STOP SAYING “homosexual lifestyle”

Stop it.

If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a million times but apparently it bears repeating on a daily basis because I still hear or read it a few times a day (sigh, maybe I should revisit my Calvin and Hobbes collection). There is no such thing a monolithic “homosexual lifestyle”.

So, unless you enjoy presenting yourself as willfully ignorant, stop using the term, no matter how well-meaning you think you are.

Stop saying it unless you are willing to step up and say what you really mean, that you are grossed out by the thought of two people of the same gender touching, embracing, kissing and fondling each other’s fine china.

See, when you say you can’t support the “homosexual lifestyle” you are talking about a lot more than what goes on in our bedroom. What you are actually saying is that you can’t support me getting up early to make breakfast for the kids and pack healthy lunches.  You can’t support me helping a tearful kid through a crappy math assignment or a teenager through a heart-wrenching bout of boyfriend woes. You can’t support me going to work and loving the job I get to do with colleagues I respect. You can’t support me paying taxes or voting for school board candidates who might actually make a difference in the lives of thousands of children.  You can’t support me singing “I’ll Fly Away” in church or tithing as much as we can scrape together each week.  You can’t support me delivering casseroles to friend who’s husband is recovering from a tragic car accident or making kick-ass chili (yes, veggie) for neighborhood potlucks.  And you sure as hell won’t support me as we escort my dad to his final resting place.

You also gotta be willing to admit you are uncomfortable with the notion of human equality and just good old fashioned compassion. You have to be ready to claim your resistance to loving your neighbor as yourself (oh wait…).

Friend, every time you utter the phrase “I can’t support the homosexual lifestyle” be clear that you mean that my family is not real. Make sure you clear your throat so we can hear you say that you believe my children are being raised by abominations and that in order to make you feel better we should break up our home and raise our daughters as single mothers or in sham marriages.

And biblically speaking, be exceptionally clear that you want me put to death.

Oh, but wait, you’ll also have to be willing to put your foul-mouthed kiddo to death too (Exodus 21:10).

Tell the truth – you only adamantly apply the bible verses that in no way ask you to adjust YOUR lifestyle.  If you actually had to live every jot and tittle of the bible literally you’d have to give up a LOT of possessions (Luke 12:33), figure out something besides ham (or cocktail weenies, depending on which way you swing) for your holiday dinners and decline every invitation to the Shrimp and Oyster Palace (Leviticus 11:10). You’ll also have to step away from that People Magazine in the check-out lane at the Piggly Wiggly (Leviticus 19:16).

You’d also have to throw a little Paul into the garbage disposal.

Romans 8:38-39
New International Version (NIV)

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Yep, you’d have to deny Christ has liberated us from the minutia of man-made law and then admit that Grace is not free.

You are addicted to a lie.  You are addicted to a myth that relegates your neighbor to sub-human and a second class citizen.  You are addicted to the comfort of your own dysfunction.

My lifestyle, my life, my marriage will NOT destroy yours or anyone else’s.

Stop it.

About Kimberly Knight

Kimberly has a long history of back-pew sitting, Wednesday night supper eatin' and generally trying God’s patience since 1969. She's lucky enough to have made her technology addition a career and serves as both the Director of Digital Strategy as a southern liberal arts college and Minister of Digital community with Extravagance UCC.

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  • JoeNCA

    Kimberly, bless you for this. As a fellow gay person, I cringe when people say “the” homosexual lifestyle. It’s not the “homosexual” part I cringe at. It’s the “the” part I cringe at. It implies there is only “one”, “the” way to be gay, which is so steeped with ignorance, so monolithic like assuming there is only one stereotype for any group, it makes me cringe. Gay people come from every background, every religion, every race, every ethnicity, every political persuasion and every corner of the earth. It’s enormous diversity would far better be called “the human lifestyle”!

  • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

    “My lifestyle, my life, my marriage will NOT destroy yours or anyone else’s.”

    It destroys society, since your ideology is harmful. People with a homosexuality problem need to go investigate their problem and try to treat it.

    The other thing that your homosexual agenda will destroy is religious freedom (which is embedded in freedom of conscience), freedom of speech, and the persecution of social conservatives in all spheres of society.

    There is nothing progressive about normalizing homosexuality, it’s just people running away from their deep psychological and ideological problems.

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

      Homosexuality is not a problem. Ignorance and hate are. If you support the freedom of religion (as per our Constitution), and my church recognizes gay marriage, isn’t your support for the banning of same-sex marriage an attack on my religion’s First Amendment rights?

      • Oshtur

        Individual has a right to do as they need to in their pursuit of ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of THEIR happiness’. All limits on what that is are by constitutionally passed laws.

        This is a nation based on individual rights, not tribal ones as claims ‘to society’ allude to. If ‘society’, a bunch of individuals, doesn’t want something to be allowed then they will pass a constitutional law or change a constitution so they can regulate that behavior. With in those commonly held limits, all citizens have a right to live their lives as they see fit.

  • Bob Williford

    Biblically speaking, allow me to begin by pointing out something that was learned many years ago in a hermeneutic studies at Southwestern Seminary. Our professor, whose name I have long ago forgotten, said this, “We must never interpret Holy Writ from the perspective of our experience, but rather interpret our experience from the perspective of Holy Writ. We must place our lives under the cover of the Inspired Word of God and not vice-versa.” Because hermeneutics is the study of the methodilogical principles of interpretation this just makes good sense. (And by the way, this definition of hermeneutics come from Mr. Webster himself.)

    Kimberly, you are correct in suggesting that we are no longer under the Old Testament Law because we both know that Jesus came to fulfill the Law and He victoriously did so on the Cross. However, in His fulfillment of the Law the Christ did not do away with the meaning of it. For instance, the act of sin remains the same. However, the punishment is quite different and the way of forgiveness is only through the blood of Jesus.

    No matter the kind of sin whether is be a foul mouth or murder we are no longer under the penalty of death by stoning, etc. Jesus paid that price for us at Calvary for it is by His blood that we find salvation and the forgiveness of our sin. And when we sin we are to confess that sin and He is faithful and just to forgive our sin and will cleanse us of all our unrighteousness.

    Homosexuality is included in this, too. Let us not get caught up in how we might define this, but rather go to God’s Word. And for the moment let us take a quick peek at Mr. Webster for a working understanding of ‘homosexual’: “of, relating to, or characterized by a tendency to direct sexual desire toward another of the same sex.” This is an adjective and the term ‘homosexuality’ as described by Mr. Webster is an adverb.

    I would suppose then that ‘homosexual’ as we use it is actually a description of the person living in that manner. To say that a person is a ‘homosexual’ is not correct in and of itself, but rather a description of the person just as I am a ‘heterosexual’. However, the difference stops there. For I am a heterosexual male by birth as the choice was made for me by God as He put me together in my mother’s womb.

    Each person, male and female are created in God’s image and formed in the womb of their mother. To be homosexual is a choice made by individuals as male or female to choose a mate of their own sex. And as the Bible clearly states, this is sin.

    Take a look at the following from the Word of God and these quotes come from the Holman Christian Standard Bible:

    Romans 1:26-28; “This is why God delivered them over to degrading passions. For even their females exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. The males in the same way also left natural relations with females and were inflamed in their lust for one another. Males committed shameless acts with males and received in their own persons the appropriate penalty of their error.
    And because they did not think it worthwhile to acknowledge God, God delivered them over to a worthless mind to do what is morally wrong.”

    1 Timothy 1:8-11: “But we know that the law is good,provided one uses it legitimately. We know that the law is not meant for a righteous person, but for the lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinful, for the unholy and irreverent, for those who kill their fathers and mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral and homosexuals, for kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and for whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching based on the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was entrusted to me.”

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11; “Don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: No sexually immoral people, idolaters,adulterers, or anyone practicing homosexuality, no thieves, greedy people, drunkards, verbally abusive people, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom. And some of you used to be like this. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

    God is very clear in that He does not agree at all with Homosexuality.

    Have a blessed day….BW

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

      Bob,

      I have not forgotten about you and am not ignoring you. Today has been very busy and I am still running all over the place feeding 50 inner-city high-schoolers and then shuttling them home after their long analytical geometry study session. I will read and respond to all these soon.

      K

      • Bob Williford

        Sounds like ‘fun’ to me…LOL

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

      Hmmm, we have been trained very differently by our hermeneutics elders. God is not very clear about these things, some men writing and redacting, translating and interpreting for over 2,000 years are clear. What you have just shared with me are what we progressive Christians call the clobber texts. There is a theologically sound response to each and every one of the clobber texts. But pericope sparring will get us no where (it has not in over 2,000 years). I can tell you this though, Jesus was very clear to the Pharisees of his day that legalism that prevents one from compassionately loving their neighbor is the exact opposite of what God wants.

      Furthermore, the laws of our nation, that believes in the separation of church and state, should not and can not be based on Christian texts as interpreted by only some Christians. You may believe that homosexuality is wrong, a sin, as long as you live but you nor anyone else who believes such as the right to determine whether or not I may live my life in peace, raise my children in peace, pay my taxes just like any other married couple in peace, or leave my belongings to my partner when I rest in peace. For those who are certain that homosexual behavior is a sin – well, don’t have homosexual sex.

      In the meantime, I would love to keep talking with you, get to know you beyond the lobbing of theology back and forth. I am more than what I do with my genitals and you are more than a scripture sprinkler eh?

      I like pizza, do you?

  • Bob Williford

    Like Kimberly, I have a very long history of being ‘in church’. In fact, when I was 7 days old my parents enrolled me in the Cradle Roll Dept of FBC, Lubbock, Texas. I have been a Southern Baptist from ‘day one’. My higher education came from two SBC schools, La. College and SWBTS in Ft. Worth.
    After being duly educated I tramped off to be the Pastor of a few unfortunate churches and then flew away on a cloud with my wife and family to Peru where we served together as Missionaries for 13 years. While we were in that wonderful place God placed into our home a beautiful Peruvian baby girl who is now going to school in the Dallas area.
    With all of that being said, Patti and I are grateful grandparents to four and number five is on the way!! Our three boys are happy fathers and husbands, and all are quite active in their local churches as is our daughter who lives with one of her brothers near Dallas.
    I recently retired from the Arkansas Baptists State Convention where I was director of the Hope Migrant Mission Center in Hope and this is where we are currently living…..at least until my dear wife of nearly 43 years retires.
    These things sort of give you folks an idea from whence I come in respect to my view of homosexuality which Ithe Bible clearly describes as willful sin against what God intends for the human family.
    This post has become outrageously too long….and will be continued on another…

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

      This post is lovely and exactly what we need to be sharing (except for the next to last sentence). There are SO MANY sins against humanity and God that are being perpetrated every day without so much a peep from fundamentalist Christians. Why on earth are folks so obsessed with my sex life, my love life and my family?

      Have you read the post about my father? It will help you get to know me better – http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/2013/10/in-the-valley-of-the-shadow/

      • Bob Williford

        Kimberly, you posted “There are SO MANY sins against humanity and God that are being perpetrated every day without so much a peep from fundamentalist Christians.” Please do not take this wrongly, but you are incorrect here. We, who take the Bible to be literally true speak out against all sorts of sin…everyday. Every time that I share my faith with someone the excuses come as to why folks choose not to go to church and every excuse deals with the personal prejudice of daily life. There are alcohol, drug, child abuse, family issues, crime, theft, sexual issues, divorce and the list goes on. I was not picking on the Homosexual when I ‘dialed your number’.
        I am the ‘friend’, as it is, on FB…with a Brian “O”, and I put the “O” like this because I cannot spell his name..LOL.
        Anyway, I simply responded to what you two were discussing and nothing more.
        Mostly, I write about issues within the Southern Baptist Convention, but your response to Brian “O” caught my attention…nothing more. In fact, I cannot recall ever writing about issues dealing with Homosexuality and almost never say anything from the pulpit in the sense of a sermon topic. My ‘sermon speak’ is about man’s personal response to God because of his sin. Does Homosexuality ever come into play? Certainly, just as drugs, alcohol, crime, lying, cheating, stealing, gossip and the list goes on.
        Yes, I understand how the Homosexual Community would feel prejudiced by those who are not. This is such a viral subject and written about frequently….such as daily. But, those of us who are not are the subjects of such issues as well, we read and view it daily. But, you guys feel the heat more, and that I agree to.
        Kimberly, I am not one to ‘jump’ on folks just for the sake of doing so. However, entering into an enlightening discussion is always good for the soul.
        Have a blessed day…Jesus is Lord. BW

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

    I have read plenty about homosexuals, but have never engaged, in converstation, with anyone claiming to be a homosexual, etc. Just curious, apart from what I have read….how does this ring true with the Bible???

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

      Bob,

      I am so grateful you’ve stopped by and are interested in chatting. I would like to encourage you to read a few more posts here on my blog to get to know me the theology that sustains me. It is an incredibly important and courageous step you’ve taken to step move beyond reading about people to talking with us. Since it seems like you like to read, please do explore my blog some and don’t hesitate to ask tons of questions :)

      Grace and peace,
      Kimberly

      • Bob Williford

        I will do so, and thank you. Allow me to say to you that I am what some may refer to as a ‘Fundamentalist’ Southern Baptist. And I do have great difficulty with the Homosexual, Gay or whatever one may choose to reference that choice. I will not give you a hard time in a negative way……blessings. Jesus is Lord.

        • davehuth

          Welcome to this conversation, Bob. I have a lot of empathy for where you’re coming from and deeply appreciative of your open and respectful stance. Looking forward to hearing more from you around here :- )

        • Dr. M

          Greetings Bob. So refreshing to see a fundamentalist with manners :). Look forward to hearing more from you.

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

          Bob,

          I want to reiterate that I am grateful for your presence here. I was raised as a souther Baptist by a southern Baptist father. My father was a solid, hard working man who lived a traditionally simple life. He loved me and made it know that he loved my partner as well.

          There are so many things I want to share with you and hear from you so I hope you will hang around even when the conversation gets dicey.

          I feel that your heart is true and your soul is gentle and you are so very welcome here if that is the truth about how you understand your “Bobness” :)

          I will say that I hope you will come to understand that I no more chose to be gay than you chose to be straight and that each and every day I am trying faithfully to love God and my neighbor as much as God wants me to love myself.

          Your sister in Christ,
          Kimberly

          • Bob Williford

            I am certainly very curious about your statement, ” will say that I hope you will come to understand that I no more chose to be gay than you chose to be straight”. Please explain this without my saying anything because I believe you know how I would respond to this…..Thank you.

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

              I did not choose to be a lesbian. My choice was to live as God created me to be. I no more chose my embodiment than others chose to be straight, who were created to live and love as they do. I was created to love a woman. My choice is to live that out as faithfully as any human can. I choose to raise our children in a church, I choose to send our children to a school that values the whole learner and family that supports the learner, I choose to honor God by not rejecting the body as created by my Creator. I choose to love my wife forsaking all others.

              I promise, if I could choose to be straight, that would be WAY easier – even today with 16 states affirming the right for our family to be recognized as real and whole. But I will not choose to deny an essential part of my humanity to quell other folks’ “yuck factor”. I will not choose to live as a second class citizen in a country that my grandfather fought to protect, my father helped build and my wife protects and serves. I will not choose to live a lie that is predicated on misinterpretations of thousands of years old text written by specific men at a specific time for a specific culture to suit a specific agenda and then further redacted by men to advance a nation-building agenda that believes ruling through fear and loathing is the answer to ultimate power.

              I will choose to model my life after a Jesus who asked us to truly love our neighbor as we love ourselves. And the neighbor that Jesus held up as most rigorous, most God reflective, was the reviled other.

              I will choose to serve the poor, the hungry, imprisoned and marginalized though my words (which for me is my strength).

              But I will not choose to leave my wife, abandon my children and live a lie that will only cause anguish for everyone involved.

              • Bob Williford

                With all that you have said, I am somewhat troubled by this statement, “I will not choose to live a lie that is predicated on misinterpretations of thousands of years old text written by specific men at a specific time for a specific culture to suite a specific agenda and then further redacted by men to advance a nation-building desire.” Are you speaking only to the OT text concerning Sodom and Gomorrah or others as well?? I will not take you to task about the Lesbian statement because this will lead nowhere.

                There are other questions, but I will take them but one at a time…..blessings.
                BW

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

                  Ok, I am back and will start with this comment/question.

                  First, I hope you can find a kinder, less aggressive way to be in dialogue than to think you or I are taking each other to task about anything. We are having a conversation. I have some clear and faithful theological/sociological positions about which I am happy to answer questions. I do not believe it is my job to take you to task on anything and I will not respond well to being treated in such a way. We are equals at this table.

                  But to your real question – I was not merely speaking about the Sodom and Gomorrah passage, I was speaking about the way some people relate to the entire bible. There are many, and I was raised by two, who read the bible as the literal, inerrant word of God as if it has never been manipulated by the sinful hands of humans. Some have said (I being one of them) that this is akin to idolatry of the bible, worshipping the word rather than The Word which is Christ. Throughout my blogging here you will find evidence of the way millions of other Christians relate to the bible. As true but not literal. As real but not always factual. It does not have to be literal/factual for it to be true. This is a philosophical, higher order notions and not all folks will claim it but scripture, tradition, reason and experience infuse my faith with the ability to claim.

                  As to Sodom and Gomorrah specifically. It is not a text condemning homosexuality as we understand it today. Here is a post I wrote all about it: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/2013/06/yo-pat-the-sin-of-sodom-and-gomorrah-was-not-about-homosexuality/

                • Bob Williford

                  Three things:
                  One, If I come across as being aggressive…I suppose that I am when writing to something that is important…but kind I am.
                  Two. You are correct to say that Sodom and Gomorrah is not explicitly about homosexuality, and Dad did throw his daughters to the dogs.
                  Three. The Word of God is what it is..His Word of Truth…all of it. And I will strongly disagree with the idea of bible worship. This has been tossed about, but those who toss this about are simply wrong.There is much that I could say about this, but will not.
                  Have a blessed day, Kimberly….Jesus is Lord. BW

                • Belasco

                  Dear Bob & Kimberly,

                  I can’t even start to tell you how heartwarming it is to read this conversation. Thank you very much for continuing to share it!

                  I’ve recently been reading a book I think you both might find interesting, and largely on point for both of your perspectives. It’s Faith of My Fathers by Chris Seay. It’s been an almost voyeuristic reading experience for me; after attending an Episcopal conference at which the Southern Baptist Chris Seay spoke I was intrigued and wanted to learn more about “the other side”, as it were.

                  May you both continue to lead with Grace and Love, as you go forward in your conversation, and in your lives.

                • Oshtur

                  I agree and I wish Diqus had an easy way to archive it.

        • Seth

          Hi Bob,
          Welcome here; I’m an ex-fundamentalist myself. I was home schooled in the 80s before most people had heard of it :)

  • Heather Smith

    Beautifully said <3

  • melissia

    Oh, and also:

    “(sigh, maybe I should revisit my Calvin and Hobbes collection)”

    YOU SHOULD! I love that stuff :)

  • Belasco

    This is a wonderful article! I’ve passed it along to my daughter, a senior in a small charter school, who was very happy to have it to help her continue a conversation (not an argument) she’s been having about Christianity and homosexuality with her classmates. I know she’ll also pass it along to a beloved friend of her’s who “came out” to our family when he was in the 7th grade – unfortunately, he still isn’t comfortable telling his family. He was raised in a Southern Baptist tradition and has had his faith badly shaken by the duality of his life at home and the life beyond his front door.

  • Nikolai Grut

    Homosexuality is a behavior. I could be homosexual too. I shouldn’t even call it sexuality but fooling around or maybe experimenting. Thanks for your views.

  • http://Www.theirishatheist.wordpress.com/ The Irish Atheist

    A good point, but the people who use the term ‘homosexual lifestyle’ are not ignorant about it’s connotations. They’re just plain old nasty vile people.

    • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

      You seem quite nasty yourself. Typical.

      • http://Www.theirishatheist.wordpress.com/ The Irish Atheist

        Oh sweetheart, you’re comparing someone who has seen the worst Christianity has to offer and fights to protect people from it to Christians who delight at sneering at good human beings.

  • kenofken

    My state (Illinois), just passed gay marriage. I love the smell of justice in the morning! :)

  • Craig Allen

    Guess it’s “SOP” to delete opposing opinion…forgot !

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

      What are you talking about? What opposing has been deleted? Can you not see a TON of opposing opinions here regardless of their rank ignorance?

      • Craig Allen

        I posted something before which somehow was deleted. It was offering another opinion, nothing “homophobic” I do see a lot of opposing opinions, I can read thank you..and I do see rank ignorance but from an opposing viewpoint….and aren’t opposing opinions supposed to be “tolerated” ? I will leave you in peace.

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

          Opposing opinions yes, hateful abuse undergirded by willful ignorance – nope, not at my table.

        • KellyLynne

          This is Kimberly’s blog. She does not owe you a forum. I don’t know what was deleted or why, but you have the whole rest of the internet to say whatever you want. Whether she wants to tolerate opposing opinions, or at what point she feels you’ve gone too far and gotten rude or inappropriate, is solely for her to decide.

          (I get very tired of people complaining when others don’t give them a forum. You’re no more entitled to her providing you with space to air your dissenting opinions than you’re entitled to sit in her living room and do the same.)

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

            Thank you – I am likely to delete comments or ban folks who hijack the conversation. There is a fellah here who is walking very close to that thin line…

  • http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/ Lothar Lorraine

    Amen sister!

    You might be interested in taking a lot at my recent analysis of conservative Evangelical hatred against homosexuals.
    http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/2013/11/05/on-conservative-evangelicalism-and-homophoby-iwer-de-konservative-evangelikalismus-un-schwule/

    These folks are truly driving me nuts. But I ought to love them and pray that they will turn away from their wicked ways.

    Lovely greetings in Christ.

  • KJC

    If you really believe in tolerance, perhaps you should grant those who disagree with you the same consideration you request of yourself. The fact is, while those who agree with you will likely fail to see or admit it, this is an extremely poorly written post, filled with irrational anger that is a classic example of equivocation and a straw man argument. You take a term used by those who have an opinion different than yours, change the definition to meet your purposes, then attack the false definition you have created, all the while completely ignoring that you are not even addressing the actual issue. How would you feel if I claimed that when someone says they want to “come out,” they mean they want to commit pedophilia? I am sure you would be outraged (rightly so) and say that the term “coming out” has nothing to do with committing immoral acts against children. And of course, you would be right. In order to be fair to you, I would have to first ask what YOU mean by the term “coming out” then discuss and evaluate your position on the terms you are actually seeking to advance.

    Yet you have committed the exact same error here. If someone says they oppose the “homosexual lifestyle,” they are not saying they oppose your right to make your children breakfast or vote for school board candidates. That is plain ridiculous. Yes, rhetoric like this is very effective in rallying like-minded troops around you, but understand that statements of this kind are part of the problem, not the solution. By deliberately spreading lies (and yes, whether you want to acknowledge it or not, that is precisely what you are doing) about those who disagree with you and VASTLY overstating the areas of disagreement, you only inflame the emotions of everyone, which is counterproductive to getting people to sit down and actually analyze the issues rationally. You claim “when you say you can’t support the ‘homosexual lifestyle’ you are talking about a lot more than what goes on in our bedroom.” That is simply untrue. This may be what you WANT to believe your opponents are saying in order to justify your vitriol toward them, but you are wrong. When someone says they oppose a “homosexual lifestyle” this is precisely what they are saying. They oppose the decision to act on homosexual attraction. That is all. Period. Nothing more, nothing less.
    The definition of “homosexual lifestyle” that includes the intention to prevent you from consoling a teenager who is experiencing “boyfriend woes” only exists in your wild imagination. Nobody who is actually attempting to address this issue rationally is saying anything of the sort, but as a result of posts like yours, it becomes increasingly difficult to convince anyone of that. And unfortunately, until we get past this hate-filled rhetoric (and ironically, for someone who claims to be anti-hate, this type of misleading behavior illustrates an immense amount of irresponsible vitriol toward your fellow humans) we cannot get down to the real issues at hand. You see, those people who favor your position will unfortunately (and irrationally) be far more likely to believe what YOU say I believe that what I myself say I believe. How would you feel if I told everyone you believed in a flat Earth, and no matter how much you protested to the contrary, everyone believed me instead of you? Yet that is exactly what you are guilty of. Perhaps if you really believe in tolerance, you may consider actually giving your fellow person the courtesy of listening to them and what they say they believe as opposed to making it up for yourself and closing your ears to the best source of information available. After all, the person into whose mind you are attempting to delve is obviously far more qualified to tell you what is going on inside it than you are from the outside looking in.

    I am certain that I will get all sorts of negative reactions, but most will miss the point. I will be challenged as to why I oppose “equality.” I will probably even have a few people grossly misrepresent what I said and claim I have equated homosexuality with pedophilia (I haven’t, go back and read again if you think I have) or that I have claimed people choose to feel same-sex attraction (something else I have not done). In reality, I have not even addressed the merits of the underlying discussion, nor have I gone into your poorly researched attempt at a Biblical response (again, here you fail to demonstrate any understanding of the Biblical arguments raised against homosexuality and instead recite standard, oft-refuted Biblical “catch-phrase” arguments that show either an unwillingness to address the actual arguments presented or an unawareness of them). Neither is the point of my post. I am simply attempting to point out the obvious logical errors you have made in your approach that serve to prevent reasonable people from even getting “down to brass tacks” to discuss the real points of disagreement. Both sides are guilty of this. For example, we cannot discuss the morality of homosexual acts when we are stuck in the quagmire of arguing about peripheral (and irrelevant) issues such as ridiculous claims by your opponents about same-sex attraction being a choice, it leading to pedophilia or your claims that those who oppose homosexual acts are also attempting to prevent you from helping your kid with math homework.

    If you do not think “lifestyle” is a good word to use, fine. But you have gone far beyond simply suggesting a different term and into the realm of attaching labels and imputing motives to your opposition. Ironically, you are apparently unaware that the use of the term “lifestyle” is actually an attempt to concede (at least for the sake of argument) a point same-sex advocates repeatedly make; i.e., that same-sex attraction is not a choice. The reason people use “lifestyle” is because they are attempting to be clear that they are not disputing that the attraction is sincerely and biologically felt. They are only addressing the choice to act on those feelings of attraction. Yet some of your supporters in the comments have claimed that it is part of some vast linguistic conspiracy to paint your stance in a bad light. You yourself have tried to infuse this term, which again is an attempt to concede one of your positions, with meanings and intentions it never had. There is a term for this type of irrational behavior, and that term is “paranoia.” Not everyone who disagrees with you has some hidden agenda. They are not all “out to get you.” Sometimes we just disagree and are attempting to concede what should be conceded in order to spur a conversation on the real issues between us. When you reach the point that you are able to see that and not demonize everyone with a different opinion to yours, perhaps you could make a valuable contribution to the discussion. Until then, posts like this one only serve to drive a wedge further between us rather than bringing us together as a unified people.

    • kenofken

      This is THE classic tactic of the age among purveyors of hate speech. Throw a code word out there, then when somebody complains, YOU get to spin yourself as the victim of runaway PC sensitivity and your victim’s “hysteria” or “paranoia.” This brings an element of sleaze and duplicity to the issue that compounds the underlying hate. The old line bigots who called folks “sodomites” or the f-word at least did us the decency of being forthright and owning their hate.

      No, the phrase “homosexual lifestyle” has never, in post-Stonewall times, ever, had any innocent construction or neutral/good will intent behind it. It is used solely to mean “deliberate sexual deviancy and moral degeneracy”, and is a label applied to all same sex attracted people who don’t choose a lifetime of celibacy.

      No one uses the phrase “homosexual lifestyle” except as a way to call gay people perverts. It has no useful descriptive linguistic value independent of that, and it is not used by anyone outside of the anti-gay movement, ever. It is in universal favor among the virulent anti-homophobes, the ones who use the pedophilia slander. Words and symbols gain meaning not just from simple dictionary addition, but from the contexts in which they’re used. The context of “homosexual lifestyle” in most of our living memories is a universally ugly and negative one.

      It is also not paranoid for Kimberly to infer that the phrase is an attack on the mundane details of her relationship – the parenting etc. Of course it is. If we define a core piece of their human relationship – intimacy, as nothing more than a shared proclivity for perversion, than you must conclude that nothing else about their family life is “real” or worthy of dignity and protection. Oh, we might suffer them to live out of magnanimity or pity, but no guarantees. We all can disavow the venom of Frank, or whatever his name is, but his vicious ideas are the inevitable endpoint of the road that begins with the small footpath of “homosexual lifestyle.” We may or may not take that whole road, but the footpath leads nowhere else in the end.

      As to the point of unity and debate, the terms are simple. If we cannot agree to accept ALL of the aspects of our gay brothers and sister’s lives as valid and worth the same dignity and respect as our own, we have nothing to discuss. Their rights to live as equals is organic and inherent to their humanity, and recognized by our Constitution. They are not open for negotiation. They will have them. We will also not be drawn into a passive-aggressive semantics game. If you mean to have a good will debate, you have no need of the term “homosexual lifestyle.” If it is that important to you, then you are marching under the flag of hate whether or not you care to own it.

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

      If you do not know that the phrase is used that way then maybe in your heart you have never meant it that way and hopefully you have never seen anyone brought to tears or the brink of suicide because it was meant exactly that way. I hope in all sincerely that is true. Otherwise you are fooling yourself or lying to others.

      Sure I am a lesbian but that is not ALL that I am nor does it define my lifestyle. Have courage to stick to your guns and be clear if just sex is what is problematic but my “lifestyle” likely looks a lot like yours. When paired with homosexual the word lifestyle IS intended to conjure a specific and limited image of ONE way gay and lesbian people live their lives. My lifestyle is not limited to what I do with my sexual organs. My lifestyle includes the ways I parent, the food I eat, the house I am paying for, the cars I drive, choosing to recycle and compost, making meals at home and eating at the table with the whole family, celebrating holidays with friends and observing the Christian calendar.

      Let’s reverse the idea – what would be a single respectful phrase for me to use that classifies your life the SAME as ALL heterosexuals? Are you under the same umbrella as say, Charlie Sheen? I mean he is living a heterosexual lifestyle so if you are too you must be just like him. DO you want people to visualize your life in the same way they do his?

      You are not being victimized or oppressed by being asked to think more carefully an compassionately about language. You are simply being asked to be aware what words matter and to grow just a little.

      • Bob Williford

        Kimberly, I believe that it would be safe to say that your style of living does circulate around homosexuality…and I do not mean this in an ugly way. Do you not support political candidates that view life in the same way…..gay rights, abortion rights, parental rights, marriage and family, etc??? When I reference ‘Homosexual Lifestyle’ all of these things come into play. And it would also be safe to say that when I would refer to ‘heterosexual lifestyle’ the same would apply. And I might add that in my case I should add to that the word ‘conservative’ because that adds to the context of both religious and political values. Would I not be correct in suggesting the same about you??? Just a thought.

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

          Maybe so Bob, but most people who use the term homosexual lifestyle do so to invoke stereotypical images of debauchery, hedonism and wantonness. Are you ok with me saying heterosexual lifestyle if the image I hope to evoke is of say, Hugh Hefner or Charlie Sheen? When you say homosexual lifestyle do you also mean going to church, tithing, paying taxes, home-cooked meals eaten together around a family table, volunteering at our children’s schools, picking up litter on our walks home from church, throwing tennis balls for dogs rescued from gang violence, hanging out in our jammies reading the bible, weeping as we hold the hand of our father as he slips to the other side to meet his Maker and wife? If you do not mean all those little things too, then please do not use the phrase because you too mean to make people only thing of sex and politics not of real people with real lives, real loves and real pains.

          • Bob Williford

            I would think that everything you do or I do revovles around that life-style. We teach our children from that perspective and those perspectives are reflected in our politics, faith, etc. But I also know that our biblical world views are the foundations of those life-styles that we profess….one can be heterosexual and be hedonistic because of their lack of biblical world view as well…..
            What I also find so interesting here are the definitive lines of biblical understanding that each of us holds, and these truly define who we are……more than anything else. Even among those of us who are Southern Baptists brews a battleground of sorts….Reformers vs Traditionalists. Reformers being those who are of the Calvinist bent and those of us who are now being referred to as Traditionalists. And the beat goes on.
            I suppose what I am saying is that everyone who holds a Bible in their hands and close to their heart claims a truth of some sort…whether it, in my case, be literal or in your case, a liberal point of view. And we both see the other as being simply wrong.
            With that, I will say to you that I do strongly believe in gun rights although I own nothing beyond some old ones that belonged to my Father and Great Uncle.
            Abortion is wrong and the death penalty is correct.
            Of course rape is wrong and I am uncertain about where the idea of ‘rape culture’ comes from….I have heard the term used some.
            But I am also an advocate of a much smaller involvement of government in our personal lives. The public sector has fallen way short in many ways and has allowed the govt to become this grotesque monster that we find lurking around every corner. Taxes, welfare roles which are way beyond understanding, and on and on and on.
            But these questions are quite different than where this all began…the question of the right or wrong of homosexuality……and we will never find agreement here, will we? God bless you, Kimberly….Jesus is Lord. BW

            • Bob Williford

              Okay, I have found that I am taking up more of your space than you really expected from anyone. We are getting nowhere here. Your’s is a great blog which correctly expresses your point of view and I will not interfere again. Good bye and God bless…..Jesus is Lord. BW

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

          Not only that but do you have a depth of knowledge about what exactly you mean by “gay rights” or “parental rights”> And perhaps I do believe in the legal right for a woman to choose an abortion but do you imagine I have told my own daughter that I would never in a million years want that to be her choice? If I were to categorize you as simply an abortion rights foe would I also be free to assume you were against the death penalty (consistent ethic of life)? Or could I cast you as a rabid gun-rights advocate that would rather see insane criminals get guns at walmart than invoke stringent background checks? Would that also mean you were a supporter of enough taxes to educate and care for the unwanted children? Would I also be able to assume you would spend as much time commenting on blogs that promote rape culture for the heterosexual lifestylers? See, these notions, these labels are far more complex than the media or either of our religious sides would paint.

    • Lee

      “Ironically, you are apparently unaware that the use of the term “lifestyle” is actually an attempt to concede (at least for the sake of argument) a point same-sex advocates repeatedly make; i.e., that same-sex attraction is not a choice.”

      Um, no. I have never heard it used that way. In fact it is saying the opposite. Here is the definition of “lifestyle”:

      “A way of life or style of living that reflects the attitudes and values of a person or group”

      The implication is that you can change your “lifestyle.”

      A better, more accurate term would be “orientation.”

  • justjohn

    kimberly. omg you nailed it yet again.

    i sat on the witness stand during my first divorce saying this EXACT same thing in the summer of 1994. that was when my (very liberal, democrat, compassionate) wife decided to use my sexuality to tear apart the year-long 50/50 we had with our daughter that was her idea to begin with. the sexuality i ensured she understood before proposing marriage. and not much has changed in those 19 years. i still to this day cringe when i hear the *euphemism* thrown about.

    i had said “excuse me, what lifestyle? the one where i go to the grocery store and shop for vegetables to provide good meals for my child?” i made her dingdang attorney get explicit on the record.

    that attorney is now a family court judge for the past 5 years. yay. yay for texas.

    the *point* is – this attitude is situational and not the exclusive province of religious nutcases. power is power, for power’s sake. devolve said power – embrace the hate speech.
    my kids and i did this during my second divorce. we decided that “evil gay” was a compliment when i was called that by the ex-to-be. now, for something to be called “evil gay” in our family is the highest praise :)

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

      Thank you!

  • Edward Ebersole

    I am a wandering christian and even though the bible says being homosexual is wrong here is one thing I have learned in my life so far. All sins are equal in the eyes of God. I told a gay friend of mine this and when she sat back and thought about it, it made sense to her eventually when you think about all the sins. Yes we human beings may weigh each sin differently, but God weighs them equally. Her sin to be gay is no more or lesser than mine if I choose to spout hate. I am only using hate spouting as an example, it is not something I actually do OK. My friend also understood it when I explained to her I hate the sin, but love the sinner. Like most people at first she thought how can you hate the sin, but not the sinner. If you hate one you must hate the other right? We are only human beings, we’re not perfect and God knows this. I mean if you or I saw a bunch of people killing other people and you or I decided to help as best we could the people being attacked would it matter what they believed in or if they believed in nothing and would the color of their skin matter either? And would it matter if you having the ability to heal were having to heal one of those people who had been attacking those you had already helped? My friend thought about these questions and they weren’t easy to answer. I know the feeling, for someone once asked me these very questions and I felt that they were unfair questions to ask. But now I understand the meanings behind these questions. We are only human, not God’s, even though there are those people who think they have the right to act and judge as so, they are still only human and deserve to be treated as so. In the end God will pass his judgement and weigh all the sinners sins justly.

    • http://Www.theirishatheist.wordpress.com/ The Irish Atheist

      Yes, you believe her sin is greater than yours. Because when you love, when you hold hands with someone, get that tingly feeling in your stomach, give a hug or a kiss, it’s not a sin. When you fall in love, deeply and irrevocably in love, it is not a sin but a joy. When you find someone to dedicate your life to, to link yourself to, to live and to die for, it is not a sin. It’s beautiful. It’s the height and breadth of human existence.

      But when she does the same thing, you believe it’s an abomination.

      If you’re going to spit on her and her life and love, then own it. Don’t disguise it in a putrid package of your pompous piety.

      • Edward Ebersole

        No I don’t spit on her life or mock her ideas of how life should be. She and I have a mutual understanding and love debating some of the problems with these people who spout hate or legality from all different walks of life. For example I brought up to her one day a discussion I had with this young gay kid who is being raised by gay parents. Now don’t get me wrong when I say this, but gay people are not a race as this kid’s two male parents were teaching him. My gay friend even agreed and just said there is just too much gayness in that household. The kid had been ranting on and on about how him being gay made him a race and how it was racist to even say anything against gays. I calmly asked the kid are you human or not? The kid paused dumbfounded by my question and when he continued with his bashing slurs of everyone who was not gay being racist I responded by stating well I guess you must be something more than human. He finally stopped his BS talk and said no. I then asked why then do you go around acting as if you are in a class by yourself and everyone else who is different than you and has a different opinion than you is lower than dirt? He said because it was what his parent taught him it was right to do so. I am not sorry to say this and my gay friend would agree with me when I say this is a clear example of Mark Twains picture of the oppressor oppressing the oppressor. There is only one race on this planet and that is the human race, which is made of different human beings of different color, gender, and different beliefs. Do you disagree with me or agree when I say that?

      • Edward Ebersole

        And along came a spider to sit down beside her. Aha, low and behold a hate spouter emerges.

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

          How is telling you the truth in any way hateful? You are unwilling to see the flip side, the reality of that which you blindly profess. Please do not pretend that fear and ignorance are not the lenses through which you read the bible. If you show signs of trolling you too will be excused from the conversation.

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

          On second thought, I have looked over your comment history and you already do show signs of mean-spirited, shallow-minded trolling. Buh-bye

      • Edward Ebersole

        Aha, I knew it wouldn’t be too long till a hate spouter came along and sat right beside me.

    • Belasco

      Though I strongly disagree with the concept that being gay is a sin (and could argue against that quite easily), I can respect your stance. Christ didn’t ask any of us to judge each other, in fact, just the opposite. To be a Christian, to follow Christ, is to attempt to love one another just as we are – inherently imperfect.

  • http://spiritofpeacekingston.org/ David Starbuck Gregory

    My lifestyle can only be described as “David’s.” I happen to be a lot of things. You might say I live a lifestyle that is “grandfatherly.” But what does that mean? I don’t smoke a pipe, shuffle around in my slippers, or forget my name like my grandfather did. “Grandfather” is one piece of who I am, but it is not descriptive. You might say I have a lifestyle that is Christian, but that means different things to different people. I could be contemplative, or not. I could be a fundamentalist or not (I’m not). Christian is one piece of who I am, but it is not necessarily descriptive. I happen to have a same gender partner, but that says nothing at all about our “lifestyle.” I will be forever stunned by the ignorance that can be displayed on the internet for all to see, and my first response to Frank was none at all. But the more I read, the more offended I became, both for myself and for Kimberly. Words matter. If you want to ask me about my “choice of lifestyle,” ask me what I had for breakfast, but don’t make any assumptions about who I am based upon gender orientation or expression. You have no idea who I am, or what my choices might be. Stop pretending that you do.

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

      Indeed

  • James_Jarvis

    It strikes me as ironic that some Christians condemn the “homosexual lifestyle” when sexual orientation is not something people choose and then use their religion as an excuse for their bigotry. We are all saved by God’s grace and called to a new life in Jesus Christ, our Lord. This grace is freely given but asks in return that we live a Christian lifestyle of love, humility and grace towards others.

  • dapowellii

    As a recovering Fundie/Charismatic, I approve of this very well stated article. It is unfortunate that Evangelicals only read the parts of the Bible that support their worldview.

  • jetteye

    Whatever you do, Kimberly, don’t stop it. You, you’re good.

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

      THANK YOU!

  • RenegadeScholar

    Kimberly:

    Take a look at these quotations from you and ask yourself: does this help to end the cycle of “hate?”

    The first thing a serious Christian does is to look in the mirror and understand that he or she IS what is wrong with the world–you; me.

    Based on this, are you sure you are the right person to be an example in Christ of how to live and act? Is this the kind of love you want to bring forth to the world?

    You heap praise and love on those who agree with you; and anger and hate on those who don’t.

    To wit:

    “You are a very sick, ignorant, hateful, pathological liar. I feel sorry for you and the people in your life. I will keep your dark heart and wicked mind in my prayers.”

    “it is sometimes hard to feel the love through abuse [defined as disagreeing with me]….”

    “…as evidence of your ignorance and evil. You sir are a hateful, small person who in no way can claim the name Christian. I wish I could hate you but you are only to be pitied for the sinful way you behave and the damage you cause. You are sick, you are a liar and you are banned.”

    “…some people are determined not to evolve [agree with me].”

    “I do not think I have heard a more simple-minded, totally ignorant comment in a long time. And brother, that is saying something since a lot of dumb asshats troll my blog.”

    “There is disagreement (of which I have had many and handled with grace and integrity) [see--am I not wonderful?] and then there is sadistic abuse. [defined as disagreeing with me]….”

    Yes, Kimberly–this IS hate, From you.

    Christianity does not adjust to what we want it to be. We have to adjust to it.

    I expect venom to be heaped on me by you and to be banned. So be it.

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

      Oh honey, if you truly can not discern the difference between hate and self defense I am so sorry for you. I stand by every single word you quoted and would say it again to anyone who abused me in the way that “Frank” has. If you can not see how his “disagreement” transcends anything like civility and jumps way over into the dark abyss of abuse then you may be an abuser as well. So far, no you are not ban-worthy but I imagine you may try.

      • Margaret Aymer Oget

        Amen!

    • Margaret Aymer Oget

      1. Telling the truth is different than hate speech. Having read your comments, Kimberly is telling the truth.

      2. Christianity has been adjusting to what we want it to be since Pentecost when it became a translated religion, and Paul who threw out the two marks of the Abrahamic covenant (kosher and circumcision) and then claimed it anyway. Celebrations of Easter and Christmas are Christian adjustments. So are the churches’ denigration of slavery. Basic history that.

      3. Adoption, which my husband and I have also done, is not baby harvesting. We were not able to have children; we don’t know why. It just didn’t happen. So we entered into an open adoption. To say that marriage is only about child-bearing nullifies my marriage. It also invalidates the marriage of post-menopausal straight couples, of straight couples with infertility issues and of straight couples who do not choose to have children.

      4. Further, adoption is critical to our biblical story. Joseph arguably adopts Jesus, who is born of Mary and the Holy Spirit (Matthew/Luke). Of course, this very queer, as the Holy Spirit is either feminine (Hebrew) or neuter (Greek) but NEVER masculine. By your logic, Joseph is Jesus’ baby harvester because he has gained a family from a virgin that should never have been able to produce a child. Further, adoption is hallowed by the God who named us children by adoption (Ephesians). Of course, with your deep biblical knowledge, you must have known that the family of which Rev. Knight is a part has biblical precedent. According to the book of Ruth, Ruth, who took the wedding vow of Judaism not to leave Naomi, bore a child for Naomi (cf. Ruth 4 — that is literally what the text says).

      5. Homosexual armies? Seriously? What are they chanting: glitter and be gay? Closer to fine? Born this way? Sounds like a party!

      Dude, go crawl back under those covers and tremble. You have long since stopped being the voice of the majority.

      5. Rev. Knight’s children would be lucky to grow up as nice as is she. It seems that when logic fails us the illogical resort to ad hominem attacks. You have given a brilliant example thereof.

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

        Amen and Amen. Preach and teach Rev. Dr. Margaret Aymer Oget, Preach and teach!

    • gimpi1

      Renegade Scholar, did you notice the part where the person Kim was referring to in some of these responses (Frank) is frankly out of his mind? That matters. Crazy is as crazy says, and anyone who outlines a conspiracy for gay people to promote abortions and seize kids from straight people is crazy. Crazy gets banned, so the adults can talk in peace.

  • Steve

    Hmmm… I wouldn’t bat an eye if someone said I was living a “heterosexual married lifestyle”. The phrase seems like a pretty straight-forward description to me. There are many different kinds of lifestyles, and we’ve got to have words for describing them.

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

      Yes, there are many different kinds of lifestyles but they are not boiled down to hetero or homo sexual. What exactly is your version of a heterosexual “lifestyle” and what makes it so? Who you sleep with? Is your heterosexual lifestyle the same as say, Charlie Sheen’s? That IS a heterosexual lifestyle right? Do you want your lifestyle to fall under the same umbrella? I certainly hope you understand your life and yourself as more than what you do with your genitals. I sure do. My lifestyle is the motherhood lifestyle, the working class lifestyle, the writer’s lifestyle, the gardner’s lifestyle, the “I hate to exercise” lifestyle, the trying to eat vegetarian lifestyle, the craft beer loving lifestyle, the hating professional sports lifestyle, the going to church lifestyle…and yes, I happen to do all these things while being a lesbian in a committed, covenantal relationship with a woman. There is NO such thing as a single homosexual lifestyle. That is a phrase used to paint a broad picture that in no way captures the essence of my lifestyle.

      • Steve

        Well, if someone said I lead a “heterosexual lifestyle”, I’d understand that to mean a lifestyle which includes orienting my sexuality to member of the opposite sex. One can get more specific from there because there are different contexts in which that is done.

        One could do something similar with a “celibate lifestyle”. You could be a monk, or a priest, or just a person who never married. But they are all “celibate lifestyles”. No need to make a mountain of a verbal molehill.

        • Lee

          I am not gay but I have often heard the term “lifestyle” as a pejorative that refers to the stereotypical gay person, someone who is promiscous and spreads AIDS intentionally. It also can refer to the idea that gays are child molesters.

          Thus this is not a neutral term at all. They do not acknowledge that there are couples who are monogamous as they figure it is just about lust. And they think that the whole gay marriage issue is just about gays trying to force them to accept their “lifestyle” instead of people who are in love and simply want to make their relationship formal with the legal benefits that all married couples have.

          I have never heard the term “lifestyle” when it refers to gays not being used in a derogatory way.

          • Steve

            Seems to me that all the people who use the phrase have a negative view of “homosexual lifestyles”. But that doesn’t mean the phrase itself is imbued with inextricable malice. As far as I see it, the phrase just denotes, “A lifestyle which involves a sexuality oriented toward the same sex.”

            My mind goes to the words “Christian Fundamentalist”. That phrase was actually invented by Christians who wished to be called such. It denoted a Christian who is committed to their 5 tenets of basic Christianity. Today most people who say the word mean something negative, but the word doesn’t forfeit its descriptive power.

            • Lee

              “Seems to me that all the people who use the phrase have a negative view of “homosexual lifestyles”

              So you acknowledge that the term is pejorative for most people who use it.

              “But that doesn’t mean the phrase itself is imbued with inextricable malice.”

              Technically, no. But that is beside the point since as you have pointed out that people who use it have a negative view that makes it synonymous with “evil.”

              “My mind goes to the words “Christian Fundamentalist..Today most people who say the word mean something negative, but the word doesn’t forfeit its descriptive power.”

              Apples to oranges. The meaning given to “homosexual lifestyle” is false (ie. perverts, child molesters, destroyers of society, etc.). If it were JUST LIMITED to it’, technical meaning then you would have a point.

              On the other hand with fundamentalism people’s judgments are based on how these people who already identify themselves as fundamentalists behave and what they say they believe. While it may be used as a pejorative it mostly accurately reflects who these people are. You really do not have to make up stuff to make them look bad

              By the way I do not think that gay people ever decided to use the term “homosexual lifestyle” to describe themselves. I could be wrong on that though.

              I keep wondering why you want to argue semantics. What matters is not the technical meanings but how people use it, i.e. the popular meaning. “Ni****”, did not start out as a pejorative either, it was a mispronunciation of “Negro”. Few would argue that it is a neutral term now.

              • Steve

                I praise you for using direct quotations from what I said. I like that a lot, actually. Right off the bat I’ve got to take issue with how you interpretted something: “So you acknowledge that the term is pejorative for most people who use it.”

                Actually no. Suppose If 99.99% of people who used the term “automatic transmission” didn’t like automatic transmissions. They lay awake at night seething with anger that somewhere out there is car with an automatic transmission. That doesn’t mean “automatic transmission” is a pejorative term.

                Similarly, just because most people who use the term “homosexual lifestyle” or “a homosexual lifestyle” disagree with using sexuality in that way, that doesn’t mean the term is pejorative. It is simply descriptive. And in this case, I’ve never used or (heard a person using) the term to mean anything other than, “A lifestyle which involves sexuality between two same-gendered people.” I’ve never, ever heard it used as a codeword or a pejorative. Only as a boring, descriptive term.

                • Lee

                  You might try opening up your ears. Can you honestly read all the comments on here and still stick to your guns on this? I have also read plently of blogs condemning the “lifestyle” and they most definitely use it to mean what I just laid out for you.

                  I cannot say anything about your motives but I have found that a lot of people who claim not to hate gay people often do when you draw them out a bit. I talked with one lady recently about ENDA, which is a bill that would end job discrimination of gay employees. Even if you don’t agree with gay marriage most people ought to be able to acknowledge that gays ought to be able to get and keep jobs as a fundamental right.

                  This woman argued that she was not a bigot because she did not “hate” gay people. But after we talked a little while the reason why she was against ENDA was because she was “uncomfortable” with gay teachers and coaches.

                  So she could claim all she wants that she is only opposed to the “lifestyle” (and yes she used that term) and that she doesn’t “hate gays”, but of course she believes HATEFUL THINGS about them.

                  I told her that her “discomfort” had nothing to do with other people’s rights and she responded (FINALLY) with genuine anger and hate and said that gay people were trying to FORCE their “LIFESTYLE” on everyone else.

                  This is the context of how MOST PEOPLE use it and I have a hard time trying to figure out how you are denying that reality.

                  That is my lesson in sensitivity training..although I am sure that it will be lost on you

                • Steve

                  Perhaps she reacted in anger because you said things to her like, “I’m sure that this will be lost on you.”

                  I can imagine how thinly veiled insults to someone’s intellect would might excite an angry response. But then again, what do I know about sensitivity?

                • gimpi1

                  Steve, how can you sensitively respond to someone who wants to use their ‘discomfort’ to prevent other people from earning a living, and who sees people living their own lives as they see fit as ‘forcing their lifestyle on everyone?’ Those aren’t reasonable, sensitive positions. You can’t argue reasonably or sensitively with someone who displays neither trait.

                  Also, why is the person arguing for equity always the one required to be civil, reasonable and sensitive? Why is the person arguing for discrimination (remember, the conversation was about job-discrimination) allowed to be as shrill, rude and insensitive as they choose? I’ve had too many holiday dinner-table conversations hijacked by conservative relatives, attacking family-members who disagree with them, then complaining – when called on their behavior – that attempts to reign them in are “insensitive.” I can’t be the only one.

                • Steve

                  Your question might have been rhetorical, but I’ll take it
                  at face value.

                  It is a challenge to stay civil when the topic is something
                  important to you. I encounter this situation when trying to convince people it is wrong to kill young, small, helpless, and unwanted humans. I believe the people arguing for the opposite position are defending the horrible thing in imaginable. But then, you’d likely agree that people who are against abortion should state their case in a civil manner.

                  So I ask myself, “Does the fact that this person is espousing something terrible give me the right to abuse him? Would it please God if I did?” The answer is to both is no. 1Peter 3:16 says to respond in gentleness and reverence.

                  I try to remember that the person I’m speaking to isn’t my
                  enemy. Rather, within every person is the potential for great good if he can be lovingly guided into the truth. This can only be accomplished if I remain calm, use sound reason, and treat people with respect. I’ve found that discussion shuts down very quickly when I’m rude to a person.

                  I take the person as far as I can, I plant seeds. The rest is up to God. I often pray for that person and thank God for the opportunity to help them. It also helps to ask for the intercession of Bernard Nathenson.

                  However, I should note that my presence in this thread isn’t to offer advice. Rather, I’m just here saying that if a person wants to refer to lifestyles that include homosexual behavior, the boring phrase “homosexual lifestyles” is appropriately descriptive. Just the same way as a lifestyle that avoids eating animal products is a “vegan lifestyle”. The fact that Ms. Kimberly often deals with people who disapprove of “homosexual lifestyles” doesn’t mean that phrase is bad and shouldn’t be used.

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

                  So if I were to say heterosexual lifestyle about your life but have in mind Charlie Sheen or say, Snoop Dog, you’d be cool with that?

                • Steve

                  As I said to Daneen: “Hugh Hefner and I both live a heterosexual lifestyle.” It’s a perfectly true statement.

                  Insofar as I’m not a mind-reader, your intent would likely be lost on me. But say I was somehow aware that you were thinking of a different type of heterosexual lifestyle, or assumed there was only one type. Then I’d probably try to draw distinctions between my heterosexual lifestyle and Hugh Hefner’s and explain why those differences are significant. I might ask, “What do you see in Sheen’s behavior that you think is wrong? Do you think my lifestyle also has those characteristics?”

                  Now, it could be that a hypothetical person believes that sex between opposite gendered persons is always bad. So whether or not I’m monogamous, polyamorous, or otherwise would be irrelevant. In that case, I wouldn’t try to point out differentiations between Hefner and myself, because the person believes every manifestation of a “heterosexual lifestyles” is wrong.

                  So at that point, my task would be to address that issue and provide reasons why that isn’t necessarily so. I may concede that some manifestations of heterosexuality are bad, but that others are not. But at no point would I insist that the phrase “heterosexual lifestyle” is bad. I’d probably be using it too during these explanations because it’s a very straightforward descriptive phrase.

                • kenofken

                  If it’s such a neutral and potentially useful descriptor, why is it that “the homosexual lifestyle” is used exclusively by those who disapprove of homosexuality, and used most avidly by the most vicious subset of bigots within that lot? If it was useful shorthand for some monolithic or near universal way of life among homosexual, surely it would be in use even among gay and lesbian folk themselves. You’d think some gay publisher would have lept on the concept for a home and hearth or arts magazine by now.

                  The answer, of course, is context. There is no one or even plural set of lifestyles which are inherently homosexual. The term is exclusively a pejorative one. Put the phrase in Google. The first 10 pages of hits are exclusively sites which slander and assign sinister motives to gays – they’re out to recruit and pervert kids. They’re diseased, deviant etc. The only hits which are exceptions are those written in protest by gay folk and/or satirizing the concept. Nothing positive, nothing neutral. Nothing which would give a visiting alien anthropologist a balanced or informative insight into the existence of gay and lesbians in our culture.

                  You either don’t believe that context impacts language, or (more likely I think), you are ideologically compelled to pretend context doesn’t matter. That being the case, maybe you could answer this little thought experiment: Let’s say your neighbor paints a big swastika on his garage, or the architect of your kid’s new school building adds one to the main entrance, just as, you know, a little motif.

                  Would you have a problem with that, and on what grounds? It’s just a piece of geometry. Lines at right angles. Nearly all of the thousands of years of its history were positive. If you or your Jewish friends held a protest, wouldn’t you just be projecting your own insecurities and PC sensibilities on someone else and a neutral symbol?

                  In fact, I’ll do you one better than a hypothetical. Let’s consider the dual lightning bolt symbol. It has a natural appeal to masculine warrior culture of any kind, and since meaning can be surgically severed from history in your world, do you think these men were unjustly punished? They’re good guys, and there’s nothing inherently evil about lightning bolts, right?

                  http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/article/20120209/NEWS/202090327/Marine-scout-snipers-used-Nazi-SS-logo

                • Steve

                  I don’t really know what to say at this point that I’ve not already said. Just because most or all of the people who use that term also disapprove of homosexual lifestyles, that doesn’t mean the term itself in on par with the swastika or SS symbol.

                  I think of the fact that they were rounding up and killing “Jews”. They made propoganda saying anything “Jewish” was bad. In 1930′s and 40′s Germany, most people using the words Jew and Jewish would have done so with murderous intent. But that doesn’t mean the term “Jewish” is itself bad. It was just used by bad people.

                  And I can understand and agree with a person who says, “There is no such thing as ‘the homosexual lifestyle’. There are many types of homosexual lifestyles. We can’t lump them together in a way that makes them all seem the same. We should recognizes there are a myriad of homosexual lifestyles, just as there are many heterosexual lifestyles.” But to propose that the words “homosexual” and “lifestyle” cannot be joined together in any circumstance strikes me as unreasonable.

                  Any time I’ve used the term, or heard it used, it was referring generally to a lifestyle that includes the use of sexuality between two same gendered people. It was a boring, neutral phrase. Just like “vegan lifestyle”, “athletic lifestyle”, or any other type of “[descriptive qualifier] lifestyle” you can think of.

                  Sorry, friend. That’s all I’ve got for you.

                • KellyLynne

                  Remember, it’s not just “disapproving” as though everybody’s having a friendly and civil disagreement over tea and cookies. It’s preventing people from legally getting married, excusing bullying of gay kids, firing people for being gay, denying them the right to visit their partner in the hospital. Even re-criminalizing sodomy and throwing people in jail over what they do in their bedrooms. All of that is excused as “I don’t hate them, I just disapprove of their lifestyle.” There’s even one pastor, in North Carolina, I believe, who literally suggested that gay people should be rounded up and put behind an electric fence. The comparison to swastikas and double lightning bolts is less far-fetched than you seem to be arguing.

                • Steve

                  I can’t in any way speak to the actions you’ve described. I believe all people should be treated with dignity and charity. If I were to based my opinions of all people who disagree with me upon the most extreme examples, I would live in a scary world.

                • KellyLynne

                  Steve, only the last bit of that is an extreme example. In most states in the US, it’s legal to fire someone for being gay. In most states in the US, gay people in long-term relationships have few or no of the legal protections marriage offers. The *large* majority of gay kids are bullied, some to the point of suicide. And when people try to change any of that, the very same Christians who “just disapprove” of the “homosexual lifestyle” are the very same folks spending millions to shoot it down.

                  But, since you believe all people should be treated with dignity and charity, have you contacted your Representative and asked them to support ENDA (which makes it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation in hiring)?

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

                  Nicely done Kelly

                • Steve

                  I’ve not had time yet to review the legislation you mention. It could contain elements that are well worth supporting, but as with all legislation it could also mix in some negative aspects as well.

                  Politicians often craft bills which offer many good things which no reasonable person would object to, but then they mix in something partisan which renders it unsupportable to certain people – even if they’d support 95% of the bill otherwise. Then they can take to the news programs denouncing the “extreme” nature of their opposition.

                  Politics is often filled with this depressing level of duplicity. It is for that reason that I don’t like to tie support for specific bills to a person’s personal moral character. But I appreciate you directing my attention to it and I’ll give it the time it deserves.

                • gimpi1

                  Thank you for your reply, Steve. I appreciate that it can be hard to remain civil when you feel strongly, but I don’t buy that as an excuse. Anyone can rein in their emotions and remain polite. For some reason, at least in my family, those on the far-right side of the discourse, especially the religious people, do a much worse job of it than those on in the middle or on the left. That may be unique to us, though I think believing that one has God on their side might, in some cases, add a special brand of arrogance to the mix.

                  Just as you hope to “lovingly guide into the truth,” I hope you are lovingly listening to what those who disagree with you have to say. Otherwise, it’s not a dialogue, it’s propaganda. I find I can learn from those I disagree with, while not automatically adopting their opinions. As long as they respect me and my viewpoints, I do my best to respect them and theirs. That’s where, in my opinion, my uncle and in-laws fail. Everything turns into a battle, not a discussion. There is no give-and-take. There is no, “agree to disagree.” There is no hill they won’t die on. And that makes for a lot of indigestion on Thanksgiving.

                • Steve

                  I’m afraid it is beyond my competance to help in your family troubles. However, rather than blunt the energy the put toward their positions, I’d suggest helping them channel it. Maybe you could turn them onto some examples of bloggers or speakers who are good at listening and engaging in a civil manner. I’ve learned a lot from listening to Catholic Answers Live, whose hosts (particularly the marvilously handsome Jimmy Akin) treat courtesy as a rule.

                  In the end, the poor behavior of other people doesn’t excuse my own. I strive to treat people with respect, not out of some social barter, but because it is right.

                • kenofken

                  He’s denying that reality because that’s how today’s hate movements work. Do everything through code words, and prevarication, and semantics games, and plausible deniability. Your allies will know what you mean, and if anyone calls you out on your transparent agenda of hate, turn the tables around on them.

                  Since they can’t “prove” your hatred, they’re the intolerant ones for not tolerating your intolerance…stay on message at all time, and hutzpah, lots of hutzpah and righteous indignation. Never, ever own your real motives. Claim to be the true champions of the people you seek to oppress. Never tell a small lie.

                  Assert control of the language at all times. It’s not Holocaust Denial. It’s a concern for academic freedom and accurate scholarship. It’s not white supremacy, it’s a positive celebration of the heritage of Northern European Peoples! If you call them out on this asinine abuse of language, you’re the oppressor because you’re seeking to “ban” speech…

                  This has nothing to do with sensitivity at all. It’s a set of tactics that is used in hate movements of every stripe – racial, ethnic, homophobic, religious etc.

                  It’s a clever strategy, but not too clever. It only works if we’re gullible enough to play along. Call it out, let the rest of the world know what it’s really about, then leave them behind.

        • Daneen Akers

          Steve, as a heterosexual, you (and I) have enormous privilege because people assume we lead individual lives with various interests, passions, hobbies, causes, etc. Nobody uses my “heterosexual lifestyle” against me, and that phrase is so clearly ridiculous when transferred to the heteronormative paradigm that we can see how it breaks down. Of course there are a lot of different ways that hetero folks live their lives. As Peggy Campolo famously says, “Madonna and I are both heterosexual. We do not share the same lifestyle.”

          I’ve worked to help foster authentic conversation in conservative faith communities about how LGBT members are treated for almost five years, and I can assure you that the vast, vast, vast majority of the times the word “lifestyle” is used towards LGBT people, it’s not just essentializing every gay person as being the same, but it’s also negative and usually pejorative. When someone from a marginalized community says, “This hurts and is wrong,” then I find it most helpful and healing to stop, listen, listen some more, and reflect.

          • Steve

            Well, as I said to Ken above, the phrase “the heterosexual lifestyle” indeed suffers from a bit of oversimplification. Change the word “the” to “a” and you’ve got something far more accurate. Hugh Hefner and I both live a heterosexual lifestyle.

            As for the admonishment to “stop, listen, listen more, and reflect”. How’s this reflection … why do people use the phrase ‘homosexual lifestyle’?

            One of the great errors of Christians in dealing with homosexual people has been saying, “Stop feeling that way. You are bad for feeling that way.” For a person to say that he disapproves of the –lifestyle- actually shows a step forward. It draws a crucial distinction between condemning a person and condemning an action. To ban that phrase would remove the way Christians make that distinction, reversing progress. The term “homosexual lifestyle” itself is a boring, neutral description. There’s no derogatory slang in it, there’s no code-words. By itself it’s no more hateful than “marble statue”.

            So that’s my reflection. Did I reflect wrong? Is a person (post-reflection) not allowed to conclude that it is an unreasonable request? Or did you really mean, “Hear and Obey”?

            Ms. Kimberly’s complaint was that she only hears the boring descriptive phrase when used by a person who disapproves. Myself, I’ve dealt with Bible-Christians saying Catholics are bad because we have repetitive prayers. I don’t combat this by demanding people stop saying “repetitive prayers”.

            If she wants to convince Christians to stop disapproving of homosexual actions, then she should instead make a strong biblical and historical case that Christian morality doesn’t condemn sexual activity between members of the same sex. But instead, her proposed solution is to ban a boring descriptive phase that actually demonstrates development. Generally, I think banning words and phrases is doubleplus ungood. (Even for silly, pretentious phrases like “heteronormative paradigm”)

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

              A. I am not banning the phrase just pointing out how ignorant and shallow folks sound when they say it.

              B. It is not my “lifestyle” they disapprove of it is with whom kiss, caress and make love. Rather than the mamby-pamby, umbrella word lifestyle, just say sex.

              C. Steve, honey, this is not the only blog post I have ever written. You will find theologically sound and biblically faithful posts all over my site if you take the time to read them.

              D. I do not care if some Christians (not all Steve, not by a longshot) do not believe that the sex I have is biblically supported. I do not have to convince them of that. What I do feel called to do is – 1. speak truth to the willfully ignorant powerful. 2. share a love of Christ that surpasses man-made laws that in no way refelct the free Grace of the one who would rather die at the hands of teh created than be in the sin accounting business anymore (thanks for that line Nadia, I refer to it often). 3. be very, very clear that one subset of one religion has NOT RIGHT to determine the laws that govern all people in this beautiful and broken nation of ours.

              If you don’t beleive in gay sex – don’t have it.

              • Steve

                And if you don’t like the phrase “homosexual lifestyle”, don’t use it. Don’t tell other people what they can and can’t do with their vocabulary.

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

                  Ok, you are right, go ahead and look ignorant and heartless if you want to, you’re going to anyway :)

                • Steve

                  Hmmm… if you’re against making sweeping judgements against people, I think you should hesitate to imply that I am ignorant and heartless. I’d never use a derogatory term against a homosexually oriented person and have no plans to.

                  However, I don’t think you’ve identified a derogatory term today. Objection to the phrase “homosexual lifestyle” to denote a lifestyle that includes homosexuality seems like almost comic oversensitivity.

                  I am interested in your thoughts on the Romans 8 comments above.

            • kenofken

              If you truly believe “homosexual lifestyle” is a neutral, un-loaded descriptor, you have nothing to bring to any serious discussion of good will that might happen between LGBT folk and Christians struggling with theology. It’s denialism and will poison any attempt at dialogue just as no healing is possible between Christians and Jews or between the descendants of slave owners and African Americans or between most Americans and Native Americans if the underlying source of grievance is dismissed or diminished.

              “Homosexual lifestyle” is in no way equivalent to saying “a heterosexual lifestyle” or “a” lifestyle of any sort. It is said, and construed to mean “THE homosexual lifestyle” which creates the presumption that any same sex partners in a relationship are engaged in perverse acts unless they plead celibacy (which no hetero person is ever asked to do to avoid the presumption of evil).

              It creates no distinction between a person’s orientation and their potential actions. It presumes they are engaged in something wicked by virtue of who they are. It DOES condemn the person and reduces their humanity to acts in which they may or may not be engaged and which are not the business of any well adult to concern themselves with outside of their own lives.

              It is also disingenous to suggest that the anti-gay movement’s primary concern is sexual acts they consider un-Biblical. There is absolutely no act that gay people do that hetero folks do not do on a scale orders of magnitude larger. I have friends and connections in virtually every subculture you can think of, and many you cannot. Straight folks do some stuff so freaky that they would make old Charlie Sheen vomit, then faint, then curl up into a ball and whimper.

              At least 9 out of 10 people who engage in “sodomy” or whatever else you disapprove of, are straight, and they come from all walks of life. PTA moms, youth baseball dads. Christians. A large majority of straight couples color outside of the lines of what conservative Christian scholars would call “normal”. Yet we don’t, for some reason, use the term “heterosexual lifestyle” to convey the meaning of “probable pervert” despite a MUCH higher statistical likelihood that will be so.

              We don’t extract loyalty oaths in the form of proclamations of celibacy to remove the presumption that they’re in “the lifestyle”, and in fact we almost never in polite society attach a mental label to our hetero friends and neighbors based on what we think they might be doing in their bedrooms. This “condemn the act, not the person” energy is expended solely upon gay people. As straight people, we also don’t take kindly to people who reduce our humanity to one aspect of our sexuality, as when some angry gay folk call us “breeders.” THAT is the true equivalent of “homosexual lifestyle”, not “marble statue.”

              I don’t propose to ban any word. Say whatever you like, but when you persist on using terms that have a deep and clear history of bigotry attached to them, expect to be called out on it, and to have it reflect upon you.

              • Steve

                Just for clarification, which word is it that has the deep history attached to it? Is it the word “a”, “homosexual”, or “lifestyle”? As for the statement that it makes no distiction between orientation and action… not much I can say. Yes it does. That is the reason for its existence, is to make that distinction.

                Are there any heterosexual people who are asked to abstain from sex by Christian? Sure, lots of ‘em. If a given Christian group believes that sex outside of marriage is wrong, then such a group would expect non-married people to abstain from sex.

                You know what I consider to be derogatory? The phrase “LGBTQ People”. You mentioned reducing a person down to their sexuality, I think that’s a textbook case. I don’t like to affix qualifiers to the word “person” if I can help it. I prefer to say “person who (XYZ)”.

      • Steve

        I’d also add that I think the manner which you’ve used Romans 8 might be a bit problematic. People (and here you have something in common with many fundamentalists) often use this passage to make a case for the “once-saved-always-saved” position. Namely, that nothing a person does can break their communion with God.

        In chapter 8, Paul was encouraging the Christians in Rome to endure persecution and to not fear anything the Romans might do to them. Indeed, no power outside oneself can separate you from communion with God. However, you may note what Paul doesn’t list: A person’s personal choices.

        In fact, if you scoot forward to chapter 11, you’ll notice Paul warns the Gentile audience to not be arrogant to the Jews, lest they (who were grafted into Christ) be caught off from the vine. So there’s one thing that can separate you from communion with God – antisemitism.

        The New Testament is replete with examples of behaviors and choices that can separate a person from God. Hating ones brother, neglecting orphans and widows, breaking a vow of celibacy, denying Jesus, grave immorality, and many others. None of these deny the saving work of Jesus.

        I normally find myself pointing this out to Fundamentalists, so this has definitely started off my morning in an odd way. But perhaps that’s a point of view worth thinking about.

    • kenofken

      You’d bat an eye pretty vigorously if the term “heterosexual married lifestyle” was used solely as a pejorative code word for “deliberately deviant and evil”. That is the entire connotation behind the phrase “homosexual lifestyle.” Taken on its face outside of that historical usage, it has no descriptive linguistic value whatsoever. It is far less descriptive than saying “the Asian lifestyle” and only a smidge more precise than “the Earth-based lifestyle”.

      • Steve

        It might annoy me that someone thinks a “heterosexual married lifestyle” is evil and bad. But I wouldn’t demand that people stop using the purely descriptive phrase.

        However, I’d agree with you that the article “the” tends to denote there being only one of something. In this case saying, “the homosexual lifestyle” seems a bit inaccurate because there are many types. The article ‘a’ seems called for.

        • KellyLynne

          It would more than annoy you if people wanted to forbid you from practicing the “heterosexual married lifestyle,” take away the legal protections you and your wife have, kick you out of your church if you have one, and otherwise make your life as hard as they can, all the while protesting that they don’t hate you or wish you harm, they just disapprove of your (sinful, deviant) lifestyle.

          Straight people are the dominant majority, viewed as the norm. I don’t think you can just turn a phrase around and really grasp how it’s used as a weapon without putting yourself in a similar minority, less powerful position.

    • tyler

      kinda like how you wouldn’t bat an eye if somebody called you a cracker* and therefore have no problem throwing around the n word?

      *insert racial slur as appropriate. i merely assume you are white because you seem to be completely unaware of the concepts of privilege and systemic discrimination, and appear to be totally convinced that you know better than any lgbt person exactly what is or is not offensive or discriminatory to them. feel free to correct me as necessary

      • Steve

        The terms you are referencing were invented to be derogatory and have no real descriptive value. I don’t think it is right to use racial slang of any variety. Similarly, I don’t like it when people use slurs against homosexual persons. Words like “f****t” or even “q***r” are ones I wouldn’t tolerate.

        To continue with your analogy, the category phrase of “homosexual lifestyle” seems more like the phrase “African American” – in that it is boringly descriptive without using the type of slurs you mentioned.

  • Frank

    So no to the gay baby harvesting movement. Raise kids properly please in a heterosexual household so that they get exposure to both sexes and grow up healthy and happy and not confused like their homosexual parents. We do not want to become a nation of baby harvestors, planting babies into testtubes, filing litigation against people to steal their DNA and eggs and sperm to allocate to homosexuals so that they can have ‘equal rights’ to raising children in marriages that only mimic those of heterosexuals. If you are gay then you are automatically stating you are not childbearing so no need to marry for purposes of creating artificial childbearing through litigation where you will soon start suing heterosexuals to focibly make them provide you with babies, or else you will accuse us of not being equal for hadning our babies over to youf ro harvesting into your baby allocation machine ie gay adoption model whatever it may be once you can convince the whole world that gay marriage is a complete endorsement of baby harvesting by gay people who are non-procreative.

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

      Wow, I do not think I have heard a more simple-minded, totally ignorant comment in a long time. And brother, that is saying something since a lot of dumb asshats troll my blog.

      I was raised by two loving, committed, Christian parents – a dad and a mom. I was exposed to an iron working father who grew up picking strawberries to help his family survive after his piece of shit father ran out on a wife and nine kids. I was exposed to a very feminine mom who stayed home with us kids for years and once we were in high school she went to work – in the perfume industry.

      I am gay.

      I gave birth to my daughter.

      So did my wife.

      You, sir, need to read a little more and talk a LOT less.

      Your sister in Christ who will be praying for your heart and mind to be opened by the Holy Spirit.
      Kimberly Knight

      • davehuth

        Kimberly, you know me well enough to know I don’t say the following lightly. In my opinion, you should not feel the slightest hesitation in simply deleting and banning in response to this comment. The phrase “baby harvesting” has been entered into the world, thus the world is now a measurably more hostile and grief-stricken place, as a result of this act. I understand if you prefer to seek a different response, and I respect you for it. I simply feel you need to hear some support if you’re wondering whether it’s called for in this rare instance. Peace.

        • Frank

          It is nice that you stick up for your friend, but again there is nothing mean intended with my comment. Baby harvesting is a term that describes homosexual family creation methodologies because it takes into account the fact that the homosexual is aware from the start that their family-based same-sex union cannot birth children directly, but can only harvest children already birthed from alternative heterosexual unions, therefore homosexual marriage is dependant upon heterosexual birthing of children for donation to the homosexual harvesting authority for redistribution among their societal brithright structures, ie homosexual adoption waiting lists. So the entirety of homosexual marriage and family creation is entirely dependant upon heterosexuals agreeing to give away their DNA for free to the homosexual community, or for the Courts to make legal orders commanding heterosexuals to hand over their DNA, sort of like requiring people to donate blood upon penalty of arrest or prosecution. Stuff like that which we can look forward to the day the gays finally take control of the mliitary and force us to give up our children to the gays upon penalty of death.

          • Daneen Akers

            I’d think you were attempting satire if this was actually just a tad less insane. Seriously. Wow.

          • KellyLynne

            It seems silly to actually respond to your hateful trolling and paranoid conspiracy theories, but I’d remind everyone else reading that the inability to birth children directly is not solely a “gay” thing. Something like six percent of married women are considered infertile. There are tons and tons of straight people adopting, or using all kinds of reproductive technology to have children. There can absolutely be ethical issues with adoption, donor cells, etc., but a lot of people (some who come off as more reasonable than Frank) seem to like to pretend that those ethical issues would magically vanish if people would just stop being gay.

      • Frank

        You gave birth to YOUR daugher from a male sperm donor. Your wife gave birth to HER daughter from another male sperm donor. You two may have married and cross-adopted each others babies in an attempt to cobble together a simulated family, but this is not the same as the family you were born into and had the fortune of experiencing. I am sorry to offend you, but i assume you post your article on the internet publically to engage open debate. Surely you know that all types of people are going to run accross your article, including those who are against baby harvesting. I am sorry to unleash the nomenclature of ‘baby harvesting’ upon the world, but it is really the most accurate descriiption of the ultimate goal of the gay marriage movement, which is to set the foundation for ideological-based litigation which will force baby harvesting upon the world as a form of equality towards gays since they are admittedly non-procreative in their sexual unions. Your brother in Judaism/Christianity/Islam will pray for you to overcome your baby harvesting obsession so that you can continue to enjoy the fruits of your labors (no pun intended) and perhaps give your children the same chance to grow up and become as nice as your parents have raised you, if you are indeed a nice person and not a sexual militant.

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

          There is disagreement (of which I have had many and handled with grace and integrity) and then there is sadistic abuse. Your comments fall in the latter category. You are a very sick, ignorant, hateful, pathological liar. I feel sorry for you and the people in your life. I will keep your dark heart and wicked mind in my prayers.

          You may now leave my table.

        • kenofken

          Dude, if you’re the best that one woman/one man “natural” hetero procreation can produce, then it’s time to turn over the whole reproductive franchise to gay folk anyway, or else go straight for cloning and synthetic cell biology.

          • Guest

            thank you for allowing my posts to remain. IN that case you are an honest blogger, but my advice to those who are weak in the mind is don’t ask for opinion if you cant handle the response. As a scientist, i dont fault the universe for behaving in the way in which is was created to behave. As a biologist, there is no dispute that men were created to be biologically complimentary to women in every way from sexually to psychologically. Those who yearn for same-sex intercourse, are suffering from a psychological disorder like depression, schizophrenia, bipolar, dyslexia, etc. Many parents with psychological disorders can still raise children without incident. The fact that two gay adults can feed/cloth a child does not automatically make them good parents. If gay people really cared about children, then would remain true to their disorder and leave the kids out of it. Gay=non-childbearing, so it is against the gay sexual configuration to adopt children becuase their very disorder is such that they were born not to have children by their own admission. Its like being born blind and then forcing others to give up their eyeballs to be harvested so that a person who was born blind can get an eye transplant to see. Basically, if you were born blind, you have no right to take someone elses eyes away from them just so you can see. If you are born gay, you have no right to take someone elses child away from them just so you can play house.

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

              Another blogger (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/peterenns/2013/11/fear-loss-of-control-and-theological-conflict/) reminded me that what I am seeing in your posts here truly is evidence of fear. “anger, belligerence, win-at-all-costs, and control-of-other”

              This reminds me to reclaim compassion. I am so sorry for what ever has hurt you so deeply to form you into this distorted self. Really I am.

              That being said, unfortunately I am afraid that in your case fear has crossed the line into pathological and dangerous for yourself and others. No matter how many new names and profiles you come up with I will now and forever delete and ban your every personality.

              Please find help. Please find love.

              Kimberly

            • Sven2547

              As a scientist…

              I’ve yet to see one iota of science in your paranoid scrawlings.

            • http://Www.theirishatheist.wordpress.com/ The Irish Atheist

              Sweetheart, you can call yourself a scientist, but I can also call myself Nastia Liukin. It still won’t make me a Russian Olympic gymnast.

            • Terri

              You sir, and I use that term lightly, are no scienctist, you are a dispicable loathsome creature created from the pits of hell, just like the other “fundies” in this world. We DON’T have to live by the faith YOU profess, but what they word of GOD lays on our hearts. You are a disgrace to all the “sperm donors” out there!

            • KellyLynne

              If you were a scientist, you’d know that homosexuality occurs in a lot of species other than humans, and is totally natural.

              Also, nobody, gay or straight, has the right to take someone else’s child away from them. However, everyone, gay or straight, has the right to attempt adoption or assisted reproduction. If a straight woman finds out that her eggs are no good, and a healthy woman wants to donate some of hers, so that woman and her husband can have the baby they’ve wanted for years, that’s wonderful. If that same egg donor serves as a surrogate for two gay men, that’s equally wonderful. If a woman gets pregnant and chooses freely to give her baby up for adoption, then thank God for loving parents who will raise her child so he doesn’t have to live in foster care his whole life. (And while we’re at it, thank God even more for people who open their homes to foster kids, and adopt surly teens and hyper 8-year-olds rather than cute, cuddly babies.)

      • mtman2

        “Well”, KIm, your not stretching it you are way out there and you know it. Though if you pander to the unknowing with this folderol it’ll fly as they don’t know any better and don’t care. You claim to know scripture yet skip around to a completely different faith to justify some rationality to the choices you’ve made yet the New Testemant IS the New Covenant and the Apostle Paul wrote a goodly part of it.
        Romans 1:18-32 is beacon of truth on the validity of your choices.

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

          I think you mean you’re not your – please do try to get grade-school of grammar correct before you correct me.

          • mtman2

            This is way bigger than grammatical error Kim. You know I’m giving you the truth to help and you’re singing a Pied Pipers song to the unknowing only adds to the wake of damage a lie brings to the world. “The tongue” is a fire -
            James 3:5-18;
            Psalms 34:13 //140:2+3;
            Proverbs 18:14-18//15:1-7;
            1 Peter 3:8-12
            Psalms 25:1-22//139:1-241
            Corinthians 6:1-20+7:1-9
            Isaiah 59:1-15+Job 8:11-15
            This is not being “preachy” at you but pointing out Who you say you believe has given to mankind ultimate truth.
            I took time to reach out to you at 2am after a day of hard labor handling and loading well over 10-tons[I'm in my 60's], having stumbled on ‘you’re’ site. I am the ‘Christian’ father entreating you from the cyber world. I have daughters I would lay my life down for. If you are not afraid to read what was given as wisdom to us, please do so Kimberly. YOUR example does and will affect many beside you and those that come after or through you.
            I am not the enemy…Selah

            • Oswald Carnes

              I’m happy to know I won’t have to spend eternity around you.

              • mtman2

                Sounds like you won’t!

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

              I think you need to take a little time to get to know me better to know exactly how seriously I take the bible and love Jesus.

              You can also read this: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/2013/07/bolo-bible-drive-by-linked-to-myth-labs-2/

              And would you lay your life down for your children if they turn out to love someone of the same gender?

              What I am called to do here is precisely what you seem to fear – share the radical hospitality and free Grace of God with everyone, everyone, everyone.

              • mtman2

                Dodging won’t help you with the Wisdom of what I took time to point you to.

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

                  You are delusional if you think what you shared remotely passes for Wisdom. Fear and lies yes, Wisdom and Truth, not so much.

                • http://Www.theirishatheist.wordpress.com/ The Irish Atheist

                  If what one says is truly wisdom, one does not have to proclaim it as such.

                • mtman2

                  What part of “point you to” ie-scripture, did you miss?

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

                  Oh, and I read and love scripture just fine without your twisted compass pointing anything out to to me. Try knowing Christ instead of worshipping a collection of books written by men, redacted by men and used by men to oppress, enslave and murder millions.

                • KellyLynne

                  Anybody can pull Bible verses out of context to make them mean anything they want. That’s not wisdom.

              • mtman2

                You are a child compared to the multiple decades I’ve lived and loved on the earth. You have no idea of what my family situation is.
                Yours or my thoughts are irrelevant compared to the Wisdom and directives Christ would endorse. Setting yourselves up as your own god is not obedience to the One from who Christ emanated from.
                To respect others as you say would show by you thanking a father figure only sharing special scriptures and actually taking a few minutes to read them. Then you could answer me with thoughts on what they meant to you. It’s not me telling you anything but letting you be real enough to not be arrogant. You have not lived long enough to dismiss the wisdom willingly shared out of anothers life for you. This could be Christ’s purposeful prompting you through another.
                Grace and “freedom” come with responsibilities, esp if you claim a high profile or leadership position affecting others that you will be called into account for as a “watchman”.

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

                  I guarantee you sir that you are no father figure for me. I had a perfectly wonderful father figure in my own father and he was far more compassionate and wise that you are exhibiting here. I do not want, need or appreciate your condescending, ill-informed, bible-worshipping (not Christ worshipping) “guidance”. I am quite sure I have lived long enough to see through your fear and ignorance.

                  I invite you to take a little time to get to know me by reading more than this one blog to see that I do not need you to educate me as if I have never read the bible. I assure you I have read it all, numerous times, and as it turns out Jesus Christ had exactly zero to say about same-sex relationships. As it turns out there are hundreds and hundreds of verses about compassion and caring for the poor and marginalized and a handful of sentences that speak to sexual situations that have been misinterpreted for quite some time to relate to same gender loving, committed relationships. Do you spend this much time offering your unsoliceted guidance on blogs promoting the prosperity “gospel” or marginalization of the poor?

                • mtman2

                  You in the decades to come, if lucky, will find far more insight than you think you have now. You as yet don’t know this, evidently in the unlearned arrogance of youth. Being pampered and spoiled by your daddy, it’s evident you’ve not been taught respect.
                  You are living a charade and in the outlook you’ve displayed will learn many things the hard way. You are still a child in the greater completion of order that Christ does expect of those who call themselves His disciple.
                  Beware as the warning was His.
                  “Lord, Lord, open to us!”-”But He answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’
                  Compassion won’t get you there but obedience will, compassion and wisdom is a by product. Parenthood will show you this.

                • mrichardson84

                  You are the most arrogant troll I’ve yet to encounter on Patheos. Kimberly is a grown woman and can discern wisdom for herself. Your condescending remarks prove that you wouldn’t know wisdom OR respect if it hit you in your bigoted, ignorant face. You are nothing but a Pharisee, and Jesus is ashamed of you. If you believe in the Judgment Day, you have plenty to fear. God have mercy on your twisted soul.

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

                  Well now whicch is it Mr. Troll? Mom and Dad should stay together and raise children with all due attention because only a mother and father together can raise a familuy and or daddy works his ass off, finger to the bloody fucking bone, disciplines his kids plenty and goes to his damn grave protecting us and we are spoiled?

                  You sir are both arrogant (maybe even on the sociopathic scale) AND inconsistant. Oh, and banned.

                • gimpi1

                  Thank you for banning the trolls. The grown-ups are trying to talk.

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

                  Oh, and as much as you troll all the blogs I have seen you on, maybe you want to climb out of mommy’s basement and try living a real life rather than spending all your time cowardly abusing others from behind the safety of the sickly glow of your monitor. Yup – I went there.

                  Lord, help me when I allow the nasties to allow me to stoop to their level. Lord, forgive me when I behave exactly as they do and thus reject the love and grace of Christ.

                • Caspian

                  mtman2,

                  Would you be willing to share your story about how you overcame homosexuality? I would be interested to hear it.

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

                  Caspian,

                  I am sorry but mtm has been excused from the conversation indefinitely due to abusive trolling.

                • Caspian

                  Disappointing, I had a few pointed questions I wanted to ask him. But I understand the decision to move him along. No worries, No doubt there will be others who quote Romans 1 to whom I can direct the same questions.

                  BTW, enjoyed the original post Kim. Thanks

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

                  I agree Caspian, it is very disappointing that we can not have a conversation with mtm. SInce mtm only seems to know how to use barbed words and straw men agruements I am afraid that his/her presence will do more harm here than good.

                  As to the notion of being healed of homosexuality – he is either lying to himself or others in which case I am more sad than mad because he is only internalizing and repeating dangerous, hateful lies told by others.

                  Thanks for your support and inquisitive mind.

                  K

    • Jon Altman

      Frank, I’m glad that the provisions of the Affordable Care Act include mental health benefits. You can look forward to getting the help you so obviously need.

    • Oswald Carnes

      I hope all your children are gay.

      • RidgewayGirl

        No. Don’t do that. Can you imagine being an adolescent in that household, knowing that you were gay and your father despised you? I don’t think any children deserve to be put in his care.

  • Frank

    I did not find this article helpful to open debate. Homosexual lifestyle implies many things, and I think that when people say homosexual lifestyle, they are refering to a general difference in the way families are structured through heterosexuality as opposed to homosexuality. The fact is that homosexuality automatically assumes that the persons are incapable of procreation with their preffered mate and must therefore support a whole range of activities that make babies available for harvesting, ie support for abortion rights (diminishing the value of fetuses). Supporting policies that cause adoption rates to rise, etc. Whereas heterosexual culture generally makes family and baby creation a serious matter wherein they intend to raise children whithin a family, and that no family would willingly provide their children for adoption because they are so precious. So yes sometimes a person does not want to support the homosexual lifestyle because it has many implications upon society, many of which are geared towards creating a society of baby harvesting and allocation rather than marriage, and traditional procreation.

    • Daneen Akers

      Frank — if this were my blog, you would be banned, and not because I don’t believe in the value of a wide range of perspectives and healthy dialogue, but because you have a host–a host–of incredibly ignorant and harmful assumptions that have basis in reality, social science, religion, or just plain decency. I have several gay and lesbian friends who are phenomenal parents. I shudder to think they have to deal with such bigoted attitudes in the world. Many long-term studies have completely debunked your assumptions, btw. Kids raised by two loving, same-gender parents are no likelier to be LGBT than anyone else, although they are likelier to be much more tolerant of diverse families as well as advocates for equality for their parents, so I guess that can be threatening to someone like yourself.

      • Frank

        Terminology is not relevent. Scientific terminology can be upsetting at times for weakminded people. For example, I recently met another homosexual pedophile not too long ago, so i started calling him a homopede in order to describe him in a pseudoscientific way, and he found the term homopede offensive although i was merely describing his activity in a short and accurate term that i did not feel was offensive. Meanwhile, i found his pedophilia offensive so we could never have a conversation that was not offensive to either of us and still he could not understand that his homosexual lifestyle was simply a topic that automatically made it impossible for us to even be in the same location together, much less attempting to have a conversation about intellectual topics. Homosexuality is naturally offensive to the majority of heterosexuals because it is viewed as a type of anti-human behaviour (since humans can only pro-create through heterosex). So for many heterosexuals, homosexuals are almost like a new species of human that is out to snatch everyone elses babies. It is scary. I am under my covers shivvering with fear at the thought of all the homosexual armies amassing all around the world, plotting to use legal trickery and actual physical force if necessary to steal my DNA against my will to be distributed to some homosexual recipient who has applied for a baby license and therefore demaned that i reliquish my DNA to them so they can birth my children and molest them in private as part of there continuing family experiment to generate strong, productive humans.

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

          I will allow your current posts to remain as evidence of your ignorance and evil. You sir are a hateful, small person who in no way can claim the name Christian. I wish I could hate you but you are only to be pitied for the sinful way you behave and the damage you cause. You are sick, you are a liar and you are banned.

        • Mary Irvine Sweet

          “I recently met another homosexual pedophile not too long ago…” Just who are you calling a homosexual pedophile?

        • Sara

          What in the holy hell did I just read?? Good lord, man, you need professional help.

        • Lee

          Apparently heterosexual pedophiles do not exist..You almost sound like an example of Poe’s Law, especially there at the end. Your rant sounds like an exaggerated parady of homophobia, but unfortunately it probably isn’t. Get help.

        • Dorfl

          I am under my covers shivvering with fear at the thought of all the homosexual armies amassing all around the world, plotting to use legal trickery and actual physical force if necessary to steal my DNA against my will to be distributed to some homosexual recipient who has applied for a baby license and therefore demaned that i reliquish my DNA to them so they can birth my children and molest them in private as part of there continuing family experiment to generate strong, productive humans.

          This… goes beyond Poe’s law. If it had been intended as a parody, it would have been too over the top and plain bizarre to work. But Frank wrote it with complete sincerity.

        • Sven2547

          Scientific terminology can be upsetting at times for weakminded people.

          so i started calling him a homopede in order to describe him in a pseudoscientific way

          Making up your own words is NOT “scientific terminology”. In fact, you’re one of the least-scientific commenters on Patheos.

          I am under my covers shivvering with fear at the thought of all the homosexual armies amassing all around the world, plotting to use legal trickery and actual physical force if necessary to steal my DNA against my will to be distributed to some homosexual recipient who has applied for a baby license and therefore demaned that i reliquish my DNA to them so they can birth my children and molest them in private as part of there continuing family experiment to generate strong, productive humans.

          Your ideology has made you a fearful paranoid. FEAR is what drives the radical/religious right. FEAR is what unifies them to hate people.

        • gimpi1

          I second Sara. You need help, Frank. I consider myself something of a connoisseur of paranoia and conspiracy theories, but you jumped the shark with your last run-on sentence.

    • Sven2547

      must therefore support a whole range of activities that make babies available for harvesting, ie support for abortion rights (diminishing the value of fetuses). Supporting policies that cause adoption rates to rise, etc.

      Supporting an increase in abortion AND an increase in adoptions?! Where are all the babies coming from?! You’re hilariously contradicting yourself! Not to mention the simple fact that homosexuality does not necessarily lead to any of these things.

    • KellyLynne

      What? That’s insane? The vast majority of people who adopt are straight. And if kids are so precious in “heterosexual culture,” how is it possible that we have thousands of children in foster care?

      (I struggle with infertility myself and may one day adopt—I’ll be sure to let my husband know that we apparently have a homosexual lifestyle.)

  • skyblue

    I very much enjoyed reading this post.
    It seems a lot of the language used by folks like that denies that others exist and are equals: “pro-family” (but against so many families), “real Americans”, “lifestyle” vs “life” and so on.

    Years ago, a gay friend of mine’s mother said that classic line “I love you but I don’t support your lifestyle”, to which my friend responded “It’s not a lifestyle, mom, it’s just my life” — since then that’s come back to mind every time I hear someone use that word “lifestyle”.

  • kenofken

    The use of the phrase is not something done in ignorace. It is part of a linguistic program that is calculated to dehumanize and disenfranchise. Nobody who uses it these days is doing so by accident. Many of the more blatant slurs have gone out of fashion in polite circles, but as with racism, there is a way of conveying the same hatred in “code.” “Lifestyle” is one such code word, but there are others to be aware of as well.

    One tactic of terminology attempts to divide and conquer by trying to de-legitimize the “uppity” members of the minority in question. It’s not gay people that are the problem, it’s the “militant” ones, the “gay brownshirts” (as Shea used to term). The most asinine new iteration of this concept is the word “homosexualist”, which conservative Catholics and many evangelicals like to throw around. In other words, the problem isn’t “normal” gay people, but the ones who have the gall to stand up for their rights.

    The old tactic of conflating homosexuality with pedophilia is still very much alive and well. I have never once in 20 years of these debates ever gotten through a debate with Christians where someone didn’t make that insinuation, usually within the first five comments. These days, they won’t (usually) come out and call gay people child molesters. What they will do is to make the assertion, always unsupported by facts, that there is a broad incipient movement to legalize pedophilia, and then to claim that we have no basis in law or philosophy to oppose it because we recognized gay marriage and rights…

    Call people out on this garbage every time. Gay rights advanced in this country because gay folks re-humanized the issue. For 40 years, they forced our society to engage gay men and women as people. Real-life people they know. People never hated gays. They hated the sick shadow-puppet caricatures that haters presented to them as reality. When you step out in front of that screen, people engage the real person, not the obscene caricature. Once we take the narrative away from the haters, they have nothing left to trade upon, and the world sees them and their ugly message for what it really is.

    • gimpi1

      “People never hated gays. They hated the sick shadow-puppet caricatures that haters presented to them as reality”

      This. Totally this. The stereotype is always what is hated. When people learn enough to get past it, meet real people, hate dies. It works for race, it works for creeds, it works for orientation.

  • Ron

    Kimberly: I have used that phrase many, many times, probably still do on occassion but sure don’t mean it in the ways you used as examples. So, I don’t want to do it anymore. But I don’t know what words to use, for example, when I am asked about a member of my family about another member of our family who is gay. Sure, his life is more than what is happening between him and his partner in the bedroom, I get that. But when trying to encourage my family to accept and respect him I often end up using the phrase “lifestyle” in referring to the way I live out some of my choices and the way he lives some of his choices. Yikes, I already see that I am using several words here that could be pretty inflamatory, so I think I better stop. Anyway, while I still tend to use words and phrases that are ill advised and hurtful to some, I certainly support you in your relationships and think your children are very fortunate to be in your care. I do not, however, support you in your practise of tithing (smile). But the fact that I think tithing is out dated, old covenant, is a conversation we can have at a later day.

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

      Ron my friend, because I have known you through this blog for a while I know what your heart means. Our lifestyles really are choices (while our sexuality not so much). So my choices are: living in a monogamous relationship, working hard, going to church, being a vegetarian, sending our children to public schools, drinking a good beer once in a while and do my dead-level best to share the good news once in a while. So I think I know what you are trying to say to people when you use the words lifestyle and choice but it helps if you unpack it a little more, especially for those who likely think you may mean it the other way.

      As for tithing, we need to talk because now I am concerned about your everlasting life ;)

      • Ron

        If you provide the “good beer” I’ll talk to you anytime, for a long time.

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

          Name the place and time and I’ll bring the beverages :)

          • Ron

            While my earlier remark was very sincere…are you sure you would want to come to cold, windy, cloudy northern Illinois? I think I will contact you if I’m heading towards Atlanta and take you up on the offer. But, I will only talk to you about tithing, or our families, or something that is civil and kind…deal? How do you put up with all this anger towards you in the comments? you need one of those good beers about now.

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

              Ron, y’all totally need to come to Atlanta when it gets too cold up there! And yes, we will talk family and food and books and other lovely things over scrumptious beer.

              As for all the anger and hatefulness, after a while I tune it out and let the crazies flop around as they may need – as long as they are not being vile or hurting others. I have had to ban a few and there is always one more waiting in the wings.

              The reason I put up with it is manifold but suffice it to say that I am called to let my little light shine in the darkness for those who want and need the light. If but one person (and I have many private messages from people) find peace, and love, and grace and maybe even that Christ loves them – well then I have done what I came here to do. Even better if folks who formerly were sure that all us queer folk were exactly the same (and what their social context reaffirms for them) can come to see that I am more like them than they had formerly thought, if they can see me as an actual human – loving a family and trying her best to follow Jesus, well then that is just about perfection eh?

              So glad you are here friend. YOU are part of why I do this.

              K

  • Ando

    I just got chills down my spine. I know so many people who use the phrase, and in my past, I shamefully admit even I have used it. I have left that behind, but I have friends and family who still cling to it to justify their feelings about other friends or family who happen to be gay. “I love them, I just don’t approve of their lifestyle.”. I’ve heard it many times.

    Very sorely tempted to share this post with them. Only thing holding me back is that some people, no matter how much you love them, you recognize they’re still just not quite ready for some things.

    Love the post, though!

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

      Thank you Ando, and yes you are right, no matter how much we try some people are determined not to evolve. Just try to love them anyway.

      • http://www.photo-fix.com/ Kelly Basden

        “Just try to love them anyway.” “Try” seems to border on that which you decry. Love has no requirement to be validated. There is no ‘try,’ there is only ‘do.’

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

          You are right of course but please understand that in my own case (and I can only truly speak for myself) it is sometimes hard to feel the love through abuse.

          • http://lotuslandfineart.com/ W. Lotus

            This is true in my case, too. I completely agree with every word you say.

          • http://www.photo-fix.com/ Kelly Basden

            I completely understand. I was bullied by family and outside people as a boy. I have regained contact with some of the ‘others’ whom bullied me and have received apologies. I forgave, mainly to get my own peace, however, forgetting is a completely different consideration. I blog about these issues. I can provide a link privately or here. I have no problem with my blog being accessible. I write to trigger responses in others, possibly leading to healing. Thanks Kimberly.

  • Barbara Van West-Cuny

    My husband and I sure enjoyed hearing you speak last Saturday at Veritus. You remind me very much of our daughter who lives in Berkeley, CA and is about to finish her M. Div degree. You truly inspired both of us so very much. Thank you.

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

      Thank you Barbara, I really enjoyed being there with such a warm and loving crowd.

    • Abigail Kraft

      Is she at SFTS, by chance? :)

  • John Karpf

    Just in case you’re looking for this: http://www.clergyproject.org/ -Peace.

    • cassandratoday

      I’m having trouble understanding what you’re saying with this comment, John. Can you help me out?

      • John Karpf

        Sorry. Meant that for Ms. Knight.

        • cassandratoday

          Ah. A troll. Whatever.

    • http://hauntedtimber.wordpress.com/ timberwraith

      It’s always a bit saddening and angering when I see evangelists exploiting another person’s pain and alienation in the hope that they can recruit someone new to their following.

      The really sobering thing about this is to realize that now, both religious people and atheists do this.

  • http://www.registeredrunaway.com/ Benjamin Moberg

    Thank you so much for this Kimberly. Your blog is like free therapy for me. Thank you.

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

      My honor and pleasure friend!

  • http://beingperfectlyhuman.blogspot.com/ Eric Fry

    I’ve commented on this at Rachel Evans’ blog before, and I’m with you on this My gay friends have a suburban lifestyle that is equally as mundane as mine. Maybe more so, since my kids are grown and I don’t have all the school-related stuff to deal with anymore.

    Jello Biafra had a good lyric some years ago. “If we weren’t hung up minding people’s private lives, we might not be so afraid of ourselves.” Might have some more spare time to make deep connections with people and comfort and support each other, too.

    As a middle-aged Texan, I’m afraid I can’t get on board with the veggie chili, though. ;)

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

      Thanks for your comment and support even if I’m into the PETA chili and you dig the NRA chili ;)

      • melissia

        I enjoy a good ‘ol Chili Con Carne myself. But I’m okay with people having Chili Sans Carne. It’s none of my business what you put in your belly, as long as you don’t throw it up over me ;)

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

          LOL!

  • http://www.myrealjourney.com/ EmKay Anderson

    Even in my most conservative and passionate days as an evangelical Christian, I never thought “the homosexual lifestyle” was an appropriate description for anything real. It seemed to me to be a euphemism for “deliberately choosing to practice something we all know is icky and not even be embarrassed that other people know you’re doing that” . . . and honestly, I still think anyone who uses that phrase means exactly that.

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

      Bingo!

    • JoeNCA

      As I like to say, as gay people come from every background, every religion, every race, every ethnicity and every corner of the earth, it would be more accurate to call “the human lifestyle”.


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