The American Family Association and the KKK

The American Family Association (AFA) is in a tizzy because the U.S. Army listed them as a hate group in a training presentation. The Army identified the AFA as a hate group based on information from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Of course the AFA thinks that designation is false and slanderous—they’re simply standing up for “traditional” Christian values, they say; they’re simply doing the work of God. But the SPLC doesn’t arbitrarily identify groups as hateful. The SPLC’s listing for the AFA makes sadly clear that the AFA very much hates homosexuality, hates “the homosexual agenda,” and is doing everything in its power to limit the rights of homosexuals.

The AFA doesn’t want to be lumped in with white nationalists, black separatists, racist skinheads or neo-Confederates. But the substance of their message differs little from many of those groups. The reasons those groups are widely reviled are precisely the same reasons the AFA and the FRC are identified as hate groups. And if any Christian feels uncomfortable with that, he or she should pay heed to that feeling of discomfort—or even better, pay heed to the feelings of others. It’s easy to lash out and blame the SPLC, the Army and the liberal media for the AFA being labeled a hate group, but the words and actions of the AFA speak for themselves.

It’s time for Christians to own up to the hate that’s being perpetuated in their name. The AFA needs to realize that “standing up” for supposedly “Christian” values—when those values are in reality nothing of the sort—has consequences. The AFA has every right to continue spewing its message. But it’s time to stop pretending that message is one of anything but hatred.

Image Photoshopped by me.


Dan WilkinsonDan Wilkinson
Dan is a writer, graphic designer and IT specialist. He lives in Montana, is married and has two cats. He blogs at CoolingTwilight.com.

  • Richard Williams

    I don’t know much about what they’ve said. What is it that you and the SPLC think is hateful about what they have said?

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      Richard: Perhaps you missed in the article the link to the SPLC, which takes you to these statements from the AFA:

      “Homosexuality is a poor and dangerous choice, and has been proven to lead to a litany of health hazards to not only the individuals but also society as a whole.”
      –AFA Action Alert, July 20, 2012

      “[Islam] is, in fact, a religion of war, violence, intolerance, and physical persecution of non-Muslims.” –Tim Wildmon, March 6, 2012

      “The homosexual movement is a progressive outgrowth of the sexual revolution of the past 40 years and will lead to the normalization of even more deviant behavior.” – Don Wildmon, AFA website, 1999 (still posted as of 2011).

      “Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews.” – Bryan Fischer, AFA director of issue analysis for government and public policy, 2010

      “If President Obama, Congressional Democrats, and homosexual activists get their wish, your son or daughter may be forced to share military showers and barracks with active and open homosexuals who may very well view them with sexual interest.” – AFA press release, February 2010

      “Homosexuality is not only harmful to homosexuals themselves, but also to children and to society.” – Stephen Bennett, AFA writer, 2004

      “As with smoking, homosexual behavior’s ‘second hand’ effects threaten public health….Thus, individuals who choose to engage in homosexual behavior threaten not only their own lives, but the lives of the general population.” – Gary Glenn, president of Michigan chapter of AFA, 2001

      “[T]he homosexual lifestyle is characterized by anonymous sexual encounters and celebration of sexual obsession and perversion unparalleled in any other social group.” – Richard Howe, “Homosexuality in America,” AFA publication, 1994

      • Richard Williams

        How many of those statements are actually accurate warnings? I would not call statements of accurate warnings statements of hate.

        • http://coolingtwilight.com/ Dan Wilkinson

          Right, just like the KKK is only issuing “warnings” about the mixing of races, and neo-Nazis are only “warning” us about the Jews. No hate there at all…

          • Richard Williams

            I think you associating the AFA with the KKK is going over the line a whole lot. I seriously doubt the organization’ s official stance comes from hatred, although I don’t think any of us can speak for the individual members.

          • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

            I’m just gonna go out on a limb here, Richard, and guess that you’re a Christian who believes that homosexuality is a sin, which is why you think these statements from AFA are “actually accurate warnings.” Call me crazy.

          • Richard Williams

            This entire question is pertinent to me because for I was a Christian I visited a church my brother was going to and I met someone who was dealing with the issues of homosexuality in his own life. We became friends, however I really wanted to know what I should do in response to it. What I had discovered is not the rhetoric of people who were completely ignorant of human relationships, but of those who were concerned where certain decisions lead our society. In interacting with those who have struggled with their sexuality I can hear that they have deep seated issues from their past that they have a difficult time reconciling. Their lifestyle is a choice not something they are born with. I also know someone who was involved in homosexuality and is now happily married. Homosexual behaviour is a sin because it misses the mark of what is best for human beings. That is what sin means.

          • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

            So Richard, you are, in fact, a Christian who believes that homosexuality is a sin. Yes? Do I have that right?

          • Richard Williams

            Did you read my comments?

          • http://coolingtwilight.com/ Dan Wilkinson

            Richard, I’ve read your comments. I vehemently disagree that “Homosexual behaviour is a sin because it misses the mark of what is best for human beings.” Given that fundamental difference between us, I doubt there’s much room for constructive dialogue on the topic.

          • Richard Williams

            You may disagree, but do you only talk to people that agree with you? I would not consider that constructive.

          • http://coolingtwilight.com/ Dan Wilkinson

            If we have foundational and irreconcilable differences that inform understanding of a topic, I see little reason to continue the discussion. I don’t think it’s constructive to repeatedly bash my head against a brick wall.

          • Richard Williams

            I am pretty open to listening to anyone, however, you may not enjoy that I will still disagree with you regardless of what you say because my opinion is informed by the truth of God.

          • N.S.D.

            Richard: Tell me exactly where in your Bible it claims homosexuality is a sin. If I’m right, you don’t even know where to find said verse. So, if you need to, Google it. And from there, read the other laws that exist in the same Book of the Bible, in almost the exact Chapter. Then I want you to tell me why Christians, particularly hateful ones like the AFA and WBC single that verse out.

            From there, I want you to explain to me why we should use the Bible to guide our country, to form our laws, or as a framework for our lives. I want you to tell me why groups like AFA/WBC exist. I’ll give you a hint: it’s because they’re god is a god of war, wrath, and hate.

          • Richard Williams

            I have written a paper on this issue a long time ago. I admit that I can not remember the exact locations in the Bible all of the time, but Leviticus 19 and Romans 1 quickly come to mind. Ok actually Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:26-28; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.

            They single it out because maybe that is what they see as a prominent thing that is being seen as acceptable in society probably, and they overreact, although they are right that their should be a reaction when something in society becomes acceptable that shouldn’t be.

            We should have God guiding our “countries”. God knows what is right and wrong and the Bible is His Word to us about what is right and wrong.

            I think I already mentioned why groups like that exist, other than perhaps they have self-righteousness issues.

            Perhaps you are right that they believe in the wrong God. I can not judge whether they truly have a relationship with God or not, but they sure don’t seem to know Him very well.

          • http://coolingtwilight.com/ Dan Wilkinson

            “my opinion is informed by the truth of God.” Way to go for the nuclear option. I guess that settles it.

          • Sheila Warner

            Richard: I talk with people with whom I disagree all the time. You say homosexuality is a choice because of very limited anecdotal evidence. You have not bothered to read the science on this issue. You are unaware of just how many so-called “ex gays” return to homosexuality because sexual orientation is fixed at birth, and the mental suffering by those who try to change due to guilt inflicted on them by other people is overwhelming. You should start reading blogs about gays. I highly recommend “Registered Runaway” and “Just Because He Breathes”. Make yourself aware of too many gays who were terrified of having same sex orientation because they were born again Christians who tried EVERYTHING to change. They poured their hearts out to God, searched the Bible for answers to help them change, went to gay conversion counselors, or to groups like “Exodus International.” It was not, and is not, a choice. You can’t read stories such as these over and over and over again and believe that being gay is a sin. And, since being gay is not a sin, then gays have every right to a lifetime of love and happiness.

          • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

            So you’re just not going to directly answer this simple question, are you? That’s weak, Richard. At least be proud of what you believe.

          • Richard Williams

            I already did answer it. It’s weak to try to use that tactic of questioning by trying to treat me like I am ignorant and I don’t know what I am talking about.

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

            Here’s another accurate warning.

            “Christianity is evil because Christians kill people. Lots of them.”

            I’m sure you will vehemently disagree with me, but doing so will only make you the worst type of hypocrite.

            EDIT: This comment was meant for Richard Williams. NOT John Shore. Apologies.

          • http://coolingtwilight.com/ Dan Wilkinson

            How ’bout: “People are evil because people kill people. Lot’s of them.”

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

            That wasn’t meant to be taken as an actual accurate warning, merely sarcasm. I have lots of battles to fight with Christianity but I can come up with a better argument than that.

            EDIT: I now realised that I caused confusion by responding to the wrong person. I haven’t had coffee. Apologies.

          • Richard Williams

            Definitely because I could say there are atheistic nations that have killed quite a few people. I think what Dan says is accurate. People are sinners. There could be an argument regarding what people define as “Christians” because there are many who have tried to call themselves that, but are a misrepresentation of the Christian faith, and I can argue that quite successfully.

          • http://coolingtwilight.com/ Dan Wilkinson

            No worries. We’re all a little confused around here. ;)

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

            If their stance, their purpose and their comments are not stemmed from hatred, then please tell us what in the hell are they doing.

          • Lee

            I think saying that homosexuals are responsible for the Holocaust is going WAY OVER THE LINE a whole lot. You seem to not understand the difference between disagreement and absolute hate. This is exactly the same garbage that Westboro Baptist teaches.

            This is no different than the KKK targeting blacks, telling lies about them which eventually can result in violence.

          • Richard Williams

            I looked it up – some homosexuals were partially responsible for the Holocaust, but so were all kinds of sinners. Where the AFA goes wrong is by only singling out those members of the Nazi party that were gay as if to grasp at some kind of argument that isn’t directly related. I certainly don’t think it is necessary because there is enough wrong with homosexual behaviour in itself.

  • 11B

    So because the AFA stands on Biblical principles and disagrees with homosexuality as it is a sin as discussed in the Bible they are to be lumped in with groups who’s vile discourse is not even a fair comparison. If we are to make this comparison then we must also lump in those who have made such racist and vile comments in the past. The SPLC’s own Morris Dees has a history that is nothing to be proud of. His own past is one of defending a KKK member among other things. Morris Dees and the SPLC are the last group I would trust as my only source for the definition of hate groups. But I digress…

    The AFA doesn’t hate the homosexual but the activity of homosexuality. They believe it to be their Christian duty to try and bring the homosexual back to the heterosexual lifestyle and since it can be done they are not trying an unproven tactic. It is the homosexual ACT that is seen as an affront to God and this is what they have stated. God despises SIN but loves the SINNER.

    Yes I am a Christian and I listen to AFR daily. I also have a Lesbian niece and a former Brother in Law who is Gay as well as a good friend who is also Gay. I love them all without regard to their chosen lifestyle but I do not agree with their chosen lifestyle.

    • http://coolingtwilight.com/ Dan Wilkinson

      Oppressing, marginalizing, excluding and denigrating people because of their sexual orientation isn’t a Biblical principle — it’s hate.
      Of course the AFA thinks it’s their “Christian duty” to fight the “homosexual agenda,” just as the KKK thinks it’s their Christian duty to preserve white power. But just because you think you’re right doesn’t mean that you are — or that your words and actions aren’t bigoted and hateful.
      The fact that you think homosexuality is merely a “chosen lifestyle” says to me that you’re unwilling to face reality, that you’d rather follow a particular understanding of the Bible and of Christianity that refuses to acknowledge scientific facts, that refuses to grant basic human rights to all people, that refuses to recognize the inherent dignity in people as God made them and that steadfastly refuses to love others yourself. Call it what you will, but in my book that’s hate.

      • Sheila Warner

        Not to mention the name calling. Listen to some of the sermons preached by these types of haters. Gays referred to as degenerate, fags, perverts–it’s disgusting. I’m ashamed that gays were barred from military service until the 21st century. If a man or woman is willing to die to protect our nation, does it really matter what the sexual orientation of that person is? The whole gay-hating mindset is dead wrong, and not at all what Jesus taught. Love thy neighbor as thyself. Period. Jesus put no exceptions to his command.

        • 11B

          u are correct that Jesus taught us to love one another. I said it in another post that as Christians we are not to hate the SINNER but the SIN.

          That being said does this excuse anyone from using the same tactics as they accuse the AFA of using?

          • BWF

            How does accusing gay people of causing the holocaust fall under “hating the sin but not the sinner”?

          • 11B

            People aren’t perfect and I can’t explain what anyone other than myself is thinking. As I have stated before every point of view has it’s own extremes. Christians are no different. If they were we would not have the WBC attending funerals with their vile speech.

          • Richard Williams

            That was someone’s statement. It was not totally correct as I have already stated, however I think it does state a point to anyone who tries to claim that Christians are responsible for Nazi Germany. I think all of humanity can accept blame.

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

            You do realize that the doctrine of hate the sin, not the sinner is not a Christian one.

          • Richard Williams

            The Bible says hate what is evil and also it says love your neighbour as yourself.

          • Sheila Warner

            No one should use those tactics. But do you not realize how it harms a person when you say I love you but I hate your sin, when the person believes that who he is as a gay person is wrong? When you say that, the I love you part is not even taken in. All they hear is that who they are makes them unworthy of God, and, in some cases, unworthy to be alive at all. Many gays commit suicide because they end up hating themselves for who they are.

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

            Here’s the problem with hating the sin, not the sinner. It rarely works that way. Why? Because people do not seperate a perceived sin from the person. It becomes the entire representation if that person, not just a supposed behavior the person displays at time.

            Then you get to sin itself. A person doesn’t gossip continually, neither do they steal or commit murder, those are actions. With someone who is gay, the hate the sin means that their very existence is continually, actively sinning…their actual actions are irrelevant. It is patently in just to view a gay person by completely different standards than anyone else.

            And as one doesn’t hear hate the sin, love the sinner any other time but when addressing homosexuality, it displays it for the lie that it is.

    • Sheila Warner

      Being gay is not a choice. But those who believe the way you do will never accept that fact. And, since you follow AFR so closely, you know that gays are referred to as degenerates. Good ol’ Jerry Falwell even nick-named Ellen DeGeneres “Ellen Degenerate” when she came out as a lesbian. It’s okay for you to hang onto your views, but it is not okay to deny gays basic civil rights. I remember getting newsletters from Focus on the Family in which the group wanted to deny gays the right to serve in our military, the right to teach in schools, and even the right to cohabitate in apartments. This is hatred at its core.

      • 11B

        Perhaps when you can show me scientific proof that being homosexual is NOT a choice and this proof is accepted by the majority of the scientific community then I will believe that being a homosexual is not a matter of choosing to live that lifestyle. It has not been proven to any degree that choosing the homosexual lifestyle is nothing more than just another choice. If this were not the case then choosing to leave that lifestyle would not be an option as the person is genetically disposed to return to the lifestyle.

        I did not say I followed them closely I merely said I listen to them. In my part of the country when I listen to AFR it is mainly music and not any of the other programming. As for Jerry Falwell well much like my feelings about the SPLC I have similar feelings about Falwell.

        As with any group there will always be those who are further to the extreme than many and it is those who will earn the time on the nightly news because they are more vocal about the chosen subject matter. FotF, Jerry Falwell, Islamic Terror groups and others like these, all make the nightly news simply because they are the loudest “dog” in the yard and not necessarily for what it is they are saying.

        • Sheila Warner

          http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/668167 One of the scientific research papers published. There are more. This one is particularly interesting. It goes back to the womb and how different fetuses respond to sex hormones at the genetic level. Hope this helps.

          • 11B

            “A team of international researchers has completed a study that suggests we will probably never find a ‘gay gene.’ Sexual orientation is not about genetics, say the researchers, it’s about epigenetics. ”

            http://io9.com/5967426/scientists-confirm-that-homosexuality-is-not-genetic–but-it-arises-in-the-womb

            The authors of this study are also listed as authors to your study. They agree that sexuality is not genetic. For each one you find that claims otherwise I can find one that will refute it. If/when it is ever discovered to be genetic I expect the MSM, as well as leading medical and scientific journals, will have it blasted all across the universe.

          • Lee

            I am puzzled because whether it is on the genetic level or not, the study DOES CONFIRM that homosexuality is not a choice. It has to do with hormonal development in the fetus.

            You are aware aren’t you that all fetuses start out anatomically as females, until the male hormones start production? There are actual cases of women who actually have male DNA because something went wrong in the womb. And every once in a while there is even a hermaphridite born.

            It isn’t just genitalia that can be affected, but also brain development. Men and women’s brains are different which is why some people experience gender confusion. The brain is the biggest sexual organ of the body. If hormones mess things up then I see no reason why we should assume that a person has a “choice” in the matter.

          • Sheila Warner

            Lee, you are so right. I had a friend whose pregnancy was a stillbirth. The baby had both genitalia, and so its gender wasn’t identified until they ran a blood test on it. And, I agree that gender is in the brain, not our physical reproductive organs.

          • Sheila Warner

            I won’t get involved with dueling studies. However, just because a genetic profile hasn’t been found, doesn’t mean it never will be found. However, I still do not believe that being gay is a choice. I’ve read too many blog entries by gays who spent years on their knees, pleading with God to change them outright, or at least guide them to a way out of being gay. Their attempts included gay reversion therapy, intense Bible reading & devotions, getting involved with their church youth group, attending church, and so on. It was never a choice for them. They did all the “right” things that those who are anti-gay suggested they do. They remained gay.

        • http://coolingtwilight.com/ Dan Wilkinson

          The overwhelming scientific consensus is that homosexuality isn’t simply a choice. Are you really unaware of that fact?

          • 11B

            Consensus is not proof that homosexuality is a genetic factor. I’ve seen nothing in the MSM nor read anything published in leading medical/scientific journals that makes the claim by leading members of the community that it ia genetic fact.

    • Lee

      “We don’t HATE homosexuals…oh heaven’s no! We only hate the *fact* that they are responsible for all the evil in the world and are out to destroy civilization and the entire human race! We have ample *proof* that they were responsible for the deaths of 6 million Jews and that they are *dirty child molesters*. But it is SO UNFAIR that you would accuse us of HATE.”

      Want some WHINE with your cheese?

      Edit: I read below that you do not follow AFA closely. So perhaps you do not endorse what I just said. But the fact is that what I just wrote is EXACTLY what they say. If you defend them without being aware of what they teach then it sets you up to be attacked. I am not deleting the top part because this is essentially how a lot of Christians act, at least the ones from the far right.

      • Richard Williams

        Apparently it is true that Hitler seemed to surround himself with homosexuals, the problem is that they weren’t all homosexuals so to target them as the sole people responsible for the Holocaust would be wrong.

        • Lee

          Richard, you are badly misinformed. Hitler killed homosexuals along with all the other “undesirables” such as the Jews.

          But what you are saying though is that yes homosexuality was a factor in the Holocaust. The people who claim this say it is because gays are brutal evil people who like to inflict pain, more so than heterosexuals. Is that your viewpoint?

          If it is than just come right out and identify yourself as a gay-hater.

          • Richard Williams

            I think all people are equally sinners and I am making the point that the AFA is wrong if it only is pointing out to homosexual involvement in the Holocaust. Apparently there were leaders in the Nazi movement that demonstrated homosexual behaviour. But it shouldn’t surprise anyone that there would have been hypocrisy demonstrated in the Nazi party. Wasn’t Hitler part Jewish?

          • Lee

            Rumors and innuendo, including Hitler’s Jewish heritage.

            Homosexuals should not be blamed AT ALL for the Holocaust. You are implying that they were partially at fault. Even if you were right that a few were homosexual, that is not the same as saying that their homosexuality HAD ANYTHING AT ALL to do with their actions as Nazis.

            Actually you could make the argument that Christians in large part were responsible for the Holocaust since it grew out of the Christian Socialist Party. Hitler identified himself as a Christian in Mein Kamf and made his arguments based on a creationist point of view. He believed that the Aryan race descended from Adam and Eve, but the other races were created separately and were inferior. He was not a social Darwinist as he was trying to PRESERVE the Aryan race, not create it. Much like the neo-Nazi movement we have today. You do know that the KKK identifies themselves as a Christian organization, right?
            .
            It may be disputed as to whether Hitler really was a Christian or not, but there is no doubt at all that the majority of the citizens of Germany were Christian and supported him.

            This is not to condemn ALL Christians but there is a MUCH BETTER case for Christian envolvement in the Holocaust than homosexual involvement.

            What group has historically been the most discrimitory against Jews? Christians. HItler was a great admirer of Martin Luther, who advocated killing any Jew that taught his religion and taking their children to be raised by Christian parents.

            Of course the muslims have had a bad record on that also but they have inherited that attitude from where? Christian influences. And of course they were not involved in the Holocaust, although I am certain many approved of it.

            This again is not an indictment of all Christians but Christians do not want to acknowledge that in fact fundamentalist religious beliefs played a big role in what happened. And just to be clear, I think ALL fundamentalism is destructive, whether it be Christian, Muslim, or any other religion.

            If fundamentalists of ALL religions spent most of their time cleaning their OWN houses instead of condemning others then we would not have half as many wars and conflicts as we have now. This is what Jesus taught and I doubt he would approve of the modern day Pharisees we have now.

          • Richard Williams

            If you can believe the wikipedia article on Ernst Rohm, then there is evidence that there were homosexuals involved in the Nazi party. I was not saying that homosexuality is the main cause of the Holocaust. I think that there is evidence that there was animosity towards the Jewish people because of the economic state of Germany and that is what helped to lead to the Holocaust.

            If you are talking about the Christian Social Party, it was lead by Adolf Stoecker who was a Lutheran. His messages seemed to be more focused on politics than they were the Christian message – makes me question if he really was a Christian, but many have used that label for themselves throughout the years. The Roman Emperor Constantine was the first major leader in world history to give himself that label and I wrote a paper on whether or not he was a Christian. The evidence suggests that he used it to unite his empire and was not really so concerned about adhering to the beliefs of it. I would say the same sort of thing for the likes of people such as Adolf Stoecker.

            The Bible says that many will misuse the name of God for their own advantage and that is what you are seeing with these examples that you give. If anything, it demonstrates a recognition by people that there is power in the name of Christ and some of them abuse His name quite openly.

            The reality is that the first Christians were Jews and there were some who did protect Jews, however, I think it could be argued historically that the Roman population generally had an inner-racism against Jews from the outset and it was easy for them to point fingers at the Jews rather than back at themselves for the death of Jesus.

            As for Martin Luther, it is to my dismay, to say that he had serious flaws in his attitude towards the Jews and some of it goes back again to blaming Jews solely for the death of Christ when that is totally unbiblical, and therefore, can not be blamed on the Christian faith itself.

            I think the whole human population will take an easy opportunity to blame others for the problems in the world and I don’t see the examples given as any indicator that someone from a so-called “religious” background is any worse than someone from a “non-religious” one. I think you are right that people should be concerned about dealing with themselves, however, whatever I do effects what goes on in the world just as much as the actions of anyone else does so why should I not also be concerned about that? For me it has nothing to do with condemnation because we all deserve that.

          • Lee

            We can agree to disagree on many of your points but I will address one:

            “I don’t see the examples given as any indicator that someone from a so-called “religious” background is any worse than someone from a “non-religious” one”

            That is not what I was talking about. I was talking about a particular type of religion, fundamentalism. I happen to believe in God myself but I do not believe that God has a religion. Never the less I think liberal Christianity is closer to what Jesus taught than fundamentalism

            Fundamentalism is mostly concerned with controlling the outer world, rather than the inner one.

            I would not really care too much if it weren’t for the fact that many fundamentalist Christians want to dictate how the rest of us should live and enshrine their religion in government. Beyond that this organization you keep defending is a prime example of religion gone wrong by speading a gospel of lies and hate.

            Pharisees were the fundamentalists of Jesus’ day. And you know what he said to them!

            The bible itself contains the type of laws and behavior that we condemn in the Muslims. This is WHY I consider fundamentalism in Christianity to be just as dangerous. Fundamentalism excuses those things and gives that equal weight to everything else in the Bible. Progressives on the other hand see the bible as it is, that not everything came from God because God cannot condone or command his followers to do evil things.

            It therefore is an easy jump for fundamentalists to cross the line into justifying everything they do based on what they say God wants. A perfect example is the Tea Party and the religious right.

            You say people misuse God and you are correct. but taking everything in the bible literally and not dealing with the negative stuff is often a precurser to that.

            Politics and religion do not make good bed fellows at all. And fundamentalists have no right to dictate to the rest of us how we should live.

          • Sheila Warner

            As Alan Colmes often says, we are a secular nation. Which religion should be in control of government? NONE. People are free to practice religion as they see fit, they are free to practice no religion. Government needs to stay out of it.

          • Richard Williams

            I am not a fundamentalist and I don’t follow a religion – your point is moot – I have been talking about truth.

          • Lee

            Richard you have identified yourself as a Christian multiple times on this blog. You have quoted the bible. And now you say you do not follow a religion? I guess that makes as much sense as anything else you have said. “If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck…” You talk Christian “fundamental-ese.”
            I am done here. Have fun playing mind-games with someone else..

          • Richard Williams

            You can’t handle it when something other than what you’ve been fed into your head a multiple number of times by the culture around you is heard because it confuses you. I’ve said “wake up” before on this topic because it is true. Anyone sets themselves up to follow a bunch of man-made ideas is going to be confused when the truth suddenly hits them because God’s ways are not the same as man’s. Religion, to me, is a man-made construction, I follow Jesus. This is why I don’t follow such labels as “fundamentalist” be cause it is a construction that tries to put me in a box that I don’t even fit in. If you keep following what you are following you are bound to think that I am playing mind games with you. If anything I have said has challenged your mind it is because there is something strikingly different when it comes to the truth versus what you’ve come to accept through your culture.

          • Lee

            You have not challenged my mind at all. You are saying exactly what they all say…gay people are evil and you believe all the hogwash propoganda they put out. Drunks are evil and so are people with mental illness,,,blah blah blah…AFA is an absolute EVIL organization and yes THEY ARE FUNDAMENTALIST. You are known by the company you keep…You are kidding yourself if you think you are any different.

            Following Jesus is rather difficult because we really have very little info on him. The gospels were not written by eyewitnesses and in fact contradict each other..We get the bulk of our theology from Paul, who never even knew him. The best thing we can do is pick out the parts that make sense (and yes we ALL pick and choose). But I prefer a direct line to God myself. People get confused and think the sign-post is the destination. Bible = God. The worst thing that ever happened to spirituality is dogma and religion. They are tools only.

            I would be really impressed if you actually came up with some original thinking rather than parroting the same talking points as the fundamentalists.

          • Richard Williams

            What they all say? Aren’t you saying what the majority of people is society are trying to say? Why don’t you give an original argument? I can not change the truth so you will not expect anything original coming from me as far as that is concerned. If you are looking for creativity – that is what people who try to deceive will do – I am not trying to deceive anyone.

            Blah – that’s what I have to say to anyone who tries to peg anyone else like you are. I could label you a left-wing, liberal who wants to make everything under the sun seem like acceptable behaviour as long as you can find some sort of excuse for it even when there isn’t any.

            There is a lot of info. on Jesus – we have the entire Bible that points to Jesus. There is evidence that at least two of the gospels were written by eyewitnesses. And they do not contradict each other. All that they do is share some of the same material from a different perspective. If there wasn’t a different perspective to them then there wouldn’t be more than one gospel – it would be redundant. Paul claims to have had direct communication with Jesus in His conversion experience. There definitely was something dramatic that changed Paul from being someone who was persecuting Christians to their deaths to a person who was one of the strongest proponents of the Christian faith. The Bible is the guide God has given us because God wasn’t about to leave it to the faulty human mind to guide communication between Himself and human beings. This is also why it should not be left to human beings to decide what is truth and what is not. Jesus intentionally chose apostles for a reason and left it to them to communicate the message He gave them – it was not a message that they made up themselves. The worst thing to happen to spirituality is that people have thought that they could come up with their own way.

            I would be impressed if you were willing to acknowledge truth rather than bow down to the normal human inclination to reject God’s ways and to try to think up something else other than the truth.

          • Lee

            So religion is man-made huh? So that means the bible is not God’s word You can’t have it both ways But you do belong to a religion and very vigorously defend it. So you are a liar.
            The majority of people do not agree with you and hate groups that you seem to love. Maybe you should join Westboro Baptist since you agree with them.
            You are an angry bitter person as you have demostrated to many people here. I truly hope you learn the meaning of love someday.

          • Lee

            One more thing Richard. You are hardly in a position of complaining about people making blanket judgments on you since you have been doing that to others everytime you open your mouth.

            One example is judging the mentally ill. I worked 7 years helping these people and no having an illness is not a sin. If you want to drive some poor person to commit suicide just tell them that on top of the already horrific suffering they are experiencing that they are sinning as well. In fact a hallmark of clinical depression is GUILT. They kill themselves because they feel they are a burden on others.

            The last thing I would ever tell someone is that they are bad people just because they have very human problems. I cannot imagine Jesus doing that ever. And yes in Psalms as I recall David wished that he had never been born. He was struggling with his faith and it is obvious that he did not always trust God.

            “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

            Even JESUS said that.

            Instead of accusing everyone else of judging you look at yourself. You have insulted almost everyone on here.

            The next time you see a depressed person, give them a hug, not a lecture. A lecture is an easy way out and is not Christ-Like at all. It takes EFFORT to actually empathize with and help people. That requires actually living your faith rather than giving just lip-service.

          • Richard Williams

            Guess what Lee, saying someone is caught in a sin isn’t a bad thing. It’s when people try to be self-righteous about the whole thing that is the problem. You can talk all you want about helping other people’s issues, but if you can not recognize that you have issues just as much as the next person you are of no help to them. We are all sinners and we don’t have an excuse for it. Yes, we all have had bad experiences that can lead us to want to sin to try to find some temporary fix to the problem, but if we don’t deal with those bad experiences we are hooped. Sin means that we have missed the mark of what we should be doing. It isn’t about laying more guilt on people. They already have guilt. They are aware that they have sinned and trying to deny that is not going to get them anywhere. Dealing with what has lead people to make their bad decisions is what truly is going to help people. And I am thankful that I know God who realizes my guilt and is willing to make me truly clean from it. People need to know this freedom from guilt – that is what will prevent people from making awful decisions in their lives. People also need to know that they aren’t alone – that’s why most people commit suicide. By saying I am a sinner too – that we are all sinners – that we are all in the same boat should make people feel less alone. I think labeling someone with an illness actually alienates a person from others – rather than the truth I am talking about. So you can have your lies if you choose, but I would hope you would stop sharing them for the sake of others so that they will not be mislead from where they can truly find help.

  • Sheila Warner

    As long as the servicemen and women in the armed forces are given a brief reason why groups are on the hate group list, I have no problem with it. Each troop is free to agree with or reject the presence on the list in the first place.

  • Sandi Moiseoff Hancock

    As Christians we are to love the sinner & not the sin. My sister is an alcoholic, I love her very much! But I hate that she drink’s so much everyday cause it’s killing her. See that’s it, love the sinner but hate the sin.

    • http://coolingtwilight.com/ Dan Wilkinson

      Comparing homosexuality to alcoholism is a tired tactic that fails on virtually every level. For example, see: http://womenintheology.org/2011/12/15/homosexuality-is-not-like-alcoholism/

      • Richard Williams

        This argument misses the entire point. There is a sin of the heart in question that makes both sins the same. It does not matter if you engage in either behaviour. If you believe that engaging in that behaviour will dull your pain you are in sin because you are rejecting God’s ability to bring fulfillment in your life.

        • http://coolingtwilight.com/ Dan Wilkinson

          Alcoholism is not a “sin of the heart.”

          • Richard Williams

            A desire to drink your sorrows away is a sin of the heart. It isn’t a mere “disease” like people try to argue. So-called “science” can not prove that although it will make claims to that end to deny personal responsibility. Scientists bring particular biases to their studies. This is one of the reasons I mentioned someone like Nicholas Cummings elsewhere. He was a president of the APA and knows the inside scoop as far as what goes on in “scientific” organizations. People can be gullible.

          • http://coolingtwilight.com/ Dan Wilkinson

            Addiction of any sort isn’t simply a matter of personal responsibility. I suppose you also deny human contributions to climate change, think that vaccines cause autism, deny the moon landing, and think the Earth is 6,000 years old. Do you also deny the “science” that tells us the Earth orbits the sun? What about the the “science” that purports to predict the weather? You’re certainly right, people can be gullible …

          • Richard Williams

            I don’t know why you mentioned human contributions to climate change because that is a matter of human responsibility. As far as autism is concerned, I don’t know what causes it, but I am sure human responsibility comes in there somehow as well. As far as the moon landing is concerned, I would say that was a huge waste of money, although some argue that the benefits of it is that we use some of the technology that was developed for that flight (but then why not just develop that technology for earth use?). As for the age of the earth is concerned, I am not really sure scientists can prove that because they are going beyond the extent of their capabilities (you can not reproduce the beginning of the universe – that is why scientists keep coming up with new theories about it – it almost seems that the Big Bang theory that people have held on to as “fact” for so long is almost on the verge of being replaced). And all I can do is chuckle about the whole common argument that people try to argue about Christians and science and the whole orbit situation. I am not Roman Catholic so that church does not represent me, but I think if you look back in history, I don’t think that there was a widely held view by every Roman Catholic – that whole thing is a myth.

          • Sheila Warner

            There are scientific studies of how the brains of alcoholics respond in a different way than non-alcoholic brains, but somehow I doubt that you would consider those to be accurate, given your disdain for the scientific studies of our universe’s age. The only thing that can really alter a person’s mindset, if that mindset is in error, is personal experience with the issue which was previously rejected out of hand. There are verses in the Bible that portray alcoholics as drunkards, layabouts, and lazy, but the Bible was written before science knew about alcoholism. In the OT, if a man struck a woman who was pregnant and she miscarried, he only had to pay a fine. If the woman died, he was put to death. No one knew about fetal development back then. The idea that a premature baby could receive medical care and survive was so foreign that causing the death of a fetus was not considered murder, or even manslaughter. Abortion is not mentioned at all in the Bible, even though it surely must have existed. When you read the Bible, you have to understand it in the context in which it was written. Religion, including my own Roman Catholic faith, is often slow to accept what science reveals. That’s the problem of confining your world view to ancient societies. Religion does best when it can apply principles of love and mercy to today’s new discoveries. Jesus told his disciples that there were things he could not tell them at the time because the disciples could not bear them. This is why doctrine is developed over a period of time. We aren’t supposed to check our brains at the door–we need to apply them as good stewards.

          • Richard Williams

            Science has not proven that certain parts of the brain control human behaviour, all that it has shown is that certain parts of the brain “react” under certain circumstances. When some parts of the brain have been removed that have normally “reacted” under certain circumstances, other parts of the brain have shown to start reacting that were not before. This demonstrates that certain parts of the brain are not necessarily in control as people think. Scientists sometimes assume things based on the data without actually having established solid evidence and people who look at their research sometimes quickly assume that they are providing facts when they are not.

          • Sheila Warner

            You obviously have no idea about science. Do you suggest that people should have the portion of the alcoholic brain that is malfunctioning removed? Do you further contend that other parts of the brain will then malfunction? Have you seen the genetic studies out there, which demonstrate a strong hereditary link for alcoholics whose other family members are alcoholics? I have a few family members who have battled alcoholism. They have received copies of scientific articles regarding the reality that alcoholism is a disease. The reason why most alcoholics say that they are “allergic” to alcohol is that alcohol triggers the malfunctioning part of the brain, resulting in the powerlessness over alcohol which AA states. I have high blood pressure. I eliminated nearly all salt out of my diet years ago, but my high blood pressure is likely something I inherited, since both of my parents and my maternal grandmother had it. I take medication for it, and will for the rest of my life. No one accuses me of any nefarious behavior being responsible for my hypertension. Why do so many believers continue to say alcoholism is a choice? A great many alcoholics seek treatment because it is such a miserable way to live. They didn’t choose to become addicted. They have the disease of addiction.

          • Richard Williams

            I don’ think you were listening closely to what I was saying about the brain. I don’t think it has anything to do with what a person’s choices are.

          • Sheila Warner

            “When some parts of the brain have been removed that have normally “reacted” under certain circumstances, other parts of the brain have shown to start reacting that were not before.” So just what WAS your point when you said this? Did I prove to you that alcoholism is a disease? Of course not. I didn’t even cite my sources. Why? Because you dismiss scientific research on alcoholism out of hand. Alcoholics who seek treatment are indeed taking responsibility for their drinking. Those who cannot overcome their addiction and remained untreated are those that you believe are choosing to be addicted. Addiction by its very nature is very difficult to overcome, especially with the DTs and other side effects that occur when someone attempts to not drink. It is a physical dependence on the abused substance, be it alcohol or other drugs. There isn’t enough will power in the world to overcome an entrenched addiction. The addict needs help from the medical community to overcome the side effects of stopping the abuse. It’s a physical ailment.

          • Richard Williams

            My point was that just because a certain part of the brain reacts under certain circumstances, that does not prove that it has control over any particular aspect of human behaviour.

          • Richard Williams

            As well citing sources does not prove a thing if those sources themselves are in error.

          • melissia

            Is that not tantamount to admitting that the bible, or perhaps your interpretation of it, may also be in error? After all, just because you cite the bible does not mean the bible itself is correct; and even if the bible is correct, it does not mean that the way you are interpreting it is in line with the truth contained within.

          • Richard Williams

            Melissia, the Bible is not in error.

          • Richard Williams

            The whole aspect of the weakness of the will demonstrates the weakness of the human condition when it comes to sin, that is why AA suggests turning to a higher power.

            I have had two step-fathers who were alcoholics. There was weakness in terms of coping with life, it had nothing to do with having a physical disease.

          • Sheila Warner

            They did not intend to become alcoholics. When they turned to alcohol to numb the pain in their lives, that brain thing kicked in and they were addicted. There are many people who drink when they are upset and never become addicted. It’s an example of a wounded psyche joined to a malfunctioning brain. It is not a sin. The Bible condemns drunkenness, but it was written without an understanding of what addiction is.

          • Richard Williams

            It is God’s word Sheila – God knows! If you want to argue that it isn’t God’s word that is a whole other discussion.

          • Sheila Warner

            You actually are trying to engage me again? I am finished with you. I’m tired of rants by a person who can’t accept the fact that there are varying interpretations of the Word of God than your own. And, they are just as valid for the purpose of discussion. Saying “you’re wrong” to everyone who disagrees with you is not a discussion.

          • Richard Williams

            Is alcoholism really genetic or learned behaviour?

          • Richard Williams

            You have not presented any solid evidence that alcoholism is a disease and not a choice.

          • Richard Williams

            As well this represents a whole problem within our society of trying to suppress the idea of personal responsibility and to try to come up with physiological excuses for human behaviour.

          • Lee

            I do not see this as an issue of not taking responsiblity. An alcoholic is not responsible for being an alcoholic. He is responsible for his recovery though. And by acknowledging that they do have a physiological disease and that they can never drink normally that is the supreme act of taking responsiblity. That is what AA is founded on.

            This is not an exact analogy, but an example of someone taking responsibility for a disease is my brother-in-law who has epilepsy. For many years he refused to take medication and ended up losing his driver’s licence. Shortly before he married he finally decided to take his medication and I suspect it was because my sister pressured him to do that, maybe even made it a condition in order for him to marry her.

            Is he responsible for his illness? Of course not. Is he responsible for taking the appropriate actions to control his illness so that he is not a burden on others? Yes.

            Contrary to popular belief the disease model is not a cop-out. It is exactly what makes 12-step and other programs so successful.

          • Richard Williams

            You, and others, are denying the reality that exists outside of the research labs – people drink to deal with their emotional sorrows – that is why trying to compare it to something like epilepsy is false. The thoughts in the mind that suggest people should drink are nothing that can be derived from something like genetics – thoughts come from minds.

          • http://coolingtwilight.com/ Dan Wilkinson

            drinking to deal with emotional sorrows isn’t necessarily alcoholism

          • Richard Williams

            Sure, but that doesn’t negate that this is what alcoholics are doing to cope with their lives.

          • http://coolingtwilight.com/ Dan Wilkinson

            Again, alcoholism doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with coping with life. Do you not even have a basic understanding of addiction? Maybe start here: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/alcoholism/DS00340. I know, it’s “science,” from “doctors” … but it also is true…

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Alcoholics who are addicted continue to drink to mitigate the physical symptoms they experience from the withdrawl of alcohol. Just like people addicted to caffeine get headaches when they quite drinking cola or coffee. It is a chemical dependency just like patients with respiratory problems can become dependent on supplemental Oxygen. It’s why when doctors discontinue high doses of oxygen they wean patients off of it and other various medications.

            Dan has linked you to some worthwhile information on alcholism. Here is some additional info on withdrawal symptoms.

            http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/withdrawal/a/aa000125a.htm

          • Sheila Warner

            He won’t care about your link. He thinks any source we cite are in error. And, his basic premise has been revealed: he thinks drinking is a sin. It’s not. We will never agree on that, so I am done with him on the topic of alcoholism.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Yes, well. Good for all of us to remember then that you cannot remove by logic ideas that were not first placed there by it.

          • Richard Williams

            I never said having a single drink is a sin, I said drunkenness is a sin, and it very well is.

          • http://coolingtwilight.com/ Dan Wilkinson

            drunkenness isn’t synonymous with alcoholism

          • Richard Williams

            I think there a whole lot of people that misunderstand the nature of the body and the mind. Our body is designed to tell us what it is that we need to keep itself functioning properly – it isn’t designed to tell us to do something harmful, There is no disease, genetics or malfunctioning brain that would change that.

            I think people want to feel better and sometimes they do things that are harmful to themselves. Instead of dealing with the things that are really plaguing them. They are deceived to think that something else will fill the gap they are missing in their lives. It is like when a person is worrying about life and has a lack of sleep. Instead of sleeping, which the body is actually telling them to do, there is something messing with their mind to do something else that is harmful – that is called temptation. Studies may try to say that there is something in the body telling people to over-consume alcohol, but I believe they are wrong. They may be right that the body is telling people to do something, but I would argue that it isn’t the over-consumption of alcohol that the body is telling people to do. The body and mind are related to each other, but there are two different things going on.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Well, seeing as I have practiced medicine and you have not (I gather) you are free to believe whatever you like. But you are misinformed.

            Re: Our body is designed to tell us what it is that we need to keep itself functioning properly

            Which is exactly why an addicted person is driven to consume alcohol. Without the alcohol they feel sick. With a certain level of alcohol they become functional. This is basic addiction science and medicine, verifiable and provable.

            Re: – it isn’t designed to tell us to do something harmful, There is no disease, genetics or malfunctioning brain that would change that.

            You are incorrect.

          • Richard Williams

            Just because you are in the medical field does not mean that you are innocent of misinterpreting the data you observe or that you are very educated in being able to observe human behaviour and to distinguish exactly what is happening. You missed the point that I was saying that the body would not tell you to do something that is more harmful to itself. A person feels sick, but drinking more alcohol is not the solution that the body is indicating.

          • Sheila Warner

            But your premise is incorrect. The body is constantly telling us to do things not good for us. Otherwise, there would be no struggle of the flesh, right? No smoking, no getting drunk, no overeating, no extra salt on your food, and on and on. The body finds pleasure in these things, and even becomes addicted to those pleasures. You obviously don’t know about how the human body works.

          • Richard Williams

            It isn’t the body that desires those things and that is where your entire premise is incorrect. We are persuaded in our minds that those are the things that we need where as the body is not signalling us to harm it. We experience short-term good feelings when we engage in those behaviours because of what it triggers, however, this isn’t because of what the body is signalling to us.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Richard. We are done here.

            You are simply incorrect.

          • Richard Williams

            This issue is hardly settled regardless if you want to run away from what I am arguing or not.

          • http://coolingtwilight.com/ Dan Wilkinson

            It’s clear that the issue isn’t going to be settled…so…time to move to something more productive?

          • Sheila Warner

            As are many non-alcoholics.

          • Richard Williams

            My whole point from the very beginning is that non-alcoholics, such as some homosexuals, were doing things to cope with their pain.

          • http://coolingtwilight.com/ Dan Wilkinson

            people drink alcohol for a variety of reasons, not simply to “cope with their pain”

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Richard, your statements are so far out of line with reason.

            Do some people who drink do so to cope with pain – yes.
            Do all people? – No.
            Do all people who drink get drunk? – No.
            Do some alcoholics start drinking to cope with pain? Probably.

            But this does not adequately describe the full scope of what alcoholism entails – and I used to work in an addiction recovery hospital. So, it’s not merely my opinion. It’s medical fact.

            Are some people promiscuous as a way of coping with pain? – yes.
            Are all homosexuals promiscuous? – No.
            Are homosexuals gay because they are coping with pain? – absolutely not.

            Your basic lack of understanding of nuance makes it frustrating and difficult to communicate with you.

          • Richard Williams

            The issue here is alcoholism people, not those who drink one or two on a social occasion.

            The issue with homosexuality is not “promiscuousness” as in haiving more than one partner, but if they are engaging even with one partner in this behaviour, they are “drinking” out of the same well over and over again. Your logic does not suffice – there are no nuances that I am missing.

            Homosexuals are gay because they are coping with pain. Here is a study that could help all of you to understand some of what I am talking about if you choose to take it seriously: http://www.biblebelievers.com/Cameron3.html

          • Sheila Warner

            You are citing a religious website to bolster your claim. We all get that your interpretation of the Bible reads that anyone who is gay is in sin. We have sources which say otherwise, even different interpretations of the “clobber” passages that do not line up with sola Scriptura believers. It is your interpretation that you keep putting out there. As such, you are not taken seriously by those who have seriously sought out what Bible scholars say the Greek words used in the NT really mean.

          • Richard Williams

            You are all citing sources that have particular biases when it comes to interpreting the data – that kind of argument does not wash logically. What matters is whether or not the interpretation of the evidence is true. I have studied these twisted interpretations of the Bible and they go against what the biblical text is clearly saying. This is the type of things that cults do. The only ones who don’t take me seriously are the ones who let their particular biases blind them from the truth of the text.

          • http://coolingtwilight.com/ Dan Wilkinson

            How is it that your sources have no bias? That your interpretations are necessarily true and free from “twisting”? By what measure do you claim objective access to the truth while we all stumble around blindly?

          • Sheila Warner

            Because he is brainwashed in the Fundie way. That theology is very cult-like, too.

          • Richard Williams

            Sheila, do you even know the origins of the Roman Catholic Church? I have studied it, and it used to persecute anyone who didn’t believe in the same things that they did. Sometimes by exile and sometimes by death. You could hardly say that what I am saying is based on brainwashing. My point of view is based on studying the evidence and taking as many things into account as possible. That includes the Bible and the evidence of so-called “science”.
            You have hardly shown that I have cult-like tendencies. Cults are usually evidenced by either taking away from the Scripture or trying to add to it. I would say that I have not seen evidence from anyone who has responded that they are taking the entire counsel of God as found in the Bible seriously.

          • Sheila Warner

            The origin of the Catholic Church is in the Bible. The Church started at Pentecost. I know all of the attacks against it, as I was raised to believe as you do now. And horrible treatment of those who do not agree with your theology is hardly limited to the Catholic Church. Both Protestants and Catholics have examples of people who persecuted each other throughout the ages. I’m not debating any of this with you any further. We have separate sources and can never come to any kind of agreement on any of our conversations. You will have the last word. I don’t need it.

          • Richard Williams

            The sources I am relying on are based on the actual reality of observable behaviour and not just conjecture on the part of those who want to try to explain the issues in a physiological way because they are too lazy to deal with the emotional/psychological/social issues of the individual.
            I claim objective access to the truth because when I read the Bible I try to read it for the author’s intended meaning and not the meaning that I want to get out of it. I have no hidden agenda against homosexuals or drunkards or anyone else who sins. I am accepting the biblical text as the word of God. If people do not want to believe that the Bible is the word of God, then they are basically left to blindly stumble through life because that would mean God has not given us any objective source that we can point to in order to know the truth. We are all left to our own minds which are hardly trustworthy.

          • http://coolingtwilight.com/ Dan Wilkinson

            That’s all well and good, but you’re running around in circles. I’m glad you think you have direct access to Objective Truth. But you do realize it’s your “hardly trustworthy” mind that’s doing all that reasoning?

          • Sheila Warner

            Okay, you used the cult word, not us. Be careful. You are just as skilled at making the Bible say what you want it to say. Reasonable people can disagree on what the Bible means, right? Otherwise we would not have so many different sects (denominations).

          • Richard Williams

            There should not even be any such thing as denominations and I could argue that the things that separate people in terms of theological issues are not reasonable. People tend to do what I have said. They either take away from the Bible or add to it.

          • Sheila Warner

            Oxford dictionary definition of cult: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/cult
            Now, go look in a mirror.

          • Richard Williams

            I have taken a class on cults and new religions. You should really study the origins of the Roman Catholic Church through the actual historical records.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            The research of the author of the article you linked has been discredited and his organization has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

          • Richard Williams

            Discredited by who? An organization whose goal is to try to label anyone who sees that homosexuality as an aberration as a hater? And regardless of how qualified the person is to speak on the issue?

          • Sheila Warner

            But is certainly is not a sin.

          • Richard Williams

            Drunkenness is most certainly a sin.

          • Richard Williams

            Read the entire Bible and you will get my point, unless you want to reject it, and that is your choice.

          • Sheila Warner

            I have read the entire Bible, on more than one occasion. KJV, by the way, if that makes it better. I now have 7 additional books in my Catholic Bible, and I’ve read those, too.

          • Lee

            I did not know that the Catholic bible has more books in it .Interesting.

          • Richard Williams

            It does not make it better if you ignore what it says.

          • Sheila Warner

            No, what you mean is, it doesn’t make it better if I disagree with you on what it says. Be honest. Your interpretation is just that–yours.

          • Lee

            Oh Good Grief! You are attacking the most successful model to treat alcoholism in the world! I would at least expect you to acknowledge that much!

            Are you now going to go to AA and tell them that they have it all wrong?

            Besides that I just spelled out to you that this model is BASED ON SELF-RESPONSIBILITY and yet for some reason you reject that.

            Seriously this is just nitpicking on your part.

            BTW, genetics do affect the thought process. Ever hear of mental illness?

            Depression isn’t a sin either but that is what you are implying.

            There is no point in continuing this conversation as it just seems like a game to you.

          • Richard Williams

            I have already indicated the elements that make AA successful, it has nothing to do with what you are talking about. This has nothing to do with nitpicking – it relates to the initial point that homosexuality and alcoholism are not as different as you and others claim it to be.

            As for mental illness, there are other spiritual elements in the world at work that the modern world wants to deny with its “so-called” science.

            It is not a sin to grieve a loss, but it is a sin to stay in that position when there is the reality of God, and it is the alcoholism itself that has been in question, not the feelings that have lead to the choice of alcoholism.

            This is not a game – this is a wake up call.

          • Sheila Warner

            “It is not a sin to grieve a loss, but it is a sin to stay in that position when there is the reality of God.” Ummmm, so grieving for an extended amount of time is a sin? Let’s say one who is grieving believes in God. That belief does not take away the reality of the absence of the one who is gone, even if you think you will see that person after you die. Grief is not condemned in the Bible, either. Is there some acceptable period of time in which is it okay to grieve, or do you have to let go of grief at the grave? Honestly, your ideas are really in contradiction not only to science, but everyday common sense. I would never come to you for solace for any sorrow in my own life. You seem, to me, to be without human decency and kindness. This is my last post to you. I cannot continue to bang my head against the hard shell of your closed mind.

          • Lee

            Yeah I can almost envision him with a stopwatch and then saying “Times up!” When my brother died at 6 years of age it was horrible for my parents. Every single year on his birthday my mother had a good cry. I happen to think that is healthy and normal. She hadn’t forgotten him. The fact is that in some fashion we never completely stop grieving because we miss that person.

          • Richard Williams

            I have a grandmother that I think about every once in awhile and I miss her, but I don’t wallow in that pain because I believe in hope.

          • Lee

            What is your opinion of King David, the writer of Psalms? If you are going to go by the Bible then it seems like this book demonstrates that it is not a sin to be depressed.

          • Richard Williams

            If you read the Psalms, David laments his circumstances, but also declares hope in God in spite of his circumstances.

          • Richard Williams

            For someone to wallow in pain when there is so much hope to be had is a sin – that is my point.

          • Sheila Warner

            Cite your Biblical reference that it is a sin to wallow in pain.

          • Richard Williams

            Romans 12:12, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

            Ephesians 5:15-20 is especially relevant, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

            This is not saying that there is not time for mourning (or that we will be perfect in this – ie. we will sin), but Christians have a hope that should keep them from indulging in things that are unwise.

          • Sheila Warner

            The passage still does not say that remaining in sorrow is a sin. The contrast is between being controlled by alcohol vs being under the control of the Spirit. This is written to believers. The praising and singing of hymns and songs in “speaking to one another” I take to be church. They are to be filled with the Spirit. Is it harmful to get drunk? Of course. Is it a sin? Not necessarily. Sin arises when mankind, with free will, chooses to commit sin. Consent is always involved. Addiction removes consent if untreated. Addiction was not understood at the time of Paul.

          • Richard Williams

            I gave you more than one passage. Someone who is remaining in sorrow is not expressing hope.

            Drunkenness is surely a sin. Getting drunk leads to debauchery and debauchery is surely a sin. Romans 13:13, “Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.”

            Galatians 5:19-21, “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

            Consent is always involved in indulging in addictive behaviour. There are no excuses like the ones that people try to give. You can not blame your body like people are trying to do.

            To say that God provided no clue about how to deal with addiction is a crock. He knew very well how people were caught in sinful behaviour and He knew what it took to deal with it.

          • Lee

            “I have already indicated the elements that make AA successful, it has nothing to do with what you are talking about”

            Then you obviously have never been to AA or read the AA book. They came up with the disease model that you are rejecting. How do you think you can judge something you know nothing about?

            Depression is not a sin either, especially when it is clinical. Do you think that David in Psalms was sinning when he described his despair?

            It seems like you consider just about everything to be a sin. You must be a pretty miserable person.

            By the way any alcoholic in AA that says they drink because of unhappiness will be called onto the carpet and told that they drink because they are an alcoholic. .

          • Richard Williams

            I do know something about it because of observation of alcoholics.

            You could hardly argue that AA has the strong scientific evidence to collaborate that alcoholism is a disease, and I don’t believe any current views in AA are representative of the original premises that it stood by. I found the thesis of this article online, although I am not going to pay the $30 for it, I think it is basically saying what I am saying about AA having an originally spiritual basis: http://www.jsad.com/jsad/article/Models_of_Alcoholism_Used_in_Treatment_Contrasting_AA_and_Other_Perspectiv/2001.html

            Any addictive behaviour that is harmful to yourself and others is a sin.

            Ha ha – I am not miserable, nice try though.

            That is something I don’t like about AA – they don’t fully represent a spiritual viewpoint – they want to label someone with a sin for a lifetime. That is not something Jesus came to do – He came to set people free.

          • Lee

            I do not feel that they are at all labeling someone with sin for a lifetime but rather it is a practical thing to have people abstain for a lifetime. Alcoholics cannot ever control their drinking. This has been demonstrated over and over again.

            I happen to believe that that is the strongest proof that this is a biological illness.

            The fact is that I struggled with addiction to prescription medicine myself and I supplemented it with alcohol to quell withdrawal symptoms when I ran out of my medication. I was not trying to get high at all. I was trying to cope with the withdrawals. I had built up a tolerance to the medication.I was not unhappy at all.

            I know for a fact that I can never take addictive meds or drink for the rest of my life. The only exception might be if I had cancer and needed pain meds.

            I happen to have a chronic pain condition and I have refused pain medication for it. I have been sober for ten years. I only relapsed once after I first got sober. Never again.

            So this is the voice of experience that you are talking to. That trumps observation.

            Yes God frees us but not always from physical ailments. I have curvature of the spine and I imagine that I will have it for the rest of my life. Likewise no alcoholic is ever “cured” from their affliction.

            I can draw an analogy by citing smoking. It is extremely rare that a smoker can quit and later take it up again in a controlled fashion. If they have just one then they are likely to smoke the whole pack and then buy more and off they go again.

            I only said that you seem miserable because you come off as a very grim person obsessed with sin. But I do not know you.

            However we are going to have to agree to disagree on this because I do not feel that it is productive to go any further.

          • Richard Williams

            Again, you are only assuming alcoholism is a physiological ailment. This is circular reasoning. The Bible quite clearly labels drunkenness as a sin. The propensity to be weak in a certain area of someone’s life has to deal with the devil being able to tempt people in the areas that they struggle emotionally. It has nothing to do with alcoholism being a disease.

          • melissia

            “Again, you are only assuming alcoholism is a physiological ailment. ”

            Is believing in something that has been proven true over the course of decades an assumption, or is it just being a rational, intelligent person?

          • Sheila Warner

            I’m done with him, too.

          • Sheila Warner

            People drink to deal with emotional sorrows. So what? Drinking is not a sin. That it often leads to addiction is another matter. Not all drinkers are addicted to alcohol. Why do you insist that drinking is a sin? I take medication for anxiety, and I also am in therapy. I suppose I am sin for that, too? Nowhere in the Bible can you find a passage that says drinking is a sin. Indeed, wine is considered a joy to the heart. Good wine is especially loved by many Jewish families. It’s at the heart of Communion in many churches. Your basic premise is that drinking is wrong, and I reject that premise.

          • Richard Williams

            My premise is that drunkenness is a sin. It is in the Bible.

          • Richard Williams

            As for your point about the woman who is pregnant, if you read the passage closely, it does not talk about specifically just the woman being seriously injured, but about there being serious injury.

          • Sheila Warner

            Interesting article that I read: https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/786-does-exodus-21-sanction-abortion
            Apparently I had it wrong–the passage seems to mean a premature birth. Of course, premature babies surviving back then was rare.

          • Richard Williams

            As well, the Bible talks about humans being formed in their mothers’ wombs.

          • Lee

            If it were not a disease then people would not get the DT’s and other withdrawal symptoms. And you are arguing against the most successful alcohol program in this country, AA.

          • Richard Williams

            Over-consuming anything will give you adverse physical reactions – that isn’t what signifies a disease. The action of over-consuming is an action of the heart – trying to dull your emotional/spiritual pain. As far as I know, AA teaches that overcoming alcholism does not involve a physical response, but a spiritual one.

          • Sheila Warner

            The alcoholic admits that he is powerless to stop drinking on his own. Does that sound like a choice to you? POWERLESS over alcohol. The alcoholic has to first and foremost STOP DRINKING. That is the physical means by which the alcoholic takes the power away from the alcohol. But, alcoholics realize that they are powerless to do so. They turn to a higher power to assist them. Not everyone who follows AA believes in God. There are those who have a higher power other than God. It may be the love of a spouse, or a new grandchild they want to see grow up, or the rays of the sun, or whatever. The 12 steps refer to “God as we come to understand him”. You really do not know what you are talking about. Alcoholism is not just about dulling pain–it is about insisting on being in control, instead of realizing that there are times we can’t control what goes on around us. It’s as much about anger and fear as it is about pain.

          • Lee

            The book of AA specifically states that alcoholism is physical in the forward written by a doctor.

            One of the slogans of AA is “One is too many and a thousand is never enough.” This means that the alcoholic can NEVER drink in moderation so they remain abstinent.

            Although AA was founded in the 1920′s modern science has born out their conclusions.

            It all has to do with tolerance, which is a physical response. Ever know an alcoholic who could drink everyone under the table? The reason why is that the body has become tolerant of the effects of the alcohol so they need more to get the same effect.

            Another example is pain pills. A person may have a legitimate need for them but in some people, not all, the body becomes tolerant and so they need more in order to get the same level of relief. Eventually they may develop a problem with them.

            Your dismissal of very evident withdrawal symptoms makes no sense. They do not occur when the person drinks too much, only when he stops.

            Yes of course there are often emotional reasons that play into this, but not always. For instance, most people who abuse pain pills do so not out of an emotional need, but simply to treat their physical pain. They also are trying to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

          • Richard Williams

            Neither of those things negate the personal choice of how people deal with pain.

          • Sheila Warner

            Lee, you said it so much better than I did. Thanks for the input. But you will never convince Richard, and neither will I. I just hope he never needs narcotics for pain relief and then gets addicted. The guilt he will feel may destroy him. The problem with thinking that is rigid and inflexible, is that eventually it will break.

          • Richard Williams

            Taking narcotics for pain relief, again, is a choice, and if I did get addicted, it would be no less a sin for me than for anyone else. That does nothing to enhance your arguments.

          • http://coolingtwilight.com/ Dan Wilkinson

            It’s a choice whether or not you take drugs, but it’s not a choice whether or not you get addicted to them. Do you abstain from any and all potentially addictive substances and behaviors so as to avoid the possibility of sinning?

          • Richard Williams

            It is a choice to continue taking drugs. I don’t think you understand sin unless you understand the nature of it, and it seems like you don’t with your response. I am a sinner just like the rest, and I don’t always abstain from it. Substances and behaviours can be addicting, and people struggle with different issues, but it has nothing to do with it being a disease or genetics or a malfunctioning brain – it has to do with the choices that we make because of our propensity to fall into sin.

            I have a brother who used to take crystal meth. He doesn’t anymore. That doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have other addictions as, like with other people, who after giving up one thing might turn to another – an example is my father who gave up smoking for over-eating. All of this is because they choose to engage in that behaviour to cope with how they feel.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            I suppose depression is also a “sin of the heart.” It’s just all in their head and they should just cheer up?

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

          So by that logic, using anything to dull one’s pain is rejecting God’s ability to bring fulfillment into your life.

        • Sheila Warner

          Alcoholism is a disease, not a sin. All addictions are diseases. The accurate phrase is “alcohol/drug allergy.”

  • Todd Reeder

    According to Alcoholics Anonymous UK, who say they have no unique definition for alcoholism, it may be described as a physical compulsion, together with a mental obsession. Apart from having an enormous craving for alcohol, an alcoholic often yields to that craving at the worst possible times. The alcoholic knows neither when nor how to stop drinking.


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