Is Opposing GLBT Behavior “Hate”?

In the wake of the Chik-fil-A silliness, the word “hate” got thrown around a lot. Was it a hateful act to eat at CFA on August 1? Was it hateful for the mayors of Chicago and Boston to say that the chain is not welcome in their towns? And, of course, was it hateful for the CEO of that chain to make statements about his company’s stance on same sex marriage?

At HuffPo, David Duran is convinced that the way many Christians treat gays is, in fact, hate:

I use the word “hate” and get a lot of criticism for it, but, I only call it like I feel it. This isn’t just about same-sex marriage anymore. It’s about Christians not being Christians. Going out of your way to eat a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich in the name of the First Amendment is a false truth to everyone and to yourself. Do you realize how hurtful that was for us on the other side of the battle? Was eating a sandwich so important to you that you had to hurt your friends, your family members, just to prove a point? All that was accomplished that day was the creation of even more hostility between the LGBT community and the faith-based community.

But Duran is missing something. I’ve talked to some fellow Christians who ate at CFA on August 1, and here’s the thing: They don’t know any gay people. They don’t have gay friends, and they don’t have gay family members.

Two years ago, the ELCA fully welcomed openly and practicing GLBT persons into their church, voting to do so at their summer convention here in the Twin Cities. Prior to the vote, pro-GLBT groups did something wondrous and loving and relational: they purchased hundreds of meal tickets and had GLBT people sit at every table at every meal during the convention. They weren’t there to proselytize, they weren’t angry, and they had no axe to grind. They just broke bread and had conversation.

What they did was normalize themselves with the voting members of the ELCA, many of who didn’t know a gay person, at least not well. By destigmatizing themselves in conversation, their humanity shown through all of the politics and weird sexual awkwardness that shrouds the GLBT debate in our culture.

Of course, some people who ate at CFA on August 1 know gay people, but in general the church blew it on that day. And I think the church blew it because a lot of Christians have been able to dehumanize GLBT people; and they’ve been able to dehumanize gay people because they don’t know any gay people.

I don’t think that Chik-fil-A supporters hate gay people, I just don’t think they know gay people.

There’s a way to fix that. I bet you can figure it out.

  • http://www.brandanrobertson.com Brandan Robertson

    Spot on Tony!

    Great Post.

    • Roger Flemming

      One month after the CFA issue, this post. Still nothing on the FRC shooting.

      • JoFro

        This is the Progressive Christian Channel, Roger…what were you expecting? Yes, to many of those who ate at Chick-fil-A that day, it was not about homophobia, but a First Amendment issue after a mayor and a town official had the gall to not allow a business to operate in their city or county because it did not conform to their values…. but shush, dont say that too loud here…

      • http://jewelfox.dreamwidth.org Taryn Fox

        “Some people snap after being the targets of hatred and injustice for their entire lives, ergo you’re just as bad as we are and I demand that you acknowledge this!”

      • http://getoutfromunderit.blogspot.com Andy

        Roger, one person doing a horrible—and, of course, much worse—thing is obviously horrible. But his actions were not a concerted, coordinated effort put together by powerful people in order to hurt the weak and marginalized.

        And I notice your comment didn’t say anything about Christians in Uganda trying to illegalize homosexuality under penalty of death, so, utilizing the logic you so profoundly displayed, I’ll assume that you have absolutely no problem with such because you didn’t mention it.

  • http://undeception.com/ Steve Douglas

    I think you’re dead wrong, and I can prove it: it’s spelled “Chick-fil-A”.

  • http://tonymyles.blogspot.com Tony Myles

    The local Chick-Fil-A in my town is run by a guy I’m friends with. We were talking recently about how one of his gay employees…

    hang on, yes – one of his gay employees…

    let’s let that sink in for a moment – does that defy something in this post?

    In any event, one of his gay employees mentioned how his gay friends have been exceedingly hateful toward him for working at Chick-Fil-A. So much so, in fact, that he had to close his Facebook account due to all the horrible junk and pressure being thrown his way.

    His response? Let me tell you… I know this because I ate at Chick-Fil-A on purpose the Friday following after that Appreciation Wednesday (in addition to Wednesday) – you know, to love on protestors and stuff who’d planned to be there…

    perhaps let that sink in, too…

    That employee (I’m not sharing his name on purpose, but yes – I know it) said, “The people I work with at Chick-Fil-A are the most loving, kind people I know. Even more so than my own ‘community.’” He then added, “By the way, thanks for being here today. You have no idea what that means to me.”

    Hmm… apparently Chick-Fil-A supporters aren’t as two-dimensional as you share.

    And perhaps it’s possible to be for something without being against everyone. I picked that up from Jesus, by the way.

    • Chris

      Tony (M.) you are right,

      Tony (J.) does tend to portray those he disagrees with (mostly on this topic) as flat and two-dimensional. He always decries and minimizes anecdotal accounts, but then adds a statement like this:

      “I’ve talked to some fellow Christians who ate at CFA on August 1, and here’s the thing: They don’t know any gay people.”

      It’s almost humorous.

      Sometimes it’s just beyond the ability of a person to accept that someone else may have plausible and compelling reasons for disagreeing them.

    • matt

      Cool story bro.

      Except, it doesn’t have anything to do with Tony’s post

    • JoshthePagan

      Sounds like his friends weren’t really friends. This happens to people from all walks of life.

      I still agree with Tony that many people don’t think about how their actions will affect someone who is gay because they don’t know anyone who is. I don’t mean you know them from work or talk to them as an acquaintance. I mean really know them as a family member or someone who is close to us. It is then that you really have to analyze their worth as a human.

      The same goes for Mexicans and Muslims or anyone else who is different from you.

    • jerry lynch

      So, Tony, the point is: gays are hateful and vindictive and Chic-fil-A people are most loving and kind? And this post is in no way oppostional but a Christlike “for something”?

      • http://tonyj.net Tony Jones

        Um, no, Jerry. My point is pretty much not that at all. My point is that the word “hate” is inappropriate in this conflict.

  • http://www.butnotyet.com JoelR

    The LGBT and those of us who support them are in danger of becoming the monster we’re fighting. I know many good people who oppose same-sex marriage and I believe them when they say they don’t hate gay people. Unfortunely, not hating someone does not preclude being a bigot. Eating a Chik-fil-a sandwich (when you don’t know any gay people) is not the height of hate and bigotry. I’m not sure how to explain going through Chik-fil-a drive thru and picking up lunchh when your gay daughter is in the car with you. And, the daughter has made it plain that eating there is hurtful to her. I know this happened to my daughter and I’m sure it happened to others.

    • http://fishfingrs2112.tumblr.com/ Ryan Henschen

      Bigot: a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance

      If I disagree with someone or something it is not necessary that I hate or even dislike them. Being a bigot means explicitly hating and being intolerant of someone or something. I don’t agree with gay marriage. I don’t hate gay people. I love gay people and would never turn them away from my church. The politics of this world has turned so many people against each other that it hurts my heart. I pray that more of us would actually use the example of Jesus and love first, no matter what.

  • JB

    What do you mean by GLBT behavior? What exactly constitutes that?

  • Tom

    Tony, the error in your post is that you equate eating a chicken sandwich with hate. I thought all the “events” on both sides of this manufactured issue to be inane and self-serving. On the supposed Chik-Fil-A support day, I was in eastern Tennessee. The local Chik-Fil-A was swamped and local law enforcement had to direct traffic at the entrance. Not surprising considering where I was. On that day, I was looking for southern BBQ and found it down the street. I patronize my local Chil-Fil-A on occasion. I won’t go out of my way but I’ll dine there again in the future, I’m sure. It won’t have anything to do with hate and everything to do with eating lunch. Well, and maybe something to do with those free sandwich coupons they hand out.

  • http://viewfromtheheights.wordpress.com @TheRev78

    People are misunderstanding the criticism of the Aug.1 event with criticism of Chick-fil-A. The two are not necessarily the same. Knowing several owners/mgrs of franchises, I think they generally behave in a much more Christ-like way than the people who organized the Chicken-palooza on Aug. 1. Also, the intent may have been a statement on the 1st Amendment rights, but the result–and the vitriol that I heard from many Christians–tells me that there was plenty of bitterness on the part of believers towards LGBT.

    Tony’s point is simple: It’s much easier to jump on sins, and sinners, that are not OUR sins or sinners. Even some of my most conservative friends play a different tune because they have a family member/friend who is gay or died of AIDS. It’s amazing how your perspective changes when the issue is at home.

    That’s all Tony is saying. Getting to know people who are not like you can give you a different perspective.

  • Jason H

    A friend of mine who happens to be a lesbian and a Christian succinctly stated to supporters of CFA Appreciation Day, “The message intended may not have been hate, but what was received certainly was not love.”

    • http://www.foodiefaith.blogspot.com Christina

      Thanks Jason! Yes, we are all forgetting here that if Cathy was given such vile bullying after making his benign remarks, there would be no Appreciation Day. If he was allowed to state his beliefs without recieving such hate back, there wouldn’t have been droves of people out eating chicken on Aug 1.

  • http://ijoey.org Joey Reed

    This is almost as ludicrous as the crap people took for wearing an earring in the “wrong” ear. While Chik-Fil-A’s CEO donated money to a hateful group, his employees will be the ones who suffer. Do you think that his first move will be to sell his houses and cars to pay the people working for him?

    If you want to change him, change HIM.

    The sad part of this post is the sad part of boycotts for the last fifty years — no one has figured out how to make one truly effective.

    I refuse to let anyone pigeonhole my political and theological opinions based on the food I eat, period.

    And I continue to be amazed at the lack of conversation around the fact that this issue isn’t settled for some people. Thinking, rational people disagree on the issue of homosexuality. In my experience, this means that there isn’t a solution. Situations that lack a solution require us to learn to live in tension.

    I like the idea of the table conversation. But to assume that most Christians don’t know a homosexual is somewhat short-sighted. We still have an obligation to deal with those who 1) know AND love homosexual persons, and 2) disagree with their lifestyle.

    And equating hate with menu selections ain’t getting that done.

    • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

      TO Joey Reed . . .

      I’m laughing at your “earring” reference, because I remember those days. In fact, the pastor of the very first church I went to as a boy (late 70′s, early 80′s) one Sunday was telling the congregation how he was standing behind a man on line at a grocery store who had an earring in his ear (right or left, who knows). The pastor said he boldly asked the man, “Where’s your purse, honey?”

      Ignorance.

      Anyway, on to the Chick-fil-A matter.

      If the employees of Chick-fil-A are the ones who will suffer because the company gives money to some anti-gay groups, then that suffering is a burden created by the owner.

      Though I do agree with you: if you want to change him, change HIM.

      And since Dan Cathy, owner of Chick-fil-A, expressed his opposition to gay rights in the context of his business activities, then it is appropriate to express counter-sentiment, and seek to “change HIM,” in that same context.

  • Mark

    “I’ve talked to some fellow Christians who ate at CFA on August 1, and here’s the thing: They don’t know any gay people. They don’t have gay friends, and they don’t have gay family members.”

    Uhm, yes they do. They either don’t realize it or their friends or family are hiding from them because they fear rejection.

    But to the overall point that getting to know, really know each other is the key to compassion and understanding, I tend to agree.

  • dwight

    Sorry — I DO know gay people and work with gay people. And I believe I am kind and generous with them. I still think homosexual practice is wrong. I don’t march in parades, carry placards, or support Phelps. Don’t label and dismiss me as “hating” because I can’t join in the celebration of immorality.

    • http://plainandpreciousthing.blogspot.com/ Rozann

      Exactly how I feel.

  • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

    Wrote about this very thing yesterday, here:

    http://www.rjaypearson.com/2012/08/christian-faith-and-seeking-true-justice.html

    Tony, one commenter on here asked a good question: what exactly is “GLBT behavior?”

    As for whether or not opposing “GLBT behavior” is hate . . . sometimes yes, sometimes no. For Fred Phelps and others in his league, yes it is hate. For folks like James Dobson, Pat Robertson, the late Jerry Falwell, and others of similar stripe, it is not hate. It is fear and ignorance. Though unfortunately such fear and ignorance can give rise to hate.

  • evelyn

    I’m female and have shared several meals and/or conversations with the same man (men) and that didn’t stop their male-chauvenistic sexuality-driven behavior. I’ve also heard that it takes 7 years to get to know a person. I’m not sure how you are going to easily “fix” the anti-homosexual problem by having Christians who don’t know gays share a few meals with them – it could even make the Christians more gay-hateful. For example, I didn’t know much about Christianity until just a year or two ago and as I’ve gotten to know it and the people who practice it, I have a lower (and somewhat disgusted) opinion of it than I did before.

  • darrell

    A few things:
    1 How is it we equate acceptance with agreement? I know gay people e.g. a gay person is a leader in the church I pastor. I am involved in various acivities that associate with gay people. I accept gay people yet but I have fundamental disgreements with some of the behaviour/choices of many gay and straight. Seems to me that Christ lived his life among those with whom he had fundamental disagreements re choices and lifestyle yet his acceptance was unwavering.
    2 Not all same gender attracted people identify with the gay lifestyle. Opposite gender and same-gender alike do a diservice by over sexualizing gender (a relatively new construct). When I see a same gender attracted person or a opposite gender attracted person I see a whole person, their sexual proclivity is part of who they and I am, but when it becomes a dominate identifier we risk reducing our humanity to less than our whole created selves.
    3 How is it that we, opposite gender attracted and same gender attracted alike demand the right to act on behaviours whether or not we believe they are inherent, earned, or otherwise. I corinthians 10:23- 11:1)

    • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

      I have no idea what the sexual nature/activities/behaviors are of pretty much all the people I know. My friends are straight, gay, married, and single. How I value and love them has never been a consequence of what their sexual lives may or may not be like (or what I BELIEVE their sexual lives may or may not be like). Ultimately, their sexual lives are none of my business.

      And therein is the great failing of many Christians today. They think about the sexual lives of others way, way too much. Especially of those who are gay, or perceived to be gay. And such Christians make perverse and often wrong sexual assumptions about people, assumptions borne of their fertile imaginations. And by those assumptions they then judge such people. And in judging them, they then exclude them, declaring them unworthy to be part of the “country club of righteousness.” (In the 1980′s that club was known as the “Moral Majority.”)

      But it’s a blessing to witness the new generation of Christians finally undoing the evils of the older generation of Christians who, by their perverted vision and practice of politicized faith and ignorance, inflicted so much damage in the lives of so many. The new generation is learning to care about the more important things. They see gay people simply as people. Beloved by God in the wholeness of their humanity. And they are therefore striving to love accordingly.

      This is a good thing.

    • DeeDee

      Darrell: How can you say Jesus accepted people unconditionally? Jesus told the woman accused of adultery that was about to be stoned to go and sin no more. While he told the men “let he who is without sin cast the first stone”, let us NOT forget that he didn’t give the woman a free pass to behave as she chose. He expected her to stop her behavior. How is that unconditional acceptance?

      • John

        Ah, but you miss a key point. Christians do indeed have the right to ask, plead, and beg their neighbors to cut out behaviors they see as immoral. What they do not have the right to do is to command and coerce.

        THAT is the problem with CFA. The CEO doesn’t have to like or accept gay people. He can tsk-tsk, shake his head, and bitterly complain all he wants. That’s not the problem. The problem is that he’s funding a campaign to deny them freedom. You’d react a lot more strongly if there was a group trying to make sideburns mandatory (Leviticus 19:27), so why are gays obligated to follow what you ignore?

  • Tony M

    We have ‘family’ and friends who are LGBTQ. We’re all Christians for the most part. Most of us think this issue is about the first amendment, not hate. People say stupid or ignorant things that you might not believe in. That’s their right or wrong. It doesn’t mean it’s hateful because you don’t agree. It’s hard to have freedom of speech if it doesn’t pertain to everyone. You can call someone hateful, but that doesn’t make it true. Tolerance is a two-way street. There’s only one Judge. Only God knows our hearts. Why don’t we love more, hate less and let God do the rest.

  • Basil

    I fall into the “slacktivist” school — you can’t oppose the civil rights of GLBT persons and claim you are a “nice” person, or “good” person, or a “Christian” person. As for the “free speech” argument, that was a complete red herring (Fred Phelps still runs around saying all sorts of hateful things about gays, why would challenge Dan Cathy’s rights given that Fred Phelps is much worse). Chick Fil-A’s donations to hate groups have been an issue with the gay community nearly a year — it’s not really a new issue. It only exploded into the mainstream when Dan Cathy made some pretty extreme statements opposing civil rights, and the non-gay world finally took notice.

    The Chick Fil-A event was just a vehicle for homophobes to express their homophobia (since there are fewer opportunities these days to do so at the ballot box). Either people were there to comfortably express their homophobia in public over a fried chicken sandwich, or they were there to provide silent support (kind of like going to a klan rally, but then trying to claim you are not racist).

    As for Tony’s point about not knowing gay people — that may be true, but ignorance is no excuse. Let’s be even more brutally honest — Chick Fil-A as a chain is much more heavily concentrated in the South, and socially that is the part of the US that is arguably the most anti-gay, and also the most ostentatiously Christian. I am all for people coming out and changing perceptions, but that only goes so far, particularly in the South. It is up to straight people to shoulder the burden of changing the social atmosphere in their local communities, so that LGBT friends and family can actually come out without being subject to ostracism, or violence.

  • http://ryanrobinson.ca Ryan

    I didn’t think the original comment was hateful – he stated an opinion but in and of itself he didn’t imply in any way that he thought they were any less human (in my reading of it). I can see how it was still offensive to my LGBT friends – nobody likes being told they’re doing something wrong whether they actually are doing something wrong or not – but even as a supporter of same-sex marriage myself I wasn’t particularly bothered.

    CFA day, though, definitely was hateful, whether they personally knew the people they were hating or not. Across the country Christians actually went out of their way to set aside time to make sure that every LGBT person in the world knew a few things about Christians:
    - that they’d rather pass judgement than get to know any of them or dialogue about the issue
    - that they see LGBT persons as a political issue rather than human beings (after I blogged about it, I got an amazing comment by a gay man who was incredibly hurt and pinpointed this as the reason; not disagreement but dehumanizing)
    - that they will never welcome LGBT persons in their churches just as they weren’t welcome in Chick-fil-A that day
    I don’t see any way to make those messages sound like they are “loving your neighbour and enemy”

  • Frank

    As long as people make sexuality their identity they will view any criticism of it as hate (it’s not hate or bogotry in reality of course.) How could they not? They have in error used the wrong indentifier.

    Homosexual behavior is a sin and no one has come close to scripturally showing anything but. No amount of breaking bred is going to change that fact.

    • http://plainandpreciousthing.blogspot.com/ Rozann

      So true, those who sin want others to join in so they won’t feel so alone. Homosexual attraction is no more a sin than heterosexual attraction is. The sin comes in acting upon that attraction, it’s call fornication and adultery, and since the beginning of time it has been a sin. There can’t be a double standard. There are plenty of heterosexual men and women who live a life of chastity and fidelity both in and out of marriage. I believe the title of this post asks “Is opposing certain behavior hateful?” We could replace the original words with others “Is opposing rape hateful?” Is opposing murder hateful” “Is opposing pedophilia hateful” Is opposing incest hateful” Perhaps yes, as we can hate the sin while loving the sinner and introducing them to the Master Physician who said “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden [with sin] and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall fine rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-29) Obedience to the commandments and bending our sinful will to the will of God is why we’re here on this earth. Loving God and then loving our neighbor are the two great commandments.

      • Charles

        So, Rozann, you just equated homosexual acts as being equal to rape, murder, pedophillia, and incest. I would say that is hateful speech. But that’s just me…

        • Frank

          Sin is sin. You might not be the only one to not get this but there it is. There is nothing hateful about understanding this basic theological truth.

          • Charles

            Homosexuality is NOT a sin. Sorry…

          • Frank

            No need to apologize to me. Homosexual behavior is a sin. So you can trust yourself and I will trust scripture.

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  • Craig

    While there is a kind of hatred that relies on specific knowledge about a particular person, I would have thought that it is quite possible to hate a group of people without having intimate knowledge of the people comprising that group. This would be the kind of hatred that most often exhibited towards Muslims as Muslims, Christians as Christians, and gays as gays. It’s also possible to express hatred towards a group of people without actually hating that group of people. If an act expresses hatred, one shouldn’t call it love.

    • Frank

      I cannot think of a more hateful act than encouraging, affirming and supporting sinful behavior.

      • Craig

        I suppose this gives us insight into the Taliban’s mindset.

        • Frank

          Really? This is all you have? How wonderful for you.

        • Frank

          So this is all you have to support your position? Not surprised. Cannot scripturally show why homosexual behavior is ok so just deflect and attack. A winning strategy for sure! :rolleyes

          • spacegod

            Why would anyone have to scripturally show anything?
            Who cares what scripture says?
            There were bigots back then just as there are bigots today.
            Just because something is old doesn’t make it right.

          • John

            Oh, for the love of…
            Go. Read Leviticus 19:27. Now check your mirror. If you do not see the scripturally mandated sideburns, then I have no choice to condemn YOUR sinful behavior. Read the rest of the book, as well as Exodus. I am very sure that there are innumerable other biblical laws in there that you consistently fail to follow as well. Either obey them or stop yammering at everyone else to do so.

          • Frank

            John I can only point you back to more biblical study about the Levitical Laws, the different types, what they were for and what laws are still relevant to us today. When you do we can have an informed discussion.

      • Frank

        You ask a great question: who cares what scripture says?

        The answer is not too many on this blog that’s for sure and thanks for letting us know your lack of belief.

        • MaryBeth

          @Frank. You’re embarrassing yourself. Just because people do no agree with you on this issue does not mean you hold the truth and everybody else is a liberal jerk. Let’s focus on discussing the issue instead of being a douche to the other commenters.
          Here’s an excellent in-depth look at the passages about homosexuality. Read it. Seriously.
          http://www.amazon.com/What-Bible-Really-about-Homosexuality/dp/188636009X

        • Chase

          Let me be “Frank” with you.

          Why are you here?

          If you so vehemently disagree with this blog and all of the people here, then read another one.

          There are plenty to choose from at the Gospel Coalition if you would like a more conservative view of Christianity. Here’s the website: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/

          Trolls are no fun and you are not being constructive (or loving) in the least bit.

          • John (not McCain)

            “Trolls are no fun and you are not being constructive (or loving) in the least bit.”

            I disagree. Trolls ARE fun, and Frank is being VERY constructive. Think how much he saves on his Viagara bill from making posts like these!

  • Rachel

    Tony: well said. I’d break bread with you and all of your commenters any day.
    Re: “behavior” commenters: are we speaking of sexual (as in homosexual and heterosexual) acts like fisting, anal and oral intercourse, mutual masturbation, or maybe fingering? Because the truth is I’ve had partners of both genders engage in this “behavior” and it never felt homo or hetero – it just felt sexual. And consensual, loving and good. Perhaps the “homosexual behavior” you are talking about is more mundane, daily things, like the bills and taxes my partner and I pay, or our trips to the grocery store? I am so curious for someone to tell me what–specifically–is homosexual behavior.
    Thanks for the great discussions Tony and all. Can someone pass the salt?

    • Evelyn

      When any of those acts occur between two people of the same sex, the behavior is homosexual. When the acts occur between people of opposite sex, the behavior is heterosexual. When the acts occur between people who don’t know what sex they are, the behavior is queer. If a man is performing a dominant behavior on a woman, like fisting her, the behavior is not sinful. If a woman tries to fist a man, the behavior is sinful because it f%$ks with the order of the universe.

      Sexual behavior is not equivalent with loving behavior. In fact, it is quite opposite. You can consent to being punched in the face (and actually like it if you are a masochist) but that doesn’t make the intent “loving”. Most sexual behavior has to do with a desire to control and consume an object of apparent beauty and ego gratification. This makes it more personally destructive than constructive in the end.

    • Matt Edwards

      Jerry Sandusky isn’t in jail for taking a kid to the grocery store, so our definitions of sexual activity aren’t as vague as you let on.

  • Curtis

    Ignorance does not excuse behaving badly. The premise itself, reducing a person to their behavior, indicates an objectification of humans that is based on ignorance, and yes, hate.

    People mistreated blacks in the past because they were ignorant of that fact that blacks were real humans. They treated blacks as less than human, as mere objected defined by their behavior of cheap labor. People mistreat gays in the same way; they view gays as objects that are defined by their behavior, not as humans. Both views are based on ignorance and unfamiliarity. Ignorance does not excuse a hateful, inhuman view of people in either case.

    • Frank

      The only ignorance I see is biblical ignorance.

      • spacegod

        I agree. Believing in the Bible literally and exclusively is ignorance.

        • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

          Amen, spacegod!

        • Frank

          Ooo good one. Do you have anything substantive to say? Can you show scripturally where God condones and blesses homosexual behavior or is a straw man all you have?

          • Evelyn

            Frank, if you decide to stick your dick in something, I will have to bless it after you’ve desecrated it no matter what it is. I just hate to have bad s*%t hanging around.

  • http://whoisrobdavis.wordpress.com Rob Davis

    Is REFUSING to know a group of people – since you find them “disgusting” – not hatred?

  • Kay Labelle

    So is eating in a middle eastern restaurant about hate? Most educated people know what happens to gay people in the middle east.The reason so many people supported Chick-fil-A wasn’t because they agreed with Dan Cathy but because they/we are tired of the hypocrisy in the United States. My sister is gay, and I have a very good friend who owns a Chick-fil-A. My sister, a Libertarian, finds it ridiculous that Rahm Emanuel would try to keep a business out of his city simply because he disagrees with their religious views. That said, you won’t find her eating at Chick-fil-A either. As a consumer that’s her right. It is not the government’s right to keep people silent. My daughters created a YouTube video on this entire controversy, and I think they hit the nail on the head. It’s amazing that ten and eleven year olds can grasp the concept of the first amendment while adults want to make it difficult. We simply tell our girls that we don’t believe people can help who they fall in love with, but not everyone shares our beliefs. I am just happy my sister has someone to share her life with. YouTube chick-fil-A bell girls

    • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

      Kay, I’m a generally well educated guy, but no, I don’t know “what happens to gay people in the middle east.” Could you please elaborate.

      And how do you arrive at that leap of logic after asking “is eating in a middle eastern restaurant about hate?”

      And I’m pretty sure Rahm Immanuel’s sentiment isn’t about Chick-fil-A’s views, per se, but about their actions. Those actions being the financial support of organizations whose function is to deny gay Americans their civil rights. Immanuel’s logic possibly, then, being this: he doesn’t want to knowingly allow even a portion of the Chicago economy to fuel anti-gay agendas. Which makes it an issue of commerce, not an issue of free speech.

      Anyway, again . . . “what happens to gay people in the middle east?”

      • http://xjm716.wordpress.com/ John Mulholland

        How about Rahm focus on the 1300 shootings in Chicago, this year, on his watch…you know…actual crime and hate, as opposed to an opinion offered.

    • Curtis

      Everybody knows that Emanuel can’t legally keep a business out of Chicago because he disagrees with the beliefs of its owner. At the same time, it is the responsibility of an elected official to take a leadership role in society. If leading means speaking up on something Emanuel finds abhorrent, so be it. I expect a strong leader to speak up.

      Emanuel is not trying to silence speech. He and everyone else is fully aware if he did try such a thing, the constitution won’t let him. Get over Emanuel hates the Constitution rhetoric, because we all know it is not true. Emanuel was speaking up as a leader, something his constituents expect him to do.

      • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

        I see I spelled his last name wrong, as Immanuel. My thanks to those who spelled it right. :-)

  • Beth Turner

    One day we will be amazed at all the energy we put into this conversation and as ashamed of it as we would be now if we argued about whether skin color should be a factor in employment or service. Pity the fixation. The world is passing us by because this has absolutely NOTHING to do with loving God and neighbor as we love ourselves. There are people starving for God’s sake.

    I am going to start referring to straight people as “openly practicing heterosexuals” and I invite them to do the same – talk about objectifying jargon? Anyway, all y’all OPH’s are welcome anywhere in my world! Pull up a chair. You’re a child of God and I have no right to exclude you!

    • DeeDee

      Beth: I would suggest you read John 3:6. Or many, many other places in the Bible that talk about the children of God and the children of the world. Not the same thing. He created everyone but that doesn’t mean that everyone is his son or daughter. Jesus said that we are only sons and daughters through Him. Period.

  • Suzanne Carty

    I am not convinced. They know people who are gay, they just are not aware of it. The reason their co-workers, customers, acquaintances and children are keeping it from them is because they know what reception they would get.

  • Anna

    Why would anyone eat a cfa. The food is nasty, greasy, and is why so many christians are fat. I wonder how many other religions endorse the eating of this disgusting food.

  • Charles

    For those who are in support of continuing marginalize a group of people in the name of Jesus and religion (Frank, I’m thinking of you) please read this. http://www.owldolatrous.com/?p=369 If you continue to marginalize folks based on your personal ideals there is little hope for you.

    Once again, thanks Tony.

    • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

      Charles, I agree with your sentiment. To marginalize a group of people for ANY reason is wrong. Period.

      The only point I will disagree with you on is this: Christians who marginalize gay people aren’t, in reality, doing so “in the name of Jesus.” They are doing so in the name of the Bible.

      There’s a huge, huge difference between the two.

      The Bible is “God” to many who call themselves Christians. It’s similar to the “bronze snake” debacle in ancient Israel. During the time the Israelites were in the desert, God once sent poisonous snakes to discipline them because of their lack of faith. Moses then created the bronze snake so that “anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” (Numbers 21:4-9) About 700 years later, King Hezekiah destroyed the bronze snake because the people had begun worshiping it. (2 Kings 18:1-4)

      It’s similar to when Aaron and the Israelites created the golden calf when Moses was up on Mount Sinai just after the Exodus. They declared the golden calf to be “God” Himself and even held a festival in its honor. (Exodus 32:4-6)

      And so when Christians who are Bible worshipers bash gay people, judge gay people, and diminish their humanity in the name of their Bible and its dictates, it’s their form of a “festival” to their Bible god, burning the incense of fear, ignorance and self-righteousness as an act of worship which, when squared against the reality of authentic faith, is a vile fraud.

    • Frank

      Well thanks for posting someone’s very personal and biased opinion. Where again is the scriptural support that God condones or blesses homosexual behavior and sees it as anything but sinful?

      And no one is marginalizing anyone. We all are sinners. If anything it’s gay Christians and their behavoral supporters that are marginalizing Gods will for their lives. They are marginalizing themselves.

      • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

        Frank, it may be your own “personal and biased opinion” that the Bible is the sole authority in matters of Christian faith and life (and specifically YOUR faith and YOUR life), but the reality is that this isn’t the case universally for all (and perhaps most) Christians.

        Many Christians today (myself among them) behold the Spirit of God ALONE to be our authority, just as the first Christians did before, at, and in the first years after Pentecost before there was even a Bible as we know it.

        And that Spirit tells many of us that 1) Bible-worship, under the so-called “sola scriptura” moniker, is a perversion of Christian faith, and 2) marginalizing fellow human beings is contrary to the authentic Love of God.

        And by that Spirit, many of us reject over-righteousness stemming from “Bible thumping.” We do not reject the Bible as a blessed treasure. We simply don’t worship the treasure.

        Ultimately, by that same Spirit, and in rejection of Bible worship, we are choosing love over fear, grace over judgment, and Oneness over division.

        And THAT is the Love of God.

        • DeeDee

          R. Jay:
          2 Timothy 3:16-17
          Acts 17:11
          John 10:35
          John 1:1-5
          Matthew 22:29 etc, etc, etc…

          • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

            DeeDee . . . In response to your passage list, I refer you to a comment I wrote last night (10:59pm) on this thread, toward the very bottom of the comments section.

      • Curtis

        Where is the scriptural support that blesses interracial marriage and sees it as anything but sinful?

        • Frank

          Race is not relevant and you know it.

          No where is the bible is homosexual behavior in any form looked on positively or not as a sin. Everywhere in the bible marriage and sexuality is heterosexual. So any man and woman independent of race can be a marriage in Gids eyes. Nowhere are same sex couples considered a marriage.

          Sow here is your scriptural support that God condones or blesses homosexual unions or behavior? Nowhere that where.

          I am sure you have another straw of an unconvincing arguement to grasp right?

          • Curtis

            Why is race not relevant?

            No where in the Bible is interracial marriage looked on positively. Everywhere in the Bible where marriage is blessed, marriage is between members of the same tribe or race. Every instance of marriage in the Bible between different races is condemned.

            So where is your scriptural support that God condones or blesses interracial marriage? Nowhere, that’s where.

            This is no straw man. Your use of scripture to condemn gay marriage is exactly equivalent to the way scripture is routinely used to condemn interracial marriage.

          • Frank

            Curtis I will let you look foolish and continue this line of reasoning of you like.

            Restrictions on marriage in the bible was between people of the same faith. Those restrictions still hold today but it has nothing to do with race.

            Also look at Rehab or Ruth.

            So start looking for another straw.

          • Curtis

            I am using the exact same wording and reasoning as you are. You can read it, word by word.

            If you want to take up an argument about racial restrictions on marriage in the Bible, take it up with this woman http://thetencommandmentsministry.us/ministry/segregation_and_God%27s_word

            It is not my argument, but you two are free to have it out with each other. You are both using the exact same reasoning, so you should get along well with each other.

          • Frank

            So in other words you cannot support your position biblically. That’s what I thought.

          • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

            Curtis, there actually is an example where the Bible condones interracial marriage. Rahab and Salmon. Rahab was the Canaanite woman from Jericho, the prostitute who helped the Israelite spies. Salmon was an Israelite from the tribe of Judah. (see Joshua chapter 2; Joshua 6:17,23,25; Ruth 4:20; Numbers 2:3)

            Canaanites were an entirely different race than Israelites. Canaanites were descended from Noah’s son Ham. Israelites were descended from Noah’s son Shem.

          • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

            Though Curtis, I do agree with you that using the Bible as a tool to condemn is simply wrong.

            My insights on this subject are found in this thread, a couple posts above this one, and a couple posts below as well.

          • Curtis

            I told you. It is not my position. It is Martha Andrews’ position. And she supports it Biblically. Just like you.

          • Curtis

            The marriage of Rahab and Salmon was not a valid marriage, blessed by God. No prostitute can have a valid, Biblical marriage. Such a marriage flies in the face of several clear, Biblical teachings about sexual purity. It is not a valid marriage.

          • Frank

            So DO you have a position you can defend scripturally Curtis?

          • Curtis

            One cannot support, scripturally, behavior that the Bible does not speak about specifically.

            The Bible does not condemn healthy homosexual relationships. The Bible does not condemn healthy heterosexual relationships. The Bible does not condemn interracial marriage. The Bible does not condemn french kissing. We tolerate, even recognize and bless, many aspects of intimate human behavior in the context of a loving, committed relationship, even though the Bible never specifically blesses that behavior.

            In general, the fact that the Bible never addresses a specific behavior, leads us to judge the behavior in light of the overall message of Scripture. But there is no direct scriptural defense for a specific behavior that the bible never talks about.

          • Frank

            The bible condemns all homosexual behavior unless you can show us otherwise.

            And the sexual ethic upheld all throughout the OT and NT is a monogamous heterosexual union. Nothing more, nothing less.

            Better start looking for another straw.

          • Curtis

            The Bible condemns all interracial marriage.

            The Bible does not speak about healthy homosexual behavior.

            The Bible does not speak about holding hands.

            The Bible is a finite book that does not speak about many things.

          • Frank

            Oh dear Curtis. You must enjoy looking like the fool.

            The Bible condemns all interracial marriage. – nope you were just shown otherwise.

            The Bible does not speak about healthy homosexual behavior. -That because there is no healthy homosexual behavior

            The Bible does not speak about holding hands. – I agree but what the point? No one is fighting for the right to hold hands or fighting against holding hands.

            The Bible is a finite book that does not speak about many things. – The bible speaks enough for us to know how to live.

            Do you have another straw you wish to share?

          • Curtis

            It is my practice to end conversations where the other person repeatedly resorts to name calling rather than discussion of the matter at hand.

          • Frank

            I understand. It’s easier to run away than continue to look like a fool.

          • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

            Curtis, the marriage of Rahab and Salmon was most certainly valid. Their marriage was part of the Messianic lineage from which Jesus of Nazareth was descended. (See Matthew 1:4-5) This very fact alone demonstrates the validity of their marriage, and as such it was ABSOLUTELY blessed by God. This is irrefutable as far as the Biblical narrative is concerned.

            You said “no prostitute can have a valid, Biblical marriage.” I’m sure we’d all agree that’s true. The problem, though, is that your initial assertion had nothing to do with occupation (i.e., prostitution). You assertion was about race. So your mention of prostitution is a non sequitur to your own argument.

            But either way, it is logical to conclude that when Rahab married Salmon she was no longer a prostitute. The Biblical narrative supports this conclusion.

  • Frank

    Well considering every group that starts to deny Gods word withers away I’ll stick with actually believing the bible and what Jesus says.

    If you love me obey my commandments.

    • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

      Frank, you seem to have missed the part where I wrote, “We do not reject the Bible as a blessed treasure. We simply don’t worship the treasure.”

      • Frank

        I saw it but obviously it is not enough of a treasure for you to actually believe what it says.

        • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

          In response, I refer you to my reply earlier (at 9:46 am; pertaining to the bronze snake and the golden calf) under Charles’ comments, just above. That reply, along with my reply to you a moment ago (10:55am), will remain my complete answers on this subject entirely.

          Bible worship is a perversion, a hindrance to the Spirit, and contrary to the authentic Love of God.

          • Frank

            Ok you stick to your words and your spirit, I’ll stick to Gods.

          • Donna

            R. Jay…the Bible is the Word of God. Being obedient to the Word of God is in no way worship of a book. Without God, the Bible is nothing but without the Bible, God is still God. Frank is right when he states that we are to be obedient to the Word of God if we love Him. We should love God more than we love the world or pleasing ourselves. Perhaps if Frank said the only credible translation of the Bible were KJV that could be considered idolatry or worship but I didn’t get that from his responses.

          • DeeDee

            Jesus IS the Word so your point is moot. As for your earlier comments, Jesus said not to be unequally yoked. That had nothing to do with race. The Canaanites were IDOLATERS and God doesn’t want us to be joined to idolaters. A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

          • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

            Donna . . . I suppose, for the sake of healthy argument, I could ask and state the following:

            (1) Who is it that declared the Bible — the collection of sixty-six books of the Protestant Bible — to be “the Word of God?” And how can that declaration be qualified and validated as true?

            (2)
            (a) The Old Testament prohibitions against homosexual behavior are part of the Mosaic Law (i.e., Law of Moses, or simply the Law), particularly those found in Leviticus.
            (b) The Mosaic Law was applicable ONLY to those people who were members of the nation of Israel, either by Hebrew lineage from Jacob, circumcised converts (or naturalized immigrants, to use a modern analogy), or resident aliens. (see Exodus 12:48-49, and Leviticus 24:22)
            (c) The Mosaic Law was NOT applicable to Gentiles, i.e., those who were not members of the nation of Israel.
            (d) The earliest Christians acknowledged that followers of Jesus are NOT bound by the Mosaic Law (which later became known as the old covenant, or Old Testament). In fact, Christians are not bound by any written code of law in any form. The books of Romans and Galatians discuss this in unambiguous detail. (also see Acts chapter 15; note verse 10)
            (e) As such, ALL of the provisions of the Mosaic Law — including the provisions governing homosexual activity — are NOT applicable to Christians (take note of Romans 2:29; Galatians 2:15,21; Galatians 3:25).
            (g) As for certain writings in the New Testament that mention homosexual activity, there is no requirement for Christians to consider those writings — or ANY New Testament writings, for that matter — as authoritative (in terms of being the sole rule of faith, or as being the actual “Word of God”).

          • Frank

            And here we have where people with no scriptural support for their psoition end up: question the reliability of scripture except the parts they agree with. So predictable.

          • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

            Frank, it is VITAL to question the reliability of the Bible. The Bible itself, perhaps ironically, strongly encourages such questioning.

            But more to the real point at hand, if you’re going to assert the Bible as an authority, then you should validate those claims to authority.

            Because saying “the Bible is God’s Word, the Bible says so” over and over again like an empty mantra does not make it an authority. It makes it your overly repeated opinion, and nothing more.

            So please, do enlighten us. If you are able, please substantively answer my question and statement above (10:59pm).

          • Frank

            Then go follow some other writings if you want. I cannot prove the bible is the word of God just like you can’t prove it isn’t. Afterall believing in Jesus requires faith just as believing Gods word requires faith. You either have it or you don’t.

            If you want to follow a belief that does not require faith you have many options. The irony however is you use scripture above. So you simply pick and choose. Good luck with that.

          • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

            Frank, you just presented THE foremost predictable “Bible-thumper” response to serious questions about the Bible’s validity as an authority: “It’s a faith thing.”

            Translation: it’s your opinion.

            And the burden of “proof” is on you, not me. Because you’re the one making the assertion that the Bible is the “Word of God.” And not just making the assertion, but also CRITICIZING others who do not share your “opinion” (and no doubt you’ll say it’s because such people don’t have true “faith”).

            Though it’s a progressive first step for you to admit that it cannot be proven that the Bible is the word of God.

            And of course I use Scripture to make my points above, specifically writings from the New Testament. I use them because they are INFORMATIVE, not because they are authoritative. Besides, since you’ve indicated that the Bible is the source of your faith language, asking a question IN that same faith language is apropos.

            Too bad you copped-out, Frank. Considering how much you seem to adore the Bible you have so much “faith” in, we might’ve thought you’d take the chance at putting your money where your mouth is.

            Which means you’re obviously broke.

          • Frank

            You once again expose your ignorance. We cannot create faith. God gifts us with faith. I am not here for apologetics. I do not quote bible verses at people who don’t believe the bible. I am not here to justify your faith or lack thereof. If you are questioning that’s great but no one, not me or anyone can provide the truth that you ask for.

            You are asking something from me that only god can give you. I suggest you take it up with Him.

            And if it makes you feel better and smarter to think that you “got me” than go ahead and believe it. Afterall truth and you have a tenuous relationship.

          • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

            You’re still copping out Frank. And not exactly in a way that’s “full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Colossians 4:5-6)

            And interestingly, you’re trying (unsuccessfully) to divert the subject I originally brought up, which actually has nothing to do with faith.

            It has to do with claims to authority.

            My question above (at 10:59pm) was simple: Who is it that declared the Bible — the collection of sixty-six books of the Protestant Bible — to be “the Word of God?” And how can that declaration be qualified and validated as true?

            This is not a faith question. It’s a question seeking to validate HUMAN assertion. And it’s a completely reasonable AND important question to ask.

            As to my argument on the Mosaic Law issue . . . this one should be easy for you. It had nothing to do with faith, but had to do with a logical Biblical interpretation regarding how “God’s law” is or is not operative for Christians. (With my point being that even the Bible, in the wholeness of the narrative, is self-prohibitive of any claims to codified authority).

            So again, if you want to cop-out, then that’s fine. But if you do, and especially after having been presented a prime opportunity to back up your claim that the Bible is an authority, then ANYTHING you say under the “the Bible is God’s word” mantra will fall absolutely flat.

          • Frank

            Ok you win. Are you happy? Even though its you that copped out. How sad. Your question exposes your ignorance.

            Meanwhile the rest of us through faith will trust God and His word as it has never failed anyone yet. The authority comes through faith. One day you might actually discover that. We can only pray.

          • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

            My questions and this dialogue were never about “winning.” At least not for me. Because to me, using the Bible and claims of its universal authority to diminish fellow human beings is not a game.

            I just asked very simple questions, and invited you to engage in substantive dialogue on a rather important matter pertaining to the Bible. In doing so, I was certainly not copping out. As for you, your responses to my questions and invitation turned out, in fact, to be evasive non-answers. And THAT, along with your acerbic insults, is ignorance.

            As for “authority comes through faith” . . . says who?

          • Frank

            Ok you have the choice to live in ignorance or not. The bible clearly condemns homosexual behavior there is no getting around it, although many have tried. This does not diminish anyone. Someone who makes their sexuality their identity has diminished themselves. Someone who rejects Gods Will diminishes themselves.

            Your questions, while good ones have been asked since the beginning of time and there is no scientific answer. Wise people understood this long ago.

            Here is the scriptural support for what you asked for about faith even though you reject scripture as authoritative.

            Ephesians 2:8–9 (ESV)
            8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

            Romans 10:17 (ESV)
            17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

            2 Corinthians 5:7 (ESV)
            7 for we walk by faith, not by sight.

            Hebrews 11:6 (ESV)
            6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek hi

          • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

            Thank you Frank.

            (1) I agree. The Law code (Law of Moses) in the Bible condemns homosexual intercourse (inasmuch as such intercourse is a mimic of male-female genital intercourse). This is beyond refute. However . . .

            (2) The Law code prohibits such homosexual intercourse ONLY for those who belong to the nation of Israel. The Law, per the covenant with Israel, does not apply to Gentiles. This too is Biblical, and is therefore beyond refute.

            (3) The Law code is not applicable to Christians. Therefore, its prohibitions are not applicable, including the prohibitions on sexual behavior (since the Law was cancelled by what many refer to as the New Covenant, or new testament; there is no longer “Jew or Greek”).

            (4) The sole “law” for Christians is all-encompassing Love. It is the Greatest Commandment, as the saying goes. Love is the very nature of the “new covenant” and cannot be superseded or supplemented by anything written by man or woman. This includes the New Testament writings. We can behold such writings as informative Christian witness (as I do). But nothing under the “law” of Love requires us to behold such writings as absolutely authoritative.

            Regarding the NT passages on faith that you provided, while they reflect Paul’s own insights on faith as a relational quality, those insights do not speak to your assertion that “authority comes through faith.”

            But again, Paul’s insights on faith are his own. As such, I refer you to point 4 above.

          • Frank

            There is nothing loving about encouraging, supporting, affirming or remaining silent about sinful behavior. That’s hate.

            And I suggest you do some more study. The Law still stands for Christians. Jesus did away with the sacrificial laws, the dietary laws were done away with through Peters revelation but the morality laws are still to be followed. So homosexual behavior is any form is still sinful.

          • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

            You say “the Law still stands for Christians.”

            I invite you to validate that assertion.

            According to early Christian witness, the Law — IN ITS ENTIRETY — was done away with. There was no partial retention of the codes. Even Paul opined: “If righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing! . . . Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” (Galatians 2:21; 3:2-3)

            According to the Biblical narrative, the Law code was the foundation of God’s covenant with Israel established at Mount Sinai. That covenant ended at Pentecost, and with it the Law code that came with it. The ENTIRE Law code.

            But even when the Law was in force, it did not apply to Gentiles. In fact, the very nature of the Law was to be a barrier between the Jews and Gentiles. To assert that a portion of that barrier is still in force would negate the witness that there is “no longer Jew or Greek.” (compare Ephesians 2:14-15)

            Remember also that circumcision was required to be joined to the nation of Israel under the Sinai covenant. And as I’m sure you know, the early Christians acknowledged that circumcision is not required of Christians. Why? Because, again, the Law in its entirety is no longer in force.

            Again, I invite you to validate your claim that a PORTION of the old covenant is applicable to Christians under the new covenant.

          • Frank

            The morality of the Moral Laws are affirmed all throughout the NT. Do I have post those verses for you? You know the ones dealing with sexual immorality and homosexuality?

            So yes you are correct that technically we are no longer under the letter of Levitical Law but we are still under the spirit of the law.

            Once again staying on topic – homosexual behavior is sinful in OT and NT times.

          • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

            It could be biblically argued that it’s much more than a technicality that Christians are no longer under the Law Code. How? Because early Christian witness acknowledged that the Law was done away with in its entirety as a consequence of Jesus’ shed blood. That’s definitely not a technicality. It was understood by early Christians (or at the very least Paul) as a fundamental and indispensable truth.

            The words of Paul and other NT writers regarding homosexual intercourse — and in fact regarding anything, really, including Paul’s views on women — are their own personal opinions. They cannot be beheld as a new kind of “law.” As such, their opinions are not binding on Christians as a whole.

            Now, if certain Christians wish to submit to Paul’s and other NT writers’ words as an authority, that is their own choice. But such choice cannot be imposed on other Christians, nor can such personal choice be asserted as universally binding.

            As for gay men and women, I affirm the blessedness of their humanity (which includes their sexuality) and proclaim them Beloved of God. And I do so by Love over law.

            I do the same for you, Frank.

          • Frank

            And we end up again with the truth about you. You pick and choose. You make yourself God. Good luck with that you will need it.

            And I realize that it may be pointless to point this out to someone who writes their own scripture but the Law was in place to show us how sinful we are and how much we need God. So the Law tells us all the ways we distance ourselves from God. That list includes homosexual behavior. It makes no sense at all for God to write a law against something that’s not sinful.

          • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

            Frank, the fact is we will disagree on this. Where you criticize me, I will simply bestow a blessing on you. Such is the Way of Love.

            But on the strict points we discussed here, the conclusion is this: there is no Law. The Bible is not an authority.

            And yet you said, “It makes no sense at all for God to write a law against something that’s not sinful.”

            “Sins” you say?

            With that, I bid you grace, and leave you with the ten points from the famed “Open Letter To Dr. Laura Schlesinger”:

            1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

            2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

            3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual unseemliness – Lev. 15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offence.

            4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev. 1:9. The problem is my neighbours. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

            5. I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2. clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

            6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination – Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there ‘degrees’ of abomination?

            7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

            8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

            9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

            10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev. 24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

            (Of course, this all assumes that “God wrote” the Mosaic Law.)

          • Frank

            Oh dear. I guess the saying “give a fool enough rope and they will hang themselves” is true afterall.

            You only further display your lack of biblical knowledge and faulty interpretations. IF that’s was your goal then… well done!

    • MaryBeth

      Is this Frank guy seriously for real? I’m either impressed by his persistence or horrified by his closed mind and unwitty comebacks.

      • Frank

        Please show how I am wrong. Where does God condone or bless homosexual behavior? Everything I read in the bible is against homosexual behavior. So I really do not care what you think of me but if you want to be intellectually and scripturally honest you would show the scriptural support for what ou believe otherwise it is imply a human opinion.

        • http://www.winter60.blogspot.com Lausten North

          The Bible doesn’t say anything about the Internet either, so maybe you should stop using it. It also says that you can make your slave have children for you or that men can have multiple wives. It says we can do a lot of things that are illegal and immoral. It is not a rule book that we should be following. It is a guide. It helps us understand how our ancestors worked through some difficult issues. But we know a lot more than they did then and it tells us to think for ourselves and act with love and compassion.

          • Frank

            The is nothi g loving or compassionate about encouraging, supporting, affirming or being silent about sinful behavior.

          • http://www.winter60.blogspot.com Lausten North

            Right, and you are silent about making your slaves have children and men having multiple wives. Of course you would already have to have slaves, which also sinful. You cherry pick the Bible and ignore the immoral parts. Coming right out and condoning sinful behavior like that is quite a bit worse than being silent about it. So are you pro-slavery Frank? If not, explain to me how you can be against something that the Bible clearing condones and encourages. And don’t give me that “it was a different kind of slavery” argument, because I already said the Bible says you can make your slave have your children.

          • Frank

            It quite puzzling how people can bring up the same old arguments again and again even though they have been studied and dismissed as nauseum. How sad that people choose to remain ignorant about important subjects.

          • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

            You’re absolutely right, Frank. It is quite puzzling how you bring up the same old arguments again and again, even though your arguments have been proven to be circular and self-defeating. And yes, how sad that you choose to remain ignorant about important subjects.

            Your criticisms and insults bear no resemblance to the qualities of Jesus of Nazareth. In particular, the qualities of humility and grace. You instead have shown yourself to be over-righteous and judgmental, just like the self-exalting Pharisee who thanked God that he was not like other “sinful” people. (Luke 18:9-14)

            If you SAY you are a follower of Jesus, yet ACT like a “gnat-straining, camel-swallowing” Pharisee (see Matthew 23:23-24), then you are ultimately a fraud.

            “By their fruit you will know them.” (Matthew 7:16)

          • Frank

            R Jay nice turnabout. I couldn’t have done better myself. If only the content of your post was true or right or had the right focus. But alas no forward movement on your end. Sad.

        • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

          Frank, you of all people are talking about “intellectual honesty”? Seriously?

          I already successfully challenged your assertions about the Bible in this very thread (for others reading this, see my and Frank’s discussion above), and you yourself already admitted that the Bible cannot be proven to be the Word of God (see your comment on this thread, August 23, 2012 at 10:43 am).

          Now, you can then say “it’s a matter of faith” all you want. However, let’s stick to INTELLECTUAL honesty, like you just stated here, instead of obfuscating on the faith angle.

          (By the way, Frank, if you’re going to be INTELLECTUALLY honest, then tell me why you aren’t out and about killing homosexuals for their “sin”? The Bible commands it.)

          And if you are going to be Scripturally honest, then it all goes back to our discussion a few days ago: the New Testament writers say that the Old Testament verses ARE NOT APPLICABLE to Christians as a code to be obeyed. (To refresh your memory, see my initial question above, August 22, 2012 at 10:59 pm. You can also see my recent post on this very subject at the following link: http://www.rjaypearson.com/2012/08/the-bible-and-bronze-snake-christianity.html)

          • Frank

            R. Jay I suggest you look up thè definition is success because you have failed miserably.

            And you questions and assertion only further expose your lack of biblical knowledge and scholarship. How embarrassing.

            You however have made it clear that you don’t care what the bible says or you ny care about what it says that you as a person agrees with. So you have played your hand now you just live with it. Myself I will continue to trust that scripture is the Word of God.

            And I would point out again that if the matter was simple someone surely would be able to provide the scriptural support for their position. I will keep waiting.

          • Evelyn

            Wow. Nice discussion. Frank really got everyone going.

            Frank seems particularly troubled by his point of view so I want to let you all know that the conversation you’ve been having sounds somewhat like the classic one between Romanists (roman catholics) and Protestants (Calvinists) on whether the “church” or the “scripture” is the primary authority on the will of God. There is actually a 362-page book of letters between two guys named Hughes (a roman catholic Archbishop) and Breckinridge (a Presbyterian minister) called “Controversy between the Rev. John Hughes, of the Roman Catholic Church, and the Rev. John Breckinridge, of the Presbyterian Church : relative to the existing differences in the Roman Catholic and Protestant religions” published in 1833. I’ve been reading a summary of the arguments from a Spiritualist’s perspective in a book called “Experimental investigation of the spirit” (1856) by Robert Hare.

            If you don’t know anything about it, Spiritualism (which I am not a follower of) was/is a religion that gained a following of about 2 million members in the U.S. in the late 1800s and had a significant number of followers in Great Britain. There were quite a few very intelligent people who converted to the religion (including Arthur Conan Doyle) and they had to deal with the “Christian problem” (as I like to call it) so I think that reading about Christians from a spiritualist point of view is a valuable pseudo-objective way of stepping outside of the internal arguments between Christian denominations so that the forest can be seen for the trees, so to speak.

            In one of his letters Archbishop Hughes says: “Just imagine to yourself an ordinary will or testament, written but twenty years ago, purporting to be the last will and testament of a wealthy deceased relative, and designating you as heir, but without either signature or probate, and ask yourself what it would be worth? Could such a document establish its own authenticity? And yet this is precisely the situation to which the Protestant rule of faith reduced the Scriptures, by which, and by which alone, their authenticity could have been established. S. Augustine, of whom Presbyterians are sometimes wont to speak with respect, declared that it was the testimony of the church which moved him to believe in the Scriptures.”

            In contrast, Breckinridge, the Presbyterian, says: “The unwarrantable liberties of your church with the word of God show her fallible to a deplorable degree. You rule, if observed requires implicit faith in the decretals and interpretations of fallible men, which is subversive of the very nature and end of religion in the soul. Faith supposes knowledge, conviction on evidence, and trust in God, founded on a belief of divine truth; but your rule requires unconditional submission to the dicta of the church in the lump.”

            In his commentary on this, Hare (the spiritualist) says: “To conclude, I agree with the right reverend, able and learned archbishop, that Christianity has no witnesses but those disciples of Christ whom he calls the Church; but I also concur with his able, learned, and reverend opponent, that the said church is neither competent as a witness, nor reliable as a foundation for Christianity.”

            The emergent church movement has departed from Calvinist philosophy in the sense that it has begun to incorporate knowledge of God and humanist traditions that are other than are found in a 2000-year-old book (which I think is sensible). And, they have incorporated traditional Catholic rituals, such as weekly communion, in their liturgical practice. Although the emergent church doesn’t have a long and bloody tradition to draw on, their inclusion of new and old traditions is similar to what is normally practiced by Catholics and emergents are not as anti-christian as the Calvinistic “Frank” makes them out to be.

          • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

            Evelyn, your remarks on the Hughes/Breckenridge conversation and the Hare conclusion were excellent.

            In my discussion with Frank, my request/challenge was for him to validate his claims to the Bible’s (1) divine authorship and (2) universal and absolute authority. For those like Frank who subscribe to “sola scriptura,” their logic says 2 is true only because 1 is true. Therefore, if 1 cannot be substantively validated, 2 then fails. Frank ultimately confessed that he “cannot prove the Bible is the word of God.” Point 1 failed by his own conclusion, therefore point 2 fails. The only problem is that Frank refuses to accept the self-defeating nature of his very own circular argument.

            While our discussion (with Frank the more acerbic and insulting participant) had similarites to the Hughes/Breckenridge conversation, the difference is that my own position does not recognize either the divine authorship of Scripture (Old or New Testaments), their purportedly absolute authority, OR the authority of any so-called Church “leaders.”

            Yet I consider myself an “emergent faith” Christian, and as such I behold the Bible as a treasure which informs my faith. It does not, though, command my faith.

            As for “authority” in matters of faith and human living, it is Love. And this Love can only be experienced in willing communion with “God.” And that communion is made possible by what is often referred to as the “holy spirit.”

            This is how faith happens. Experientially. Which can also mean “spiritually.”

            Now, faith can be “enhanced” and informed intellectually. This is where Scripture comes in.

            For me, I am a Christian by choice, and in my “emergent Christian faith” I chose to live out Love in the way of Jesus of Nazareth as expressed in the Gospels. But my faith is first and foremost formed (or begotten) by my God-experience.

            Ultimately, it is this Love borne of my God-experience which insists that all human beings are Beloved of God; that we are all blessed in our common humanity; that there is no inferiority or superiority amongst humankind; that all our “differences” — be they in skin color, language, sexuality, etc. — are but a rich array of colors on a sacred canvas of Oneness created by the Love of God.

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  • Donna

    The CEO of Chick-Fil-A believes in the traditional marriage. That is not hate. As a Christian, to believe otherwise would be saying that the Word of God is a lie. The Bible tells us that homosexuality is an abomination. Christians that are living in obedience to Christ should be supporting a cause that adheres to that lifestyle or at least in agreement. It has nothing to do with hate. It is about loving Christ more than anything and serving Him. The problem with our world is that we live in a “me” generation. It is not about us. It is about pleasing God and doing what pleases Him.

  • http://www.withouthavingseen.com Ryan Haber

    So you think supporting the right of even stupid people to speak their minds freely without government censure is somehow hateful of homosexuals? Really?

  • jerry lynch

    Writing in broadstrokes on the motives of people eating at Chic-fil-A is a waste of time. Gays are sick and weird and the thought of giving them the same equality as heterosexuals is just as sick and weird in this Christian Nation, right? End of discussion.

    Equality was the point. Showing support for Chic-fil-A’s stance opposing gay marriage was a vote opposing equality, whether out of hate or not.

    How would knowing a gay transform what some believe scripture dictates? “Now that I have dined with a homosexual I see that God was wrong, let’s welcome them and shut up.”

    The choice is between being an American or a Christian. Equality is an American ideal and the basis of our republic. It is anti-American to deny gays equality under the law.

  • http://simonjamesonline.com Simon James

    I am a celibate, homosexual, Catholic man, and I am sick and tired of the GLTBQ activists claiming to represent all of us who struggle with ssa (same sex attraction). I have a completely different story about being homosexual than the one, based on falsehood, that they promote. When I get a chance to visit this particular restaurant, I am going to buy a very big meal to THANK THE CHAIN for supporting my choice of celibacy for the Kingdom. You can read my story at my website: simonjamesonline.com. Please visit for a different point of view.

    • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

      Simon, not every gay man “struggles” with same-sex attraction. As a gay man myself, it is certainly not a struggle for me. My “sexuality” is an integral and blessed part of my humanity. And it is in the wholeness of that humanity that “God” declares me, and all people, Beloved.

      As for “gay rights” activists and who they represent, it seems to me they represent a cause (i.e., equality), and do not claim to speak for an entire group (i.e., all gay-identifying people).

      As for your celibacy . . . if it is a choice because your sexual behavior has been destructive unto yourself and/or others, then I applaud you. But if it is a choice due to embracing an artificial theology/philosophy that reinforces the false notion that you are depraved (or “disordered” as the Catholic catechism puts it) just because of your sexual orientation, then my heart goes out to you.

      • Frank

        It’s true not everyone struggles. Some just give in to their sinful desires.

        Simon your voice is an important one that’s often overlooked. There are thousands and thousands of people who have overcome their sinful feelings and many, many more that struggle, sometimes fail, yet maintain the Godly struggle. You and your brethren really are fallowing the Will of God and are a hopeful testament to the Christian faith and the power of God.

        • Frank

          Some thank God that they have been given the grace to love anyone.

          Your assumption that any gay man who doesn’t hate himself for being gay is a slut, is perverted and hateful.

    • Frank

      Simon, as a cradle Catholic who was celibate for almost all his 51 years I am, utterly revolted by the fact that you can turn your back on the gay minors persecuted to suicide by your Church.

      You are no paragon of virtue. You’re a quisling.

  • Frank

    Which GLBT behavior? Breathing?

    Christians are lying to themselves when they claim to love gay people but attack their basic rights to “correct” gay people. Christian leaders endorse anti-gay discrimination in employment, military service, education, housing, taxation, and healthcare. These leaders persecute gays with no proof of activity; they punish identity. That is hatred in its purest and simplest form.

    In my home state of Louisiana, the local Baptist convention and the Catholic bishops joined forces to persecute gay students in middle and high school by writing into law that publicly funded charter schools are allowed to discriminate against students and to refuse admission to prospective students on the basis of sexual orientation alone.

    The promise of Christianity is rendered a lie by the Christian persecution of gays based on their identity.

    • http://www.rjaypearson.com R. Jay Pearson

      Frank, FYI . . . there is another poster on here who goes by “Frank” and who has a rather well-established reputation for, shall we say, less-than-gracious responses on this topic (he is anti-gay; he also loves to call people names and insult them when they don’t agree with what he believes in). So, in an effort not to confuse the two of you, I’ll refer to you as “Mr. Frank.”

      Anyway, Mr. Frank . . . you make an excellent point. “Gay haters” are discriminating based on identity, not on behavior.

      As for Christianity . . . the “old guard” of gay-bashing “Christians” (think Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and their ilk) is finally beginning to die off. And thankfully, they are being replaced by a more tolerant, and more authentically loving generation of Christians who do not pass judgments based on another’s sexual identity or unqualified assumptions of so-called “sinful behavior.”

      This gives me hope for the “promise of Christianity” that you mentioned.

      • Scot Miller

        I have to admit, I was surprised to hear a change in Frank’s rhetoric… had a conversion taken place? Does he have a split personality. Alas, Frank is no “Mr. Frank.”

        I also hope for the “promise of Christianity,” Mr. Frank!

  • VK

    First off, I’m 23 years old, so maybe I’m not quite as experienced in the world as several others who might be posting here…but nonetheless, I have do SOME experience going to public school and all. I have several friends who are gay/lesbian/bisexual. I have a sister who is bisexual. My close friend from high school is a lesbian, and very active in the glbt community.
    Get this, I’m Catholic, and practicing. I love my sister, I love my friend(s), several who have same sex attraction. I don’t support gay marriage, but I also do not, by any means, hate anybody who labels themselves homosexual.
    I can totally understand how the homosexual community could’ve have been offended by people eating at CFA on August 1st, but they also have to understand that it wasn’t an event that was meant to cause such hurt, it was people going to support Cathy, and his freedom of speech.
    My friends and family are neither hurt, or disappointed with the way they live their lives. I don’t judge them, and nothing I say or do is going to stop them from the way they want to live their lives, just like nobody is going to stop me from the way I want to live my life, or even what I believe.
    I think people put too much thought into what Cathy said, he’s not in politics, he’s not some kind of world leader who is going to change the world, he was simply stating his opinion. In the grand scheme of things, it means absolutely nothing. I didn’t even know who the heck he was before all of this, and before this post, had forgotten about him like a week after the so-called “hate spew”.
    as for him donating HIS money to “hateful groups”, which by the way is totally false. He donates his money to groups that support family oriented groups and “traditional marriage”… not the KKK, people.

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