charitable work?

            Yes, I knew you couldn’t respond to that.

            Let us know when you actually do something to help others, like the poor.

            Go do something useful with your life.

            Help some kids to read or get an education.

          • Allen

            I’ve had arguments with you in the past where you seemed spot on but the argument that i made this time was a little over your head and your responses aren’t really answering anything and some support everything i’m saying.I mean its not that you are wrong its just you arguing against an argument im not making. you are talking about something that the argument isnt focused on.

          • Bones

            Given that I copied most of your last post verbatim and refuted it, what is your point?

            That liberal Christians are “enablers of hate”.

            That is the gist of it.

            You also have a Sunday School view of the Bible which most on here would refute..

            Even my 11 year old knows that a lot of it isn’t to be taken literally/ didn’t happen/ is the writer’s opinion.

          • Allen

            Wow!! you still don’t get it still. You very last sentence highlights that. You keep arguing my points for me. The bible being taken literally or not isn’t the point.

          • Bones

            Oh yawn.

            You think all Christians have the same view of the Bible as nutjob loonies or Sunday School children like you have.

            Here’s a classic example:

            “what you can never do is ignore the fact that the God of the OT is the same in the new”

            Really! Yes, I can! Easily! The God depicted in the OT is not the same as that depicted in the NT at all. A God going around commanding genocide didn’t happen. Simple!, I would argue the OT doesn’t tell us much about God at all. You make the same basic mistake that Fundamentalists make. That of ignorance.

            Let us know when you can elaborate on your ‘liberal Christians are enablers of hate’ mantra.

            You post on that a lot. Like some yipping dog barking over and over.

            Actually that sounds like a statement I’d expect from right wing extremists but hey you must have read it somewhere so it must have sounded good.

            In religion and ideology it is the role of the moderates and progressives to educate their extremist and ignorant elements.

            I’m seeing it in megachurches like Hillsong who have backtracked on their antigay stance.

            I wouldn’t be surprised if in 20 years the antigay message of conservative Christianity will belong with the racist attitudes of the past.

          • Allen

            still don’t get it and are arguing my points for me.. Go back and review my first comment. Taking the Bible literally or not is insignificant and i basically said many times that conservatives and liberals Christians have different beliefs. You are still arguing against a point I’m not making. You keep saying my comment is centered around “enabling” which is true but your responses after indicate u have no grasp of what that means. Also both conservatives and liberals enable the other group whether good or bad. You are also stuck on the anti gay idea while ignoring that many other issues will come up just like this as they have countless times before. That’s because while Christianity has good things it has drawbacks too. You fail to understand this and fail to understand that not every Christian will embrace the idea of good. Their are many who embrace the not so good ideas and they are just as valid as you in terms of Christianity. For example even in our setup in the Untied States liberal Christians will say gays should be married legally but given our constitution and people religious beliefs gays shouldn’t force churches to marry them. The fact is if liberal Christians honestly thought it was wrong for gays to be treated incorrectly they would say “no gays should be able to marry in any church ” but liberal Christians don’t do that. Their response is always ” I don’t want to impose my beliefs on conservatives beliefs” .With that statement you just said that conservatives have the same validity in their Christian ideas as you do. That’s what im talking about. you both have chosen the sides of the Bible you like that support your side. You enable each other to persist. So don’t be angry when the hateful conservative have enacted a bad law based on something the Bible said. You can come threw and find something better based off the Bible and wait for the next fight. this is what always happens. If you just stop using this religion altogether and actually stop giving validity to the Bible we could move on.but you guys keep this crap going. Not only that in terms of progressive Christians and gay rights, it took them many years to supports gays as well. Century after century of hating gays for Jesus. Why did progressive religious folks hate gays all that time if religion was so right and has no wrong? The bigger question is why did it take their religion to stop them in present day and not empathy? A person that was drove to hate because of religion and drove to stop because of religion is a person i would have nothing to do with because that person doesn’t have the intelligence to figure anything out on their own. They just want to make sure they are doing what their religion tells them or be seen as right in the eyes of their God .They have to be commanded to make a moral decision. These people are folks who can be easily influenced to do terrible things.

          • James Walker

            is atheism all one thing? do all atheists agree completely on the basis and rationales for their non-belief? do all atheists agree completely on which actions are moral and which actions immoral?

            (hint: the answer to these questions is resoundingly “no”)

            so why do you seem to be arguing that Christianity is bad because Christians don’t all agree on what being a Christian, exactly, is?

            there is no “aha” moment where we’re all going to accede to the “logic” of your position and merrily abandon our faith in favor of the non-faith you’ve chosen. there is no moment where you’re going to propose some outstanding argument we’ve never heard before and we’ll suddenly say “Oh my! Christianity in particular and religion in general truly IS horrible and the source of all evil in the world!”. it’s simply not going to happen.

            it isn’t that we don’t “get it” as you keep stating over, and over ad nauseum. it’s that we disagree with your entire premise and every time we argue against that you keep claiming that we just haven’t understood you.

            you’re beginning to sound like that guy who, after pouring his heart out to his “one true love” is completely flabbergasted that his love isn’t returned in kind and keeps trying to reframe “I love you” as if the other person simply didn’t understand.

            you know. stop stalking us. we’re never going to be the kind of Christians you want us to be, no matter how hard you try to explain what it is that you want Christians to be. we’re too busy being the kind of Christians we believe God wants us to be.

          • Allen

            you actually wrong and right at the same time.actually yes!! atheist all agree on the one thing that makes them atheist which is the God claim. Atheism isn’t a system of moral or anything. It’s one position. To get morals or a belief system atheist have to attach on to something like humanism or secular morality, Buddhism etc or themselves.. Beside that one claim Atheist don’t all on agree on the same things but once again that isnt the point. Atheist believe different things so do Christians and once again you are arguing a different point. For the hundredth time i will say it again… PLEASE listen this time.. You are enablers. Yes you(liberals) might might believe in the love side of Christianity but they (conservatives) believe in wrath and damnation side and both of you guys have the same amount of validity because that is what Christianity is.its not all good or all bad it’s both. So when liberal Christians use Christianity for good and say its valid because the Bible/God said it Conservatives can use the same Bible/God to say wrath and damnation is vaild because God said it. So dont whine when conservatives keep passing this crap century after century because you enable it to happen by giving validity to this religion. If you would drop it and fight for goodness sake then these God excuses to be assholes by the conservative side would be meaningless but you give them validity . People wonder all the time why liberal Christians don’t speak up more against conservative and let this crap go on and on for many years and its because the liberal Christians know conservatives biblical positions have validity to them whether liberals fully embrance them or not. Even speaking up against them doesn’t mean this wont keep coming up because you’ve given validity to the religion that endorses good and bad actions. If you break the cycle of giving this religion validity this wouldn’t happen. NOW HOPEFULLY YOU GUYS CAN STOP ARGUING AT A POINT IM NOT MAKING AND ACTUALLY RESPOND 2 THE POINT I AM MAKING……

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

            I think everyone is beyond caring.

          • Allen

            hmm that’s a snarky response. Whether you are christian or not lets remember it is your religion who has caused great ill on the gay community and till this day if you are a straight Christian you aren’t denied marriage but others who are gay are. Whether you are fighting to change that or not the fact still remains its your guys/religion fault and as I’m posting here i guarantee if you are straight and Christian you can marry the person you want in any state. Can you say that about gays allegro63? I thought so! so maybe you should not be so snarky next time. i know you don’t care too much given you are in position of power and privilege being a Christian and all but others would like to have the decency to actually live our lives without constantly having to get your permission or being ridiculed day end and out all the time…

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

            No. You can try to paint every member of a very diverse faith with the same brush if you want, but 1. the brush ain’t near big enough to cover the huge diversity in Christianity, and you ran out of paint before you started. In other words, its dishonest and very presumptuous to make such an audacious and untrue claim.

            You don’t know what I’ve been allowed or denied in regards to civil rights, nor anyone here, and I’m not going to tell you, because its none of your business.

            Within the past few years, 17 states have passed gay marriage, and I don’t doubt by the end of the year, we will have at least one more, if not more. I am delighted with every milestone. In every single state, there are Christians, clergy, and laypeople, who are working towards marriage equality in that state, ordinary men and women, gay and straight who are working together, supporting one another, praying for each other, for true equality.. I have attended a gay wedding, and hope for the day that their union is recognized. They were married in a church by an ordained priest.

            As for my “snarky” comment. I stand by that statement. You can blame whomever you want, for whatever you won’t. But your doing so here has worn thin. You’ve said your piece, repeatedly.

          • Allen

            Sweety I could careless about the in between. its your religion that has done the harm to gay people and you are just now cleaning up your mess 17 states out 50 is not a victory sweety that’s a tragedy caused by Christianity. K you can try to dress it up like it wasn’t but you and i both know where the hate and why gays are put down the way they are came from. As we speak you are not disabled from marrying you partner if you are straight are you?No but you are claiming victory for 17 states for gays when it should be legal in all states and the reason that is not allow its not because of Christianity? Do you think that’s cute to try to ignore where the problem comes from? i want to call you patheic but i can’t. You aren’t pathetic you are among the most powerful group on the planet who could tomorrow decide to imprison gay people if you want like in the past or like Africa. Anything you guys want you usually get. Any legislation you want to impose against others you get. You don’t have to worry about people hating you in the workplace because 87% of people in this country are Christians. You have marriage rights and everything.You step on people and dare them to say anything or criticize you because you know u can destroy them. This is the group you belong to. You want to control everyone and everything with powers and privileges you taunt others with . No i don’t call you pathetic. you are power hungry and no i’m not going to give you a pass because the majority of you are power hungry and all you do is terrible things.. I think gay Christians are pathetic because they belong to a group that has hated them for years just to be accepted.Thats a truly pathetic lost person and a traitor…

          • Bones

            Interesting that Australia’s previous Prime Minister was an atheist who actively campaigned AGAINST gay marriage.

            She was replaced by a Christian who campaigned FOR it.

            And off course China, the Khmer Rouge and the Soviet Union were all atheistic regimes who outlawed homosexuality.

            Good luck being gay over there.

            Take up your cause with Uncle Jo and he’ll send you to the gulags – if you’re lucky.

            The atheistic Khmer Rouge wouldn’t have mucked around with you either. Just a quick neck shot then toss you into the Killing Fields.

            You aren’t pathetic you are among the most powerful group on the planet who could tomorrow decide to imprison gay people if you want like in the past or like Africa.

            Or we could reinvoke slavery.

            Yeah good point. NOT!

            This powerful lobby seems to have a darn difficult time getting elected.

            you are power hungry

            It might come as a shock to you but there are countries outside the US.

            We have a definite separation of church and state in this country which is a secular democracy. The only ones using God as an election platform in Australia are nutbag extremists who no one takes any notice of.

            I think gay Christians are pathetic…

            Well surprise, surprise.

            I love our gay brothers and sisters…

            So are black Christians using that logic….

            Hey MLK! You’re pathetic according to this dude. MLK was a truly lost person and a traitor…

            We’ll take your comments for what they are. Delusional, childish rhetoric.

            Tell me what colour is the sky in your world?

            Cos it sure as fuck isn’t blue.

          • Bones

            Wow, the only ones I thought who would call MLK ‘pathetic’ would be the Klan or racists.

            Now add atheists to that list.

            Must be tough to be a keyboard hero who contributes nothing to society.

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

            Your hatred for Christianity is noted. For Bast’s sake move along.

          • Allen

            can’t!!! until you stop your crazy group members from passing laws you are partly to blame.Im not going to praise u for trying to fix a problem in your group that is endorsed by your holy book. you might not actively believe what the books says on this anymore or had an aha moment and read it different but you are still responsible .Its your religion that has done the harm. Fix it and leave me alone so i want have to be force to live by your mess and we will be good but right now you have your Christianity all in my life and i don’t want it here.

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

            Hatred against people who’ve done nothing wrong to you, makes a huge barrier that is impossible to pass. It becomes an impass, that no one can cross, until you, the barrier maker, chooses to drop the walls and drain the moat. Until then, I truly hope you find peace and joy in your life, and you discover all the people who always thought you were pretty aweome.

          • Bones

            “right now you have your Christianity all in my life and i don’t want it here.”

            There’s irony to that statement.

            You would like us all gone.

            Probably to a gulag for reeducation.

          • Albert Swanson

            You are a “Christian” but yet you cheer on gay marriage? I guess you are one of those people that thinks the bible should change with society and not society conforming to the bible. Well if you have your way we will all be married to the same sex in no time, and anything else we can come across I suppose. As servants of God I think we owe him a little more than that.

          • Bones

            Yes, Christianity has to evolve with society.

            That’s why we now have women’s rights, no fault divorce, and no slaves.

            Do you think you are going to be forced to be gay?

            The only people forcing people to deny their sexuality are people like you.

            Wouldn’t like it much would ya?

          • Bones

            Do they sell paragraphs in the US?

            Toss this dude a couple please.

          • Bones

            I’m going to have a go at your logic.

            You are an atheist but a good one.

            But the last century saw bad atheism eg Communist Russia and China, Khmer Rouge, and Albania all persecuted homosexuals sending most to their deaths. Certainly many more than Christians did last century though that is lamentable and disgusting.

            Therefore we can say that good atheists are enablers of bad atheists.

            Have you asked atheistic China why they won’t allow gays to marry?

            I can understand why some Christians hate gays. They think they have a mandate from God because God said…..

            But why would atheists hate gays?

          • Allen

            nope…atheism is not a belief system. Those people worshiped the state as a religion. Communism is a belief system .state government all have belief system. atheism is only one position on a claim nothing else.

          • James Walker

            umm.. yes, it is. the existence or non-existence of any deity is a non-falsifiable claim either way, therefore one must choose to believe or not to believe.

            and, nice try at disclaiming Russian and Chinese communists as members of the “atheist” club because they’re not “atheist enough” for you.

            gee, maybe we should do the same thing with Christians who insist on teaching concepts that are loathsome to us…

            oh, wait, we DID that and you yelled at us for it. bad form.

          • Bones

            They were atheists.

            You know. There is no God.

            Go over to China and explain your rationale for gay marriage and see how you go.

            So you can’t say why atheists hate gays?

          • Bones

            “People wonder all the time why liberal Christians don’t speak up more against conservative and let this crap go on and on for many years and its because the liberal Christians know conservatives biblical positions have validity to them whether liberals fully embrance them or not. ”

            Does this dude not read any of the articles on this site?

            I thought that’s what John was doing?

            Just goes to show that just because you’re an atheist doesn’t mean you’re intelligent.

          • Allen

            no im well aware of this site. But for 15 years on the gay rights and religious extremism that has plague the country liberal Christians have been silent. Where have they been? Can u explain that? Should there be a back and forth and not just an overwhelming take over by conservatives?btw liberal Christians aren’t really doing that much now. Liberal Christians are always behind conservatives Christians. Its always been that way. You guys are really slow but the bigger question that should be asked is why should i be impressed when a Christian cleans up behind a another Christian who has done terrible harm? once again this religion needs to go.

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

            If you have nothing positive to add, to the conversation, if all you are here to do is to belittle people who are Christians, because you have a personal axe to grind, and as a side quest, also beat athiests around the head and shoulders a bit too, then, this ends now.

          • Bones

            You’re just repeating the same shit over and over.

            If you had half a brain you’d know conservative Christians are always behind liberal Christians.

            It’s always been that way.

            They were behind on:

            geocentricity
            Big Bang theory
            women’s rights
            evolution
            civil rights
            pacifism
            sexuality
            slavery
            IVF
            mixed marriage
            gay marriage

            Christianity reforms itself and evolves according to new knowledge.

            There has been, and always will be, resistance to that.

          • Albert Swanson

            Good reference by the way. “Biblical scholarship.” That sounds very reliable… What documents could they possibly be utilizing for the basis of that decision that would be any more substantial than the Bible? So you are willing to easily accept another persons view on the bible but not what the bible itself says? Doesn’t that seem kind of ignorant? Nothing personal, but I’ll take the word of the document that has lasted multiple tests of 2000 years (at least) and is still going strong versus someone that got a degree in theology and probably got most of his information from Wikipedia and thinks he knows it all.

          • Bones

            Thanks. I know the words ‘biblical scholarship’ are scary to some who hold on to their own interpretation as historical fact.

            I could have added archaeology. Even Jewish archaeologists discount the Exodus and Joshuan conquest.

            None of it lines up. The cities excavated were empty at the time and there’s zilch evidence of any conquest.

            So you still believe that the Sun rotates around the Earth then?

            That Jonah lived 3 days in a giant fish?

            Who told you the Bible is literal fact?

            When the facts change, I change my mind.

            What do you do sir?

    • Albert Swanson

      Pushing religion away may make you feel like its giving you more power but in reality you cannot push God away. Honestly if I were on the fence about whether I believe in God or not I might continue searching for that answer until I find it, because there really is no more important question in the universe. If God really does exist, than he is worth bending and shaping our life around, even if it does not always make us happy. He offers eternal life and his forgiveness for all the wickedness in our life. He really doesn’t ask all that much in return but our love and living by his word. Instead we more often want to make ourselves our own God and be in charge of our own lives, but where does that lead us… divorce, unemployment, addiction, poverty, etc… As soon as you pick up that bible, put your faith in God, and actually TRY living by the word, your life will be changed forever. You will know what true happiness is, and you won’t have to find a partner to do that for you.

      • Allen

        that’s great Albert. After listening to you i’m gonna do just that . This is exactly what i needed to hear. Oh man you are so awesome. i have to say that in my whole life i have never had anyone say the things that you have said. Ever. I’ve never read the Bible ever and i have no clue about what Christians believe. Honestly before your comment i didn’t even know about the Christian God. I was totally ignorant that there were people that actually believed this but because of your response my eyes have been opened to a whole new world. Thank you so much, Dude you are so awesome!! thank you so much man

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

          OMG! What a delicious example of snark! Thanks for the chortle.

  • Albert Swanson

    I have noticed a trend in here that you all rely on the love that Jesus modeled as an answer to everything. Basically the consensus seems to be that “I should have the right to be gay because God would want me to be happy. You do not have the right to dislike that I am gay because Jesus modeled love and loving our neighbors.” Of course your not giving any credence to 1 Corinthians 13:6 Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. Its odd that this verse is accompanied so close by a verse that prohibits homosexuality and still the argument persists. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
    So you are willing to accept that being sexually immoral is sin, being an idolater, being an adulter, being a thief, greedy, and a drunkard BUT you are not willing to accept that homosexuality, which is mentioned in the SAME verse, is also a sin? This is the new testament mind you… It is in black and white so you cannot deny what the bible says about it. If you believe that it is somehow still not a sin than you are buying into the belief that the bible should evolve with society and not that society should conform to the bible. If that is your belief than why believe at all? The bible is Gods word and therefore perfect. It will be the truth now and through out all time. Gay marriage as an idea didn’t even exist until recently but yet now you think it should be this right to all people. The basis for marriage from the dawn of time has always been one man and one woman for a reason. Our very biological characteristics scream this fact! The fact that if everyone in our society were gay, our species would die seems like sure enough evidence that it is not meant to be.
    Put your faith in God. Let him fill that hole in your heart and that missing piece you are so desperately in search of. Nothing else can fill that.

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore
      • Albert Swanson

        [comment deleted]

        • Albert Swanson

          [bitter homophobic diatribe deleted]

          • anakinmcfly

            Guess what, nobody is born tall. That is a ridiculous argument to make because nobody remembers their birth. Scientists have continually made the point that there is no valid research to date that shows any biological reasons why someone would be born tall. People become tall because of the influence of our sinful society and people who make fun of short people.

            Therefore your height is a choice.

            Meanwhile, I’ve read the Bible – all the way through, more than once, including footnotes! and John’s video makes perfect sense to me.

          • Bob

            ARE YOU deleting comments or is the pro-homo-site ?

        • anakinmcfly

          “Are you saying that homosexuality is in some way an act of love comparable to that of saving a mans life?”

          Are you saying that heterosexuality is?

    • anakinmcfly

      I seem to recall replying to this exact same argument, debunking everything, explaining that your entire premise is wrong, explaining that the Bible wasn’t written in English, and explaining that, no, our argument *ISN’T* actually “being gay is okay because it makes me happy and Jesus loves everyone”, which is a stupid argument and one that nobody is making outside of your mind.

      “Our very biological characteristics scream this fact!”

      Not mine. I guess I’m ok, then?

      • Albert Swanson

        I think I get your implication and if it what I am thinking my answer would be that God made you the way your are and if you rely on him you will find your answers.

        • anakinmcfly

          And why can’t that apply to everybody?

          Because frankly, I think it’s stupid that a whole bunch of people think it would be sinful for me to have sex with women while another bunch of people think it would be sinful for me to have sex with men. Me, I like guys. I’m attracted to them, I occasionally fall in love with them. It comes naturally, I never had any choice in the matter, and I have zero reason to expect that sexual orientation works different for anyone else.

          It makes no sense whatsoever that it would be okay and pleasing to God for me to love male person X, but if my anatomy had been a slightly bit different – and me the exact same person – that *exact same love* would suddenly become a grotesquely horrible sin.

          Why the flying delorean should our particular configuration of body parts have any bearing whatsoever on whether or not something is moral? It’s not like people use the same reasoning for anything else – like, stealing is wrong if you have two kidneys, but if you only have one *and* a mole on your neck, then the angels smile upon your kleptomaniac ways.

    • Bones

      “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

      Are you divorced Albert?

      Cos if you are (or your wife is) you can’t inherit the Kingdom of God.

      Oh and what is the kingdom of God?

      (Hint: it ain’t heaven)

      • Albert Swanson

        no I am not divorced. I did not go into my marriage thinking divorce was a possibility. That is why so many you people quit today.

      • Albert Swanson

        And yes while the Bible makes plenty of references that could lead a rational thinking person to believe the kingdom of God is heaven, many Christians today actually believe it is a realm of salvation. Whatever you want to call it, I know I want to be there.

  • Bob

    Make no mistake about it:

    Isaiah 33.22
    For יהוה is our judge, יהוה is our lawgiver, יהוה is our king; he will save us.

    Yah’s standards will not allow for a homosexual Christian – so don’t even try to change his law, or morality to align with your world view.

  • Dan_Cartwright

    Is the title of this post an serious and intelligent question? Frankly, I don’t know any evangelical haters of gay people, only those who profess hatred for the same sin(s) that God says He hates and/pr calls abomination. But that’s just me. When I hear ‘professing’ Christians communicating hatred toward people rather than sin, it gives me pause – the same way it gives me pause to hear professing Christians affirming any behavior God calls sinful.

    • BarbaraR

      Even though you’re just trolling here – since no person alive could be unaware of the hatred evangelicals hold for gay people – I will offer this link. It is but an extremely small sampling of the virulence fundies have regarding gay people.

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/05/24/pastor-calls-for-electrified-fence-to-corral-and-exterminate-gays/

      • Dan_Cartwright

        Then hear this ‘dead’ man……..who doesn’t actually know any professing believers who hate those who have homosexual tendencies. I know ‘about’ the alleged ‘Pastor’ in the blog you posted, and I seriously question the genuineness of his professed faith, just as I do of the folks who show up at the funerals of servicemen to rant and hate. Perhaps you ought to read my comment again, or perhaps my implication that I ‘pause’ when professing Christians express hatred. Was it not plain enough for you to understand? If you had qualified your generalization a bout evangelicals with ‘some professing’ I would have agreed wholeheartedly, however your words expressed an unwarranted generalization. Perhaps you didn’t intend such a blatant and false generalization, but those were your words.
        Feel free to ignore this comment. After all, I must be ‘dead’, right?

        • BarbaraR

          All professing Christians consider themselves “genuine” Christians (whatever that might mean). It is not for me to determine if they are or not.

          There are many, many, many examples of evangelicals dehumanizing and hating gays. I am not going to provide you with links; it’s easy enough to look them up.

          And I stand by my statement that no person alive could be unaware of the hatred. You can color it however you like – “Hate the sin, not the sinner” or whatever wording you prefer – but it doesn’t change the motive behind it.

        • WilmRoget

          “Then hear this ‘dead’ man…”

          Or there’s an unattended bridge somewhere with billy goats walking on it.

          “who doesn’t actually know any professing believers who hate those who have homosexual tendencies.”

          Since such folk are all over the internet, and the mainstream news, television, radio, either you’ve just awakened from a coma, or you are not telling the truth.

          Are you really trying to convince us that you have never heard of any of these people:

          Fred Phelps, Pat Robertson, Lou Sheldon, Jesse Helms, Rick Warren, the Roman Catholic Church, Bryan Fisher and the folks at NOM who unleashed multiple campaigns to deprive GLBTQ of basic civil rights, Jerry Falwell, Anita Bryant, Martin SSempa, Bert Farias, Rick Scarborough, Pastor Kevin Swanson, Richard Nixon, G.W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Pastor Louie Giglio, Rev. Grant Storm, Pastor Curtis Knapp, Charles L. Worley, Pastor, Mississippi state Rep. Andy Gipson, Pastor Dennis Leatherman, Tony Perkins, Gary Bauer, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, South Carolina’s Senator DeMint, Senator Inhofe of Oklahoma,Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Senator Sessions of Alabama, North Carolina GOP Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, Curtis Knapp, pastor, Ron Baity, Tim Rabon, Lon Mabon, Archbishop John Nienstedt, Tony Perkins, Pastor James David Manning, Robert Gagnon, Scott Lively, Ken Cuccinelli, Mike Huckabee, Marsha Blackburn, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Jan Brewer, Ann Coulter, Amy Kushnir, Rob Ford, Bishop Cordileone?

          These folks have all been covered by mainstream news over the last 30 years, articulating their hatred of GLBTQ people.

  • Guest

    I live in Virginia and believe me, the evangelicals here are really showing their true colors since we’re about to have legalized same-sex marriage in one of the most religious states in the country. Even though the Supreme Court put a stay on gay marriages for now, it is very likely gay marriage will begin in this state and perhaps nationally in the near future. Virginia may be the tipping point for legalized same-sex marriage nationally just as it was with interracial marriage in the Loving vs. Virginia case in the ’60′s. I live in Roanoke which is 50 miles away from Lynchburg the home of Thomas Roads Baptist Church and Liberty University which I call Jerry Falwell U.

    I, for one, cannot stand evangelicals. I’ve had nothing but loathing and disgust for them ever since I was a teenager. I’ve heard their hateful dribble for over 40 years and have witnessed terrible things they have done to people in the name of their hateful doctrine. With all that I’ve witnessed, my attitude now is they can basically kiss my ass. I am from the 1980′s gay generation where, if you were politically active as I was then and you marched in a pro-gay rally or parade, you didn’t know from one moment to the next if some whack job was going to attack you and you’d end up using the picket sign you were carrying as a weapon.

    I am a singer and I, personally, came under fire from these nuts when I sang in an AIDS Prayer Vigil in 1986. You wouldn’t believe the hateful phone calls I received from these idiots. I had to keep my phone off the hook for about two weeks. This was before cell phones, the public internet and social media.

    So if the evangelicals hate life because people like me will be able to marry a partner legally and no longer be considered second class citizens, I say GOOD! I hope the karmic winds blows back into their evil faces and all the crap they’ve done to people comes back to them ten fold and more!!


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