Quite possibly the best Christian blog post I’ve ever read comes from the relatively new – but awesomely titled – WTFaith.
Previously, I have called for Christians to start policing their own – wondering where these ‘moderates’ were all hiding. Why not put some distance between yourself and ‘punch your gay kids’ pastor Sean Harris, or the oligarchy in King, N.C.? Quality control involves kicking extremists to the fringe.
My plea ended like this:
Ridicule them, chastise them, teach them… do something!
WTFaith’s Daniel Mitchel accomplishes all three, and even avoids the No True Scotsman fallacy. Here are some excerpts, but you really should check out Daniel’s whole post.
Anyone who says that the Bible is “crystal clear” on the subject of homosexuality is, in my humble opinion, not researching this shit. I use the word “research” deliberately, because many people do not know that there is an argument against the sin nature of homosexuality. But there is.
Now, I have, in the past, mentioned that Jay Bakker got flack for taking a “radically inclusive” stance that basically states that homosexuality is not a sin.Well, much of Jay Bakker’s position on homosexuality is influenced by Rev. Mel White, who wrote this extremely helpful pamphlet about it. And while I do not feel that White has definitively answered the “gay” question once and for all, I think he presents data sufficient to cast doubt on the traditionally-iron-clad assumption that homosexuality is a sin.
Some people don’t see it that way, of course. The day after the article about the North Carolina “go ahead and beat your young flamers” pastor came out, Billy Graham made the news by publicly supporting Amendment One. Because he loves me, and he loves giving me things to poke fun at, Mr. Graham used my all time favorite catch phrase about the scripture.
“The Bible is clear — God’s definition of marriage is between a man and a woman.”
What I find so funny about the phrase “the Bible is clear” is that it is never used about things that are actually clear. Nobody ever says, “Dude, stop murdering people, the Bible is clear on that.” Idolatry - that is a sin the Bible is crystal clear on. Not taking care of the poor is definitely poo-poo’d. These are things for which the above statement can be appropriately used.
When that guy in North Carolina talks about punching your sons if they act in an effeminate manner, I’m not upset because he’s just some asshole. I’m upset because he’s an asshole pastor.
“I’m gonna set back the church fer decades, YEEEEE-HAWWW!!”
Honestly, it’s time like this that I wish I had a mega-blog – not because I have an ego (although God knows) but because I wish I could be a loud voice in speaking out against this kind of anachronistic nonsense. I wish that anyone cared how I feel about Sean Harris’s hate-filled sermon. I wish more people knew that there is good, solid room for doubt about how the Bible addresses homosexuality. If you don’t know why that is, and you didn’t read the link I put up about Mel White’s pamphlet, seriously, read his pamphlet. Maybe you won’t agree with it one hundred percent, but it can’t hurt to see an opposing viewpoint, right? At least it could start a positive conversation.
…snip… (note: avoiding ‘No True Scotsman!’)
And I know that Sean Harris isn’t really a bad guy. Neither is Billy Graham. Both of them are people who have dedicated their lives to doing a very difficult job, and they are my brothers in the Body of Christ.
But here’s the thing – part of a brother’s job is to tell people when they are being an asshole. It’s especially important now, because all those little kids who might get their wrist “cracked” because it was “limp”, they’re my brothers and sisters, too. And I love them just as much.
So, Pastor Sean Harris – I love you, brother, but you have some reading to do.
More like this, please! WTFaith also satisfies a rule I have – I don’t trust people who don’t swear. To clarify, I don’t trust people who say things like ‘frick’ instead of ‘fuck’. I know what they meant to say, so they are still swearing… and on top of that, they just frickin’ lied about which word they want to use.
Though, I must say that I have no empathy for awful people like Billy Graham. Sean Harris went on the defensive, attempting to convince everyone that he was taken out of context. He wasn’t! In case you didn’t see it yet, I interviewed him. After we got through his rehearsed answers to the easy questions, he said this:
He said it again!
Other reporters were there, one TV crew was even filming this exchange. However, every single bit of journalism I saw framed the issue as “Oh hey, we were wrong about this dude. He apologized and said he wouldn’t beat kids.”
He gets a free pass because all of those reporters decided what their story was about before they even got there. They read his retraction and believed it. Lazy and unethical journalism, clearly. Hopefully their false ‘redemption stories’ never grabbed the same headlines as his initial blunder.
Anyway, I really enjoyed the post at WTFaith. You should check it out and leave a comment!