America Isn’t Growing Hostile Towards Christians, It’s Growing Hostile Towards Religious Bullies.

America Isn’t Growing Hostile Towards Christians, It’s Growing Hostile Towards Religious Bullies. September 27, 2016

bearded businessman yelling through bullhorn. Public Relations. man expresses various emotions. photos of young businessman wearing a suit and tie.

It seems like not more than a day or two goes by without hearing it from somewhere: America is growing hostile towards Christians.

A growing number of Christians– a shocking amount, actually– are convinced that America’s glory days are over and that Christians are now a marginalized group on the verge of having all of their rights stripped away. I recently saw an advertisement for a nation-wide Christian event prior to the election, and the advertisement boasted they would help Christians figure out what to do in a country that was growing hostile towards Christianity. Elsewhere, right-wing politicians and religious talking-heads like Franklin Graham are trying to convince people that “religious liberty” is not only being threatened, but on the verge of disappearing.

In some corners, it’s all out panic. Leaders are shouting it, and the simple-minded unquestionably believe it.

Except– and here’s the kicker– it’s not true.

Christians are not a marginalized minority in America, but the majority and the ruling class. In fact, some polls show that around 83% of Americans are Christians. That long line of U.S presidents stemming back to the founding of the nation? Well, except for Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson, all of them were professing Christians to varying degrees. And Congress? You know, the people who actually make the laws we live by in America? Well, that group of people is actually 91.8% Christian. And let’s not forget the Supreme Court, the body that decides which laws are constitutional and which ones are not– that’s predominantly stacked with Christians too, having two justices who are Jewish, and the rest entirely Christians.

If America were truly hostile towards Christians, that would be a massive indictment against Christians themselves— because America is near-entirely controlled by Christians.

The idea that America is hostile to Christians and that the liberty to practice Christianity is under attack is misguided at best, and a complete fabrication designed to control the fearful and ignorant at worst.

Like all distorted thinking, this idea that America is growing hostile towards Christians is rooted in a degree of truth– most broken thinking is.

However, here’s the part that’s true: America isn’t growing hostile towards Christians– it is growing hostile towards religious bullies, and there’s a big difference between those two things.

Few sane people give a hoot if one is a practicing Christian. There’s no movement to banish churches and put them under government regulation like in China. No one is stopping us from gathering together with other believers, from feeding the poor, or even from standing on the street corner with obnoxious banners that say “turn or burn.”

Religious freedom and free speech is alive and well in America. These freedoms aren’t just tolerated, but embraced.

What is not embraced, and what the majority of citizens (Christians citizens, mind you) are growing increasingly hostile towards, are fringe Christian extremists who are trying to institute their own version of sharia law that infringes on the rights and liberties of the rest of us.

There’s a massive difference between freedom to practice one’s religion in a pluralistic society where we all equally have that right, versus enshrining one’s extremist religious views in laws that are imposed on the rest of us. There’s a big difference between saying that you want to be free and not forced to marry someone of the same sex, versus wanting to deny that right to someone else you don’t even know. There’s a big difference between wanting the freedom to own a business and conduct commerce freely in the public square, versus demanding to run a business that discriminates and infringes on the basic rights and dignities of everyone else.

No one is trying to stop you from being a Christian. The country is not growing hostile towards Christians. It’s just growing hostile towards extremist, religious bullies, who are trying to hijack the nation and force everyone to live under their own set of morals and ethics.

Growing hostile towards that kind of nonsense is not the same thing as growing hostile towards Christianity. It’s not even close.

Perhaps the most amusing aspect of this quest for “religious rights” is the sheer hypocrisy of it all. When the LGBTQ rights movement first got underway, religious conservatives sounded the alarm bells saying, “They don’t want equal rights, they want special rights!” When those on the religious right realized that we have neighbors who are– gasp– Muslim, they say, “Fine, let them have a mosque in certain places we approve, but we have to fight against them trying to make us all live under their religious laws.”

And then, they turn from those discussions and do the very thing they condemned just moments before– they demand special rights, and demand that their religious code influence the laws that everyone else is governed by.

This is precisely the kind of thing that made Jesus throw up his hands and shout, “You hypocrites! You blind guides!” over and over again in the Gospels.

If our friends on the religious right think we’re growing hostile, it’s because it’s true. But no, it’s not because we’re growing hostile towards the practice of our own religion, or hostile towards religious liberty.

We’re just growing hostile towards hypocrites and religious bullies who aren’t content to just live their lives the way they please, but who instead seek to impose their extremist beliefs on the rest of us.


unafraid 300Dr. Benjamin L. Corey is a public theologian and cultural anthropologist who is a two-time graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with graduate degrees in the fields of Theology and International Culture, and holds a doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. He is also the author of the new book, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, which is available wherever good books are sold. www.Unafraid-book.com.

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  • Matthew

    I see no biblical narrative that suggests the church should be in the business of legislating morality on the unbelieving. I do, however, see a pattern of the church keeping such matters within the family and hashing them out in that forum.

  • Bravo! Well said.

  • Nimblewill

    Why do you think Christians throughout History have been persecuted? I would really like to know this. Its something that has confused me for a long time.

  • DJ916

    Is Benjamin Corey a Christian? What denomination? Serious question. He sounds like a Frank Schaeffer to be type with many of his posts both here and on FB.

  • How would you say Christians have been persecuted “throughout history?” Maybe some big spurts of persecution in its formative years, but fourth century and later? What other historical periods are you thinking of?

    I’m also assuming you don’t mean Christian-on-Christian persecution like the Monophysite wars and when the Cathars were killed, etc.

  • Patricia Anne Brush

    I guess the problem is that there are Christians and there are Christians.

    Those of us who rationally believe that our rights are secure and go about our lives loving our neighbour, worshiping God, following Jesus’ teachings, and being careful not to oppress other folks if their beliefs to do not line up with ours are not seen to be true Christians by some.

    Those Christians who are out there with their bullhorns damning everybody to hell and trying to get their personal beliefs written into law so that they can oppress people they don’t like would absolutely be feeling hostility because nobody likes a bully. Not only are many of them hateful, but they have a thin grasp on the concept of cause and effect.

  • Daniel Dvorkin

    “Dr. Benjamin L. Corey is an author, speaker, and blogger. He holds master degrees in theology and missiology (Gordon-Conwell) and received his doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. His first book, Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus, is available wherever books are sold. Benjamin is also the co-host of That God Show with Matthew Paul Turner and a syndicated author with MennoNerds, a collective of Anabaptist/Mennonite voices.” Right there at the end of the article.

  • Matthew

    Open Doors?

  • Nimblewill

    Have Christians been persecuted in any period, ever? If they have, why? I’m talking the systematic kind of persecution. If we really need to get historical, I’d suggest the Neronian Persecutions, the Constantinian Persecutions or the Diocletian Persecution. Not really the focus. Why?

  • Matthew

    Google Open Doors

  • Well, that’s what I mean. Those persecutions are early-century. I don’t know what you mean by “Constantinian Persecutions,” though, since Constantine ended Christian persecution in the Roman Empire.

    It’s just, you seemed to think Christians had always been persecuted and this was an anomaly that needed explaining, but other than their founding years when Roman paganism and emperor-worship were the civil religions of Rome, I don’t really see any historical period where Christians were persecuted any more or less than other major religions.

    If you’re curious as to why they were persecuted in the early centuries of the Roman Empire, it’s because they declared that Jesus was the Lord, not Caesar, and that God’s kingdom had come, and despite the fact that Rome had executed Jesus, he had risen from the dead and was king of this new and growing kingdom.

    When you’re the Roman Empire, a growing movement proclaiming that an executed insurrectionist is alive and the true king is unpalatable.

  • Right, but virtually every major religious group is being persecuted somewhere. Nimble’s question made me think they were suggesting that Christians had some level of historical persecution that was unprecedented and needed explaining.

  • DJ916

    LOL. I’ve read that before- and it doesn’t mean anything. Especially in light of much of what he writes, his interesting postmodern hermeneutic, and what he attempts to justify biblically and at times, theologically. The veneer of Christianity doesn’t make it Christian.

  • Matthew

    I’d like to see some numbers Phil. I tend to think that Christians are the most persecuted religious group globally speaking, but I could of course be mistaken.

  • otrotierra

    Thank you Dr. Corey for another thoughtful analysis.

    U.S. Evangelicals need their self-invented victim narrative as fuel for their frothing-at-the-mouth hysteria. The digital footprint of U.S. Evangelicals (such as comment sections on Pathos and RedLetterChristians) quickly reveals their steady stream of lies, slander, hypocrisy and bullying. Thankfully, their Trump brand of bullying is going out of style.

  • Ben is a Christian. I think what you meant to ask is, “Does Benjamin Corey believe all the same things I do?” I’m going to take a bet that the answer is “no.”

  • I guess it depends on what you mean by “most persecuted.” Christians are also the most numerous.

  • Matthew

    I’m not sure really … I guess in terms of overall numbers. There is an Afghan/Iranian church in my city that is over 1000 strong. None of the members that I know of want to return to their respective countries. I don’t know of any sizeable religious group in our city that makes the same claim(s).

  • John Masters

    Well said Patricia. As a Methodist, I have frequently complained to the Bishop here in Florida (and some others) that the problem is the bullhorn you reference. The fundamentalists who are complaining the most about some imagined slight, are the ones yelling the loudest. Absent a different voice from the Christians in your first paragraph yelling just as loudly, the voice of “Christianity” becomes the voice the in the bullhorn. And that is what is driving young people away from religion.

    I mean who is the counter-voice to Franklin Graham; who stands as the counter to Jerry Falwell, Jr’s call for Christians to buy guns; Who condemns the politicians that appear on stage with a “Christian Minister,” who moments before called for the death of LGBT people? We all say, when asked…”oh, that’s not most Christians…that’s a vocal few, and we don’t believe like that.” Then, as you note, those Christians promptly get out bullhorn to proclaim that we’re not real Christians. And so our meek disavowal gets drowned by the bullhorn, and our church leaders seem afraid to pick up their own.

    Of course, the problem is that in most of the mainstream denominations, we’re still trying to figure out where we (as the church) stand on a lot of these issues, and our Bishops and other leaders don’t want to anger either side.

  • DJ916

    >Giggle<… No I didn't 'mean to ask' that.

    Implicit in the semi-rhetorical question was that his religiosity parts ways with many of the values and beliefs attributed to orthodox Christianity. For example, his ridiculously embarrassing argument (which he tried to clarify with more ridiculousness) for legalizing dope because 'Jesus created it' made NO sense logically. But that he tried to pass it off using the Bible…

    Or even this piece here which attaches blame with no attempt at nuance or basic honesty.

    Again, forget my Christianity. This is RHE, Rob Bell, Jim Wallis of bending religion to fit and justify cultural/political/ideological dispositions that eventually lead to being Frank Schaeffer. At least he was, eventually, honest about his true religion.

  • Matthew

    Once again … lumping all U.S. evangelicals together with a frothing-at-the-mouth angry tone.

    Just sayin’ …

  • Well, you just included “making marijuana illegal” part of the definition of “Orthodox Christianity,” which seems to indicate you’re asking about Ben’s conformity to your own personal definitions rather than historical ones. I don’t remember anything about marijuana in the early church creeds or even in the biblical text.

    And that’s fine – it’s fine for you to decide on a definition of “Christian” and decide Ben doesn’t measure up to that definition. That’s your prerogative. But I wouldn’t conflate that definition with some objective definition of Orthodox Christianity.

  • Matthew

    ..

  • Richard Lambert

    Wow…what a coincidence. I received an email today from my school. Apparently there was some kind of disturbance caused by some guy named John McGlone last friday. He and two other guys came on campus and began preaching at everyone, with all those obnoxious signs….. it quickly devolved even further into petty personal insults directed toward the students in regard to everything from their appearence to their sexually orientation , from what I hear. I wasn’t there, but I kinda wish I was…sometimes I just wanna see this crazy stuff with my own eyes. How do you just get up one day and “religious” steamroll a school of stressed out young people with deadlines and self image issues in the name of…who? Jesus?… I don’t think your taking about the same Jesus I familiar with…

  • otrotierra

    Once again … the “all” you are searching for is not in my post. You’re having a conversation with yourself. Have fun…

  • Matthew

    The words “some” or “many” might be helpful in the future :-).

  • Well, in terms of overall raw numbers, I’ll bet Christianity will come out on top because, once again, there are more Christians. Percentagewise, I’m not sure, and certainly once we take all of history into account.

    I might have just misunderstood Nimble’s question, and going back and re-reading it, I’m starting to think that’s the case. All I wanted to point out is that Christian persecution has not been universally high -throughout history- above and beyond persecution that other religious groups experience – often at the hands of Christians. This was almost certainly the case the first few centuries of Christianity’s existence.

    But it was also true the early years of Islam. They were a very intensely persecuted community in the beginning and have also had historical periods of intense persecution and are also persecuted in many countries, today. But they’re not going to top Christianity’s numbers because Islam as a whole doesn’t top Christianity’s numbers.

    That’s why I think who wins the Most Historically Persecuted Award is hard to hand out. Certainly the Jewish people would be contenders for that award despite not hitting the same “raw numbers” as Christianity or Islam.

  • Matthew

    Thanks Phil … good points. It would be great if we could get some credible historical percentages though for all religious groups.

  • Nimblewill

    What makes you think that I think Christians have always been persecuted. There have been time that they were.

    “If you’re curious as to why they were persecuted in the early centuries of the Roman Empire, it’s because they declared that Jesus was the Lord, not Caesar, and that God’s kingdom had come, and despite the fact that Rome had executed Jesus, he had risen from the dead and was king of this new and growing kingdom.

    When you’re the Roman Empire, a growing movement proclaiming that an executed insurrectionist is alive and the true king is unpalatable.”

    This is what I was getting at. I don’t think Christians are persecuted now and its for the reasons you stated. Its still unpalatable to some. Don’t you think the message that Jesus is King is unpalatable to ISIS? Or heck maybe even to Baptist.

    Don’t be so defensive. Sheesh!

  • Matthew

    Are you saying you don’t think Christians are being persecuted in 2016??

  • Nimblewill

    Not in Georgia! I’m sure that they are though.

  • HChris

    Heavenly Father,

    Please never let me value my ‘rights’ more than I value people who bear your image. Help me to seek after their interests at least as much as my own. Help me to realize that before you I have no ‘rights’ only gifts, grace, and mercy. I thank you for these good and gracious gifts and ask that you also give me the generosity to share these gifts with others. I pray this all in Jesus’ name. Amen.

  • I’m not defending myself. I just wanted to understand what you meant. I’m still not totally clear, but that’s ok. I am on decongestants right now, after all.

  • Daniel Dvorkin

    What, specifically, makes writing Christian or non-Christian in your view?

  • You raise a good point. I can’t even pull the #NotAllChristians thing off.

    Now, it’s more like #NotAllChristiansWellMaybeMostOfThem
    ButMaybeJustTheLoudOnesIReallyDon’tKnowAnymoreHonestly

  • JRR

    Your religion should be like a penis. I’m sure you’re very proud of yours, but don’t shove it down my throat uninvited and please keep it away from my children.

  • CroneEver

    If you find Ben’s writing to be dishonest and/or incompatible with “true religion”, why are you here? Other than providing you a podium from which to preach on the prevalence of motes.

  • Nimblewill

    The problem to me seems to be that this is about bullying evangelicals. Just like evangelicals, progressives group everybody that doesn’t agree with them into one lump and bully them.

  • Nimblewill

    U.S. Evangelicals need their…………….

    Just the ones in the US. The all is implied.

  • Olive

    I think that part of this persecution complex involves reasonable people, too. Perfectly nice, loving, imperfect followers can mistake their own cultural values (eg heteronormativity) with the will of God. Then these very well- intentioned folks hear themselves labeled as bigots for something that they believe is God’s will.

    Not saying that their position isn’t wrong or outdated, just that not only bullhorn-wielding bullies probably feel this way.

    Anywho…very nice points you make, Dr. Corey.

  • lollardheretic

    I think you also need to distinguish between the east and west. In the west while there has been some Christian persecution (particularly, after the very early church), Xian on Xian. Now, Christianity is the largest religion, which means that while it is available to be persecuted, it likely dominates the places it is (which it does in the west and in certain parts of South America and Africa).

    Christianity has a history of a persecution complex because that is fundamental to its identity. Christ was, without question, persecuted–he had done nothing legally unacceptable and was tortured (by a certain definition) punish, beaten, and crucified.

    Many NT ideas (and some OT ones, too, though those are traditionally about Jews), include “people will not like you if you do this.” and “if you follow me, you’ll find persecution.” Why? B/c in early 0000s, Christianity was the smallest religion. People did reject it.

    Now? In the West? Not a chance. But because persecution is so imbedded in the Christian mythos, people (want to) believe they are being persecuted. “I’m in the top 10% of income earners! I got to a megachurch every Sunday that has more money than some small nations! I’m a pillar of the community. No one ever tells me I’m wrong, and law enforcement, politics, and culture tell me at worst I’m totally normal and at best I am superior. The Bible says Christians will be persecuted, so I must be persecuted. *looks around* Look! Someone in a burqa! Or a hijab! I’m being persecuted!!! Look! Someone says my opinion is wrong! Someone else says they want all the rights I have! OMG! I’m persecuted! The lady behind the counter said ‘Happy Holidays’! I’m persecuted.”

    o_O

    No.

    Now, for Christians in non-Christian lands–China and other parts of Asia, parts of Africa, the Middle East (Christians in Iran, for example, can have issues)? Absolutely there is persecution. But it isn’t “Happy Holidays.” It is public raids on homes. It is death for declaring your religion. It is lived oppression. THAT is persecution.

    Aside from Christian on Christian persecution, and the early church, Christians are not persecuted in the West.

  • Nimblewill

    Was this man persecuted? Has Mel Gibson been?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2-1hz1juBI

  • Nick

    “No one is stopping us from…. feeding the poor” There have been plenty of stories of Christians being persecuted for feeding the poor in Florida. They don’t make the big waves like gay marriage, but it exists.

  • $136305622

    No Christian in the US is persecuted. There isn’t even any hostility. People talk about going to Church all the time. No one bats an eye. (That is not always the reaction if you mention you don’t belong to a church!). Given the growth of the evangelical movement and the overfilled parking lots of the mega-churches, there is little hostility toward even hostile Christians. People are mistaking having to get along with coworkers and others in society, which often means you can’t push your prejudiced religious views on them, as “hostility”. It is kind of a quaint complaint, actually.

  • $136305622

    “Christians being persecuted for feeding the poor in Florida” Hmmm, poorly worded. There is no instance of anyone being persecuted as a Christian for feeding the poor in FL. I did find a law in Ft. Lauderdale that banned feeding the homeless in public. That was not anti-Christian though. Just problematic in other ways perhaps. But maybe you have other examples in mind.

  • Sherlang

    This post is so true, and sadly I’ve seen it in my life as well. I am a religion student in college. Even though my pastor and several other people told me not to major in religion because I would be going to seminary and that I should major in something else in college, I just thought it made sense to major in something that connected to hopefully being a future pastor. I made a big mistake. Most of what I have seen in the religion department has just made me sad and angry. It makes me wonder how many feel “called to ministry” just as an excuse to fill their lust for power. Most of the religion students are hated on campus, and they tend to be holier than thou, judgmental, and arrogant. They make other people feel not good enough. What scares me is I have seen the same things in my own life; I started to become the stereotypical religion major. So I am probably going to change my major and see what happens

    It just makes me so sad that these guys (and the person I was becoming last semester) represent the future of the church. I don’t know what the solution is, but we really need to help fix the beginning stages of equipping people who are going into ministry. We need to work on helping people understand that being called into ministry, or feeling like you are called to leadership in the church, does not make you a better person than others. I’ve found that God called me into ministry BECAUSE of my flaws, not because i didnt have any. My flaws are what remind me that it’s all about God, not about me. While I still struggle with pride, God usually does a pretty good job of reminding me of how small I really am, and how great he is

  • Iain Lovejoy

    “Christians being persecuted for feeding the poor in Florida”: how is that “poorly worded”. It was in Florida, they were Christians, they fed the poor out of Christian conviction and were then prosecuted for it. Sounds like a pretty accurate description to me. If he had said “Christians persecuted in Florida for being Christians” that would have been inaccurate, but that wasn’t what was said.
    The law was passed deliberately and specifically to stop the Christians who were feeding the poor, but I suppose it could be said to be more inter-Christian that anti-Christian persecution, since the odds are most of the city officials passing the law were Christians, too.
    Perhaps that’s the saddest thing about it – Christianity has so massively wandered off from its founding principals and ideals that feeding the homeless is no longer seen as a specifically or even particularly Christian thing to do, and perhaps therefore we can’t claim that stopping people doing what ought to be a core part of a Christian’s faith actually does count as anti-Christian. (It might be said to be “antichistian” if nominally Christian legislators were responsible for the law though, if you’ll pardon the pun.)

  • otrotierra

    There are always those who continue advocating for justice, no matter how much frothing condemnation they receive from raging evangelicals. In addition to Dr. Corey, there’s Dr. Susan Thistlethwaite at Chicago Theological Seminary, Rev. Dr. William Barber, Dr. Tony Campolo. Then there are the thousands upon thousands across the Global South who fight for justice, and who will never be named.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    I think this is highlights a fair point sometimes raised by fundamentalists (I hate having ot say this!) but there does seem to be a view that religion is basically a hobby and that nothing counts as “persecuting” a particular faith so long as it is done by reason of something they do, rather that specifically because of a belief carefully confined to their heads.
    Banning burkhinis on the beach is persecuting muslims, even if they are being persecuted for covering themselves up rather than “being muslims”. Legislation requiring all food retailers for no good reason to sell pork or require all shops to open on Saturdays would be anti-Jewish persecution even if no mention was made of religion.
    It is a grey area but if legislators are deliberately trying to prevent or restrict the carrying out of a core requirement of someone’s religious beliefs (as for Christians feeding the poor reaslly ought ot be) then at some point it might constitute persecution. I am not saying this was the case in Fort Luaderdale, but if a legislature acted to prevent charitable work by Christians because it considered he whole notion of charitable giving and love for the poor repugnant, it may not be actually burning down churches, but does it at some point become persecution for someone’s faith?

  • Teresa

    I am growing hostile towards Christians. I am sick of people who believe that they should think with their indoctrinated ‘faith” rather than their brain.

  • As a fellow Methodist, I feel as though our denomination has another problem related to the one you bring up. That is, we appear to have gotten out of the habit of sending to conferences (Annual, General, whatever) people who have an earnest yearning to discern the will of God, and have gotten into the habit of instead sending those who are interested in politicking and getting their own will enacted.

  • John Masters

    Absolutely. We have got to change the way representatives to General Conference are selected. There should be term limits, or things will never change. We keep sending the same people over and over. I remember when it was here in Tampa, they recognized a delegate who was attending her 10th GC. That means that for 40 years no other voice was heard from that Conference. We also need a Conference for the U.S., just as the Africans have a conference. If we don’t, they will surely drag the American church off the map here, and then they’ll be wondering who’s going to pay the bills.

  • ScienceRules

    Christian fundamentalists are insecure and, frankly, potentially very dangerous individuals. No wonder they are getting more shrill given that the internet has exposed them for what they are and even more and more people are rejecting them and their crazy beliefs.

  • RonnyTX

    Amen Sherlang, amen! :-) And the way I read your post, I would think you are going to make a just fine preacher. :-)

  • RonnyTX

    What some people don’t seem to get or realize, is that you are in the church/body of Christ, if you have been born again/born of God and that so, whether you are a member of a local denominational church or not.

  • Jon-Michael Ivey

    The Christian position is to follow the advice of 1 Corinthian 5 and disassociate ourselves from anyone who claims to be a Christian but does not act as the love of Christ would dictate, but not judge those who do not claim to be christains for failing to live up to the same high standards.

  • JenellYB

    What secular college did you attend when taking Religious Studies? I chose RS as my degree minor, my major being a B.S. in Psychology. I figured understanding people’s religious background gives valuable insight into psychological matters.
    I studied my RS at University of Houston, but the approved and accredited required course plan is pretty much the same at all public and private secular universities. My experience with RS was exactly opposite what you describe. The courses, and the Religious Studies building, were not “fundamentalist’ at all, and certainly did not foster hateful behavior toward others. Our course work, and our classmates, included getting to know about not only Christianity, its history, doctrines, and various forms around the world, but Islam/Muslims, Judism/Jews, Buddhism/Buddhist, etc etc.

    While any and all religious groups and church denominations were offered free rooms for their meetings, a quiet study area, within the Religious Studies Center, and many used the rooms. But there was a huge and very noticable absence. No Evangelical, Charismatic, or Fundamentalists accepted the offer. Students active in such groups as Campus Crusade for Christ, Young Baptists, etc, treated the Religious Center as if it were some den of demons or something. They waiting along pathway from the RS center and the rest of campus, to lay in wait as we left, to try to “evangelize” us, even if we were already Christians. They don’t just have issues with the “secular” part of society, they most hate other Christians that don’t embrace their own form of religion.

  • Sherlang

    I go to a private Christian school in Texas

  • It’s a shame you’d assume someone who is a Christian must also be an uneducated idiot incapable of thinking.

  • Good point– that is actually true. I think I’ve posted about it previously. Same with helping the homeless in LA

  • JenellYB

    The problem incidents in Florida did not involve any singling out Christians for feeding the poor. Ordinances were passed banning feeding the homeless on public property, and required meeting standards for a homeless shelter. It applied to anyone, not just Christians.

    Other groups complied, several groups of Christians defied the law. The purpose and intent of the ordinances had been made widely available to the public, and were in response to citizens’ complaints. Both businesses and private residents were having to deal with crowds of homeless gathered in their neighborhood, using their yards as a toilet and place to sleep, or hide behind while doing drugs. Can you blame them?

  • Let me ask him for you.

    He said yes.

  • JenellYB

    exactly!

  • Matthias Thalmann

    Just because the law ostensibly applied to everyone trying to feed the poor does not mean that it wasn’t used to prosecute Christians feeding the poor.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Of course I not suggesting Christians have a monopoly on good works in public.

  • katitdid

    I was one of these Christians you speak of. I’m happy to say that I am not anymore. After attending many different Christian churches. And finding faults in all of them. The “clicky” groups. The message that we somehow own this country of ours. But for many years I bought that. With much soul searching. I’ve seen the error. I think many Christians have taken it to extremes when we are taught to spread the Gospel. It did not say we were to push. shove and force others to have to live the way we chose to. Remember we were born with free will. It’s taken me 33 yrs to get to this point. But I am at peace with it. I no longer look at the government of our country to be obligated to make laws according to my faith. I get now what it means to have separation of Church and State. It makes life so much easier and peaceful. I still pray for unbelievers. And pray for our Country. And when God presents a place to share his word I will. I have found others are much more responsive when we let God lead us to do so. And not chasing others down like it’s our job to meet some sort of quota. It’s a freedom to enjoy my life without always feeling I’m doing something wrong and alienating others around me. And I’ve actually found that people don’t feel so threatened when they learn I am a Christian. They ask more questions about my faith. As my father always taught me. It is actions that speak louder than words.

  • Peter Hinchliffe

    In fairness to Teresa if you mostly interact with ChristIans online or if that is the place such discussions happen you tend to come up against the hard core. I just remind myself that most of the people I know are Christian and they behave relatively normally. That being said I am not in the U.S. so her daily experience could be different as well.

  • Ttoe

    Do you have anything nice to say about Christians, or is it all “how evil thou art” rants?

    I wonder, if God hates it when people are judgemental against those who don’t serve God, what does God think of people who are judgemental against those that do serve God, or at least strive too?

    I realize that you think you’re the righteous one, judging all other Christians in righteous wisdom, but the reality is, you’re not conforming yourself to Christ. You’re conforming your Christianity to today’s liberalism.

    Your question is not, “What does God think about this? I shall search the scriptures, seek out Christ for wisdom, and then conform my opinions thusly.”

    No, instead your question is, “How does Christ agree with me, and those things I have already decided to believe, those things I have been taught to believe?”

    The very first hint that you’re wrong should have come from the fact that you’re working for an entity that doesn’t allow you the freedom to post things antithesis to today’s ideological left, as if God’s will conforms to ideology, much less one that so predictably stands in defiance of His Word.

    If you actually looked at what Christians believe about these different things instead of blindly judging them for your paycheck, you’d realize that our stance is one of supporting freedom and our First Amendment rights.

    You know it’s crazy when you can claim to be Christian, and are unable to look at those who are Christian from a more objective standpoint. It’s like you claim to be one of the Christian family, but still look at them as though you’re an outsider.

    For one thing, homosexual marriage was already allowable under the law before Obama passed his executive order and before SCOTUS ruled on the matter. It just wasn’t termed, “marriage.” But nobody could have prevented a homosexual couple from calling it a marriage and even drawing up contracts that stated their mutual living arrangement and what would happen to their stuff in the event that one of them passes away or they decide to move away from each other.

    But when that union is deemed marriage by the law, you then face the situation where you are forcing Christians to either violate their conscience before God or honor God by breaking the law. Do you propose to dictate to other Christians what is and is not defiance to God, and then support legal ramifications if by practice they do not agree with your opinion? I realize you think you have a handle on the appropriate way to interpret the Bible, but many Christians don’t agree with your personal interpretation, and you don’t have a right force them by law to accept your interpretation. And when you violate their First Amendment rights to keep a clear conscience before their God by imposing the penalty of law when they do so, that is by definition persecution.

    So, when Kim Davis decides to honor her God and not sign those homosexual marriage papers, what right does the state have to tell her that she is wrong, that it’s not sinful in her God’s eyes to put her signature there? Isn’t that between her and God? Isn’t it God who should be left to judge that. Yet, she is jailed?

    Now, as for the persecution of Christians. When a Christian believes abortion to be murder, and you force them, by law, to provide a means to commit that murder, I realize that by you interpretation of “thou shalt not commit murder,” there’s nothing wrong with that, but most Christians tend to believe that if you kill a human being who is innocent, that their God believes that to be murder.

    When Christians declare publicly that they will not support homosexual marriage, and they are fined with such a stiff penalty that it would render them destitute without help, simply because they said it publicly, not because they actually refused, they just said that they would. That is persecution. Jailing someone because they refuse to put their name approving an abomination before their God, that is persecution. And if you think that’s okay, then you clearly don’t understand why the U.S. ever even came to exist in the first place. You clearly don’t understand what drove so many to fight so hard for their independence.

    You see, it’s always the non-violent persecutions that happen before the violent persecutions. But make no mistake, it is still persecution.

    You should open your eyes. Many Christians had the same cold-hearted calloused attitude towards others that you have right now towards other Christians shortly before Hitler took over and started persecuting, first with non-violent violations of rights, then with slander and accusations, like you’re doing now, and then with violence. And Hitler was not content with just persecuting the Jews. Christians became violently persecuted as well . . . that is unless they renounced their faith by their actions following Mine Kampf as their Bible.

    God gave us this free nation of the U.S. for a reason. God ensured that it formed under God-fearing people for a reason.

    It’s because God wants us Christians to have a freedom we have never ever had before, the right to influence our government towards the will of God. And when you fight against that, you might as well live under a king because you effectively make it the same. In your world, it’s as though God never even gave us this level of power and influence over a nation that we could directly influence it for the better, collectively.

    If we don’t use this freedom that God has given us to directly affect our nation towards the will of Christ Jesus, then what in the world was even the point of giving us such power?

    Yeah, the Puritans, were the first in human history to find a workable lasting freedom.

    And in the midst of our rejection of Christ, not even 60 years from our sexual immorality revolution, and here we stand on the precipice of losing most all of our individual liberties, our economic liberties, our economy stands on the edge of collapse with every economic swing. You and so many like you can’t even comprehend how that same power that seeks to deprive Christians of their right to a clean conscience before God will one day turn on you and those that think like you as well.

  • Matthew

    Thanks lollardheretic … good stuff.

    I agree. “Happy Holidays” is a far cry from what is going on in the places Open Doors reports about.

    I think I simply wanted to add my 2 cents to the discussion because Nimblewill seems unaware that outside of Georgia, there are places in the world where serious persecution is taking place against Christians.

  • Matthew

    My problem is the tone and vitriol that both sides often employ against the other. The “lumping” together also doesn´t help much either. The polarization (as I have often said) is so genuinely disheartening.

  • Matthew

    Not all U.S. evangelicals are deserving of the kind of treatment they typically receive from certain folks in the comment section of this blog spot.

    Maybe I´m being a bit overly judgemental, or simply misinterpreting things, but sometimes the anger that seeps through some of the posts here is absolutely daunting.

  • Matthew

    Do you think the American Revolution was God ordained? Did the colonists have a genuine right to revolt against the British throne? It´s not as though the British were interfering with the colonists religious freedom (or freedom in general), but it was more a matter of economics and taxation. Is that enough of a reason to wage war? Was God´s desire to create a “Christian nation” so strong that he allowed a war to take place because of no taxation without representation?

    I say all this because it seems you believe that America is a God ordained entity (when in fact it´s just an empire like so many before it) and that its citizens must rally and fight to maintain it´s principles. I´m not so sure this is a Jesus-centered idea … although I could be mistaken. I see no evidence in the Bible that America is a nation set apart by God for a special purpose. As I have said before, America should be respected for the good as well as criticized for the bad, but at the end of the day it´s all just a game of empire really.

  • Matthew

    There´s a fine line with issues like this.

    In Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina some time ago the city created an ordinance that prohibited homeless people (and others I think) from begging on a median that divided a busy roadway.

    The hardliners (Christians among them) cited (I think) safety as the main reason for the ordinance.

    The progressives (also Christians among them) said the ordinance was a kick in the shins to the homeless and deprived them of a place to make their living so to speak.

    I´m not sure what the solution should be in such situations. We cannot force a community to share our concern for the poor and homeless, and we also cannot blame them for their concerns. On the other hand don´t issues of justice trump these kinds or ordinances?

    Fine line … like I said.

  • Matthew

    In all honesty Teresa, since the Enlightenment (and possibly before) Christians have almost made an idol of reason and have sacrificed at the altar of logic in order to elucidate their faith. It´s been a very “brainy” exercise at the expense of contemplation and mystery. I for one am glad that in our post-modern world the pendulum (in some Christian circles) is swinging back in the other direction.

  • Lex Luger

    They actually use the word “Crusade” in their name? I consider the word to have the same negative connotations as “Holocaust” and “The Final Solution” and “The Great Purges” and “Khmer Rouge.”

  • Nimblewill

    I agree and as I’ve said I see it from both (multiple) sides. When evangelical and progressives, when Arminians and Calvinist, when Protestants and Catholics, can’t agree on the ONE THING, then why in the heck would anyone want to get on board.

  • Nimblewill

    So what are we going to do to change it?

  • Bones

    Well said.

    Both the US and Australia were built on the blood and genocide of the indigenous people to give supposedly Christian nations….

    Has anyone acruelly read what the puritan’s did to the local native American tribes…..

    Our main street is named after a massacre of local Aborigines which were common around here.

    Shooting blacks was like shooting roo.

  • Bones

    Yes Christians are being persecuted in various shitholes….so are Muslims….so are homosexuals….so are Hindus. …..so are atheists….so are women….

    Which proves what?????

    I mean if you want to look at a group of people who HAVE been persecuted for the past 2000 years, look at gay people…..

    Oh and women…

  • Bones

    Just on persecutions maybe you should research how Christians have annihilated indigenous religions….

  • Bones

    Percentage wise Jews would be more persecuted than Christians as well as local religions…..

  • Bones

    There”s this…..

    Perhaps “persecution’ isn’t the most helpful word. It is invoked to describe such disparate phenomena as inter-communal violence in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo or, most recently, the Central African Republic (where Christians are as likely to be the perpetrators as the victims of atrocities against members of different religious communities) the legal discrimination against Christians in Egypt (where, for example, church building is severely restricted) and Saudi Arabia (where Christians aren’t even allowed to worship openly) or low-level harassment and bad community relations, some of which can be found even in Europe. Tempting as it is to subsume all the unfortunate experiences undergone by Christians identified by their religion under the concept of “persecution”, it may not actually be very helpful.

    Reliable figures are hard to come by and, where they exist, disputed. Last year a senior Vatican official told the United Nations that 100,000 Christians were martyred annually – a figure that would dwarf the achievements of even the most anti-Christian Roman emperor possessed of the hungriest lions. It turned out, though, that the great majority of these deaths occurred during the long-running civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo and thus could only indirectly (if at all) be described as Christian persecution.

    Rather more rigorous data has been assembled by the Pew Research Forum in a report produced earlier this year. Pew found that official “restriction on religion” (a more objective term than “persecution”) was at the highest level for six years, as was the “social harassment” of members of religious communities. And Christians, indeed, were the most affected group. Christians faced harassment in no fewer than 151 countries worldwide – and not just in the Middle East, China or North Korea.

    Undoubtedly a serious finding. To some extent, however, the high figure for Christians is an artefact of the statistics. Christianity is the world’s largest religion by number of adherents, so it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to discover that the largest number affected by what might be described as persecution are Christians. That would be the case if members of all religions were equally affected by persecution. By the same logic, one would expect Muslims to be the second most persecuted group. And so Pew discovered: Muslims suffered harassment or restriction in 131 countries worldwide.

    It’s almost certainly not the case that Christians are the most “persecuted” religious group in proportion to their numbers. Rather, they suffer along with other minority groups from, to take the most obvious example, the increasing prominence and, in some countries, power of strains of Islam that are uncomfortable with the very notion of religious pluralism. So, to an equal or even greater extent, are Muslims belonging to minority sects, such as the Shia in Saudi Arabia or the Ahmadi in Pakistan. Persecution against the Ahmadis, a sect not regarded by some orthodox as Muslim at all, has spread even to Britain, where recently a local newspaper in Luton was prevailed upon to apologise for the “hurt feelings” of Muslims after it carried an advertisement from the Ahmadi community.

    If Christians are persecuted in many parts of the world, so are Muslims, Hindus, atheists, Buddhists and Jews. If Christians are persecutors in other (or sometimes the same) parts of the world: as are Muslims, Hindus, atheists, Buddhists and Jews. The fact that such a list of persecutors can include Buddhists, probably the faith least renowned for its zeal or intolerance, is a strong indication that by and large we are dealing with group rivalries, hatred of minorities, political struggles and only rarely a persecution based in the specifics of Christian theology.

    http://www.newstatesman.com/lifestyle/2014/04/are-christians-really-world-s-most-persecuted-religious-group

  • Matthew

    Thanks for this Bones. Very helpful.

    I´m wondering, though, how we are to accept Jesus´ own words about persecution. Is the greek word even accurately translated? Was Jesus speaking of only persecution in the early years of the faith?

  • Matthew

    You are correct. Christians have not done the nicest things to other groups as well as toward each other. One cannot ignore the historical record.

  • Matthew

    You´ve made your point. Christians are not the only group who can claim persecution.

  • Matthew

    Great question. One friend suggested standing in the gap between the polarities while embracing a “both/and” paradigm — then pray.

  • Matthew

    May they be one as the Father and Son are one. We haven´t really grasped this idea as the church … have we?

  • Matthew

    I´m not so sure. There were those on both sides of the issue driven by religious conviction — mainly a Christian conviction.

  • Matthew

    What would you say is the exact point in history when “The Way” became a bona fide religion? Constantine?

  • I think “Campus Jihad for Christ” was a runner-up.

  • Bones

    Because Matthew when the accounts were written they were for the present day disciples who were undergoing persecution either from local Jewish authorities and Nationalist groups (eg the Gospel of John or Pharisees such as Saul) or from the Roman Empire (Nero). The persecutions that Revelation speaks of were those to do with first century Roman Imperialism.

    Honestly between say 400-1900CE it was Christians doing the persecuting in the vast majority of cases….and Christianity became such a monopoly it started to cannibalise itself.

  • Matthew

    Thanks.

  • Matthew

    I would say that Christianity certainly had a much different face after Constantine. Some even argue that what Christianity was before Constantine, before Christendom, was really the authentic Christianity.

  • Matthew

    Power and the sword certainly changed the face of Christianity. One cannot ignore the historic record.

  • Matthew

    It certainly is.

    Thankfully there are Christians out there who are able to see the history for what it is, are deeply sorry for it, and are making strides to be something uniquely different that looks so much more like Jesus.

  • Matthew

    At that point you are right.

  • Bones

    I doubt Constantine changed much of it apart from his influence in the Arian Question and his presiding(wtf?) over various Councils such as in Nicaea.

    Augustine had more of an influence then Constantine did, certainly on the Western Church.

    Christianity had been pretty divisive within itself before then….

  • Rathje

    The problem isn’t standing up to religious bullies. The problem is that the forces of radical secularization – which by the way INCLUDES a lot of modern Protestants – are defining and redefining “religious bullying” more and more widely and targeting the label at more and more strains of religion than ever before.

  • Bones

    Interesting how many on the Right/Evangelical feign disgust at this ‘persecution’ while supporting the persecution of the Palestinian populace including Christians….

  • Matthew

    Ours is not to legislate morality as the church. It´s a family matter. It doesn´t really have anything to do with radical secularization I don´t think, and if it did, should it matter?

    Jesus´ kingdom is not of this world.

  • Tom Bombadil

    Well said. In many ways they have created their own religion.

  • Bones

    I have a very old draft of the Nicene Creed….

    We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. (but not marijuana nor psychedelic mushrooms)

    And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father [the only-begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God,] Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds (æons), Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father;
    By whom all things were made [both in heaven and on earth]; by whom all things were made;

  • Matthew

    My studies about the Anabaptists illustrated to me just how much persecution was a part of their lives and how ugly the church really looked in the 16th century.

    I think most Anabaptists see persecution as something that comes when you are living like Christ based on the Sermon on the Mt. — when you are living so unlike the rest of the world.

  • Bones

    I agree….

    However….

    I think the writer of the Gospel of John and the author of Mark had very different ideas on what the kingdom of God was…..

    “My kingdom is not of this world” (‘the world’ in John is Judaism)

  • Matthew

    Constantine created a de facto theocracy in the Empire. I´d say that´s something pretty big and what I consider the antithesis of what “The Way” was supposed to become.

    I agree with you re: Augustine. His influence on the western church runs deep.

    Finally, one might argue that Christians have been divided since the Jersualem Council. No?

  • Bones

    Possibly…I really don’t see how Anabaptists would be persecuted in secular culture though.

    I look at someone like Desmond Tutu who does live the Sermon on the Mount and I am in awe as opposed to much of what passes for Christianity.

  • Matthew

    Here we go again :-) :-) … you always lose me here …

  • Matthew

    Also … one might argue that if it wasn´t for secularization in the west, Christians sects would still be killing each other. Some might argue that secularization saved the west from religious brutality.

  • I stand corrected!

  • Bones

    Well yeah, he gave the church the power and the church took the ball and ran with it….I don’t think he changed it like a lot of protestants try to make out.

    It was Augustine which was the brains behind it and shaped the church’s theology.

  • Mike French

    O.K., so search the scriptures, seek out Christ for wisdom, and then conform your opinions thusly. Then follow the God rule” DO NOT JUDGE, lest you be judged. Anyway, why are you so hostile? All you people think about is sex, anyway. Leave me alone. Worry about your own God-damned soul. BTW I confess I only read 2 sentences of this because I’ve read all this First Amendment Christian stuff, oh, maybe 10,000 times already, worded almost exactly, almost plagiaristically.

  • Bones

    I’ll give you some time to dwell on that…..

  • Bones

    Syrian Orthodox???

    It’s interesting the amount of support Assad has among Syrian Christians….

    He basically protected them from Sunni Islamic extremism….

  • RonnyTX

    Ttoe to Benjamin:
    God gave us this free nation of the U.S. for a reason. God ensured that it formed under God-fearing people for a reason.

    Ronny to Ttoe:
    I take it, that you see yourself as one of those God-fearing people. Now my question to you is, if you know how greatly God loves you, then how or why could/would you fear God?

  • Bones

    They didn’t really give a crap about the first amendment rights of gay people when they were locking them up or putting them in mental homes.

    That’s what’s so hypocritical as an overseas observer..

  • Bones

    “Finally, one might argue that Christians have been divided since the Jersualem Council. No?

    Bingo!

  • Matthew

    No … it´s actually a conservative Lutheran Church which has services in both German and Farsi as well as an English speaking service a few times per month.

  • Tom Bombadil

    Your post is far more hostile and judgmental than Ttoe’s. If God defines something as wrong and someone explicitly says it is not wrong, there is no judgment required. That person is simply wrong. It does not mean they aren’t loved, but they are wrong. Judging someone is based on thinking you know their heart, not objectively observing an action or hearing an opinion counter to Biblical teaching. Right??

  • Matthew

    Interesting …

  • Matthew

    Maybe not the 16th century kind or persecution, but possibly some of the stuff you talked about in your longer post.

  • Matthew

    :-)

  • Matthew

    Maybe that person doesn´t see it as being wrong because they have a different understanding of what the Bible is attempting to say?

  • Matthew

    Time, time, time …

    see what´s become of me …

  • As always, lurking in this thread are people who hold a litmus test of what they consider a “Christian,” and it is almost always the “confessional faith” brand that comes with fundamentalist baggage.

  • No one is conforming Christianity to today’s liberalism. Hopelessly anachronistic zealots have been dragging faith into the legalistic bile of literalism since the day Jesus confronted the Chief Priests… while branding them a “brood of vipers” and “hypocrites” for pushing legalism and fundamentalism. What those of us who respect the Bible want from today’s religious zealots is acknowledgement of this important fact of scriptural foundation. YOU ARE THE PROBLEM. Get it through your thick heads, then we can talk.

  • God had nothing to do with forming the US. Unless you consider genocide a tool of God. But perhaps you do.

  • Patricia Anne Brush

    We are so on the same page. I have made the same argument about young people not wanting to be related to that kind of nastiness. And I don’t blame them.

    I have challenged some of those bullhorn people to consider that driving people away from God has to be one of the biggest sins imaginable.

  • Good point. But some are capable of ascertaining that much of the violent and legalistic aspects of scripture are contextual.

  • Tom Bombadil

    If someone’s heart is sincere I believe God has mercy. I also believe if someone comes to a conclusion that is counter to the vast scriptural evidence, this indicates someone who may well be trying to make the Bible say what they want it to say. I believe sincere people can do this too. Praying humbly to God and analyzing our motives is always a good guiding principle.

  • Matthew

    Sorry you were hurt by some groups of U.S. evangelicals. Really I am. That said, not all … however … are like that.

    My main point is that even with those who we see as our enemies, shouldn´t we attempt to engage them with some level of civility, some
    level of kindness? If not, the madness of polarization may never end.

  • Matthew

    What do you consider “vast scriptural evidence”? What is something that you believe the Bible “clearly teaches”, but is often seen differently in the eyes of … say … our more progressive brethren? Can you be more specific?

  • Matthias Thalmann

    Like the law in France does not persecute Muslims, it completely fairly and unbiased forbids anyone from wearing a headscarf. So if a Muslim women is fined for it she is not persecuted at all.

  • Tom Bombadil

    You seem reasonable. Before I can fully answer this, what do you believe makes someone part of the “more progressive brethren”? How do they differentiate themselves from other Christians? If you feel like it, perhaps you could also provide specifics or specific issues that make this difference. That would help me identify a more relevant issue to focus on.

  • Matthew

    Thanks WTR.

  • Matthew

    How about the topic of non-violence?

  • XaurreauX

    To the privileged equality feels like oppression.

  • Tom Bombadil

    That topic seems to have scriptural support enough on both sides that there are people in my congregation who believe self-defense is wrong and those (such as myself) who believe it Biblical. Do most progressives believe self defense is wrong? Do you think the issue of self defense is what angers progressives so much about other Christians? I have seen people come out differently on this topic and most of the time I don’t see them bending scripture just to satisfy their already determined position. So, I would say there is not vast scriptural evidence on either side of the non-violence/self-defense issue. Anything you can think of that seems to go heavily counter to scripture that separates Progressives from other Christians.

  • MJ Triola

    Incorrect on Lincoln: his writings pretty much show he was a Christian or at the least a Deist and someone who had paid attention in Bible studies. However, his disdain for bullies and blowhards is evident, too.

  • Matthew

    Gay marriage?

  • Hernesson

    “Radical secularization”? So you’re assuming that people who don’t want to live under Fundamentalist Christian laws are automatically non-believers? I’m a priest of a non-monotheistic religion, and I want secular rules for everyone, because it’s the fairest way.

  • Noah

    I used to think the same thing about Evangelicals.

    Then, I actually met some, who were smart. Now, having gone to Seminary (and being in the same growing church for years), I can fully say my experience is that Christians are by far and large loving and good people.

    But, there certainly are a lot of trolls online.

  • P J Evans

    Far too many of them are deserving of it. Many think that every sect but their own is going straight to hell because they aren’t Real True Christians. (I’ve seen them refuse to go to completely secular events held on the property of other churches, because the church owning the property is Wrong.)

  • Tom Bombadil

    Is gay marriage a big thing with most progressive Christians? I know it is with some, but is that a major issue with which they differentiate themselves with other Christians? If so, it seems less Progressive and more following societal drift. No matter. If support of gay marriage is one of the important issues that distinguishes progressive Christians from other Christians then that is a good example of an issue in which I believe there is a vast amount of scriptural evidence that teaches against gay marriage and in which changing society and what people want scripture to say has affected their analysis of scripture and Christian belief.

    This is a painful topic for many though. I spent far too long discussing the right of conscience/free exercise of religion in honoring and respecting someone’s right to not violate their conscience by refusing to create a wedding cake for a couples’ gay wedding. It surprised me that presumably progressive Christians believed that another Christian deserves to be brutally fined by the government and required to receive government mandated sensitivity training simply by refusing to make a cake due to conscience issues. Such a reaction indicates to me that the individuals also have highly emotional reasons in supporting the belief that Jesus would support gay marriage despite so many scriptures to the contrary. We always need to look at scripture honestly and sincerely, asking that our own desires and wishes not influence us to make the scripture say something it does not.
    We will have to count on our Lord to show grace for our shortcomings and false beliefs. But, we still must be dedicated to not defining for ourselves what is right and wrong.

  • seanchaiology

    There is way too much to address here in the time I have allotted, but I will say that you lost credibility with me personally when you started mixing your faith in Christ with your apparent patriotic beliefs of the United States. To me, that is one of the biggest problems with “popular” Christianity today. You cannot serve two masters.

  • Star Woman

    Bullying Christians is not a surprise.
    When I was in middle school I left the church I was raised in; a Seventh Day Adventist and started to search for where I felt more religion more me I suppose would be the best way to say it. I went to six or seven churches of different denominations. The last straw for Christianity was Methodist, I stood up in the middle of the sermon because they started calling SDA a cult, I stopped him and said they are not an occult I was raised in that church and know that what you are saying isn’t true. I was told to “sit down be quiet and they’d talk to me afterwords.” I left and stopped going to anything christian, if Christians of different denominations can’t get along and let each follow how they believe how can it be expected that they would accept any other religious group. A vast majority of Christians want to be right by all means, prove others wrong and play a victim.
    I have met many nice, wonderful and real Christians but their numbers don’t over ride the bullies.
    Many times people can’t understand my objection even when I give many valid points and then start calling me names and preaching at me or in one case I was exercised online for a comment that this country isn’t a christian nation they didn’t like that and started to exercise me. One big thing people forget about freedom, while it goes for everyone it doesn’t shield us from the consequences. So when we stand up to these bullies they are going to outcry that they are the victims that they are being persecuted and their rights being taken away. Sadly I don’t think there is much that can be done about it it’s sad but as long as there is discord in their own religion about the different denominations there will always be the outcry that they are being persecuted. It’s all a political and power play. Makes me very sad.

  • Allison the Great

    Christians are not being persecuted when we acknowledge that homosexuals should marry too. The problem is that you’re making someone else’s relationship, and someone else’s life all about you and your beliefs, when other people’s relationships are none of your business. When you throw your hissy fits about gay marriage, you are showing that you have no respect for others, but you expect them to have respect for you. You’re also saying that those of us who don’t believe like you do should have to live according to your beliefs anyway, because you should get the special privilege to control the law. You don’t get that privilege.

  • fiona64

    Hi, Benjamin. I’m a new reader of your blog; this article was linked by a friend on Facebook.

    I just want to say “thank you” for this column. I’m an ordained minister who calls myself “a follower of Jesus’ teachings” rather than Christian … because, frankly, I don’t want to be associated with those who have co-opted that word and made it into the ‘Who Would Jesus Hate’ club.

    I appreciate your perspective, and will be a regular reader from now on.

  • fiona64

    “Radical secularization.” I am curious to know what you mean by this, given that we live in a pluralistic society. It’s the most fair way, unless you want a theocracy (that matches up with your beliefs, naturally) … and guess what? That was one of the things the Constitution was put into place to prevent.

  • fiona64

    you’d realize that our stance is one of supporting freedom and our First Amendment rights.

    What about the freedoms and First Amendment rights of *others*?

    See, where you lose me is that you don’t appear to grasp this fundamental truth: your freedoms end where the other guy’s begin. In other words, your religious freedoms do not include the right to force your personal beliefs on another individual.

    You did do a fabulous job of proving the author’s point though, so I thank you for that.

  • Liam

    Which are still violent even in context.

  • You might be mistaking my meaning, or my beliefs. I do not justify or agree with the violent passages in the bible. I did not clarify that by contextual… I meant that they need to be isolated in the context of the belief systems that generated them. Modern day faith should therefore relegate these passages to their violence-driven context.

  • “I will say that you lost credibility with me personally when you started mixing your faith in Christ with your apparent patriotic beliefs of the United States.” You got that far? I lost my ability to read Ttoe’s rant sympathetically right at the start, when they perpetrated the exact conflation of “Christian” and “religious bully” that Benjamin was trying to pull apart for this article.

  • lynus55

    Geez, take a breath! Kim Davis has every right in the world to not sign the papers. All she has to do is quit. Not gonna do the job? No problem! Yer fired! Next applicant. You do not have religious “rights” in the USA, just religious freedoms. Worship the unicorns living in your shoes for all I care, but when you tell me that I should wear bigger Nikes to show respect for said unicorns, we are going to have a problem.

  • lynus55

    We are winning, they are losing. That’s why they’re mad.

  • Did it surprise you when “presumably progressive Christians believed that another Christian deserves” to be forced to share bus seats, school districts, lunch counters, and votes with black Americans? Even when doing so violated their conscience?

    Or are you old enough to remember, when religious conscience included the right to discriminate against other races?

  • That may explain your experience. The study of religion at secular institutions is generally broad-based and while a variety of religious doctrines may be studied (along with religious history, criticism, diversity, etc) no one religious doctrine is promoted.

    Some private Christian institutions have separate seminaries and religious studies departments, which operate with quite different aims and presumptions.

  • Tom Bombadil

    First, religion was not the driving force for racism. Those that did use religion as a justification have basically no leg to stand on. Whereas there is very ample reason for a Christian to believe gay marriage is wrong.

    I’ll insert here that for anyone to condemn a people due to race falls within my belief discussed above that the person doing so is trying to make the Bible say what he wants it to say. An illegitimate belief like racism is wholly counter to Jesus’s teaching on the Good Samaritan, Peter’s instruction that “no man is common or unclean”, Paul bringing the gospel to the gentiles, the Ethiopian eunuch, etc. The only way you can hold this belief is if you want to hold that belief. Gay marriage is completely different as it is taught fully against in scripture and the only way someone will say it is acceptable to Jesus is if they simply want it to be.

    Second, racism is focused on a physical characteristic. The objection to gay marriage is based on an action. I know people will throw their hands up at this, but it is true. Jesus did not condemn or correct anyone for their race, but he did correct sin: “go and sin no more.”

    Before I continue, I do recognize how painful and discouraging homosexual feelings are to Christians (certainly initially) and that deeming it as acceptable to the Lord would be a comforting thing to do. I get that. I’ve read the hell that some dear souls have gone through. And, I know the Lord loves you. I don’t want anyone to feel worthless or shame ridden. I tear up even as I acknowledge the issue. I wish Christians were better able to express love for those that have these feelings or describe themselves as gay. I will still say that I believe acting on that is wrong. I know there are pulls, yet I also know multiple individuals (gay and straight) that have never been married, never had sex and they are highly respected. I also know that some have changed those feelings as well. I don’t expect people to be perfect either, but I also know that it is not what the Lord intended, and as with anything, I believe the Lord can change it even though He might not.

    So, for those that think I would care to get into anyone’s personal life, they are wrong (unless they asked my thoughts). The greatest problem I have with gay marriage in this land of the free is that there is a drive to act on Christians to punish them with fines and reprogramming classes if they simply do not make a cake due to conscience. We lose freedom of speech and religion by these government actions. People are always free to do as they will, but we cannot allow government to force our consciences into accepting societal drifts. What if the pendulum swings back? Do you believe the government should step in and fine someone for their gay marriage and make them go to reprogramming classes? I don’t trust the government to do that and neither did our Founders. This is why the 1st amendment was enumerated in the Constitution as a right we have against Government control. Peace and God’s blessings to all.

  • apoxbeonyou

    I’ve also studied Lincoln. He might have had knowledge of the bible, but he never professed Christianity. His wife said he was, but she was a little nutsy. His closest friends said he wasn’t. It’s more likely he was a Deist, but they don’t acknowledge Jesus so it wouldn’t matter.

  • RonnyTX

    MJ Triiola:
    Incorrect on Lincoln: his writings pretty much show he was a Christian or at the least a Deist and someone who had paid attention in Bible studies. However, his disdain for bullies and blowhards is evident, too.

    Ronny to MJ Triola:
    MJ, here’s a link to a good article on Abe Lincoln and his Christian beliefs.

    http://www.tentmaker.org/biographies/lincoln.htm

  • Paul Chapman

    And that’s what makes them dangerous. “The cornered rat will bite the cat.”

  • Cheryl Simon

    Try being an atheist and bullied by a fundie!

  • Bones

    Yes, you are slowly coming over to the Dark Side.

    Search yourself….

    Join us Matthew….

  • Bones

    Well I have anabaptist friends over here who are made fun of by right wing Christians because they oppose war, love Muslims and oppose our harsh immigration laws where we dump refugees on God forsaken islands so poor countries can look after them.

    I probably wouldn’t call it persecution.

  • RJ (TO)

    Wow. When you get a chance, Google the definition of “irony”. I have a feeling you don’t quite grasp the concept.

  • YoshiNakamura

    You implicitly compared Christian extremists to Moslem extremists when you wrote: “…what the majority of citizens (Christians citizens, mind you) are
    growing increasingly hostile towards, are fringe Christian extremists
    who are trying to institute their own version of sharia law that
    infringes on the rights and liberties of the rest of us.”
    You have obviously never learned much about Sharia law if you could make such a comparison. The difference is stark and supremely important. Christian extremists might give you a headache, but Moslems following sharia law will literally slice your head off, and they will quote the Koran and Muhammad while doing it. Talk about religious bullies!

  • Bones

    In other words, our extremists are better than yours…..

  • Bones

    Complete bullshit…..

    The driving force of antisemitism in Europe and the holocaust was Christianity…..which had been justified over hundreds of years by the Bible…

    Nazis who were on trial in Nuremburg were actually saying if they were on trial so should Martin Luther.

    And yes, the Bible was used to justify racism against blacks eg see Ham’s Curse…

    “Do you believe the government should step in and fine someone for their gay marriage and make them go to reprogramming classes?”

    Where were these constitutional right wing Christians when this was going on and gay people were being locked up and institutionalised until they became not gay (including electric shock and lobotomies)?

    I’ll tell you where they were, they were cheering for it.

    All of a sudden Christians can’t persecute gay people anymore…..and that violates their First Amendment….

    F#ck off you people are hypocritical…

  • YoshiNakamura

    That should be perfectly obvious to anyone. Labeling both groups the same as “extremists”, despite their enormous differences, and then pretending that there is some sort of equivalence between them, is dishonest. The difference between Christian fundamentalists and Islamic fundamentalists is hugely important for unbelievers.

  • Bones

    Not quite sure if gay people would prefer being burnt at the stake to being beheaded…..

    Christians in Uganda wanted the death penalty for gays…..

  • MyScienceCanBeatUpYourGod

    “Christian extremists might give you a headache, but Moslems following sharia law will literally slice your head off”

    KKK lynchings
    Timothy McVeigh
    Planned Parenthood shooting

    Christian extremists resort to terrorism and kill people the same way Islamists do. If there’s a difference it’s quantitative, not qualitative and even that’s arguable. The policies of indiscriminately drone striking Middle Easterners is overwhelmingly supported by American conservatives who by and large are not atheists or Muslims..

  • billwald

    Google “Christian reconstruction”

  • billwald

    How do you define “cult?” How do you separate the sheep from the goats?

  • billwald

    Interesting, thanks for something to think about.

  • Bubububba Bubba

    When I see these megachurch millionaire preachers gaming the system for their nontaxed profits…. I get nauseated with the whole syndicated business of religion!

  • billwald

    Dutch Reformed theology has a doctrine of “common grace,” the rain falls on the just and the unjust and truth is where you find it.

  • I’ve been saying. Keep your beliefs out of government and it’s your business. So don’t get me wrong, but I have to dispute one point.

    The Founders (here, the 7 or 8 men most responsible for the content of the DoI and the Constitution) were emphatically not Christians, and the United States is emphatically not a Christian nation and never was.

    “The founders of our nation were nearly all Infidels, and that of the presidents who had thus far been elected [Washington; Adams; Jefferson; Madison; Monroe; Adams; Jackson] not a one had professed a belief in Christianity….
    “Among all our presidents from Washington downward, not one was a professor of religion, at least not of more than Unitarianism.”

    — The Reverend Doctor Bird Wilson, an Episcopal minister in Albany, New York, in a sermon preached in October, 1831, first sentence quoted in John E Remsberg, Six Historic Americans, second sentence quoted in Paul F Boller, George Washington & Religion, pp. 14-15

    The Founders were Enlightenment Rationalists and dilettante scientists, weak Deists, some. Not Christians.

    That said, an 85% demographic that gets 20 billion per year from the office of faith-based initiatives has no business considering itself persecuted. If you can’t float your ideas with that kind of head-start, you probably need better ideas.

    Edit: BTW, the quote originated from Positive Atheism’s Big List of Quotations, no longer available at the same source. Would love to find it still live http://www.thinkatheist.com/forum/topics/1982180:Topic:478

  • Rudeforthought

    >KKK lynchings
    Name something recent
    >Timothy McVeigh
    Agnostic
    >Planned Parenthood shooting
    Congrats. You wracked up 3 deaths for “radical Christianity” in the past decade. I’ll raise you San Bernardino, Miami, Curtis Calwell Center, and Chattanooga All of those happened between last July and now, total over 100 dead, and Muslims make up only 2% of the US population.

    Also, I’m glad to see you believe in science. Do you think evolution magically stopped happening 10,000 years ago and applied only to the neck down, or do you believe there genetic differences in race?

  • Rudeforthought

    Telling that you have to go to the third world to find Christians as poorly behaved as Muslims in the first world….

  • bicfj

    All special legal rights for all religions should be rescinded.

    All religions should be treated like any other profit making business.

    They could be categorized like any other entertainment industry like showbiz, or news broadcasting.

  • Kalifornia Kid

    Actually you’re wrong. The British were interfering with the colonists religious freedom: “The American colonists saw the revolution not only as a war for political independence, but to protect the religious diversity of the thirteen colonies. Put in other terms, it was a war for religious independence and freedom. To sever ties with Mother England would be to ensure that the various Christian denominations could co-exist on the American continent. The conflict was, in part, a conflict that pitted the various American religious denominations against the Church of England, who wanted to impose a uniform, Anglican religion on the colonies.” THE HISTORY OF RELIGIOUS CONFLICT IN THE UNITED STATES: REVOLUTION TO SEPTEMBER 11TH.

  • Dear Yoshi,
    You are talking about extremist people who live in countries where Islam is the predominant religion. Those are the same type of religious bullies Dr. Corey is talking about. Most Muslem people live a very normal life, drinking (tea) and eating with Christians, Jews and people who profess other religions. The very few extremists are equally disliked by the average Muslems as extremist Chistians are by the avarige Christian. They are equally ‘hypocrites and religious bullies who aren’t content to just live their lives the way they please, but who instead seek to impose their extremist beliefs on the rest of us’.
    And the extremist views, that is what we should be worried about, Christians, Muslems, Jews, Budists, Hindu, and even Shintoists.

  • bicfj

    I have nothing nice to say about Christians or about any other religion.
    They are all victims of the greatest fraud perpetrated against humanity.
    Their members should recognize that and get out of the self victimizing mode of operation. Life is too short.

  • YoshiNakamura

    You write hogwash. Moslem “extremists” murderers have the Islamic sacred texts and much of the Islamic religious establishment on their side. They also have much of the Islamic world on their side because Islamic violence in the name of Islam is fully supported by the sacred Islamic texts. If, on rare occasion, a Christian commits murder, he can never quote Jesus or the Gospels, and he never has the backing of any Christian theologians or churches. When Christians commit violence in the name of their religion, they are violating their sacred texts. When Moslems commit violence in the name of their religion, they are following their sacred texts. The problem isn’t fundamentalism. The problem with Islamic fundamentalism are the fundamentals of Islam. (Sam Harris)

  • YoshiNakamura

    Homosexuals go pretty much about their business unhindered in all Christian countries and Israel. Moslem countries regularly throw them in jail or kill them. I think that is a significant difference.

  • YoshiNakamura

    At night, all cats are black.

  • YoshiNakamura

    How many people have they murdered? Merely bandying about the name “Christian reconstruction” is not an argument.

  • Star Woman

    The way it is defined in their case to me is something unknown and not of christian faith. I know for a fact that there isn’t much unknown in the SDA group they believe the same god the same principles the same bible they interpret it differently but it’s the same regardless.
    Sheep from the goats that I don’t have an answer for but the bullying needs to be stopped, worship as you will or if you don’t don’t but don’t throw it in others faces threaten and treat another like shit just because they don’t do the same things IMHO

  • RonnyTX

    Teresa:
    I am growing hostile towards Christians. I am sick of people who believe that they should think with their indoctrinated ‘faith” rather than their brain.

    Ronny to Teresa:
    Teresa, I’m a Christian, one born of God and what I know I am to go by, towards any person, is the love in my heart that God gave me, when I was born of God. That’s it, simple. Simply love the other person. For Jesus Christ certainly does and I am simply to follow Him and His example.

  • MyScienceCanBeatUpYourGod

    You write hogwash.
    Christian extremists and Jewish extremists have The Bible on their side. Violence in the name of Yahweh/Jehovah is fully supported by the Bible.
    ” he can never quote Jesus or the Gospels”
    Sorry, but the Old Testament counts. Jesus said as much, in those very gospels. The Bible contradicts itself on this matter in multiple places and anyone can cherry-pick whichever tenet they want.
    “When Christians commit violence in the name of their religion, they are violating their sacred texts. ”
    No, it doesn’t. The Inquisitions, The Crusades, and centuries of religious war in Europe could always find a chapter and verse that justified it.
    The problem isn’t just Muslim extremism, it’s religious extremism.

  • RonnyTX

    Amen, HChris, amen! :-)

  • MyScienceCanBeatUpYourGod

    Deuteronomy 17
    If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant; 17:3 And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; 17:4 And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel; 17:5 Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.

  • mamadillo

    Let me fill in some of the memory gaps you seem to have in keeping track of the violence by Christianists and/or white supremacists:

    *Murder of Balbir Singh Sodhi, a Sikh immigrant from India, on September 15, 2001, immediately after the 9’11 attacks in NYC.

    *Wisconsin Sikh Temple massacre, Aug. 5, 2012, in which white supremacist Wade Michael Page used a semi-automatic weapon to kill six people.

    *The murder of Dr. George Tiller while he attended church services, May 31, 2009. Tiller had narrowily survived a previous assassination attempt in 1993 and the fire-bombing of his abortion clinic in 1986.

    *Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church shooting, July 27, 2008. Christian Right sympathizer Jim David Adkisson walked into the church during a children’s play and killed two people and wounded seven others.

    *The murder of Dr. John Britton and an abortion clinic volunteer by Paul Jennings Hill, July 29, 1994.

    *The Centennial Olympic Park bombing, July 27, 1996, by Eric Rudolph which killed one spectator and wounded more than a hundred others.

    *Bombing of an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama in 1998, also by Eric Rudolph, which killed a police officer and maimed a nurse.

    *Bombing of a lesbian bar in Atlanta by Eric Rudolph in 1997.

    *Bombing of an Atlanta-area abortion clinic by Eric Rudolph in 1997.

    *The murder of Barnett Slepian, a physician who performed abortions, by James Charles Kopp, October 23, 1998.

    *Planned Parenthood shooting in Brookline, Massachusetts, December 30,1994, in which John C. Salvi killed two people and wounded five others.

  • mamadillo

    “Christians in Uganda wanted the death penalty for gays…..” primarily at the instigation of ferocious anti-gay rhetoric supplied them by visiting American fundamentalist preachers.

  • mamadillo

    There are none so blind as those who will not see.

  • Rudeforthought

    Lol, we’re going back to 1977? Alright, I’m adding in both WTC bombings for Muslims. Now you’re up to around 4,000 dead with under 2% of the population. Your move.

    Also, nice address of whether you believe in science when it’s politically incorrect and hurts your liberal feel feels.

  • Rudeforthought

    “Profound meaningless quote on internet.”

  • RonnyTX

    Tom:
    Before I continue, I do recognize how painful and discouraging homosexual feelings are to Christians (certainly initially) and that deeming it as acceptable to the Lord would be a comforting thing to do. I get that.

    Ronny to Tom:
    Tom, I got to puberty and 12 years old and discovered I was attracted to some guys and not to any females. And I saw my attractions, as the grandest thing ever. :-) And I simply desired to have a boyfriend and that in the same sense that I saw boy/girl couple, at the school I was in.

    Tom:
    I’ve read the hell that some dear souls have gone through. And, I know the Lord loves you. I don’t want anyone to feel worthless or shame ridden. I tear up even as I acknowledge the issue. I wish Christians were better able to express love for those that have these feelings or describe themselves as gay.

    Ronny to Tom:
    Oh yeah Tom, I went though years of that “hell”. For at 12 years old, I overheard some of my church elders, them talking about those homosexuals with scorn in their voice, saying such was chosen and was the worst of sins. I didn’t even know what they word homosexual meant, so had to look it up in my Mom’s medical book and found out they were talking about people like me. :-( And I knew I hadn’t chosen to be gay; but I came to believe I must have. Why? Because I had also been taught the lie in church, that what ever my pastor and church elders said and taught, that had to be true and from God. Yeah, I was taught that idol worshipping sin, in the local church, that I grew up in.

    Tom:
    I will still say that I believe acting on that is wrong. I know there are pulls, yet I also know multiple individuals (gay and straight) that have never been married, never had sex and they are highly respected. I also know that some have changed those feelings as well.

    Ronny to Tom:
    Tom, there are just as many gay people who have changed to heterosexual, as there are heterosexual people, who have changed to gay. That is, there are none.

    And Tom, as I said before, I simply got to puberty and 12 years old and discovered I was gay. And I simply desired to have a boyfriend and that in the same way I observed what boy/girl couples had, in the school I was in. So, I desired to have a boyfriend. Someone to walk along hand in hand with, arm around the others waist and sometimes kissing. :-) Well, that’s what I observed the boy/girl couples doing and I simply desired to have the same; but, with another boy. And I see no place in the bible, that God/Jesus Christ, says what I desired, was a sin. But the ones who taught me such was the worst of sins, were some of
    my adult church elders.

    Tom:
    I don’t expect people to be perfect either, but I also know that it is not what the Lord intended, and as with anything, I believe the Lord can change it even though He might not.

    Ronny to Tom:
    Tom, God graciously allowed me to escape the local church, when I was around 27 years old; but for years before that, I was scared to death that someone would somehow discover I was gay and then go and tell others that. And after I got out of the local church, I still had to worry about all my family members, who were still in church. What would they think of me, if they found out I was gay?! Then in my 30’s, I developed PTSD and was severely depressed and still so scared. Somewhere around my mid 30’s, I asked God to change me to heterosexual. God didn’t and I blamed myself for that. Then at 40 years old, I first learned about other Christians, who were also gay. I learned about a Christian preacher, who was gay. It took me two trips to my local library; but I finally got up the nerve to check out his book. I read it and I could see that his relationship with another male, was not sinful. But, I was still thinking that my being gay, was sinful; but I had just a little doubt about that. What to do? The only thing I knew to do. I prayed and asked God to show me the truth of the matter, as I reread and thought on the scriptures, that I had been taught, was God’s condemnation, of my being gay. As I did that, I began to see, that those scriptures didn’t condemn my being gay; but then I got on the last one and I couldn’t see but that it did condemn me. I despaired from ever knowing the truth for certain and had thoughts of suicide. Just looked up from the table I was reading and studying at, saw my gun over in the corner and had that suicidal thought. But just as soon as I did, God replaced that thought with a verse of scripture, that reminded me of how greatly God loved me. :-) Now I had known how greatly God loved me, since I was born of God,at 16 years old; but I thought all of those years after that, that God was highly disappointed in me, because I was gay. But that day, when God reminded me of how greatly God/Jesus Christ loved me, I simply stopped my studying and trying to understand and I prayed and simply asked God, if my being gay was sinful or not? And God immediately answered my prayer, with a no! :-) Well, after years of being taught differently by some people and believing otherwise, I just had to say the same prayer again, to God and again, God simply answered my prayer with a no. So God let me directly know, that my being gay was not sinful. And I came to see, that my being gay was in fact, a good gift of God, to me. :-) After this, I got so mad at how I had been lied to, by some of my early church elders and God had to help me with that as well, so that I forgave them.

    BTW, this is a shortened version of my story, even though it may not seem like it! :-)

  • B.E. Miller

    Maybe his idea of irony is like Baldrick’s?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awD1gtpdWIA

  • Matthias Thalmann

    And how is it different? In both cases the law is neutral and does not mention any religion. In both cases religious people get punished by the law for their religion.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I lasted until the accusation that Ben works for someone that won’t *allow* him to post things unless they’re left-leaning. Um. What?

  • mamadillo

    I didn’t intentionally reference anything in 1977; it was a typographical error and I’ve corrected it. I’m surprised you even noticed it, though, as all four acts of terror were committed by the same individual in a two-year period. The difference of 20 years didn’t strike you as odd? Or perhaps it did seem odd but you were unable accept the obvious error?

    I have no interest in discussing whatever you were referring to in your comment science, and I don’t really consider number of people killed as a good measure of motivation or belief. Too often the body count is merely a function of access to weaponry; the underlying intention is of more importance to me. Nice try, though.

    It’s late, and I have a busy schedule for the next two or three days. This will, alas, be the last comment I’ll have time for.

  • d marino

    The government of the U.S. is trying to turn everything upside down in America. There is not a shred of truth left to be read or viewed within the sham of news print. Religion is being targeted along with women and blacks and freedoms and basic common sense. It is all a deliberate manipulation of the masses to cause division and chaos. There is nothing good left about America because the bad have taken over control and they are most malevolent of all.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “Implicit in the semi-rhetorical question was that his religiosity parts ways with many of the values and beliefs attributed to orthodox Christianity.” Well…not all of Christianity is Orthodox, yet it’s still Christianity and not just a veneer.

    So, Phil seemed to get it right – Ben doesn’t appear to believe how you expect he should to reflect your version of Christianity. Ergo, maybe he’s not really a Christian? I mean, surely there cannot be any theological wiggle room on any point, right? What chaos would that create? I mean, we’d get all these offshoots of Christianity who all believe they’re still Christians! Some of the women might even wear pants!

  • Bones

    There are no Christian countries….

    They are secular democracies not Christian or Jewish theocracies.

  • Bones

    Which Muslims in the first world?

  • Bones

    No doubt, but there were definitely local pastors calling for it as well eg “Eat Da Poo Poo” pastor Martin Ssempa.

  • YoshiNakamura

    That is the whole point. Countries full of Christians, and one country full of Jews, are all secular countries. No Moslem country is a secular country, not even Turkey anymore.

  • YoshiNakamura

    Yes, indeed, just look at all those churches, synagogues and other Christian and Jewish organizations quoting Deuteronomy while they go around killing people!

  • YoshiNakamura

    You really don’t know what you are talking about, but you are just chock full of prejudice against Christianity and Judaism. Please give us your sources where you claim that the Crusaders and the Inquisitors found chapter and verse to justify their barbarity. Which chapters and which verses did they quote? The world is plagued by Moslems quoting the Koran and Muhammad while murdering people, but that doesn’t seem to bother you.

  • JD

    “God gave us this free nation of the U.S. for a reason. God ensured that it formed under God-fearing people for a reason.

    God must’ve really hated Native Americans…..

  • MyScienceCanBeatUpYourGod

    You’re still here?

    No. YOU really don’t know what you’re talking about, but you are chock full of prejudice against Islam. (See? I can do that too!) Nobody’s reading your ignorant hate-nonsense anymore.

    Here, chew on this.

    http://www.loonwatch.com/2011/03/what-the-quran-bashers-dont-want-you-to-know-about-the-bible/

    http://www.salon.com/2015/04/07/6_modern_day_christian_terrorist_groups_our_media_conveniently_ignores_partner/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_and_violence

  • Chris

    I agree with you, Lynus…

    Quote: “So, when Kim Davis decides to honor her God and not sign those homosexual marriage papers, what right does the state have to tell her that she is wrong,”

    What right do they have?… They pay her wages. ‘He who pays the piper, calls the tune.’

    If you don’t want to hold a steering wheel… Don’t get a job as a bus driver.
    If you don’t want to do what your employer wants you to do… work for yourself.

    It ain’t rocket science… even a child who still believes in fairy tales can understand it. Why can’t a grown woman? (Even an idiot fundie.)

  • Chris

    It fascinates me, as an Englishman, that Christianity seems to be the prerogative of the ‘right’ in America.

    I’m an atheist, and although my father too was an atheist, I was brought up with no pressures to follow his beliefs (or lack of them)… it was never mentioned as a child. I even went to a Church of England primary school (simply because it was the better of the two schools whose catchment area we lived in) but I was allowed to reason out things for myself… even at school, questions were allowed, and even the local vicar would happily discuss things and agree to differ with a questioning ten year old.

    However, I was also brought up in a socialist household. My parents were both Labour Party members, as were many of their friends… some of whom were also practising Christians, one even a Mormon, a couple of them Jewish, and at least one Muslim and a Sikh. They also had friends at the other end of the political scale… you can’t have a decent discussion without a dissenting point of view (maybe that’s why we need religion to exist, though I’d happily risk a world without it).

    It was generally thought that Christianity tended towards the left of the political spectrum, (Despite the C of E being sometimes called ‘The Tory Party at prayer’) and that the character of Jesus… whether real or fictional… was a socialist. His ‘teachings’ in the book tended to bear this out. The left wing vote was often stronger in predominantly Roman Catholic areas.

    So why is it that Christianity in America appears to have veered so far towards the right… almost to the point of fascism?

    Sometimes I thank god that I’m an atheist. (Yes, it’s OK to thank a fictitious character… My daughter thanks Harry Potter for making her two kids into avid readers.)

  • Chris

    And why, if the Bible is to be believed, is the largest ever act of genocide… the story of Noah’s ark… considered to be a great story for kids, and the basis of many toys for the very youngest?

    To me, that’s just sick.

  • Chris

    Scripture… and indeed the Bible itself… are not evidence.
    They’re just books. Nothing more.

  • Chris

    All this fuss over what is, in reality, only a fucking book.
    (And that goes for all the other ‘holy’ books that have poisoned gullible minds for so long.)

  • Chris

    What a brilliant quote… I’m saving that one.

    Thank you, JRR.

  • Chris

    That sounds remarkably like grovelling to me… or did you forget the ‘irony’ tag?

  • Chris

    So… if many believe that only their own particular version is right, and is going to get its followers into heaven, then it doesn’t take too much of a stretch of the imagination to assume that to them, all other denominations are wrong.

    Now if we take this a step further… the Christians believe they are right, and that all the other religions are wrong, OK?

    Right then… it doesn’t take too much of a leap of faith to then come to the conclusion that if the thousands and thousands of different beliefs which have been followed religiously over the millennia are wrong, then why shouldn’t that one, that a particular group believe to be right, also be wrong?

    If it was a democratic referendum, then over all of history there would have been a majority of many many billions of people who would say that any one specific other belief was wrong. (because only their own particular belief was true in their minds).

    I reckon it’s even fairer, and far more logical, to assume that all of them are wrong and that religion… of all kinds… is just the myth that many, if not most, believers describe faiths other than their own to be.

    NOW, IN THE NAME OF REASON, PLEASE STOP ALL THE FIGHTING OVER SOMETHING THAT REALLY DOESN’T MATTER!

  • Matthew

    Na … I like Yoda too much :-)!

  • Matthew

    The only anabaptist group I have had some contact with is the Bruderhof community. Nice people, even thought of joining up with them, but IMHO they are too focused on outward marks and a bit legalistic in some areas — e.g. women´s fashion.

    I do, however, have a tremendous amount of respect for the Anabaptists and the kind of kingdom living they attempt to embody. It so different than the kind of evangelicalism I typically deal with.

  • breed7

    Wow, you’re a special kind of stupid — you’re unintelligent, uneducated, paranoid, and most likely a threat to others. You’re probably possessed by a demon.

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

    No, seriously, you’re obviously mentally ill, and that, in combination with your exceptionally low intelligence, makes you a danger to those around you. You really need professional help.

  • Nimblewill

    This “us versus them” is the problem in any religion, including yours.

  • breed7

    poor Yoshi. Yet another in a long line of unintelligent simpletons who aren’t smart enough to even understand the conversation. Then again, Yoshi isn’t smart enough to know the difference between mythology and reality, so we can’t expect any sort of intelligent argument from s/he.

  • Matthew

    Thanks so much. I did take some time to read the article you cited. Interesting. Even if it´s true, I still say:

    It doesn´t mean that the American Revolution was a God ordained war meant to create the kind of America many conservative American evangelicals want to support and control — a land that is some way fulfilling divine prophecy. There is simply no biblical evidence for that.

    It was a war like any other war that the colonists happened to have won. It drives me a little crazy when some conservative Christians see the hand of God over nearly every historical movement the U.S. has made on the global chess board. The U.S. is a fallible entity like any other that plays the game of empire. It has nothing to do with Jesus´ kingdom which is not of this world.

    Yeah … I know Bones … your understanding of “world” in this context is different than mine :-) … but you get the point :-)

  • Kuildeous

    This is a truly amazing comment. Do you often post comments without reading the actual article itself?

    I’m not hostile toward religion, but I am pretty hostile toward d marino.

  • Kuildeous

    You say this as if the Christian and Jewish sacred texts do not command believers to murder homosexuals and witches.

  • RonnyTX

    Cheryl:
    Try being an atheist and bullied by a fundie!

    Ronny to Cheryl:
    Cheryl, when a fundie bullies you,, feel free to give them the following. :-)

    http://www.tentmaker.org/FAQ/DoesJesusREALLYLoveLittleChildren.html

  • RonnyTX

    Matthew to Rathje:
    Ours is not to legislate morality as the church. It´s a family matter. It doesn´t really have anything to do with radical secularization I don´t think, and if it did, should it matter?

    Jesus´ kingdom is not of this world.

    Ronny to Matthew:
    True, for the kingdom of Jesus Christ, is what God has caused and put into our heart and whole being. That is, love of God/Jesus Christ and love of every person, wherever and whoever they may be. That is, the kingdom of God/Jesus Christ, is based on love. :-)

  • Yocinda Lemonhead
  • fiona64

    Please provide a citation for your claim that “religion is being targeted.” I’ll wait.

  • fiona64

    You might want to take a look at the number of “Christians” calling for the death penalty against women and physicians who have done nothing illegal (in re: abortion). Or, in fact, the number of “Christians” who favor the death penalty *period.* Or at Scott Lively, who is rather famous for being a “Christian” who promotes killing all gay people.

    Then, come back and tell me about how it’s the Muslims who are religious bullies.

  • fiona64

    Nope, sorry. GoneNative is right: the enemy is extremism of *any* stripe, not just the one that offends you.

  • fiona64

    Are you shitting me with this? (I’m sorry if using that word is a violation of TOS.) Read this on your own time. http://christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/18954/what-passages-of-scripture-were-used-by-the-popes-and-crusaders-to-justify-the-c

  • fiona64

    Oh, sweetie. Really? The KKK lynchings were still going on well into the 1960s. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynching_in_the_United_States

    Timothy McVeigh was a member of the Christian Identity movement. http://www.sullivan-county.com/identity/cal_shoot.htm

    And finally? The anti-abortion violence by “Christians” is a whole lot more than just “one.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-abortion_violence

  • fiona64

    I’m sorry; did you really claim there are Christian countries? And that gay people go about their business unhindered in these alleged places? Wow.

    I guess that “we don’t serve your kind here” is technically better than “we kill you” … but it is hardly “unhindered.”

  • To your first point, few would call themselves “racist”. Practices that we condemn as racism today, were touted as “anti-miscegenation”, “segregation”, or a hundred years earlier “slavery”. And the proponents of these practices most certainly used the bible to defend their positions, including the “Founders” whose opinion you seem to hold in high regard. In the original constitution, slaves were only counted as three fifths of a person, and most certainly were not granted basic human freedoms. Now you can argue until you’re blue in the face that you are interpreting the bible correctly and others are not, but that’s the trouble with trying to base public policy on the bible in the first place: everyone interprets it differently.

    To your second point, an LGBT person is most certainly not “an act”. By that logic you could say that miscegenation laws were not racist because they only dealt with an “act”.

    Your worry over the rights of Christian bakers is frankly ludicrous in the face of the horrific persecutions that LGBT citizens have faced and continue to face in this country.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    And endorse slavery.

  • seanchaiology

    What you said about mythology and reality caught my attention simply because I had just read some quotes in a Marcus Borg book. They are as follows, if you are interested:
    “In the modern world, myth and reality are commonly seen as opposites: we speak of myth or reality. Eliade’s point is the opposite: myth and reality go together, myth being the language for talking about what is ultimately real. For Eliade, myths are true, even though not literally true.”
    And the other being, “Myth is a form of poetry which transcends poetry in that it proclaims a truth. To echo what I said about metaphor in the previous chapter, myth is poetry plus, not science minus.”
    Again, this is not judgment on your post, it is just simple timing and I thought it was interesting to share a different perspective on the two words.

  • seanchaiology

    Your numbers don’t add up when you include the WTC. Your 2% population comment, I assumed, was based on the US population. However, the attackers of the WTC were not US citizens, and Muslims make up closer to 25% of the world’s total population. I find this back and forth interesting, but when you use statistical data to make claims you need to keep it consistent.

  • Tom Bombadil

    Two wrongs make a right? Those Christian bakers only refused to bake a cake. Surely, being forced to do something against conscience is worse than someone disagreeing with your beliefs. Surely it is worse than going to another store for a desired (but not necessary) service.

    My point is that we don’t want the government making societal and personal decisions on who are the protected and who are the prosecuted regarding relatively benign acts (not baking a cake) or speech. The common thread of all the actions of racism you cited is that it had the “color of law”. This made opposing them much harder. People that stood up with blacks in the 40’s could be arrested. The government screws things up in these areas. We have a policing force against violence towards any group. Do you think these laws that force people to make cakes improve the over-all situation? Of course not; many Christians feel put upon and now see it as an “us” versus “them and the teeth of government”. And truly the government is infringing first amendment rights. These negative government results is one reason why the 1st amend is there.

    One thing, I explicitly distinguished gay individuals from being “an act”. Reread what I wrote (if you care).

  • Tom Bombadil

    I appreciate your posting this. I do not agree with your final conclusion, but I am glad you are still with us and that you recognize you are loved and not condemned.

  • Otro, I consider you a friend, and as a friend, I’d like to offer one quick observation: this seems to be a fairly frequent occurrence. I know that I, personally, sometimes have to take a step back and re-examine my word choice, when others are regularly misinterpreting what I’m saying in a consistent way. Sometimes that re-examination leads me to change how I word things, sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s almost always a worthwhile endeavor, forcing myself to critically examine not just what I’m saying but how I’m saying it.

  • If I may, a quick tangent: I sometimes notice certain commenters railing about how “progressive bloggers” such as yourself are deaf to criticism, willfully ignorant to the point that you/they would rather block legitimate criticism than admit even the faintest possibility of being mistaken. And then here you are, responding to a criticism, saying “good point, you’re actually right.”

  • Al Cruise

    Don’t forget that Christian missionaries of every different fundamentalist stripe, killed over 150 million indigenous people by bringing bubonic plague, chicken pox, pneumonic plague, cholera, diphtheria, influenza, measles, scarlet fever, smallpox, typhus, tuberculosis, whooping cough and venereal diseases. They justified it with scripture.

  • otrotierra

    Yes, a helpful observation with much for further reflection. And many thanks for reaching out!

  • Tom Bombadil

    Also, justification is far different than the driving force. Slavery did not exist because people believed, “I am supposed to have slaves!” It existed because people were greedy/lazy/arrogant/hateful and they pacified any Christian guilt they might have with weak justification.

    This is different from opposition to gay marriage as Christians base their opposition wholly on scripture. They might use other things to strengthen their position, but the driving force is religious.

    Racism and opposition to gay marriage are hardly comparable.

  • OwenW

    There is some truth to the notion that Christians exaggerate the level of hostility towards Christianity. But at the same time, the Christians that are hated are not simply the bullies, but also those who simply want to live consistent with their own ethics without forcing themselves onto others. While one can debate the merits and levels of non-discrimination laws, much of the current conflict revolves around LGBT rights. When people can not exercise their own personal conscience when it comes to matter of marriage in some states, then there is an encroachment onto the lifestyle of Christians. When a bill was being brought up in California that would place restrictions of religious exemptions to private Christian universities (before it rescinded after controversy), that is the case of the lawmakers becoming potential bullies. When North Carolina creates one (bad) law that overturns a city law that would institute public places with a particular way of doing thing, and then other states along with businesses boycott.

    But moving away from LGBT rights, when religious organizations have had to fight in the courts for the right to exemptions from laws that mandate support for birth control/abortion, then you have a case of force by the other side.

    And when there is a major groundswell for revoking religious tax exempt status to churches because it is presumed the majority of them are simply profit making schemes, or after the Obergfell decision, it was talked in some op-eds as an option to keep churches in line, Christian expression is genuinely becoming a victim at times.

    Whatever merits or demerits of non-discrimination and freedom there are, the only difference between a righteous force and a bully is whether you agree with the goals that the force and threats are used for. But in these instances, it is not Christians who are the *only* ones trying to force themselves on others.

    The statistical numbers on Christians in America is also misleading, because Christianity in America is more frequently affiliation rather than about theological beliefs and behavior. But a particular brand of Christian praxis is being threatened.

    This isn’t to say that Christianity is being severely persecuted; it simply isn’t. But it is forgetful at best, disingenious at worst to suggest it is only “Christian bullies” that are being targeted. There is a cultural war in the US to which one side (The so-called moral majority) was the main aggressor yes, but the other sides has become increasingly hostile in the media and culture of the years. Perhaps one might say that some Christians are victims of the stereotypes due to the bullying Christians, but

  • gimpi1

    Being the most numerous, that’s possible, but only if you count denominational splits and such. Sadly, from a historical perspective, the group most likely to target the members of a religious group for persecution is a different denomination of the same religious group. Christians persecute different Christians. Muslims persecute different Muslims. Buddhists persecute different Buddhists. People appear to be stupid that way… sigh.

    I believe that’s the point Dr. Corey is making. The people screaming about “Christian persecution” in the U.S are often those that want the “freedom” to persecute other people, and have their own biases enshrined in law. Not being able to harass or discriminate against people you dislike or disagree with isn’t persecution.

  • gimpi1

    Ooh! I’d like to see that in the original…

    We lose so much in translation, don’t you think:-)

  • gimpi1

    Why would you ask? There seems to be an assumption that Dr. Corey or Mr. Schaeffer can’t be Christian, due to some of their ideas that you presumably don’t like. Do you believe yourself to be the arbitrator of someone else’s beliefs? Isn’t that just another form of the religious bullying that was the topic of this post?

    From an outsider’s standpoint, it seems to be an attempt to both insult and discredit someone you disagree with. That’s kind of, well, mean and snotty.

  • gimpi1

    I would have to agree with Matthew on this. Evangelicals are no more a monolith than Progressive Christians are, and few people like being jammed in a stereotypical box. Sometimes, modifiers can be your friends in discourse.

  • gimpi1

    That can be accurate, witness the person upthread questioning Dr. Corey’s faith, presumably because they didn’t like his post on legalizing some drugs.

    However, it’s not everyone in any group. That’s an important distinction. Noting that makes our posts both more civil and more accurate. Civility and accuracy are good things.

  • toydrum

    Yes, just as businesses can write off charitable donations, there should be a way for churches to write off that portion of their income that they use to help the community, but those (hopefully, few) churches that are abusing the system to make a few people ultra-rich need to be held to account.

  • apoxbeonyou

    The way I see it, it encroaches on their lifestyle because they believe they are indirectly allowing others to do something that they believe is wrong/sinful/whatever. They were probably taught in church (I was) that part of ‘loving the sinner; hate the sin’ is telling them where they are wrong so they will stop it.

    So by ‘allowing’ or encouraging a gay couple to get married by signing a certificate or selling a cake, they believe they are not doing their religious duty to tell them they are wrong.

    It’s all from a faulty understanding of what Jesus teaches. That is the root. That and maybe the angry god of the OT. Whatever. :)

  • apoxbeonyou

    At the very least, we get to drive on the right side of the road. I think that’s a plus.

  • Matthias Thalmann

    So you are saying, that if someone is not punished for being Christian, only for doing Christian stuff everything is fine?

  • WingedBeast

    Here’s the thing, bigotry remains bigotry even when you think it’s God-ordained bigotry. Same with bullying.

  • apoxbeonyou

    A few were indeed Christians, but I doubt they were anything like what we consider ‘Christian’ today. These guys were thinkers and the lines are muddled. Hell, they are muddled today.

    https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Founding-Fathers-Deism-and-Christianity-1272214

  • WingedBeast

    That was due to a law that punishes *anybody* who fed homeless people in Florida. It didn’t make the big waves like gay marriage, but it likely made waves at all because of the Christian faith of the “offender” in this case.

  • apoxbeonyou

    Dude trust me, I know. I live in the Deep South. It’s all about abortion and gays down here. Oh, and guns. And for white people, it’s also about the brown people. F*ck all the other issues.

  • Matthias Thalmann

    Actually, it appears that you do not know what the law of France says. I was not referring to local ordinances but to the national French law forbidding covering ones faces.

    As for your comments that Christians were somehow not not victimised by the law, they were arrested, fined with $500 per feeding attempt, and threatened with 60 days prison for every time they got caught. How on earth is that not victimisation?

    It appears that you try to draw a false dichtomy, either the law targets poor people or the people giving them food when in reality it did both.

  • Dom Saunders

    I didn’t realize keeping Christians honest to the law and granting civil rights to people was suddenly “forcing” something on them. Not trying to hear it. You either catch up with the rest of society, or get clocked, plain and simple. I’m also really not trying to hear it when Christians go out of their way to bully others to conform to their ways, as if they are completely ignorant of the fact that not all of us in this damn country are Christian, let alone religious. Their faith stops when it intervenes with the lives of other people. Point blank period, and deal with that.

  • toydrum

    I have always wondered if some of the perceived hostility on the part of the extreme fundamentalist groups is a combination of love of drama and a view that they are somehow more holy if they are being persecuted, hence, the need to create persecutors.

  • bicfj

    There should be no exception for churches no matter what they do.

    Faith based “charity” should not be supported by the government in any way.

  • gimpi1

    Just to point out one flaw, people who couldn’t legally marry couldn’t visit each other in the hospital, make decisions for one and other if one party was incapacitated, draw on each other’s pensions, be the presumed guardian of any minor children in the event of the death of one partner or, depending on the state, even inherit from each other, if the family decided to contest a will. Legal marriage grants many rights. That’s why the Court ruled that denying some people the right to legally marry who they chose was the denial of a basic right. This decision mirrored the early one that ruled states couldn’t ban interracial marriage.

    There are too many other basic mistakes to even bother with. This was the first that I noticed, so I responded to it. After reading the rest of your post. I’m sorry I bothered. I’m sure you’re uninterested…

    You’re demanding the right to control others. You can’t even see that. The “liberty” you fear to lose, you want to deny to others. You’re the bully Dr. Corey speaks of.

  • gimpi1

    Me, too, I made the mistake of scanning it and responding to the first basic mistake in facts I saw. Then, I went back and read it, and figured, “Why bother?” This is someone way, way too caught up in themselves to be interested in anyone else.

  • gimpi1

    How can there be “radical secularization” in a constitutionally-based secular republic? Religion has no business passing its creeds into secular law. Secular law has no business telling people how to or how not to worship. Religious bullying is when a group tries use law to force others to follow their creeds.

    The U.S. is a secular republic with Christianity as the religion of choice for the majority. That majority does not imply special privilege.

  • gimpi1

    That appears to be at least in part because the true Christian radicals don’t have the secular power that Islamic radicals have. Some extreme Christians have called for the death penalty for not only gay people, but people “practicing witchcraft” (i.e. reading astrology books or meditating) “heretics” (i.e. people with other religions) “unchaste behavior” in women (but not men) and (in some cases) people in interracial marriages. If you doubt this, google “Christian Reconstruction” and “Church of Jesus Christ, Christian.”

    The secular democratic republics of the west have acted as a tempering agent on the power of religious extremists, but haven’t prevented them from developing.

  • Rudeforthought

    Lol, ok. Then be scared then. We own the vast majority of the guns. We make up the vast majority of the military and police whom you expect to defend yourselves from us. We’re the ones having kids, unlike the churches led by barren cat-ladies such as yourselves.

    My favorite thing about liberals, especially liberal “christians” is that they’ll be extinct in a half century.

  • gimpi1

    I think that’s because the first world is made up of secular governments – mostly democratic republics – that limit the power of any group to attack or persecute others through laws. It’s more about the virtue of representative government than about any religion.

  • Rudeforthought

    They did a great job of that in Miami lolol

  • gimpi1

    What are you talking about?

  • Boo Hoo

    “The government of the U.S. is trying to turn everything upside down in America. ” ” It is all a deliberate manipulation of the masses to cause division and chaos.”

    You know, I see this kind of conspiracy theory rhetoric all the time, and I’ve always wanted to ask the person saying it: “To what end?” Why would they want that? What is the End Game? Enlighten me, friend.

  • scarykitty

    Lots of activists feed the poor and homeless without being part of a religious organization, so it’s not a matter of these cities and communities being anti-Christian. What they are is anti-poor-people, particularly anti-homeless-people. Basically, these communities don’t want to really address the issue of homelessness and are hoping that starving people will make the problem just go away. (Click the links to find source articles.)

    Stoops says that the uptick in food-sharing restrictions is driven in part by what cities perceive to be the rising visibility of the homeless. “They don’t want the homeless in the downtown areas. It interferes with business,” Stoops says. “Cities have grown tired of the problem, so they think by criminalizing homelessness they’ll get rid of the visible homeless populations.”‘

    Cities’ hope is that restricting sharing of food will somehow make [the] homeless disappear and go away,” Stoops tells The Salt. “But I can promise you that even if these ordinances are adopted, it’s not going to get rid of homelessness.”‘

    I would condemn government officials who used coercion to solve the problem. On a practical level, a city that takes sufficient measures to care for the destitute is one where the problem does not manifest with intensity in anyone’s backyard. The complaints of residents ought to spur efforts to better address the needs of the neediest, not crackdowns against the moral heroes trying to make up for collective failures—especially since such people are almost always willing to voluntarily move from one location to another so long as the latter is as good or better for the poor.’

    Edited for format and html fail. :-(

  • scarykitty

    But not as Christians but as people feeding the poor. There is a difference.

  • apoxbeonyou

    No ‘poisoning’ done; just read incorrectly.

  • solwoman

    Religion is mythology, just like Zeus, just like L. Ron Hubbard’s nonsense. Christianity is not supposed to be represented in or by government. Add the fact that morality and equality, (e.g., same-sex marriage), issues are moving forward in spite of the blow-back from religious dogma, and you have a group of people who feel they aren’t getting their due respect, on the pedestal on which they place themselves in society.

    It’s okay to be an atheist. There are approximately 56 million atheists in the U.S. today. 56 million people who don’t want Ted Cruz’s Bible thumping, and who do want religion OUT of government. We need to start declaring ourselves politely and consistently. It’s okay. You can be a good, moral, happy person and be an atheist.

  • YoshiNakamura

    “Some extreme Christians”??? Remember that Jesus prevented the death penalty for adulterers, and, in the Old Testament, adultery is even more serious a sin than homosexuality. Who cares what “some extreme Christians” call for? The entire Christian community, both Protestant and Catholic, is against them.

    Don’t forget that the “secular democratic republics” of the west grew out of Christianity! There is absolutely nothing remotely equivalent in the Moslem world. Why not?

  • YoshiNakamura

    Please cite your sources for how they justified all of these evils with scripture. It is easy to cite sources for Moslem terrorists quoting their scriptures.

  • YoshiNakamura

    Yes, the Nazis and the Bolsheviks acted on their convictions, too. So, what is your point? The problem with Moslems is their convictions.

  • YoshiNakamura

    So, show us the number of “Christians” calling for the death penalty against women and physicians. As for favoring the death penalty, in general, that is a totally different question. Who cares about Scott Lively? Moslems in many countries are actually killing homosexuals, and they do it according to their sacred Sharia law.

  • HChris

    My post was simply a prayer asking God to help me act more Christ-like to others around me. Particularly those with whom I have conflict. I don’t know if that is grovelling or not. Peace and joy to you, Chris. Not ironically, but sincerely.

  • solwoman

    Religion is not above the law, which is what Christians are trying to legislate through “Religious Freedom”. It’s that simple. Religion has no law over anyone other than what each individual chooses to allow. Religion has no legal power over me, and I don’t have to follow what another person considers to be religious law. I do, however, have to follow local, state and federal laws, and so do Christians. Christians do not get a pass to ignore the Constitution of the United States, and that’s what they’re fighting for.

    Christians have fought against, and had to adjust their morality over centuries of scientific breakthroughs and social progression. They must accept the separation of church and state, and confine their mythology to their homes and their churches, or their private schools.

  • YoshiNakamura

    The Jewish texts do command the death of homosexuals and witches, but the Christian texts do not. Also, no one follows those Old Testament commands anyway, not even the most orthodox of Jews. So, what is your point? By contrast, the Islamic sacred texts are the basis of Sharia law which is implemented and carried out in many countries today. Your purpose in bringing up the Christian and Jewish texts, which are not causing any problems, is only to distract from the Islamic sacred texts which are causing an enormous amount of unending human suffering.

  • solwoman

    It’s religion a la carte. They never suggest putting anyone to death for eating shellfish.

  • YoshiNakamura

    Religious Christians were the first to abolish slavery. Slavery still exists in several Moslem countries, and it is part of Sharia law today.

  • YoshiNakamura

    False. Christian fundamentalists might give you a headache, but Moslem fundamentalists will literally slice your head off, and they will quote their sacred texts in justification. The enemy is NOT extremism of any stripe. The Islamic stripe is far, far more dangerous than other stripes.

  • solwoman

    It’s the taxpayers who are supporting churches. We are the money behind the government. Church/religion is the biggest business in the world, and they pay nothing in taxes. Think of the money they bring in for themselves…

  • solwoman

    Don’t forget Kevin Swanson – a good buddy of Ted Cruz. He also advocates killing gays. There are tons of them out there. I’d call that terrorism.

  • fiona64

    A Christian fundamentalist murdered George Tiller. A Christian fundamentalist murdered Bernard Slepian. A Christian fundamentalist shot up a planned parenthood. A Christian fundamentalist shot a bunch of Finnish school kids. A Christian fundamentalist planted a bomb at the Atlanta Olympics. A Christian fundamentalist blew up the Oklahoma City Federal building.

    Do you really want me to keep going? Because I can.

  • fiona64

    Is an article from two days ago recent enough to suit you? http://www.rawstory.com/2016/09/florida-christians-push-to-classify-abortion-as-capital-murder-punishable-by-the-death-penalty/

    And dude, you don’t get to disavow Scott Lively. He cut his teeth in my home state of Oregon, where he *first* tried to push his “kill the gays” agenda. And guess what? He claims Biblical authority for that (Leviticus 18:22, to be exact).

    So, what was that you were saying again?

  • fiona64

    Oh, Rude-y. You’re so funny. Don’t quit your day job to be one of Dionne Warwick’s Psychic friends, okay?

    I’m probably your worst nightmare: a pro-choice, liberal, feminist, pro-equality, Democrat-voting GUN OWNER with a dead-eye aim.

    Now, what was that bullshit you were spewing again?

    I see that you didn’t bother to address any of the facts, just barfed up some hatred. It’s pretty much what I’ve come to expect from the typical, low-information GOTeabircher type. I swear, I’d respect the whole lot of you more if you’d just admit that you’re pissed off that a Black man is in the White House, and are scared that a woman is about to do the same thing.

    It must suck to have your white male hegemony challenged so often. Boo hoo.

  • fiona64

    You and me both.

  • fiona64

    Also, no one follows those Old Testament commands anyway

    Really? Then why are the fundies so eager to bring up Leviticus as a reason to abuse LGBTQ+ people? (And I say this knowing full-well that the actual context of the clobber verses in question makes the fundies wrong … but that’s a story for another time.)

  • fiona64

    And how is “favoring the death penalty, in general” a totally different question? I’m keen to know.

  • Chris

    “just read incorrectly.”

    You mean, as historical fact, rather than as fantasy fiction?

  • YoshiNakamura

    What I was saying is that Scott Lively is insignificant in the Christian world, and your bringing him up is only a shoddy attempt to distract attention from Islam which is causing no end of problems for the world.

  • YoshiNakamura

    Actually, no you can’t. Now, tell us which sacred Christian texts those “Christian fundamentalists” quoted. A Christian fundamentalist quotes Jesus all the time, but Jesus never said anything to justify what those people did. Moslem fundamentalists quote their god and their prophet all the time. Also, in terms of quantity, the Moslem fundamentalists are thousands of times more dangerous than those errant “Christian fundamentalists” you referred to. The problem in the world today comes from Moslems, not from Christians.

  • Matthias Thalmann

    Why is there nothing specifically Christian about feeding the poor? Jesus specifically said that Christians should do it. If you argue that any action that can be performed by non-christians then there are very few “Christian” things left.

    Certainly there are people who believe that it is their duty as Christians to feed the hungry, and if the acted on their believes they got punished.

  • Matthias Thalmann

    Why is covering your face a religious practice but not feeding the poor?

  • YoshiNakamura

    Are you serious? The death penalty for heinous crimes is both an honor to the lives of innocent victims and a protection for society. That question has nothing to do with the issue at hand.

  • apoxbeonyou

    You are my hero.

  • Matthias Thalmann

    Its hard to understand because this argument would allow you to curtail any religious expression as long as you can frame it in a neutral way. For example in Employment division v smith the supreme court ruled that because everyone was forbidden from using Peyote it was perfectly fine to deny native Americans unemployment benefits if they used it during their religious ceremonies and there was no discrimination going on. Congress rightly disagreed and passed the RFRA to ensure that they would no longer be persecuted for their beliefs.

  • gimpi1

    I’m sure it’s no surprise to you that some Christians disagree with you. Did you google the groups I mentioned?

    As to secular democratic republics growing out of Christianity, that’s largely not true. The founders of the U.S. were inspired by Greek democracy and Roman republics. Many of the founders considered themselves Christian, but quite a few didn’t. The general Christian consensus at the time supported the idea of divine right of kings. The idea of a government by the people was considered unbiblical by most Christians at the time.

  • apoxbeonyou

    Some, yes.

  • apoxbeonyou

    Small adjustment: “A few of the founders considered themselves Christian, but many didn’t”.

  • apoxbeonyou

    Please dear God let me follow you…

  • Matthias Thalmann

    And covering your face is not specific to a religion either.

  • Matthias Thalmann

    If celebrating Eucharist is christian depends on your definition. Some religions like the Mormons or Jehovas Witnesses are generally not regarded as Christians yet celebrate it.
    Why is taking a purity pledge Christian? I haven’t seen any European Christian taking one, its an American phenomena. If you broaden the definition of purity pledge to include all kinds of vows to remain pure then it is pretty universal for all religions, so not specifically Christian either.

    And yes if you don’t lie you are celebrating a Christian value. Also a Jewish value, a Muslim value, a Hind value … in fact a pretty universal value in fact.

  • Matthias Thalmann

    ???? Did you honestly believe that only christians can enact good moral behaviour? What a fucked up idea. So I guess you think that all non Christians are bad people? That Ghandi, the Dalai Lama and Ban Ki Moon are all immoral? Seriously what is wrong with you? That is even more stupid than most things Trump said.

    Obviously anyone can be good and ethical, their religion is completely irrelevant to that. At least you seem to recognise that now (as you said it is some truth) so I’m glad our discussion helped you to reach this insight.

  • Matthias Thalmann

    Except that other religions do the same thing. There are several monastic orders in Christianity which cover their face when going outside of their monasteries. In many regions of Europe it is/was customary to cover your face while mourning over the death of a loved one, and I think brides covering their face during the wedding ceremony is something that even happens in America.

  • Matthias Thalmann

    If something is universally held as a value then it is ipso facto also held by Christians. If a law forbids people to implement this value you also target Christians consequently it is anti-christian.

  • WingedBeast

    “When people can not exercise their own personal conscience when it comes to matter of marriage in some states, then there is an encroachment onto the lifestyle of Christians.”

    Give me an actual example of a person not able to exercise their own personal conscience in the matter of marriage. And, to make sure you’re not singling out your own issue, compare and contrast against if the issue were not marriage equality, but interracial marriage.

    “When a bill was being brought up in California that would place restrictions of religious exemptions to private Christian universities (before it rescinded after controversy), that is the case of the lawmakers becoming potential bullies.”

    Restrictions of religious exemptions. Meaning, they’re already getting exempt from the law on some issues, and they’re getting not as many. Specifics, on how this is bullying, please?

    “When North Carolina creates one (bad) law that overturns a city law that would institute public places with a particular way of doing thing, and then other states along with businesses boycott.”

    Are you saying that the boycott was bullying Christians for trying to live their lives and just be Christians and *not* impose on others? If I have my guess right, you’re talking about the bill that, among other things, was called the bathroom bill?

    “But moving away from LGBT rights, when religious organizations have had to fight in the courts for the right to exemptions from laws that mandate support for birth control/abortion, then you have a case of force by the other side.”

    If you’re talking about Hobby Lobby, you’re not doing a good job of listing Christians who want to practice their faith without forcing themselves on others. In this case, A. Hobby Lobby was entirely okay supporting birth-control in their health plan before the ACA and only changed its mind after and B. this was Hobby Lobby imposing itself on their employees, deciding how their employees could spend their own earned pay.

    “And when there is a major groundswell for revoking religious tax exempt status to churches because it is presumed the majority of them are simply profit making schemes”

    Actually, no. The issue came up more recently when it came to light that Churches were making expressly partisan political speeches. Not just talking values, but actually telling congregants who to vote for. That’s something they’re not supposed to keep their tax-free status while doing, but still do.

    “But in these instances, it is not Christians who are the *only* ones trying to force themselves on others.”

    Those others are being so hypocritical by forcing, upon Christians, laws that keep them from forcing themselves on others, aren’t they?

    What this tells me is that you’re not as extreme as some, but you still have a lopsided understanding of what constitutes bullying.

  • WingedBeast

    What burning wreckage of an abortion clinic did you miss?

    How about Robert Deer?

    There are Christians, right now, calling for the death penalty for homosexuality in America. Scott Lively almost got that done in Uganda.

    Christians, for the most part, don’t have Theocracies anymore. Give them a theocracy with a church that has the political power that Imams have in Iran and something similar will happen here.

  • Matthias Thalmann

    I’m no Christian so I can hardly posses “Christian” bigotry (although I may hold other forms of prejudices). I have never believed that only people of a specific religion can be good and moral, so no I cannot have “learned” this. As I mentioned before it is obvious that anyone can be good and moral and I’m baffled how you could believe that anyone would dispute this fact.

  • WingedBeast

    Oh, I think I it. The Christians who openly stated that their fundamentalist Christian ideology lead them to kill don’t count because they didn’t use exact quotes in the moment?

    Is that the distinction that really makes a difference?

  • Matthias Thalmann

    No it is not different because even in Ft. Lauderdale religious practices was infringed even if it was not specifically targeted. To argue otherwise is like saying that Global Warming is not impacting Polar Bears because it doesn’t specifically target Polar Bears.

  • solwoman

    Your point is well taken. So does it make sense to make a law to allow Religions to exercise their beliefs outside and above the law (you get the irony? – they needed a law to operate above it) to satisfy their own particular interpretation of their faith? When Muslims begin to take advantage of Religious Freedom, what will Christians have to say about that? Will they argue only Christians can be above the law? Christians are a minority in this country when you add up the Agnostics, Atheists, Humanists, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Satanists, Wiccans, Scientologists, etc. They should think carefully about what will happen when Muslim extremists begin to exercise their “Freedom” and defend it in the, you guessed it, court of law.

  • Matthias Thalmann

    Yes, you did suggest that someone would dispute that non-christians can be moral an good, because you treated me saying that anyone can be moral and good as something I “learned”, i.e. I didn’t know it before and thus suggested that I did dispute it.

  • Matthias Thalmann

    So you admit that it impacted Christians yet refuse to call it persecution? Okay, fine, I suppose there is no reason to dispute the choice of words if you agree with me on the facts.

  • seanchaiology

    I’m a Christian and I want religion OUT of government.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Careful…based on his comment history, the answer is likely to contain “the Jews,” “race mixing,” and complaints about the Oligarchy.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    Some cultures never had slavery.

    The fact is, both testaments of the Bible condone slavery, and the new testament says Christians can own other Christians as slaves.

    That some Christians may have worked to abolish slavery is moot; the Bible endorses it.

  • apoxbeonyou

    I think it started with your Charles Spurgeon and the ‘de’-enlightenment fire and brimstone preachers.

  • apoxbeonyou

    It is when the scriptures that support them are called into question.

  • Nick

    I have found Dr. Corey to be willing to engage in meaningful dialogue when both parties are there to learn and grow. I am glad that he and others like yourself do because you provide a counterpoint to all the hate spewing christians online.

  • Our disagreement would seem to turn on who is to be counted as a “Founder.” Certainly some Christians (especially Witherspoon) had influence on the process. But again, of the “7 or 8 … most responsible” for the content of the founding documents, in particular “George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, James Monroe and, of course, Benjamin Franklin,” none were professors of Christianity, some were deists, and some were so circumspect that they cannot be categorized with much confidence.

    http://www.biography.com/people/groups/founding-fathers

  • xstaticprocess

    They claim it’s about “loving” us gays so much that they have to treat us like shit in order to get us to “change” so we won’t burn in hell. But, yea — it’s always the gays. Always.

    It’s bigotry hidden behind God. And it’s sickening.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    I would agree they are anti-poor: I don’t think they are opposing feeding the poor because it is Christians who are doing it, but because they don’t want it done. It’s still fair to say that the practical effect is to stop or interfere with some Christians practising their religion (those Christians, as I say, who rightly think helping the poor is part of practicing Christianity).

  • Guy Norred

    As long as their are logs in our Christian eyes we have no business condemning the specs in the eyes of our Muslim brothers and sisters.

  • Guy Norred

    I need to pull my Eliade down off the shelf and look at it again–it has been more years than I care to admit.

  • fiona64

    I’m not sure how I can make that happen without changing my profile settings … and while I’m not saying *you* are a religious nut-job stalker, I’ve already had one of those. So, it’s a concern.

  • apoxbeonyou

    Oh I’m a stalker, alright. Well, a lurker anyway. Nah, I understand. I’ll just watch for your posts :)

  • fiona64

    The way I see it, it encroaches on their lifestyle because they believe
    they are indirectly allowing others to do something that they believe is
    wrong/sinful/whatever.

    As employees of a municipal government they are to serve *all* constituents. No ifs, no buts, no coconuts. Their religion needs to stay at home when they’re in a governmental place of business.

  • apoxbeonyou

    No disagreement, really. Open mind leads to constant learning. Thanks :)

  • fiona64

    :-)

  • fiona64

    If you’re not careful, I’ll ask to be best friends and then we’ll have to hold hands and skip. ;-)

  • apoxbeonyou

    Oh I’m with you, there. Separation of church/state FTW. And while we are at it, f*ck theocracy :)

  • apoxbeonyou
  • fiona64

    I’m sorry, you’re 100 percent incorrect. It serves no purpose as a deterrent, and has resulted in wrongly-accused people dying, only to be exonerated after the fact. It is about revenge — no more, no less. And it very much has to do with the issue at hand. A whole slew of people who call themselves “pro-life”(and I’ll bet you’re one who does so) are a-okay with the death penalty. You can read this on your own time: http://www.innocenceproject.org/

    And what does Jesus say we are to do, since you’re all Christians? Why, I know! Here’s something else you can look up on your own time: Matthew 5:39.

  • fiona64

    Oh, sweetie. There are none so blind as they who will not see.

    I can indeed go on, but to save myself some time, I’m just going to leave this here: http://www.religioustolerance.org/tomek34d.htm

    You can’t disavow the acts of those like you while claiming that those not like you are the sole problem, Yoshi. It doesn’t work like that.

  • fiona64

    On the contrary; you’re trying to deflect from the very real problem of Christian fundamentalist violence by pointing your finger at Islam.

  • YoshiNakamura

    Your Muslim brothers and sisters??? You are kidding yourself. Muhammad said: A Muslim is a brother to another Muslim.

  • fiona64

    A lot of people tend to think I’m an atheist when I point out the importance of the Establishment clause. I am, in fact, a dual-ordained minister and a Reiki master (one yahoo informed me that this meant I was a Satanist, which is pretty funny) who believes in Jesus’ teachings but is frequently embarrassed by His followers. I’m pretty sure Jesus wouldn’t recognize his teachings in some folks’ mouths, LOL.

  • YoshiNakamura

    I guess our crystal ball is clearer than everyone else’s.

  • fiona64

    It amazes me how often silence reigns when you ask how many of the other Levitical laws they’re obeying. :-)

  • fiona64

    I’ve only ever been part of *one* church that fed the homeless, helped get people out of domestic violence situations, helped those who were ailing, etc. And it went under because the congregation kept getting smaller and smaller. :-( I think people want the “flash-bang” mega churches more than they want to do the things Jesus actually asked of his followers (feed the hungry, comfort the afflicted/ailing, and love your neighbor as yourself).

  • YoshiNakamura

    It is not moot at all. True, the Bible does not speak against slavery although there are some severe restrictions on slave ownership. The fact is that believing Christians led the fight to abolish slavery, and believing Moslems led the fight NOT to abolish slavery.

  • fiona64

    In which hadith? I want a citation. Why?

    “None of you has faith until he loves for his brother or his neighbor what he loves for himself.” [Sahih Muslim, Book 1, Number 72]

    And further commentary:
    “It is better to interpret this as brotherhood in general, such that it includes the disbeliever and the Muslim. So he should love for his brother, the disbeliever, what he loves for himself which is his entering Islam, just as he should love for his brother Muslim that he remains in Islam. For this reason, it is recommended to supplicate for the disbeliever to be guided. The meaning of love here is an intention for good and benefit, and this meaning is religious love, not human
    love.” [Sharh Arba’een An-Nawawi, Hadith Number 13]

  • fiona64

    Deuteronomy 13, actually …

  • fiona64

    You’re doing a fabulous job of proving the original article’s point, BTW. How many people do you think you’re bringing to Jesus by bearing false witness?

  • Guy Norred

    Why should she (or anyone who knows the love of our God) fear that?

  • fiona64

    believing Moslems led the fight NOT to abolish slavery.

    Really? I had no idea that the Confederate States of America were inhabited by Muslims. Citation definitely needed.

  • YoshiNakamura

    In fact, it is a crucial distinction. If the sacred texts do not explicitly condone a particular behavior, it is much easier for the religious community to stop doing that behavior. If your god and your prophet not only condone a behavior but command it, a religious person cannot stand up against it. That is why the Christian community was able to overcome bad behavior and change; and that is why the Moslem community continues to engage in such behavior.

  • fiona64

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/reconstr.htm
    http://www.religioustolerance.org/reconstr3.htm

    Quote from second link:

    If they gained control of the US or Canadian federal government, there would be many changes:

    The use of the death penalty would be greatly expanded, whenthe Hebrew Scriptures’ laws are reapplied. People will be executed for adultery,blasphemy, heresy, homosexual behavior, idolatry, prostitution,
    evil sorcery (some translations say Witchcraft), etc.
    The Bible requires those found guilty of these “crimes” to be either stoned to death or burned alive. Reconstructionists are divided on the execution method to be used.

    A church or congregation that does not accept the Mosaic Law has another god before them, and is thus guilty of idolatry. That would be punishable by death. That would include allnon-Christian religious organizations. At the present time, non-Christians total two-thirds of the human race, so the slaughter would be enormous.

    The status of women would be reduced to almost that of a slave as described in the Hebrew Scriptures. A woman would initially be considered the property of her father; after marriage, she would be considered the property of her husband.
    —-
    And that’s just a partial list. You don’t get to disavow these people; they’ve been deliberately populating politics with their adherents for some time now (ref. Michele Bachman, just to name one).

  • fiona64

    That is why the Christian community was able to overcome bad behavior and change;

    I’ve already provided a citation for just a *few* examples of Christian terrorism. Are you illiterate, that you are unable to read them? Or are you just so determined to avoid the cognitive dissonance of having your sincerely held beliefs proven wrong that you don’t even bother to look?

  • In answer to your question, no, and how is that relevant?

    Of course “not baking a cake” is benign – until businesses starting refusing to bake cakes, make lunch, or offer bus or school seats to people because their customers are black or gay or female or muslim.

    And no. You can “distinguish” gay people any way you like, but if you deny them basic rights, you are denying their humanity – not their “acts”.

  • fiona64

    He’s hoping I’m afraid … and he’s wrong. He’s also hoping I’m barren … and my 30-year-old son is proof of the opposite.

    That’s okay, though; he just reminds me of what Shakespeare said about sound and fury.

  • YoshiNakamura

    In Muhammad’s last sermon, he says: “every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood.” http://www.iqrasense.com/about-islam/the-last-sermon-khutbah-of-prophet-muhammad-farewell-sermon.html

    Now, if you look closely at the commentary you quoted you will see this: ” So he should love for his brother, the disbeliever, what he loves for himself which is his entering Islam,” This is the nature of Moslem love for a non-Moslem. That is not the kind of love we mean when we talk about “brotherly love”. The commentary you quoted is all about getting non-Moslems to become Moslems.

  • fiona64

    Actually, you’re wrong … but I’m not even surprised by that at this point.

    What you are, is a boring little person in whose mouth Jesus would not recognize his own teachings. I’m tired of providing you information that you ignore and/or deliberately misrepresent because of your Islamophobic bigotry.

    Good-bye, angry little person. ::plonk:: I’ve had enough of your hate speech.

  • WingedBeast

    So, no Christians, ever, stood up to the anti-gay bigotry on the right and for Same Sex Marriage?

    No Christians, ever, stood up for Abolition? (Note the lack of explicit condemnation of slavery in the bible.)

    And, being that Jesus explicitly argued *for* the Old Testament laws to be maintained and upheld, no Christian, ever, stood up to another Christian demanding the death penalty for homosexuality?

    I get it. You want Christians to be a better people than Muslims. So, you’ll gladly rewrite things a bit to make it so that Islam is inherently evil and Christianity inherently makes people good.

    But, we have history. We have Crusades that started with Pogroms and Inquisitions and the knowledge of what happens when Christianity isn’t just the prevailing faith at the moment, but the law of the land.

    Pretending that Christian terrorists don’t happen or that Muslim terrorists aren’t fought by other Muslims won’t really make Christians inherently better. It’ll just keep you from finding out that they’re just like everybody else.

  • YoshiNakamura

    Your few examples say nothing about Christianity. You make a common error of conflating the religion with the practitioners. If you want to say anything about Christianity, as opposed to particular Christians, you need to study the sacred text of that religion.

  • YoshiNakamura

    You are so obsessed that you cannot see reality. Are you seriously implying that Michele Bachman wants to go around killing people for ” adultery,blasphemy, heresy, homosexual behavior, idolatry, prostitution,
    evil sorcery (some translations say Witchcraft), etc.”? You are paranoid. The only people killing others for those sins are Moslems.

  • Guy Norred

    They are created in the image of our God just as we are and as such are our brothers and sisters even if they actually did not know or acknowledge it.

  • WingedBeast

    Wants to go around doing so? No.

    Will she institute laws mandating so, because that’s what’s required for her understanding of Christianity and that of those who support her? Yes.

  • fiona64

    So, no Christians, ever, stood up to the anti-gay bigotry on the right and for Same Sex Marriage?

    As one who was at many a rally, with the police on speed dial in case the anti-gay bigots got really ugly … and who was stalked, had her full name and address, and a photo of her license plate put up on social media by said anti-gay bigots … and was threatened with grievous bodily harm for refusing to take the No on 8 sign down from her own lawn, I can tell you that at least one did. ;-)

    And thanks for bringing up the Inquistion. I figured that mentioning Torquemada would cause far too much “that was different” for me to put up with.

  • fiona64

    What Yoshi seems to forget (quite conveniently) is that Jesus is also a prophet of Islam.

  • As I’ve already pointed out, it’s fine for you to characterize your interpretation of the bible as “true”, and that of others as “justification”. But segregationists like Stom Thurmond, George Wallace, Leon Bazile, Theodore Bilbo, Allen Candler, Bob Jones, and a host of others would disagree with you.

    The law does not (and cannot) distinguish between your biblical interpretations and those of others. You can be opposed to gay marriage if you like, that’s your freedom in this nation – you even have the freedom to join the KKK in this nation if that’s your bent.

    But you cannot trample on the rights of your fellow citizens.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    “True, the Bible does not speak against slavery although there are some severe restrictions on slave ownership”

    Which leads to the question: is owning a human being as property moral? Yes or no?

    The Bible says it is OK.

    ” The fact is that believing Christians led the fight to abolish slavery, ”

    No, the fact is that some believing Christians fought to abolish slavery, and other Christians fought to keep slavery.

    And the ones fighting to keep slavery had the Bible on their side.

    Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. (Ephesians 6:5 )

    Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them. (1 Timothy 6:1-2 )

  • WingedBeast

    Two things.

    1. Those restrictions were specific to Israelites, male Israeltes primarily.

    The seven year limitation, male Israelites. Women could be owned for life.

    The limitation that you don’t own their children, only applied to Israelites in general.

    In fact, a woman who owned a female slave could command the slave to have sex with said owner’s husband. Not only was the female slave, in that situation, denied any rights of refusal (making that rape) but the resulting child would be considered that of the owner, denying the slave parental rights.

    2. Believing Christians were on both sides of slavery. In fact, the fight for slavery had a lot more biblical support. The abolitionist side also had Robert Ingersol, for one example, who was known as The Great Agnostic.

    So, what we have, here, is you wanting, for Christianity, credit for having limitations, when those limitations were only on a racial basis, and credit for Christianity for taking part in the fight for Abolition without acknowledging Christianity’s part in preserving slavery.

  • Joe

    Benjamin, you have to realize that of that 83% or 91% you quote about the leaders of this country, and I really hate to sound like I’m defending the conservatives because I’m not a conservative, but you realize that many of those people are cin oh, or Christian in name only. And that would be true regardless of what definition you use of a Christian. The question for you is, and it’d be great if you could address this, but why are so many young people – the Millennials and even the 30-somethings attracted to these churches that are popping up here and there that are basically conservative Baptist Churches (I give you Mars Hill in Seattle as one example even though the pastor fell from grace before that happened that church had several thousand members at three or four locations in a very liberal City) quite conservative Theology, and these are the places that are holding steady or even growing, good sized churches with Progressive theology are few in number and those that exist are not growing.

  • Mimc

    Millennials are a lot more liberal and non-religious than previous generations so I’m not sure where you are getting your information about an influx into Baptist mega churches. It’s true that there are still many conservative Christians in this generation but they are certainly not flooding into the church.

  • YoshiNakamura

    You also probably had no idea that the Civil War ended 150 years ago. Saudi Arabia didn’t abolish slavery on the books until 1962, but slavery still exists there as well as in several other Moslem countries. The argument is that human beings do not have the right to abolish what Allah permits.

  • SuZieCoyote

    It is telling that the pastor fell from grace. Here in my home town of Colorado Springs, the more intolerant, the more frequently we catch them in acts that cause those falls. For example, Ted Haggard, the infamous pastor of our largest mega-church – thousands of faithful – caught in meth-fueled gay sex episodes with his massage therapist. Sadly, there are no standards. Anyone with a bit of charisma can wake up in the morning, say “I’m a pastor” and I’m going to start teaching people how (for example) to beat their children more effectively. Nobody stops them; they break the law and screech about religious freedom and hostility to Christians.

  • SuZieCoyote

    When churches stop preaching politics, I will stop lobbying against their tax-exempt status. When “pastors” stop fleece thousands to fund multiple mansions for themselves, along with personal fleets of cars and planes, I will stop lobbying against their tax exempt status. Truth is, the “churches” are profit-seeking, lobby organizations, thwarting the law. Even Jesus advised to “render unto Ceasar” that which is his.

  • SuZieCoyote

    Any money that goes to the poor can be a tax deduction. Then we would see how much (or how little) really goes to the poor. Right now, they collect money, even pennies from children, and use it for all sorts of personal boondoggles. I’ve seen it personally. People claim to be on missionary work, when really, they are just vacationing to exotic locations on other folk’s money, trying to convert the locals as justification.

  • SuZieCoyote

    Growing up, when we were desperate they might bring a bag of groceries and hours of lecture to my mother about how she was driving her alcoholic to drink. Her fault and she must not leave him. It was God’s will for her.

  • SuZieCoyote

    Ever been to one of the mega church services? It is one big hoot and holler party!

  • Anne Marrow

    so i take it you would okay with someone denying christians services from businesses open to the general public? i create a religion that allows me to not serve christians, that would be okay with you? i mean, it would go against my religion to serve christians. are you going to force me?

    if you have a business open to the general public, you abide by the same rules/laws as everyone else. that includes discrimination laws. if you dont like that, dont own a public business. develop a private one or find some other line of work.

  • Anne Marrow

    true. in the treaty of tripoli, there is an articles that specifically states “the unites states of america was not founded on a christian god”

    although the way society worked then, they needed to belong to some church to be successful in society, there were some founders who were deists.

  • Anne Marrow

    and extremist christians havent done that?

  • Teresa Rincon

    Because Amish and such don’t proselytize or interact with outside society in any meaningful way.

  • :-) Nice to touch the issue without touching off a flame war.

  • Teresa Rincon

    It would be okay with me, just like a hooker has the right to deny sex to whoever she wants to.

  • Maura Hart

    so, they’re lying? isn’t that one of those sin things? i’m shocked and appalled.

  • Maura Hart

    the thing is that they want all of the rest of us to live by their myths also.

  • Maura Hart

    they only care about one sin. they do not seem to care about liars, or thieves, or murderers. but oh my gosh! the gays! what was that thing jeebus said about “judge not, lest ye be judged’

  • Maura Hart

    they don’t worry about eating shrimp or lobster it seems. or keeping businesses open on sundays.

  • Maura Hart

    nothing good? nothing at all? astounding. why do you stay here? surely there must be another country on the planet that has something good. i seriously wonder that you are able to continue to breathe the air here in the bad old usa

  • Jeff Preuss

    In another thread, I was “reminded” how one’s stance on gay marriage was doctrinally essential to determine whether one was authentically a Christian. That Christian orthodoxy dictates that.

    Funny, it only seems to be in the last 20 years or so that it’s been raised to such an essential level in belief. Sooooooo much moral policing is focused on the gays.

  • Maura Hart

    well, you know we must insure that women are kept subservient to men. it’s in that bibble thingy

  • Jeff Preuss

    Well, I used that as my argument to this woman, since “orthodoxy” tells me she has no business instructing or teaching me…but she wriggled herself out of that one. So, again orthodoxy rules when it’s telling me not to be gay, but flexibility for most everything else.

    Joy!

    Edit: whoopsie! Thought this was in response to another comment. Ha!

  • susan faccone

    Owen, I must ask you this, why just pick one sin over another? People who refuse to give gays a marriage certificate or bake them a cake say they can not do these tasks because their religious beliefs are such that they feel they are somehow participating in the sin. Okay, but what about divorced people who are remarrying? There are a LOT of sins in the Bible. Why just focus on gays? Because they are trying to push their beliefs on those people. And as far as tax exempt status, well, just look at the lavish lifestyle of some of the Christian Mega Church pastors. The homes they live in can are so big and expensive that if sold they could feed a small country. Did not Jesus tell his followers to throw away their worldly possessions? But no one seems to find these pastor’s greedy extravagant lifestyle odd or wrong. Here in Virginia there is a huge Catholic church, within it’s gates are a preschool and regular school (very expensive I might add), they have beautiful grounds with lovely white statues of all kind of saints and such. All this wonderfulness is enclosed by a huge rod iron fence. And right outside the compound are the homeless, holding signs. And partner and I who live around the poverty line in income, still manage to give a dollar or so. But not the church? Especially one as rich as the Catholic Church? You see, my partner and I are married (we are 2 women), and we have no idea how our marriage can possibly impact anyone. You see we live in a free country. The same constitution allows us our freedom to live and love the way we want to as it allows you and all religious people the right to practice that religion anyway you want. What it doesn’t do is allow religious followers to tell me and mine how we should conduct our lives, in the same way, we can not tell you and yours that you can not practice your faith. By not allowing me to obtain my marriage licence, that Christian person is saying that I am a second class citizen. That my sin (not that I believe in sin) is worse than anyone else and that it is the ONLY sin that they can not condone, regardless what their Bible says. You are singling gay people out. Which is discrimination. Something that, in America, should not ever be tolerated. I don’t know if you will understand any better what I am trying to say than before I wrote this, but I can hope. It isn’t until ALL of us learn to co-exist, embrace each others unique nature, that this country will have peace, and isn’t that what we all want?

  • cken

    So in other words America isn’t hostile towards Christians it is just that our intolerance has been exposed. Look I am not in favor of abortions generally, but I am willing to let God be the judge and not force my beliefs on others.

    Rather than churches and religions saying you have to follow my rules to be a Christian, we should create an environment where people want to be Christians.

  • “You make a common error of conflating the religion with the practitioners.”

    It definitely is a common error, and one that the world would be better off without. And alas, those who are most guilty of perpetrating this error are almost always convinced that their case is an exception.

  • cken

    I think there is room for both conservatives and progressives. Some people want to follow and be told what to do and say, others want to think and learn while on their Christian journey. Although there are many more in the former group than the latter, I don’t think one is superior to the other.

  • Kuildeous

    But the Old Testament is a Christian text. Why else is there a hullabaloo about the Ten Commandments and Genesis?

    And you’re right that people generally do not follow the Bible’s commands, but that’s because most people are actually not that psychotic. Likewise, there are plenty of Muslims who are not psychotic enough to follow their holy text.

    Both holy texts are full of hatred and bloodshed. There is a difference in the countries. The Middle East governments actually embrace barbarianism, while western Europe and America condemn it.

    The comparison is still apt, but fortunately, the Christian extremists are prevented from following their bloody holy book, though there are still struggles, as evident by the anti-homosexual crowd. It’s a damn good thing that the extremists are not allowed their way.

  • cken

    It is amazing isn’t it this theistic “mythology” has been around for over 14,000 years. You would think by now any half way intelligent person would know the sun comes up, the sun goes down, you die and you are worm food. Do you think there are intelligent people who still believe this “mythology” because science doesn’t have many answers?

  • WingedBeast

    This thread started with you saying that the practitioners were always going to be worse because of the religion, that the two were inherently conflated in that manner.

    So, I’m going to call BS on your making that distinction, now.

  • YoshiNakamura

    Sure, there are plenty of Moslems who do not follow their sacred texts, but, unfortunately, there are plenty who do, and hundreds of millions more who support those who do.

    To say that “Both holy texts are full of hatred and bloodshed” is a misleading generalization. The hatred and bloodshed are fundamentally different. There is nothing in the Old Testament calling for Jews to make war on non-Jews because of belief until Judaism reigns supreme in the world. The very notion is ridiculous. The Koran, by contrast, and the sacred sayings of Muhammad, both command Moslems to make war on unbelievers until Islam rules the world. Thus, there is no imperialism in the Old Testament, but Islam is based on the imperialistic goal of establishing a worldwide Caliphate.

  • YoshiNakamura

    Of course, the practitioners will be worse because of the religion, that is, because of the religious texts. Not all Moslems follow the jihadist commands of their sacred texts, but an awful lot of them do, and hundreds of millions more support them. There are no jihadist commands in the Judeeo-Christian sacred texts, and, in those rare cases where Jews or Christians behave as if there were such commands, they are disobeying their sacred texts. For example, a precept of Christianity is: “Go forth and preach the Gospel to every living creature”. Islam says: “Make war on the non-Moslems until Islam reigns supreme in the world.” See the difference? In the Old Testament, there is nothing at all about spreading Judaism to anyone, neither by preaching, nor by war.

  • Matthias Thalmann

    So you agree that Christians were persecuted but it doesn’t count because its only every possible to persecute one specific group at a time? If Christians are persecuted then by your “logic” its impossible that atheists are also persecuted?

    You should read a bit about Adolf Hitler and his regime in Germany from 1933-1945. They persecuted, imprisoned and murdered Jews, communists (several of which were outspoken atheists), socialists (ditto), gypsies, speakers of Esperanto, and anyone else which didn’t fit his vision of the world.

    Persecution of multiple groups is a thing that happens often, in fact it is

    normal, because if you try to oppress one group opposing you why stop there?

  • Matthias Thalmann

    No, saying that being fined for following your religion is persecution does not imply that only this particular religion promotes the actions (here feeding the hungry). If a Muslim charity had been fined for feeding the poor they would also have been persecuted for being Muslims as they could no longer give the Zakat, yet other religions also demand supporting the poor. I don’t see how other people doing something should negate the part that is an intrinsic part of a religion too.

  • Mary Alice Wojciechowski

    Have you lived near the Amish or the Pennsylvania Dutch? They get bullied all the time! They get harassed for their clothes, get punched because some idiot wants to see if they really won’t fight back, have cars go flying past the horses leaning on the horn, which is a very real physical danger to the horses, the passengers, and the idiot who knows how to blow, but doesn’t realize that a scared horse can kill him. So, no, you are wrong about that. They are, indeed, bullied, but it is a more private kind of bullying than the rest of Christianity, because they are not PART of the rest of the world, but apart from it.

  • Mary Alice Wojciechowski

    And yet, Walmart employees can refuse to bake a cake for a policeman’s retirement party, claiming it is “racist,” and that is OK? I didn’t hear about Walmart being shut down (or that they even were disciplined, though I may have missed it) over this. T-shirt makers turn down things they think are too rude or too sexy or too racist or too whatever all the time. Why can’t a small bakery say “we reserve the right not to make things we don’t want to endorse” just the same way?

  • Bones

    Facebook isn’t a reliable source…..

    That story about the Blue Lives Matter cakes keeps changing all the time….

    SNOPES:
    Walmart Refuses to Produce a ‘Thin Blue Line’ Retirement Cake?

    A viral Facebook repost reported Walmart’s bakery employees refused to sell a ‘thin blue line’ retirement cake to a policeman’s daughter because they deemed it racist.

    Even more confusingly, a Walmart spokesperson told us that the woman had originally ordered a cake with a blue line alone, not a cake bearing the words “Blue Lives Matter” or any other inscribed phrase, and added that the cake seen above was “not the cake” that left the store — as requested, Walmart said, the customer received a cake that simply featured a “thin blue line” and bore no inscription.

    http://www.snopes.com/2016/09/26/walmart-thin-blue-line-cake/

    But yeah lots of people are demanding that people be sacked for discrimination……

  • WingedBeast

    Remember that Jihad is not war, but holy duty.

    Also remember that Christianity has suffer not a witch to live, kill gays, and, oh, torturing people into joining the faith.

    What happened was you claimed that Islam produces terrorists and murderers and Christianity doesn’t. You have been presented with history, both distant and recent, to show that, indeed, the Christian Fundamentalists can be every bit as bloodthirsty. Now, you’re claiming that’s different from the religion.

    So, the same results has different value judgments? The fact that Christianity’s kinder-gentler phase coincided with Christianity’s losing Theocratic control means nothing?

  • Bones

    My country was founded by criminals who on their first day here got extremely pissed and engaged in a mass orgy.

    In fact our first minister here was an Evangelical known as the flogging parson who doubled as the colony’s magistrate and gave extended brutal floggings to convicts and he hated Catholics with a passion.

    I don’t think my country’s much different from yours – though we have less extremists…..

    Funnily enough most Aussies are pretty proud of our convict history……and I think it reflects our attitude towards religion…where many Aussies see the bs as my favourite poet Henry Lawson says

    “I place him (ie the bush preacher) in front of all churchmen
    Who feel not, who know not—but preach! ”
    (The Christ of the Never 1898)

    Lawson was an agnostic and drunk.

  • Bones

    I get a totally different understanding when reading that….

    I mean how often have we heard how violent Muslims are yet Muhammad (pbuh) writes

    ““Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you.””

    “Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. ”

    “You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequity.”

    Seems more Muslims need to take heed of Muhammad’s (pbuh) words.

    And so do Christians….

    I mean the whole problem of the Middle East is about Muslim on Muslim violence….

  • Kitsune Inari

    When people can not exercise their own personal conscience when it comes to matter of marriage in some states…

    What? Christians are being forced to marry people of their same sex? Christian women are being forced to abort against their will? Outrageous! Why hasn’t this hit the news yet?
    Oh wait, it has never happened, that’s why.

  • Mary Alice Wojciechowski

    I don’t use Facebook as a source–I live not far from where this happened, and it was all over the local news. Since Snopes has proven itself to be politically biased, I don’t really take their word for anything political, either. Here is one source; there are many others if you google “Walmart refuses to make cake.” http://www.macon.com/news/nation-world/national/article104188001.html
    I don’t want them sacked, but I also don’t want other businesses to be forced to do things they don’t want to, either. That is why it is your OWN BUSINESS, not a government subsidiary. You should be allowed to do business or not, with whomever you decide, as it is your money and your risk and your lifeblood you pump into the business. The federal government should stick to the enumerated powers in the Constitution and stay out of the lives of private citizens.
    (Here is a list of enumerated powers, and the power to force people to do things with their businesses they don’t want to do is not on it! http://www.info-quest.org/Enumerated.html )

  • Bones

    Aah so Snopes is politically because it calls out your bs….

    The source of this article is a Facebook post….

    Fact is Snopes had contributions from the original Facebook page, the daughter of the policeman and a spokesman from Walmart who all had different stories……

    In fact your own article goes against your position;

    ““I work in retail,” the officer’s daughter told Starnes. “If I didn’t want to deal with a customer — and said ‘No’ — I would get fired.”

    Read more here: http://www.macon.com/news/nation-world/national/article104188001.html#storylink=cpy

    And the fact is there’s plenty of people on the Wal Mart page demanding the sacking of the people involved….

    All this because you want to be able to discriminate against gay people…..

    “(Here is a list of enumerated powers, and the power to force people to do things with their businesses they don’t want to do is not on it! http://www.info-quest.org/Enum… )

    Probably because it’s a state law….I mean there’s nothing on there about discriminating against blacks and Jews….

    This is what your argument is degenerating to….

    Full scale discrimination against whoever which will always advantage the privileged class ie white, hetro majority…

    This has only come about because of anti-gay discrimination laws….

  • Matthew

    From the little I have read, I find the Koran to be very contradictory. I suppose the same can be said for parts of the Bible as well.

  • Bones

    Maybe it needs to be read in context….like the Bible..

    Christians are flat out reading the Bible in context, so it’s no wonder they can’t read a book like the Quran.

  • Bones

    Maybe you’ve forgotten about this

    “The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Pub.L. 88–352, 78 Stat. 241, enacted July 2, 1964) is a landmark piece of civil rights and US labor law legislation in the United States[5] that outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.[6] It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public (known as “public accommodations”).

    Powers given to enforce the act were initially weak, but were supplemented during later years. Congress asserted its authority to legislate under several different parts of the United States Constitution, principally its power to regulate interstate commerce under Article One (section 8), its duty to guarantee all citizens equal protection of the laws under the Fourteenth Amendment and its duty to protect voting rights under the Fifteenth Amendment. The Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 2, 1964, at the White House.”

    In the 1930s, during the New Deal, the majority of the Supreme Court justices gradually shifted their legal theory to allow for greater government regulation of the private sector under the commerce clause, thus paving the way for the Federal government to enact civil rights laws prohibiting both public and private sector discrimination on the basis of the commerce clause.

    After the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, the Supreme Court upheld the law’s application to the private sector, on the grounds that Congress has the power to regulate commerce between the States. The landmark case Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States established the constitutionality of the law, but it did not settle all of the legal questions surrounding the law.

    It’s a sad day when the passing of the Civil Rights Act is seen as a bad thing….

    It pisses all over Martin Luther King and his legacy…..

    All because people don’t like gay people.

  • Matthew

    I´ve had the most difficult time attempting to understand Islam … what kind of a religion is it really at it´s core? What conclusion(s) have you drawn?

  • Bones

    I don’t find other religious texts easy to read probably because they don’t interest me that much.

    The Bible interests me as it was/is an important part of my life and my culture/upbringing.

    When I first read the Old Testament as a teenager I gave up at Leviticus as the text was so foreign. Revelation was hard going as well without having an understanding of all that symbolism.

    Same with reading the Book of Mormon. That seemed totally foreign and unlike anything I’ve read before. But I was only reading it because we were told Mormonism was a cult. And really I have no interest in the Quran. The quran has other layers of interpretation like the talmud of the Jews as well.

    My son’s friends are Muslim and his family is much like any other except they don’t eat certain foods.

    I seek to understand some of it because of the public debate going on about Islam and terrorism and it would be an excellent and Christlike thing for Christians to have discussions with Muslims about Islam without judging them or evangelising.

    I think that true understanding of the texts can only be found in discussion with those who do understand. I mean we can learn a lot from Jews about our Old Testament (their Tanakh). Same with learning about Catholicism from Catholics and not anti-Catholic sources.

    We certainly do not learn from people from other religions who have an agenda to see other religions as competition/demonic.

    Ultimately all religious texts are the opinions and thoughts of humans about life on their time and ‘god’ as they saw it. I think Muhammad pbuh had as much inspiration as Paul or Moses ie none.

    Many people find happiness and meaning in them without hurting others and it helps them through trials and tribulations and their 80 whatever years they get on this rock..

    The ones we do hear about are the small number of extremists using religious texts for political ends.

  • Boo Hoo

    Then he would have to explain to me why Jews or the Oligarchy want chaos and division, and how race mixing factors in.

    You see, I have very little patience for people who fart out an opinion without facts or explanations, and expect other people to take them seriously.

  • Bones

    Obviously not a Trump supporter then…..

  • Bones

    Apparently the Antichrist hasn’t read the Book of Revelation.

  • Matthew

    I´ve learned so much more I think since I stopped attempting to learn from the “anti” folks and simply went directly to the horse´s mouth so to speak.

    As always … thanks so much Bones.

  • Nick

    Most 30-somethings are now millennials.

  • To the privileged, equality looks like oppression…

  • Michael Laffey

    So a business saying I don’t want to participate in a ceremony that , at least to my reading, the Bible unambiguously states is sinful is imposing my beliefs on someone else? That is bullying? From my perspective the bullying is coming from those who seek to use the force of Government to make someone violate there conscience in an effort to force everyone to accept their belief that Homosexual marriage is normal and good. Lets face it that is what is going on here. The effort is to impose on everyone the belief that homosexuality is normal. To get the holdouts to disregard their belief that Homosexual conduct is a sin. That may not be hostility to Christianity in general but is certainly hostility towards traditional Christianity.

  • Michael Laffey

    One thing that is being done is that the right to not be discriminated against is being elevated above the right to not be forced by the government to violate your religious beliefs. The right to not be discriminated against is a recent construct. It comes out of the civil rights movement where the government decreed that blacks could no longer be discriminated against in public accomadations. This overturned the centurys old concept that property rights allowed you to discriminate against whomever you wanted. Now no right is absolute it is generally understood that certain substantial interests can outweigh a right. Black people were severely discriminated against. They were subjected to a system of economic and social oppression that was unjust. The Government had a strong substantial interest in dismantling that system and therefore had the right to enforce anti discrimination laws that trampled property and other rights. Compare that to telling a Christian who believes the bible tells that that gay weddings are a sin and does not want their business to participate in a gay wedding. In that case the government is saying we can force you to participate or go out of business not because gay people are economically oppressed or even that they will otherwise be unable to get these wedding services but because if they are refused it will offend their dignity. That is it will make them feel bad.. Is that a substantial government interest that justifies forcing someone to violate their conscience? ( of course the real interest that remains unstated is to force everyone to abandon negative beliefs about homosexuality) How about the dignity of that person. Doesn’t the government taking away what is recognized as a natural right, forcing them to violate their conscience hurt their dignity?

  • Michael Laffey

    Well first no one is claiming that they should be allowed to refuse to serve gay people in all circumstances. They are saying we should not be forced yo participate in a particular ceremony. So to answer your question if you belonged to a religion that prohibited you from participating in a Christian religious service and you therefore did not want to provide service to a Christian religious ceremony, as a Christian who believes that you have the God given natural right to have your own beliefs and to live by them w/o government interference, I would fully support and defend your right to refuse to provide those services.

  • Yankee_Doodler

    Nice life you’ve got going there, apparently, but If you want to experience the heavy hand of government on the rights of religious free speech, try working in the military, or in academia, or in public education or in the federal government. Military chaplains, especially evangelicals and Catholics (who actually do represent the majority culture of soldiers) are now constantly looking over their shoulders for fear of being accused of prejudice or religious “hate speech.” For a glimpse of the future, try being a conspicuous Christian professor on a college campus. It’s way past time to shelve the idiotic notion that “ruling class” Christians are in charge of our culture and its institutions. What monastery have you been sequestered in for the past 50 years?

  • otrotierra

    #ThingsJesusNeverSaid

  • otrotierra

    Thank you for bringing some reality to counterbalance Yankee’s conspiracy hysteria.

  • Yankee_Doodler

    “Hate speech” is defined exclusively by the left. It means what ever they want to take issue with. I take it you haven’t spoken with any military chaplains lately? Also, I can’t imagine that expressing non-belief an academic setting would put one at odds with the prevailing culture. Your preference, by experience, would be for religious expression in public settings to be severely limited?

  • fiona64

    Or wearing blended fibers, or touching the skin of a pig (football, suede), or being around rabbits, or being around women on their periods …

  • fiona64

    Military chaplains, especially evangelicals and Catholics (who actually
    do represent the majority culture of soldiers) are now constantly
    looking over their shoulders for fear of being accused of prejudice or
    religious “hate speech.”

    Citation needed. Thanks in advance.

  • Yankee_Doodler

    Right. Have you taken note of the decline in attendance at churches across the country? We’re just a few years behind Great Britain and France where empty churches decorate the landscape of these ostensibly Christian nations.

  • TheMarsCydonia

    Just to be clear, are you feeling this way, only when it is homosexuals that are denied good and services?

    What if it’s against someone’s conscience to serve people of another skin color? Or of another gender? Or the elderly?

    Are you saying that a person’s conscience should give them the right to deny goods, services and rights of any people that they do not like in their conscience? Or is it only those with a “traditional christian” conscience that should be afforded to do as their conscience please?

    And you seriously do not see that as religious bullying?

  • fiona64

    “Hate speech” is defined exclusively by the left.

    Citation needed. Thanks in advance.

  • fiona64

    So a business saying I don’t want to participate in a ceremony that , at
    least to my reading, the Bible unambiguously states is sinful is
    imposing my beliefs on someone else?

    Yep. If your business makes wedding cakes, you can’t make for one and not another. If your business is wedding photography … same deal.

    This has been a matter of settled law since the 1960s. You can look up “discrimination in public accommodations” on your own time.

    If you don’t want to bake cakes for all comers, don’t open a bakery. Easy-peasy.

  • fiona64

    Actually, the largest growing group among Millennials is the so-called “Nones.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/american-religion-trends_us_570c21cee4b0836057a235ad

  • Catlin Mills

    Actually, hate speech is defined by law… and I have never met a man who followed Christ’s word who used it as his default preaching. Only lazy control freaks who preached fear.

  • Gryphon

    If you have a public business, holding out that you do business with the public, you cannot deny services to someone based simply on your interpretation of the Bible. This is a well-established point of law (public accommodation) that dates back hundreds of years. If you don’t want to serve the whole public, don’t have a public business; work as a private club or by subscription only. But if you are going to take advantage of the public roads, utiltities, etc., then you will serve the public equally and without prejudice, or you will suffer the legal penalties associated with breaking the law. Religious belief is not an excuse to break the law.

  • fiona64

    Citation needed for your claim about WalMart. Thaks in advance.

    And if you open a public accommodation, you don’t get to play the “we only serve people we like.”

    Why don’t you just come right out and say that you were okay with segregated lunch counters back in the day? It’s the same thing.

  • fiona64

    ^^^^ THIS, times infinity.

  • fiona64

    Guess what, sweetie? You baking a cake doesn’t make you a participant in a wedding — no matter how many dog-whistle words you use to try to cover up your anti-gay bigotry.

  • fiona64

    I haven’t … but I have watched on TV from time to time out of curiosity. It kind of reminds me of rock concerts.

  • Amanda Ferguson

    Why do you keep spelling Muslim like that? In my experience, the only people who spell it with an o are anti-Islam crusaders out to cover up the wrongs of Christianity by “proving” that Islam is worse.

  • fiona64

    S/he’s being deliberately disrespectful — and s/he knows it.

  • Catlin Mills

    Including on your list TheMarsCydonia, what if that business is the only one of it’s kind within reasonable driving distance? IE, the catholic hospitals that are now denying reasonable medical care options.

  • Catlin Mills

    There are some disenfranchised young who turn to the abusive churches because they give them someone to hate. Middle class white boys and girls who are dissatisfied with their lives, and the megachurch own the road tells them that it is the Evil Gay’s fault, or the Jews, or the Muslims. People want the easy answers, sometimes, and these churches let them blame others.

  • Matthias Thalmann

    Yes they were fined for their beliefs – namely for their beliefs that the should help the poor. Trying to deny that by stating that they were allowed to belief it as long as they didn’t act on their beliefs is a little bit disingenuous.

  • Catlin Mills

    Actually no Michael. Many people ARE in fact saying they should be allowed to deny service regardless. Indiana had a law passed along those lines, and Kansas has tried, as have several other states, with churches pushing it

  • solwoman

    As science pushes religions’ dogma, religion changes. It has no choice. As society’s morality changes, religion has to be dragged kicking and screaming along with it. They believed Greek mythology for about 2,000 years, then some science came along and debunked it. Perfectly intelligent, nice, good, moral people believe religion. They are brainwashed by society to do so.

  • solwoman

    That is as it should be – it’s a good thing. If more Christians felt that way, they wouldn’t feel so persecuted, although I would argue that they aren’t persecuted for their spiritual belief. They mistake society pushing back on allowing them to take over government as attacking Christianity. They are two separate arguments.

  • solwoman

    Kitsune, Your moral conscience cannot operate above the law. That is what Christians are demanding – privilege over the law. No one should have that.

  • Diego Duarte

    You’re living in an alternate reality. I’ve gotten hell everywhere for expressing my atheism (and in a noninvasive way too, I would just answer I was an atheist when people would ask me what my faith was). Even my high school teachers let me know that I was wrong in my beliefs, with one of them clearly telling me I was going to burn in hell.

    It’s not just public high school but everywhere else as well. The only place where I didn’t feel constrained to reveal my faith was college. But by all means, if you want to take that away from us as well in the name of “religious persecution of christian ideals” go ahead.

    Hypocrites.

  • Matthias Thalmann

    Of course people feeding the hungry do not belong to a specific religious group, just like people praying do not belong to a specific religious group. Yet if people were fine for praying they would still be persecuted for their beliefs, even if everybody seen praying would have to pay the fine. Similarly if they believe that they should feed the hungry and are fined for that they are persecuted for their beliefs even if anyone feeding the hungry is fined.

    Now as I do not live in the US and religions where I live are much less shrill and more organised it is possible that discrimination and persecution have a different meaning here compared to there which may explain our problems to agree on whether something is persecution or not.

  • Finsterjaeger

    Part of the problem is that we conflate our local or regional circumstances to being the same as what occurs at the national level. For example, I just squeak into the millennial category and very few of the people that I grew up with attend mass or some other organized religious service. It you asked them “what religion are you” I’m sure they would say they’re Christian mostly because that’s more accurate than any other box on the survey. If you went to another part of the country I’m sure you would get different results and underlying realities. It’s not that what they are doing is wrong or bad, but it also means that the statistics cited in this article may not support the idea of a Christian super majority in America.

    My personal issue with religion and modern culture where I have lived and worked is it essentially unacceptable to be religious in any fashion. Something as innocuous as silently praying and giving thanks before eating lunch would (and has) drawn stares at work (I don’t do it anymore). This, amongst other things, actually makes me very sympathetic to Muslims who want to display their faith in any meaningful public fashion.

    It has always amazed me how quickly people will support the freedom of speech of others making unpopular statements and then whip around and lambast others for speaking in any way that alludes to religion.

  • solwoman

    Well said, Susan. Religions want PRIVILEGE. It’s a self-appointed superiority they assume for themselves and then impose on others. They put themselves on a pedestal of superiority and demand others acknowledge it, when, in fact, they are at worst our EQUALS. They fear and reject equality because it threatens their privilege.

    Churches want privilege to operate tax free, yet infiltrate our government to exert control over the population.

    Gays are the only acceptable group left to discriminate against. It will change, and it will change in my lifetime. Hang in there. Millions and millions of people are on your side.

  • Matthias Thalmann

    I don’t quite see how the fact that the would still be allowed to feed the hungry in certain areas is relevant to the question whether it is persecution as one should obviously bring the food as closely to the hungry as possible and not demand that they first travel across the city.

    I also don’t see how the fact that a non-christian group was fined is relevant either as I do not think that only one group can be persecuted. Obviously the non-christian group was also persecuted.

    Lastly it was not just a fine but also a potential prison sentence, which is already closer to persecution, and if you don’t count fines or prison as persecution only say bodily harm or destruction of property then you could just have said so.

  • Bones

    Oh that’s ok then….like maybe businesses won’t serve interracial marriages……

    This opting out crap is all over this thread…..and is completely disingenuous.

    How come after 50 odd years all of a sudden anti-discrimination laws are government interference?

  • Matthias Thalmann

    I never meant to say it was “Christian persecution” (wouldn’t that be persecution by Christians anyway?), it was “persecution of Christians”.

  • Gideon Waxfarb

    If you’re talking about the ‘gay wedding cake’ issue, many people have likened it to refusing to serve black people, which is really a bad comparison, since the VAST majority of Christians who don’t want to partake in gay weddings wouldn’t refuse to serve gay people outright.

    In fact, the baker who got sued in Colorado for not baking one said he would’ve been happy to bake the gay couple any other cake they wanted, except THAT one. Which I think is perfectly reasonable, unless you also want the State forcing people to bake cakes that say ‘God hates fags’, and who the hell knows what else.

    And I say all this as a mostly right-leaning atheist. The Left is always screaming about tolerance, but never actually giving any.

  • solwoman

    So it’s okay to profit from gays when it suits you. Isn’t that a bit biblical morality “a la carte”? Christians who own stores are not above anti-discrimination laws. That’s what you’re advocating – being above Constitutional law.

  • Matthias Thalmann

    Just because it didn’t not specifically target Christians it does not mean that they are not impacted. And while it was not Christians that were targetted it was something about them that was targeted, their feeding of the poor was being targeted.

  • Bones

    Yes, we know you hate gay people and would like to see them discriminated against….

    It’s you who has the problem now after denying gay people rights for years.

    Oh the irony of these poor Christians crying about bullying after what they’ve done to gay people and resisted EVERY single civil right given tot hem.

    Repent.

  • Bones

    Exactly…..

  • solwoman

    This is the cliff we fall off when we allow one group to operate above equality laws and not another. You can find support in the Bible to discriminate (even enslave) blacks, so now we have a redneck in Walmart who refuses to bake a cake for a black child’s birthday party, or a inter-racial couple’s marriage.

    Then we have to accommodate Muslim belief…then the Satanists…

  • Bones

    The baker in Colorado likened gays to paedophiles and would bake a marriage cake for dogs instead of gay people.

    Great example there…..

    No wonder he lost…

    I wonder why he didn’t get an award for discriminating against gay people like the Kleins and Kim Davis have….

    Btw the Kleins have shown that discrimination is very profitable and as the new heroes of the Right have toured the country speaking for the repeal of anti-gay discrimination laws in states like North Carolina….which subsequently did….

    So now you can happily discriminate against gay people in North Carolina….

    Which is a reason why businesses have pulled their staff out of there.

  • Bones

    I suppose the military doesn’t want their soldiers being told they’re going to hell because they’re gay before they go into battle….

  • Bones

    Nah, it’s just the gay thing because they haven’t had a problem anti-discrimination laws for the past 50 years.

    What I find appalling is how they bleat about rights when they have fought to deny the rights of gay people for anything….including not being locked up….

  • Bones

    BINGO!

  • Finsterjaeger

    Public accommodation law at the federal level only protects those that are a part of a protected class such as race, color, religion, national origin. It also covers disabilities under the ADA, but that’s a substantively different beast. It is entirely legal to discriminate on the basis of other things be it no shoes or no shirt, I don’t like you because you’re a jerk or you’re a Giants fan. It is not universal protection in the sense that you actually have to serve everyone.

    Federal public accommodations law does not actually protect on the basis of sexual orientation. The cake baker cases and the like have involved state public accommodations statues. The Supreme Court’s review or non-review of these cases was if the First Amendment right of freedom of speech might trump the state anti-discrimination statute. Without the claim the Court would have likely refused to rule on the merits of the case based on adequate independent state ground for the decision (not to mention no federal question of law). Just to be clear, I’m actually a supporter of state public accommodation statutes that protect people on the basis of sexual orientation.

    The above is also why a lot of states’ religious freedom acts are bogus as there are no potential cake baker cases unless the state passes legislation protecting folks on the basis of sexual orientation.

  • Gryphon

    Ah … the old saw about “Right” and “Left” crap and a big smelly barrel of red herring. Not interested. Cast that bait somewhere else.

    The laws regarding public accommodation (which is what I discussed) are quite clear with judicial and historical precedent. Religious beliefs doesn’t provide an excuse to disobey the laws of the land.

  • Xylem

    I have no problem with religious people, just don’t raise the topic in conversation with me.

  • Gideon Waxfarb

    Look, I don’t disagree with your sentiments about this guy. But the point is he got fined for not baking a VERY SPECIFIC cake, not just any cake for a specific class of people.

    I know some of you can’t see the forest for the trees here, but this seems like a very bad precedent to set, esp. if the alt-right or some other group ever gains power and uses the State to force private business owners to do all kinds of vile shit, and then throws this back in their face when they protest.

  • Narian

    And nothing of value was lost.

  • Narian

    Since when was Christianity “Normal”? You believe in a non-existent supernatural deistic entity that had his son/a fragment of himself get people to drink his blood and eat his flesh (ie. a cannibalistic blood cult) in order to ensure salvation. Lets face it, the right just want to make believing in crazy stories to be seen as “normal”.

  • Bones

    What sort of ‘vile shit’ would that be?

    Not serve gays?

    That’s already being seen in some places with the Right now worked up about toilets as well.

    States have passed their own anti-discrimination laws to protect gay people…in fact the women in the Klein case went to Oregon specifically because of that law because of the discrimination they received.

    I don’t recall this fear when people were making anti-discrimination laws about race or gender…..

    You wouldn’t be posting anything if it was an interracial wedding that had been rejected.

  • scarykitty

    Oh, absolutely. The practical effect can be interference with religion, which is why Joan Cheever is considering suing the city of San Antonio on freedom-of-religion grounds. My point simply was that these food laws and ordinances are targeting the poor and homeless, not Christians per se, though some Christians, and others, are getting caught in the middle. It’s not what people are complaining about as “Christian persecution.”

  • Narian

    If you feel like you should have a say over my marriage then i feel like I should have a say over yours and I’ll push “Christians shouldn’t be allowed to get married or have children – EVER”

    Want to play that game? I’ll play. It won’t be pretty and it won’t be nice. And since I’m a non-believer I’ll fight harder, longer, and strong than you ever will.

    Let’s play this game and see how far you get. Lets see how far your prayers go. Because I know I’ll win and you’ll lose. Your ilk is already too pathetic to fight this current “onslaught” (hint: there isn’t one) and you think you could fight a coordinated counterattack? Keep praying. You’re gonna need ’em.

  • Bones

    Get off that fence, Matt….

    “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

    Archbishop Tutu

  • Matthias Thalmann

    Of course one can say that there was gay persecution if both gay and straight people get fined for showing affection. There would also be straight persecution but that does not change the fact that gay people would be persecuted ergo there would be gay persecution.

    Again the root of your inability to grasp this seems to be that you belief that only ever one group can be persecuted at a time. If two groups are persecuted then you say that neither is, yet obviously both were.

  • lynus55

    Except atheism is a religion, like bald is a hair colour. Or like an empty box is a fridge. Try keeping your coors lite cold in a box. Atheism is a philosophy, just like religions, so in that way, they are similar. Most atheists these days have realized their error in using the statement “there is no god”. That cannot be said logically. With no evidence either way, for or against, all we can say, then, is “It is our opinion, based on the lack of evidence, that there is no god”. So bring us evidence and we will look at it. The religious are also incorrect when they say “there is a god”, since there is the same no-evidence. Therefore it is merely an opinion that there is a god. You have your opinion and I have mine. No need to cry, or fight. So perhaps I should not use the term “winning”. Better to say that there are more of us everyday, and fewer religious folk. Worldwide. I blame google. Darn kids are fact checking, and all they are coming up with, are them dern inconvenient facts! My 5 year old grandson checked the Noah’s Ark fairy tale, and said it was the dumbest thing he ever heard. Good boy!

  • Matthias Thalmann

    A meaningless distinction, its like saying “you are not fined for being Muslim just for wearing a headscarf” as if the two things were not related.

  • Bones

    Wishful thinking there….

    That has never happened in the whole history of Christianity….

    At least we aren’t killing each other….

  • fiona64

    Your amplification of my statement is much appreciated.

  • I am SO FREAKIN’ HAPPY to see the decline of church attendance in the US. I am actually hopeful that we are seeing a measurable decline of religious fundamentalism. A fundamentalism that appeared out of nowhere and has been growing all over the world since the ’70s and has been the cause of a lot of misery.

    The more secular a country is the happier it’s people are:
    CITE: https://ffrf.org/uploads/timely/Religion&Society.pdf

  • Matthias Thalmann

    So Larycia Hawkins became a Muslim when she wore a hijab? Weirdly enough she herself continues to identify as Christian.

  • Neil Gilfillan

    Nicely written and absolutely correct. Christmas and Easter would recede into private and Church observation but that’s all this Atheist is hostile about. If one is acting in a humanitarian sense, and doesn’t push their nonsense on me, then I really don’t care what their thoughts on God are. Should they bring them up they’d better be prepared to hear my reasons for why their thoughts are silly.

  • Matthias Thalmann

    He is not persecuted because there is a good reason for fining speeding. There is no reason to outlaw public displays of affection. Then again Americans are highly puritan and afraid of anything sexual so I’m not surprised that you think so.

  • Gideon Waxfarb

    ‘What sort of ‘vile shit’ would that be?’

    Oh, I dunno…. would you bake a cake for a NAMBLA or KKK convention? What if you’re a feminist (or some other person) who abhors prostitution, and you ran a business that was forced to cater to a brothel? Should vegan business owners be forced to be involved with BBQ-related events?

    ‘You wouldn’t be posting anything if it was an interracial wedding that had been rejected.’

    Actually, I would. Same/same, IMO. If private business owners don’t want to take part in, or cater to events they find morally unconscionable, they shouldn’t be forced to.

  • Someone Else

    Absolutely we do have a problem with religious bullies in this country, and these bullies exist in the Christian faiths, and the Jewish faiths, and in all the religious faiths. Absolutely no religion is filled with 100% perfect people, so no religion is “God’s only chosen people.” I do so hope we soon end the seemingly religious, actual war profiteering banker’s, wars soon.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hfEBupAeo4

  • Neil Gilfillan

    See, individual Rights are not subjected to majority preference. So, even if you were correct about the majority of soldiers (and I’m dubious about that) it doesn’t change the Right of individuals to be free from religious harassment.

  • cken

    Are we not also brainwashed to believe in science to disregard the metaphysical.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Wow, you’ve really offered a whole giant crapload of false equivalencies to gay wedding cakes. Congratulations for completely missing it.

  • Matthias Thalmann

    You changed the discussion by bringing up several examples which had nothing to do with religion, while all examples I offered were referring to different religions.

    And if I “refuse to understand” that there is no persecution for acting Christian because there clearly was although you refuse to admit this.

  • Steve Shay

    Yet up to five years ago, “right-wing Christians” like Hillary and Obama believed gay marriage was against Biblical doctrine. While I personally am for gay marriage, I am aware of many Christians who are attacked by the left for simply expressing dissent.

  • Neil Gilfillan

    Glad you brought it up. Christians are supposedly defined by their following of Jesus, who said not a thing about homosexuality and, in fact, helped and fed people without question as to how they lived. Jewish folks (like my ancestors) are defined by their non-acceptance of Jesus and belief only in the Torah, or Moses’ laws, which are set in the Old Testament. Leviticus is a Jewish declaration which also instructs people to stone their wives for not respecting men. If you are Christian then the pronouncements of this God, during pre-Jesus time, should have no meaning for you as God/Jesus changed all that. This is the very meaning behind Jesus’ freeing the people from sin. I know this and I’m an Atheist. Let’s get with the times, ‘kay?

  • Matthias Thalmann

    Just before you claimed that seeing a women wearing a hijab means that she was a Muslim, now you agree that this is not so but that no-muslims may also wear it (just like non-christian may also feed the hungry). So according to your logic forbidding to wear a hijab is not persecution because its not “specifically” Muslim.

    Regarding your carsmashing: It is not done by the government so its not oppression. If a policemen would go around vandalising a hundred cars (and had the legal or de facto right to do so) then it would be oppression from the government. If it is not government mandated/supported its just being an asshole.

  • Matthias Thalmann

    Yes, but because I don’t subscribe to your weird worldview where it is only persecution if it affects one and only one group I don not see any contradiction between claiming that both christians and non-christians were persecuted for the same action.

  • Matthew

    Believe it or not, on many days I still consider myself an evangelical, but I don’t think I’m in the same pot as the ones who are so disliked specifically here on BLC.

  • TheMarsCydonia

    They’re not forced to. If a business owner has a public accomodation business and he finds it abhorent to serve blacks, women, the elderly, the handicapped or the homosexual, no one is forcing him to operate his public accomodation business.

  • Matthias Thalmann

    I finally figured out you problem! Just like you believe that it is only possible for one group of people to be oppressed, you also believe that it is only possible for one group to be called to feed the poor: If Christians believe they have to feed the poor then according to your twisted logic no one else can have the same calling. If anyone else is obligated by their religion to care for the poor then it means that the Christians cannot be.

    Of course this is a false dichotomy as in reality (as opposed to your mind) almost all religions do have commandments to care for the poor.

    Let me try to explain it to you with the following example: The five books of Moses are part of the Christian scripture (the bible). They are also part of the Jewish scripture (the tanakh). And just like that the commandment to care for the poor is also enshrined in both Judaism and Christianity.

    And thus if a Christian is feeding the poor he is acting on his Christian beliefs while a Jew would be acting on his Jewish beliefs.

  • Thierrion Kagan

    “We’re just growing hostile towards hypocrites and religious bullies who aren’t content to just live their lives the way they please, but who instead seek to impose their extremist beliefs on the rest of us.”

    Huh. So what are your opinions on muslims?

  • Gideon Waxfarb

    They’re only false equivalencies for someone who looks at the world the exact same way as you do. But if the Left are going to insist on shoving this multi-culturalism shit down peoples’ throats (while screaming about tolerance at the same time) and expect everybody to get along, some compromises are going to have to be made.

  • Matthias Thalmann

    So if someone is attacked wearing a Hijab it is oppression against Muslims even if the person in question is not Muslim???

    Regarding the validity of the law: If you agree that it is bad then why are you defending it constantly and refuse to call it persecution? You remind me of the people who constantly say that racism is bad – but its not racism if the police keeps murdering unarmed black people.

  • TheMarsCydonia

    What would the opinion on muslims be any different on this topic?

    Is it because people like Trump encourage hostility toward all muslims rather than just the religiously bullying muslims?

  • Matthias Thalmann

    I never argued that the law was intended as anti-Christian, it wasn’t. However, regardless of the intentions of the law-makers this is what it turned out to be because it ended up targeting Christians.

  • Matthias Thalmann

    Great finally you came around, it took only about to day, but better late than never.

  • And I’m Cute, Too

    Don’t be so certain that this decline in attendance (which I’ve seen noted on other blogs) is due to persecution or denial of religious rights. There are likely many factors involved.

    One major influence might be the “religious bullies” that Benjamin referred to in his article. From what I’ve read elsewhere, a lot of Christians are becoming “dones” — done with institutional religion, though not with faith in God — because of mistreatment and abuse at the hands of leaders in churches. I don’t live in N.A. right now, but apparently various domineering and harmful behaviours have wormed their way into stateside congregations, and many believers have turned their backs on churches to protect themselves from such evil.

  • Matthias Thalmann

    No I do not believe it nor did I ever write it, and if you thought I did it was you who twisted everything. If you truly believed that most religions have the call to feed the poor then you would also conclude that a law which forbids them to follow their call is oppressing most religions. However, you kept arguing against this. Of course the law did not specifically persecute Christian people it persecuted them as well as anyone else who wanted to help the poor. It is only in your mind that those two fact were a contradiction.

  • Matthias Thalmann

    And we’re back to the place were you insist that the law can only every persecute one group. So if atheist humanists are targeted [1] then in your twisted mind Christians cannot be targeted as well. I on the other hand still see no contradiction between the two and maintain that both were persecuted at the same time.

    [1] Actually it didn’t target them – it just affected them regardless of the intentions, resulting in their persecution.

  • Matthias Thalmann

    And again we come back to your twisted dichotomy where only one group can be persecuted while I maintain that it is possible to persecute several groups at once.

  • JPablo

    Are you talking about all Muslims? Because if you are then you are completely wrong. I have never seen or heard of a Muslim inside the US asking for laws to be passed that follow the Qur’an. But I am constantly seeing Christian lawmakers call for laws that follow the bible.
    If your objection is to point to the Muslims who bomb or otherwise carry out or plan attacks on innocents within the US, my answer is that these terrorists are extremists and do not reflect the majority of law-abiding, hard-working Muslims who just want to lead their lives without being harassed for their beliefs. Just like there are Christians who have committed terrorist acts within the US but do not represent good, law-abiding Christians. These Christian terrorists have bombed abortion clinics, attacked mosques, etc. It is very easy to research the large amount of Christian terrorist attacks inside the US. But I know you won’t.
    So please, don’t single out Muslims because almost all religions contain extremist members who perpetrate violence in the name of their beliefs.

  • JPablo

    Matthew 6:5
    “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.”

  • solwoman

    No. That doesn’t even make sense. Science doesn’t brainwash. The technology to create the computer you’re typing on isn’t brainwashing. The telephone you use isn’t brainwashing. Science conducts experiments and if they work, great. If they don’t, they go back to the drawing board. Science proves its positions and hypotheses all the time. Religion never does. Never. Not once. It is purely BELIEF.

    The metaphysical subscribers believe that if they rub a crystal on their ass, they’ll gain prosperity, and the Christians want to be above the law simply because they feel superior, demand privilege, and they should be able to – because God. At least the metaphysical believers don’t try to force me into any of their rituals. Yet.

  • TheMarsCydonia

    You’re right. It was not akin to refusing to serve black people, it wasakin to refusing to serve a black couple for their wedding.

    The baker could also have said “I’m not refusing to serve jews/blacks/homosxuals, I’m just refusing to serve them for their wedding. I sell my wedding cakes only to white christian heterosexuals”.

  • JPablo

    So enlighten us, what exactly was this “very specific cake”?

  • Matthias Thalmann

    a) if you don’t believe that anyone was persecuted why did you say that you agree that the law did persecute atheist humanists?
    b) How on earth is being fined for feeding the poor not an “unfair treatment because of […] religious or political beliefs” of the Humanist, Buddhist or Christian person? You do agree that the law is awful so being fined is unfair treatment, no? And the idea is one should feed the poor is unfortunately a political or religious belief as there are politicians arguing that poor people should starve (if you think this is hyperbole just google “poor should starve” and you’ll find a lot of republicans arguing just that, the most prominent being the governor of Maine)

  • That “mainline” churches and denominations are declining is obvious. I Although I will concede that conservative/ evangelical/ fundamentalists may in fact be growing ( I want to research that), my gut feeling is that even these churches will be unable to handle the cultural and demographic changes that are rapidly occurring.

    Anecdotally, I think what has happened in my own family is probably pretty common or will be. I come from a very conservative evangelical family. Between me and my siblings, there are 14 kids (5 of my own and 9 nieces/nephews). I became the black sheep years ago (2007) when I started questioning things and stopped going to church. But my brothers and their kids were raised strongly evangelical including several of them being home-schooled. Now that those kids are growing up, most of them have rejected many of the basic tenets of their evangelical upbringing and a few have even become atheists. I’d say 2 are still pretty strongly evangelical and the rest are on some kind of continuum between Liberal-ish christianity and atheism. But all of them hate christian political involvement. They are all either indifferent to or openly supportive of LGBT people. They tend to have live and let live (libertarian)leanings when it comes to politics. The majority don’t believe in inerrancy.

    I have a feeling this is going to be very common over the next decade or so.

  • Steffen Arnesen Kaland

    You’re far more likely to be killed by a right wing Christian terrorist, than you are of being killed by a Muslim

  • Finsterjaeger

    That portion of Matthew has to do with “why” we pray and not necessarily where we should pray. That interpretation would make this Bible passage consistent with the general message of the New Testament to rejoice and spread the message of God as well as the rest of the language in Matthew Chapter 6 (e.g., “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others”).

    It shouldn’t be entirely socially unacceptable for people of every faith to allow that portion of their religious identity to exist in the public sphere. Note, there is a significant difference between evangelizing and simply wearing a cross, praying before a meal, etc.

  • YoshiNakamura

    Legitimate question. The legitimate answer is that both “Muslim” and “Moslem” are legitimate, non-derogatory words in the English language. Until about 30-40 years ago, the standard English word was “Moslem”. Under pressure from the Muslim Brotherhood, “Muslim” has become the politically correct term. Check out this informative article on the subject: http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/524
    I refuse to be politically correct.
    As for Islam being worse than Christianity, there can be no doubt about it even taking into account the Crusades and the Inquisition. Just compare the Gospels to the Koran, and compare Jesus to Muhammad.

  • YoshiNakamura

    YOU may have no clue, but anyone who bothers to read the New Testament understands that the New Testament is Christianity. Anyone who studies religion understands that practitioners may or may not follow their sacred texts, and therefore, that you cannot prove much about the religion by looking at the behavior of particular practitioners. You get more substantiation about the religion be examining the religious community as a whole, but even that is not conclusive proof. The only conclusive proof is reading the texts which are considered sacred.

  • Guy Norred

    I haven’t noticed Muslims trying to impose their beliefs on others in the US.

  • sumdumgai123

    Do you seriously believe that they just came to this conclusion? OF course not. They were pressured by society to pretend to be against gay marriage at first. They were never against the right of people to marry who they want, but they had to act like they were to get elected.

  • Matthias Thalmann

    a) That is weird; for me it is quite obvious that atheist beliefs in general are subject to persecution. After all there are still several US state constitutions which demand “a declaration of a belief in God”. Of course they are unenforceable per several court decisions, but the mere fact that those articles still remain part of a constitution and have not been removed demonstrates that there are clear prejudices and would-be persecution against atheists.

    b) The definition you gave included both religious and political beliefs and given the various attempts of Republicans to cut access to foodstamps feeding the poor has unfortunately become a political belief/statement. Regarding the whether or not it is also a religious belief I guess we just have to agree to disagree on this one. We both agree that it is held by virtually every religion but you conclude from this that it belongs to no religion while I conclude it belongs to all and I don’t think either of us will manage to convince the other.
    The law may not have intended that poor people starve, only for them to move away out of the city or at least to another part of it, but if you restrict access of the poor to food you at least accept the possibility that some might starve.
    Regarding the whether or not Christians were unfairly treated or not I guess it boils down to the question of whether something affecting all is still unfair or not. I would say that an unfair law is results in unfair treatment even if it is applied to everyone. If you fine people for feeding the poor that is unfair even if you fine everyone doing it (although marginally better than if you were fining just some people for doing it.) If you on the other hand believe that an unfair law applied to everyone equally does not result in unfair treatment then there is indeed no unfair treatment.

  • Anja

    Christmas and Easter actually are not Christian. They are older holidays taken over by the Christian churches.

  • YoshiNakamura

    Obviously, many, or perhaps, most Moslems are not violent. A great many of them, however, are violent. You don’t have to “hear” about this. Even the standard media reports on the continual outpouring of massive violence from the Moslem world committed by religious Moslems in the name of Islam who quote the Koran. That is objective fact.
    The problem with Islam is that so many Moslems DO take heed of Muhammad’s words such as these:

    1. Mohammed said, “I have been ordered to fight with the people till they say, “None has the right to be worshiped but Allah,

    2. Muhammad said: “Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war, …”

    3. Allah’s Apostle said, “You (i.e. Muslims) will fight
    with the Jews till some of them will hide behind stones. The stones will (betray them) saying, ‘0 ‘Abdullah (i.e. slave of Allah)! There is a Jew hiding behind me; so kill him.’ ”

    4. Muhammad said to the Jews: “If you embrace Islam, you will be safe. You should know that the earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle, and I want to expel you from this land. “

    5. Mohammad said, “Whoever changes his Islamic religion, kill him.”

    6. Mohammad said, ” No Muslim should be killed for killing a Kafir” (infidel).

    7. Muhammad said: “I have been made victorious through terror.”

    8. Muhammad said: “I have been commanded to
    fight against people till they testify to the fact that there is no god but Allah, and believe in me (that) I am
    the Messenger and in all that I have brought.”

    9. Muhammad said: “Kill the one who sodomizes and the one who lets it be done to him.”

    10. Muhammad said: “Whoever speaks of the Book of Allah from his own opinion is in error.”

    11. Muhammad said: “Allah … commanded me to do away with the musical instruments, flutes, strings…”

    12. Mohammad said: “Because Allah afflicted Eve, all of
    the women of this world menstruate and are stupid.”

    13. The Prophet said: “A man will not be asked as to why he beat his wife.”

    14. Mohammad said: “O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women)…I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you…Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?…This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn’t it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?…This is the deficiency in her religion.”

    15. Muhammad said:“Women are the majority dwellers in Allah’s Hell and are lacking inintelligence and religion”.

    16. The Prophet said, “If a man invites his wife to sleep with him and she refuses to come to him, then the angels send their curses on her till morning.”

    17. A’isha said [to Muhammad]: “You have made us equal to the dogs and the asses” (These are the words of Muhammad’s favorite wife.)

    This is all in addition to the literal words of the Moslem god in the Koran: “Muhammad is God’s Apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers
    but merciful to one another. ” 48:29

  • Tom Bombadil

    A major point that I was trying to make is that justification of a position with scripture is very different from basing a belief in scripture.

    Disagreement with gay marriage is based in scripture, and the argument would be that having gay marriage is counter to scripture while not having it is consistent with scripture. This same treatment does not work with slavery.

    Pro-slavery’s wrong argument would say having slaves is okay (something that is “ok” needs justification), but, not having slaves was okay too. See, for slavery, both the existence and absence of slavery was OK. Not having slaves was not deemed as wrong. The desire to have slaves preceded the need for slave owning Christians to justify their having slaves. Also, it was Christians that drove the abolitionist push.

    That’s not true with the disagreement with gay marriage argument: the existence of gay marriage is deemed wrong while the absence is deemed “right”. Thus, for most Christians, the opposition to gay marriage stemmed from seeing it as wrong in scripture, not first disliking it and then using the Bible for justification.

    To be more clear, few if any said, “it is wrong if we do not go and get slaves.” Instead they wanted slaves and interpreted scripture based in the bias of that want. Not so with disagreeing with gay marriage.

  • Guy Norred

    If a bakery sells a cake that says “God hates fags” to one person they should have to sell it to any person who asks for it. If on the other hand cakes that say “God hates fags” are not part of their repertoire, then they have not to sell. How would they be forced to sell something they do not have?

  • Anja

    Yet nobody there is harrassed or even attacked for being Christian. There’s just a lot of young people who do not identify as Christian, so the churches have no new followers coming in … and due to natural processes, the old followers die out in time.

    The churches choose not to go with the times and they pay the price of declining followers. That is true in most places of the Western World, as it’s sometimes called.

  • Gideon Waxfarb

    A gay wedding cake, as in, ‘Congratulations Adam and Steve!’ isn’t in their repertoire either. Same difference.

  • Gideon Waxfarb

    ‘The baker could also have said “I’m not refusing to serve
    jews/blacks/homosxuals, I’m just refusing to serve them for their
    wedding.’

    Yes, that’s pretty much it.

  • TheMarsCydonia

    And that would be discrimination based on religion/race/sexual orientation.

  • TheMarsCydonia

    Wedding cakes are not straight or gay, they’re just wedding cakes.

  • Tom Bombadil

    Do you believe a business such as the baker’s is benign to LGBT individuals if it, due to Christian belief and conscience, chooses to not bake wedding cakes for gay weddings while willingly serves LGBT customers for events such as birthdays and surprise parties? If not, do you think the government should impose a bankrupting fine?

  • YoshiNakamura

    You should remember that jihad is war because in Islam it is a holy duty to make war on non-Moslems in order to spread Islam. The most popular and authoritative manual of Sharia law, “Reliance of the Traveller — A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law” defines jihad for us:
    “JIHAD means to (make) war on non-Muslims.” (o9.0)
    This manual of Sharia law was apporoved in the mid 1990s by the highest Islamic religious authorities of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Egypt and America.

    What you say about Christianity is just false because you fail to distinguish between Christianity and the behavior of some Christians. Christianity is the New Testament, and there is nothing in the New Testament to justify the cruel acts you refer to.

    If you say that Christian Fundamentalists can be every bit as bloodthirsty as the Moslem fundamentalist, you are lying. A Christian Fundamentalist is one who takes the New Testament and the model of Jesus very seriously, and there is nothing in either of them which condone the behavior you referred to. In Islam, the Koran and Muhammad are chock full of commands to cut the heads off of unbelievers, crucify them, slice their limbs off from opposite sides, etc.

    You really need to recognize the difference between the religion and the behavior of particular practitioners of that religion.

  • Gideon Waxfarb

    ‘And that would be discrimination based on religion/race/sexual orientation.’

    Sure it would… for a single event that (hopefully) only happens once in a person’s life. Question is, are you willing to give a little tolerance to get any?

  • Gideon Waxfarb

    ‘Wedding cakes are not straight or gay, they’re just wedding cakes.’

    Not to them.

  • Guy Norred

    How is a gay wedding cake different from a non-gay wedding cake? My wedding cake was decorated with leaves. My sister’s was decorated with lilies. I have seen all kinds of decorations on wedding cakes but with the extremely rare exception of those decorated with a miniature couple (and the only time I have seen this in twenty years was where the topper itself was a family heirloom and had been on the bride’s parents’ and grandparents’ cakes before), none were in the least suggestive of the gender makeup of the people getting married. Admittedly I have never seen a wedding cake with names on it, but if they would put “Congratulations Adam and Eve” on a cake, I see no reason why they should not be expected to put “Congratulations Adam and Steve”.

  • Gideon Waxfarb

    ‘How is a gay wedding cake different from a non-gay wedding cake?’

    For us? Nothing. For them? A metric fucckton.

    But hey, if you’re just going in there to get a cake with leaves on it (or whatever), don’t tell them it’s for a gay wedding. Problem solved.

  • In the first place there are Christians today who both support and denounce marriage equality, just as there were Christians who both supported and denounced slavery, segregation, and interracial marriage.

    In the second place, despite your rather convoluted differentiation between biblical arguments in different cases, slavery is not the only form of racism at issue. Are you unaware that bible arguments continue to be made against interracial marriage and for segregation?

    Just look at the ugly uses of the bible you can find on the internet:

    http://faithandheritage.com/2011/05/the-moral-status-of-miscegenation/

    http://thetencommandmentsministry.us/ministry/bible_and_segregation

    http://www.hope-of-israel.org/7thcommandment.html

  • Guy Norred

    I really doubt people ever do that. But the bakeries do tend to ask for the couples names, or go in together and shop. Now believe me when I tell you that most of the people in question have played the pronoun name a few too many times. One’s wedding is no occasion for going back into the closet.

  • Peckersnot

    Give ’em time. They will.

  • TheMarsCydonia

    “Medical services are not straight or gay”

    “Not to them”.

    “Not to them” is not a phrase that makes it ok.

  • Steve Shay

    I agree with you that Clinton and Obama were (probably) insincere with their decades-long anti gay stances. But to assume they now give a crap about the LGBT community is not a given. They do what is politically expedient, even in the wake of damage they created before they “evolved.”

  • Joseph

    Can’t tell if joking

  • Let me rephrase that for you:

    “Do you believe a business such as the baker’s is benign to interracial individuals if it, due to Christian belief and conscience, chooses to not bake wedding cakes for interracial weddings while willingly serves interracial customers for events such as birthdays and surprise parties?”

    As far as bankrupting fines go, how many people do you know who have been given bankrupting fines for refusing service to LGBT citizens? Because I can guarantee you that the number (1?, 2?) pales to hundreds of thousands of LGBT citizens who experience bigoted denials of services and basic human rights. You have a problem with the size of the fine? Go tell the state government that set it. But don’t pretend that the size of one fine is any way comparable to the discrimination faced by LGBT citizens.

  • TheMarsCydonia

    Are you asking me if I am willing to give a little tolerance to discrimination/anti-tolerance in order to get tolerance?

    That question makes no sense to me.

  • Jim Krugh

    True, but christianity “took them over” and made them what they are today.

  • Gideon Waxfarb

    ‘Are you asking me if I am willing to give a little tolerance to discrimination/anti-tolerance in order to get tolerance?’

    Yes, that is EXACTLY what I’m asking. Think of it like this… pragmatically speaking, in just about every area in the US, if somebody won’t bake you a gay wedding cake, there’s probably 5 other bakers in town who will.

    ‘But why give in these bigots?’, you might ask? This is obviously something that’s very important to them, so perhaps we could use it as a bargaining chip to get something we want in return …

  • TheMarsCydonia

    And just to make sure, since you’re willing to let bakers discriminate, are you willing to allow discrimination from grocers? Doctors? Police officers?

  • Gideon Waxfarb

    To be clear, we’re not talking about letting businesses turn away gays wholesale. We’re talking about gay weddings SPECIFICALLY.

  • YoshiNakamura

    When Christians follow their texts closely, they tend to be pacifist. When Moslems follow their texts closely, they are jihadists.

  • TheMarsCydonia

    And I’m asking if there are other things besides wedding cakes (not gay or straight, wedding cakes) “conscience exceptions” should be made for.

    If a baker says “It’s against my conscience to sell a wedding cakes to gays”, why couldn’t a grocer say “It’s against my conscience to sell bread and milk to gays”? Then why couldn’t a doctor say “It’s against my conscience to offer medical aid to blacks”.

    You’re willing to allow discrimination. I am asking what is the acceptable basis for discrimination.

    If you’re refusing doctors the right to discriminate, wouldn’t that be discrimination against them in favor of bakers?

  • WingedBeast

    There’s a steep difference between allowing your religious identity to exist in the public sphere and legislating your faith.

  • Gideon Waxfarb

    IMO, I think there’s a pretty big difference between discriminating against gays and discriminating against gay WEDDINGS – one is a person, and the other is an event (and usually a once in a lifetime event).

    If you don’t agree, that’s fine. If you’re not willing to budge an inch, that’s fine too. Just don’t expect your opponents to ever do so either. Meanwhile, the rest of us who really don’t give two shits about this issue one way or the other just have to sit and watch while the two sides cross their arms and stomp their feet like petulant little children. I’m always talking to both sides, trying to see if any compromise can be reached, so that one day we can get on to debating issues that actually matter to more than just a small percentage of the population.

  • akzidenzgrotesk

    …Which is kind of the reason why fighting against Christian bullies now is a really good thing. If the Christian bullies are allowed to foist their religious beliefs onto the rest of us, then it’s not that difficult to see how another religion could easily step in and do the same. By maintaining the separation of church and state, we’re actually PROTECTING Christians (all of them, even the bullies) from someday possibly having to bow down before another religion not their own.

  • akzidenzgrotesk

    Eh, the fact that bunnies, eggs, decorated trees & Santa Claus feature much bigger in the decor, celebration and general marketing of these holidays than does the Christian iconography kind of indicates that Christianity didn’t take them over quite as effectively as you seem to think.

  • TheMarsCydonia

    See, that is indeed the difference.
    You’re willing to go “It’s just gay weddings!”
    Someone else will be willing to go “It’s just gays! A small percentage of the population!”
    Then someone else might go “It’s just blacks! A small percentage of the population!”

    You may be ok with discrimination when it happens to against gays, “a small part of the population” but what happens when someone else uses the “it’s just a small part of the population” to discriminate against blacks? Against women? Against jews?

    They’ll say “it’s just a small part of the population, you should be ok with that”.

    And you should be ok with that. I won’t.

  • Finsterjaeger

    Certainly, but even the latter, legislating your faith, is something of loaded term. It’s certainly dangerous to codify actual articles of faith, but at some point your policy positions should reflect your religious convictions. For example, I have a strong belief in social justice that is supported by my faith. My voting on those issues or arguing in behalf of them would certainly not come across as proselytizing.

    If you’re a fan of John Rawls this does step into some interesting intellectual territory. If you’re curious, you should see what his beliefs are about political debate in the public sphere and if religion should be a part of that.

  • WingedBeast

    But, in that social justice case, you should have a secular reasoning, one that isn’t entirely ad-hoc and made up.

    For instance, opposing marriage equality because of the bible isn’t acceptable. Pretending that it will cause the downfall of civilization for reasons that have been proven false time and again is just a thin veil.

  • greywolf2018

    Go to London and see the muslim sharia patrols on the streets accosting people, and berating them and more. London is now home to a large number of muslims, as the numbers grow they take over, we haven’t reached the critical mass yet in the US.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ePY25UPJWs
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sf_IaaCAdNs

  • akzidenzgrotesk

    Honestly, I run in pretty secular circles, but I have never seen anybody get any flack for wearing a cross. Now, praying before a meal might get you some looks, but not any more than a person with food allergies or a specialized diet might get for bringing in something relatively weird to eat or asking for certain ingredients to be left off a meal ordered from a restaurant. For instance, I have a mild allergy to alcohol (for real, I get a rash and hot flashes and an instant migraine after just a few sips), so at parties or work happy hours (and sometimes even work lunches) I often get questions or weird looks when I just order a coke or a water or a virgin whatever. It’s not really that big of a deal, even though I guess I could be offended about the nosiness of people constantly assuming I’m either pregnant or a recovering alcoholic. People are curious about stuff that’s different, that’s all it is. So what if you get a look or two when you pray over a meal? It’s not like you’re getting teased or harassed about it, no one is being mean or judgy (and if they are, that means they are just plain old assholes and you’re better off avoiding them anyway). If it’s important to you, a bit of curiosity from others shouldn’t really be a deterrent from doing it anyway.

  • greywolf2018

    The xtians did it and almost wiped out the Native American Indians, those who refused to convert were killed, children were taken away, forbidden from practicing their own beliefs, culture, boys were forced to cut their long hair and wear “boys” clothes, they were forbidden from speaking their native language and forced to take on “good xtian names” like charles, mary, edward.

  • greywolf2018

    Notice how many of the really crazy nuts who either kill, drown, shoot, murder their children or other people always cite things like the victim was “posessed” or “the devil” or “god told me to do this” or “killed them so they can be in heaven with their mother” “killed my family andmyself so we could be together in heaven” (in a suicide note) etc etc

  • Guy Norred

    A heart attack can be a once in a lifetime event as well. That said, you seem to be acting as if this is just a big deal to the bakers. Don’t you think it is a big deal to the people being discriminated against–and yes, it is the people, not some event. It is THEIR wedding. If it were not THEIR wedding the bakers apparently would not have a problem. Therefore THEY are the problem.

  • greywolf2018

    ALL, just watch this video and see how it works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ry3NzkAOo3s

  • Gideon Waxfarb

    I say it’s not only a small percentage of the population, but a *single event* that affects said percentage.

    Besides, if these same people wanted to discriminate against straight weddings instead of gay weddings, I’d be fine with it, provided I could get something in return. Like, I dunno…. marijuana being legalized federally both medically and recreationally? Think of how much that could effect inner cities. Or, if that doesn’t work for you, I’m sure we could come up with something else that they might be willing to give up …

    IMO, this is just a stupid fucking issue to keep arguing about.

  • Gideon Waxfarb

    You mean if I were in their shoes, would I care? No, I don’t think I would. These conservatives already think I’m a sexual deviant anyway, just for different reasons. And personally, i don’t give two fucks. Their opinion means about as much to me as a shit stain on my underwear. Besides, if they’re turning gay people way, at least you know who the bigots are, and can organize boycotts accordingly.

  • WingedBeast

    “What you say about Christianity is just false because you fail to distinguish between Christianity and the behavior of some Christians.”

    Not just some. Some very influential Christians who had their influence because of the Christian faith.

    “Christianity is the New Testament, and there is nothing in the New Testament to justify the cruel acts you refer to.”

    So, Christianity isn’t even the whole bible, not the entirety of the law that Jesus said you should keep, not missing jot or tittle. Good to know. Christianity is, and only is, what YoshiNakamura says it is, not more, not less.

    “A Christian Fundamentalist is one who takes the New Testament and the model of Jesus very seriously, and there is nothing in either of them which condone the behavior you referred to.”

    So, now we’re defining Fundamentalist to be something other than the Christians who have defined themselves that way.

    No wonder you think Christian Fundamentalists are annoying, but never bloody, you’ve organized the definitions so that nobody counts unless they avoid giving you any kind of ideological discomfort. That doesn’t say anything to the reality of whether or not what the rest of the world means when they say “Christian Fundamentalist” are killing people.

    “You really need to recognize the difference between the religion and the behavior of particular practitioners of that religion.”

    And, you really need to look up the No True Scotsman fallacy. You’ve made it a cornerstone of your worldview.

  • Guy Norred

    Perhaps but I was responding to a comment responding to a post about the US. The post was also from a Christian about Christianity and the comment I was responding to, as do several others below, seems to be trying to deflect the criticism of Christianity by pointing at Islam. The fact is, the criticism of Christianity is valid, and as a Christian, I think we should take care of the logs in our eyes before worrying about the specs (or logs for that matter) in the eyes of Islam.

  • LostInUnderland

    If women want equal pay, they should give up complaining about sexual harassment. I mean, there has to be some compromise.

  • WingedBeast

    I want you to take a moment and consider, instead of same sex marriage being objected to on religious grounds, interracial marriage being objected to on religious grounds.

    Are you still for a law that allows a bakery that makes wedding cakes being allowed to opt-out of selling this particular couple a wedding cake?

  • Guy Norred

    Well, to be fair, I probably wouldn’t do anything if turned away in this manner either. That said, I will not defend the bakers’ actions and I will not condemn those discriminated against for using the law (where it is law–LGTBQ discrimination is legal for many reasons in much of the country).

  • Olive

    Absolutely right.

  • Dessany

    So a business saying I don’t want to participate in a ceremony…

    This is what gets me about this whole faux morality play. No business making wedding cakes participates in the ceremony. The only people participating are the couple themselves and the people they invited. Making a cake does not put you into the ceremony. In fact, virtually all cakes are not delivered to and during the actual ceremony but to the place where the party is held after the ceremony.

    The only time I saw someone who made the cake be part of the celebration after the ceremony was on Top Chef when the chefs had to make a cake for the couple. Guess what they didn’t participate in the ceremony. They only showed up for the celebration as part of the TV show.

    This is a made up issue to force their beliefs onto people who just want to celebrate their wedding like heterosexual couples. You know what? They don’t want the bakers to participate. Have you ever seen a couple ask the bakers to participate in their wedding unless they were close friends or family?

    It’s all about narcissism. These people are more interested in aggrandizing their beliefs and getting their praise from the extremist Christian culture than they are about actually doing their damn jobs.

  • LostInUnderland

    Mormons believe that it is sinful to drink alcohol, but do you think they should work at places that sell alcohol and refuse to serve it because they would be facilitating the customer’s sin? Should Mormon’s be allowed to take over all the bars so that they can end the sinning of the populace?

  • Scurra

    Wow. Just wow. As someone who has lived in London for 25 years, this is more than just ridiculous. It’s not even remotely representative of anything other than a couple of guys pretending that they have more authority than they really have.
    But hey, if you want to work yourself up into a panic over nothing, then that’s your problem. Just don’t try to scare other people into sharing your own paranoia.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    I think what we have here is Christians persecuting Christians: does that count?

  • LostInUnderland

    You are comparing a Wal-Mart employee who refused to make a cake that the store then went on to make for the customer with a store refusing to make a cake for a customer and taking it all the way to the supreme court; continuously refusing, never apologizing. Wal-Mart even went so far as to add other benefits on top as a way of making up for the WRONG actions of its employee. You seem to believe that both the Sweet Cakes business and the Wal-Mart employee were right to refuse to make cakes. The supreme court and Wal-Mart disagree with you.

  • YoshiNakamura

    1) Obviously, we are talking about “very influential Christians”, in particular, the leaders of the Catholic Church; but that does not change the argument.
    2) There is a reason why the New Testament is called the New Testament. It is built upon the Old Testament, but Christians are not obligated to follow the Old Testament the way the Jews were. Remember, for example, how Jesus prevented the execution of an adulteress. Other passages in the New Testament relieved Christians of following other OT laws such as kosher food and circumcision.
    3) The word “fundamentalism” means sticking to the fundamentals, in this case, the fundamentals of Christianity are found in the New Testament. Even people who call themselves “fundamentalists” might deviate from the sacred texts in their behavior. And, they sometimes did.
    4) To say that Christian fundamentalists go around killing people is a lie even if, on very rare occasion, someone who calls himself a Christian fundamentalist does kill someone, presumably, in the name of Christianity. You need to check to see whether what they say corresponds to reality. The vast, vast majority of Christian fundamentalists do not kill or harm anyone, and they condemn those few who do. Do you have any specific examples of a fundamentalist Christian killing anyone in the name of Christianity and citing anything from the New Testament in justification?

    You have made anti-Christian bigotry the cornerstone of your worldview.

  • Howard Cheng

    You’re essentially the narrator in the “First they came” poem. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_they_came_

  • Finsterjaeger

    For the most part that is the Rawlsian position, which I generally agree with.

    At the same time I think that many so called religious objections to certain conduct have more to do with individuals’ love of orthodoxy and aversion to change than an actual religious belief. People may cite the Bible as to why they don’t like something, but I often feel as if that is a post-hoc justification. My personal experience is that it is rare to meet someone that will say something along the lines of well I personally feel very positive about same-sex marriage and homosexuality, but my religious beliefs force me to ostracize homosexuals and and treat them like sub-humans. But I could be wrong. At the same time people who are being marginalized aren’t going to feel any better because the source of their marginalization isn’t what they previously believed it to be.

  • WingedBeast

    “To say that Christian fundamentalists go around killing people is a lie even if, on very rare occasion, someone who calls himself a Christian fundamentalist does kill someone, presumably, in the name of Christianity.”

    Again, No True Scotsman.

    “Remember, for example, how Jesus prevented the execution of an adulteress.”

    Actually, that adulteress would have, by law, been executed along side the man with whom she committed adultery. That wasn’t nullifying any law, but showing how the law wasn’t being carried out.

    “Other passages in the New Testament relieved Christians of following other OT laws such as kosher food and circumcision. ”

    One passage, but the person who received that vision attributed it to calling people unclean, not animals.

    And, note, you’re talking about *your* interpretation. I just presented you with valid counter-interpretations. Ones that don’t have to rely upon the notion that God’s laws were immoral and we’re obliged to treat them as such today.

    This doesn’t require anti-Christian bias. It requires acknowledging that Yoshi Nakamura isn’t the endall and beall authority on who counts as Christian.

  • Finsterjaeger

    There is certainly something to that. For many people there is going to be a certain element of novelty to a new or unusual ritual or occurrence. That’s not really something that bothers me. Having traveled and visited a number of places where my mere presence was enough to draw a number of stares it doesn’t really trouble me to have a lot of inquiring eyeballs thrown in my direction. That being said, there will always be assholes, and I appreciate you referencing them.

    To be fair, what is bothering me probably has less to do with society’s view on religion and more to do with our judgmental culture. We all have qued up certain buckets of stereotypes that we toss people into based on fairly immaterial behavior without taking the time to actually figure out what people think.

  • Howard Cheng

    They could incorporate themselves as 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations.

  • YoshiNakamura

    You are deliberately, it seems, conflating to distinct concepts: the religion and the practitioners of the religion. That is the source of your error which permits you to slander Christianity and Christians, in general. That is what shows your anti-Christian bigotry.

    Concerning the story about the adulteress, are you seriously trying to get us to believe that Jesus really wanted the male adulterer killed, too? Absurd.

  • WingedBeast

    My own experience would indicate much the same. But, in terms of religious faith… well… despite what Yoshi Nakamura claims, faith isn’t defined by a book.

    It may very well be that their religious beliefs are, at least in part, instinctive reactions to change or deviation from their ideals. But, that leaves it no less their religious belief.

  • WingedBeast

    No, my “anti-Christian bigotry” as you call it is simply a willingness to acknowledge, as Christian, someone who gives you ideological difficulty, rather than edit them out as not counting.

    As to the interpretation of the story, no, I’m not seriously trying to get you to believe that Jesus wanted the male killed, too. That’s not the only way to look at Jesus noting the incomplete application of law, rather than nullifying the law.

  • Gideon Waxfarb

    It is interesting that your political opponents look at your the same way.

  • Howard Cheng

    Simple: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzKUzRJUzQ0 (note: this is not a serious answer)

  • Jeff Preuss

    But…but…that doesn’t fit our narrative of paranoia!

  • fiona64

    I don’t notice too many Muslims going out and demanding “religious freedom” laws as dog-whistles for anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, just for starters.

    And I’ll just bet that a whole lot of Christians would lose their shit if someone used one of those religious freedom laws to avoid serving Christians in a public accommodation …

  • fiona64

    So … all of Islam must be blamed for one nutter, but we can’t point out Christian terrorism. Got it.

  • otrotierra

    Number of Muslims oppressing Thierrion Kagan: 0

  • fiona64

    Actually, the point being made is that making a huge public display of your faith is not because you have faith, but because you expect adulation and praise for praying and showing your faith.

    I sincerely doubt that anyone is going to look askance at you for praying silently over your food. Perhaps you were simply being paranoid??

  • JGC

    How wise are you to know about things that haven’t happened yet.

  • fiona64

    Except it wasn’t reasonable at all. It was part of the baker’s regular business to make wedding cakes; the baker was not being asked to do something outside of their usual practice.

  • fiona64

    No, it isn’t the same at all. A wedding cake is a wedding cake.

  • fiona64

    Well, then, *they* should not operate a public accommodation. Easy-peasy.

  • fiona64

    Please, do enlighten us: why should one show tolerance toward bigotry, and violations of public accommodation law?

  • fiona64

    in just about every area in the US, if somebody won’t bake you a gay
    wedding cake, there’s probably 5 other bakers in town who will.

    And what if there aren’t? What if the people are in a small rural area with one baker? How far should they have to travel to get a cake made, since one baker wants to violate public accommodation laws?

    This is why Libertarians make me sick, to be honest. The view that “just get someone else to do it” is always an option strikes me as naive in the extreme.

  • fiona64

    IMO, I think there’s a pretty big difference between discriminating against gays and discriminating against gay WEDDINGS

    “I love gay people; I just don’t want them to have the same rights as everyone else …”

  • fiona64

    Do you know what false equivalency is?

    Let me clue you in: your post reeks of it.

  • OddLittleMuppet

    Are you okay with them refusing to serve interracial weddings?

  • WingedBeast

    Excuse me, but you seem to be reaching a point where you’re for any discrimination for any reason.

    But, here’s the thing, we did have specified discrimination. It wasn’t any for any, it was one discrimination for one reason. And, people died as a result.

    People refused access to one hospital and driven to another did not survive due to the extended drive.

    Just below that tip of the iceberg, we had people verifiably denied the freedom of a US economy. Denied jobs, denied business, denied even the option to meet people in certain cases.

    The result was a less-free US.

    That wasn’t okay when it happened to black people. It isn’t okay when when it happens to gay people.

  • WingedBeast

    In all fairness, if Islam had the position, in America, currently held by Christians, you’d expect some to do just that.

    But, that’s not because Islam is uniquely bad or that Christianity is “just as bad”. It’s to say that both faiths are peopled by people. Some are gonna be like that. It’s a thing about people.

  • Gideon Waxfarb

    ‘The view that “just get someone else to do it” is always an option strikes me as naive in the extreme.’

    I’m not the one arguing from extremes here.

  • Gideon Waxfarb

    Because you get what you give.

  • Victoria Regina

    and which college campus do you work for/are a student at? The majority of professors at the one I teach at are christian. There are employees who have bible verses as part of their signature. Campus Crusade for Christ and other similar organizations have a healthy presence on campus. The majority of those Christians those are NOT bullies and everyone seems to get along just fine. (and this is a public, not private or christian institution)

  • Bones

    So did I…

    I changed my mind…

    So sue me…..

  • David S.

    Supreme Justice Warren had a black chauffeur. One night, he stopped in Virginia and told his driver he might want to find a cheaper hotel. That morning, he found his driver had slept in the car because there was no hotel in town that let black people stay there. That’s the problem with “of course there will be other places for black/gay/etc. people.”

  • Phil B.

    Thank you, well said sir.

  • Bones

    Aaah yes…now it’s the Left’s fault…

    Where were you people when gay people were being arrested and forced into institutions?????

    Christians have fought against every right gay people have and are disgusted by their mere existence.

    F*cking hypocrites…..

  • Bones

    Why not?

    You seem to think there should be no restrictions at all on businesses to discriminate against whomever they want.

    So why can’t a Christian doctor refuse a gay patient???

  • Bones

    Aaah so you’ve only just woken up to how bad anti-discrimination laws are.

    Gee and you seemed so clever….

  • Bones

    They’re only false equivalencies now….

    Before they were good laws which protected black Americans.

    As usual out comes the hysterical shit about the Left…..

  • David S.

    I don’t recall a single instance in history where the persecutors claimed to be the sect they’re persecuting. The Nazi party was not filled with Jews in name only, and the Apartheid South African government was not filled with Blacks in name only.

    And this attitude that most of those people are Christian in name only is quite problematic. It’s usually a judgment of politics more than a judgment of religion; people who have been faithful Methodists all their life are “in name only”, but unrepentant philanderers who call on religion to get elected don’t get judged that way. It would be interesting to see the percentage of Congressfolk who go to religious services every week, but I’m betting it’s higher than the percentage of self-identified Christians who do.

  • Yankee_Doodler

    When was the last time you heard of a professor at any university being denied tenure or enduring colleague harassment for being too liberal? If you’ve a sanctuary, good for you. Don’t leave.

  • Bones

    So did her article she posted……

  • Linda McQ

    Exactly. Worst thing is it is tarring all Christians. Perception of Christians as loving, caring people, turning to Christians as hating, angry people. Sad.

  • Helen4Yemen

    Wow, it has been a while since I came across this beautiful quote – thank you for posting it.

  • Bones

    For starters the word’s Muslim

    Secondly you are incredibly ignorant….

    Here’s one of your verses which Muhammad pbuh supposedly said….

    And it’s the only one I looked at which shows you’re a pretty dishonest individual

    Your post

    17. A’isha said [to Muhammad]: “You have made us equal to the dogs and the asses” (These are the words of Muhammad’s favorite wife.)

    The Reality

    ‘Urwa b. Zubair reported: ‘A’isha asked: What disrupts the prayer? We said: the woman and the ass. Upon this she remarked: ‘is the women an ugly animal?’

    She said to ‘THOSE PEOPLE WHO MADE THAT FALSE CLAIM’ that “You have compared us (women) to donkeys and dogs. By Allah! I saw the Prophet praying while I used to lie in (my) bed between him and the Qibla. Whenever I was in need of something, I disliked to sit and trouble the Prophet. So, I would slip away by the side of his feet.” (Volume 1, Book 9, Number 493)

    Do you like proving yourself to be a hateful ignorant bigot???

  • Eating Broccoli

    Actually, there has been a group of Muslims who are trying to get some sort of official governing body for their branch of Islam in the US. I assume it would work like the Catholic Diocese or something though. http://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2015-05-22/anti-sharia-bill-dead-but-sentiment-alive/

  • Brian Schend

    Christians took them over but the rest of society took them back.

  • talonts

    Our Constitutional Republic was set up specifically to avoid the Tyranny of the Majority.

    Why do you hate America?

  • Brian Schend

    It’s good to see a website run by smart Christians. They seem to be such a tiny minority compared with all the dumb Christians.

  • talonts

    Your idea of “compromise” is intensely detestable. I’ll pass.

  • JPablo

    First of all, this woman, Brigitte Gabriel, is pulling numbers out of her ass. She says “most intelligence services throughout the world.” Which intelligence services? Where are their official reports and supporting evidence? I hope you are smart enough to not be swayed by people with a specific agenda of hatred who willfully misrepresent truth or fabricate outright lies (like Trump) to support their own agenda.
    Second, just because one group of extremist muslims are harassing people in London does not mean that it is happening in England at the legislative level. Your false equivalencies aren’t gonna work here, so try again. And as has been pointed out by several commenters here…why is it not ok for Muslims to try to impose their religious views on others but fundamentalist Christians cry foul and claim they are being oppressed when the government enacts laws that protect secularists from Christian oppression?

    And finally, you know the old saying “people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”? Well, look inward first, be honest with yourself and admit that fundamentalist Christians in the US are trying to do the same as those Muslims in London and work to try to fix it…and only then should you carefully consider pointing fingers.

  • JPablo

    And your point is? There is nothing wrong with any denomination establishing a governing body for their own religion. However, there IS something wrong with Christians trying to use their positions as Federal and State legislators, school district officers, and other government posts to try to pass laws and policies that implement their own beliefs as law. That is down right unacceptable. End of story.

  • Bones

    According to Brigitte Gabriel, a Gold Star parent is a liar because he is a Muslim…..

    Brigitte Gabriel: ‘Liar’ Khizr Khan Can’t Be A Muslim And Follow The Constitution

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/brigitte-gabriel-liar-khizr-kahn-cant-be-muslim-and-follow-constitution

    Why do you people listen to such twisted shit?

  • MyLovelyNose

    The only thing that keeps Christians from imposing sharia-type law on the US is our secular system of laws. Our Constitution specifically constrains religion from being used as law.

  • talonts

    And don’t forget shellfish. Mentioned 4 times as much in Leviticus, but seafood restaurants are numerous and do gangbuster business in the Bible Belt.

    Awful lot of Christians in the Deep South abominating on a daily basis on that one.

    Perhaps I should open a chain of Stone Shops for when they start hewing to their “good” book more closely. With a side business of video cameras so people can tape all the “hilarity” that will ensue.

  • talonts

    Nope. Even with the BILLIONS they get in tax breaks and outright support from the government, the churches simply could not take over all governmental charity. They rely on government to do its part AND support their part.

    Tax them all. I as an atheist should not be forced to pay their police/fire/roadwork costs.

  • talonts

    There are “christians” in Florida that want to get a law on the ballot that makes abortion a death penalty offense. Still plenty of asshat nutball “christians” in the US.

    I REALLY want one of those pathetic excuses for human beings to ask ME to sign the petition…

  • Bones

    Yeah, it’s not as if discrimination matters…..because a white hetro male said…..

  • Bones

    Yes you are.

    You’re the one who wants to dismantle ALL discrimination laws.

  • Bones

    Yeah like discriminating against gay people gets you awards……and money…..

  • Doomedd

    I can’t help but think that I I’ve waited my bus countless time at a stop right in front of a door leading to a gay right organization AND a Muslim prayer room. As far as I know, there was no problems.

    https://www.google.ca/maps/@46.8146732,-71.225019,3a,15y,15.79h,85.44t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sSJXQDLGz00PsGn5oV4yFaQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

  • YoshiNakamura

    For starters, only the politically correct word is “Muslims”. “Moslem” is in every dictionary as an equivalent of “Muslim” Check out this article for your edification: http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/524

    You are deliberately misrepresenting both Islam and me in order to make Islam look better than it is. Check out these hadiths:

    1-He (Muhammad b. Qais) then reported that it was ‘A’isha who had narrated this: Should I not narrate to you about myself and about the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him)? We said: Yes. , he (the Holy
    Prophet) entered the (house), and said: Why is it, O ‘A’isha, that you are out of breath? I said: There is nothing. He said: Tell me or the Subtle and the Aware would inform me. I said: Messenger of Allah, may my
    father and mother be ransom for you, and then I told him (the whole story). He said: Was it the darkness (of your shadow) that I saw in front of me? I said: Yes. He struck me on the chest which caused me pain, and then said: Did you think that Allah and His Apostle would deal
    unjustly with you? Sahih Muslim 4:2127

    2-treat women well, for they are like domestic animals (awan) with you and do not possess anything for themselves. al-Tabari vol.9 p.113

    3-Narrated ‘Aisha: The things which annul the prayers were mentioned before me. They said, “Prayer is annulled by a dog, a donkey and a woman (if they pass in front of the praying people).” I said, “You have made
    us (i.e. women) dogs.” Sahih Bukhari 1:9:490

    4-Narrated ‘Aisha: It is not good that you people have made us (women) equal to dogs and donkeys.
    Sahih Bukhari 1:90:498

    5-Abu Dharr reported: The Messenger of ‘Allah (may peace be upon him) said: When any one of you stands for prayer … his prayer would be cut off by (passing of an) ass, woman, and black Dog.
    Sahih Muslim 4:1032

    6-Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: A woman, an ass and a dog disrupt the prayer. Sahih Muslim 4:1034

    7-Masruq reported: It was mentioned before ‘A’isha that prayer is invalidated (in case of passing) of a dog, an ass and a woman (before the worshipper, when he is not screened). Upon this ‘A’isha said: You likened us to the asses and the dogs. Sahih Muslim 4:1038

    YOU are the hateful, dishonest Islamic bigot. I suspect you are not as ignorant as you appear to be, and that speaks all the worse for you.

  • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon

    The last Crusade ended 800 years ago. Cult Marxists and apologists for Mohammedan terror never seem interested in this fact.

  • Rusty Horn

    This is SO perfect. Thank you for putting it into words so eloquently.

  • Bones

    No…..no one uses the term Moslem anymore….it’s a derogatory term….like Nigger.

    From your own article

    “A Moslem in Arabic means”one who is evil and unjust””. … No wonder you like using it ffs.

    The one deliberately misrepresenting Islam is you.

    You write the verse to make it deliberately say what it clearly isn’t eg

    -Abu Dharr reported: The Messenger of ‘Allah (may peace be upon him) said: When any one of you stands for prayer … his prayer would be cut off by (passing of an) ass, woman, and black Dog.
    Sahih Muslim 4:1032

    It actually is this:

    Abu Dharr reported: The Messenger of ‘Allah (may peace be upon him) said: When any one of you stands for prayer and there is a thing before him equal to the back of the saddle that covers him and in case there is not before him (a thing) equal to the back of the saddle, his prayer would be cut off by (passing of an) ass, woman, and black Dog. I said: O Abu Dharr, what feature is there in a black dog which distinguish it from the red dog and the yellow dog? He said: O, son of my brother, I asked the Messenger of Allah(may peace be upon him) as you are asking me, and he said: The black dog is a devil.

    Or……

    “When one of you stands in prayer, what definitely constitutes a barrier for him is an object placed in front of him of the same height as the back of a camel-saddle. If it is not in front of him and of the same height as the back of a camel-saddle, then some [stray] donkey, or some woman passing, or some black dog will cut off his prayer.” I said: “O Abu Dharr! What is it that makes a black dog different from a red or yellow dog?” He replied: “O dear cousin! I asked Allah’s Messenger — Allah bless and salute him! — the exact same question. He said that the black dog is a devil.” (Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 1032)

    And you’re still dishonestly quoting passages which I have shown that you have deliberately taken out of context.

    You are a lying discgraceful bigot which anyone can see.

    What’s undisputed is that Islam was a progressive religion for women for its time.

    But you won’t read that in anti-Islamic hate sites..

    You sumbags need to find something better to do with your lives than lies about and denigrate people you don’t like.

  • Bones

    You’re an idiot……it is Christian fundamentalists who support war…..

  • WingedBeast

    You want more recent? Well, others have brought up the KKK who were committing lynchings as recently as the 70s. There’s the abortion clinic bombings. There’s the murder of Dr. Tiller. There’s the Oklahoma city bombing.

    To repeat “Pretending that Christian terrorists don’t happen or that Muslim terrorists aren’t fought by other Muslims won’t really make Christians inherently better. It’ll just keep you from finding out that they’re just like everybody else.”

  • Bones

    Once again you don’t have a f*cking clue…..

    You are a complete and utter liar.

    I have the largest Muslim country on Earth directly to the north of my country.

    They are not beheading, crucifying, slicing limbs off anyone….in fact the only ones who are are ISIS and Saudi Arabia.

    Jihad: A Misunderstood Concept from Islam – What Jihad is, and is not

    WHAT JIHAD IS

    The Arabic word “jihad” is often translated as “holy war,” but in a purely linguistic sense, the word ” jihad” means struggling or striving.
    The arabic word for war is: “al-harb”.
    In a religious sense, as described by the Quran and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (s), “jihad” has many meanings. It can refer to internal as well as external efforts to be a good Muslims or believer, as well as working to inform people about the faith of Islam.
    If military jihad is required to protect the faith against others, it can be performed using anything from legal, diplomatic and economic to political means. If there is no peaceful alternative, Islam also allows the use of force, but there are strict rules of engagement. Innocents – such as women, children, or invalids – must never be harmed, and any peaceful overtures from the enemy must be accepted.
    Military action is therefore only one means of jihad, and is very rare. To highlight this point, the Prophet Mohammed told his followers returning from a military campaign: “This day we have returned from the minor jihad to the major jihad,” which he said meant returning from armed battle to the peaceful battle for self-control and betterment.
    In case military action appears necessary, not everyone can declare jihad. The religious military campaign has to be declared by a proper authority, advised by scholars, who say the religion and people are under threat and violence is imperative to defend them. The concept of “just war” is very important.
    The concept of jihad has been hijacked by many political and religious groups over the ages in a bid to justify various forms of violence. In most cases, Islamic splinter groups invoked jihad to fight against the established Islamic order. Scholars say this misuse of jihad contradicts Islam.
    Examples of sanctioned military jihad include the Muslims’ defensive battles against the Crusaders in medieval times, and before that some responses by Muslims against Byzantine and Persian attacks during the period of the early Islamic conquests.

    WHAT JIHAD IS NOT

    Jihad is not a violent concept.
    Jihad is not a declaration of war against other religions. It is worth noting that the Koran specifically refers to Jews and Christians as “people of the book” who should be protected and respected. All three faiths worship the same God. Allah is just the Arabic word for God, and is used by Christian Arabs as well as Muslims.
    Military action in the name of Islam has not been common in the history of Islam. Scholars says most calls for violent jihad are not sanctioned by Islam.
    Warfare in the name of God is not unique to Islam. Other faiths throughout the world have waged wars with religious justifications

    http://islamicsupremecouncil.org/understanding-islam/legal-rulings/5-jihad-a-misunderstood-concept-from-islam.html?start=9

    “You really need to recognize the difference between the religion and the behavior of particular practitioners of that religion.”

    Otherwise we could say all Christians are lying bigots, like you are…

  • YoshiNakamura

    Sure, like all those Christian fundamentalists in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Nigeria and Afghanistan. Wow, look at those Christian fundamentalists on the warpath!

  • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon

    “Well, others have brought up the KKK who were committing lynchings as recently as the 70s.”

    The KKK, terror wing of the Democrat Party, also terrorized and killed Catholics. No points scored there.

    Violent attacks on abortion clinics average something like two a year over this last decade and a half. Nice try there also.

    I am not affiliated with an organized religion but even I am sick of seeing Lefties trot out their favorite fake xtian, Timothy “Science is my religion” McVeigh. McVeigh is on record stating clearly that he was an atheist. This is easily verifiable. You are too lazy or credulous to bother checking.

    Violence in The Bible, as many have pointed out, is largely descriptive. In the Koran it is prescriptive.

  • WingedBeast

    “The KKK, terror wing of the Democrat Party, also terrorized and killed Catholics. ”

    A. they were in the Democratic party before the Civil Rights Act, at which point racists went to the Republican party. For someone who argues that too long ago doesn’t count, you should remember that time is a thing.

    B. They also terrorized Catholics. Yet, they still were Christian.

    “Violent attacks on abortion clinics average something like two a year over this last decade and a half. Nice try there also.”

    Your point?

    “Violence in The Bible, as many have pointed out, is largely descriptive.”

    Unless you’re talking about gays, witches, women who didn’t call out in town while being raped, women who weren’t virgins on their wedding night, those who say “let us go and worship other gods”, etc.

    And, yet, the point remains. Christianity is not clean on the matter of terrorism. What it is is, at current, hampered by the fact that it doesn’t have thocracies.

  • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon

    “A. they were in the Democratic party before the Civil Rights Act, at which point racists went to the Republican party.”

    Like most Donks you are projecting here. Nothing changed. There was no magical switch by the two parties, as so many of the silly progs on this site like to pretend.

    Democrats have always used race to divide the country. They do it to this day.

  • WingedBeast

    So, history just didn’t happen and nothing ever changed.

    Nice example of Orwellian revisionist history, there.

  • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon

    “And, yet, the point remains. Christianity is not clean on the matter of terrorism. ”

    No religion dreamed up and practiced by human beings is.

    Islam, however, is the only major religion extant on this planet in which the murder of another human being (non-Mooslim) is basically the equivalent of what Christianity would call a sacrament.

  • YoshiNakamura

    ISIS and Saudi Arabia follow the Koran and the Sunnah very closely, much closer than that largest Moslem country to your north. But, only ISIS and Saudi Arabia? How about the Islamic Republic of Iran (the prefer hanging)?, how about the Taliban-controlled areas? How about Al Shabab in Somalia? How about Boko Haram in Nigeria?

    As for the meaning of Jihad, you are entitled to disagree with the highest Islamic religious authorities. THEY say that jihad means to war against non-Muslims. You can read that in the most popular manual of Sharia law, Reliance of the traveller, which was approved by the highest Islamic religious authorities in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Egypt and America. Obviously, you think you know more than they do about Islam. Your exposition of the meaning of jihad disagrees with your own religious scholars. Why should anyone believe you? Here is another scholar on jihad from al Azhar, Dr. Muhammad Sa’id Ramadan al-al-Buti:
    “The Holy War (Islamic Jihad), as it is known in
    Islamic Jurisprudence, is basically an offensive
    war. This is the duty of Muslims in every age when the needed military power becomes available to them. This is the phase in which the meaning of Holy war has taken its final form. Thus the apostle of Allah said: ‘ I was commanded to fight the people until they believe
    in Allah and his messages … The concept of Holy War (Jihad) in Islam does not take into consideration whether defensive or an offensive war. Its goal is the exaltation of the Word of Allah and the construction of Islamic society and the establishment of Allah’s Kingdom on Earth regardless of the means. The means would be offensive warfare. In this case, it is the apex, the noblest Holy War.”
    But, what does he know compared to you?

    Or, how about Seyyid Qutb:
    “It is the duty of Islam to annihilate all such systems (i.e. other societies) as they are obstacles in the way of universal freedom.” “The reason for jihad … is to establish God’s authority in the earth …. ” “Jihad in Islam is simply a name for striving to make this system of life dominant in the world.”

    But, what does he know compared to you?

    Or, how about Ibn Khaldun, one of the most respected figures in Islamic history: “”In the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the [Muslim] mission and [the obligation to] convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force …. The other religious groups did not have a universal mission, and the holy war was not a religious duty for them, save only for purposes of defense …. Islam is under obligation to gain power over other nations.”

    But, what does he know compared to you?

    Please stop lying to us about the Koran respecting Jews and Christians as “people of the book”. In the Koran, Allah commands Moslems to make war against the people of the book: 9:29 – “– Fight against those to whom the Scriptures were given… until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued.”

    Some respect!

    Elsewhere in the Koran, Allah says: (98:6) “The unbelievers among the people of the book and the pagans shall burn forever in the fire of Hell. They are the vilest of all creatures.” That’s respectful, isn’t it?

    You are nothing but a prevaricating propagandist for Islam, and not a very good one, at that.

  • WingedBeast

    Except for some interpretations of Christianity which call for the death penalty for homosexuality or abortion. And, you don’t get to pretend that those interpretations aren’t “real Christians”. Enough Muslims make the same argument about Muslim terrorists.

  • YoshiNakamura

    Until about 40 years ago, “Moslem” was the standard word in English for a devotee of Islam. Even the Islamic world used the word “Moslem”. All dictionaries say it is equivalent to “Muslim” even today.

    So, you think it sounds better to say that a Moslem’s prayer would be cut off by a donkey, a woman or a dog. Sure sounds like, at least for the purposes of invalidating a Moslem man’s prayer, the woman is placed in the same category as a donkey and a dog. How does your version sound better? By the way, I did not make up the wording. It comes from Bukhari.

    You are saying that Islam was a progressive religion for women “for its time”! That’s a good one! That time was the 7th Century! And, Islam has not changed since then. Even if it was progressive in the 7th Century in Arabia, it is totally regressive today. So, what’s your point? Everyone knows that Moslems pride themselves on the fact that the sacred texts of Islam have not changed in 1400 years. This may come as a surprise to you, but we in the non-Moslem world are not concerned about the 7th Century anymore. YOU, apparently, believe that 7th Century Arabian standards should be applied all over the world today and forever. No, thank you!!!

  • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon

    The only people whose world could be called Orwellian are “liberals” like you who apparently believe that half the electorate follows local and national politics dwelling always solely on race.
    Can’t debate so you just whimper about non-existent racism.

  • WingedBeast

    Based on their opposition to the CRA, yeah. That happened.

    Call acknowledging the basic reality of history “whimpering” if you like, but the reality still is what it is.

  • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon

    ” Except for some interpretations of Christianity which call for the death penalty for homosexuality or abortion.”

    Your desperation here is quite amusing. Specifically, what xtian sect with any real influence in the West in last 300 years has had someone publicly executed for being a homosexual?

  • mudskipper5

    Since when were Clinton and Obama considered to be “right-wing Christians”? I don’t think that accurately applies to them, given the way the term is used in this article.

  • WingedBeast

    Congratulations, xpat, you’ve put your finger on the difference. Christianity doesn’t have the theocracies or the social freedom to do that. So, regardless of the fact that influential Christians have endorsed such and almost gotten it codified into law in Uganda, they haven’t achieved it.

    It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you give a little thought into how to formulate your questions to achieve pre-chosen answers.

  • mudskipper5

    “…since the VAST majority of Christians who don’t want to partake in gay weddings wouldn’t refuse to serve gay people outright.”

    No one is asking the baker to “partake in the gay wedding”. They are just paying them to bake a damn cake.

    And what you are asking for is for the “left” to practice tolerance for intolerant people who refuse to treat certain groups of people (in this case, gay and lesbian) the same as everyone else. Not only is that morally wrong, it also happens to be unconstitutional, so no. No can do. Don’t demand tolerance of your intolerance… bigots are not a protected group.

  • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon

    Opposition to the CRA was greater among Donks than it was Repubs. Do a search, FFS. Al Gore Sr, Robert Byrd, Fulbright (Clinton’s mentor) led a filibuster that lasted 57 days.

  • WingedBeast

    That’s right, at the time, it was opposed by Democrats. But, since a Democrat signed it, those same Democrats switched parties to join the Republicans, who were more inviting and were all too ready to employ what they called the “Southern Strategy” in order to court racists for their votes.

    You see, it’s this concept called “change”.

  • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon

    You have no reply. I just laugh at the desperation in your, uh, arguments here: Crusades that ended almost a millennium ago, an Inquisition that took place 500 years ago; oh, and the near codification of legal persecution of homosexuals in – – – Uganda.

  • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon

    LBJ signed it because he had to. He then infamously opined about how “uppity” blacks were getting but that with The Great Society he’d have “them n—–s voting Democrat for the next 200 years.”

  • WingedBeast

    No, he actually opined how the Democrats had lost the South for a generation. You need to actually look at history, rather than alt-right websites.

  • WingedBeast

    You want something current and in the US. Fine, present me with a current, US theocracy… oh wait.

    That’s not because Christianity is uniquely better. It’s because of the Enlightenment and the fact that Christianity doesn’t have those theocracies anymore.

    But, in the places where they come close, you have much more murders of gay rights activists and expelling children as witches.

  • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon

    Because Uganda! Or something.

  • Bones

    The Iraq war was led by a Christian whow said God told him to go to war.

    You’re a complete idiot.

  • Bones

    You ‘ve been told by your own website that the term Moslem is offensive to Muslims……

    But you don’t give a shit because you’re a despicable hateful merkin.

  • Bones

    Indonesia is a Muslim country wit 190 million Muslim citizens, you idiot.

    And is a secular democracy.

    Most Muslims know that the so-called violent verses in the quran are to be read in context.

    And the quran actally says to respect and protect the people of the book which Islam did.

    In fact Islam protected Jews and other Christians from extermination by Orthodox Christians.

    That’s a historical fact.

    As for hell, most Christians believe Muslims are going to burn forever in hell.

    As usual you pick out the worst aspects of Islam and say that represents all of Islam.

    You are dishonest and a liar and a propagandist of hate.

    F#ck me even the websites you quote show you to be a bigoted arsehole who gets their information from hate sites.

    That’s how stupid you are.

  • Bones

    Actually it was a Christian fundamentalist which set all that crap off by invading Iraq……and unleashed extremists on the region.

  • Bones

    Anders Breivik agrees with you….

  • Bones

    And you’ve read the quran under Islamic scholars to know this……

    No…like most anti-Islamic morons you don’t have a clue.

  • Bones

    That’s bullshit which you’re just making up.

  • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon

    You tell em, Ocker boy. Grrrrrrrrr

  • Bones

    Desperation????

    Homosexuality has only been legalised in the last couple of decades in ‘Christian’ and secular countries.

    In the US, there were methods in the 1900s which included lobotomies to ‘cure’ gay people up until the 1970s

    In fact my state is discussing whether or not to pardon past offenders.

    Maybe read about war hero, Alan Turing, who killed himself after being chemically castrated in the UK.

  • Bones

    You’re laughable…..Christianity had its chance and was no better than the Muslims…in fact they burned gay people alive for well over a millennia.

  • Bones

    Because history….Anders…..

  • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon

    Mohammedans largely get the rep they deserve. Your cult is, as Sam Harris said, the mother lode of bad ideas.

    Why the death penalty for apostasy? How do you justify 8th century barbarism like that as you avail yourself of the miracle of the internet, brought to you by the hated infidel? How do Mooslims like you not go mad from the kind of cognitive dissonance you must live with?

  • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon

    Friendly tip – that you believe you have Anders Breivik in your head and talking to you is something you should keep to yourself.

  • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon

    “Homosexuality has only been legalised in the last couple of decades in ‘Christian’ and secular countries.”

    And in how many Mohammedan nations is it legal?

    Go on, tell the forum.

  • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon

    No, not 72 virgins but instead 72 raisins waiting for holy warrior-goat fanciers like you.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/04/opinion/martyrs-virgins-and-grapes.html?_r=0

  • Bones

    Bullshit….and WingedBeast is correct…

    after the Democratic Party started to recognise the rights of blacks many Southern Democrats went over to the Republicans

    How racism explains Republicans’ rise in the South

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/11/24/how-racism-explains-republicans-rise-in-the-south/

    It was FDR and especially Eleanor Roosevelt which espoused civil rites leading to the formation of the Tuskegee Airmen. This continued after WW2.

  • Bones

    Nope….you are a revisionist who belongs to a racist party….

    Congrats….

  • Bones

    Yeah, I can’t believe someone can be so stupid about their own history….

    And I’m not even American….

  • Bones

    In some it is, in some it isn’t…like Indonesia – the largest Muslim country on Earth.

    They mightn’t tell you that on anti-Muslim hate sites.

    Happy now….

    But I don’t think you give a crap about gay people.

    They’re just a pawn in your right wing game.

  • Bones

    The 72 virgins is a myth.

    Does the Quran really promise Islamic Martyrs 72 Virgins?

    The simple answer is NO! There is no promise of 72 virgins for martyrs, terrorists or suicide bombers anywhere in the Quran.

    http://www.justislam.co.uk/product.php?products_id=216

    Like I said you know jack shit about Islam, you stupid idiot.

    Nor much about your own country’s history.

  • Bones

    What’s that Anders….you pathetic merkin….

  • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon

    Another America-obsessed Australian South Merkin Leftoid.

    Exhausted with shaking its lil’ fists at the likes of Malcolm Turnbull and seeking consolation of some sort it looks across the Pacific in desperation to a country and people it simultaneously envies and loathes.

    Hilarious.

  • Bones

    What’s hilarious is you spouting your lack of knowledge about everything….

    And being proud about it.

    Why would I shake my fist at Malcolm Turnbull, Anders??

  • Matthew

    As it was the desire of Jesus´ heart, so it is the desire of my heart, however unrealistic it sounds.

  • Bones

    Oh dear, someone’s sooking because their bullshit has been found out.

  • Matthew

    Interesting …

  • kaydenpat

    Well said. I hope this will help push the dialogue in regard to the separation of church and state which too many Christians don’t understand.

  • Bones

    Fmd like Sam Harris is till sulking after being schooled by Chomsky.

    No one’s justifying 8th century barbarism, you idiot, because it’s plain the vast majority of Muslims don’t interpret Islam like that…..like you and the extremist nutcases do.

    I’m not Muslim by the way….but I can detect a moron spouting shit from a mile away.

  • Bones

    It ain’t happening Matt…….Once again, Jesus didn’t pray it.

    In fact the Jewish Christians and the Gentile Christians were bitterly divided from the beginning.

  • Matthew

    Have you read about Uganda?

  • Matthew

    I think this is because the Amish and such understand that the business of biblical ethics is a family business. The church was never called to legislate its morality (a morality that is still debated even among Christian sects) on the unbelieving.

  • kaydenpat

    “bigots are not a protected group”.
    This a million times.

  • Matthew

    Who prayed it then? Zeus???

    “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one — I in them and you in me — so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

    It´s a beautiful request and prayer. Really.

  • kaydenpat

    No, I am not willing to tolerate discrimination. Period. What an assinine question.

  • kaydenpat

    No one is going to “compromise” by allowing legalized discrimination.

  • Bones

    I know what the text says but the reality is Jesus said nothing in John….
    And sure it’s a beautiful prayer….but it ain’t happening….ever…

    John should have known this as there was much conflict in first century Christianity.

    If anything it’s a prayer for John’s own community who are written into the Gospel.

  • Matthew

    I guess this is a place where we can share conversation over a pint mate, but where we also part theological ways Darth Vader :-) :-).

  • “If our friends on the religious right think we’re growing hostile, it’s because it’s true. But no, it’s not because we’re growing hostile towards the practice of our own religion, or hostile towards religious liberty.
    We’re just growing hostile towards hypocrites and religious bullies who aren’t content to just live their lives the way they please, but who instead seek to impose their extremist beliefs on the rest of us.”

    This is a perfect description of the “lawlessness” that is also pointed out throughout the bible. People who disobey the Commandments today do not want to be told that they are doing so. They want to be told their behavior is not lawless and that what they do is perfectly ok. But it is not. Those that point this aberrant behavior out are supposedly the problem. You can re-interpret the Commandments as often as you like but it will not change their meaning. They have been in force since the foundation of the world and will continue forever. They are not ambiguous and not hard to understand. For example, if the world would suddenly decide to keep just one commandment, say not to lie anymore, then our world would be dramatically better in an instant. But it won’t. Today fewer people are willing to stand up and point out bad behavior because they are labeled “racist, homophobic, zenophobic” and worse (sound familiar). Others who teach people to disregard the Commandments of God have lost their perspective just as the Pharisees in Jesus’ day. Everyone in the “greatest country on God’s green earth” is free to live their life as they please because others have sacrificed for that freedom and this includes commentary that disagrees with those who would teach error.

  • fiona64

    Nope, sorry. Silence in the face of bigotry represents assent, not neutrality.

    I am sure I’ll be able to live with your disapproval just fine … because I’m going to continue calling out bigotry — including yours.

  • fiona64

    Yeah, actually, you are. You are arguing that a given couple should just have to drive however far it takes to get a damn cake made rather than being able to use the baker of their choice — because the bakers are bigots who want to violate public accommodation law.

    If you want a Libertarian paradise, move to Somalia.

  • fiona64

    Good point.

  • fiona64

    In point of fact, that has already happened. It has also happened that “Christian” physicians denied a woman access to her dying partner — despite the fact that the couple had copies of their power of attorney on them because they were vacationing.

    http://samuel-warde.com/2015/02/christian-doctor-refuses-treat-baby-parents-lesbians-video/
    http://www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/cases/langbehn-v-jackson-memorial

  • fiona64

    I’m guessing you were out blowing dope the day Federalist Paper No. 10 was taught. Given that gap in your education, I’m happy to provide you a copy to read on your own time. http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa10.htm

    TL;DR version: the rights of minorities are not dependent upon decisions by a tyrannical (and, I hasten to point out) temporary majority.

  • fiona64

    If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. — Desmond Tutu

  • jwcisneros

    You are describing amorality. While I will grant you there are some amoral politicians, the vast majority of politicians got involved in politics to serve the public. Some politicians forget that, others stay true to it. I think, based on my observations, that both President Obama and Secretary Clinton, once they “evolved” on LGBT marriage genuinely are in favor of complete LGBT rights. I do not blame them for the poor decision by the LGBT lobby to pursue marriage first rather than go for full civil rights. We are paying that price now. I assume nothing, but once a politician (and a society) gets past a certain tipping point, there are always forces that attempt to regress. There is a force out there that is not given enough credit, enlightened self-interest. Obama and Clinton are comfortable with that change and it happens to be good for them and their reputations.

    This is an excellent article and happens to touch on some themes in my dissertation question. Evangelical Christianity, Prosperity Gospel, and the emergence of LGBT rights.

  • Chris Schene

    The basic problem is that we cannot run a business without being forced to do things that are a violation or religious beliefs. Medical professionals are expected to provide transgender (sex change) operations, the morning after pill and in some cases are expected to participate in an abortion. Why would people want to sue a florist who won’t serve a same-sex wedding, a baker who won’t make a cake for a gay wedding, a musician who won’t serve at a gay wedding when there are so many other business people who would be glad to provide their services?

    There is no compelling reason to force those of who believe those things are wrong when there are so many other business people who would be happy to provide those services.

    This is a bait and switch “No one is trying to stop you from being a Christian. The country is not growing hostile towards Christians. It’s just growing hostile towards extremist, religious bullies, who are trying to hijack the nation and force everyone to live under their own set of morals and ethics.”

    It is actually the opposite: the country is not willing to let us work and live in society as business people if we don’t participate in what we believe is sin. Christian educational institutions who are teaching Christian values should not be forced to hire people who violate those moral values. There are plenty of other places they can work, A Catholic school is entitled to have a morality clause such that if an employee violates Catholic beliefs they can be terminated. You define evangelicals and fundamentalists as “extremists” as a disparaging term and by doing so you are painting us as unreasonable and a threat to others (we use the term extremist to identify those who are violent).

    The truth is there is no such thing as an actual Christian church that is “LGBT affirming”, abortion affirming, sex outside male-female marriage affirming or any of these crazy examples of cognitive dissonance such as transgenderism. They may self label as Christians but they don’t practice Christianity and obey Jesus. Those folks are the apostate chaff that Jesus was talking about.

    It is really quite disgusting: these “so called churches” teach so many things that scripture prohibits and they tickle the ears of people to tell them what they want to hear. They call abortion, homosexuality “good” (just like the Bible says they would) and they call those of us who try to obey “evil and hateful”

    You have it backwards

  • Dwight Gingrich

    By the logic of this post, Europe in the 1500’s wasn’t hostile against early Anabaptists, either. After all, far more than 83% or 91.8% of Europeans were Christians according to the definition you’ve accepted in this post. Therefore, those Christian Europeans (whether Catholic or Protestant) could certainly not have been hostile against Anabaptist Christians! Obviously, the Anabaptists must have been religious bullies.

    A more accurate analysis: There are indeed religious bullies in America–both Christian and otherwise. And there is indeed growing hostility from many quarters against true Christians. Both realities are cause for concern, and neither reality can explain away the other.

  • Chris Schene

    wrong.

    “We’re just growing hostile towards hypocrites and religious bullies who aren’t content to just live their lives the way they please, but who instead seek to impose their extremist beliefs on the rest of us.””

    You name call us with the pejorative labels to demean us and make us the “bad persons”. Th name call those of us who won’t participate in your sin. We are not going to service you gay weddings, we won’t allow a transgender woman in the bathrooms our daughter and wives use, We won’t acknowledge a transgender person by using the trans pro-noun, we won’t provide the morning after pill and medical professionals will not provide abortion services.

    ll those behaviors I described are “spit in the face of Jesus ” violations of God commands and teachings.

  • Jennifer Rycenga

    The Supreme Court currently consists of 5 Christian (all of whom are Catholic Christians, btw) and 3 Jewish judges (Kagen, Ginsburg, Breyer).

  • Scott

    What’s a “true Christian”?

  • Scott

    So, which people who call themselves Christians get to decide for everyone who is and who isn’t a real Christian and how can the rest of us know who is right?

  • Chris Schene

    The point behind my post is that society is trying to prevent Christians who oppose same-sex marraige, homosexuality, transgenderism, sex outside man-woman marraige and abortion from participating in the overall economy,

    If we have a Christian church school that teaches the values we believe and we have a morality clause and someone comes out as “gay” we must fire them for cause becasue they violated our morality code and then the LGBT community and “affirming churches” say we should not be allowed to fire that person. Ironically, if I wish to use printing services to print my religious posters opposing same-sex marraige you can refuse, but I can’t refuse to provide a cake for your same-sex wedding. Clear 1984 type double speak and double standard.

    I have never seen such a bunch of bullies as the LGBT community. Just like 1984: Well;, some animals are more important than other animals and those supporting LGBT are more important than those extremist fundies.

  • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon

    Turnbull is a good lapdog. Like John Howard, and all your post WW2 PMs, he will do what is asked of him by DC.

    You can be proud, Ocker Boy.

  • Scott

    Nice side-stepping there. You should go on Dancing With the Stars or perhaps So You Think You Can Dance.

  • Steve Shay

    mudskipper5 and Angry Boner, My point is that Hillary and Obama were not right-wing Christians, yet they were among those Americans claiming Biblical doctrine prevented them from supporting gay marriage. Obviously they did not change their mind after that. They did what was politically expedient. However, plenty of their flock voted for them for holding this anti-gay marriage view.

  • Patrick Short

    Chris, you are failing to understand that people like you are trying to prevent other people from full participation in society, or, as you call it, the overall economy. The LGBT community wants the same rights as you have. You judge them as unworthy.

    The same arguments have been used about people of different races.

    You are using your “values” to exclude others.

    You see it as morality. I call it bullying.

    This is not the behavior that Jesus showed us.

  • jimmywitz

    I do not believe that you have a true conception of the history of Christianity in Western Europe, particularly in the United Kingdom, which is where the original protestant emigres originated.
    Yes, there was persecution of many non-conformist protestants in the UK, but not really to any great degree. In fact, there had been a general agreement on religious freedom, which included even Roman Catholics, as long as it was understood that the Anglican Church was the “official” church of the land.
    Where a great deal of tension originated however was that some of these non-Anglican groups were not at all tolerant of those who did not agree with their theology. This was especially true among the “puritan” sects, who yearned to impose THEIR sense of morality on all those who they deemed as having fallen away from the “true faith”. And in fact, having been thwarted in this by the majority in the UK, many were inspired to make the journey as pilgrims in order to establish a puritan-style society in the New World.
    Today’s Christian fundamentalists seem to be following in this tradition today and are still trying to establish a Christian society in which all people in that society would be constrained by behavioral codes which fitted in with a fundamentalist version of Christianity.
    Fortunately the Founding Fathers, who wrote our constitution had different ideas!

  • jimmywitz

    Your problem is that businesses who are open to the general public, and who use the infrastructures and facilities provided by the WHOLE of our society are not allowed under our constitution to pick and choose which members of our society they can sell their goods and services to.
    Are you aware that these businesses are quite happily using roads and electrical services built and provided by folks who are gay, have had abortions and may not even be Christians? You would have a society where a gay tax-paying citizen could have built the road which led to a particular business, but could still be discriminated by that business from shopping there.
    As for your contention that a church which accepts gay members cannot possibly be “Christian” well surely that is a matter of personal conscience. There are, I know, an awful lot of sincere Christians who think that self-righteous, homophobic, transphobic and racist bigots can’t possibly be Christians either.

  • day2knight

    A “true Christian” is whatever version Dwight is. Of course.

  • jimmywitz

    You have been labeled with pejorative names because you do cruel, demeaning and hateful things. Society calls you “bigots” for no other reason than the fact that you are bigoted.
    The transgender issue is particularly sensitive in this case. Trans folk are an extremely vulnerable group in our society and the issue of bullying and even violence to towards trans folk is acute. YOUR version of Christianity to to try to make their situation even more difficult and to justify the hatred and violence towards them.
    But I could easily make the case that JESUS, if he were here right now, would do all he could to help and protect these people, and to show them compassion. Your own hatred towards them however is so deep that you cannot even bring yourself to address them in the manner which would make them the most comfortable, and not cause them pain. In other words, you really are a cruel and unfeeling bigot.

  • Chris Schene

    Your response is just a 1984 like “You have freedom of religion but some religious beliefs are better than others”

    Your statement below is false. You can refuse to print my Bible verses condemning homosexuality or my handouts for a “sexual purity church conference” which explains why same-sex marriage and homosexuality is bad. This is a double standard where your beliefs are held as having high value than our Christian beliefs. Your retort is nonsense.

    I don’t care how you live or how you twist and ignore God’s laws on sexual purity but it is the intent of the Christophobic Obama, to force everyone to conform and the LGBT community is real happy about that.

    “society are not allowed under our constitution to pick and choose which members of our society they can sell their goods and services to. “

  • Chris Schene

    Your statement quoted below is false. If What you say is true then LGBT printers should be required legally to print my anti-gay literature. They can refuse becasue they don’t agree with it and there is no legal recourse i can take to force them. The Christian florist, on the other hand, is forced .to participate in a same-se wedding she comsiders sinful or be foned.

    How is refusing to support your same-sex wedding bullying? The truth we are not bullying you, rather you are bullying us by forcing us out of business rather than participate.

    The truth is most Americans support homosexuality which is why you get 3 upvotes and I get none and they don’t care whether or not we can live by our religious beliefs.

    The court should treat both equally but they don’t. The reason is clear: under Obama the freedom religion is being treated as having less value than the freedom LGBT. Ironically, free of religion is explicitly stated in the constitution LGBT rights are stated no where becasue the founding fathers considered them sinful and evil.

    “The LGBT community wants the same rights as you have. You judge them as unworthy.”

  • YoshiNakamura

    Wrong again! The decision to invade Iraq was supported nearly unanimously by both houses of Congress. In 1998, President Clinton and both houses of Congress resolved to go for regime change in Iraq. As for the “extremists”, they are nothing more than seriously religious Moslems, and they are always present throughout the Moslem world. We did not “unleash” them.

  • Chris Schene

    Actually it might be advantages for us “fundies” as you call us to team up with the Muslims and Orthodox Jews to team up to oppose the LGBT bandwagon.

  • Chris Schene

    But the gay printer can refuse to print my anti-gay Biblical literature becasue it offends him but I must service a gay wedding while that offends me.

    Your comment is sanctimonious and false on its face:typical lie and double standard from the LGBT liars.

  • Chris Schene

    for the LGBT community a bigot is anyone who thinks their perverted lifestyle is wrong.

  • TheMarsCydonia

    The court should treat both equally but they don’t.
    You certainly have the right to your opinion but why should the courts rule according to your opinion?

    What if someone has a different opinion? What makes yours the way courts should rule instead of theirs?

  • YoshiNakamura

    You really need to attend anger-management sessions. You seem unable to carry on a conversation without using profanity and personal attacks. Is that how your Islam teaches you to behave???
    I know about Indonesia. It proves nothing about Islam, just like the behavior of other Moslems proves nothing about Islam. Most Indonesian Moslems just do not follow the Koran and Muhammad very closely, although the influence of the religious Moslems in Indonesia is steadily increasing as can be seen by the many attacks on Churches and on Ahmadis.

    Why are you continuing to lie about the Koran? The Koran does NOT say to protect and respect Jews and Christians (the People of the Book); it says to make war on them and subjugate them to Islamic law. Contrary to what you claim, Islam (under Muhammad) slaughtered and enslaved all the Jews of Arabia, and drove the Christians out, too, so that there was no other religion than Islam in Arabia. That is all from the Islamic sources.

    At least you admit that what I am exposing here is, in fact Islam. You say that I am exposing the “worst aspects of Islam”. You are right! Those are the worst aspects of Islam, but, they are part and parcel of Islam and cannot be separated from Islam.

    As for the websites, I go to Islamic websites. And, you are right that these ISLAMIC websites are hate sites — because Islam is a religion of hate.

  • Good Maggie

    I think you might be getting your George Orwell books confused.

  • YoshiNakamura

    You are right again! The word “Moslem” is offensive to many Moslems, though, by no means all to all. And, you are right that I do not give a shit about that. According to standard Sharia law, it is forbidden to say anything which offends Moslems even if it is the truth. I feel no compulsion to follow Sharia law. Under OUR laws, there is no right not to be offended. Get used to it.

    As for the word, “Moslem”, according to all dictionaries which I have seen, it is a legitimate English word for a devotee of Islam. Until about 40 years ago, it was the standard, most common English word for a devotee of Islam, and the Moslem world used that term whenever they spoke or wrote documents in English. I see no reason to let Moslems tell me how to speak English. We anglicize the words for all other ethnic groups and religions, and no one complains. Why should we make an exception for Moslems?

  • Martha Anne Underwood

    I’m with Benjamin, Christians are not under attack. I don’t want the conservative right to tell me how to live my Christian faith. Not all of us, including me, believe that LGBTQ folks are damned by God and need to be made straight. You are born LGBTQ not made. I believe that same sex marriage should be the law of the land, that bakers who bake a cake for a same sex couple are not commiting a sin. If you do think it is then you must start asking straight people about how they conduct their lives because they be living together with someone without being married and I bet you think that is a sin. So why pick on the LGBTQ community? We also have freedom of religion so Muslims or anyone of another religion have every right to worship as he/she pleases. We all have the right to worship and live as we please. We don’t have the right to make the rest of America worship or believe as we do.

  • Martha Anne Underwood

    No Chris, they are not. You want to discriminate against people you deem unworthy and in America and that is not right or Christian. I am a Christian and I believe in leaving judgment up to God and loving my fellow human beings. Baking a cake for a same sex couple is not a sin. I understand your concern about abortion. That would be the only reason a faith

  • Patrick Short

    That you make providing flowers and printing hate-speech equivalent tells me a lot about you. I beg you to reflect for a moment on what you’ve typed.

  • monty’s bones

    Do you also believe that someone whose sincerely held religious beliefs involved white supremacy would be justified in refusing to serve non-whites? Because there’s a sizable number of them in this country.

  • YoshiNakamura

    Both houses of Congress told him to go to war. Are you a supporter of that Stalinist Saddam Huissein who murdered hundreds of thousands of Moslems?

  • jimmywitz

    You are assuming that “bible inerrancy” is also something which ALL Christians adhere to.
    Many Christians do not, for example, believe in a “young creationist” earth and the story of Adam and Eve. Many Christians also do NOT believe (as you do) that the story of Sodom and Gomorrah was about homosexuality, but about the sin of hostility towards visitors. (which most conservative “Christians” do NOT think is a sin, and in fact seem to be constantly proposing public policies which extol xenophobia and reward cruelty and indifference towards refugees).
    For my own part, the more I see of “Christians” the more I am convinced that, as a follower of Jesus, identifying as “Christian” is the LAST thing I want to do!

  • Chris Schene

    You change the word from religious belief to hate speech becasue you are dishonestly prejudicing the word.

    Bigotry is clearly enshrined in the constitution under free speech and freedom of association.

    Homosexuals are evil disgusting perverts (now I am playing your game).

    Honestly, I don’t care what sexual perversion or deviancy you engage in: I just don’t want to be part of it. There is some genuine divine justice that homosexual males are 50% of news AID/HIV cases.

  • Chris Schene

    ” No, these filks you refrenece “There are, I know, an awful lot of sincere Christians who think that self-righteous, homophobic, transphobic and racist bigots can’t possibly be Christians either.”

    Are not Christians

  • jimmywitz

    Ya know, after years and years of cruel and immoral persecution of gays and lesbians in our society, it really is excruciating to have to listen to some privileged “Christian” whine on and on about how he is being persecuted because the constitution of the United States of America doesn’t allow for discrimination against its citizens.
    You can participate all you want in society, but if you want to have a business which offers its good or services in the PUBLIC market place, then YOU don’t get to decide which groups of citizens you will serve and which you will discriminate against. You are open to ALL or none at all. Why is that such a burden?
    If you have a religious institution, there is a legal exception for certain “morality codes” for certain jobs. You can discriminate all you want in your choice of Sunday School teacher. But you can’t, for instance, fire your janitor, because he suddenly decided to get a divorce. You can fire your Sunday School teacher, but not the plumber.
    But you know, these kind of laws are accepted by the vast majority of Americans who understand that, in a pluralistic society, our own morals are our own, and other peoples’ morals are none of our business.
    I play piano in a local Christian church. I perform twice a week to the very best of my ability, and add whatever I can to the richness and spiritual content of their worship service. Now everyone in that church knows and understands that I am not a Christian, but no one has ever complained or asked that I should leave. On the contrary, I know that they all love what I play each week, and appreciate whatever gifts I bring to be of service to them. If they can accept me and the work I do, in something as religious as their worship service, why is it so hard for people like you to accept a gay plumber or a divorced secretary? Is your own doctrine and religion built on such flimsy stuff that the mere presence of someone who thinks differently from you seen as a threat to your very way of life?

  • Waaa!!!! They won’t let me discriminate the way I want to!!!! Public Service Announcement: In the U.S., if you open up a business, it is a business for everybody, not just the people you like.

  • Dwight Gingrich

    Your question is valid, and it poses real practical problems for all of us. I say we look to Jesus and to his apostolic delegates to find our answer.

    But there is no need to answer it here in order for my point to be true. Do you agree there is such a thing as a fake Christian? Do you agree that many who claim to be Christians in American are unlike the Jesus they claim to follow? Then we both agree that there is such a thing as a fake Christian and, by logical deduction, also such a thing as a true Christian. And we both agree that to claim, as this article did, that the majority of Americans are true Christ-followers is invalid.

    Jesus predicted that his followers should expect the same sort of rejection that he experienced, so we should neither become alarmed nor deny it when Christians experience opposition today.

  • Dwight Gingrich

    I hope so! :-) And I hope you are, too.

  • Gryphon

    Sanctimonious? That’s richly ironic coming from someone making the self-righteous points you’re making. Did a printer actually refuse to print something for you (or anyone else)? Or is this merely another in a seemingly unending line of specious comments from you on this issue?

  • day2knight

    I have too much knowledge to be a Christian.

  • Dwight Gingrich

    Jimmy, you are right that the Puritans were anything but promoters of freedom of religion. And I certainly agree that today’s Christian fundamentalists have followed in some of the worst of their oppressive steps. I am definitely not a fan of the religious right’s battle for political control.

    I was talking about Anabaptists, however, as I specified. That is my own religious heritage, and I am reasonably well versed in the history involved. They were indeed persecuted, often to death, by both Protestants and Catholics in mainland Europe.

    Wikipedia isn’t the best source, but here’s an accurate excerpt: ”
    Anabaptists were heavily persecuted during the 16th century and into the 17th century because of their views on the nature of baptism and other issues, by both Magisterial Protestants and Roman Catholics. Anabaptists were persecuted largely because of their interpretation of scripture that put them at odds with official state church interpretations and government. Most Anabaptists adhered to a literal interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount, which precluded taking oaths, participating in military actions, and participating in civil government.”

    The Anabaptists forged with their own blood a pattern of insisting on an voluntary believer’s church, rather than a mandatory, geographically-determined state church of believers and unbelievers alike, as practiced by the Roman Catholics and continued by the magisterial reformers. In fact, if you examine history, you can see that the Anabaptist/Mennonite influence helped turn America away from the pattern of the Puritans toward a path of greater religious freedom.

  • Dwight Gingrich

    Martha, I agree that faith cannot and should not be coerced. I would love to see both Christian fundamentalists and LGBTQ fundamentalists lay down their arms and stop trying to force the other to not merely tolerate, but celebrate, their own beliefs. Unfortunately, this is not the case for everyone in either camp.

  • Jeff Preuss

    What a surprise. Schene brought his violent BS homophobia into this comment thread.

    What a delightful human being.

  • kaydenpat

    Nobody cares if you feel that an entire community is perverted. That’s your own private problem. LGBT members have rights whether you like this or not. That was the point of Corey’s post.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Ahhh, Somalia, where might is actually considered to legally make right.

  • Patrick Short

    I ask to you to reflect on your comparison of providing a product and hate speech, and you leap to perversion and deviancy. Nice assumption to make about a Christian, hetero 57 year old white male business owner who’s been married for 26 years.

    “Divine Justice?” That’s just sick. You are dealing with a lot of anger. Check your Christianity at the door, Chris, and come back when Jesus is in your heart.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Schene and his violent bigotry is the true perversion of Christianity.

  • Realist1234

    Many very well educated people throughout the world are Christians, who have as much knowledge and more than you, so your statement is nonsense. I think your knowledge is ‘puffing’ you up, as Paul said, and making you arrogant.

  • Eating Broccoli

    There’s no need to be hostile, please. I’m just trying to disseminate information that might be useful/informative/relevant to future discussions.

  • day2knight

    Being well-educated not equal to knowledgeable. Plus, all the people I see defending Christianity start several steps past axiomatic principles when they argue in favor of it. This is indicative of a high level of confirmation bias.

  • Kitsune Inari

    “If we have a discriminating morality code that blatantly violates Human Rights, federal laws and basic human decency then fire someone based on that code, people get angry at us.”

  • jimmywitz

    Dwight: Of one thing I am sure we can agree. Christianity has an extremely unenviable record of persecuting people of other faiths, including other Christians who didn’t fit into the prevailing official orthodoxy.
    So personally, I look with a rather jaundiced eye at most organized religions. And I suspect, especially judging from some of their writings, that the Founding Fathers also felt that way.
    And so, today, I celebrate every small step we take towards the dismantling of all these “religion-based” restrictions within our society. And it seems that, more and more, the American people are moving in that direction: towards a diverse and accepting society. If there is such a thing as “American Exceptionalism” then this embrace of diversity may be it.

  • Bones

    Still using the term Mosley even after its been pointed out as being derogatory says a lot about you.

    The Iraq War was supported by Christians who habe killed far more Muslims than Christians have.

  • Bones

    That”s right you don’t give a shot because you’really a hateful bigoted prick.

    Glad you’ve confessed.

  • jimmywitz

    Says who? Who is so arrogant as to set themselves up as the arbiters as to who is a Christian and who is not?
    Oh, I guess you are.

  • Bones

    Bahama.

    Now you cry the victim.

    You need to work on your propaganda because it’s pretty fricking stupid.

    I find you people as bad as Nazis.

    You seek to hate a group of people in your own community and spread lies to demonize them.

    F#ck off you hateful merkin.

  • Bones

    Unfortunately for your version of events Blair and others have confirmed they unleashed the shots torment going on.

    Everyone knows that.

    Your lying won’t help, hateful human.

  • Bones

    Well I wasn’t a right wing Christian either.

    Fact is people were brought up in a culture where homosexuality was illegal cos that’s what you guys really liked.

    If anyone is played up to its you morons on the right.

  • Kitsune Inari

    As long as your anti-gay literature remains within legal bounds (i.e: it doesn’t consist in threats or incitation to violence and it doesn’t run afoul of whatever hate speech laws say), then why should they refuse? It’s bullshit but hey, it’s your bullshit, not theirs. They might not want to publicize themselves on it, though.

  • Bones

    Oh yeah we’ll follow you into your stupid wars to keep you happy, retard.

  • jimmywitz

    Chris: Oh really?
    I assume that you have a degree in medicine , have the letters “MD” after your name and specialize in body dysmorphic issues?

    Transgenderism and transexuality are recognized as NOT being a mental illness in the DSM IV, The DSM V, the AMA and the APA. In fact, ALL the major medical and psychological societies recognize the issues of transexualities as naturally occuring syndromes in human life. And this includes people who have spent their whole lifetimes devoted to working on these very issues.
    So please enlighten us with your qualifications, including all the peer-reviewed and published studies you have written which give you the right to disagree with everyone else who has actually studied and worked on these issues..

  • Bones

    So Jesus was wrong…..

  • jimmywitz

    That is total and complete bullshit… just like the Fox Noise reports of “No Go” areas in Birmingham.

  • Kitsune Inari

    I can’t speak for OP, but I’ll give my opinion: quite a few muslim people are “hypocrites and religious bullies who aren’t content to just live their
    lives the way they please, but who instead seek to impose their
    extremist beliefs on the rest of us”. We are obviously hostile towards those too.

  • Bones

    Bahahahaha

    This is Chris.

    Chris thinks homosexuality is worse than slavery.

    Chris just confirmed he’s not a Christian.

  • Bones

    So you’really not a Christian, Chris?

    I thought not.

  • Bones

    Hey Chris has been let out again.

    How’s the treatment going buddy?

  • Bones

    Yeah good point Chris….

    How many more extreme situations can we dream up….

    Eg a white supremacist wanting to join the black panthers.

    But we ALL know that you think homosexuality is worse than slavery.

  • Bones

    Nah Chris it’s not transfolk who are insane.

    That treatment you’re having isn’t being very effective.

  • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon

    Do it for Obama and Hillary. You can get on the internet and call yourself “progressive.”

  • Rayne Williams

    Actually, the old testament makes it very clear the ‘sin’ of Sodom and Gomorrah was pride and arrogance and treating their needy badly. It’s in Ezekiel. It was the church that made the ‘sin’ about homosexuality, just like it invented the idea of Mary Magdalene as a prostitute, and that Onan’s ‘sin’ was masturbation rather than refusing to be part of a divine breeding program.

  • Bones

    Yeah that was pretty funny.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Oooo, no inciting to violence? Chris will be disappointed.

  • There’s an Anders Breivik in the Islamic world every few months, sometimes every few weeks.

  • Nor are they interested in the fact that the much, much bloodier & more aggressive Jihad predated & succeeded the Crusades by centuries. Has never been called off, in fact, since it is a core requirement of Islam–is Islam’s normal way of expansion.

  • Bones

    Gee Chris when you label groups of people who have done you no wrong as “worse than slavery” and other negative stereotypes which you use, it’s a bit hard to suddenly say you’re the victim when they strike back and point out that you’re just a hateful bigot.

    Jesus said to treat others how you want to be treated and the measure with which you judge is how you will be judged.

  • Bones

    You poor thing….

    You came on here so smug and look what you’ve degenerated to…

    You better go back to your safe world delusion of right wing hate sites.

  • Bones

    The point being of course that the Right distance themselves from nutters like Breivik (who was motivated by anti-Islamic and anti-leftist hate) just as Muslims distance themselves from AQ and ISIS which are political groups who mainly kill Muslims.

  • Melinda Killie

    Thank-you, Mr. Corey. Some folks suppose *being more than a bit paranoid* that everyone else is “out to get them,” or the Christian religion. No. But we DO want to make sure that the hypocritical, Pharisee, religious fanatics that spew the kind of garbage that they do know that we are on to their little game, and they are busted in their lies and hypocrisies. God hae mercy on your sick souls, for you did what you did out of greed for attention and lust for power. SHAME on you!

  • Steve Shay

    Little Boner makes absolutely no sense when Little Boner gets hostile.

  • Chris Schene

    The medical opinions on homosexuality and trans have moved in response to cultural changes and pressure from the LGBT community. Who ever told you medicine is “pure”science? It is political like everything else.

  • Chris Schene

    Virtually all the African Churches have broken fellowship with so called “LGBT affirming churches” and as have the real Christians. There wheat and chaff and they are chaff,

  • Chris Schene

    Hey, when you disobey God there are consequences. God said so in scripture. How many times did Jesus say “Go and sin no more” in one case he said “or something worse may happen to you”

  • Chris Schene

    You are calling God on e who utters “hate speech” since those words are in the Bible.

    The Devil must be very happy with you, his servant.

  • fiona64

    “True Christians” is a phrase that always amuses me — because it is inevitable that the person using it thinks that *they* are a “true Christian” and everyone else is not.

    And that’s aside from the No True Scotsman logical fallacy.

  • fiona64

    If you’ll pardon me asking, WTF is an LGBTQ “fundamentalist” in your mind?

    I have never heard such a ridiculous phrase, and I used to be in the music business, so I’ve heard a lot of ridiculous stuff in my day.

  • fiona64

    If we look to Jesus and his followers, we’ll find a rabbi and his followers: Jews, in other words. So, there’s that.

  • Chris Schene

    Well, Jesus, Paul and Moses would be among those uttering :hate speech” according to your definition. Paul said you would not inherit the Kingdom. Jesus condemned fornication ad homosexuality is included under that umbrella term.

  • Chris Schene

    It would be easier if you LGBT phony Christian would stop pretending to be Christian and just admit you don’t care what God or Jesus Christ want or think about the commands and if they don’t agree with you, then it is just too bad for them.

    Admit you make your own religion with your own rules and don’t give a damn in Hell what God wants becasue you serve no God and do whatever you want.

  • Chris Schene

    They should just admit they are not Christians and they will do whatever they damn please and if God does not like well then too bad for God. The LGBT community id a community of self worshipers.

  • TheMarsCydonia

    Would it not be easir if you also stopped pretending that you are a christian? Can you not admit that you pay lip service as having faith but care not in following Christ? That your so called “christian faith” has little in love but a lot in hate?

    I doubt you will ever admit it but though your lies may convince yourself, they’ll not convince anyone else who actually knows the values of love and compassion.

  • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon

    Australians South Americans like you are so much fun to wind up.

  • Bones

    Poor little Stevie is upset because he can’t pick on gays anymore….

    Becuaue that’s how he has to be a big man….

    Life’s a bitch sometimes…

  • Bones

    Clowns like you are so easy to see through.

    Now you’re left to just thrashing around…..

  • Bones

    You don’t give a shit about Jesus Christ, Chris.

    To you it’s all about hating the gay….

    You know, like the Pharisees did.

  • T Wilde

    I’ve been reading this argument about what is a “true Christian” and an atheist, it all sounds incredibly stupid. Like arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, or what is “art,” or if Peter Pan could really fly. Quoting the Bible is the classic circlular argument. I will never understand how people can use the beliefs of goatherders who didn’t even know that the world existed beyond the Middle East as a moral guide. Don’t bother telling me I will go to hell; that doesn’t exist either. Morality exists separate of religion, and the most moral thing one can do in life is be good to other humans.

  • Bones

    These are in countries which still lock up homosexuals…..

    With the church’s blessing of course….

    Yeah, like you’ve made a great point there…..

  • Bones

    The satan here is you, Chris……

  • Bones

    We know you want homosexuals put into mental institiutions, Chris, like the good ol days….when gay people were tortured into not being gay….

    Those were the days weren’t they Chris????

    Of course for you it’s all ideological…..

  • Bones

    Yeah some people think that being called out for acting like a dick is persecution….

  • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon

    “Brutal headwinds crush Europe’s centre-left heavyweights”

    London (AFP) – Bitter internal strife, plunging support among voters and surging populism: has there ever been a worse time to be a centre-left party in Europe?

    October 1

  • Bones

    Sounds like Europe in the 30s….

    And the UK conservative party just lost their PM….

    But then the best the Republicans in the US could put up is a raving madman…..

    We need more of that trickle down economics and neoliberalism which has worked so well…

  • Chris Schene

    Stop painting Jesus as this lovie dovie sky teddy bear who makes no commands.

    Sexual sin is a very serious matter in the Bible and after 2000 years of Christianity He did not suddenly change His mind about his commands.

    Oh, yes, of course—-you just ignore the parts of scripture you don’t agree with. It is amazing how you can convince yourselves that your odious and rebellious sexual sin is of no consequence.

    The Wheat and the Chaff are being separated as the church divides into the phonies the chaff who are LGBT affirming who deceive and mislead others and the wheat who obey and serve the Lord,.

  • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon

    But of course, it’s always the 1930s with Leftoids like you, and you are always uncovering and exposing nascent fascism – at the shopping mall, in your neighbor’s living room, in the lint collector in your dryer.

  • Nicole Morgan

    Good ideas in this article, and I agree with you, but this is incredibly poorly written.

    “A growing number of Christians– a shocking amount, actually– are convinced that ” This is not proper punctuation.

    “And Congress? You know, the people who actually make the laws we live by in America?” Sentence fragments and an air of condescension.

    “Religious freedom and free speech is alive and well in America. These freedoms aren’t just tolerated, but embraced.” This is not a paragraph.

    “Christians citizens” Christians should not be plural because you already have the plural form of ‘citizen’ after it.

    I find it hard to believe you’re truly a professional writer. You write like a temperamental Tumblr blogger. You are well educated, so what excuse do you have for the low standard you are setting for yourself as a writer? Blog rants presented as ‘articles’ are becoming a plague of modern media.

  • YoshiNakamura

    The Moslem community in our society is a fifth column of traitors. They want the triumph of Islam and sharia law over the rest of us. All the mosques, supported by most of the Moslem community organizations, teach and preach hatred of and war against Christians, Jews and all other non-Moslems. The Moslem community is a huge hate group and needs to be exposed as such. The best way to expose them is to quote the Koran, the Sunnah and the most respected Islamic religious authorities.

  • YoshiNakamura

    You sound angry, Bonehead.

  • YoshiNakamura

    Speaking of hating gays, nobody beats the Moslems. Muhammad said to kill them, and, therefore, standard sharia law provides the death penalty for homosexuals.People need to know that. Since you are a religious Moslem, you are required to hate gays and to support their execution.

  • YoshiNakamura

    Oh, my! No one has ever called me that before. I’ll have to remember that. Good scrabble word.

  • Matthew

    Na … I’ll still pray for unity mate :-).

  • d marino
  • d marino

    The plan is to create chaos so they then can come in with “order”, the NWO. It just can’t happen without chaos. It is the “problem, reaction, solution” tactic that has worked for these sinister people for centuries.

  • d marino

    Name one good thing that has benefitted the people of the country in the past 30 years? Tell me a real benefit for all, name one, please. Citizens of this country have been getting the shaft for entirely too long by the government hell bent on making life better for the Oligarchs and the banking industry, & government officials and the citizenry get more taxes, less wages, more suppression of freedoms, more rules about everything from driving to flying, etc. and those who can’t see evidently can’t compare it to when America was good and free and people could afford to live comfortably without having 3 jobs.

  • There’s the basic fundamental thing that even if X segment of the population is facing attacks, that doesn’t justify: “Okay, so we must get back at everyone else by acting as dirty or even dirtier than they are.” That’s even assuming that cited instances of “Christian persecution” or such are even true (of course, in so many instances they are not).

    It’s not as if Martin Luther King, Jr. said: “Segregation is horrible. We need to violently stomp down enough of the racists and make them suffer enough that they capitulate. That’s the only way.” Or if Gandhi said: “Bloodshed is delightful.”

  • d marino
  • d marino
  • Perrofelix

    “I just don’t want to be a part of it” Ok then, don’t participate in gay sex. Case closed.

  • Perrofelix

    Why aren’t you agitating for those same rights to shun the divorced? They are much more frequently mentioned and condemned in the Bible than gays ever were.

  • Perrofelix

    It’s just like when cultural issues forced us to free the slaves. The Bible tells us how to treat slaves but our evil government prevents it in spite of the Biblical approval. This is a religious liberty issue too.

  • Perrofelix

    Yeah, you wouldn’t find that “other baker” where I grew up. Which wasn’t in the south, btw.

  • Bones

    You’d think a Jap would know better than to cast stones at others for being violent…..

    My parents never forgave you mob for killing their siblings.

  • Bones

    F#ck off with your stupid crap….you’ve benen shown to be a bigoted lying moron.

    The only one preaching hatred here is you.

  • Bones

    Still sooking…..

  • Perrofelix

    “Pork eating is an event, not a person, and I can’t condone people eating pork” or maybe not eating kosher, halal, or vegetarian. So if you get in my taxi without the religiously correct food, I’m kicking you out. I can’t be a party to you eating that food.

  • Bones

    So did Moses….and Christians have spent well over a thousand years killing gay people…and as usual you show you know f*ck all about sharia.

    I’m not Muslim nor religious, but I can tell a complete lying f*ckwit.

  • Bones

    Well you’ve got nothing to post now because you’ve been shown to be a liar.

  • Bones

    Good luck with that…

    Because a lot of the Evangelicals who post here are complete f*ckwits….

  • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon

    Your racism duly noted. Proud of yourself, Anders?

  • Matthew

    I just want peace Bones.

  • Bones

    Just putting her bigotry and hatred into perspective, Anders………

    I mean hey, it was your country which locked up Japanese Americans…..

  • Bones

    Nah, you hateful types will be dead in a generation….in the same way white separatists died out….

  • bgh179

    Oh, please. Don’t pretend that the right isn’t guilty of the same thing. Go to Twitter or 4Chan and say that you support Hillary Clinton. Watch what happens.

  • Kid Monkey

    Great job ignoring the message, Nicole.

    I would also like to commend you for using a sentence fragment to criticize someone’s use of a sentence fragment.

  • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon

    Something I have commented upon often on disqus.

    FDR was, like most “progressives” (yourself included), more than willing to unleash his inner racist when his arguments failed or his agenda could not compete in the marketplace of ideas.

    Your native Australia’s notorious Whites Only immigration platform lasted until what year, skippy?

  • Realist1234

    What specific axiomatic principles are you referring to?

  • Chris Schene

    My church will disfellowship someone for an unscriptural divorce or se xoutside marraige or violence or abortion or being a drunkard

    I don’t know we “shun” someone who was gay. If you come to church we’ll say hi, ask you have you are doing, invite you over for dinner no matter what your orientation. However. if you openly advocate homosexuality and contradict what the pastor says openly about the issue the first time we will pull you aside and warn you and if happens again we will show you the door. The church is not a democracy and truth is not decided by what is culturally popular or by popular vote.

    I don’t dislike people simply becasue they disagree with me on that issue or any other issue.I have gay friends and coworkers: I get along with them very well. I don’t shun them but I generally do avoid the subject area with them and most of them know my position on same-sex marraige and homosexuality.

    There is also a big difference struggling with a sin: lots of people fall into sexual temptation and are very sorry about it and know it is wrong. But someone committing adultery or homosexalu sin and definitely saying that they are going to continue: that person is in rebellion and will be disciplined and expelled if they openly advocate homosexuality or adultery.

  • Chris Schene

    Jesus stressed obedience to His Father and you flagrantly disobey him

  • That! Is my quote of the day! `€=-)

  • fiona64

    Nor where I grew up, in a rural part of Oregon. You had a choice of the baker at Thriftway or the baker at Fred Meyer. Period.

    And, if this were Gideon Waxfarb’s paradise and both bakers said no? You would have to drive for *hours* to find another one.

    But hey, free market, amirite?

  • fiona64

    Oh, I’m sorry. I thought you had an actual, unbiased source.

    As opposed to a right-wing conspiracy theory blog, that is.

    I guess I should have known better. But thanks for showing me that you don’t know the difference between facts and opinions. It gives me an idea of how much weight to give your posts in future.

    Hint: zero.

  • fiona64

    As a former newspaper editor, I can tell you that many of your points are incorrect. The ones that are correct reflect more upon Benjamin’s editor than upon his writing.

    But that’s okay. You can go on and try to pick nits and ignore the message in the process if it makes you feel better.

  • Chris Schene

    It is highly unlike your IQ is higher than mine (I am in the upper 0.14%, I am engineer, scientist. I am listed as an inventor of a product in the EU, NA and Japan and I have several patents, conference papers and engineering magazine articles.

    I am a Christian and I believe in God and Follow Jesus Christ.

    Do you actually think your puny and pathetic scientific knowledge compares to that of a supreme being? Or that your pathetically weak human brains can imagine what such a being might be like.

    Pure Hubris.

  • fiona64

    This is the internet, where I can claim to be an astronaut and a diva at the Met … and no one can gainsay me.

    I find it amusing that an alleged scientist refers to scientific knowledge as puny and pathetic.

  • fiona64

    How dull; it turns out you’re a member of the “Who Would Jesus Hate” version of Christianity.

    No wonder you’re so angry; you must have recognized yourself in Benjamin’s article.

  • fiona64

    Jesus commanded three things of his followers: feed the hungry, comfort the afflicted (the ill), and love your neighbor as yourself. I don’t see any codicils on that last one about “unless he’s black/brown/a woman/gay.”

    In fact, here’s everything Jesus ever said about homosexuality: ” ”

    You’re welcome.

  • fiona64

    You seem to be missing how the compelling state interest works. It’s not to protect the person running the public accommodation, but to protect the customer. In other words, there has to be a compelling state interest in *allowing* discrimination to take place.

    And guess what? There is no compelling state interest in allowing someone to only bake cakes for straights, or whites, or any other group, if their business is baking cakes.

    NONE.

    Just admit it: you want the right to be a bigot in the public square when it comes to people you think are ‘icky’ … but would throw a shitfit in a second if someone applied the same standard to you. “I’m sorry, my religions precludes me serving Christian fundamentalists” would probably not be okay with you (nor should it be) — but it’s the same logic you want to throw at others.

  • fiona64

    You can look up “No True Scotsman” on your own time.

  • fiona64

    Um, sweetie? You’re getting your Orwell novels mixed up.

    But hey, why bother getting the facts right when you can flip your shit about LGBT people having the same rights as you.

  • fiona64

    You know what I find fascinating? How obsessed some allegedly straight people are with what gay people do in the bedroom.

    And you know what else? Controlled studies over the years have repeatedly found the same thing about those people: the loudest, most vocal homophobes are actually closet cases.

    So, I think I’ve figured you out.

  • fiona64

    The self-appointed elect (like you and, apparently, the congregation in which you participate) always amuse me. Your willingness to forget that Jesus hung out with prostitutes and other “immoral” people in your hurry to hate cracks me up.

  • Chris Schene

    You don’t understand how to read the Bible. Fornication is any sex outside male-female marraige and homosexuality is included in that umbrella term. Second, it does matter whether Jesus specifically address your sin using the word “homosexuality” since the apostles discussed it in the letters (Epistles). Paul’s words in scripture carry the same authority as Jesus’ Words. Third, Biblical doctrine IS NOT defined by what Jesus DID NOT say. Since Jesus did not specifically address wife beating and child molestation and beatiality, would you then conclude those things are acceptable because Jesus never said you could not do them?

    You are also dodging the issue: I have been feeding the hungry and the poor, and the hungry and paying electric bills for those who cannot, sponsoring scholarships AND I also obey Jesus on the moral issues like sex outside marraige and homosexuality. It is very childish for you to suggest we cannot both feed the hungry and comfort the afflicted as well as obey Jesus on sexual morality. When I feed the hungry, visit those in nursing homes and pay electric bills they can’t afford I never ask nor do I care anything about their lives. Mercy is due all. Even animals.

    Listen, you just want to endorse and commit that horrible sin and you look for excuses. Stop looking for excuses/justification and admit you are a lying hypocrite.

    By the way, you are welcome for a lesson in Biblical understanding and interpretation.

  • fiona64

    “You don’t understand how to read the Bible.”

    Sweetie, I can read it in the original languages. Want to give it a shot yourself? Rock on. http://unbound.biola.edu

    I wish you could hear how hard this dual-ordained minister is laughing at you right now.

    Oh, and sweetie? I’m a straight, married woman — it’s comical how you assume that those in favor of equality for all under the law must themselves by affected by inequality.

    Begone, you angry little man-baby. ::plonk::

  • fiona64

    You know what else I find fascinating about your rant?

    That Jesus had the perfect opportunity to talk about the “sexual morality” of same-sex relationships when he healed the centurion’s beloved slave. Linguistics clearly demonstrate that this relationship was not platonic in the slightest … and you’d think that Jesus would have plenty to say if it bothered him. Yet, all he did was heal the slave.

    Interesting, that.

    You see, the rantings against homosexuality (leaving out the simple fact that sexual orientation was not understood in Biblical times as it is now, because that’s a story for another time) all came from Paul … who frequently preached things that were antithetical to what Jesus taught.

    But hey, you’re the one who tells dual-ordained ministers that they don’t know how to read the Bible, so …

  • Chris Schene

    It is puny and pathetic compared to God. You are far too impressed with human knowledge and you probably don’t know much about science in any case. The people who are most impressed with science and scientists and those who know little to nothing about science.

    ANy honestly engineer/scientist will tell you than when we learn new things it just brings up new and ever increasing questions. We are refining our knowledge all the time.

  • Chris Schene

    Actually, you deceive others in the name of my Lord Jesus. You are worse than just a sinner.

  • Chris Schene

    “weetie, I can read it in the original languages. Want to give it a shot yourself? Rock on.”

    All that means is you can blow smoke more about your sin in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Lots of scholars who read those language disagree with you. In fact, for 1900 years of church history the church disagreed with you.

    Hopefully you stop living in your perversion and sin.

  • Chris Schene

    Gays see gasy everywhere. Where others see something platonic gays see homosexuality. It’s part of the spiritual illness.

  • Chris Schene

    The old testament required execution of homosexuals but the Mosaic law was a theocracy. We are no longer a theocracy and have no legal authority to judicially punish anyone.

  • fiona64

    You don’t read very well, do you?

  • fiona64

    Not that it’s any of your business, but i hold degrees in forensic anthropology and journalism.

    You are a boring, angry little man-baby. Good-bye.

  • Chris Schene

    Hey, I have enjoyed setting you gays and pro-gays straight but I have more important things to do.

    Take care, repent and stop your sin.

  • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon

    Australia’s shameful Woyts (Whites) Only immigration policy – when, exactly, did it end, Anders?

  • Jeff Preuss

    As one whom Chris has called “servant of Satan” more than once, I welcome you to his fan club.

  • Chris Schene

    The scriptures prohibit it. I can’t control what anyone else. Live whatever life you want.

  • Chris Schene

    Jesus would have mercy on them and tell them to stopping their sexual sin.

    Homosexuality is “self-idolatry” becasue the person is rejecting God’s design of him. And no, people are not “born gay.” Even if you have the tendency or desire, you are still violating God’s word.

  • Chris Schene

    You know what is very encouraging: The Anglican communion had censured the Episcopal church in the US for its acceptance of same ex marraige and reduced them to “observer” and “non-voting” status. The next step is to expel the Episcopalians from the anglican communion.

    It was the African Bishops who apparently still wish to follow Jesus, unlike most of the people who post here, who pushed for the sanction of the Episcopalians.

    You should follow the example of the African congregations. I like the way the Nigerians told Obama to stuff it when he brought up gay rights, The African congregations have broken fellowship with every main line US denomination that endorses homosexuality and trans as acceptable for a Christian. Yeah faithful African church!

  • fiona64

    One of the best things Disqus ever did for my blood pressure was to add the “block user” feature. :-)

  • Chris Schene

    Well, this Patheos site mainly has posters who all agree with your perversions and you have a group of overt and blatant sinners telling each other that their sin is OK.

    I am the poster to tell you the truth and maybe, hopefully some of you will repent and avoid eternal damnation.

  • Chris Schene

    Yes, bigotry is 100% protected—freedom of speech and religion.

  • Chris Schene

    Good prayer

  • Chris Schene

    Actually I am very radical and if it were up to me I would aggressively target gay businesses and I would block the transport and loading docks of companies that oppose my religious liberty. I’d block your ports, your rail transport, your highways and I would shut down the economy so you do not make any income.

    Unfortunately my Christian brothers are not inclined toward such action, yet, Hopefully soon.

    You would have a choice: either go to war against us or give in. You don’t have enough police and Army to arrest and prosecute 10 million people and most of you are too sissified to actually fight a real fight or war. The vast majority of people do not support you: they just go along to get along and if we make their lives miserable, they’ll give in.

  • TheMarsCydonia

    You have not set anyone straight. You use christianity as a weapon of discrimination and hate, so crooked but so blinded by arrogance that you buy your own pretense of righteousness.

    You have my pity.

  • YoshiNakamura

    Oh, my, you certainly are a hateful racist bigot, aren’t you?

  • YoshiNakamura

    We are all impressed with the bullet-proof logic of your arguments.

  • YoshiNakamura

    Mosaic law has no relevance to the Jewish or Christian communities after the time of Moses.

  • YoshiNakamura

    What qualifies you to discern whether anyone knows anything about Sharia? In order to make that judgment, you would actually have to know something about Sharia — which you obviously do not. I get my knowledge of Sharia from the Islamic sources, especially from the authoritative manual of Sharia law, Reliance of the Traveller — A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law. This manual, which you can get from Amazon, is used in American mosques and was approved by the highest Islamic religious authorities of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Egypt and America.

    Where do you get your knowledge of Sharia Law?

    If you are not Moslem, why are you expending so much hate-filled emotion defending Islam?

  • Jeff Preuss

    Isn’t it divine? In all honesty, I see nothing he posts anymore, but I can tell by the responses he’s received, he has not changed his tune at all since returning from his probable banning several months back, when ALL his Disqus comments were wiped clean after some particularly hostile tirades.

  • JPablo

    I’m sorry Dwight, but in typical fashion for a conservative Christian, you are warping the entire issue. Christians who want to impose their religious views and have the right to oppress others through legislation are the fundamentalists.
    I’d like to know, what gives someone the right to call themselves “True Christians”?
    What gives someone the right in a modern society to discriminate against others based on their sexual preferences or any personal life choices?

    People are born with their sexuality (straight, gay, bi, etc) but even if it was a choice…we all have the right to lead our lives as we see fit. And no, baking a cake is not a sin. Signing a marriage certificate is not a sin. And you do not have the right or duty to decide whether others are sinners and exact punishment for those supposed sins. The only person who can decide all of that is God.
    LGBTQ people are not fundamentalists simply because they want to be left alone to live a life that makes them happy. They are not trying to pass laws that say the rest of us have to change our sexuality or abide by their definition of a holy book – that sin falls squarely at your feet…
    Matthew, 6:5
    “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.”

  • Croquet_Player

    “It is highly unlike your IQ is higher than mine” “Pure Hubris”. You’re claiming to have a very high I.Q. and promptly accusing others of hubris? That’s hilarious.

  • Chris Schene

    Anyone who can read the Bible and come to the conclusion that gay is OK can’t be very bright.

  • Chris Schene

    Sure it does: It gives us examples even if the judicial penalties do not apply. The moral laws never changed.

  • Chris Schene

    forensic anthropology: Maybe you cheated. You can’t be very intelligent if you think the Bible is OK with homosexuality. I’ve seen lots of dumb PHD’s and even doctors: they are hard workers but still dumb.

  • Croquet_Player

    Yeah, peddle it somewhere else, Mr. Hubris.

  • Croquet_Player

    He has to go now, Mommy has to change his nappie.

  • JPablo

    Here’s the problem: I have never heard of any other President being questioned on their citizenship besides Obama. Why was this? Because he was black and presented himself as an antidote to the problems that Bush’s conservative administration created.

    But then you have someone like Trump, who even after Obama presented his birth certificate, kept “questioning” the validity of Obama’s American”ness”. Except Trump liked to pretend like he wasn’t accusing Obama of being ineligible. He liked to pretend that he was only “asking” that he “didn’t know whether Obama was born in the US or not. Maybe he was, maybe he wasn’t.” His real purpose in all this “questioning”: to undermine Obama’s legitimacy.

    Broccoli, this is what you are doing right now. Like Trump, you are merely “disseminating information”…but your real purpose is as clear as day. Stating that “Muslims…are trying to get some sort of official governing body for their branch of Islam in the US.” is an obvious attempt to call Muslim intentions into question.
    What other purpose would this information serve?

  • Scott

    I don’t think you can distinguish one from the other until an acceptable definition can be agreed upon. To say you know it when you see it allows too much wiggle room for personal interpretation, which is exactly where we are now. The same problem applies to porn. One man’s porn is another’s art. One man’s Christianity is another’s false religion. Who gets to decide? God? He’s notoriously silent on the question, so until he weighs in on the issue I doubt much progress will be made, and anyone proclaiming others to be false Christians is on shaky ground.

  • YoshiNakamura

    Please explain precisely what you are referring to. Otherwise, people might think that Jews and Christians favor the execution of homosexuals today as a result of Mosaic law 3000+ years ago.

  • Chris Schene

    You should also repent of cheating on your assignments and papers

  • Eating Broccoli

    JPablo… my only thing was that you stated, “I have never seen or heard of a Muslim inside the US asking for laws to be passed that follow the Qur’an. ” Literally what they are doing is trying to make a governing body based off of the Qur’an (albeit an organizational body within their religion rather than a state or country wide thing). If you meant passing laws that follow the Qur’an on the state and Federal level, you might want to make it more explicit in your initial statement.

  • Chris Schene

    We show mercy to all. We are directed to expel Christinns who revert to worlds’ seious sin and are not repentant. You are defiant in your sin and not repentant and you lead others to hell as well

  • Chris Schene

    Gaya see gays everywhere. It’s part of their spiritual blindness and self deception

  • Kitsune Inari

    You can’t be very intelligent if you think that the importance of whatever the bible (or any religion) says about homosexuality (or anything else) is greater than zero.

  • Kitsune Inari

    Anyone who can read the Bible and come to the conclusion that a tribe of ignorant goat-herders living in the bronze age thought that gay is OK can’t be very bright.

    Fixed.

  • Al Cruise

    As someone who was been with the dying [hospice care] often those who are the least among us, from careful observation and witnessing Spirituality at death , being gay plays no role in the progression to the Kingdom of God. Judgmental-ism and the willful promotion of ideas and beliefs that bring forth feelings of enmity, antipathy, and loathing that result in active hostility, passive or aggressive, toward others are things to to concerned about if they are part of ones lifestyle.

  • Kuildeous

    There is a certain irony that you denigrate the news for not being truthful, but you cite a very biased source that is even worse than the mainstream (which certainly does have its issues).

    Most of the examples cited are actually based on violation of more generic laws (encompassing fraternal and non-profit, in addition to religious); expressly target hateful or potentially violent behavior, such as homophobia, racism, sexism, and religious-based terrorism; or pertain to actual crimes being committed, such as loitering, disrupting the peace, or illegal discrimination.

    That’s not to say all of the examples are blown out of proportion by this site. There are real examples of an administration freaking out because they have no idea how to implement religious freedom, so they erroneously try to ban all references to religion. In fact, one of your examples has the ACLU stepping in to protect the Christian who was unfairly punished.

    But those few examples are not really religious persecution on a grand scale. There will always be clueless people who need to be educated on separation of church and state. But despite those misguided people, there is no statewide persecution of Christians. Other religions may be facing some legitimate persecution, but those are generally at the hands of Christians. Clearly there are people who can stand to learn a few lessons about love from Jesus.

    There is a movement to remove the special privileges that Christians enjoy, but that is because freedom of religion encompasses ALL religions, and we do our founding fathers and the soldiers who sacrificed their lives a disservice by placing any single religion on a pedestal.

  • Perrofelix

    You are the perfect spokesman for your side because without much prodding you reveal your true intentions. You would raise up an army to enforce your theological views. And many of the fellow travelers in the “army” you’ve raised would not be content to stop at merely causing economic harm to gays by blocking ports highways, and rail.

    If you’re going to raise up an army to enforce your theology, what about all those “towelheads” who don’t agree with you? what about the Jews? What about the LGBT-inclusive Christians who you have stated in other parts of this thread cannot be actual Christians?

    Your little army, once roused, wouldn’t be happy until the USA looked like the Middle East. Protestants vs. Protestants, vs. Catholics, vs. Jews, with gays being shoved off the tops of buildings. This movie is playing in the Middle East right now.

    But in a less anonymous setting you’ll just say you want the ability to practice your “religious liberty” in peace and that a little wedding cake or floral bouquet shouldn’t be a big deal.

  • Jeff Preuss

    He’s had it spelled out to him many a time.

  • Perrofelix

    Ok, great. Keep it in your church. You can do what you want in your church. But why don’t we see Kim Davis types refusing to grant divorces or marriage licenses to the divorced? Why don’t you want to conspire to cause economic harm against those who have divorced, the way you said elsewhere in the thread you’d do to gays?

    Why don’t you go after businesses where people are working on the Sabbath and not keeping it holy? There are plenty, plenty to choose from.

    How about all those who don’t follow the first commandment? Did you know that in addition to those who call themselves Christians and are accepting of gays, there are those who do actually do not even believe in Christ? That’s Commandment Number One, the biggie.

    Did you know that there are weddings between people who are not even Christians and they buy wedding cakes? Why don’t we hear objections from bakers “forced” to make cakes for those, or for those who blaspheme Christ by subscribing to an incorrect religious sect? The Assembly of God baker “forced” to bake a cake for the Presbyterian wedding?

    No, for some reason all this other “sin” in the public sphere is a-ok but when it comes to gays, well, gimme my rights to discriminate! Ridiculous.

  • WingedBeast

    Uh… what, if anything does this have to do with the content of the article?

  • WingedBeast

    If you were wrong about your assessment of pro-gay-rights Christians, how would find out?

    It’s one of those questions I find important to ask, because that kind of response is one I tend to associate with people who’ve designed their world-view to avoid the risk of ever finding out that they’re wrong.

  • No one is in charge of Islam. Whatever Muslims do in Islam’s name, that’s what Islam is. The tree is known by its fruit.

  • JPablo

    Do you know what reading things in context means? Reading between the lines? Implicit meaning?
    Part of my original statement also reads:
    “I have never seen or heard of a Muslim inside the US asking for laws to be passed that follow the Qur’an. But I am constantly seeing Christian lawmakers call for laws that follow the bible.”
    Let me ask you something obvious, what kind of laws do you think I meant. I can’t be spelling things out constantly. In elementary school this is called critical thinking, a skill required for reading comprehension.

  • Chris Schene

    I’ve look at every pro-gay argument there is. I’d be shocked if you can tell me something I haven’t already seen and examined. I examined then because I would like to tell my gay relatives or friends what they do is Ok. I care about people who are gay and would love to attend one of their weddings—-but it would be celebrating something God says He hates and I would be leading them into perdition if I were to tell them homosexuality is trans is acceptable. My brother is gay and he is deeply hurt that I don’t approve and cannot endorse his gayness. I am sad about him being hurt, but I have to obey God.

    My step daughter basically banned her natural father who is gay and is my friend from bringing his partner over for dinner and she also banned him from being alone with her children. Why? Because she does not want to teach her kids that homosexuality is normal and acceptable. He also watches gay porn all the time and we don’t want the grand-kids exposed to that.

    My desire is to please God and obey Him and my Word view regarding homosexuality has been challenged many times.

  • WingedBeast

    None of that answers my question. If you were wrong, how would you find out?

  • Mobsie sixsixsix

    This article is about idiots like you. That said You’re just a troll anyway.

  • Mobsie sixsixsix

    Your comments are the pure definition of Hubris. Thing is, you may well have a high IQ, I imagine mines easily a match for yours, But the problem is your EQ. You have the emotional intelligence of a 7 year old.

    Jesus would have cured you, not agreed with you.

  • Mobsie sixsixsix

    You’re not even a good troll.

  • Mobsie sixsixsix

    God hates trolls, so you’re screwed.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Bad troll!
    No goat treats!

  • Mobsie sixsixsix

    You are what the article is talking about, A Christian who thinks only his take on the Bible is correct.

    Odd that Jesus spent a lot more time talking about the sin of pride than he ever did about homosexuality. But obviously because you are gay yourself and full of self loathing you have to believe your Jesus was homophobic too.

    Whilst happily ignoring the sin of pride.

    By your own definition you are off to hell as well.

    But being the troll you are, you won’t even acknowledge your hypocrisy.

  • Bones

    What qualifies me?

    Talking to Muslims, research, education, the fact that my neighbours, the largest Muslim country on Earth, don’t practice sharia law….

    Why do you hate Muslims so much?

  • Mobsie sixsixsix

    The fact that you use the term “Sharia law” shows you to be a bare faced ignorant liar.

    I see no hate filled emotion either, just good old fashioned frustration at the stupidity of others, yourself included.

  • Bones

    In the 70s????

    I see people like you want it brought back.

  • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon

    No actually you are the one on here calling people ‘Japs.’

    Short-term memory probs there, skippy?

  • YoshiNakamura

    The Moslem community, both the more religious and the less religious, speaks of Sharia Law, so why shouldn’t I? Are all those Islamic religious authorities “bare faced ignorant liars”? The term, Sharia Law, means “Islamic Sacred Law”. Wikipedia and many other websites have long articles on Sharia Law. Are they all “bare-faced ignorant liars”? This is all pretty elementary lexicography. What’s wrong with you?

  • Bones

    Bahahaha

    Chris wants to go to war over gay people.

    Keep that hate coming Chris, you lunatic charlatan.

  • YoshiNakamura

    You have obviously done no research or education about Islam since you do not cite any sources in your intemperate and hate-filled posts. All you can do is call me nasty names, but you have no arguments.

    I do not “hate Muslims so much”. I hate Islam the same way I hate Nazism, and pretty much for the same reasons. And, of course, I hate Moslems who support the sacred jihadist doctrines of Islam, just like I hate Nazis who support Nazi ideology — and pretty much for the same reason. Why do you hate people who expose the truth about Islam???

    Why do you refuse to distinguish between Islam and Moslems? Why do you refuse to distinguish between the ideology/religion and its practitioners? Moslems have no trouble making that distinction. Those are two distinct concepts because the practitioners may or may not practice the religion the way they are supposed to. For example, in Indonesia, most Moslems do not practice Islam they way they are supposed to. That may say something about Indonesian Moslems, but it doesn’t tell us anything about Islam, the belief system. The only way to find out about Islam is to study it. I urge you to do so.

  • Bones

    Yeah Australian society was openly racist.

    Which was dismantled by a leftist government who gave us our racial discrimination laws.

    People like you want to see it brought back.

    You still sooking over fdr allowing blacks in the military.

  • Mobsie sixsixsix

    I love it when people who know they are lying keep arguing the toss in the hope that the other person is lying too…

    Ok here’s how it is. It is either Islamic law or it is the Sharia.

    Sharia law translates into Islamic law law.

    Even a cursory understanding of Islam would tell you that.

    What’s worst is that you compound your ignorance by suggesting the manual you have read, which you claim is used in american mosques. is approved by Syrian and Saudi clerics.

    I mean seriously? The whole split in Islam between Sunni and Shia is centered on the Sharia and yet here you are telling us that American Muslims have a manual they both agree on.

    What’s wrong with me? Nothing. I just like to call out bullshit merchants like you.

  • Bones

    I hope your treatment starts working soon Chris.

  • Bones

    Bahahaha the major Muslim country in the world isn’t Muslim because you say.

    How stupid you are.

    Someone spends too much time on Muslim hate sites.

  • Bones

    You’re an idiot, Anders.

    I was pointing out how we can all use offensive terms.

    But hey you probably think the 15000 Muslims you have in your army are fifth column traitors.

    I see i’ve effected you so much you have to follow me around.

    My own little troll.

  • Bones

    Don’t be stupid.

    If a Muslim farts it’s apparently because of Islam.

  • Bones

    Yours were easy to dismantle ….because you are a dishonest troll.

  • YoshiNakamura

    You are incredibly and obstinately dense. I did not say that Indonesia was not Muslim. Why are you twisting my words? What I said was that most of the Moslems in Indonesia are not practicing Islam the way the laws of Islam require them to do. What prevents you from distinguishing between Islam, the belief system, and Moslems, the practitioners? Religious Moslems always make that distinction, and so should you. There is no such thing as moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam, and that’s it.

    The “Muslim hate sites” that I spend time on are, in fact, the Moslem religious websites. You could say that they are hate sites because they support the sanctity of the Koran and the Sunnah which are chock full of hatred for non-Moslems of all stripes.

  • Bones

    Oh no.

    That’s you.

    The one who thinks 15000 Muslims in the us army are fifth column traitors – the same way Japanese Americans were viewed and rounded up during the war, even though the most highly decorated unit in US ARMY history was Japanese American.

    You’re a special kind of stupid.

  • YoshiNakamura

    You did not dismantle anything. All you have done is to call me names. That’s not much of a counter argument, is it? Why don’t you try saying something about Islam from the islamic sources? That would be more interesting than your crude and uncivil name-calling.

  • Bones

    Wtf are you going on about now?

    Is that the only thing you know about? It was dismantled in the 60s. And the 70s we had the racial discrimination act (by a leftist government so it’s bad – because it’s left).

    Australia was a racist society like yours. We killed Aborigines, rioted against the Chinese on the goldfields ( which is what the White Australia Policy was about).

    Now we have had parties such as One Nation who campaigned firstly against the Aborigines and Asian hordes in the 90s and are back now campaigning against the Muslims. You’d love them.

    Anymore Australian history lessons you want because you obviously don’t know much about your own, Anders.

  • kescad

    Oh please. If you were ACTUALLY an engineer, you understand that being an engineer just isn’t that damn impressive, and you sure as hell wouldn’t use the term like ‘engineering and scientist’ to describe yourself; that’s a very wannabe phrase. Interestingly enough, I didn’t find you registered anywhere. Did you skip over the ‘thou shalt not lie’ part of the Bible, perchance?

  • Bones

    So does the Middle East….

  • YoshiNakamura

    No argument with that: Sharia law translates into Islamic Law.
    As for “Reliance of the Traveller — A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law”, it reproduces the letters of approval from the highest Islamic religious authorities of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Egypt and America. I didn’t make this up. If you troubled yourself just a wee bit, you could verify it for yourself. I said nothing about Shiites using this manual, so why are you lying about me? It is a Sunni manual, and it is the most popular of Sunni manuals, and it is used in American mosques. FYI, Sunnis make up about 85% of the Moslem world.

    Also, FYI, there is no difference between Sunnis and Shiites when it comes to jihad. Here is the preamble to the constitution of the Islamic (Shiite!) Republic of Iran:

    An Ideological Army
    In the formation and equipping of the country’s defense forces, due attention must be paid to faith and ideology as the basic criteria. Accordingly, the army of the
    Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps are to be organized in conformity with this goal, and they will be responsible not only for guarding and preserving the frontiers of the country but also for fulfilling the ideological mission of jihad in God’s way; that is, extending the sovereignty of God’s law throughout the world (this is in accordance with
    the Koranic verse “Prepare against them whatever force you are able to muster, and strings of horses, striking fear into the enemy of God and your enemy, and
    others besides them.” [8.60])

    Koran Verse 8:60, by the way, is what is referred to in the Muslim Brotherhood emblem, and the MB is Sunni.

    You are just making a fool of yourself by indulging in nasty name-calling and foul language instead of discussing the issues.

  • YoshiNakamura

    Whether they are traitors or not depends on how seriously they take the Koran. Certainly, Nidal Hassan was a traitor. So were others. Here is an interesting article precisely on that subject written by a “moderate” Moslem:
    The Islamist Threat Inside Our Military

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904006104576500593598420746.html

    Check it out before opening your mouth without engaging your brain.

  • RonnyTX

    Chris:
    Hey, I have enjoyed setting you gays and pro-gays straight but I have more important things to do.

    Take care, repent and stop your sin.

    Ronny to Chris:
    Chris, you’ve been listening to and believing some preachers, on what you wrongly believe about gay people. You need to stop and simply ask God to show you the truth of the matter. But then, I don’t see you or people like you doing that, as long as you’re believing and following some preachers, as if they were God/Jesus Christ.

  • All jihadist attacks have nothing to do with Islam, the jihadists’ vehement assertions to the contrary notwithstanding. Meanwhile, all white Southerners living and dead are collectively guilty of the Charleston shootings. Yes, I’m familiar with this script, having seen it performed many times over the years.

    Look, just admit it: you aren’t defending Islam. You’re defending multiculturalism, the delusion that all cultures are essentially the same except for holidays, headgear and cuisine. It isn’t so, never was, never could be.

  • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon

    “Yeah Australian society was openly racist.”

    Still is. You are proof of that.

  • Bones

    No troll.

    I have no problem with Japanese….only bigoted ones even if they did starve memyers of my family to death.

    I don’t have a stupid view of others which treats all people as though they are the same.

    It’s your friends who hate Muslims, blacks, gays, Asians, Jews….

  • Bones

    It’s behind a pay wall. …

    As usual you’re the same ones who disrespect the Khan’s and their sons sacrifice because of his religion.

    Look out some Aussie Muslims…..or are they….

    https://youtu.be/XMYHqgC0o_k

    But I know you talk shit because I actually have Muslim friends who are better humans than people like you and a lot of Muslim hating Christians.

  • Bones

    Only in your own mind.

    Your dishonest use of the Quran has been exposed.

    We get it.

    You hate Muslims.

    Move on.

  • Bones

    You are incrediby stupid and dense to think that the most populous Muslim country on earth aren’t real Muslims because they don’t fit your bigoted stereotype.

    Your lies have been exposed for what they are.

  • Bones

    No.

    Your research is based on hate sites…..

    Shit, you don’t even see there are different schools and interpretations of Islam but just bundle them all into the evil Muslimz.

  • Bones

    Actually most Muslims come to the west for our culture eg freedom of religion.

    And last I heard the most people jihadists were killing were Muslim.

    And kebabs are cool….but each to their own….

  • YoshiNakamura

    You and your Moslem “friends” are in serious disagreement with the Islamic religious leaders. That is your privilege, but don’t blame me for it. As for the Khans, he is an expert and supporter of the sharia law which you say does not exist. He wrote a good explanatory article on Sharia law. You ought to look it up and read it. None of this has anything to do with his son getting killed by Moslems who follow Sharia law.

  • YoshiNakamura

    Too bad that the Islamic religious leaders disagree with you and your Moslem “friends” about Islam. No doubt you and your “friends” know more about Islam than the Islamic religious authorities.

  • YoshiNakamura

    There are four major sharia schools in Sunni Islam and two in Shiite Islam. Curiously, they all agree when it comes to making war against non-Moslems in order to spread Islam to the world.

    Again, the “hate sites” I visit are the Islamic religious sites. They promote hatred because they totally support the Koran and Muhammad, and both the Koran and Muhammad promote hatred of non-Moslems. Why don’t you read the Koran for yourself? Your potty language and personal insults are no substitute for knowledge.

  • YoshiNakamura

    I never said that they weren’t real Moslems. Apparently, you cannot read plain English very well. What I said is that most Indonesian Moslems don’t follow Islam the way they are supposed to. That is very different. Anyone can be a Moslem by reciting the shehada, but that doesn’t mean the person is practicing Islam the way they are supposed to practice it according to Sharia law.

  • YoshiNakamura

    Ah, more slander and lies, but no arguments. Please show my supposed dishonest use of the Koran. Crawl back in your cave, Bonehead.

  • JD

    Actually, if Jesus was worth his demi-god salt he’d know that 1 in every 1200-2000 are born intersex. He’d know that gender and gender orientation was never set in stone.

    Thus Jesus would not only have no problem with gays he’d bring the wine and officiate at their weddings.

  • Dave

    Dude: You were wrong to bring up Sharia in this context. If you are comparing what you call “fringe extremists” among Christians with the mainstream tradition of legal thought that is Sharia you are contributing to the general ignorance and hostility on the part of American Christians toward that Islamic tradition. Comparing the worst Christian instincts in the US to the long and learned tradition of Sharia is extremely offensive. If you’ve studied Sharia at all and come to have at least a general understanding of it, then you can bring it up. But if all you know about it you learned from simplistic memes that undeducated people post on Facebook (and that paragraph does indeed sound like that’s where you get your info) then you should leave it out. Mentioning it as you did, comparing it to the beliefs of extremists, makes you part of the problem.

  • Matthew

    I suppose I should be praying for peace and unity in the M.E. as well.

  • Bones

    The only one living in a cave here, is you.

  • Bones

    Uhuh….sure

    The leading expert on Islamic Law in Australia is Dr Jamila Hussein who lectures in Islamic Studies at one of our leading universities…a feminist and promoter of gender equality….

    Wonder if anyone told her she isn’t following Islam right….cos an internet troll read it on hate sites…

    Go away…..

  • Bones

    That elderly western Aussie in that video was Dr Jamila Hussein, expert in Islamic Law and lecturer in Islamic Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney. She passed away last month and her funeral was attended by Christian and Jewish leaders who loved her dedication to interfaith solidarity and women’s equality.

    https://www.facebook.com/muslimvillage/videos/1287205661324240/

    I’ll take what she says over your lies….

    And from my Muslim friend Nora Amath who’s one of the Board of Directors on Islamic Relief Australia

    And is a beautiful soul….

    “Amidst the darkness, the carnage, the terror
    The ever-increasing suffering all over the world
    I feel so helpless, yet I know I must help, in whatever small way I can.
    I’m hurting
    I’m grieving, deeply.
    I am angry that those who are committing these acts of violence, with their twisted ideology
    Share the same faith as me.
    Instead of giving in to the despair
    I will channel that pain to continue my relationship building efforts with those
    who are courageously willing to traverse this path
    of peace, love, compassion and justice.
    #notinmyname #prayingforallthosesufferingaroudtheworld #wecangrievetogether #wecanhealtogether”

    https://www.facebook.com/nora.amath/posts/10154724005172586

  • Bones

    Too bad that the expert in Islamic Law in Australia disagrees with you.

    No doubt you need to set her straight…

    Nah you’re just a vindictive poisonous troll.

  • Bones

    Now you can start providing sources for your crap.

    You haven’t read the Quran at all..

    In fact your deliberate dishonesty in misquoting the Quran shows that.

    The only one promoting hatred here is you.

  • Bones

    Oh dear….we can tell what you read…two reasons the Right hate the Khan’s – 1 – he was a Msulim 2 – he criticised Trump

    Breitbart Tried To Smear Khizr Khan, But Face-Planted
    Maybe it’s time Donald Trump’s bootlickers moved on to something new.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/breitbart-khizr-kahn_us_57a8e7e6e4b0b770b1a3d70d

    The first item is a review, written by Khan, of a book titled Human Rights In Islam ― a work that is actually just a compendium of presentations from a 1982 seminar by the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva. The second piece that shows up in Sperry’s brief against Khan is an “explainer” of sorts that he wrote in 1983 for Volume 6:23 of the Houston Journal of International Law, in which Khan helpfully provides a concise “Juristic Classification Of Islamic Law.”

    In the first instance, Khan rather dispassionately renders his verdict on the value of the materials presented at the seminar, citing one speaker in particular for making a convincing argument. In the second document, Khan ― just as dispassionately ― provides the Houston Journal of International Law with some facts about Islamic law and its derivations.

    At no point does Khan argue that the United States Constitution should be “subordinated” to Sharia. The Constitution, in fact, never comes up in either piece of writing ― mainly because there is no reason to bring it up. The Magna Carta, the French Constitution of 1958, Starfleet’s Prime Directive, the First Law of Robotics ― these don’t come up either. (That’s too bad, if only because I’d love to know if robots could be made Sharia-compliant.)

    Sperry’s whole conclusion here ― that Khan is arguing that the United States Constitution should be subordinated to Sharia ― is truly daffy, and basically relies completely on his readers not doing what I did ― reading all the source materials. (And being able to read in the first place.)

    In his “Juristic Classification of Islamic Law,” Khan attempts to explain how Islamic jurists classify the sources of Islamic law, noting both the chief and supplementary sources that have guided the thinking of these jurists (and which have led to a lifetime of argument between them). Khan notes that within Islamic culture, “the individual opinions” of Islamic jurists are “subordinated” to the two chief sources ― the Quran and the Sunnah.

    Khan goes on to note that the larger “question of the sources which” these Islamic jurists have historically “relied upon” to derive legal opinions “is always open to reconsideration as to their compliance with the Quranic and Prophetic texts and the fulfillment of their objectives.” However, Khan notes an immutable bottom line within Islamic legal culture:

    This brings up an important fact which is generally overlooked, that the invariable and basic rules of Islamic aw are only those prescribed in the Shari’ah (Quran and Sunnah), which are few and limited. All other juridical works which have been written during more than thirteen centuries are very rich and indispensable, but they must always be subordinated to the Shari’ah and open to reconsideration by all Muslims.”

    Khan isn’t rendering a value judgment on Islamic law or Sharia compliance here. These are just definitional facts, pertaining to the history of Islamic law and culture, how it has developed over centuries, and how it has continued, within those applicable cultures and societies, to be applied.

    But Sperry goes wildly astray in his interpretation, leaping to the conclusion that Khan, far from simply relating a factual explanation, is arguing that every legal system in the world should be brought into compliance with Islamic prophetical texts. That’s not what’s happening! Khan is specifically limiting himself to a discussion of Islamic culture and law ― which is a thing that really does exist and which one can discuss separately from other cultures and their juridical philosophies.

    When Khan refers to “all other juridical works” that “must always be subordinated to the Shari’ah,” he is referring exclusively to Islamic juridical works, not Western ones. When Khan notes the unadorned fact that the Quran “is the absolute authority from which springs the very conception of legality and every legal obligation,” he is confining himself ― again, exclusively ― to the Islamic world and its legal practices, not to societies and cultures outside of that context.

    Sperry includes this weird, scare-quoted sentence in his indictment of Khan: “Khan then notes that Quranic law includes ‘constitutional law.’”

    It appears that what Sperry believes is that the use of the phrase “constitutional law” is a reference to the United States Constitution. This is incorrect ― it refers to small-c “constitutional law” in general. Believe it or not, the United States is not the only nation that has a constitution, from which “constitutional law” is practiced. Within the context of this piece of writing, Khan is simply using a term that applies to the codified bodies of laws that dictate how states govern their citizens ― in this case, specifically Islamic states.

    In fact, here is the only instance in which Khan uses the term “constitutional” in his explainer (emphasis mine):

    “It has to be admitted, however, that the Quran, being basically a book of religious guidance, is not an easy reference for legal studies. It is more particularly an appeal to faith and the human soul rather than a classification of legal prescriptions. Such prescriptions are comparatively limited and few. Family law is laid down in seventy injections; civil law in another seventy; constitutional law in ten; international relations in twenty-five; and economic and financial order in ten. Such an enumeration, however, can only be approximate. The legal bearing of some injuctions is disputable, whereas in some others it simultaneously applies to more than one sphere of law. The major portion of the Quran is, as with every Holy Book, a code of divine exhortation and moral principals.”

    So, there’s no mention of the United States Constitution. In fact, this single reference to “constitutional law” doesn’t even wade into the murky arguments of whether any nation’s constitutional law should be Sharia-compliant ― it simply and dryly notes that the Quran offers 10 prescriptions that specifically pertain to “constitutional law.”

    Like I said before, in this “Juristic Classification of Islamic Law,” Khan is only rendering a set of indispensable and explanatory facts about Islamic juridical culture so that people might better understand it. He’s not arguing that everyone, the world over, should adhere to Islamic law, nor is he offering any sort of passionate value judgment about it. Insofar as Khan allows any personal judgment to slip out, though, let’s note that it arrives in the form of Khan describing the severe limitations of using religious texts to guide legal practices.

    Moving on to Khan’s review of the book Human Rights In Islam, Sperry’s criticism of Khan demonstrates that he is either unwilling or unable to make the necessary distinction between an argument that a reader notes has been convincingly made, and an argument to which a reader agrees. By eliding over that distinction, he smears Khan as some sort of enemy of the United States. I’m pretty sure these distinctions will be lost on Sperry, but since I’m in for a penny here, let’s address it.

    Khan makes his interest in the seminars that formed this Human Rights in Islam book plain from the start of his review, saying that the “position of human rights in the cynosure of world attention has created a need among scholars to explore the historical development of human rights.” The concept of “human rights,” as it turns out, has evolved among different cultures in different ways, and the Islamic world is no different. Khan evidently found this 1982 seminar useful because it included contemporary jurists from the Islamic world, all of whom were invited to explain their points of view.

    Additionally, Khan notes forthrightly at the beginning of his piece that this seminar made no effort to enjoin an argument about whether the points of view of these Islamic jurists are a model to follow or deserve a greater share of attention over the points of view of other jurists that emerge from other cultures and societies. As Khan explains, “The seminar’s purpose is neither to address human rights situations in particular countries nor to provoke a dialogue between the Muslim and Western worlds.” Instead, the seminar was a “forum for discussion of human rights issues which are important to Muslims” in particular.

    In other words, any battle of whose legal culture is getting “human rights” right and best is tabled for another day, in favor of simply exploring these jurists’ ideas and getting them on the record.

    Eventually, Khan arrives at a discussion of a keynote speech delivered by a Dr. A.K. Brohi, who at the time of the seminar was the “former Pakistani minister of legal and religious affairs.” Sperry treats Brohi’s mention as a red flag:

    As Pakistani minister of law and religious affairs, Brohi helped create hundreds of jihadi incubators called madrassas and restored Sharia punishments, such as amputations for theft and demands that rape victims produce four male witnesses or face adultery charges. He also made insulting the Muslim prophet Muhammad a crime punishable by death. To speed the Islamization of Pakistan, he and Zia issued a law that required judges to consult mullahs on every judicial decision for Sharia compliance.

    Khan, who says he immigrated to the U.S. in 1980 to escape Pakistan’s “military rule,” nonetheless spoke admiringly of Brohi in his review of his speech. He praised his remarks even though Brohi advocated for the enforcement of the medieval Sharia punishments, known as “hudood” (singular “hadd”), that were later adopted and carried out with brutal efficiency by the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan.

    It’s worth pointing out Sperry’s lengthy depiction of Brohi is more of a menacing, spectral caricature than it is a fair and factual assessment of the man’s career, warts and all. Brohi had a very long and varied legal career that included defending some of Pakistan’s seminal rights icons, like Sheikh Mujeebur Rahman ― who won the 1970 elections, but was prevented from taking power by the Pakistani establishment (and Henry Kissinger) in a move that sparked the ensuing Bangladesh crisis. He also defended Zaib-un-Nissa Hamidullah, the country’s first woman editor and publisher.

    Brohi was, at worst, a political operative who, to a certain extent, shifted as the winds changed in Pakistan. He served under both secularists and radical religious figures, and did what he thought was necessary to fit in with both types of regimes and preserve his career. It’s really difficult to tell whether he actually devised the nutty policies of chopping off hands and the like, or merely tacitly accepted them to remain in his position. But overall, his thinking seems to be not so much “radical imposition of Sharia” as it is “Islamic re-awakening” along fairly peaceful Sufi lines.

    Finally, it’s worth noting that the madrassas Sperry refers to were not merely established because of Pakistani government policy ― the United States colluded in their foundation because they were where the mujahideen were trained to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. In general, Brohi was a fairly devout Muslim who found communism objectionable and Islamic socialism in particular to be “contentious.” Opposition to Islamic socialism meant that Brohi opposed the rule of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Naturally, it also meant that Brohi happily went to work for the regime that overthrew Bhutto and sentenced him to death.

    Nevertheless, I’m happy to concede the logic of anyone having numerous objections to Brohi’s overall political point of view. But Khizr Khan doesn’t actually applaud any of these objectionable things anywhere in his writings. The sole instance in which Khan speaks “admiringly” and offers “praise” for Brohi has nothing to do with the establishment of madrassas or “medieval Sharia punishments.” It certainly has nothing to do with the Taliban ― who wouldn’t be founded for another 12 years after this seminar was held.

    In his review, Khan merely acknowledges that Brohi is a key figure in the world of Islamic legal scholars, and concedes that he’d found that Brohi had made a convincing argument during these seminars ― specifically this argument: Properly defining human rights in any context first requires the institutionalization of a “moral value system” to which a culture can commonly agree. Khan writes:

    ” To illustrate his point [Brohi] notes, “There is no such thing as human right in the abstract. First we have to locate the human being in a given social cosmos, view him against the background of a certain economico-political and socio-cultural conditioning before we can meaningfully talk about his rights.””

    At the risk of being labelled a Taliban sympathizer or a madrassa founder, I agree with this wholly uncontroversial idea. That is a convincing argument. Funnily enough, saying this is so doesn’t make me want to go out and stone adulterers or support those who do.

    That’s because this is not how “appraising an argument” works. Marx and Engels convincingly argue that modern laborers experience a sense of alienation from the fruits of their labors, That doesn’t make me a fan of Soviet-style autocracy. Shakespeare convincingly argues that Richard the Third was a debauched hunchback. He wasn’t, but I still enjoy a good production of that play. I’ve read convincing arguments from atheists and equally convincing arguments from Christian theologians. This is life ― this happens.

    It doesn’t actually do any discredit to a point of view to acknowledge a countering argument that’s convincingly made. In fact, if you enjoy the rigors of thought, finding convincing arguments that differ from your point of view can be immensely valuable. If nothing else, it can help hone your own argument. I suspect that acknowledging this simple premise would cause the complete collapse of Breitbart’s institutional philosophy. As it happens, the organization’s institutional inability to come to grips with the convincing evidence that suggested that former Breitbart (and current Huffington Post) reporter Michelle Fields was in fact manhandled by then-Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski led to a cascade of intractable ― and wholly unnecessary ― internal schisms.

    Having read all of the source material that Sperry cites, I find no evidence that Khizr Khan ever argued, or accepted the argument, that United States law should be subordinated to Islamic law. But then, I’m not really convinced that was Sperry’s aim in the first place. Instead, I have become convinced that Khan’s knowledge of and facility with the facts of Islamic law and society, and his willingness to publicly share his knowledge, are meant by Sperry to be an indictment of his character, in and of itself.

    There are those who believe that if a person is merely exposed to ideas, they somehow become infected with them, that demonstrating an understanding of an idea is proof of such an infection, and that the willingness to then propagate that information belies an intent to further spread this infection. This is an offshoot of an ancient philosophical argument, dating back to Plato and Aristotle, that still informs our times and adds fuel to modern philosophical debates. We’ll never really resolve this argument, and a big reason why is that Plato and Aristotle were both very gifted thinkers ― both of whom can be said to have “argued convincingly.”

    To my mind, I wouldn’t think it smart to attempt to use the 2016 election to litigate this dispute. I also don’t think it’s particularly bright for people who support Donald Trump to continue to litigate the dispute between Trump and Khan. It would, in fact, seem to be best for Breitbart’s reporters to consider moving on from Khan’s speech at the Democratic National Convention and all of its attendant fallout, and instead undertake an substantial effort to explain how Trump’s policy preferences and political perspective will enable him improve the lives of ordinary Americans should he become president.

    But then again, perhaps that’s not something they are capable of arguing convincingly.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/breitbart-khizr-kahn_us_57a8e7e6e4b0b770b1a3d70d

  • scrubba

    I consider myself Christian . The difference is , I’m NOT here to make a judgement as to who sins is sinnier than my own . That is why I refused to even attend a mainstream church for decades . The division is totally against anything Jesus would have tolerated . Oh that goes for the Transpobes , Homophobes and other assorted Neanderthals

  • Bones

    Obviously not these scholars then?

    http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/muslim_voices_against_extremism_and_terrorism_part_i_fatwas/0012209

    Muslim Voices Against Extremism and Terrorism – Part I Fatwas & Formal Statements by Muslim Scholars & Organizations

    compiled by Sheila Musaji

    Note: In addition to fatwas, numerous Muslim leaders, scholars, and organizations in the United States and other countries have spoken out against terrorism and extremism. You can find further information in the following article collections. We only list a few actual quotes here, but many more can be found in the collections.
    – Qur’an & Hadith against extremism (see also power point presentations)
    – Part II Statements by Organizations has now been included in Part I
    – Part III Statements and Articles by Individuals (see also power point presentations)
    – Muslim Voices Promoting Islamic Non Violent Solutions
    – Part IV A Few Quotes against extremism and terrorism A-K, and A Few Quotes against extremism and terrorism L-Z
    – Part V The Muslim Majority Who Don’t Get Publicity (see also power point presentation)
    – Muslims and Arabs in the U.S. Military
    – Selective Hearing of Muslim Voices Against Extremism
    – Sunni Shia Unity Resource

    Islamic Networks Group ING has prepared a list of Global Condemnations of ISIS/ISIL
    FATWAS & FORMAL STATEMENTS BY MUSLIM SCHOLARS AND BY MUSLIM ORGANIZATIONS

    20 North American Imams Issue Fatwa Against Terrorists 2010

    Fifty Muslim scholars issue fatwa against Taliban **

    120 Muslim scholars from around the world release Open Letter To Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) Meticulously Blasting Its Ideology ** 2014

    165 Somali religious leaders issued a fatwa condemning al-Shabaab **

    6,000 Indian Ulama Islamic scholars endorsed a fatwa, called the Hyderabad Declaration, that declares that all forms of terrorism are against the spirit of Islam. 2008

    A Common Word Between Us and You, Muslim Scholars Appeal to Christian Scholars for Dialogue and Peace on Eve of Eid 2007

    A Joint Buddhist-Muslim Statement on Inter–Communal Violence in Burma 10/12

    King Abdullah (Jordan) urges Muslims to unite against extremism 12/05

    Abdullah, Sh. M. Nur, FCNA (U.S.) minority rights & apostasy 3/06

    Abdulkadir, Dr. Deina FCNA (U.S.) Fatwa against terrorism 7/05

    Abdullah, Shaikh Muhammad Nur (U.S.) FCNA Fatwa against terrorism 7/05

    Abu Dhabi conference – 500 Muslim scholars challenge extremist “fatwas”

    ADAMS Center All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) condemns terrorism. condemns plot to attack the Armed Forces Recruitment Station in Catonsville, MD 12/10 – The All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) condemns alleged threat on Facebook against Washington DC Metro System – ADAMS condemns attacks on Christians in Egypt and Nigeria. – ADAMS encourages community members to report any suspicious behavior. – ADAMS condemns the attempted terror attack on a Delta-Northwest Airlines flight. – ADAMS condemns the attack at Ft. Hood. – ADAMS condemns the terror attacks in London 2005

    and on and on and on…..

  • fiona64

    One of my favorite examples, actually … and I thank you for bringing it up. “Toevah,” the Hebrew word for which “Abomination” started to be substituted in about the 16th C., means “ritually impure.” In other words, someone who was “toevah” had to be repurified before going to temple (e.g., a woman who had just finished her period had to be repurified). “Abomination” is a 15th C. Latinate word that I guarantee *no one* in the Mosaic era was using … because, well, 15th C. and Latinate. (This is the short version of the explanation, obviously …)

  • apoxbeonyou

    I’ll say this. I met an Aussie in Nashville and hung around with him for 2 years. He had a profound impact on my life. I was a massive negative cynic and he proved to me that you don’t have to be a douche to be a Christian. We even thought about naming our first-born after the guy. I love Australians :)

  • Chris Schene

    So, you are suggesting to me that after 2000 years or church history and another 2000 years of the Jewish nation and homosexuality always being considered wrong, all of a sudden the Church is wrong about that issue or God changed His mind on the issue?

    The burden of proof is not on me, its on the so called “affirming” Christian community to prove their case and they have not proved it. I have read Matthew Vines works, Ken Wilson’s book, listened to Dan Savage, John Corvino and others. I understand their points of view, but don’t agree. Dan Savage is particularly nasty: all the rest are at least polite and courteous.

    I am not sure what you think I believe about gays other than the fact that homosexuality is sin, On an every day life basis they are just people I interact with at work, on the street and we are polite and courteous to each other. I don’t dislike people who disagree with me. I work with gays all the time and we never have any issue. Of course we don’t discuss the issue at work.

    They are just lost people who need Jesus and need correction and repentance, just like the other 95% of humanity.

  • seanchaiology

    Let’s jut say you are right and homosexuality is a sin. And, let’s say you are being honest about how you interact with gay people and your feelings about those who disagree with you. Then why even bring anything up in the first place? Are you simply trying to be passive-aggressive? If 95% of humanity needs correction, then why single out one group or issue? Especially, when neither you or I are their judge. I (and probably you as well) have a big enough plank of my own that needs removing.

  • Fred Thomas

    Also, and here’s what I don’t get about this: Jesus never said anything about homosexuality. Paul did, but Paul wasn’t Jesus. Jesus DID talk about divorce and he had some pretty tough words about it. And yet you guys sit around and poke and bully gay people and give divorcees a pass. Seems pretty hypocritical to me.

  • YoshiNakamura

    Sure, there are some feminists in Islam, especially in non-Moslem countries like Australia where they can get away with it. Let them strut their stuff in Saudi Arabia, or The Islamic Republic of Iran, or Sudan, or anywhere else where sharia law is more closely followed. They have not, and can not, make any headway toward gender equality in the Islamiscreligious community because Allah strictly forbids gender equality in the Koran, and even feminist Moslem women dare not contradict Allah. The Koran contains many sacred verses which subordinate women to men, but the most important one is this: — “Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior
    to the other… Good women are obedient. And for those from you fear
    disobedience, admonish them, then forsake them in beds apart, and beat them.”
    (4:34) Since you know so much about Islam from talking with a couple of Moslem friends, perhaps you can explain how Moslem feminists plan to get around this verse.

  • YoshiNakamura

    I have no doubt that her funeral was attended by Jews and Christians.with whom she shared more values than with her own Islamic community. Where was the Moslem community? Where were the Islamic religious leaders of that community? You say that you will believe what she says, but you do not say what it is that she said. Please tell us what she said about those verses from the Koran which very clearly demand an inferior status for women.

    This is just another illustration why we must deistinguish between Islam and Moslems. Islam is the sacred belief system, and your Moslem feminist wasn’t following it.

  • YoshiNakamura

    The expert in Islamic Law in Australia does not disagree with me because I do not give my opinions about Islam. If she disagrees with anyone, it is with the Islamic religius authorities. Whatever I say about Islam comes from the recognized Islamic religious authorities. The woman you refer to is not one of those recognized Islamic religious authorities. She is/was a professor in a non-Moslem college. She may have been recognized by non-Moslems who do not know any better, but she was not recognized by her religious community. In any case, why don’t you give at least one example to illustrate your point. All you do is attack me personally, but you never say anything authoritative about Islam. Why not?

  • YoshiNakamura

    In my many posts, I have given many quotations from the Koran. You have given none; and, you can’t, because you have never read it. If you think I am dishonestly quoting the Koran, please show everyone here what was dishonest about it. Why can’t you do that?
    By defending Islam, you are the one promoting hatred because Islam is based on hatred and violent religious bigotry. You are making yourself an accomplice to that violent religious bigotry.

  • seanchaiology

    To say that those that don’t follow it the way they are supposed to is very different from saying they are not real Muslims is absurd. You are trying to lock the front and back doors to cover yourself and looking silly in the process.

  • seanchaiology

    Here we go with the “don’t know how to read the Bible” arguments. Maybe we should go back to pre-Reformation times and let the pope, priests and other clergy tell us what it says.

  • YoshiNakamura

    Instead of relying on the always pro-Islamic Huffington Post, why don’t you actually read what Khizr Khan wrote? If you took the time to read that long HuffPo article, you can take the time to read Khan’s article. You can find his article on Sharia law here: https://www.scribd.com/document/320016152/Khizr-Khan-Juristic-Classification-Islamic-Law

    It is actually a decent article, and you will learn something valuable from it. It is also clear from the article that Khan believes in the sanctity of the Koran and the sayings of Muhammad upon which sharia law is based. HuffPo says: Khan notes the unadorned fact that the Quran “is the absolute authority from which springs the very conception of legality and every legal obligation,” That obviously excludes every other source of legality including the American Constitution.

    Because Khan believes the Koran to be the absolute authority, it is obvious that he is against the American Constitution in all areas where the Koran contradicts the
    American Constitution. If you bother to read the Koran, you will see that it contradicts the American Constitution in too many ways to discuss here, not the least of which is a declaration of war against non-Moslems. Because Khan believes the Koran to be the absolute authority, he is also against our notion of human rights which is
    based on equality before the law, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, etc.The Koran contradicts all of these, and more.

    Speaking of human rights, the Moslem world has its own version of human rights called The Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam. (CDHRI). You can Google it. The
    last two articles make it explicit that Sharia law is the only source of human rights and that no human rights can contradict the sharia. This was the Moslem
    world’s answer to our Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    So, Bonehead, instead of relying on pro-Moslem left-wing HuffPo to tell you what to think, go to the Islamic sources and use your own brain.

  • YoshiNakamura

    You obviously disagree with the Islamic religious leaders who consider all of these non-practicing Moslems and less-practicing Moslems still to be Moslems. The Islamic religious leaders always strive to get the less-religious Moslems to become more religious. What do you think of this quote from a leader of the Council on American Islamic Relations: “If we are practicing Muslims, we are above the law of the land.”? Notice that he divides Muslims into “practicing” and “non-practicing”. That reflects the reality of the Moslem community according to all opinion surveys. I do not use the expression “real Muslims”, so do not twist my words. A Moslem is someone who says that “Allah is the only god and that Muhammad is His Messenger.” Lots of Moslems say that, but that does not mean they follow the religion the way they are supposed to follow it. You are the one who looks silly if you do not recognize that Moslems come in all degrees of observance, piety and fidelity to the religion.

  • seanchaiology

    Sorry you didn’t use the expression “real Muslims” instead you used “real Moslems.” I’m not twisting anything, I used what you wrote. And to how I would respond to the quote you provided? I wouldn’t respond as it really has no bearing on my point. Actually, nothing you said here has any bearing on my point. You are claiming I made arguments that I didn’t. So, know I don’t look silly.

  • YoshiNakamura

    Your are right: Obviously not these scholars. These seem to be statements put out for the non-Moslem public. As such, they cannot be trusted. The only reliable Islamic scholars are the ones who write for other Moslems and who are recognized as authoritative by wide swaths of the worldwide Islamic community.

    As for fatwas against “terrorism”, what does that actually mean? Do they consider Hamas and Hizbullah, for example, to be terrorist organizations? We read: “numerous Muslim leaders, scholars, and organizations in the United States and other countries have spoken out against terrorism and extremism.” That is just too vague. In the Koran, Allah says:
    – We will put terror into the hearts of the unbelievers. 3:151
    – I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads; strike off the very tips of their fingers. 8:12
    What do those Islamic scholars have to say about Allah’s promotion of terror?
    Muhammad famously said: “I have been made victorious through terror.”
    What do those Islamic scholars have to say about Muhammad’s bragging about having used terror?

    As for “extremism”, that word does not mean anything except a deviation from the norm. The question remains: which norm? Ours? or Islamic norms?

    Do any of these supposed scholars reject Islam’s goal of worldwide supremacy and the worldwide caliphate?

    Do any of them advocate setting up programs in the mosques to teach young Moslems just how the Moslem terrorists are misinterpreting the Koran and the Sunnah? Do you know of any such programs? Such programs are obviously needed because so many young Moslems believe that Islam requires them to kill non-Moslems and even Moslem women who flirt with non-Moslems or refuse to cover up. Where do they get those ideas? Why don’t their mosques teach them that this is wrong and unIslamic?

    Don’t be taken in by the Moslem public relations propagandists. Go to the Islamic religious authorities who enjoy the respect of the Islamic RELIGIOUS community. .

  • YoshiNakamura

    Again, you slander me. I never used the expression “real Moslems” or “real Muslims”. You are just quoting Bonehead who said that I said that. You claim to be making a point, but it is not clear just what your point is except to attack me personally and lie about what I said. I distinguish between Moslems who follow Islam closely and those who don’t. Do you make that distinction? Or, do you think that all Moslems are the same in their adherence to the requirements of Islam?

  • Jeff Preuss

    Since all I have to go on to form a mental image of this is the thumbnail images attached to your Disqus names, I’m picturing Wullaj holding hands and skipping with a toothy cartoon firefly.

    What I’m trying to say is thanks.

  • fiona64

    You’re welcome. :-)

  • Maura Hart

    somebody die and elect you jeebus?

  • JeaniusJean

    Here’s a scenario:

    A Christian baker sees Bible verses which say that homosexuality is a sin.

    The Christian baker happily sells baked goods and cakes to a gay couple because the baker is not displeasing God by providing food for the couple.

    The gay couple decide to get married, and they ask the baker to make a cake for their wedding.

    The Christian baker believes that making a cake for the gay couple would be participating in their sinfulness, and therefore would be displeasing to God.

    The gay couple sues the Christian baker, and eventually the baker loses his business. So in this scenario, who are the bullies? Obviously, it is the gay couple
    who are the bullies – not the Christians! All of us need to think clearly and honestly about issues.

  • Boo Hoo

    You’re not answering the question, Mr. Marino. The question was “to what end?” All you’re giving me is further details. What is it that a New World Order would accomplish? I’m trying to get a glimpse into your reasoning, and your fears. You’re being very evasive.

  • Philip Bourdon

    First, why doesn’t the baker refuse to make wedding cakes for other “sins” that are listed in the same passages against gays? Very selective in his “sins” selections.

    Then, How in the world is baking cake for anyone at any time “participating in their sinfulness”? He made a cake for them to eat at home. Then, they want a cake for their wedding. Is he becoming gay? Is he marrying them?

    I would suggest that you also need to think clearly and honestly about this.

  • YoshiNakamura

    To Seanchaiology:
    You continue to accuse me of saying things I never said. Why do you do that? I never used the term “real Muslims” or “real Moslems”. I merely stated the obvious fact, acknowledged by Moslems as well as non-Moslems, that there are many Moslems who do not follow their religion the way they are supposed to. This phenomenon is similar to Christians and Jews and, no doubt, other religious identities, too. Some people are more devout and observant, and some people are less devout and observant. There is nothing complicated about this. It all becomes much clearer once you separate the concepts of “religion” and “followers of the religion”, or, in this case, Islam and Moslems. The underlying point about Moslems is that the jihadist doctrines of Islam do not change merely because many Moslems do not follow them. This is important because those sacred jihadist doctrines are taught and preached, directly or indirectly, in every mosque, and so there will always be new jihadists arising inside the Moslem community. Nazi ideology did not change merely because many, or most, Germans were not Nazis. And, Islamic jihadist ideology does not change merely because many Moslems do not follow it.

  • Philip Bourdon

    Chris, you make the mistake of giving the bible the authority that you have. Starting from the fable of the story of Eden (mind telling me how it’s humanly possible to eat from a tree of knowledge? Thus, if that is not literal, what else isn’t?), it contains quite a lot of human beings attempting to explain life. People of a faith community, under the direction of the Roman Emperor, gave it authority. You make the mistake of giving it the certainty of water boiling at 212 F. It’s a belief system and a faith issue. You just happen to think yours is right.

  • Philip Bourdon

    Mr. Corey. The “Founding Fathers” were overwhelmingly deists, not Christians.

  • Bones

    Bahaha

    If you’re not chopping heads off you’re not following Islam….

    The Internet blogger said….

  • Bones

    Hahaha.

    ya ain’t got nothing dude.

    You’ve had your pants pulled down and now you’really sulking about it.

    What a sad individual.

  • Bones

    Hahaha

    When 100s of Muslim scholars criticises violence they don’t really mean it.

    You really are dumb.

  • Bones

    And you’ve deliberately manipulated and changed the verse.

    You’ve been caught out for being a liar.

  • fiona64

    Here’s another scenario: the bakers follow the goddamned law (which says that when you operate a public accommodation, you have to serve all of the public — not just the people of who you approve), and no one gets sued for violating it. Easy-peasy.

  • Bones

    No.

    She disagrees with you, hateful troll.

  • Bones

    Hahaha

    The expert and lecturer in Islamic law wasn’t following Islam.

    Just f#ck off.

    You’ve been shown to be a liar and now you’re just deluded.

  • Jeff Preuss

    If the baker had decided to discriminate against the customers for that product, knowing it illegal to do so in his state, that makes him a bully.

    If you honestly think a couple taking appropriate legal action in response to the illegal and unkind discrimination they faced makes them bullies, then your priorities are way off.

    But, y’know, think clearly and honestly.

  • YoshiNakamura

    Well, what, exactly did your expert and lecturer in Islamic law say about Islamic law??? Again, you refuse to make even a single substantive comment about Islam. You are SO ignorant. All you can do is call names and tell lies.

  • YoshiNakamura

    More name-calling from you, and zero substance. What, exactly, does she disagree with, Bonehead? Why don’t you tell us?

  • YoshiNakamura

    Which verse? What should the correct translation be? And, how does it differ from what I quoted?

    Again, zero substance in your response. Only personal attack.

  • YoshiNakamura

    The ones who are chopping off heads are following the Koran.
    “I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their
    heads; strike off the very tips of their fingers.” (8:12) By the way, the leader of ISIS has a PhD in Sharia law from a recognized Islamic university. He knows more about the Koran than you or I do.

  • YoshiNakamura

    They are spokesmen and propagandists for Islam. Here is what Ayatollah Khomeini, the most important Islamic leader of the 20th Century, said:

    “Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those who say this are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Does this mean that Muslims should sit back until they are devoured? Islam says: Kill them, put them to the sword and scatter their armies …. Islam says: whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key to Paradise, which can be opened only for the Holy Warriors! There are hundreds of other Koranic psalms and Hadiths urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all this mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim.”

    Khomeini’s qualifications to speak about Islam are rather better than yours.

  • Ron McPherson

    “They are just lost people who need Jesus and need correction and repentance”

    Huh, so John 3:16 applies to everybody except gays? What about a 10 year old kid who comes to Jesus for eternal life. Does God say, sorry kid I’d love to bring you into my kingdom but 5 years from now you’ll figure out you’re gay so you’re just outta luck; guess I shoulda mentioned that before.

  • Ron McPherson

    Bingo!

  • Ron McPherson

    Just oozing Jesus

  • Fred Thomas

    You mean like divorcees? I don’t understand how someone who divorces (for any reason other than “sexual immorality”) and remarries is any less sinful than a homosexual. They’re living in perpetual sin. I mean, Jesus actually talked about the divorcees. He never said squat about homosexuals. And yet you guys pick on homosexuals. Why? Because you’re hypocrites.

  • Chris Schene

    In this particular discussion I am referring to practicing homosexuals who claim to be Christian

  • Fred Thomas

    And all the people in the Bible with multiple wives? Solomon. A fornicator?

  • Ron McPherson

    What about practicing gluttons or practicing gossips or practicing materialists? Or what about practicing adulterers (those who have divorced for reasons other than infidelity and since remarried)? I’ve never met a single person who doesn’t practice sin in some form.

  • Ron McPherson

    LOLOL!!!

  • Ron McPherson

    “…you just ignore the parts of scripture you don’t agree with.”

    Luke 14:33 says none of you can be my disciple unless he gives up all his own possessions. Do you agree with this one?

  • RonnyTX

    Chris to Ronny:
    So, you are suggesting to me that after 2000 years or church history and another 2000 years of the Jewish nation and homosexuality always being considered wrong, all of a sudden the Church is wrong about that issue or God changed His mind on the issue?

    Ronny to Chris:
    Chris, which church? For as best I understand it, what we have now, is somewhere around 40,000 different denominations, all going by the name Christian. Yet they can’t agree, on so much. And Chris, what we need to look at, study on and ask God about, is what does God say about gay people? For from God, we will always get the truth; but the same can not be said, when speaking of preachers, priests and such like.

    Chris to Ronny:
    The burden of proof is not on me, its on the so called “affirming” Christian community to prove their case and they have not proved it. I have read Matthew Vines works, Ken Wilson’s book, listened to Dan Savage, John Corvino and others. I understand their points of view, but don’t agree. Dan Savage is particularly nasty: all the rest are at least polite and courteous.

    Ronny to Chris:
    Chris, being gay is a gift from God, for some people, just as being bisexual or heterosexual, is a gift from God, for some other people. Now I know you don’t believe that; but I will add on, let’s not lose sight of the fact, that Jesus Christ needed to go to the cross and that for every person. So no one, has room, right or reason, to look down on anyone and think themself better than. And when we do think ourself better than, we are sinning. I know about this, because I used to do that very thing; but thankfully, God knocked that out of me. :-)

    Chris to Ronny:
    I am not sure what you think I believe about gays other than the fact that homosexuality is sin, On an every day life basis they are just people I interact with at work, on the street and we are polite and courteous to each other. I don’t dislike people who disagree with me. I work with gays all the time and we never have any issue. Of course we don’t discuss the issue at work.

    Ronny to Chris:
    Chris, what do you mean, when you say homosexuality is sin?

    Chris to Ronny:
    They are just lost people who need Jesus and need correction and repentance, just like the other 95% of humanity.

    Ronny to Chris:
    Yes, we all need God to correct us and bring us to repentance. And at 16 years old, that is exactly what God did for me, as I was being born of God. And yet, I’m as gay as a goose :-) and it seems according to you Chris, I’m not even supposed to be a Christian.

  • seanchaiology

    Then my points and questions still remain. So do you treat others who claim to be Christian, but struggle with drug addiction or pornography or the like, in the same manner? Seriously, just live your life the way you think Christ wants you to and let others do the same and He will work it all out. Just think what a burden that is off your shoulders, you don’t have to “fix” anyone, God can handle it.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Huh. He thinks calling us “servants of Satan” is courteous or polite?
    Chris needs a new dictionary.

  • Jeff Preuss

    If I may, he likely falls into the camp that welcomes us with open arms as long as we claim to be “struggling with same-sex attraction,” yet if we indicate any acceptance of our inherent sexuality, then we are reprobates beyond help or kindness.

  • Ron McPherson

    Ironic that you’re doing exactly what Jesus said NOT to do lol. Point being: We are unqualified to judge who the chaff are

  • Ron McPherson

    LOLOL!!!

  • WayneMan

    Anyone who can read the Bible and actually believe in all the magical fantasies, can’t be very bright. Like, I have an invisible magic unicorn in my barn (#sarc).

  • JeaniusJean

    An analogy would be someone who has two friends who ask him to participate in something immoral. If he doesn’t participate, is he discriminating against his friends?

  • seanchaiology

    I’m not sure why my last comment didn’t take, it said it had to be approved or something. Anyway, I didn’t say anything you didn’t say. My point was that you changed your argument in your discussion with Bones. You made exceptions to your points about Muslims in Indonesia then tried to argue they were still Muslims. That is why I made the statement you were locking both doors to cover yourself. You argued two different points depending on which direction you wanted to take.

    To me, this is real simple. Obviously you have studied a lot about Islam (I won’t dispute that but I might question your sources). Regardless, even if you were right and they are taught to hate all non-Muslims, does that mean you are supposed to treat them in kind? That makes you just the same as your view of them. It makes you no better despite your attempts to act as if you are. The way I see it, people are people, some are good some not so much and it doesn’t matter what label they give themselves whether it is Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, Gay, Straight, Black, White, etc etc etc. I will judge each person based on their actions and my interactions with them and I will not blindly criticize and judge in mass due to some a label they associate with because nothing is so clear and cut as you try to make it.

    Unless you have something new to add that does not accuse me of telling lies about you and slandering you and repeating your same message, then please don’t bother to address me on the subject again. You seem to be set in your opinion and I am set in disagreeing with it so there isn’t much of a point.

  • seanchaiology

    I don’t think he even falls into that category.

  • JeaniusJean

    That same baker would not be doing anything wrong by making a cake for two serial killers. The baker would not be participating in their murders. — Baking a cake for ANY couple’s wedding is participating in their wedding.

  • JeaniusJean

    So are you saying that Christians should be coerced to violate their own conscience or driven out of business?

  • seanchaiology

    “And you will find the nearest in friendship to those who believe to be those who say: We are Christian; this is because there are priests and monks among them and because they do not behave proudly.” (5:82)

    “Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve.” (2:62 and 5:69)

    “Many of the followers of the Book wish that they could turn you back into unbelievers after your faith, out of envy from themselves, even after the truth has become manifest to them; but pardon and forgive, so that Allah should bring about His command; surely Allah has power over all things.” (2:109)

    “And the recompense of evil is punishment like it, but whoever forgives and amends, he shall have his reward from Allah… And whoever is patient and forgiving, these most surely are actions due to courage.” (42:40, 43)

    Just as it is with the Bible, people can pull out different verses, or surahs, and make the argument they want to make.

  • YoshiNakamura

    Yes you did say something that I did not say. You said that I used the term “real Moslems”, but that is not a term I ever use. I did not change my argument in the course of discussion. I always differentiate between Moslems who follow their sacred doctrines closely and those who don’t. Of course, those Moslems who do NOT follow their sacred doctrines are still Moslems. I never said the contrary. They are Moslems because they accept that Allah is the only god and that Muhammad is His Messenger. That is all it takes to be a Moslem, but that says nothing about whether a particular Moslem follows sharia law the way he is supposed to follow it. Looking around the Moslem world we see Moslems who are very strict followers of Islamic sacred texts, and Moslems who are very lax about it, or, even entirely secular. The degree of piety and faithfulness to the sacred doctrines varies from Moslem to Moslem, and from country to country. The point is that the sacred doctrines of Islam do not change merely because some, or many, Moslems do not follow them. Those doctrines continue to be taught and preached in mosques, and so they continue to produce new faithful followers of jihad.

    How should we treat them? That depends on the threat they present to us. We need to evaluate that threat realistically by understanding that any given Moslem might reflect the jihadist ideology he was raised with in the mosque and Moslem schools. Saying that “people are people” tells us nothing at all about their values. Because Islam’s values are antithetical to ours, we need to be aware that any Moslem might share the values of the religion he claims to identify with. Or, he might not. But, we will never know unless we probe deeper. Judging a person by his actions is not sufficient. After all, every Moslem terrorist was once not a terrorist. Therefore to have judged him when he was not yet a terrorist might well have proven disastrous. In fact, that approach has proven disastrous on many occasions. The lives of innocent people, including perhaps you or your loved ones, are at stake because the Islamic ideology of hate and violence continues to be taught and preached throughout the Moslem world. The Moslems who are infected by it are causing an enormous amount of human suffering.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Nope, that’s not a proper analogy. The baker bakes wedding cakes for many customers, but decides not to bake it for the gay customers. The baker is not participating – the baker is selling a product, or actually the baker is deciding not to sell a product to a certain type of customer. It’s unfair discrimination, bigotry, and illegal in many states.

    The only way your analogy would work is if this friend participates in the immoral activity with some friends, but refuses to participate with other friends, because some inherent characteristic of the other friends makes him think it immoral.

    Either way, your analogy completely and utterly fails to explain the gay couples as bullies.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Also, your analogy fails because it does not take into account the fact that the bakers open up a public accommodation, and are bound by certain laws to operate that business. This includes the laws that dictate that their products must be available to all customers, as was the case in Oregon with Sweet Cakes Bakery.

  • WayneMan

    People use to refuse to sell to blacks, some claiming “religious reasons”. If you don’t want to serve all of the public, then don’t open an OPEN TO THE PUBLIC business. Problem solved.

  • Yes something I have brought up with Evangelical family and friends before. As far as church affiliation, they were Anglican, Presbyterian, Quaker, Congregationalist, Catholic, Lutheran, etc., but their private beliefs were far from “Orthodox.” Our country was founded on religious freedom, and separation of church and state. God was often evoked in public meetings and of course, mentioned in our founding documents, but this was a God that was primarily aloof from direct intervention in human affairs, having endowed us with “reason,” and the abilities to make the country a light on a hill.
    https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Founding-Fathers-Deism-and-Christianity-1272214

  • WayneMan

    There is no religious push back at all over divorced, tattooed, or ear pierced customers. None what so ever. If someone picks just one single “sin” out of scriptures to discriminate against, and ignore the rest, then we can have the “no true Christian” situation. And where would this process stop: the jewelry store that sold them their rings, or the store that sold them their wedding punch, or the shoe store that sold them the shoes they will be walking down the aisle in, or the craft store that sold them the candles they will use during the ceremony, or the car salesman that sold them the car they will drive there in, or the salon that washed their hair before the wedding,…

  • The problem is not whether SSM is sin, something Christians are not in agreement on, but whether we are called to serve others. In other words, as Christians do we get to pick and choose who we think is worthy of our service? The New Testament is replete with admonition to serve others. This service doesn’t seem to be based on the worthiness of the recipient either. When the Roman soldier demands for the Jew to carry his armor for a mile (the law) Jesus says go an extra mile. The Sermon on the Mount is about loving those we dont agree with, serving them, loving them, even if we perceive them as an enemy. Paul doesn’t say to the Christian woman, leave your non-Christian husband because you are unequally yoked. No, love him and serve him that he may see Christ in you.

    The Oregon bakers were not acting Christlike, but were more like the Pharisees and the Holiness Codes, where people were hurt by the Pharisees adherence to laws that marginalized others.

  • WayneMan

    That’s complete BS. You only participate in a wedding if you actually attend. Besides, the cake is never part of a wedding ceremony, it is part of the reception afterwards. And those serial killers might be using that cake to celebrate their murder ritual. What if the cake goes to a fraternity house, where a female student gets raped. Did the baker participate in the rape? See how ridiculous your logic is.

  • Bones

    WayneO. …

    Please stop using logic here…..

    It’s wasted…

  • WayneMan

    By law (under the Federal Civil Rights Act, and 14th Amendment), a Christian business cannot deny service to Blacks, Hispanic’s, Asian’s, Jews, Muslims, Scientologist’s, or members of the Satanic Temple, no matter what their beliefs. The issue with gays only exists because the law does not specifically protect them, leaving a loophole for mean spirited Christians to exploit. So yes, if you don’t want to serve ALL of the public, then open a private for church membership only business.

    Edited to add:

    In some areas, there are local laws that does make it illegal for a business to deny service to LGBT members, so yes breaking the law opens them up to lawsuits.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “So are you saying that Christians should be coerced to violate their own conscience or driven out of business?”

    So are you saying that Christians should be allowed to illegally violate the civil rights of other people?

  • I am not an expert on Sharia law. What I have seen of it seems to be very Old Testament-like, in other words a combination of holiness codes, household codes, dealings with legalities, etc.. The similarities between, say, Christian Dominionism, the Right’s yearning for a “Christian Nation” and Sharia is tied up with the Religious Right’s obsession with “one Nation under God.” In other words, a theocracy. We are not a country ruled by religious clerics, we are not a theocracy, but there are those who sincerely believe that’s what our founding fathers sincerely desired for America.

    If America would only get “on its knees,” if only our Leaders were Christians, if only we had prayer back in schools, if only the 10 commandments were posted everywhere…the list goes on and on.

  • YoshiNakamura

    First of all, thank you for lifting this discussion out of the gutter of ignorant and offensive name-calling that Bones operates in. The subject of the nature of Islam is a serious subject, and it behooves all of us to treat it seriously.

    The verses you cite from the Koran exist, and, obviously, they contradict the many, many jihadist, warlike verses. How is this to be explained and understood? Unlike the Bible, Muhammad preached verses of the Koran over a period of 23 years. The first 13 years he was in Mecca where he and his small band of followers were a tiny, defenseless minority. Those are the years in which he preached the benign verses. How could he do otherwise? After he and his small band of followers (about 150 of them) moved to Medina, he began to acquire political power — all the while continuing to get these “revelations” from Allah. The more power he acquired, the more aggressive became these “revelations”. Finally, when he became absolute dictator, the revelations for the Koran became their most aggressive, that is, Allah commanded Moslems to make war on non-Moslems, not for purposes of defense, but for the purpose of spreading Islam to the rest of the world.

    Islamic scholars have dealt with these contradictions between the earlier “revelations” and the later “revelations” by saying that the later “revelations” supersede the earlier ones like the ones you cited. This is called the doctrine of abrogation. Google “abrogation in Islam” and you will get lots of Islamic websites which deal with this doctrine in detail. Other Islamic scholars argue that, since God’s words are eternal, they cannot be abrogated — even though Allah in the Koran says that he will replace some verses with better verses and cause the old verses to be forgotten. So, Islamic scholars have said that the earlier verses were not abrogated but that they apply only in conditions where the Moslem community is weak and defenseless — like in Europe and America, now, for example. The later verses apply when the Moslem community is strong enough to enforce them.

    Either way, Islam is not a salad bar from which the believer can choose what he wants. The faithful Moslem must follow the jihadist verses of the Koran provided that he has the power to do so. One scholar puts it this way: “”The Holy War (Islamic Jihad), as it is known in
    Islamic Jurisprudence, is basically an offensive
    war. This is the duty of Muslims in every age when the needed military power becomes available to them.”

    None of this is my opinion, by the way. This is what the Islamic religious authorities say. I hope this helps.

  • I guess they could post “Christians Only” on their store window. I can see it now…religiously affiliated businesses and schools with restrooms labeled, Christians only and Andy Gumps labeled Gays only, or separate drinking fountains and entrances to businesses. Hmm, sounds vaguely familiar…

  • Jeff Preuss

    Of course, a “Christians only” sign wouldn’t stop me from entering, because that says I’m allowed in.

  • JD

    What exactly did you set straight? All I saw was a bunch of homophobic paranoia based upon primitive superstitions.

  • WingedBeast

    Uh, no.

    Firstly, it’s an illegal discrimination.

    Secondly, we’ve seen where that kind of discrimination with religious justification can lead. It’s part of why we have a Civil Rights Act in the first place. It turns out, it wasn’t black people wanting to be served at a diner that were the bullies.

    So, in that situation, it’s the Christian baker who’s being a bully and getting consequences.

    I realize the Christian baker *thinks* he’s the good guy, but he wouldn’t be the first bully to think he’s acting from a position of moral superiority.

  • JD

    Chris needs a new belief system; one based upon reason and knowledge and not primitive paranoid superstitions.

  • Except, “all of a sudden” the church was wrong. Galileo was labeled a heretic and made to recant his views on the earth rotating the sun. For 2000 years the church believed slavery was Biblical…that heathens and savages sere lesser humans and could be enslaved, that women were “property,” the Protestant reformers thought the long held traditions of the Catholic church were wrong. Church history is full of schisms and disagreements. It is an Evangelical urban legend that there is a unified church teaching dating back to the Apostles and early church. Heck, the early church had schisms at the get-go. Please dont use the “for 2000 years” argument. It’s straw.

    The burden of proof actually is in your court. You have stated that on a day to day basis they seem to be regular folk. Now, Paul gets pretty specific in describing some people in Romans 1 that his readers were aware of. Here is how he describes the character of these people:

    “29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.”

    So in a court of law, where the LGBTQ is being tried, it is your job to “prove” that these traits are the mark of a Gay man or woman. Can you honestly say, “yes, this accurately describes the defendants.”

    Actually, that is what the SCOTUS decision was about. Those opposed to Gay Marriage had to prove that it was detrimental to raising children, harmful to heterosexual marriages, etc., but they could not.

    Hermeneutically speaking the problem conservatives face is taking a specific instance in Paul’s teaching and then generalizing it to apply to a situation Paul was not addressing. In doing so they are forced to misrepresent the Gay community in order to appear consistent with the text…not an honest scholarly effort.

  • I just love”bumper sticker” theologians!

  • What he needs is an infilling of the Holy Spirit. To come face to face with the love of God shown in Christ. To understand how deep and complete is the love of God for all people, Gays included.

  • Amen!

  • Or what about Democrats? I recently switched parties, but am worried that only Republicans will be in heaven, along with their exwives and mistresses.

  • Wait, are you saying you are the supreme being? If so I am humbled by your awesomeness! I feel like such a pathetic, puny being! Please remember me when you come into your glory!

  • I’ve never been that impressed by the engineers at my work. They seem to be a bit our of touch most of the time, but then they’re Lockheed engineers…

  • JeaniusJean

    Even the Constitution states that our rights/freedoms are God-given, and the government is supposed to protect those rights. Freedom of religion trumps freedom to have a wedding cake made.

  • WayneMan

    “If America would only get “on its knees,” if only our Leaders were
    Christians, if only we had prayer back in schools, if only the 10
    commandments were posted everywhere…the list goes on and on.”

    Yes, those were all privileges given to Christians that should have never happen in a secular government. Now that they are being put on an equal playing filed, they cry persecution.

  • Chris, your brother is gay, you would love to attend gay weddings. Your stepdaughter’s natural father is Gay and your friend. It sounds like you would really like to feel good for Gays, but feel it contradicts the Bible. Is it possible you are Gay, or are struggling with SS desires? If so, you have a bit of a journey ahead of you. You are going to have to learn to accept yourself just as God accepts and loves you. At any rate it sounds like you have some issues that need some professional attention, to help you sort stuff out. I hope you do find some help. God bless.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Freedom of religion extends so far as not using your religious beliefs to suppress the civil rights of other people.

    AGAIN, the bakers opened a public business, with the legal expectation they should serve all customers equally. They broke that law.

    Freedom of religion does NOT “trump” other freedoms – they are meant to coexist. However, the Kleins chose to push their religious freedom outward to suppress someone else’s rights, which is neither legally acceptable, honoring the spirit of the Constitution, nor Christlike.

  • JeaniusJean

    I SHOULD HAVE SPECIFIED THAT THE BAKER COULD SELL THE CAKE TO THE GAY COUPLE FOR THEM TO WRITE CONGRATULATIONS AND TO PUT TWO MEN (OR WOMEN) ON TOP OF THE CAKE. (I put that in capital letters because I wanted the many people who responded to see it.)

  • Jeff Preuss

    Also? The government IS protecting those rights, while also protecting the rights of the gay couple. Too bad you only see one side worthy of having rights in this case.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Um, okay. But the many examples of refusing bakers didn’t.

    How does that even change your point?

  • JeaniusJean

    What if the baker sells the cake to the gay couple for them to write Congratulations on it and put two men (or women) on it?

  • Jeff Preuss

    A) I haven’t seen many wedding cakes that say ‘congratulations’ on them, but I suppose someone may want that for their reception. B) Is that what the baker offers other customers? Because, if not, it’s unequal treatment and discrimination. Yet, that point is moot, since none of these “upstanding Christian bakers” apparently offered such an item to gay couples. Instead, they refused to sell wedding cakes (an item they already offered in their public accommodation business open to the public) to certain customers because they were gay.

  • JeaniusJean

    I guess it doesn’t really. I guess another point is that the baker was not denying the couple the right to go to another baker whereas the couple was denying the baker the right to follow his conscience.

  • Jeff Preuss

    If the denied customer had been black, would the baker have been (in your mind) justified to just expect them to find another baker?

    In your example, the baker was denying the gay couple the right to be treated like full citizens, able to partake of goods and services just like other American citizens.

  • JeaniusJean

    Since they sold them other baked goods, then that shows it wasn’t because they were gay. Rather, it shows that the baker felt he would be violating his OWN standard that he set for himself.

  • Ah, tricky. But what if we posted Chris Schene at the door to validate if you were a “true Christian?”

  • Jeff Preuss

    It absolutely was because they were gay. Otherwise, why wouldn’t they sell them the same wedding cake product they sold to straight customers? You simply CANNOT pretend it wasn’t because they were gay.

    If the baker’s problem was that the wedding cake would be for a gay wedding, that hinged on the customer being gay. Boom – discrimination. Unfair, and in the Oregon case illegal.

    Besides, what does it matter if they had previously served the gay couple? (In the Sweet Cakes case, that doesn’t seem to be the case.) Refusing to make them a wedding cake while making them for everyone else STILL says to the gay couple “You are not good enough to receive this product.”

  • Jeff Preuss

    Ha! I’d give him a hug.

  • JeaniusJean

    With a black customer, the freedom of religion is not a factor. I’m trying to think of a good comeback to your second paragraph, but I can’t. I’m on the east coast where it’s 1:44. Hopefully, tomorrow my brain will come up with a good reply.

  • WayneMan

    There were certainly people that claimed treating Blacks differently was Biblical based, before the Civil Rights Act.

  • JeaniusJean

    Yes, the couple being gay WAS a factor. What I meant was that it wasn’t the entire reason.— I heard on TV of another case where the baker had previously served the couple. — I believe the baker’s perspective was “Decorating your cake is something that God doesn’t want me to do.” — similar to if you, Jeff, are tempted to lie or steal, you may be reluctant –not just because of jail — but because you know that God would be displeased.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Freedom of religion isn’t a factor? Apparently you are completely unaware of the many Scriptural explanations racists have come up with to declare black people lesser beings and subhumans. The KKK calls itself a Christian organization, basing a lot of its positions on these beliefs.

    In the 60s, when the Civil Rights struggle was at its peak, many MANY white people felt they were religiously justified in keeping the “races” from mixing.

    Some people still feel that today, so yeah – freedom of religion would come into play here.

    Do you feel a baker would be justified if he, as a Christian, turned away a black or interracial couple because their wedding would go against his Christian beliefs? Careful that your answer doesn’t hinge upon whether or not you agree his racism IS a Christian belief. If you think the racist baker is wrong in his position, yet you still find the gay couple to be the bullies, it shows your bias on the topic of gay marriage, and absolutely not one shred of credence given to your arguing “from the Constitution.”

  • Jeff Preuss

    And after.

  • WayneMan

    Bingo.

  • JeaniusJean

    I know that the above is not an airtight analogy, but I’m just trying to point out that some people make a strong effort to please God and they experience turmoil when they’re put into a position of going against God.

  • Jeff Preuss

    So, the couple being gay was a factor. That’s discrimination. Inequal treatment of fellow Americans. THAT is unconstitutional.

    And, in many places, illegal.

    What you’re showing, by admitting that the couple being gay is a factor, while calling the couple bullies, is that you are OK with discrimination when it’s a group you don’t like.

  • WayneMan

    Yes, except now it is illegal and open for law suits, as it should be.

  • WayneMan

    Bingo again.

  • Jeff Preuss

    It always floors me when folks argue that racism has never been (and isn’t still) religiously motivated for many, especially as they attempt to wave off the parallels to bigotry in modern day America.

  • JeaniusJean

    It seems like discrimination entails a diminished opinion of the recipient of that discrimination. It’s possible that the baker didn’t look down on the gay couple, i.e. just simply didn’t want to go against his own conscience. — In my interactions with gay guys, I’ve actually found them to be nicer and kinder than straight men.

  • JeaniusJean

    If I were a baker, I could not — in good conscience — decorate a wedding cake for a gay couple. Also, if I were gay and a baker explained why he couldn’t decorate the cake, I would most likely shrug my shoulders and go to another baker.

  • WayneMan

    I hope you don’t expect us to actually believe that these religious people, refusing to serve gays, do not look at gays with complete contempt, if not disgust (Westboro Baptist Church, Pat Robertson, Jim Bakker, Glenn Beck, …). And don’t forget there were 7 states that actually put gays in prison, before the Supreme Court ruled that unconstitutional. So please, that rock doesn’t float.

  • Bones

    Lol…any positive verses from the quran have been abrogated…..

    We can see what you are doing here….

    “This is the duty of Muslims in every age when the needed military power becomes available to them.”

    That’s complete bs.

    The one who his in the gutter is you.

  • Bones

    And yet the expert and lecturer in Islamic law in Australia knows nothing???

    We see what you are doing..

    ISIS does not represent Islam as the hundreds of Islamic who have condemned them have stated.

    You are wrong.

    You’re pretty pathetic really.

  • Bones

    Yes we see your No True Scotsman Fallacy…

    Khomeini does not speak for all Muslims anymore than Franklin Graham does for Christians..

    Of course you always like quoting the extremists.

    Now back to those hundreds of Muslim scholars who condemn violence….whose qualifications are better than yours….

    Sorry Grand Mufti, you ain’t a real Muslim……

    Muslim leaders including the Grand Mufti of Australia back fatwa against Islamic State

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/muslim-leaders-including-the-grand-mufti-of-australia-back-fatwa-against-isis-20160101-glxtbp.html

    BTW I believe in gay marriage therefore I gather you think I’m not a real Christian….

    So it’s obvious where you’re coming from.

  • Ron McPherson

    “So are you saying that Christians should be coerced to violate their own conscience or driven out of business?”

    This isn’t about Christians vs gays. They are not mutually exclusive. Nor is it about Christians vs the state. It’s about obeying the law. The same outcome would have occurred had the bakers been Muslim, Hindu, Jew, Buddhist, atheist, etc.

  • Ron McPherson

    “…and the government is supposed to protect those rights.”

    And the government did “protect those rights.” They won’t allow discrimination against gays. Dang, this shouldn’t be this difficult.

  • Ron McPherson

    And if selling a cake violated their conscience, how does not decorating it themselves solve their problem? That solution just wreaks of Phariseeism. It’s like that allows them to not get their hands dirty haha.

  • Ron McPherson

    “…if I were gay and a baker explained why he couldn’t decorate the cake, I would most likely shrug my shoulders and go to another baker.”

    So what would you do if the next baker says he wouldn’t sell you the cake either? And same with the next, and then the next, and so on. See now why this is discrimination? If everyone treated the couple the same way then they can’t buy a cake.

  • Yes, and it floors me that Evangelicals dont see the parallels to themselves in Romans 2-3 or in Jesus’ condemnation of religious hypocrisy. The problem with self righteousness is its blindness to its own faults which always disguises itself as religious purity.

  • Jeff Preuss

    It also smacks of separate but “equal” accommodations. “Well, this water fountain/washroom/school isn’t as nice, but look how generous we are in providing it to you.”

    [Edit: misspelled ‘as.’]

  • Jeff Preuss

    “It seems like discrimination entails a diminished opinion…?”
    That is the whole point. That a baker would offer one product to straight customers, yet not deign to offer the same product to gay customers conveys exactly that message of said diminished opinion. Refusing to offer your products and services to a specific group of people does not say to that group “I think you are worthy of my respect.”

    Rather, it says precisely the opposite.

  • Jeff Preuss

    And, to echo what I’ve asked you elsewhere – do you also support the baker who feels his duty to please God requires not baking a cake for an interracial couple?

    If not, why is that different?

  • fiona64

    No, I am saying that if they don’t want to serve the entire public they can bake cakes for their friends rather than opening a public accommodation.

    Let me use small words: a bakery, a grocery store, a florist … all of these are what are called public accommodations. That means that, when you get your business license to operate such a place, you have *explicitly agreed to follow certain laws.* Among these are are laws that say that if your regular business involves, say, baking wedding cakes, you cannot say “I will only bake wedding cakes for Christians/whites/same-race couples” or similar. You are required to bake wedding cakes for all comers if that is part of your regular business.

    Another alternative for the “Christians who want to be bigots in public” club is to not bake wedding cakes for *anyone.* They aren’t driven out of business; they simply don’t provide that service.

    See how easy it is?

    Alternately, of course, the “Christians who want to be bigots in public” should just follow the law that is explicitly part and parcel of their business. I don’t give two hoots what people think privately; disapprove of gay people all you want inside your home and inside your head. But when you open a public accommodation, you had damned well better provide my LGBTQ+ friends *exactly* the same level of services you offer to me as a straight woman or you will hear about it — from me and from others.

  • fiona64

    Except they don’t do that, do they?

    And, in point of fact, one baker in Oregon not only refused service to a lesbian couple but doxxed them (gave out their private information) on an anti-gay website and the result was that the couple received death threats, were in danger of losing their foster kids, and more. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/oregon-bakery-pay-gay-couple-refused-cake-article-1.2103577

    And you’re still looking for excuses for people who are violating established public accommodation laws. Why is that?

  • fiona64

    With a black customer, the freedom of religion is not a factor.

    You must not get out much. Racists use the Bible as their excuse in just the same way you and your fellow homophobes do.

  • seanchaiology

    What do you mean by “I hope this helps”? Helps what? Prove your point? Not really.

    As I’m sure you know since you seem to be a scholar on Islam, the Koran is not laid out in the chronological order it was written, but rather it is ordered from longest to shortest. I assume you are saying that the verses I quoted were superseded by others, or even yours since you quote from Surah 8 whereas I used 2 and 5, but I also used 42. However, from a chronological order, Surah 5 was one of the last three written. Surah 8 was written 88th out of 114. Therefore, by your reasoning 5 would supersede 8 and only 9 and 110 would supersede 5.

  • fiona64

    First of all, a wedding is not immoral. Second, a baker is not “participating” in a wedding They’re baking a cake. They aren’t guests. They aren’t in the wedding party.

    Nor are they friends of the couple; they are service providers.

    Your desperation is showing.

  • fiona64

    WTF? Seriously? The Constitution says no such thing. In fact, only *twice* is religion mentioned at all — and both times in exclusionary terms.

    Your “freedom of religion” does not a) include the right to force it on others or b) trump another person’s 14th Amendment rights to equal treatment under the law. Period.

  • fiona64

    First, I have yet to see a wedding cake with “congratulations” written on it (and you assume that everyone has decoration experience and skills) and second? The baker doesn’t put the top on it. The person who delivers the cake does, when they construct it on-site. The baker just bakes and decorates the tiers.

    And still, if the baker did write “congratulations” or put the topper on wedding cakes for other couples? Refusing to do so for a gay couple puts them in violation of public accommodation law.

  • fiona64

    WRONG. It shows the baker wants to be a bigot and was looking for an excuse.

  • fiona64

    Thanks for admitting that the bakers were bigots … and in violation of public accommodation law.

  • fiona64

    Okay, seriously?

    What you wrote is no different from every single racist who says “Some of my best friends are black … but i wouldn’t want them living next door to me.”

    I doubt you have any gay friends, Jean.

  • fiona64

    Two things: in the first example, I suggest that you never open a public accommodation like a bakery.

    In the second example, I suggest that you check your privilege, because not all areas have a plethora of bakers. As I stated in another example, in our area there were a choice of *two.* If both bakeries refused services to a given couple, in my example, how far do you think is a “reasonable distance” to have to drive to get a cake made? One hour? Two hours? Five hours?

    You are either deliberately obtuse or very, very stupid — and I can’t decide which.

  • Dave

    I’m not arguing about anything you say about Christian Dominionists, I know nothing about them. But Sharia doesn’t mean clerics are rulers (Sunni Islam doesn’t even HAVE clerics), and it doesn’t mean theocracy. Sharia is a tradition of legal interpretation that seeks to make sure that laws comply with Islamic notions of justice and fairness. And it only applies to Muslims, not non-Muslims, just as canon law applies to Catholics and Talmudic scholarship seeks to explain Jewish law. The author compares 1200 years of Muslim legal scholarship to a passing, cult-like American Christian phenomenon. That’s like dismissing the Napoleanic code and English/American common law after having read nothing about it. And it is dangerous because it perpetuates ignorance about Islam and feeds the flames of hatred against Muslims that is so rampant in the US right now. “Scholars” such as Mr. Corey should know better.

  • Ron McPherson

    fiona64,

    As a Christian myself, I wish I could upvote this a thousand times!!

  • Ron McPherson

    Do you ever get the feeling that we’re actually just fictional characters trapped in a sitcom being watched by Martians?

  • Jeff Preuss

    Ha! Often.

  • fiona64

    Thank you, Ron. :-)

  • fiona64

    Not so much that, but definitely like I’m trapped in a film made by the bastard child of Federico Fellini and Luis Bunuel.

  • seanchaiology

    It is people like you that give other Christians like myself a bad name. Your comments invoke responses of belittling because you belittle people. If you would actually follow Jesus you would garner respect in return.

  • JeaniusJean

    Refusing to offer your products sometimes includes disrespect but not always. I could have great respect
    for Mother Theresa, but if she asked me to sell her a crowbar to help her steal something, I couldn’t do it.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “Refusing to offer your products sometimes includes disrespect but not always.”
    Refusing to offer your products to SOME people while happily offering them to others is ALWAYS disrespectful.

    “I could have great respect for Mother Theresa, but if she asked me to sell her a crowbar to help her steal something, I couldn’t do it.”

    And again with an analogy that is not in any way analogous.

    Do you sell crowbars to other people for THEM to steal something? If you do, THEN AND ONLY THEN, could your refusal to sell the crowbar to Mother Theresa for her to steal something be parallel to what’s going on with the baker.

    The baker is refusing to sell a product to ONE CLASS of people, while continuing to sell the same product to the rest of the people. THAT is discrimination.

    Your continued efforts to provide analogies of refusing to offer things to people — things you would refuse to offer to ANY PEOPLE — don’t at all support your argument.

  • JeaniusJean

    Should a black person have to make a cake that says on it “Long Live the KKK?”

  • Jeff Preuss

    >>Should a black person have to make a cake that says on it “Long Live the KKK?”<<

    Patently ridiculous false analogy. Baking a wedding cake for a wedding of a gay couple is NOT equivalent to hate speech. For this analogy to work, the couple would have demanded the Christian baker make a cake for them that said, “Christians are stupid.” But you and I both know that isn’t what was asked for.

    (I’m honestly surprised it took you this long to get to such a
    ridiculous comparison, but it shows the depths to which you’ve really thought this through, which is not at all.)

    “All of us need to think clearly and honestly about issues.”
    You should start with yourself.

  • YoshiNakamura

    You are right that the Koran is arranged from the longest chapter to the shortest chapter (with the exception of the short opening prayer), and not in the order Muhammad preached them. And, you are right that the verses I quoted supersede the earlier verses. But, please do not think that this is my opinion. This is standard Islamic scholarship for the past 1000+ years.

    That said, the chapters (suras) consist of verses which were not written at the same time. For example, Chapter 42, which you quoted from was partly Meccan and partly Medinan. Here is what one of the most popular Sunni Koranic exegises, “Al Jalalayn”, says about Sura 42: “Meccan, except for verses 23, 24, 25, 26, which are Medinese;” Therefore, it is not always reliable to way that any particular whole sura supersedes any other particular whole sura because the verses within the particular sura may have been written at different times. Whether any particular verse supersedes any other particular verse is best left to the Islamic religious authorities.

    In any case, the verse you quoted has nothing to do with what concerns us about Islam, namely, the command to make war on non-Moslems.

    Again, I respect you for being interested and intellectually curious enough to go to Islamic sources to learn about Islam.

  • YoshiNakamura

    The one who wrote that is a professor at Al Azhar University, the pre-eminent, ancient Sunni Islamic university. He wrote a book, “Jurisprudence in Muhammad’s Biography”. I suspect he knows more about Islam than you do.

  • JeaniusJean

    An added element in the selling of the crowbar is the participating in the thievery. In any murder trial, the person’s motives are the main factor in determining the person’s punishment (self-defense, involuntary manslaughter, etc.) In this wedding cake scenario, is the baker not decorating the cake because of an attitude of contempt or because of not wanting to go against God? Doesn’t that matter?

  • JeaniusJean

    “I don’t give two hoots what people think privately; disapprove of gay people all you want inside your home and inside your head.”– Okay. So you don’t believe people should have freedom of practicing their religious beliefs. Fine, but someday you may be asked to do something against your conscience. That person may not give two hoots what you think privately.

  • fiona64

    You clearly do not understand a single, solitary thing I said — and I’m not even surprised, since all you want to do is put up straw man after straw man and not bother to examine the matter. The cognitive dissonance of having the wrongness of your “sincerely held beliefs” about equality under the law must be painful.

    When you open a public accommodation, you have to leave your personal beliefs and bigotries at home — whether you like it or not. Look, I get it. You want to play the “I’m not a bigot, but …” game. But our country’s laws are such that you are not permitted to do so. If you want a libertarian paradise, where you can be as great a bigot as you want, move to Somalia.

    My conscience, madame, will not permit me to discriminate against others for no good reason — or to sit silently while other people look for an excuse to do so.

    Your right to practice your religion does NOT include the right to force it on others, or to use it as an excuse to be a bigot in the public square. Period, end of report.

  • seanchaiology

    Although I’m not a scholar, follower, or even avid researcher of Islam, I have read through the Koran at various times over the last twenty years due to simple personal curiosity. I am not completely new to what it holds. With that said, I find it frustrating that you seem to just keep going one step further with your explanations every time someone points out an error in your thinking. First it was with Bones. You argued about *all of Islam* initially until he pointed out things were different in Indonesia, so then you had to go into an argument about that. Then when I point out contradicting verses that show peaceful outlooks in the Koran, you tell me that the later revelations superseded the verses I offered. Now when I tell you that the verses I quoted were some of the last to be written, you try and tell me that they were written at different times even with the individual Surahs. You try to support your claims by offering comments regarding Surah 42, but you speak nothing about Surah 5 which was third from the last to be written.
    It just seems you have some quick answer to everything instead of seeing the truth. Like I said before, people can pull out whatever they want from the Koran to fit their argument just like they can from the Bible. That is why I will, again, make my judgments based on the actions of individual people and not base it on their claimed religion. You started all of this by talking about how you hate what Islam teaches, but there is no fully universal teaching in Islam. Like with Christianity there are some core tenets that enjoy almost universal acceptance, but practice and actual belief varies from country to country, region to region, sect to sect, and person to person. Do I think there are some really bad people out there that claim to be Muslim? Yes, I do. However, I think that is more about those people using their religion as a scape goat to act upon what they already want to do inside their own hearts and minds and the same can be said about many who call themselves Christians.
    I’m glad you “respect” me and find this to be a good discussion, but in all honesty I find it rather tiring. You are set in what you believe and want to use your study of Islam to prove yourself correct while simultaneously hiding it behind statements like “this is not my opinion it is what Islamic authorities and scholars say.” I am set in what I believe too, and that is the reason I will not judge people by any label they give for themselves because I also know that label does not really define them wholly, it is only one small aspect of the individual. And, when you start making mass statements about specific labels then you are ignoring all of the other things that make up that person and in time you forget he/she is even a person at all and things like discrimination or even worse, genocide, start to come into play. I won’t have it, I won’t accept it, and I will always speak out against it.
    Are we done now?

  • fiona64

    If you sell crowbars, are you generally in the business of asking what people are going to use them for?

    If you sell crowbars, it’s none of your business what people are using them for. It’s your business to sell the crowbar, period.

  • fiona64

    Ah, but you already told us that it was okay to make a cake for serial killers if they got married … but not for gay people.

    In no case before the courts has the hardware store been held criminally liable for selling a pry-bar to someone who subsequently used it in a robbery. EVER.

    If you don’t understand how analogies work, you need to stop using them.

  • fiona64

    Your straw men falls short on numerous levels, not the least of which is that analogies must, you know, be analogous.

  • JeaniusJean

    Okay, I see that the analogy is flawed. If you were a baker, would you write on a cake “Radical Islam is Truly Wonderful”?

  • fiona64

    You still don’t get it, do you?

    You are seriously comparing a wedding cake to hate speech, and calling “separate but equal” okay.

    But I’ll bet you’d have a shitfit of epic proportions if you were refused service for being Christian, wouldn’t you? And guess what? The same laws that protect gay couples from discrimination in public accommodation? Protect *you* from it.

    So, unless you’d be okay with being told “We don’t serve Christians here, go to a different bakery,” I suggest you clam up.

  • JeaniusJean

    If it was against the baker’s conscience/holy writings to serve Christians, I would be okay with not being served.

  • JeaniusJean

    Okay, I see that the analogy is flawed. If you were a baker, would you write on a cake “Radical Islam is Truly Wonderful”?

  • fiona64

    You’re lying, and you know it.

    Just knock it off.

  • JeaniusJean

    I am telling the truth. I wouldn’t like the inconvenience, and I wouldn’t believe that the baker is correct in his belief. However, he has the right to practice his beliefs.

  • fiona64

    No, you’re lying. And do you know how I know that?

    Because of your ongoing claim that Christians are being persecuted by having to treat people equally under the law. You would claim that you were being persecuted for being refused service in a public accommodation — despite wanting the right to do the same to others.

    It has been explained to you repeatedly why you are wrong — and you deliberately refuse to consider the facts. I can explain it to you all day, but I cannot understand it for you. You do NOT have the right to refuse service in a public accommodation for religious or any other reasons that do not have to do with the health code (e.g., requiring people to wear shirts and shoes in a restaurant). END OF REPORT.

    Stop looking for an excuse to hate on gay people for having the same rights as you. In fact, you should stop pretending to be Christian; your bigotry about as far from Christ-like as you can get.

    People like you are the reason that folks are walking away from Christianity in droves, Jean. I’m a dual-ordained minister, and I refuse to call myself Christian because people like you have co-opted the word to be synonymous with small-mindedness and bigotry. I call myself a follower of Jesus’ teachings … and I truly don’t believe he would recognize his teachings in your mouth. The “Hate in the name of Jesus” crowd makes me sick. And it makes a whole lot of other people sick, too.

    On the other hand, you are proving the point of the article splendidly … so there’s that. Rock on.

  • Jeff Preuss

    You know what, I’m just gonna leave you with an actual analogy that works, since you clearly have no intent to read anything I’ve said to you critically, or do any sincere introspective reflection on your motivations. You will probably attempt to continue to offer parallels that aren’t, analogies that aren’t, and weak analyses of constitutional freedoms that leave out freedoms for all.

    There is a baker who bakes wedding cakes for everyone. The baker is a Christian. A man and a woman come in to the baker to order a cake for their wedding. The baker refuses, because based on his devout reading of Biblical Scripture, he believes it is a sin to mix races (the couple is interracial) and he would be tormented if he thought he provided product for a wedding that is clearly displeasing to God.

    If you find this scenario wrong, and feel that the baker should bake the cake for the couple, it is either (or both) of the following:
    A) You feel that the Bible clearly doesn’t support his position. If so, what about his freedom of religion? HE devoutly believes the Bible clearly prohibits it, so why cannot he exercise his freedom of religion like you want the anti-gay baker to?

    B) You feel that he should follow the non-discrimination laws in place to protect people of other races, as established by the Civil Rights Act, because American citizens of ALL races deserve the same freedoms enshrined by the Constitution. If so, why should the anti-gay baker not follow the anti-discrimination laws in place where his business exists, and treat ALL customers the same, offering them the same products?

    However, if you find the explained scenario acceptable, then you are NOT interested in protecting everyone’s freedoms as you claim — just those of white Christians who believe exactly the same way as you. And you should honestly analyze if you are really doing what God wants.

    And, in addition to the anti-gay bakers, that makes you the bully.

    Adieu.

  • JeaniusJean

    As long as we live in an imperfect world, laws will not be perfect. There is a scriptural passage that states we should not follow any law that would be disobedient to God. (example: In WWII, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was told to kills Jews, but he refused.) Fortunately, most laws are in alignment with God. — If the NY Daily News story is true, It goes without saying that death threats, etc are appalling.

  • fiona64

    I hate to break it to you, Jean … but the US is not a theocracy. That means that, regardless of what it says in your Bible? You do not get to pick and choose which laws you follow.

    It is also telling that you equate having to follow public accommodation laws (in this case, baking a cake) with being told to murder someone. There is something seriously wrong with you.

    If you don’t want to bake cakes for gay couples, don’t open a bakery that makes wedding cakes. Period.

  • JeaniusJean

    When you earlier mentioned a baker not decorating a cake for an interracial couple, I delayed answering because I was mulling it over whether that’s okay. If I say that it is okay, then I need to say that it’s okay for radical Muslims to behead people. I just can’t say that.

  • WayneMan

    News flash – the topic of this above article is about you.

  • JeaniusJean

    I don’t hate gays, and I’m not a bigot. Using inflammatory language like that is an oft-used technique to squelch Christians. One reason people hate Christians is that they actually hate God. Before becoming a believer, I actually said, “I hate God.” It’s understandable because all of us want to do what we want to do, It’s our nature to not want to submit to a higher authority. His mercy turned me around. As a dual-ordained minister, you may want to ask yourself if you are actually submitting to Him.

  • JeaniusJean

    When I wrote that I didn’t want to sell a crowbar to someone who intended to use it for thievery, it wasn’t because of being criminally liable as you wrote. It was because God would see that I’m helping someone steal. He wouldn’t like that, right? Baking a cake for serial killers is not helping them kill, right? I understand how analogies work.

  • Zev_disqus

    Your respect for law is simplistic and exaggerated.

  • JeaniusJean

    I was allowing for the possibility of having heard through another person(s) of Mother Theresa’s intent.

  • WayneMan

    “One reason people hate Christians is that they actually hate God.”

    Point 1 – No, did you even read this article. People hate Christians that are religious bullies, wanting to push their religious agendas onto everyone. Most Christians are very fine people, but then there is the Westboro Baptist Church, Pat Robertson, Glenn Beck, Mike Huckabee, Kim Davis, and you.

    Point 2 – No, I do not and cannot hate something that I do not believe exists. It’s like saying you hate Bigfoot (unless maybe you actually believe that too). It makes no sense to hate something I believe is a fantasy. I do hate what some religious followers do with their religions, because it is nothing less than a social cancer.

  • WayneMan

    Her respect for, and understanding of the law is spot on.

  • JeaniusJean

    Actually, scripture teaches that you DO know that God exists. It also states that people suppress that knowledge, so you’re good at suppressing! Deep down inside you know there is a God. All of us want to suppress it because we don’t want to submit to a higher authority.
    I surmise that you don’t believe scripture is inspired by God. However, I feel that I should have stated WHERE that is, i.e. Romans 1:18-20.

  • WayneMan

    So now you are equating same sex marriage to murder?

    And if baking a cake for a serial killer, who uses the cake to celebrate his kill, is not participating in the murder, then how is baking a cake for a gay couple, who will use the cake to celebrate the wedding, participation in the wedding? Your logic is not logical.

  • WayneMan

    Congratulations. This article was about you.

  • fiona64

    And now you’re moving the goal posts. Quelle surprise.

  • fiona64

    Your respect for law is simplistic and exaggerated.

    Really? How so?

    Because I’m dumbing down public accommodation law for Jean? Well, okay then. Here’s the actual legal standard: http://civilrights.findlaw.com/enforcing-your-civil-rights/discrimination-in-public-accommodations.html

    And if you read it (which somehow I doubt you will do, but nevertheless), you will find out that I have not exaggerated in the slightest.

  • fiona64

    I understand how analogies work.

    No, you really don’t.

    And your tap-dancing sucks.

  • fiona64

    I’m not a bigot

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    One reason people hate Christians is that they actually hate God.

    Nope, sorry. They just hate the God you’ve made in your own bigoted image.

  • fiona64

    When you earlier mentioned a baker not decorating a cake for an interracial couple, I delayed answering because I was mulling it over whether that’s okay. If I say that it is okay, then I need to say that it’s okay for radical Muslims to behead people.

    So, you are a bigot.

    Just. Like. I. Said.

    Because you equate an inter-ethnic marriage with beheadings.

  • JeaniusJean

    So now simply wanting to obey God is self-righteousness? It’s possible that I have sins that the gay couple doesn’t have, isn’t it?

  • fiona64

    You don’t want to obey God, Jean … you just want God to hate the same people you do. And isn’t it convenient that you can find five or six mistranslated verses that make you think that way?

    How many of the other Levitical laws do you follow, since those are commanded by God? Or is your argument that those are Old Testament things and we should only follow what Jesus said? Because if that’s the case, you are really sucking at loving your neighbor as yourself.

    You continue to make a big stink about how pious you are, but that’s in direct contravention of Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 5:5. You might want to think about that.

  • fiona64

    It’s cute how you’ve made a sock puppet account to upvote yourself, Jean.

  • WayneMan

    And I believe most of the scripture is complete BS. I was born, raised, and baptized a Christian, like most Christians (see note below). When I got older, and actually studied the Bible, and other religious texts, compared to reality, I came to the conclusion, deep down inside of me, that it and all religions, are completely man made fabrications. So no, I do not believe period, deep down inside, no matter what your book says.

    Note: Here are a couple brain teasers.

    First, ever look at a religious demographics map? Isn’t