Author links sponsors of Anti-Homosexuality Bill to The Family

Jeff Sharlet, author of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power was on NPR’s Fresh Air program yesterday. The main theme of the interview was to discuss The Family, a secretive Christian group who moves in political circles worldwide. For more on this group, see Sharlet’s book, and this investigative report by World magazine.

For our purpose, his investigation into the influences on the sponsors of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill are interesting and provocative. You can listen below or read the transcript here.

GROSS: This legislation has just been proposed. It hasn’t been signed into law. So it’s not in effect and it might never be in effect. But it’s on the table. It’s before parliament. So is there a direct connection between The Family and this proposed Anti-Homosexual Legislation in Uganda?

Mr. SHARLET: Well, the legislator that introduces the bill, a guy named David Bahati, is a member of The Family. He appears to be a core member of The Family. He works, he organizes their Uganda National Prayer Breakfast and oversees a African sort of student leadership program designed to create future leaders for Africa, into which The Family has poured millions of dollars working through a very convoluted chain of linkages passing the money over to Uganda.

GROSS: So you’re reporting the story for the first time today, and you found this story – this direct connection between The Family and the proposed legislation by following the money?

Mr. SHARLET: Yes, it’s – I always say that the family is secretive, but not secret. You can go and look at 990s, tax forms and follow the money through these organizations that The Family describe as invisible. But you go and you look. You follow that money. You look at their archives. You do interviews where you can. It’s not so invisible anymore. So that’s how working with some research colleagues we discovered that David Bahati, the man behind this legislation, is really deeply, deeply involved in The Family’s work in Uganda, that the ethics minister of Uganda, Museveni’s kind of right hand man, a guy named Nsaba Buturo, is also helping to organize The Family’s National Prayer Breakfast. And here’s a guy who has been the main force for this Anti-Homosexuality Act in Uganda’s executive office and has been very vocal about what he’s doing, and in a rather extreme and hateful way. But these guys are not so much under the influence of The Family. They are, in Uganda, The Family.

GROSS: So how did you find out that Bahati is directly connected to The Family? You’ve described him as a core member of The Family. And this is the person who introduced the anti-gay legislation in Uganda that calls for the death penalty for some gay people.

Mr. SHARLET: Looking at the, The Family’s 990s, where they’re moving their money to – into this African leadership academy called Cornerstone, which runs two programs: Youth Corps, which has described its in the past as an international quote, invisible family binding together world leaders, and also, an alumni organization designed to place Cornerstone grads – graduates of this sort of very elite educational program and politics and NGO’s through something called the African Youth Leadership Forum, which is run by -according to Ugandan media – which is run by David Bahati, this same legislator who introduced the Anti-Homosexuality Act.

The player sometimes doesn’t load so if it doesn’t, you can listen here:

Monday, I noted American influence via the College of Prayer and their three year partnership with the Ugandan parliament. There seem to be multiple lines of influence tied to those who have introduced the bill. What is not clear is how much, if any, the Americans directly suggested the bill.

More to come on that point…

  • Elisha

    I really wish I understood Throckmorton’s opposition to the Ugandan legislation. As I understand it, the legislation calls for the imprisonment and/or execution of homosexuals. That is no different from what is expressly prescribed by the Bible, which Throckmorton accepts is the word of God. Indeed, the entire theme of the Bible is that the wicked should be identified and violently punished in this life, just as they will be segregated and eternally tortured after death. So this legislation, far from being a deviation of Christian principles, is a pure expression of those principles. It is Love In Action.

  • Michael Bussee

    Elisha: Not if you read the New Testament. :)

  • Elisha

    I have read it many times. And it clearly says in Revelations that no one should remove any words from the Bible, lest his name be removed from the Book of Life. So all of the books of the Bible matter, not just the “nice” parts of the New Testament.

    Last time I checked, the notion of hell (eternal torment) was still in effect. And nothing in the NT abrogates the death penalty as imposed by government for violations of Levitical law. Thus, Christian principles not only approve of mass executions of homosexuals, they require it. To the extent that Throckmorton and others resist this, they are only resisting the basic tenets of Christianity. That is one reason with Scott Lively has identified Throckmorton as an adversary who has “gone over to the dark side.”

    It is not too late for salvation, however. Accept Biblical teaching, including the need for the violent extermination and eternal torture of sinners, and you too can be one of the righteous.

  • David Blakeslee

    @ Elisha

    you’re doing great…keep it up (smirk).

  • Michael Bussee

    And nothing in the NT abrogates the death penalty as imposed by government for violations of Levitical law. Thus, Christian principles not only approve of mass executions of homosexuals, they require it.

    Not so. First of all, I do not believe that the “clobber” passages used to condemn homosexuality have been properly translated, understood or applied. I believe what the Bible says, but I do not agree with what many Christians think these passages condemn. I do not agree they call for the “mass execution of homosexuals”.

    Even they did and even if it is sin, Jesus paid the death penalty. He told the mob to put their stones down. I believe that is what Warren is saying too.

  • Ann

    Elisha,

    Are you sure you want to say all this? How can a person know, really know all God’s grace, which by the way happens in His way and time, not ours, if you kill them first? Why would you want to support such horrific intervention as in killing when God is already at work with salvation?

  • Michael Bussee

    “Accept BIblical teaching” — Elisha — and you might realize that we are all sinners, that God loves us very much and that he has paid our debt in full. He did not come into the world to condemn the world — and we can only carry out the death penalty for sexual error if we are ourselves are without sin. That’s what the Author and FInisher of our faith said.

    We are not called to be executioners, but messengers of the Gospel of Peace. We are called to a life of self-examination, holinesss, humility, repentance, patience, forgiveness, service and mercy — just as God is merciful towards us.

    Can’t say I am good at all that yet, but I am trying. :)

  • Ann

    Accept Biblical teaching, including the need for the violent extermination and eternal torture of sinners, and you too can be one of the righteous.

    Elisha,

    I am not that good to be considered one of the righteous – I continue to learn and grown and understand but am not in the league of the righteous – are you? What do you tell people who are of other faiths than what the Bible teaches? How do they learn what you mandate is essential for them to be deemed worthy of keeping their lives?

  • Anonymous

    Elisha,

    The bible also says (1 Timothy 2:12): I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. Be silent, then.

  • Elisha

    @Anonymous: You would know if you read your Bible that Elisha was a male prophet. A blessed man of God, he called upon our loving Father in heaven to send vicious she-bears to devour several children who were impertinent enough to mock his bald head. I ask you: if the death penalty is acceptable for disrespect, how can it possibly be deemed excessive for sodomites?

    @Everyone else: I do appreciate the earnestness of your responses. However, earnestness will not get you into heaven. You cannot logically oppose the Ugandan legislation unless you have somehow determined that the New Testament completely forbids any punishment of any sin by civil authorities. There is nothing in the NT to support that contention.

    Once you accept the general proposition that the NT allows civil authorities to punish sinful acts, then there is no Biblical basis for distinguishing between incarceration and the death penalty. Neither would there be any basis for distinguishing the penalty for rape and murder from the penalty for homosexual sex. Secular documents like the Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights make these distinctions, but these are flawed human documents. More important for our purposes as Christians, the Bible doesn’t make those distinctions. The one thing it does say is that homosexuals should be killed. (“Their blood shall be upon them.”)

    Now, it may be true that Ugandan Christians don’t need to kill gays in order to get to heaven. Jesus’s death on the cross means we no longer have to do good works (like slaughtering sinners) in order to earn heaven. But that does not mean that it is not Biblically moral policy to kill gays. If God’s morality is the same yesterday, today and forever, then it cannot be “horrific” as Ann says to slaughter gay people, since God deemed it moral when Leviticus was written. In other words, Ugandans should kill gays not in order to get into heaven, but simply because God says that that is a good thing to do so.

    Of course, there are many other groups that need to be killed too according to Biblical morality, but it is not our place to question the Bible. Once you go down that road, you may find yourself a candidate for Biblically required punishment.

  • Mary

    Then I ought to be killed by “biblical” standards. But not according to Jesus – since no one on this earth is without sin.

  • Mary

    If the Ugandian Bill were to pass and become law – who would do the executing? Who in Uganda is without sin? Show me this person. Name him or her.

  • Anonymous

    @Elisha

    Good to know :). Because one google search gave me a different picture first.

    if the death penalty is acceptable for disrespect, how can it possibly be deemed excessive for sodomites?

    The laws of one country are the laws of that country and I’m not for external pressures to change internal laws. On the other hand, what do you do with folks who have never been attracted to any opposite sex person? Ban them from sex and relationships because you are offended? You might equally kill them because people who never have any relationship or sex cannot be said to be really alive.

    So I don’t think it’s practical to prescribe death penalty for sodomy, because that won’t cure anything, but create more fear and suspicion, that’s all. It’ll get things underground. There is a risk that some might use it to get others killed, by false testimony.

  • Michael Bussee

    Boy, Elisha. Do you have a misunderstanding! Of course our “earnestness will not get (us) into heaven”. I don’t think anyone here thinks so. Nothing but grace can. Not obeying laws. Not good works. Not killing gays. Nothing we can do can get us there — anymore than anyone of us to get to from California to Hawaii by swimming.

    That’s the whole point. Jesus came to save. A life boat. He asks, do you want to sink or do you want to get in?

    You cannot logically oppose the Ugandan legislation unless you have somehow determined that the New Testament completely forbids any punishment of any sin by civil authorities. There is nothing in the NT to support that contention.

    There is no need to go that far. We don’t have to argue that the NT forbids “any punishment”. It doesn’t.

    The new Testament urges us to obey civil authorities (so long as these are consistent with of the message of Christ) but it also gives us support to speak out when civil authorities depart from it. Jesus defied earthly authority all the time — when it violated the love and justice of God. The NT also seems to prohibit lilling sexual sinners unless the executioner is sinless.

    Jesus’s death on the cross means we no longer have to do good works (like slaughtering sinners) in order to earn heaven.

    Bingo. :)

  • Michael Bussee

    Anonymous:

    The laws of one country are the laws of that country and I’m not for external pressures to change internal laws.

    Never? I am curious. Can you think of any situation where you might be in favor of external pressure? For example, should we have left Hitler alone? Sometimes, you have to speak up. Sometimes, morality and human rights trump cultural relativism.

    Relativism should be confronted where it damages fundamental human rights, because we’re not relativists if we believe that the human being should be at the centre of society and the rights of every human being should be respected. — Rocco Buttiglione

    I believe that this law “damages fundamental human rights” and therefore must be confronted.

  • Lynn David

    So Nsaba Buturo and David Bahati via the African Youth Leadership Forum tie in with ‘The Family.’ Isn’t what Sharlet calls ‘The Family’ what some have called ‘The Fellowship?’ If you’re going to go that far the Campus Crusade for Christ has ties to ‘The Family’/’The Fellowship.’ Are they for the Bahati bill?

    .

    Care to wager on the possible connection either Howard Ahmanson Jr and his Fieldstead & Company along with Exodus International through their membership with the anti-gay Arlington Group might have with The Family, especially if you consider Paul Weyrich’s ‘Free Congress Foundation’ which helped found the Arlington Group?

    .

    And speaking of Nazism, some have found credible (but perhaps still somewhat tenuous) ties to the Nazi and Christian groups which led up to the Fellowship/Family. So if the Arlington Group (which the article claims is named Arlington to tie it in with the Fellowship/Family compound at ‘The Cedars’ in Arlington) is tied in with the Fellowship/Family does that mean that Schmierer and Exodus are really the one’s with a lineal descent from the Nazis??? BTW, one can also tie Hillary Rodham Clinton to the Fellowship/Family.

    .

    One item close to Uganda that article associates with the Fellowship/Family was the downing of the French-crewed plane carrying the “Hutu Presidents of Rwanda and Burundi from a peace summit in Tanzania with Kagame’s U.S.-backed guerrilla army in Uganda [also supported by Museveni] was shot down by Soviet made surface-to-air missiles captured by U.S. forces from Iraq in Desert Storm.” That was the impetus for the genocides in that Rwanda and similar problems in Burundi. And Kagami has been said to have visited ‘The Cedars’ – the main compound of the Fellowship/Family.

    International intrigue – the sins of the father?

  • Elisha

    @Busee:

    “We don’t have to argue that the NT forbids “any punishment”. It doesn’t.”

    Alright. Once you accept that the NT allows for punishment by government of sin, you are acknowledging that the “let he who is w/o sin” standard does not apply to the state, since obviously the state and its agents are not sinless. Once you allow that the state is not prohibited from punishing (i.e., casting a stone) at sinners, then the only question is whether there is any Biblical position on the type of appropriate punishment that the state may mete out. The only scriptural passages that speak to this call for the bloody death of gays, among many others. That comes from the Father, who is one and the same as Jesus. (Remember, we don’t believe in 3 separate gods, but one triune God. So Leviticus comes from Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit all at once.)

    Since the Bible allows that the state may punish sin, and since it expressly calls for death for homosexuals, it is impossible for any Christian to argue the immorality of Uganda’s solution – a final solution if you will – to the homosexual problem in Uganda. It is the unavoidable end product of a genuinely Bible-based moral system.

  • Lynn David

    Elisha…. @Everyone else: I do appreciate the earnestness of your responses. However, earnestness will not get you into heaven. You cannot logically oppose the Ugandan legislation unless you have somehow determined that the New Testament completely forbids any punishment of any sin by civil authorities. There is nothing in the NT to support that contention.

    No, that is not true. I can oppose it because I give no thought to flawed Biblical injunctions such as that concerning homosexuality as having any merit whatsoever. Nor do I have any worries about any such thing as a heaven.

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    The only scriptural passages that speak to this call for the bloody death of gays, among many others. That comes from the Father, who is one and the same as Jesus. (Remember, we don’t believe in 3 separate gods, but one triune God. So Leviticus comes from Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit all at once.)

    Since the Bible allows that the state may punish sin, and since it expressly calls for death for homosexuals, it is impossible for any Christian to argue the immorality of Uganda’s solution – a final solution if you will – to the homosexual problem in Uganda. It is the unavoidable end product of a genuinely Bible-based moral system.

    There’s a wee problem with that theological rationale, Elisha (great name, by the way).

    Jesus Christ sealed a new covenant with his atoning blood. Paul writes extensively in several epistles, as does the writer of Hebrews — mostly for the sake of witnessing the whole Gospel truth to his fellow Jews — that The Law is never to be seen the same as it was in the O.T. after Christ’s life and death. One sacrifice covered all. The Temple veil was rent in two. The law, which makes us aware of our sin and consequential death apart from Christ, is thus fulfilled in him. A new commandment — to love your neighbor as yourself — was given. And Christ made it clear with his teaching parables that even our enemy is our neighbor.

    Yes, “render unto Caesar …” (permit the State its authority), but render also “unto God” (observe His commandments). The second informs the first.

  • Ann

    Elisha,

    Initially I was taken aback by your comments, however, I do hope you continue to engage in a dialogue here as I believe there is always the opportunity to reason out differences and learn from one another.

    Wishing you a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving.

    Ann

  • David Blakeslee

    I think Elisha has hijacked this thread away from the topic…

    If he wants to talk about his theology, perhaps we can give him his own thread to do so…

    @ Lynn David,

    I cannot track your theory above, but I appreciate that it is relevant to the thread.

  • Mary

    Wishing all a Happy Thanksgiving.

    Elisha, should Christians caryy out laws that are unbiblical?

  • Mary

    Really, as a Christian or person of faith, I would have to be a concientious objecter and would have to decline any work that required I ask for or act as an executioner.

    I pay my taxes (although I don’t like how the money is used), and I understand that americans live in a society that allows capital punishment and initiative war. I don’t like these things and so have declined to participate in the military or any civil service that would put me in a position of having to make a life or death decision over someone based on criminal activity. If I were ever on a jury for a capital case I would decline to insist on the death penalty and do all that I could to avoid it. (I probably wouldn’t make it through the jury selection process)

    As Christians, we can say no to the law as instructed by Jesus since we all have sinned.

  • Elisha

    @ Blakeslee:

    I don’t think I am hijacking this thread. I am talking about the Biblical basis for the Ugandan legislation. Throckmorton is a Christian, this blog often deals with Christian perspectives, and this specific post is about the Ugandan legislation. I am simply trying to understand how someone like Throckmorton can tell us he believes the Bible is the Word of the creator of the universe and yet opposes the implementation of policies that are expressly authorized in and required by the Bible.

    @ Debbie:

    “The Law is never to be seen the same as it was in the O.T. after Christ’s life and death. One sacrifice covered all. . . . The law, which makes us aware of our sin and consequential death apart from Christ, is thus fulfilled in him.”

    – I agree with all of the above. But your points above only go to the relationship b/t the law and salvation, i.e., we no longer need law to get saved, we only need to accept the sacrifice that Jesus made. But that is an entirely separate question from whether a given law is moral under Biblical standards. Whether it is necessary for salvation, it is still Biblically moral to have the state kill gays (not to mention witches, proselytizing infidels, disrespectful children, etc.) Biblically, although we no longer need to kill gays to get into heaven, it is still moral public policy grounded in Divine authority.

    I would think the biggest problem would be logistical (e.g., identification and transportation of homosexuals to killing sites, disposal of corpses, etc.) However, since Moses, Joshua, David, and all the other inspirational men of God who oversaw Divinely ordained systematized mass killing were able to solve these problems, I think Uganda will also find a way. Perhaps they can have a conference in which they bring together all of the relevant administrative agencies and stakeholders to work out the most efficient manner to implement the solution.

    @Mary:

    I don’t know the answer to your question, but since the Ugandan law is Biblical, the problem doesn’t arise.

    @ Lynn David:

    “I can oppose it because I give no thought to flawed Biblical injunctions such as that concerning homosexuality as having any merit whatsoever. Nor do I have any worries about any such thing as a heaven.”

    Watch it, LD. According to the Bible, thinking that way will get you tortured for eternity. I would think that avoiding such a fate would be sufficient incentive to get with the program.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Mary

    Elisha,

    The law is not biblical. To ask a christian to execute is unbiblical if they have sinned. Have you sinned?

  • Mary

    Elisha,

    Your perspective reminds me of the Jewish Elders turning Christ over to Pilate to be executed because their law did not allow for it. Do you just shrug your shoulders and say – “Oh, well. That is the law and there is nothing I can do to act like a christian or demonstrate my thankfulness of his grace.”?

  • Michael Bussee

    Elisha: I think I may look at the Bible, particularly the OT, a bit differently than some othere Bible-believing Christians here.

    First, I don’t believe that every word, every command, every narrative in the Bible is literal, absolute, from-God’s-mouth-dictated-directly-and-infallibly to the pens of the writers.

    I believe that God reveals himself in Scripture, but that’s different. I do not believe that everything we read was just dictated to some sort robotic, spiritually-tranced-out bunch of scribes.

    I believe it is the complex, profound and often confusingstory of the Jewish people’s struggle to understand the true nature of God — and how He expects us to treat each other. Sometimes, I think they got it wrong. Sometimes, Jesus came to set them right.

    Second, even IF the Bible is literal, absolute, direct and infallible, we who read it are NOT. Sometimes we get it wrong — and somtimes, Jesus has to set us right, too. For sexual sin, at least, Jesus seems to be saying that the executioner must be sinless. None of us are.

  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/U612575 Timothy (TRiG)

    The laws of one country are the laws of that country and I’m not for external pressures to change internal laws.

    Why not? Aren’t we all human? No man is an island, and all that. By all means try to change another country’s laws if those laws are barbaric.

    (Psst, Elisha. We all know the Bible is barbaric; we don’t need you to remind us. Thanks. Was it not your namesake who had forty children torn to pieces because he couldn’t take a joke?)

    TRiG.

  • Ann

    Elisha,

    Did you develop your beliefs over time or did you always have them or was it one particular incident that brought you to have the convictions you have?

  • Anonymous

    @Timothy (TRiG)

    Yeah, we’re all human, technically speaking, as a species. But the idea that we’re all “human”, as in part of a whole thing called “humanity” and that we have some universal connection from that was created in Europe, not in China, India or Uganda. This is why they have more ‘breaches of “human” rights.’

    You know there are tribes in Africa who don’t have a word for “human”? Think about that. They only have words for their kind, the people who are part of their tribe, while the rest of the world are ‘strangers’, ‘outsiders’, neighbours’ and so on. No humans, no universal connection, no idea that every “human” should have some basic rights because they are part of humanity. I’m not saying some intellectual, highbrow stuff here, I’m saying something that is factually true, that the idea of humanity was created in Europe and is the product of a certain history.

    And so, the idea that everyone deserves protection because they are human is also the product of European mentality, that was exported in the US and other parts of the world. This is why you/we don’t understand why do so many Asian and African states commit acts of cruelty against their own people and no one or few are willing to protest. A European mentality thinks that happens because they are oppressed, otherwise they would speak out. But they understand freedom in completely different ways from ours. Of course, giving someone rights who never had much of them is empowering. Ask any form of life if they want to be protected and tell them that they deserve to live a dignified life. Even dogs would wag their tails and agree if they could talk.

    It’s similar with laws and local customs in this case. There are ground politics in each of these countries and they will use whatever they can to win internal conflicts. It doesn’t matter where the money or advice come from as long as it serves their purposes. And then you get a bunch of people who live in comfort, watch TV, drive cars, have technology, write on the internet in their free time and who get involved in the politics of countries they only know about from the internet or from media images. At best, I’d say they are using the politics of another territory to further their own, domestic politics and local agendas.

  • Anonymous

    No man is an island, and all that. By all means try to change another country’s laws if those laws are barbaric.

    Funny you say barbaric. Bible rules are “barbaric”… The first who used the word barbarian were the Ancient Greeks who called migratory peoples like the Germans barbaric because their language sounded like the the way frogs “talk” (bar-bar). That happened long before Christianity came into existence! And you call the rules of a religion of two thousand years using a word which is older than that… :)

    It’s interesting that you think Christian rules from the OT are barbaric. Ironically, Christianism is the religion that created the mentality behind human rights, which today is used by different sexual, ethnic, racial minorities to defend their whatever-they-want-to-do-or-be status under the banner of human rights. Christianism created the western mentality that all the people could be saved, that they have inherent worth and that every Christian should strive to convert the pagans from other territories to get into the Christian boat and thus be saved. Human rights are the secular version of this pathos. Today, from the comfort of your modern home and using that mentality of self-worth that you got from education you can say the old Christian texts are barbaric and that the laws of a country which is not your own should be changed according to your mentality.

    I don’t think this is the real stake here… I think it’s about some folks using the politics of another country to settle their own home politics. I don’t think this is about Uganda.

  • Michael Bussee

    Anonymous: What do suggest, if anything, about this Bill?

  • Anonymous

    Michael B,

    Why don’t the people involved in stopping what’s going on in Uganda do the same thing in Iran? Is it because it’s an Islamic country, whereas Uganda is influenced by Christians? In Iran, the death penalty for homosexuals is already in effect, but there’s not much fuss about it.

    You can read this topic as a narrative, one way or another. It could be about Uganda or it could be about the United States. But basically it’s about an anti-homosexuality bill and politics, family, in general.

    My points were meant to address the issue of intervention in another country’s legal workings.

  • Michael Bussee

    My points were meant to address the issue of intervention in another country’s legal workings.

    I undertand that, but you really didn’t answer the question. In your opinion, is it ever appropriate to “intervene in another country’s legal workings”? Under what conditions, if any, would it be appropriate?

  • Anonymous

    No, since I don’t think it’s practical and it won’t hold. The basic rule should be that laws emerge from local customs and ways of doing politics, period.

    Would you like China to intervene in the way your country manages the economic deficit because it affects their dollar reserves? Would you like China to give your leaders lectures in economy because they have growth and the US isn’t feeling so well economically? It’s the same thing with Uganda. You’re trying to teach them what human rights are, even though they might not have your mentality. For them, according to their mentality, it’s important to ban homosexuality. You want their country to be run by laws according to your mentality. Do you find that appropriate?

  • Michael Bussee

    No, since I don’t think it’s practical and it won’t hold. The basic rule should be that laws emerge from local customs and ways of doing politics, period.

    Got it. One last question and then I will let this rest: Should we have intervened for Jews in Nazi Germany?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    China can say whatever it wants, I don’t mind that they have an opinion.

    Your logic does not hold looking back to Nazi Germany or in areas of the world where various religions are being persecuted for their conscience.

  • Anonymous

    Warren,

    The Hitler comparison is a stretch. The Germans elected Hitler and he started an act of aggression against other countries. That wasn’t about human rights, it was about something else altogether. He was threatening the security of other countries. How does Uganda threaten the security of your country? By passing a law against homosexuality? Come on, I see what you;re doing.

  • Michael Bussee

    I cannot find the name of ther peson who wrote this, but I think this quote applies:

    This strength of cultural relativism, however, is also its weakness. Cultural relativism excuses us from judging the moral status of other cultures in cases where doing so seems to be inappropriate, but it also renders us powerless to judge the moral status of other cultures in cases where doing so seems to be necessary.

    Faced with a culture that deems slavery morally acceptable, it seems to be appropriate to judge that society to be morally inferior to our own. Faced with a culture that deems ethnic cleansing morally acceptable, it seems to be appropriate to condemn that society as morally abhorrent.

    In order to make such judgements as these, however, we need to be able to invoke an ethical standard that is not culturally relative. In order to make a cross-cultural moral comparison, we need a cross-cultural moral standard, which is precisely the kind of moral standard that cultural relativism claims does not exist.”

    You seem to be making that claim — never a time when it would be appropriate or necessary — to intervene. I cannot imagine what it must feel like to believe that it’s never appropriate — that we should stand by silently and let it happen.

    I found the quote here. http://www.philosophyofreligion.info/christian-ethics/moral-relativism/cultural-relativism/

  • Michael Bussee

    Let me get this straight. So you only intervene if it threatens our security or to stop agression against other countries? We should never intenvene — no economic or political pressure — on matters such as slavery, genocide, ethnic cleansing, religious persecution…?

  • Anonymous

    Michael B,

    Who intervened for Native Americans? Why wasn’t there another great country to defend their human rights back then?

    I guess it was just the logic of war and conquest. Now things have gotten more subtle, with powers using the sweat talk of “human rights” to set the foot of their influence in other countries.

  • Anonymous

    Michael B

    There is a special framework for that, the cases of genocide and so on. It’s called multilateral talks. If Uganda or any other country is part of them, then they respond under that framework. Stop thinking the US is the God-given country that acts as the moral policeman in the world, or you’re going to still not understand why do folks like Muslims hate you. It’s a hate reaction to globalisation, when it’s pushed against their culture. You don’t like that, that there are other strong cultures in the world, do you?

  • Michael Bussee

    Who intervened for Native Americans? Why wasn’t there another great country to defend their human rights back then?

    The fact that very few if any did, does not make it right. Or when people did not speak out against persecution of the Jews.

    There is a special framework for that, the cases of genocide and so on. It’s called multilateral talks.

    What principles were used in setting up that process? Why speak out against it? Why is genocide wrong?

    Stop thinking the US is the God-given country that acts as the moral policeman in the world.

    I don’t think that. I don’t think God plays favorites. Every nation is “His” — in the sense that He made us, loves us and expects us to treat each other that way. And it’s not just Americans who think this law should be defeated. Oppostion to this bill come s from all over the world, including Ugandans.

    It’s a hate reaction to globalisation, when it’s pushed against their culture. You don’t like that, that there are other strong cultures in the world, do you?

    I get the feeling it is indeed a hate reaction — against their own citizens. And you are wrong that I “dont like” that their are “other strong cultures.” Why would I be opposed to a strong culture? Some sort of standard for basic human rights is a big part of what makes any nation truly “strong”.

  • Michael Bussee

    Anonymous: Thanks for taking the time to explain your position to me. I must admit that I have trouble imagining a world of (1) complete moral and cultural relativism, (2) not speaking out against the abuse of what most nations (not just ours) consider to be basic “human rights”and (3) only intervening if it threatens our own security.

    I don’t know if I would want my children to have to live in such a world — but I respect your right to believe it. Thanks again. I will leave it at that.

  • Michael Bussee

    I did think some questions after I posted above. When you suggest that we not “intervene” does that mean no intervention of any kind? Does that include not speaking out? Not encouraging others to do the same?

    Is the Facebook group inappropriate, in your opinion? If a culture had the belief that having sex with a child would cure you of AIDS, should we try to edcuate that culture? Or just sit by?

    As you see things, is trying to convince by other means OK — reason, persuasion and setting an example? Is it OK to intervene in ways that do not include.direct political or economic measures? Or do remain silent entirely — no matter what attrocity or injustice we may see? Are you really suggesting that?

  • PianoManKugie

    Christ made it very clear that we all deserve the death penalty, since any person who has been angry has murdered, and any person who has lusted has committed adultery. That pretty much includes everyone. “And such were some of you” First Corinthians Six: Eleven could not have been written if they had all been put to death! “Separate the evil person from among you” was written so that such a person could come to repentance, something which obviously could not happen if that person had been put to death.

  • Ann

    Elisha,

    What is your interpretation of this verse in the new testament of the Bible?

    Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on

    disputable matters.

    Romans 14:1

  • Michael Bussee

    Ann, I have never eally noticed that passage! It seems to indicate what we all know — namely that we don’t “know” everything. Many things are disputable. Some things have to be left to a person’s individual conscience before God.

  • Ann

    Michael,

    Right. What I like is the first part – to accept those who might not have the extent of faith that others do – who might not be as sophisticated in the language and understanding – who might be discouraged with whatever understanding they do have – to meet them where they are – like Jesus did.

  • Mary

    I’ve always enjoyed that passage – especially when I look back at the kindness shown to me by others. They have helped me grow in my faith and understanding – without hitting me over the head.

  • Michael Bussee

    …to meet them where they are – like Jesus did.

    You got me singing now. Singing: “Just as I am…without one plea…” :)

  • Elisha

    @Timothy/Trig:

    It was 42 disrespectful children that got Divinely mauled by she-bears, not 40. Please give God full credit for all 42.

    @ Mary:

    I came to my views once I accepted that the Bible is the Word of God. Once you accept that, you have to accept that, based on Biblical standards, most people living today, and unquestionably all homosexuals, should be killed. Moreover, you have to accept that, of the approximately 110 billion homo sapiens who have lived on the Earth, something like 108 billion will be tortured for all eternity by their Father. I don’t see why people can’t just take the Holy Bible for what it says and stop trying to put a liberal, modern gloss on it.

    Once you start weeding out verses like Busee does, how can you have any confidence that the ones that remain are inerrant? If you say that God didn’t really authorize the massacre and mass rape of the Midianites and that the Bible is lying about that, then you can’t really have complete confidence that the Sermon on the Mount is accurately described.

    I have, of course, sinned. But I haven’t engaged in one of the many sins for which the Bible prescribes the death sentence. I assure you that if I was to indulge in “self-pleasure” and the state wanted to impose on me the sentence that the Father imposed on Onan, I would have to accept it with alacrity.

    @ Ann:

    I think that passage means what it says. But by its own terms, it applies to matters that are disputable. I am sure that there are many bad acts that the Bible does not address, and for which the legal status and appropriate punishment is disputable. Traffic violations, violations of environmental laws, interference with an aircraft – all of these are disputable. The status and punishment for gay sex is expressly set out in the Bible, and is therefore not disputable.

  • Lynn David

    In a country where there exists freedom of religion and freedom of privacy (both enumerated in the Ugandan constituttion to the best of my memory from reading the abridged version), then by what right does a state have for instituting one religious moral standard over another?

  • Mary

    Elisha,

    Perhaps you can go back through the OT and NT with more knowledge this time and become more familiar with Jesus’ words.

    How can a Christian society make laws to kill people and caryy out those laws if all of us have sinned? There is no one left to execute the “new” sinners. And it would be hypocritical.

  • Michael Bussee

    Once you start weeding out verses like Busee does, how can you have any confidence that the ones that remain are inerrant?

    I don’t have confidence that every verse is “inerrant”. More importantly, I don’t have confidence that I am inerrant in understanding and applying the Bible — or that YOU are — or that anyone else is either.

    I have confidence in Christ, the living Word of God — and He came to save, not condemn.

    I accepted that the Bible is the Word of God. Once you accept that, you have to accept that, based on Biblical standards, most people living today, and unquestionably all homosexuals, should be killed.

    Come on, kill them all? At what age? Who should do it? And do we still have to do it in the OT manner? Public stonings and the like? If only the sinless can inflcit the death penalty on sexual sinners, who would be left to do it? You certainly couldn’t.

    Or are you being sarcastic and just trying to make the glaringly obvious point that all “Bible-believing Christians” interpret the Bible, sifting out which verses they think should apply and which one’s don’t? Hey, all Christians do that. The really sophisticated ones call it “hermaneutics”. :)

  • Ann

    The status and punishment for gay sex is expressly set out in the Bible, and is therefore not disputable.

    Elisha,

    So many other things are expressly set out in the Bible as well and yet are given the time and grace to work themselves out according to God’s will. Doesn’t the Bible say His strength is made perfect in our weakness?

  • Jayhuck

    I came to my views once I accepted that the Bible is the Word of God. Once you accept that, you have to accept that, based on Biblical standards, most people living today, and unquestionably all homosexuals, should be killed. Moreover, you have to accept that, of the approximately 110 billion homo sapiens who have lived on the Earth, something like 108 billion will be tortured for all eternity by their Father. I don’t see why people can’t just take the Holy Bible for what it says and stop trying to put a liberal, modern gloss on it.

    Elisha – LOL – I believe the Bible is the Word of God as well, but WOW – I don’t interpret it the way you do.

    There are PLENTY of odd and troubling verses in the Bible, ones in which I’m sure even you don’t measure up – if you want to continue this discussion it will be long and most likely will not end up in your favor

  • Elisha

    @ Mary:

    “How can a Christian society make laws to kill people and caryy out those laws if all of us have sinned? There is no one left to execute the “new” sinners. And it would be hypocritical.”

    – As noted above in my exchange w/Busee, the “let he who is w/o sin” statement by Jesus does not operate to prevent the state from enforcing criminal laws. Unless you are prepared to say that Jesus meant that no crimes can ever be punished, then it only becomes a matter of which acts should be considered crimes and what penalty should apply. The OT answers that question. There would still be people alive to implement the law, although the population might be anywhere from 2-5% of current levels. That’s less severe an impact than the flood had.

    @ Busee:

    “Come on, kill them all? At what age? Who should do it? And do we still have to do it in the OT manner? Public stonings and the like? If only the sinless can inflcit the death penalty on sexual sinners, who would be left to do it? You certainly couldn’t.”

    – Your last question we already dealt with above. The “let he who is w/o sin” statement applies to mob violence, and does not apply to the state and does not forbid the state from enforcing criminal laws. If it were so construed, then no agent of the state could ever apprehend, subdue, incarcerate or execute any criminal.

    As far as your initial set of questions, the Bible provides your answer. There is ample Biblical precedent for killing vast numbers of people for even minor transgressions or as vicarious punishment for the transgressions of unelected monarchs.

    I agree that the logistics of the killing are open to discussion, since the Father does not prescribe a specific method of execution. I would think that the Ugandans might want to set up camps where the targeted populations could be housed – concentrated if you will – and thus eliminated more efficiently as a result of economies of scale. I believe that, along with their Christian approach to criminal law, Ugandans also inherited from the British colonizers a decent rail system. That rail system could be put to good use shipping homosexuals to the camps. That is putting modern technology in the service of God’s glory.

    @ Ann, Mary, Busee, Jayhuck et al:

    I am happy to continue this as long as you like, but no matter how many times you throw rhetorical questions at me, it will always come back to one basic idea: if you believe the Bible, then you cannot say that mass killing for Biblically authorized reasons is immoral. You can argue logistics, you can argue about the difficulties of implementation, you can about unintended consequences for public policy. But since as Christians your moral system is based on the Bible, and since the Bible expressly approves of the mass killing of sinners and enemies of God, up to and including babies, you have no basis to dispute the morality of these acts. To do so would lead you down a path where you began to allow morality to be influenced by things like compassion and empathy.

    “”And the LORD our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people. And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain.””

    Deut. 2:33-35

  • Michael Bussee

    If you believe the Bible, then you cannot say that mass killing for Biblically authorized reasons is immoral.

    That all depends of what you mean by “believe the Bible”. I may not “believe” it the same way Mary, Ann, Debbie or David do. In fact, I would bet on it.

    I have already said that I do not believe that everything in the Bible is the directly dictated, inerrantly transcribed, impossible to misinterpret, literal word of God. Some do. I do not.

    I simply do not “believe” the Bible in that way. I do not believe that if OT writers wrote: “God said to kill everyone, including the babies” that the OT writers got it right. I do not believe that God would order mass killings and infanticide, or the mob murder of gays — and I would not worship a God who did. Period.

    I believe that God speaks through Scripture — and that’s a very different thing than “believing IN it”, in the way your think all Christians must. I think of it as a glass. We can distort it. On project on to it. Or really stop and see.

    Jesus said: “You examine the Scriptures carefully because you suppose that in them you have eternal life. Yet they testify about me.”International Standard Version

    I believe the OT is the story of a people’s struggle to survive and to understand God and their relationship to Him. I think we are still struggling to do that.

    To do so would lead you down a path where you began to allow morality to be influenced by things like compassion and empathy.

    Wouldn’t that be nice? Elisha, think I have already taken that moral path — and I prefer it. It makes more sense to me than the OT path. That’s why on this new path, the only “moral” law Ihonor is the one based on “things like compassion and empathy”.

    Though many Christians might disagree with me and may even think I’m a bit heretical, the Two Great Commandments of Jesus are good enough (and difficult enough) for me as a basis of how to treat others. His law is love and His gospel is peace. Happy Advent. :)

  • Mary

    Elisha,

    I feel for you. Though you would condemn me to death. I’d fight to save your life.

  • Ann

    But since as Christians your moral system is based on the Bible

    Elisha,

    Ok, you can stop right there – you are putting all people into a category that just is not true. I can only speak for myself and will tell you that I am unsure what all the meanings of the word “Christian” are and to who they apply. My moral system is not based entirely on the Bible either – there is a small still voice that I listen to as well – some call it a conscious while others call it the Holy Spirit. I know what it is to me.

    and since the Bible expressly approves of the mass killing of sinners and enemies of God, up to and including babies, you have no basis to dispute the morality of these acts.

    Again, the word sin has a myriad of meanings depending on who you are talking to – I prefer not to use that word because I really do not understand the entirety of what it means and to who and to what. I also believe strongly in redemption and that is why Jesus came – to save, not to kill. I will ask you the question again – how can someone be saved if they have been killed? Isn’t that interferring with God’s plan?

    I also need to ask you this question – when an individual is under a stronghold of a force in opposition to God, isn’t it this stronghold that needs to be killed instead of the person? Wouldn’t that be prudent and logical? The stronghold cannot be redeemed, the person can. Killing this stronghold does not necessarily make it go away, it means to respond to it differently than before – to have knowledge and power to see it for what it is and not allow it interfere with or control our lives. The individual who is under a stronghold, whether it be a set of beliefs or actions is not, in and of themselves, the stronghold. It is this stronghold that needs to be killed if it is not in congruence with what a person knows is God’s will for their life. That individual will have to decide that with God – oh, and by the way, God allows u-turns throughout a person’s life – but notice, I said life – one has to be alive, not dead to experience the transforming powers of redemption.

    To do so would lead you down a path where you began to allow morality to be influenced by things like compassion and empathy.

    Are you including me in on this statement? I’m not sure you or anyone here knows where I began. I do know that Jesus met people where they were – he used compassion to understand them and their current strongholds – it was because of who He was and what he taught that people wanted to follow him – following Him brought about a transformation of how they thought and acted and responded – I think this is very cool. Do you?

  • Mary

    Elisha,

    I plead with you to re-read the gospels and Paul’s letters. These are the hallmark of our faith. Not killling. God may have permitted it in the past – but the gospels tell us to act differently now and to encourage others to grow in Christ – not to damn them for misunderstanding. How could they repent and change if we do not teach them with compassion and the new understanding of our Lord? None would be left if all were damned by man’s hand.

  • Elisha

    @Ann:

    “how can someone be saved if they have been killed?”

    – They can’t. As noted above, the vast majority of human beings who have lived will not be saved. Eternal torment awaits them, according to the Bible.

    Isn’t that interferring with God’s plan?”

    – Well, not to get semantic, but no human can interfere with God’s plan. However, killing for non-Biblical reasons would be wrong. But carrying out Bible-sanctioned killings by definition is consistent with God’s plan, as expressly set forth in the Bible.

    “I also need to ask you this question – when an individual is under a stronghold of a force in opposition to God, isn’t it this stronghold that needs to be killed instead of the person? Wouldn’t that be prudent and logical?”

    – Do you worship your own determinations of prudence and logic, or do you worship Yahweh? If the latter, you are bound to follow his Word. That Word says: kill homosexuals – their blood shall be upon them. It does not say that some abstract “force” should be resisted, but rather that the persons themselves should be put to a bloody death.

    @Busee:and Ann:

    OK, if you admit that you don’t believe the whole Bible is the true Word of God, then you are free to condemn mass killings of gays as immoral. But that kind of thinking will get you sent into eternal torment, so you might want to reconsider. I would think that infliction of eternal extreme physical pain as punishment for wrong beliefs is a powerful motivator.

    One other problem that you face: once you say that the Bible consists of a mix of God’s word, and the celebration of evil acts by ancient humans, then you really can’t say which is which. Moses said that he was speaking for God when he wrote the above passage in Deut., so if that is false, anything else he said could be false as well. Moses also gave us the Book of Genesis, so maybe you also believe that the story of the creation is inaccurate as well. Ditto for Paul and the NT: if some of it is false, then any of it can be false.

    It is all well and good to rely on your conscience, as Ann calls it, but if the Bible speaks directly to a moral question, then your conscience cannot override what the Bible says, if indeed you are a Christian and consider Jesus to be “lord”. Again, unless you consider whole chunks of the Bible to be false and/or evil, then you have to consider the OT as coming from the mouth of Jesus himself.

    “The sword without, and terror within, shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of gray hairs.”

    Deut. 32:25

  • Michael Bussee

    OK, if you admit that you don’t believe the whole Bible is the true Word of God, then you are free to condemn mass killings of gays as immoral.

    Gee thanks, I guess…Elisha, I did not ask for or need your permission to “condemn mass killings of gays as immoral.” I condemn the idea based on the Two Great Commandments of Christ — and on a universal moral standard that tells me I must treat my fellow human beings the way I would weant to be treated. Compassion is the basis of any true morality.

    But that kind of thinking will get you sent into eternal torment, so you might want to reconsider. I would think that infliction of eternal extreme physical pain as punishment for wrong beliefs is a powerful motivator.

    I have already reconsidered. And I am not worried. I do not believe in such a God or in a place of eternal torment and punishment.

    It is all well and good to rely on your conscience, as Ann calls it, but if the Bible speaks directly to a moral question, then your conscience cannot override what the Bible says, if indeed you are a Christian and consider Jesus to be “lord”.

    The Bible doesn’t “say” anything. HUMANS only have an imperfect understanding — their own biased and personalized understanding of the Bible and of what they think the “Bible says”. Again, you are leaving out the fact that even “if the Bible speaks directly to a moral question” that HUMANS are not infalliable ot complete in their understanding. WHO is to say WHOSE understanding is the “correct one” that everyone else must obey on pain of death? To claim that we know, for sure, what the BIble commands and what God expects is ARROGANCE.

    Tired of arguning this with you. You are playing a game to make a point. I don’t believe for a second that you really think that gays should be rounded up for mass murder or that anyone who calls himself a Christian is obligated somehow to agree with your take on the Bible. You are playing a game and the game has lost it appeal. Play it with someone else.

  • Michael Bussee

    Come on. Level with me. Do you — personally — really believe that gays should be rounded up for mass murder? Or are you just making a point of logic, insisting that Christians MUST take everything in the Bible literally if they are truly “Bible-believing Christians”? Either way, I think you are wrong.

    “Christianity” as a life path, can be seen more as a way of living than of believing. For me, it’s about trying to follow the example of how Jesus treated people, not what some people (like you) insist that the OT commands or what real Christians must believe.

  • Ann

    Elisha,

    Are you associated with an organization or are your thoughts independent? You almost sound like you are associated with an Aryan Brothers or Neo Nazi organization – are you?

  • Ann

    Well, not to get semantic, but no human can interfere with God’s plan.

    Elisha,

    I completely agree with this – thanks for the clarificaiton and/or correction.

  • Elisha

    “Come on. Level with me. Do you — personally — really believe that gays should be rounded up for mass murder?”

    Personally, if it were up to me, no I wouldn’t kill gays, masturbators, disrespectful children, women who are raped in urban settings, blasphemers, etc. However, when you have a faith that places authority in a text, when followers of the faith call that text holy, the codified word of God, when that text is the source to which you always turn for guidance as to social and political questions, then you have to deal with reality that a large part of the text is concerned with identifying, isolating, and killing sinners. Go to any mainstream Christian apologetics website and you will see that it is very mainstream Christian thinking to accept and embrace this conduct.

    By contrast, when Throckmorton posts on Uganda, he confidently asserts that the proposed law is immoral, but never comes to grips with the fact that the central document in his faith endorses and requires the very law he condemns.

    I note that neither you nor Ann has any response to the issue of how – if you decide that some parts of the Bible are false and even evil – to determine which passages are true, which are false, and which are evil. You would have your own judgment and experience to rely upon, but since Christians believe that the human heart is “desperately wicked”, how could you ever be sure that you are picking out the “right” passages to believe?

    ” And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.

    But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.”

    Num. 31: 15-18

  • Ann

    note that neither you nor Ann has any response to the issue of how – if you decide that some parts of the Bible are false and even evil – to determine which passages are true, which are false, and which are evil.

    Elisha,

    I believe I already answered this but will again. I do not consider parts of the Bible false or evil and I do not know, with my limited human capacity to kinow with certainty, which passages are true, which are false, and which are evil.

    You would have your own judgment and experience to rely upon, but since Christians believe that the human heart is “desperately wicked”, how could you ever be sure that you are picking out the “right” passages to believe?

    Common sense, studying the Bible, and a small still voice that guides me.

  • Anonymous

    Michael Bussee,

    You wrote,

    I must admit that I have trouble imagining a world of (1) complete moral and cultural relativism, (2) not speaking out against the abuse of what most nations (not just ours) consider to be basic “human rights”and (3) only intervening if it threatens our own security.

    I don’t know if I would want my children to have to live in such a world

    News flash: you already live in a relative world. Everything in it is relative, espcially beliefs, customs, laws that say how to deal with offenders and trespassers. These laws are not based on empathy, they are based on the aim to secure an order, here and now. Muslims kill women who cheat on their men by stoning them to death, they cut the hands of thieves and hang rapists, gays and apostates. It’s all based on their faith, which is different than yours. There’s no universal value that Muslims and Christians hold, and certainly not based on compassion. I think they say, according to their law “sharia” which is religious that one must cut the sin from the root. That’s their principle of judgement and trial and they apply it literally.

    There is such a thing as “moral relativism” because of the past error of “moral universalism.” It’s a correction of the mentality that erroneously assumed that all the people on this planet really believe in the same things as we/you do. The reality is they don’t and you can only understand that if you live many years among them.

    Ever wondered why are Chinese so cruel with their own people? Why are there so many ‘breaches of human rights’ in non-Western countries, so much human trafficking and slaughters in those countries? Because human life doesn’t have the ssame value everywhere. People try to repress being aware of this because it brings home a deep fear that our security is imaginary and it depends on particular power relations and laws which are mostly efficient in developed countries (they depend on money too).

    Part of what America is going through right now is because you either do not understand this or pretend not to understand and ignore that the rest of the world is a different dish. If you try to put some order in it according to what you think is right according to your beliefs, it’s going to turn against you at some point. No one likes to be told by another country how to make their laws, especially when it comes to sexual mores. So you should keep your beliefs to your territory.

  • Michael Bussee

    Part of what America is going through right now is because you either do not understand this or pretend not to understand and ignore that the rest of the world is a different dish. If you try to put some order in it according to what you think is right according to your beliefs, it’s going to turn against you at some point.

    Anonymous. Previously, you accused me of “not liking that other nations are strong.” You were wrong about that. I hope all nations are strong, vibrant expressions of humanity — the best aspects of humanity — like a desire to ease human suffering, fairness, justice and compassion for one’s fellow man.

    Now, you accuse me of “not understanding”, “pretending” or “ignoring” that the rest of the world is a “different dish”. On the contrary, I know this very well. I think it’s wonderful that there are different cultures and different beliefs. I have a degree in Cultural Anthopology. I do not think every culture should be like mine or that mine is superior.

    I just think there are certain truly human values, like fairness, and justice and compassion, that are “over-arching” and that make any “strong” nation truly strong. Injustice and cruelty weaken a nation.

  • Michael Bussee

    I note that neither you nor Ann has any response to the issue of how – if you decide that some parts of the Bible are false and even evil – to determine which passages are true, which are false, and which are evil.

    Elisha, my answer would be identical to Ann’s. She expressed it very well. Thanks, Ann.

  • Michael Bussee

    Everything in it is relative, espcially beliefs, customs, laws that say how to deal with offenders and trespassers. These laws are not based on empathy, they are based on the aim to secure an order, here and now

    That’s a pity. Maybe that’s why we have so much pain in this world. Another reason that I believe that the Two Great Commandments of Christ are so important. The “world” is concerned with power and order. His law is love.

  • Michael Bussee

    Relativism should be confronted where it damages fundamental human rights, because we’re not relativists if we believe that the human being should be at the centre of society and the rights of every human being should be respected. — Rocco Buttiglione

    I am one of those people who believes that they should be respected. Unlike you, I believe that there are such things as the basic dignity of every human being and that every human being has basic rights that should be respected. Your arguments will not change that.

  • Ann

    Elisha,

    I believe with certitude that God gave us the Ten Commandments. They are not suggestions to ponder, they are commandments. What are your thoughts about the commandment “Thou shall not kill”?

  • Michael Bussee

    Besides, how could mutual respect for one’s fellow human beings and the practice of compassion towards them make any nation weak…?

  • Anonymous

    @Michael Bussee,

    I havent ‘s said that I don’t believe in human rights. My point was that I don’t believe they should apply to cultures which don’t believe in them. And we should stop pretending we don’t know that they don’t. And we should also stop throwing money on the window trying to make them believe they do (whether we use weapons or NGOs).

    So frankly I don’t care what happens in China or Uganda, as long as there are plenty of problems under my own nose. Pain, compassion and all that is something that takes place in the real reality, like everyday interaction, not just reading some stuff on the internet and supporting it because it makes your mentality feel safe and resilient. I am more concerned with practical stuff going on in my country or where I live and work, not with what else bad thing did some African country do. Don’t they have their own government, history, laws, customs? What’s your business with them? Why don’t you Americans recognise that there is a climate change and refuse to change your industry to reduce your emissions of greenhouse gases, as the rest of the developed world does? It’s typical for you to choose only what makes you look like Captain-Planet-saves-the-day but refuse to deal with your own BS. I’m talking about this attitude of ‘we Americans are full of compassion and defenders of human rights’ but also keep capital punishment, bomb countries that don’t comply with your beliefs and do some ‘collateral damage’ in the process (we’re sorry, we meant well..), crash the entire financial system and then blame it on ‘human greed’, which is ‘universal’ (even though, the whole thing started because of what was going on in your country).

    It’s this attitude that makes the rest of the world really fed up with your interventionism. Right now, you have the lowest credibility ever as defenders of universal values, because your country caused a lot of damage everywhere it intervened and the benefits fail to appear. It’s just a question of time until everyone realises this and just says no to whatever comes from your culture. When the money runs out, it’s bye bye good old interventionism.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    Anonymous said:

    what makes you look like Captain-Planet-saves-the-day but refuse to deal with your own BS

    How about we do both?

    I also don’t think money is the answer to generating morality. This is why I am focusing on what the church I belong to (The Christian one) is doing and not doing there. I don’t care if PEPFAR is cut since I think a lot of it is wasted, but I don’t think you get morality by threatening to cut the funds. Better behavior maybe but probably moral reasoning won’t derive from threats. We need the church to step up.

    Elisha – Sorry, you are not even in my universe so I am not going to engage. Your belief system has its own inconsistencies and mine has them too. I like mine better.

  • Michael Bussee

    I haven’t said that I don’t believe in human rights. My point was that I don’t believe they should apply to cultures which don’t believe in them.

    Then what good are they?

  • Michael Bussee

    I am more concerned with practical stuff going on in my country or where I live and work, not with what else bad thing did some African country do.

    Why not do both?

    It’s just a question of time until everyone realises this and just says no to whatever comes from your culture.

    What is this “your culture” that you are referring to? This isn’t a USA thing. Opposition to this bill is coming from many nations and cultures, including Ugandans. At least it is coming from the ones there who are willing to risk imprisonment or death to do so. Brave.

  • Mary

    Besides, how could mutual respect for one’s fellow human beings and the practice of compassion towards them make any nation weak…?

    See the blog post on the Ft. Hood shooting. Obviously, there are christians that stand for killing.

  • Elisha

    @Ann/Busee:

    ” I do not consider parts of the Bible false or evil and I do not know, with my limited human capacity to kinow with certainty, which passages are true, which are false, and which are evil.

    . . .

    Common sense, studying the Bible, and a small still voice that guides me.”

    – Well the only reason we are having this extended exchange is b/c you, Throckmorton and others do think that lawfully executing homosexuals is morally wrong or evil. You called it “horrific.” So you very clearly have, despite your limited human capacity, concluded that Leviticus 20:13 is morally wrong. (Just as a refresher, Lev. 20:13 says “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”)

    However, you, Busee, Throckmorton and the most of the regular crowd here continue to insist that homosexuality is a sin, and one verse commonly used to justify that belief is the first half of Lev. 20:13. In other words, the general condemnation of gays is the word of God, but the prescribed penalty in the very same verse is horrific and does not reflect the word of God. I suppose you think that God was speaking through Moses up to the semi-colon in 20:13 and then got distracted mid-sentence allowed Satan to finish up the verse.

    There is no basis in Christianity for an individual to appoint herself line editor of the Bible, excising what your “still small voice” doesn’t like. Your still small voice is in your head. It can come from you, from the Devil, or from God. The only way to know for sure is to check it against the Word of God, in this case Lev. 20:13. To the extent you see other verses generically speaking of love and the like, there is a basic concept known as “the specific controls the general”, i.e., where a specific verse deals with a specific issue, that verse governs over a more generic verse that does not speak to the specific issue.

    @Throckmorton:

    “Elisha – Sorry, you are not even in my universe so I am not going to engage. Your belief system has its own inconsistencies and mine has them too. I like mine better.”

    I don’t think it is fair to say that I have inconsistencies. Although what I advocate may be offensive by modern standards, it is completely consistent with the Bible. Indeed, it is precisely because I reject an inconsistent approach that I get to what some would consider an extreme result. If you don’t like the result, then you don’t like about 40% of the Bible, the very same Bible that you read from in church each Sunday. You may like your moral universe better b/c it is more in tune w/ concepts like human rights and civil liberties. But when God set up his law, he rejected those concepts in favor of routine and widespread executions – at least as to acts that are specifically listed. Who are you to argue with God?

  • Anonymous

    Michael BUssee wrote:

    This isn’t a USA thing. Opposition to this bill is coming from many nations and cultures, including Ugandans. At least it is coming from the ones there who are willing to risk imprisonment or death to do so.

    You can also find a few people willing to fight for human rights in China, because the rest ‘are oppressed or afraid to speak out’. But actually you will also find out that those who are willing to do so are conspicuously linked to western culture; you can find that people of that persuasion in each country, they are usually the first to get into contact with western foreigners and work with them on the ground, in NGOs, for instance.

    BTW, I belong to the European culture, which is, together with other cultures like yours, part of what is considered ‘the West’. I like it and support it but also have no illusions that our values are applicable to the rest of the world and am fine with it.

    But this topic, of ‘gays’ and ‘anti-gays’, or ‘exgays’,etc, comes from your country, America. Even the identity, the political term ‘gay’ was something that came from socio-political history from the US. All that followed this term and identity seems to be strongly related to organisations and professions which spread their influence from your country. If it wasn’t for that, there wouldn’t be a term, a political identity which can be claimed under this term and asked for under the protection offered by ‘human rights’ exported by the West, as far as Iraq.

    This is the usual M.O. – When something happens in a country from Africa or Asia and there is a minority of people there who doesn’t like having to abide by local rules and customs, they start writing letters and ask from support/money from USA and European countries. They cry for the help that none or very few are willing to give in their own country. And of course, the good hearts from the West are always there to support the ‘universal values’ with money and threats of international sanctions against some regimes which are actually following their own local customs. Most of the times this is related to stuff western countries are very sensitive about, like gays, the status of women, race, religion and so on. And those who prefer to have a different status than the one given by their own culture for whatever they do or identify as, just pledge allegiance to the western framework of values so that they can ask for protection from them and get some funds too.

    And of course, there are always happy hippies willing to believe they did the right thing, they helped some nice locals who are only interested in their money because they used to be poor, etc, etc.

  • Anonymous

    Elisha & Warren

    I always read your replies with great interest. You;re like two poles of the same thing.

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    The problem is that the Bible is not organised hierarchically. It’s a bit chaotic.

    If it was organised systematically, this is what would come first. Matthew 22:35-40. I’ll use the KJV wording as despite its flaws, it’s my personal favourite.

    35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,

    36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

    37Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

    38 This is the first and great commandment.

    39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

    40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

    Love God; Be Kind. If in implementing the hierarchy of more detailed and specific rules and regulations, you violate either of these two foundations, you’ve missed the point.

    Anyone who has even the most superficial knowledge of history will realise that this argument would be particularly effective to a Pharisee, whose doctrine could be best described as “protestant”, “liberal” or “democratic” when compared to the more ritualistic and hierarchical Sadducees.

    Because one of the great teachers that inspired the Pharisaic movement was Rabbi Hillel. From the Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath Folio 31:

    On another occasion it happened that a certain heathen (Gentile) came before Shammai (a Traditionalist) and said to him, ‘Make me a proselyte, on condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot.’ Thereupon he repulsed him with the builder’s cubit which was in his hand. When he went before Hillel(a Modernist), he said to him, ‘What is hateful to you, do not to your neighbour: that is the whole Torah, while the rest is the commentary thereof; go and learn it.’

    That was some 50 years before Jesus’ birth. Now while I don’t believe Jesus was the Son of God, he was a child prodigy who knew an awful lot about theology, and would have been quite familiar with this and the rest of Talmudaic scriptures.

    1 Corinthians 13 makes it explicit:

    1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

    2And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

    3And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

    You can know every single word of the Bible. You can know all the laws therein, down to the merest jot and tittle. You can have complete faith, and devote every second of your life to serving God. You can be a great benefactor and philanthropist.

    But if you do it out of anything but kindness, you’ve screwed up.

    Elisha, it’s because I agree with much of what you say, that the Bible really does say that, that people through the ages have had to pick and choose what is “allegorical”, what is “literally true”, what is “superceded” that I don’t consider myself a Christian in the sense you mean it.

    You don’t consider yourself a Christian either, you’re just pointing out the logical and inescapable consequences of fundamentalist Christianity, consequences that even the most rabid fundies don’t apply in practice. Killing their children if they mouth off will get little sympathy. Neither will practicing slavery, nor forcing girls to marry their rapist.

    You’re attacking “moderate”, or what would be more accurately described as “diluted” Christianity by showing that they’re not really Christian at all, not biblically.

    Except there’s that bit in Matthew 22 giving guidance on how to interpret the rest in the light of Jesus’ teachings. And others too of the period, most Essene writings on the OT are along the same lines.

    I don’t follow them either, but I am inspired by them, and try to live a life consistent with Matthew 22:39-40 and 1 Corinthians 13. And for that matter, the 4 vows of the Bodhisatva, though I’m no more conventionally Buddhist than I am Christian.

    How could I be Christian in the sense you mean it, when it plainly states in 1 Timothy 2:9-12:

    9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

    10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

    11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.

    12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

    The Good Works, I can manage. I can’t afford “costly array”, and couldn’t even if I didn’t donate so much to charitable causes, I’m below the poverty line. But if some MCP tells me to “learn in silence with all subjection” I will dissent.

    I also don’t think Vegans and Catholics are following doctrines of devils either: see 1 Timothy 4:1-5:

    1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

    2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

    3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

    4For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:

    But the only reason I’m not worthy to be called “Christian” is simple: I lack Faith. That’s a sine qua non.

  • Michael Bussee

    I like it and support it but also have no illusions that our values are applicable to the rest of the world and am fine with it.

    The concept of not killing sexual sinners unless the executioner is sinless did not come from the USA or Europe. It came from Jesus, at a time and in a culture very different from our own. But I believe it is a universal truth about justice and mercy that still applies — to everyone. That’s why Christians are opposed to this law. Or at least the ones who know they’re not sinless.

  • Michael Bussee

    Besides, what does it matter if a good idea, like respect for human dignity and basic human rights, comes from “western culture” or some other one? Even it it is a “western” idea, does that mean it’s an idea that has no value to the rest of humanity?

  • Michael Bussee

    However, you, Busee, Throckmorton and the most of the regular crowd here continue to insist that homosexuality is a sin.

    You have your facts wrong. I, Bussee, do not insist that homosexuality is a sin. I think it CAN be sin, just as straight sex can be, but I do not agree with a lot of the “regular crowd” that homosexuality is sin. I am a proud Christian and gay man.

    There is no basis in Christianity for an individual to appoint herself line editor of the Bible, excising what your “still small voice” doesn’t like. Your still small voice is in your head. It can come from you, from the Devil, or from God. The only way to know for sure is to check it against the Word of God.

    Here’s the problem with that. When we are not clear on what the Bible may mean, WHO has to “check it against the word of God?” YOU do. Not IT, YOU. YOU have to bring your consciousness and conscience to it. YOU have to interpret it.

    YOU have a brain and a heart. YOU have to come to an understanding of what YOU believe it says. It doesn’t speak. It’s a book. YOU have to read it, think about it, study it, discuss it, struggle with it and come to some understanding of what YOU think it means. YOU do that.

    There is a HUMAN factor and YOU may be wrong. The Bible is a very complex and often confusing book. When in doubt, I pray. I never claim that I know for sure what it all means. Until I do, I have no right to support the idea that God says I have to kill gays for their “sin”.

  • Michael Bussee

    Jesus could have said, “Let him who has a perfect and infallible understanding of the scriptures cast the first stone” and there STILL would have been no one left to kill her.

  • Ann

    You called it “horrific.” So you very clearly have, despite your limited human capacity, concluded that Leviticus 20:13 is morally wrong. (Just as a refresher, Lev. 20:13 says “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”)

    Elisha,

    I believe you have either confused me with someone else or have mis-quoted me – please reference where I have said what you have cited above.

  • Ann

    There is no basis in Christianity for an individual to appoint herself line editor of the Bible, excising what your “still small voice” doesn’t like. Your still small voice is in your head. It can come from you, from the Devil, or from God.

    Elisha,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this :-)

    The only way to know for sure is to check it against the Word of God, in this case Lev. 20:13. To the extent you see other verses generically speaking of love and the like, there is a basic concept known as “the specific controls the general”, i.e., where a specific verse deals with a specific issue, that verse governs over a more generic verse that does not speak to the specific issue.

    I’m going to ask you again because you have not answered – are you affiliated with an Aryan Nation organization or a Neo-Nazi group or are your thoughts and axioms independent of everyone and everything except the Bible?

  • Ann

    However, you, Busee, Throckmorton and the most of the regular crowd here continue to insist that homosexuality is a sin, and one verse commonly used to justify that belief is the first half of Lev. 20:13.

    Elisha,

    Again, I am going to ask you to reference where I have said the homosexuality is a sin – you will be hard pressed to find one. Also, I understand that you are trying to find ways to validate your point of view, however, I am going to respectfully not to resort to lying. Thanks.

  • David Blakeslee

    @ Warren

    Elisha – Sorry, you are not even in my universe so I am not going to engage. Your belief system has its own inconsistencies and mine has them too. I like mine better.

    :).

  • Ann

    Elisha,

    I asked you yesterday what your tthoughts were about the commandment “Thou shall not kill” but you have not answered – please let me know when you can.

  • David Blakeslee

    @ Elisha,

    you’re doing great…keep it up (smirk).

    and

    I think Elisha has hijacked this thread away from the topic…

    Just a thought:

    Proverbs 9:8 Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you, Reprove a wise man and he will love you.

  • Michael Bussee

    Thanks, David, I think there is much wisdom in the Bible. Think I will follow that advice. Love, Me. :)

  • Elisha

    This thread is getting long in the tooth. But I do owe Ann some answers to her questions. With all the back-and-forth, I overlooked them. Busee, this also responds to some of your points.

    As to Ann’s first question, no I am not affiliated with Nazis or similar organizations, unless you consider the Presbyterian Church (PCA) to be a Nazi organization.

    If the Bible authorizes certain policies that are Nazi-like in character, then so be it. Indeed, the Bible authorizes policies that are, by your standards, even more harsh than those of the Nazis. I believe the Nazis only used crematoria to dispose of corpses. King David, with God’s blessing, forced conquered civilian populations from Ammon to “pass through the brick kiln” while still alive. 2 Sam. 12:31 The remainder of the children of Ammon were taken care of with saws and axes, reflecting a style more akin to the Interhamwe militia in Rwanda.

    These acts reflect Divine wisdom and morality, which do not change with the passage of time, and none of us is qualified to dispute God’s moral decrees. As even you admitted, you cannot as a flawed human determine what parts of the Bible are right and which parts are wrong. I say by virtue of having been written by God, none of it can be wrong.

    One other point: my views are not out of the mainstream in Christianity. Most Ugandans probably enthusiastically support the proposed law and are devout Christians. There is an insurgent group in Uganda called the Lord’s Army which puts Old Testament standards into practice. Here in the US, you can go to any mainstream apologetics website and look up their defenses of the OT passages I have cited in the above thread. They do not say, as you do, that these passages are in error or reflect immoral conclusions – even the passages that celebrate the killing of infants and the elimination of entire populations.

    As to your second question, the “Thou shall not kill” issue has been explained a million times in the context of the death penalty. The Hebrew word used for kill means murder or kill unjustly. It is not a ban on all killing. The very man who spoke with God and delivered that commandment from Mt. Sinai is the very same man who set forth in Deuteronomy and Leviticus that the God decrees the death penalty for a whole host of human behavior and further made clear that God endorsed and authorized the extermination of entire peoples who opposed the Israelites. Indeed, Moses ordered the extinction of all Midianites including babies, except for virgin girls (who were to be retained as sex slaves), even though Midian was the place that gave Moses sanctuary when he ran from Egypt. So obviously, that commandment does not cover state-administered death for Biblically authorized reasons.

    Finally, I apologize if I misstated your or Bussee’s views on homosexuality as a sin. I assumed as much from the fact that you are both Christians and are attempting sexual orientation change. Obviously, if you don’t believe it is a sin, then you don’t have the inconsistency problem in splitting Lev. 20:13 as discussed above. You would be consistent in your rejection of the Biblical standard.

    Of course, that gives rise to 2 other problems for you. First, as noted above, once you say that the Bible is not a perfect reflection of Divine morality, you have no sure way of knowing what else should be rejected. Maybe the Sermon on the Mount? Second, God throws people who reject his word into the lake of fire. Would you risk eternal torment just to defend the human rights of some Ugandan homosexuals?

  • Michael Bussee

    As even you admitted, you cannot as a flawed human determine what parts of the Bible are right and which parts are wrong. I say by virtue of having been written by God, none of it can be wrong

    Boy, Elisha, you keep missing missing this point! Who are YOU to say what God says or what the Bible means? Unlike God, YOU can be wrong. You may not have it right. You may misunderstand. Are you so SURE that you have it right that you are willing to kill all sexual sinners — considering you may be WRONG in your understanding of the Bible? And considering that you not sinless? You want to throw the first stone? You want to take that risk? Don’t be so arrogant. You may be WRONG.<blockquoteFirst, as noted above, once you say that the Bible is not a perfect reflection of Divine morality, you have no sure way of knowing what else should be rejected. Maybe the Sermon on the Mount?I try to live out what I understand to be the Two Great Commandments of Christ. Everything else has to pass through that moral filter.

    Second, God throws people who reject his word into the lake of fire.

    Not the God I love and worship.

    Would you risk eternal torment just to defend the human rights of some Ugandan homosexuals?

    Yes.

  • Michael Bussee

    BTW, I am not worried about fire or eternal torment. Jesus saved me. I belong to Him. And He will not let me go. I am convinced of it.

  • Michael Bussee

    Sorry, the blockquote and response should have read:

    First, as noted above, once you say that the Bible is not a perfect reflection of Divine morality, you have no sure way of knowing what else should be rejected. Maybe the Sermon on the Mount?

    I try to live out what I understand to be the Two Great Commandments of Christ. Everything else has to pass through that moral filter.

  • Michael Bussee

    As to Ann’s first question, no I am not affiliated with Nazis or similar organizations, unless you consider the Presbyterian Church (PCA) to be a Nazi organization.

    Would you say your beliefs on the mass killing of gays reflects the official position of the PCA? If so, could you provide a link?

  • Michael Bussee

    Biblical inerrancy: the belief that you understand it perfectly and that no one else does.

  • Michael Bussee

    Elisha, I know and love many Presbyterians. I am a Presbyterian elder myself. Our little church community loves Jesus, helps to feed the local homeless and provides space for many community outreach organizations. They give from the depths of their hearts. They love, believe and study the Bible and try to live out the Gospel of Christ.

    Our pastor and his wife strongly oppose this law. The congregation is a generous and caring group. They know I am gay and love me anyway. I usually admire Presbyterians. I have to say that I have never had the experience of encountering one quite like you.

    In Uganda, my entire congregation would be in jail if they didn’t turn me in for execution. You really think God wants them to do that?

  • Ann

    Finally, I apologize if I misstated your or Bussee’s views on homosexuality as a sin. I assumed as much from the fact that you are both Christians and are attempting sexual orientation change. Obviously, if you don’t believe it is a sin, then you don’t have the inconsistency problem in splitting Lev. 20:13 as discussed above. You would be consistent in your rejection of the Biblical standard.

    Huh??? Please cite where I have identified as a Christian and/or attempting sexual orientation change. Also, where have I rejected the Biblical standard?

  • Ann

    Elisha,

    Have you ever been to Israel?

  • Mary

    Biblical inerrancy: the belief that you understand it perfectly and that no one else does

    LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO TRUE!!!

  • Mary

    Elisha – do you not see that we live under a new covenant?

  • Michael Bussee

    @ Elisha

    I assumed as much from the fact that you are both Christians and are attempting sexual orientation change.

    Funny. I missed that part. You obviously don’t know me. :)

  • Elisha

    @ Busee:

    I never claim to understand every part of the Bible perfectly, but it is pretty disingenuous of you to suggest that there is anything ambiguous or confusing about “They shall surely be put to death.” I think that is abundantly clear. So while we might have a reasonable debate over the symbolism in Revelations, for example, I really don’t think you have much of an argument that Lev. 20:13 is ambiguous or susceptible to misinterpretation. God sees through such subterfuge and God will not be mocked.

    @ Mary:

    We have been through this 3 times already. Yes, we are under a new covenant and that means that we don’t need to rigidly adhere to the old statutes in order to be saved. That does not mean, however, that we should abandon these statutes, which reflect God’s morality. God’s law reflects what is moral and what is good public policy, even if most people won’t survive to see the results.

    I also would remind you that the Apostle Paul tells us that faith w/o works is dead. What better work to show our adherence to the Lord than to than to administer loving Christian executions to sinners in accordance with His standards and statutes? Through our works shall they know us, Mary. If they have open hearts, and if God wills it, then some of these Ugandan homosexuals might just accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior – before they get hot lead between the eyes. We already know that this approach converted many non-believers in Spain in the 15th and 16th centuries. Perhaps it is time to return to time-tested Christian traditions.

  • Mary

    Elisha,

    You seemed to have not grown up with mercy or compassion or transformation. When it happens – it is wonderful. And one immediately knows God’s faithfulness and goodness. To someone like you – you teach of a cold hearted, unforgiving God. We must believe in a different Christian faith.

    Yes – thorugh our works they shall know us. What works are those that kill? Of an old time long ago that God has now no use of.

  • Michael Bussee

    If they have open hearts, and if God wills it, then some of these Ugandan homosexuals might just accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior – before they get hot lead between the eyes.

    Can you imagine Jesus saying such a thing? I can’t. I will not argue this any longer. I think you are being outrageous and sarcastic to make a point. You’ve had an audience for your hatred long enough. I am done.

    I don’t believe you actually are in favor of ‘loving Christian executions to sinners”. If you really do believe that, I do not think we worship the same God — and I see nothing “Christ-like” in what you are suggesting.

  • Ann

    Elisha,

    Some of my heros and heroines in life post on this blog and I have taken notice that they have chosen not to participate in a diaglogue with you. I initially did not want to either and then felt a change of heart and am glad I did. Now I think I will take the unspoken counsel from those who have chosen not to enter or continue a dialogue with you and bow out. You have many good things to say and I have taken them all under consideration, however, it reminds me of a gourmet dinner -the plate is beautiful, the silverware is clean and sparkles and the food is of stellar quality. Right before I go to take a bite, I notice a small piece of sxxt in a corner of the plate – the dinner is no longer appealing to me and I throw it out.

  • Elisha

    @ Mary

    “What works are those that kill? Of an old time long ago that God has now no use of.”

    Don’t be so sure about that. Check out the future:

    “And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.

    By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.”

    Rev. 9:17-18

    @Busee and Ann:

    OK, fine w/ me. If you want to end it, we’ll end it. But just know that you have ended it by running away. You can’t run from God. Hopefully, you’ll think about the passages I have cited each and every time you pick up a Holy Bible.

  • Mary

    Elisha,

    Like others here, I will leave you to your own interpretations. I think you are wrong and habitually misguided. God bless you and may you not spread killing. It against the law.

  • Michael Bussee

    Not running from God. Last time I checked, he wasn’t a blogger named Elisha. I am saying good-bye to you and your hateful, un-Christlike teachings.

    Jesus would never suggest concentration camps or railcars full of gays headed for their doom. Jesus would never say “Come unto me — or get hot lead between your eyes”. Not the Jesus who died to pay the price for sinners like you and me. Never. It seriously makes me wonder if you really know Him.

    I will keep you in my prayers.

  • Ann

    Elisha,

    Thanks for your response – in the spirit of understanding and completion, please answer the question I asked you several times and you left unanswered.

    What are your thoughts about the Sixth Commandment?

  • Elisha

    @Ann:

    I answered that in some detail on 11/30 at 7:58 pm.